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Ask Slashdot: How To Determine If a Video Has Been Faked?

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the justice-for-marion-barry dept.

Canada 237

BStorm writes "The Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been making headlines around the world, for allegedly smoking crack. This story was first broken by gawker.com, which is now crowd-funding $200,000 to buy the video in question. What do you look for to determine if a video has been faked? Of course I am only interested in the technical details and not the tawdry details related to this case ;) I live in Toronto, so the video still frame posted on Gawker certainly does look like Rob Ford."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Windows Movie Maker (5, Funny)

buy59 (2930821) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804433)

If you want to edit or create videos, there's no better software than Windows Movie Maker [microsoft.com] . Create real or faked videos - it's all possible.

Re:Windows Movie Maker (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804479)

Yes, fake movies are best produced with a fake movie editor.

Re:Windows Movie Maker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43805177)

That's hilarious!

Re:Windows Movie Maker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43805501)

It works even better if you use Widow Maker...

what about the video toaster? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804673)

what about the video toaster?

Re:what about the video toaster? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804863)

What, they're still making that stuff? It was awesome for the time...

Re:what about the video toaster? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804929)

As a standalone product, not anymore (as per 2009, it looks like). Still, had one hell of a long life for what it did.

Re:what about the video toaster? (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805355)

The TriCaster [newtek.com] is the direct descendant of the Video Toaster. The last hardware product called "Video Toaster" was the Video Toaster Screamer, a MIPS-based machine sold in 1993.

Re:Windows Movie Maker (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804781)

Coward! Windows Movie Maker actually interprets(some) standard formats, and has an interface that feels like having a pro editing studio at your back compared to the horrors of Sony Movieshaker [wikipedia.org] !(Even better, Movieshaker is exciting and mandatory if you were... questionably sensible... enough to purchase one of Sony's pricey 'MicroMV' cameras, which were vaguely DV-like, except totally incompatible.)

The pixels! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804451)

I usually look at the pixels. I've seen a lot of them in my time, so I can usually tell when they're fake.

Re:The pixels! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804469)

Speaking of pixels, see this awesome pixel art music video [youtube.com] .

Re:The pixels! (3)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804761)

That was pretty awesome, but NSFW if anyone else happens to care.

Re:The pixels! (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805165)

Another more or less failproof method is to post the entire video on /. and let the crowd decide. Thousands of slashdotters can't be wrong!

Re:The pixels! (3, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805359)

reddit would be better, doncha think?

By looking at some of the pixels... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804475)

...and having seen quite a few fake videos in your time.

Almost certainly fake, and a scam (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804477)

Rob Ford hasn't been that thin in 20 years...

Re:Almost certainly fake, and a scam (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804763)

Rob Ford hasn't been that thin in 20 years...

He's smoking crack now - it's the ultimate weight-loss plan!

Re:Almost certainly fake, and a scam (1)

mmcxii (1707574) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805021)

It didn't do anything for David Crosby or Jerry Garcia.

occam's razor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804489)

If you're going to spend money and time faking a video.

It would be a better option to go after someone insanely rich and well known.

Not some dipshit nothing mayor most of the world does not care about.

(who prolly did smoke crack.)

Re:occam's razor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804669)

Too rich and well-known, and the level of scrutiny and skepticism will exceed your production talents. A big-city mayor is enough of a scandal to be worth a nice chunk money to sell (note the $200K offer being made here), but not a high-enough profile target for a fake to be immediately hand-waved away. The super-rich-famous would be doing their drugs from the comfort of their highly guarded mansions; not sneaking out to shady back-alley slums. Not to say this video is a fake (Ford probably is a crack-smoking scumbag).

I believe the entire media sphere has been trolled (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804509)

I'm no fan of Rob Ford, but I think smoking crack is extremely out-of-character for him. If it were a video of drunken bumblingness, groping, unwarranted sexual harassment, or just general belligerence, it would be more in character.

Even if it were cocaine, as opposed to crack, it would be a bit more plausible.

I personally don't believe it is real, but kudos to the epic trolls who started the rumour, who likely suspected that no media outlet would pay their price.

Re:I believe the entire media sphere has been trol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804835)

I know a guy. He used to be pretty smart but he got addicted to crack, sucked dick for money, etc. He cleaned up but the brain damage is permanent. Instead of being a highly paid java programmer, he's unemployed, living on disability payments. I think he started on crack because his dealer was out of weed, so that does happen sometimes (yeah, weed can be a "gateway drug", but not because of weed but because of the drug laws). He posts on slashdot sometimes (trane? bluetrane? something like that) so maybe he'll tell you himself. Unfortunately he's so brain damage so mostly he just blames "ignorant mother fuckers" and demands free money from the government (between you and me, I think he still sucks dicks, for extra money).

Re:I believe the entire media sphere has been trol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804989)

actually he blames "ignent muthda fukus"

Re:I believe the entire media sphere has been trol (0, Flamebait)

mevets (322601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805077)

I thought sucking dick for money was a step up for a Java programmer.

Re:I believe the entire media sphere has been trol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43805245)

" If it were a video of drunken bumblingness, groping, unwarranted sexual harassment, or just general belligerence, it would be more in character."

You're right, he is into football after all. So I guess we just need to be sure he's groping other out-of-shape middle-aged men, or boys, and we'll be sure it's him.

Faked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804525)

I'm not sure what exactly you're asking. Are you asking if there is a way to tell if video footage has been altered or asking if there's a way to tell if the footage is a hoax?

As for the image you linked to, something looks "wrong" to me in how the head is attached to the body. And someone has obviously tampered with the original in order to blur out the guy on the right. Smells fishy, don't waste your money.

Re:Faked? (1)

mevets (322601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805113)

How the head of Rob Ford is attached to the body has been a mystery for some time.

Re:Faked? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805487)

s/How/Why/

it's really really hard (5, Interesting)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804551)

Here's a blog post on why the moon landing could not have been faked.

http://www.geek.com/news/why-it-was-impossible-to-fake-the-1969-moon-landing-1537386/ [geek.com]

It's fairly similar reasons why the Ford Video is real, and explains why His Immensity hasn't had anything to say since the story broke.

Re:it's really really hard (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804575)

Mayor's smoke crack. Barry and now this clown. Yawn. Make drugs legal already.

Re:it's really really hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804917)

I agree with you on legalizing, but this fat fuck would make a great "Drugs are glamorous" poster like the old anti-smoking ads with hideous people.

Re:it's really really hard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43805339)

Yeah, but this is a white guy.

Re:it's really really hard (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804699)

Here's a blog post on why the moon landing could not have been faked.

Of course, even easier is the science behind the Lunar Laser Ranging experiment [wikipedia.org] .

Since it relies on placing a retro-reflector in a known position on the lunar surface, and understanding the physics behind it, you'd have had to have been there to do it.

Of course, for those who believe the moon landing was fake (or anything else which involves a blatant denial of science), no amount of refutation of their claims is ever going to work -- they're too invested in their beliefs to be swayed by facts.

Re:it's really really hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804723)

Two things:

1. If he smoked crack, he'd be a lot skinnier.

2. If the authenticity was verifiable without a doubt, a media outlet would have purchased this already. I have a feeling this is not the case, which is why you don't see anyone buying it. It may be too blurry, the sound may be drowned out by music, or anything else. The bottom line is that unless the video is showing the mayor yelling out his name before taking a hit off a glass pipe, there will always be doubts in people's minds.

Re:it's really really hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43805001)

Chris Farley smoked crack the night before he died.

And he died... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43805097)

...weighing 296 pounds [cnn.com] .

What's your point?

Re:And he died... (1)

Shatrat (855151) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805367)

His point is that crack smoking doesn't automatically make one lose weight. Nice rebuttal.

Re:it's really really hard (2)

sosume (680416) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805137)

If he smoked crack, he sure doesn't do it as a lifestyle, judging by his age, red face and surplus weight.
It's more probable that these people used a double, picking clothes from pictures in the media, and are now trying to make a quick buck.
Smartest thing to do for the mayor would be taking a drug test. Presuming he's innocent. And willing to open his medical record to the public.

I don't get your point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804769)

So ... you're saying we don't have the technolgy to fake the video? The link you gave stated that the Moon landings couldn't have been faked because we didn't have the technology back in '69.

Today, I can fake a a blue person on another planet fighting a human from this planet.

Re:it's really really hard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804807)

Here's a blog post on why the moon landing could not have been faked.

http://www.geek.com/news/why-it-was-impossible-to-fake-the-1969-moon-landing-1537386/ [geek.com]

It's fairly similar reasons why the Ford Video is real, and explains why His Immensity hasn't had anything to say since the story broke.

So it's not possible to fake the footage with film effects, then shoot the film with video? See Room 237... not saying we didn't put men on the Moon, but the footage was most certainly faked, and Stanley Kubrick was the only one capable of pulling it off, and he admits to it in hints within The Shining!!

Re:it's really really hard (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804937)

Uh... perhaps you linked to the wrong one.

But the reason no one could have faked the moon landing has to do with the state of video technology in 1969. Essentially, the hoaxers claim the video footage was faked by just slowing down people walking in normal Earth gravity. However according to Collins, the camera required to do that didn’t exist at the time.

Similar reasons for this video you say? I... what?

Re:it's really really hard (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804951)

The moon landing could not have been faked because:

The USSR.

(unless your conspiracy theory includes the Russians using their own space tech to observe no moon landing taking place, and then deciding not to tell anyone, because they were secretly best buddies with the USA)

Re:it's really really hard (1)

prelelat (201821) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805073)

I like to point out to people that, the astronauts put a mirror array on the moon which reflects lasers back to earth. You can do some pretty sweet stuff with it too if you have the right equipment. There are a number of observatories around the world with the tech to do it and they track the distance to the moon(which changes) and lots of other cool stuff. Without that special mirror array placed by the astronauts we wouldn't be able to do that. Would be cool if there was one on mars I hope if NASA does get to a manned space flight to mars they set one up.

Re:it's really really hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43805273)

Here's a blog post on why the moon landing could not have been faked.

http://www.geek.com/news/why-it-was-impossible-to-fake-the-1969-moon-landing-1537386/ [geek.com]

It's fairly similar reasons why the Ford Video is real, and explains why His Immensity hasn't had anything to say since the story broke.

Please, the moon landing was obviously faked [stuffucanuse.com]

Give me a budget! (1)

dreamstateseven (2742929) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804571)

The people purported to have this video want a rather princely sum. Originally to the tune of $1M, now dropping it to "six figures" which I'll post at around $100,000. Give me a $25,000 budget and I'll find a Rob Ford look-a-like, hire some wicked makeup artists, and grab some local extras who need some coin and give you a video of Toronto's Mayor doing anything you ask. That being said, I hope with every fiber of my being that it's true, and this unempathic embarrassment of a human being gets humiliated and run out of town. Yes, I live in Toronto. Heh.

Re:Give me a budget! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804759)

They're asking $200,000. It is all over the Internets.

Re:Give me a budget! (2)

Ambvai (1106941) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804995)

Similarly, my first thought was the Cottingley Fairies... these girls took photos of alleged fairies out in the woods and created a media uproar. People were brought in and the photos were deemed to be genuine. The catch is that the photos were real... and the fairies were cutouts.

Bitch set him up (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804597)

I don't know if it's real or not, but I'm just going to imagine Marion Barry being arrested for crack possession and will laugh to myself for a few minutes.

Re:Bitch set him up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804949)

Did you laugh when he got re-elected after that?

Re:Bitch set him up (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805217)

If I were older than 4 when he got caught smoking crack or even able to vote him because I lived in DC, I might care. It's just funny to me how dysfunctional DC proper politics are just fucked.

Physics. (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804599)

Most of the time when a picture or video has been faked or photoshopped, you can probably tell if you look at it carefully. Their usually isn't something quite right, about it, that most people will miss.

For example odd lighting. If you superimpose an image chances are you do not have the lighting just right.

Picture Fragments. Sometimes if you look at photoshopped pics (Even professional ones) you might find extra or removed limbs or fingers. Or some impossible feat of a part of the body that somehow is in front of something that couldn't possible be.

Extra Sharp or Blurry: Sometimes thing of interest that is added in later is taken with better skills than the background so you will see a blurry picture with a sharp object. Or they will cover up the whole picture by making everything blurry. If the image seems like it was taken from an iPhone but it was super blurry more than what the device does you can probably expect it has been altered somehow.

Dithering/Anti-Alias methods: Most digital cameras on full resolution tend to have some dithering to the colors (Those sparkly bits that don't seem to exist in real life) Then some equipment scales it down a bit and adds some Anti-Aliasing to make the colors more smooth and natural looking. If you add a fake element chances are those methods will be different. Say a smooth well anti-aliased pipe, with a dithered person.

Re:Physics. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804765)

Faking a video by photoshopping it together from other video sources would indeed be rather hard to do convincingly. However, why bother with photoshopping? Just get a lookalike actor and a decent makeup technician, and produce a perfectly "real" low-fi home video. Especially when the subject is supposed to be whacked out of their gourd on drugs, you don't need to meticulously recreate their familiar sober style of speech and body-language.

Re:Physics. (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805219)

TLDR: Zoom and enhance.

Re:Physics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43805263)

One of the other indications lighting - especially reflections.
When light hits an object it scatters depending on it's reflectivity. Mirror like object reflect by the whole "angle of incidence = angle of reflection". Diffuse objects scatter light in all directions. Most objects are a combination of the two.
If, for example, a surface is brown but has a glossy finish, then you look at it, you will see a brown surface, but there will be a (often very blurry) image as if the surface was a mirror mixed with the base brown color.
If, for example, you find such reflections inconsistent with other objects in the scene, you know it's faked.

For video faking - when done automatically - another important thing to look for is the background. Often the background is subtly wrong.

Also familiarizing yourself with the latest video faking techniques will help. Last year at the Siggraph conference a paper was presented on how to edit video interviews seemlessly. There are lots of other video editing techniques in the research domain (like extracting objects, putting other objects into the scene, etc). Familiarize yourself with the techniques.

Personally, on the Rob Ford issue, if something is too good to be true, it probably is. You think ANY sitting politician would let himself be video taped using crack and calling their political opponents words that wont bass through language filters? As much as one might like or hate the guy, have a little respect that he's not that stupid.

logic here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804605)

> "I live in Toronto, so the video still frame posted on Gawker certainly does look like Rob Ford"

It looks like Rob Ford, because OP lives in Toronto?

Re:logic here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804743)

as well as "The Toronto Mayor Rob Ford"

it's either 'The Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford" or "Toronto Mayor Rob Ford"

Submitter is doing a pretty poor job of representing Torontonians as literate.

Re:logic here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804797)

Taking the first sentance as whole:

The Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been making a headlines around the world, for allegedly smoking crack.

"making a headlines"? comma after world? Yikes.

Re:logic here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804883)

only interested in only

the prosecution rests.

The real question at hand... (1)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804637)

Is it possible to fake a video well enough that 3 reporters (2 from the star, 1 from gawker), shown the video on a smartphone, would come to the conclusion that the video was real.

And I think we can assume that no intelligence agency or other other well financed organization was involved.

The press generally seems to be accepting that the video was legit, but that could be because of the way the Ford brothers' have responded.

Re:The real question at hand... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804733)

That is *2* reporters, not 3. Gawker isn't really about news and doesn't really have real reporters.

Re:The real question at hand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804767)

The press generally seems to be accepting that the video was legit, but that could be because of the way the Ford brothers' have responded.

Or it could be because of the way the Ford brothers have acted since they became politicians. It would explain so much.

Crowdfunding? Really? (2)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804655)

You know, if the major news outlets that could afford to shell out for the video aren't touching it with a ten foot pole, maybe you should take that as a sign that it's not worth the money.

Re:Crowdfunding? Really? (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804697)

You know, if the major news outlets that could afford to shell out for the video aren't touching it with a ten foot pole, maybe you should take that as a sign that it's not worth the money.

I have to agree.

If the news, hell even the TABLOIDS, aren't shelling out the money then there's probably a reason.

Re:Crowdfunding? Really? (1)

JustOK (667959) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805467)

They know they would then be known as the paper that gave a butt-load of money to drug dealers/users.

Re:Crowdfunding? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804815)

While I am in no way suggesting that the vid is real, its always possible there is some political pressure on major news outlets to not let certain things show up on their news. That said, I highly doubt this is real.

Depends on the format... (3, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804701)

With jpeg(and I think at least some of the mpeg flavors), quantization matrices can be your friend.

Different hardware and software [impulseadventure.com] uses different matrices. This isn't a slam-dunk(if somebody just lightened the image a bit to bring out the detail, the quantization matrix would scream "Photoshop!", despite that being pretty innocuous); but it makes it rather harder for a clueless faker to simulate a 'right off the camcorder' "authentic" video if the last compression was almost certainly performed with editing software.

Depending on the details of the format, there are likely to be a variety of other things that are optional or implementation-specific(at least within certain ranges) that can be examined to try to source a given file. If implementation(or quality level/encode settings)-specific details vary between sections of the video, or between parts of individual frames, that's probably a bad sign.

If you have enough footage, and ideally access to the alleged source hardware, you can also attempt to characterize physical defects in the sensor. All digital image sensors, to one degree or another, exhibit imperfect linearity. Some pixels are 'hot', some are abnormally insensitive, this is especially visible on long exposures, or in very dark scenes, where the hot pixels tend to stand out. Onboard image processors have gotten increasingly good at squelching minor sensor noise, so this isn't easy; but a given CCD or CMOS sensor will have a noise pattern that is extremely difficult to replicate. It's just an open question whether you'll actually be able to see enough noise to identify it.

Simple test (4, Insightful)

Alomex (148003) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804707)

Q: Has the person appearing on it sued the pants off the holders?

Yes: Probably fake

No: Most likely genuine

Re:Simple test (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805003)

Either I have found an exception to your test, or Tom Hanks deserves the nobel prize for time travel, not an oscar. [youtube.com]

Serious point: that's a bit simplistic. People do threaten to sue the pants off people for saying things about them that are clearly true, and there may be a reason the holders have not sued yet. For example, perhaps the mayor is waiting until gawker actually buys it and shows it, at which point he can sue gawker for a ton of money in damages rather than suing whoever shot the video for all of the thousand dollars in his bank account. If the person with the video has even been identified.

Re:Simple test (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805469)

Dr. Laura did both when her nudie shots came out. Her lawyers screamed it wan't her, and oh, by the way, she owns the copyright om those photos, so you damned well better not show them!

The better question being... (2)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804717)

Why should we give $200,000 to drug dealers?

They are the ones setting up the mayor and the ones selling the video. Regardless of the authenticity if the government enticed you into breaking the law and filmed it, it's called entrapment which is inadmissible as evidence. However if some enterprising drug dealers entice you into breaking the law and film it somehow it's okay.

Re:The better question being... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804803)

Maybe because this right-wing (publicly anti-drug) hypocritical scumbag of a mayor is a greater cause of harm to the city than a few entrepreneurial drug dealers? On a lesser-of-two-evils scale, taking down a dirty, corrupt mayor is better than the harm cause by funding drug dealers.

Re:The better question being... (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804837)

However if some enterprising drug dealers entice you into breaking the law and film it somehow it's okay.

And if you're already in the middle of breaking the law and your cohorts film you doing it ... well, that's just life.

See, if nobody enticed him into doing anything, it isn't entrapment. It's being stupid enough to get caught on camera doing something illegal.

What, you think if this was real the mayor simply bowed to peer pressure and cajoling from a bunch of drug dealers he happened to be innocently hanging out with discussing fiscal policy?

Re:The better question being... (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805061)

However if some enterprising drug dealers entice you into breaking the law and film it somehow it's okay.

No, that's usually called blackmail, depending on the answer to "what if I don't pay?"

Re:The better question being... (1)

a_mari_usque_ad_mare (1996182) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805317)

This scenario is more like the opposite of blackmail. If they aren't paid then they will keep the video secret. It would be blackmail if they tried to sell it to Ford himself, and to people who want to put in on the web.

Re:The better question being... (1)

a_mari_usque_ad_mare (1996182) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805413)

I wrote "and" instead of "not", reversing the meaning of my comment. Just to be clear, all the people who have expressed interest in buying this video want to upload it to the web for all to see. Rob Ford has no reason to buy the video at this point as all the discussion has been practically as damaging as the release of the video would be.

Re:The better question being... (1)

a_mari_usque_ad_mare (1996182) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805533)

I also find it abit ethically problematic to reward someone financially for this kind of recording. I also this its a waste of money to pay for this video because:

1) The public discussion of the video has already been as bad as the release would have been. His reputation is so bad that even his supporters don't find these crack allegations farfetched. It's already been reported that he is an alcoholic, and he has ruined his reputation by being drunk and abusive in public. My opinion of Ford did not decrease at all when I heard of this video as it was already at rock bottom.

2) Ford has very little actual power as mayor, basically he just gets one vote in council and is in a position to influence the other councillors. Ford was already isolated on council before the crack story came out, making him a lameduck mayor for the rest of his term. For example, just recently the council voted 'no' to a downtown casino, something the mayor himself wanted. Politcally he is not likely to cause any more damage.

That said, the Rob Ford Crackstarter [indiegogo.com] is at $137 000, I have a feeling we will all get to see the video some day.

If the guy speaks with a phony Russian accent.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804727)

And says, Welcome to FPSRussia my friends...

Its a fake.

Mains humm can help, for once (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804751)

At least one police force continuously record the main hum, which they claim both provides a unique signature and also enable to tell if the recording has been modified. Not sure if it would work for a battery-powered camcorder, tho'.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20629671 [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Mains humm can help, for once (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804919)

It might work for a battery-powered camcorder if it can visually pick up the hum from indoor lighting.

Re:Mains humm can help, for once (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43805027)

At least one police force continuously record the main hum, which they claim both provides a unique signature and also enable to tell if the recording has been modified. Not sure if it would work for a battery-powered camcorder, tho'.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20629671 [bbc.co.uk]

If you RTFA, it mentions that the 'main hum' is embedded in the audio track. It emanates from anything connected to mains power (lamps, plug socket, lights, pylons, etc), and the audio recording of a camera picks it up. Thus forensic investigators can look at an audio spectrogram and compare it to the historically recorded data. The article further mentions that this method is currently for audio evidence only.

The "still frame" isnt from the video (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804793)

Also, the mayor has 3 hands in it.

If the video exists, it's a grainy cell phone video of a fat white guy, which Toronto is full of.

The Star is a shit tabloid with an agenda to get the mayor - if the video was real, and existed, they'd have cut a deal with the crackhead selling it. Crowdfunding my ass, if it was real, it'd be worth a goldmine.

I'm no Rob Ford fan, but it looks like the Star is just making shit up, and shielding themselves from a libel suit by inventing a third party "informant". The Gawker and Star accounts contradict each other on small details. According to Gawker, someone offscreen calls Justin Trudeau a faggot. According to the Star, Ford says it.

Strings (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804799)

If you see objects that are hanging from transparent strings of fishing line...

Enhance and zoom, of course. (1)

wcrowe (94389) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804825)

You enhance the video and zoom in on the reflections in the pupils of someone's eye, you know, like on CSI. Duh!

Re:Enhance and zoom, of course. (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805157)

For some reason this joke never gets old with me.

Tron (1)

Graydyn Young (2835695) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804831)

Remember that recent Tron reboot? They put a young Jeff Bridges in it. That was a major special effects studio, working with a huge budget, and it still looked pretty fake. Finding a fat guy that looks a heck of a lot like Ford would be more feasible.

Re:Tron (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43805333)

Finding a fat guy that looks a heck of a lot like Ford would be more feasible.

Hmm.... That would explain why his look-alike brother Doug Ford is so sure of his brother's innocence

I can tell by the pixels and from having seen a (-1, Redundant)

flandre (1278778) | about a year and a half ago | (#43804849)

lot of fake videos in my time.

^ Tried and true method!

Gawker - we buy and sell stolen iPhones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804877)

After paying a mere $5000 for a stolen prototype iPhone, they have decided that they will sell a crack-smoker's iPhone for a more reasonable $10000.

From the Indegogo "crackstarter" :

Donate $10,000 and we'll give you the actual iPhone that was used to record the video. This perk is, of course, contingent on the deal actually happening as we hope. There's a chance that the owners will deliver the video but not the phone. There's only one, so first to donate $10,000 gets it.

In the Pale Moonlight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804893)

You give it to Vreenak. That man knows his shit. Knew. Knew his shit. Kaboom.

Zaphod Beeblebrox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804921)

It's all real and the galactic president walks among us.

Fake requires motive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43804973)

A mayor is not a random anonymous schmuck so he presumably has opponents, rivals, or even enemies.

Would one of these stand to gain from a fake movie? Is it worthwhile to them? Such cold analysis is a reasonable approach, I think.

Re:Fake requires motive (2)

Minwee (522556) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805403)

A mayor is not a random anonymous schmuck so he presumably has opponents, rivals, or even enemies.

Would one of these stand to gain from a fake movie? Is it worthwhile to them? Such cold analysis is a reasonable approach, I think.

Okay, that narrows it down to "Everybody who lives in downtown Toronto". Clearly you're on to something.

Edges (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43805031)

First place I would look is around the edges of the super-imposed part of the video. Lets say its a persons head.
The head would have been extracted from its original video and then 'blended' onto the fake one.
Both are less than perfect transactions.
It is probable that if you have other heads in the same shot against the same background, comparisons of pixel colors for 2 or 3 pixels around the edge of the heads might show traces of color different to the other heads, or the immediate background. Which would indicate fake.

tungstene (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43805149)

use tungstene ? it's more a 2d analysis tool but it should do the job for movie too

Check out the lighting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43805347)

Its all about trickery when faking anything correct? Everyone is probably look at the wrong parts of the footage. This is assuming it is even questionable. Lighting is going to play the biggest factor. Anyone can look like a totally different person depending on the lighting. This really goes either way if viewing a single video of someone who you will never see again but if someone looks at images of this guy under different lighting(possibly press pictures?), its very possible to figure out if it was him.

yuO fail it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43805361)

I won't b0re you This ve8y moment,

Example (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43805363)

Can you spot the flaws? Prototype Quadrotor with Machine Gun! [youtube.com]

It's all a misunderstanding. (5, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805393)

What Mayor Ford doesn't want to admit is that the video is real, but it was taken while he was in the middle of secret negotiations with rival Toronto and Scarborough gangs. Ford was trying to broker a peace treaty and also recruit the gang members to work as the city's new sanitation engineering team, allowing him to cut the fat at city hall and pass on the savings to the taxpayers he respects.

Due to the tense nature of the meetings and the highly strung personalities present, Ford was loathe to bring something so provocative and weapon-shaped as his asthma inhaler, so he had no choice but to settle for a large glass pipe filled with prescription corticosteroids.

To minimize the possibility of rival gangs finding out about the meetings, all discussions were conducted in code. When he said "Justin Trudeau’s a fag", what he really meant was "I agree with your interpretation of paragraph seventeen, but I still feel that it contradicts the spirit of section seven which is also laid out in the preamble" and "those kids are just effing minorities" was a code phrase for "We cannot compromise on the issue of banked sick days, and have you ever been to the Russian Tearoom on Adelaide? Their curried chicken salad is to die for."

It's all quite obvious when you look at it. It's just the vast left wing media conspiracy that is trying to blow it out of proportion and make it look like something inappropriate.

Wasted money (4, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805461)

Gawker is spending $200,000 to get a rise out of embarrassing a politician. It would be far to use it for something such as donating to the EFF, fighting the next SOPA or some other similar cause. Donating personal money for this cause is something only a tool would do.

What about the obvious test... (1)

sivo (2896187) | about a year and a half ago | (#43805475)

Measure its mass before and after? I'm no nuclear , but that seems to me it'd ought to do it.
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