Great piece of photographic history on the slit scan technique

From Google+

Great piece of photographic history on the slit scan technique. The end result looks a bit cheesy (good for comic relief), but I appreciated the background this guy presented.

I remember my high school graduating class was photographed using a slit scan camera to get a panoramic shot. We had to stand still for about 30 seconds while the lens panned across the crowd. This guy explains how a similar technology, using extended exposure, time lapse photography, was used to make the “space warp” animation in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and other similar effects in other familiar sci-fi shows, at least until digital video editing was invented.

A really interesting factoid he mentions is that a computer helped create the graphics for the opening sequence in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 movie “Vertigo.” Each spiral image was painted on a surface in a fashion that was similar to how a computer would’ve interacted with an oscilloscope. I’d be comfortable calling it the first time computer graphics were used in a movie.

Related post: Were the first movie computer graphics in a Hitchcock film?

How system security gets the short end of the stick

From Google+

(This is me commenting on Paul Homer’s blog post Predictions)

Another issue related to what you’re talking about is system security. I don’t know if this has gone forward at all, but last year I heard about the U.S. government trying to get the major service providers (like Facebook and Google) to share fairly intimate information about their users (like stuff they post about their lives, what they search for, etc.) so that the government could analyze it to help track down cyber attackers. It sounded like a dumb (and dangerous) idea, preferring to track people, rather than understand how to create systems that are more secure from attack. This, again, would require research funding.

There’s already a model from the 1960s, which was funded by government research, called Multics, that, from my understanding, was the most secure OS ever created. It was even more secure than systems that are in use today. Honeywell stopped selling it in the mid-90s, and it went out of use by the year 2000.

Unix was inspired by Multics, but its designers decided to make it “lighter,” leaving out Multics’s bureaucratic notions, and so it started out less secure, though it became emblematic of a new paradigm that Multics did not embody, of distributed computing via. a network. If research had been allowed to continue in this area, I think we’d be farther along in solving the problem of cyber attacks by now.