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Recovering Blurred Text Using Photoshop and JavaScript

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the careful-how-you-hide-stuff dept.

Security 157

An anonymous reader writes "There's been a lot of talk about recovering blurred or pixelated text, but here's an actual implementation using nothing but Photoshop and a little JavaScript. Includes a Hollywood-esque video showing the uncovered letters slowly appearing."

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157 comments

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Interesting (4, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306639)

From TFA:

The most important feature is the JavaScript scripting environment built into Photoshop, which is far more powerful than the AppleScript environment (and a much nicer language, in my opinion).

Hey Timothy, are you trying to get the mac fans riled up?

I'd try this myself, but I stopped pirating PS at version 6. Be interesting to see what other Slashdotters make of this.

Re:Interesting (2, Informative)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306711)

Note that the study was done on a Mac, by a Mac-user, so your point is partially moot.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25306975)

I don't think Applescript being crap is too contentious a point for many people, including most Mac user.

Re:Interesting (5, Funny)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307243)

There's another easy way to recover blurred text in Photoshop: Ctrl+Z.

Re:Interesting (4, Funny)

DreadPiratePizz (803402) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307657)

I'm on a mac you insensitive clod! It's command-z for us!

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25307795)

Is there any way to change that? I use a mac at school, but I'm not dropping $1000 on a laptop with 1 gig of ram.

Re:Interesting (1)

WillyDavidK (977353) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307941)

Or Apple + z for the old guys

Re:Interesting (1)

justo (2858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25308001)

um dont you mean open apple + z

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Open_apple_key [wikipedia.org]

Re:Interesting (2, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25308463)

I don't think so:

known as the open-Apple key (as well as just "Apple") in documentation prior to the Apple Macintosh family of computers

However, you get pedantry points for trying.

Oblig (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25306651)

Now for all of the other pixellated stuff...

Bwahahahaha.

Alot of the Lesbian sites I visit put stars on nip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25306747)

Maybe some day there will be like a way to overblend a sacrificial nipple or clit onto anything that was tarnished with the censorship "star." On second thought, that sounds like doublspeak censorware -- like downloading a DRM'd song and the wrong key to decrypt will give you a song sung by Hillary Rosen, same lyrics and sinstruments an' all. *SHIVERS

Re:Oblig (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25306853)

I'm off to ebay to try it on all those XP serial numbers.

Re:Oblig (1)

DrPeper (249585) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306929)

kudos in the style of a Guinness commercial - "Brilliant!"
kudos in the style of ZeroPunctuation - "Stonking Great!"

Re:Oblig (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25306911)

Posting to undo mistaken moderation.

Re:Oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25307513)

um... doncha have to be non-anon to do that?

Re:Oblig (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25308585)

Nah, he modded as AC, too.

Computer... magnify and enhace (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25306671)

20x zoom. Mr. Data, what does that look like to you?

Re:Computer... magnify and enhace (5, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306689)

BIG squares.

OSX-style dock on website. (0)

siphonophore (158996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306673)

Well done, sir. Well done indeed.

Re:OSX-style dock on website. (3, Interesting)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306933)

Neat.
*takes picture*

I hate the dock, and I hate transparency.
I think it's even worse on a website.
But I'm half-tempted to look at the code.

Re:OSX-style dock on website. (2, Informative)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307077)

Here's the source [ndesign-studio.com] . Interestingly enough, it was referred to earlier today. [slashdot.org]

Re:OSX-style dock on website. (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307297)

Half-tempted.
Half.

Hell I looked anyway.

Neat.

Re:OSX-style dock on website. (4, Interesting)

cheesy9999 (750203) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307361)

Actually the one on my site was written myself, and is located at http://tlrobinson.net/projects/js/jsdock.php [tlrobinson.net] It was written back in my early days of JavaScript, so it's probably not the prettiest code...

Re:OSX-style dock on website. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25308467)

Looks like crap when your browser doesn't support transparency, though.

Just ovveride? (5, Insightful)

Dreen (1349993) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306737)

I never understood why people use pixel mis-mashing when they want to obfuscate something in an image.

drawing a big black rectangle is 10x faster and there is no way you can de-obfuscate that

Re:Just ovveride? (4, Interesting)

fbjon (692006) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306811)

It may stand out too much in the layout. What would be interesting (maybe even useful) is developing a formula that determines the minimum mosaic size for a given font style/complexity and size that makes reversing it produce ambiguous results, one extreme being a black rectangle, the other no mosaic at all.

Re:Just ovveride? (4, Interesting)

Zadaz (950521) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306943)

Why not make a "secure" mosaic filter that does one or more of the following:

- Randomizes the pixel data before applying the mosaic (Keeping the original colors so the mosaic looks natural.)

- Applies noise to the area before applying the mosaic (Could use intensity noise rather than hue to retain the color scheme that is being obfuscated.)

- Requires the user to drag the smudge tool across the area by a pre-determined amount to randomize the data before the mosaic.

- Apply noise to the mosaic pixels, (1:1 with the mosaic size) after it has been applied.

These would all retain the look of the mosaic but would defeat the reverse engineering tactics displayed here.

Heck, forget the plugin, these would be pretty simple to automate these within Photoshop.

Re:Just ovveride? (5, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307323)

Heck, forget the plugin, these would be pretty simple to automate these within Photoshop.

This is gimp country. On a quiet night, you can hear adobe squeal like a pig.

Re:Just ovveride? (4, Insightful)

More_Cowbell (957742) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307573)

Not quite sure if that is funny or disturbing... :)

Re:Just ovveride? (5, Funny)

lostmongoose (1094523) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307711)

I'm gonna go with 'funsturbing'

Re:Just ovveride? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25307839)

disturbunny is disturbed.

Re:Just ovveride? (2, Informative)

mrdarreng (1120603) | more than 5 years ago | (#25308837)

I think you have confused squealing with laughing.

Re:Just ovveride? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25308111)

You mean something close to this: http://johnbokma.com/mexit/2007/01/09/make-part-screenshot-unreadable.html

Simple way to make believable mosaics: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25308171)

Remove the text you want hidden and replace it with some lipsum of believable length and general consistency. Apply standard mosaic filter. Simple, relatively quick, no special software needed.

randomize after (2, Insightful)

pikine (771084) | more than 5 years ago | (#25308749)

If you randomize pixel in any way before applying mosaic, adding noise or just randomly permute the pixels around, then what you get in the mosaic is going to be the same colored blocks that look like a solid colored strip. That's because mosaic computes the average of the pixel values that fall under the block, which would be the same for all blocks if randomness is evenly distributed. However, if you apply mosaic first and then randomize the blocks after, then the result looks much more like mosaic and yet is irreversible.

Re:Just ovveride? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25307033)

Better is to blur something completely different from the original. Then if someone decodes it all they will get is a funny message about them wasting their time (or maybe a big "fuck you" or something).

Re:Just ovveride? (1)

Dreen (1349993) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307273)

Oh please
I honestly cant think of a situation where I have an image I want to post somewhere, but I need to obfuscate some part of it but Im too damn pedantic to use a solid-colour cover. It doesnt even have to black, nor a rectangle.

Re:Just ovveride? (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307319)

Yes, I didn't say it must necessarily be useful. :)

Re:Just ovveride? (1)

functor0 (89014) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307375)

My personal favourite for taking out such information in Photoshop is to use the Patch tool. Copying over a piece of the background over the letters/numbers erases them in such a way that looks like they never existed before.

Re:Just ovveride? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25306813)

... Except when you leave the black rectangle as a separate layer.

Or draw the black rectangle using Word's image drawing tools, or in a vector image file, and leave the actual text underneath.

Re:Just ovveride? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25306883)

Unless the document you are trying to obfuscate is a PDF:

http://it.slashdot.org/it/06/06/22/138210.shtml

Re:Just ovveride? (4, Insightful)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306961)

Absolutely agree.

Plus TFA says the original image was blurred using the Photoshop "mosaic" filter. So this approach, while interesting for text blurred using that exact filter, is probably useless in most real-world approaches, such as trying to recover text obliterated with the rubber-stamp tool, or like you suggest, a black box.

Re:Just ovveride? (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307897)

while i agree that this has few practical applications, it's still a pretty novel method of countering mosaic'd text. the author's not going to make any money off of this idea, but you have to give him credit for ingenuity. the most impressive part is that he slapped this together using a single popular off-the-shelf program and a few lines of JavaScript code.

Re:Just ovveride? (4, Informative)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307017)

drawing a big black rectangle is 10x faster and there is no way you can de-obfuscate that

Just make sure you're not saving in a file format that has a preview, where the preview doesn't have the obfuscation updated. :)

Re:Just ovveride? (1)

GFree678 (1363845) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307027)

A big black rectangle is UGLY. Since blurring things looks a lot nicer, the media tends to prefer it. Image is everything, even in the modification of such. :)

Re:Just ovveride? (1)

DrPeper (249585) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307191)

What about a big Pink rectangle, with opaque purple smiley faces?

Yes, you can de-obfuscate black rectangles. (5, Interesting)

IdahoEv (195056) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307485)

drawing a big black rectangle is 10x faster and there is no way you can de-obfuscate that

That's not entirely true. There was an article a couple years back about a technique for recovering redacted text with pretty high reliability.

It used the fact that most standard fonts have variable spacing, and that once you've determined the font you can model that only certain combinations of letters will actually fit in the space of the redacted word or words. Combined with a dictionary and bayesian matching based on nearby words, you can often figure out what words would have fit into a redacted rectangle. Or at least limit it to a fairly small pool of possibilities.

They demonstrated it on a redacted government document, and pulled out some places where the redacted words had to be "Iran" and "Ahmedinejad" etc., because nothing else both fit and made sense. If it's a monospaced font, you know the exact number of letters of the redacted text.

I can't find the original link, but here's a paper [lehigh.edu] that describes some of the techniques available for "cracking" blackout redaction. (some apply only to magic-marker-type redaction, but others apply even to electronic black-rectangle redaction).

Re:Yes, you can de-obfuscate black rectangles. (2, Interesting)

Dreen (1349993) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307645)

Thats pretty interesting. The document lists some good countermeasures but still, the more you obfuscate, the harder it becomes to "brute-force" it back. For whole long-ish sentences it would probably be impossible.

Plus, if you are obfuscating an important, scanned document, and its cruicial you hide stuff in it, the best option is to OCR it, and simply delete the snippets you dont want.

Re:Yes, you can de-obfuscate black rectangles. (1)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25308879)

Wow! You a smart mother----er. I would have never thought to -- that.

Seriously, that's kind of obvious. A lot of us have seen redacted government documents, and it's usually pretty obvious what words go where. I've seen one where they left the bottom few pixels of a line, and it was simple to figure out what it said.

The only way redacting a document has a chance of working is if you are redacting numbers, or entire paragraphs, and there is no way you are going to recover an account number that has been blacked out. Redacting words in a sentence is just silly.

something out of nothing (1)

postmortem (906676) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306755)

Never works, regardless of details. In this case, creation of information from nothing.

In this case, text was already recognizable, before the change. By encoding it in different format that is not readable by humans it doesn't mean that information was not there. Think of it as a cipher.

General case != this (4, Insightful)

Empiric (675968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306827)

Is it not the case that the reason this works is because you're running the -same blur algorithm- with the -same input- (the unblurred letters/pixels) and simply iterating through the letters and looking for equivalent output?

Presumably, the blur algorithm output could resolve such that multiple unblurred letters resolve to the same blurred pixels, but even if it is not this trivial to map the input state to output state, it still wouldn't seem to me to approach solving the general case of letters "blurred" by any arbitrary means, which is the real-world capability implied by the article.

What am I missing here?

Re:General case != this (4, Informative)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307129)

You're not missing anything.
This guy tried to read some blurred text on his friend's site, so he decided to mess around in photoshop.

He got over zealous and did some javascript stuff in photoshop, based on blurring known text and attempting to reblur and match that text 1 letter at a time.

He was then disappointed that he couldn't use the thing to unblur assumed text of unknown font, font settings, color, language, character set, and blurring algorithm after unknown layers of image alteration after the text was rendered, and after unknown compression.

Re:General case != this (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307425)

He then tried to make it worth his while by posting to slashdot.

Re:General case != this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25307539)

Woah, lets be fair... at least "part" of the text he was trying to recover wasn't blurred. A little trial/error should produce the correct font, size, color, language, and character set. He seems convinced the blurring algorithm was "mosaic" from photoshop. That makes it a bit more realistic.

Re:General case != this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25307525)

It's really a simple thing - there's two ways I'd do it.

Blurring is simply low pass filtering (usually, it could also involve smudging, and that would make it more difficult). Pixelation is just burring with quantisation into blocks afterwards.

One solution is super resolution. If you have a lot of frames that have been blurred similarly and the object is moving a bit then it's pretty easy to take all those blurred bits and put all the information back together to fill in the holes. Over a series of frames you'll get back an almost complete representation of the original and you can then reconstruct it. Eventually you'll have enough information to reconstruct a Fourier series for the bit you're interested. At this point just take the inverse transform and bam there's your information.

If the image is a single frame and the pixelation is based on the image data (rather than random jibberish) but with small block size then there may be enough frequency information left over to reconstruct a legible form of the original, even if your eyes can't see it without the extra filtering that's applied.

A good algorithm I wrote to pixellate was to take a block of image data, work out its mean colour then just create random squares near to the mean colour. That produces a useful enough mosaic that doesn't rely on any information other than a single mean colour => all you can infer from a reconstruction is that the mean colour of the block was something. You'd need a shitload of frames to reconstruct the original, if you were able to at all.

Captcha? (1)

DrPeper (249585) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306837)

I wonder if this technique is anything similar to how some of the recent captchas have been recently cracked?

OR Japanese pr0n? (3, Funny)

DrPeper (249585) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306873)

Wouldn't it be cool if you could use this technique to clear up the fuzzies on censored Japanese pr0n?!

Re:OR Japanese pr0n? (4, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306955)

You're on the wrong forum for that line of reasoning. You'll want to find a site that's either anti-censorship or pro-porn. Good luck finding something like that on the internet.

Re:OR Japanese pr0n? (1)

DrPeper (249585) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307099)

Well an de-censorship video filter for Japanese pr0n could be a viable commercial product. Thereby creating jobs, and consequently helping the economy. Well that's my spin and I'm stickin' with it!

Granted it's not exactly how most googleplexion-aires get started.

Re:OR Japanese pr0n? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25307193)

That software already exists, and is freeware.

Re:OR Japanese pr0n? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25307225)

Just buy ("buy") the uncensored version.

I had a long, more-detailed post typed up, but I hit cancel by accident.

Basically, they sell the censored version in Japan because legally, all porn has to be censored in Japan. They sell the uncensored version in the US and Europe.

Some porn stars only do censored (and NO releases are uncensored), though that's like saying a western porn star only does softcore - just wait a few years and they'll be doing anything and everything.

Within Japan, there is a fairly large underground market for the uncensored cuts, and it's not unusual for a censored-only star's work to be leaked, or for them to change their mind later (when they want more money).

Re:OR Japanese pr0n? (1)

DrPeper (249585) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307287)

Ahhh but don't you see? The de-censorship filter levels the playing field because all video is de-censorable. Thus providing a clear and level playing field for all the actors/actresses. And it helps to clean up that nasty underground market!

Re:OR Japanese pr0n? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307277)

Wouldn't it be cool if you could use this technique to clear up the fuzzies on censored Japanese pr0n?!

Uh, those "fuzzies" are what are known as pubic hair. You might be unfamiliar with it as American porn stars have razor rash down there instead :)

<sarcasm>Wasn't it ingenious of them to grow hair down there to cover up all that unsightly stubble?</sarcasm>

Re:OR Japanese pr0n? (0, Offtopic)

DrPeper (249585) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307417)

If the kitty wants a kiss, the kitty better be clean and smooth.

Re:OR Japanese pr0n? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25308245)

But if they're clean and smooth, you can't floss while you're down there.

Re:OR Japanese pr0n? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25308509)

You wouldn't need to, as much. Hair stuck between teeth = not fun.

Re:OR Japanese pr0n? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25308763)

Pulling out hair that's between teeth = flossing

Actually, there are programs to do that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25307623)

> Wouldn't it be cool if you could use this technique to clear up the fuzzies on censored Japanese pr0n?!

You jest, but if you spend a bit of time on Wikipedia, you'll find that some of the mosaics are created in a special way precisely so that people CAN undo the censorship and there are, in fact, programs to automate this.

Basically, they created this scheme as a way to get around the law and there are several mosaic/decoder pairs, so not everyone uses the same scheme and not all mosaics were made to be decoded.

Re:Actually, there are programs to do that... (1)

DrPeper (249585) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307675)

I did NOT know that. That is wacky weird wild stuff. -Johny Carson

Re:Captcha? (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307917)

It's not.

slashdotted after 9 posts (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25306865)

He's dead, Jim

Re:slashdotted after 9 posts (2, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307339)

He's ****, Jim

There. Fixed that for you.

Ideal conditions (5, Interesting)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306871)

The article mentions the authors 'cheating a little' by de-blurring the image under 'ideal conditions'. From what I can gather, he is using a source Photoshop file (PSD) as the sample. If he already had access to the source PSD file, wouldn't it be easier to just click undo a few dozen times? Can this be reproduced to a raster image at all?

Re:Ideal conditions (2, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306973)

I imagine the "cheating" aspect of using a PSD file is that you are working with a lossless image. There's no JPEG/MPEG compression going on etc. Working with another lossless format like BMP, or PNG, would probably work just as well.

Re:Ideal conditions (2, Interesting)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307237)

What is more significant is knowing exactly which font and which blur filter was used. Also having the filter applied evenly is going to make things far easier than if someone grabs the blur tool and scribbles over the area with it.

Re:Ideal conditions (2, Informative)

nobodymk2 (1137293) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307081)

Once I hit "save" in photoshop and exit I can't undo. Although in a layered image the rasterized text (must be rasterized before we can liquify/blur it) would probably be on a separate layer, but it's generally much more incriminating to replace text and not unblur text and it's probably not layered like that.

Old tech (5, Funny)

Glith (7368) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306947)

Jeez. Hasn't anyone seen CSI?

Re:Old tech (5, Funny)

mpaulsen (240157) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307045)

I was going to watch it online, but they created a GUI interface in Visual Basic to track my IP. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ni_rAamVP2s [youtube.com]

Re:Old tech (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307263)

Gooey.

Re:Old tech (1)

offrdbandit (1331649) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307293)

That's hardcore...

Re:Old tech (4, Funny)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25308869)

Writer: Hey, how would you find someone over the Internet?
IT Guy: You mean, like, track their IP address?
Writer: IP address. That sounds good. Okay, how would you do it?
IT Guy: Well, working here, my dumbass manager would insist that I write a stupid GUI interface in Visual Basic, but---
Writer: Awesome! We'll put that down. *click*

Failure (5, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307051)

"While my original goal of recovering the censored text on my friendâ(TM)s page was never achieved, the project was a success."

I wouldn't call that a success...

Good execution of a basic concept, but the fact remains that this shit is infeasible in practice. You have all the font issues (the typeface, the spacing, the color, the size, etc.), and you've got all the source issues - Are you sure that's text? Is it English? Was it obfuscated in other ways? Has the image been altered after the text was rendered? How has compression affected it?

The biggest fucking issue, of course, is that you're assuming the text was obfuscated using photoshop, or at least very similar blurring/pixelating algorithms.

It's a great project in terms of using javascript and photoshop to do something neat but basic in concept (essentially brute forcing, as the author says).

But unless you have inside info about how the text was rendered and obfuscated, you're better off taking a step back and squinting.

I think I see a duck.

Re:Failure (3, Funny)

finiteSet (834891) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307389)

But unless you have inside info about how the text was rendered and obfuscated, you're better off taking a step back and squinting.

Little Girl: "Wow! It's a schooner!"
Willam: "You dumb bastard! That's not a schooner, it's a sailboat!"
Little Boy: "A schooner is a sailboat, stupidhead!"
Willam: "Well you know what? THERE IS NO EASTER BUNNY! OVER THERE, THAT'S JUST A GUY IN A SUIT!!"

So... (1, Flamebait)

GFree678 (1363845) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307073)

Where's the comments complaining about how they didn't find a similar way to do this in GIMP?

Or maybe they did, but it's not here. Not that I can tell from a 500 sever error. :)

Re:So... (2, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307251)

You can do the exact same thing in GIMP rather easily.

Get some image with blurred text.
Try blurring some letters to match up with the blurred text.
Fail.

See? You've already done what this guy did with javascript, photoshop, and who know how much wasted time.

Re:So... (-1, Flamebait)

GFree678 (1363845) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307743)

Why was I marked flamebait? Did I disrespect GIMP ANYWHERE in my post?

Fucking kids.

Re:So... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25308955)

And thus began GFree678's spiral to trolldem.

At first, it was a mistake: "Hey, that wasn't flamebait!" Yet, through a series of bad moderations and various other mistakes he was modded down, further and further. His karma sank to unfathomable depths, his soul crushed with defeat.

But then, one day in the not to distant future, the final straw snapped. He became unstoppable . "AARGGGGGHH GNAA" he bellowed. Entire cities crushed beneath his ever growing girth. "GGGOOOOAAATTTSSSEEEEEEE," he raged.

Mods, you have no idea what you have unleashed on the world.

Coral Link (3, Informative)

mrbene (1380531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307075)

I'm getting a 500 status connecting to the original, but it seems that Coral CDN has a decent cache [nyud.net] .

Just squint (1)

drmofe (523606) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307135)

"The easy way to read numbers"

"The easy way to email multimedia" (1)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307303)

Sounds like your typical "we're going to revolutionize a decades-old standard" start up.

Short version (4, Interesting)

rabtech (223758) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307173)

If you know the blur algorithm, you can run each character through it to produce the blurred output, then compare that result to the image you are trying to unscramble and pick the closest match.

This assumes the blurring doesn't cause pixels to overlap their neighbors too much, that the algorithm produces deterministic output (isn't random), and that there are few possible inputs resulting in the same blurred output.

If the letters overlap because the blur blends with its neighbors then it just becomes a computational complexity problem where you have to try words instead of letters. A lot harder, but not totally impossible.

A blurring algorithm that used some large mosaic effect prior to bluring or used randomized input would produce a similar looking blur effect, but without disclosing much about the input.

Personally, I'd prefer examining the blur area for the predominant background color and create a gradient/mosaic around that color to fill the area. Then there is absolutely no chance of recovering information, but the effect on video wouldn't be too horribly jarring (as a black box might be).

Re:Short version (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25308349)

Pfft. If you're going to go to that much effort, just blur up some alternate text and stitch that in instead. The pixelation will hide the edge artifacts.

Then you can taunt them a second time-a

What about nipples? (5, Insightful)

vodevil (856500) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307725)

I think people would be more interested if this removed the blur from nipples.

dontreallyhavetimeforcodingathome (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307855)

I'll bite. What the hell is this a reference to?

Re:dontreallyhavetimeforcodingathome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25308535)

I've been wondering that also. WTF?

Re:dontreallyhavetimeforcodingathome (1)

Skrapion (955066) | more than 5 years ago | (#25309067)

I have no idea; I clicked on it to see if anything else had the same tag, but that really didn't do what I expected! Now I've apparently "voted" for the tag, and I have no idea if there's any way I can remove my vote.

Anyway, no other stories have received the same tag, if you're curious.

In other news... (1)

DerCed (155038) | more than 5 years ago | (#25308133)

Mr. Robinson was indicted for violating a recent patent owned by Apple, Inc...

(take a look at the website)

javascript dock? (2, Interesting)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#25308829)

Holy cow, I thought I had seen all possible ways to crapify a web page via Javascript, but today I have learned of another: Adding a partially transparent Mac OS dock to it. So that when you scroll down (as you normally do with web pages), the thing jumps around like a monkey on amphetamines. And you presume that it doesn't get any worse than that, wouldn't you? You would, but then you'd be wrong because it also does the magnification thing and it does it about as well as you'd expect Javascript to do it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm heading out to abuse my 2nd Amendment rights.

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