MovieOS strikes again!



  • Yesterday, we had an "incident" in the car park on CCTV where some berk reversed into a colleague's car. The camera is only has a crappy resolution, but is connected to a DVR, so we can replay recordings on a web interface. We can make out shapes of people, and can basically identify people at the front door (where the camera points) but nothing in mega detail, and certainly not any distinguishing marks on a reversing car approx 10 meters away.

    So, after the "incident" (this is the official name of the event in question), I get asked to login to see if we can see who did it, and get their licence plate number. I go to the bit of the AVI file where it happens, and can't read the licence plate (no surprises there). I then get told to "draw a box around the back of the car, then zoom and enhance". When I give the "that's as good as it gets, if you zoom in it'll get blocky" explanation, the reply is "don't be stupid, they have these systems on TV... They can enhance the picture, why can't you?!"

    Whaddya think this is? CS-bloody-I?!?!?!?


  • @MeesterTurner said:

    the reply is "don't be stupid, they have these systems on TV... They can enhance the picture, why can't you?!"
     

    People actually fucking believed that?



  • Of course they believed it.  It happened on camera, right before their eyes!  Are you implying they faked it somehow?!?





  • @dhromed said:

    @MeesterTurner said:

    the reply is "don't be stupid, they have these systems on TV... They can enhance the picture, why can't you?!"
     

    People actually fucking believed that?

    People are fucking retarded. I'm not the least bit surprised that some asshat told the OP to zoom and enhance and expected CSI action. Gaah! I'm feeling homicidal this morning.



  • Couldn't you just Photoshop it? How hard can that be?



  • It's stuff like that that makes me despise TV and movies. They always get tech stuff wrong. Especially movies like Die Hard 4, Eagle Eye, and Independence Day. Those movies did serious damage to people's expectations of technology. People think I'm nuts for caring, but this is the end result. People believe it and techies get hurt.



  • @mott555 said:

    They always get tech stuff wrong. Especially movies like Die Hard 4, Eagle Eye, and Independence Day.

    You don't believe that a reasonably smart guy can just whip up a computer virus which will massively cripple an unknown and highly advanced alien computer system? I do this kind of thing in between Wintergrasp runs on WoW, n00b.



  • @mott555 said:

    It's stuff like that that makes me despise TV and movies. They always get tech stuff wrong. Especially movies like Die Hard 4, Eagle Eye, and Independence Day. Those movies did serious damage to people's expectations of technology. People think I'm nuts for caring, but this is the end result. People believe it and techies get hurt.

    Well, Die Hard 4 couldn't quite happen yet, but if they continue putting TPM chips in new computers it's only a matter of time.  All it will take is for some hostile country (Iran, perhaps?) to infiltrate one engineer into the right department at Microsoft...



  • I liked the scene in 24 where they were looking at some file full of Cyrillic (or was it Arabic?) characters and one of the techies exclaims in surprise, "It's just ASCII text!"



  • @mott555 said:

    They always get ${my_specialty} wrong.
    FTFY.  It's not like movies give a realistic view of automobiles, weapons, human anatomy, political analysis, history, book plots, etc, etc.  Sadly, people believe all that, too, which only goes to reiterate Smitty's insightful assertion.@Smitty said:
    People are fucking retarded.
    Ah well, such is life, and such is the nature of this site.



  • @MeesterTurner said:

    I then get told to "draw a box around the back of the car, then zoom and enhance".

    I know that CSI et al is not the real world, but I believe there is some theoretical background that would allow you to do this

    If you consider that a single frame of the CCTV is in effect fixed data with the addition of noise, then a series of frames may allow you to quantify that noise and in the end subtract it to reveal the fixed data - which in this case is the license plate. Extracting a signal from a noisy environment is a fairly common and I saw Detecting deterministic signals in exceptionally noisy environments using cross-recurrence quantification as being the sort of place to start looking for solutions

    Of course this is all predicated on the CCTV sampling data at a resolution great enough to distinguish individual characters on the license plate - but I think you could get away with 10 to 20 pixels per character at an extreme limit



  • For all dummies know, I wouldn't be surprised if he asked for you to come up with a holographic projection of the incident, Iron Man's holographic suite style.



  • @toth said:

    I liked the scene in 24 where they were looking at some file full of Cyrillic (or was it Arabic?) characters and one of the techies exclaims in surprise, "It's just ASCII text!"
    I worked on a job in Russia a long long time ago and wrote a DOS program to translate between the 3 different ASCII encodings that were common at the time for encoding Cyrillic glyphs, so the 24 scene isn't too far out. How ever my favourite statement like that is in the movie Tarantula where one of the characters walks into the scientists office/lab, points at a bottle of something and states/questions "Thats an isotope isn't doc?"



  • TRWTF is having "security cameras" with such shitty resolution that the pictures are useless when something bad happens.

     



  • Give me $50 miliion a season and we can be just like TV! I'll also need a hot secretary. It's for the ratings, you understand.



  • @mott555 said:

    They always get tech stuff wrong. Especially movies like Die Hard 4, [...]
    I've actually seen DH4, and didn't find anything glaringly wrong. What did I miss?



  • @Lingerance said:

    I've actually seen DH4, and didn't find anything glaringly wrong. What did I miss?
    I get it .. that's humor isn't it!



  • @Lingerance said:

    I've actually seen DH4, and didn't find anything glaringly wrong. What did I miss?
     

    To begin with the fact that there is some run down warehouse with two security guards that someone could walk into and shut down power to the eastern US.



  • @Lingerance said:

    I've actually seen DH4, and didn't find anything glaringly wrong. What did I miss?

    I enjoyed watching Silent Bob doing his hacker bit AFTER the power to the eastern seaboard was shut off. I wish the hacker lab in my basement had a massive UPS like that so I could continue watching brazilian granny porn after the terrorists shut down Seattle.



  • @OzPeter said:

    @toth said:
    I liked the scene in 24 where they were looking at some file full of Cyrillic (or was it Arabic?) characters and one of the techies exclaims in surprise, "It's just ASCII text!"
    I worked on a job in Russia a long long time ago and wrote a DOS program to translate between the 3 different ASCII encodings that were common at the time for encoding Cyrillic glyphs, so the 24 scene isn't too far out. How ever my favourite statement like that is in the movie Tarantula where one of the characters walks into the scientists office/lab, points at a bottle of something and states/questions "Thats an isotope isn't doc?"

    The best is Mission To Mars, where an (extremely tiny) section of double-helix was spinning on a computer monitor and one of the characters exclaims:

    "That DNA looks human!"

    I think that holds the record for "stupidest science line ever said in a movie."



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @OzPeter said:
    @toth said:
    I liked the scene in 24 where they were looking at some file full of Cyrillic (or was it Arabic?) characters and one of the techies exclaims in surprise, "It's just ASCII text!"
    I worked on a job in Russia a long long time ago and wrote a DOS program to translate between the 3 different ASCII encodings that were common at the time for encoding Cyrillic glyphs, so the 24 scene isn't too far out. How ever my favourite statement like that is in the movie Tarantula where one of the characters walks into the scientists office/lab, points at a bottle of something and states/questions "Thats an isotope isn't doc?"

    The best is Mission To Mars, where an (extremely tiny) section of double-helix was spinning on a computer monitor and one of the characters exclaims:

    "That DNA looks human!"

    I think that holds the record for "stupidest science line ever said in a movie."

     I dunno about movies, but check out CSI's idea of computer programming.

    (Jack Bauer, on the other hand, uses Delphi.)



  • @OzPeter said:

    @MeesterTurner said:
    I then get told to "draw a box around the back of the car, then zoom and enhance".

    I know that CSI et al is not the real world, but I believe there is some theoretical background that would allow you to do this

    If you consider that a single frame of the CCTV is in effect fixed data with the addition of noise, then a series of frames may allow you to quantify that noise and in the end subtract it to reveal the fixed data - which in this case is the license plate. Extracting a signal from a noisy environment is a fairly common and I saw Detecting deterministic signals in exceptionally noisy environments using cross-recurrence quantification as being the sort of place to start looking for solutions

    Of course this is all predicated on the CCTV sampling data at a resolution great enough to distinguish individual characters on the license plate - but I think you could get away with 10 to 20 pixels per character at an extreme limit

     

    It's probably also predicated on the source material not being crunched down to a 200kbit MPEG2 stream. You can't use multiple frames to extract more information when frame deltas were used specifically to remove that information in the first place.

     



  • @OzPeter said:

    I know that CSI et al is not the real world, but I believe there is some theoretical background that would allow you to do this

    If you consider that a single frame of the CCTV is in effect fixed data with the addition of noise, then a series of frames may allow you to quantify that noise and in the end subtract it to reveal the fixed data - which in this case is the license plate.

     

    This has been done, to a degree: MDSP Resolution Enhancement Samples and Mirtemis HawkView real-time super-resolution



  • Also, why does the ever-popular fingerprint matching software displaythe non-matching fingerprints on screen?

    Did they not do any performance tests during SAT?



  • @Mason Wheeler said:

    I dunno about movies, but check out CSI's idea of computer programming.

    +1 for that. The next time a coworker asks me a stupid question, I will respond with "I'll create a gooey(sic) interface using Visual Basic and see if I can track your IP address". Fucking priceless.



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    Also, why does the ever-popular fingerprint matching software display the non-matching fingerprints on screen?

    Did they not do any performance tests during SAT?

    Nah, that makes sense. You know you have to show the users that your app is Doing Something™, or they'll think it's died. So, depending on the relative speeds of your display and fingerprint matching algorithms, you display one in every N fingerprints on the screen.

    Of course it's not like anyone would want to use their machine for anything else while the scan is running (but then, on TV the scan only takes a few seconds anyway). And obviously it's essential to pipe your entire fingerprint database to the client machine every time you need to do a match, rather than having the matching application just running on a server somewhere... their software may suck but they seem to have some pretty good bandwidth. Or maybe they just have a really small fingerprint database which nevertheless is targeted so well that it contains the fingerprints of everyone whose prints come in for matching.

    I'd love to see a TV show where someone says "OK, I've sent off that fingerprint for matching, we should have an answer back in about half an hour."



  • @Scarlet Manuka said:

    Of course it's not like anyone would want to use their machine for anything else while the scan is running
     

    Could work out OK...

    "Frank - have you looked at those emails we intercepted"

    "Sorry boss, just waiting for the fingerprint match to finish"

    Then spend the afternoon reading the paper



  • @Smitty said:

    gooey(sic) interface
    The sic should be after the word interface, not 'gooey'. RAS syndrome and all that.



  • @Mason Wheeler said:

     I dunno about movies, but check out CSI's idea of computer programming.
    More here



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I think that holds the record for "stupidest science line ever said in a movie."
     

    What about The Core?

    Basically the entire movie is like that.

     

    Mission to Mars also has questionable thermodynamics, where everything exposed to space apparently freezes instantly.



  • @PeriSoft said:

    @OzPeter said:

    @MeesterTurner said:
    I then get told to "draw a box around the back of the car, then zoom and enhance".

    I know that CSI et al is not the real world, but I believe there is some theoretical background that would allow you to do this

    If you consider that a single frame of the CCTV is in effect fixed data with the addition of noise, then a series of frames may allow you to quantify that noise and in the end subtract it to reveal the fixed data - which in this case is the license plate. Extracting a signal from a noisy environment is a fairly common and I saw Detecting deterministic signals in exceptionally noisy environments using cross-recurrence quantification as being the sort of place to start looking for solutions

    Of course this is all predicated on the CCTV sampling data at a resolution great enough to distinguish individual characters on the license plate - but I think you could get away with 10 to 20 pixels per character at an extreme limit

     

    It's probably also predicated on the source material not being crunched down to a 200kbit MPEG2 stream. You can't use multiple frames to extract more information when frame deltas were used specifically to remove that information in the first place.

     

    Also, depending on the distance and size of your lens, you may be limited by Rayleigh's Criterion.



  • @dhromed said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    I think that holds the record for "stupidest science line ever said in a movie."
     

    What about The Core?

    Basically the entire movie is like that.

     

    Mission to Mars also has questionable thermodynamics, where everything exposed to space apparently freezes instantly.

    I'm pretty tolerant of The Core, because it doesn't take itself very seriously. Whereas Mission To Mars was obviously striving for hard sci-fi.

    The real tragedy of Mission To Mars is that it shows some things with perfect scientific accuracy, then immediately pisses all over that with stupid dialog. For example, the meteorite passing through the ship-- that's pretty much how it would happen in real life. (Except it probably wouldn't get lodged in the computer screen. But still pretty accurate.)



  •  @El_Heffe said:

    TRWTF is having "security cameras" with such shitty resolution that the pictures are useless when something bad happens.

     

     

    Not at all, the cameras aren't there to catch the crooks they are there to satisfy the insurance requirement to have cameras. This is SOP for banks, they don't give a fuck about catching the guy TBH.



  • This reminds me of an episode of something called "Numb3rs", in which a HDD was damaged by an explosion. The woman at the labs just waved something over it and recovered the data.



  • @OzPeter said:

    I worked on a job in Russia a long long time ago and wrote a DOS program to translate between the 3 different ASCII encodings that were common at the time for encoding Cyrillic glyphs, so the 24 scene isn't too far out.

    Those are not ASCII. ASCII is a specific encoding and does not contain any Cyrillic characters.



  • @moog said:

    in which a HDD was damaged by an explosion. The woman at the labs just waved something over it and recovered the data.
     

    You can bet it was a unix system with lots of plaintext.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Filed under: [url=http://forums.thedailywtf.com/tags/Storm+still+holds+the+2600_quot_3B00_stupidest+line+ever_2600_quot_3B00+award+for+her+frog+analogy+from+X-Men/default.aspx]Storm still holds the "stupidest line ever" award for her frog analogy from X-Men[/url]
    Been a while since the once I watched that so I had to Google for it. Got an answer but unsurprisingly the first result was the Browse by Tags page :P
    @RTapeLoadingError said:
    Also, why does the ever-popular fingerprint matching software displaythe non-matching fingerprints on screen?
    The same thing for facial recognition software. They flash between random faces until they get the right one, sometimes they flash between whole files on random individuals (criminals, personnel, whatever's in the database) until they get the right one. I understand that it's done to give the audience something to look at, but it's still stupid.
    Especially given that the images often display at the maximum possible speed, way faster than it could actually compare them. (Especially on top of the load of displaying all those images so quickly)



  • @Eternal Density said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    Filed under: Storm still holds the "stupidest line ever" award for her frog analogy from X-Men
    Been a while since the once I watched that so I had to Google for it. Got an answer but unsurprisingly the first result was the Browse by Tags page :P

    Well, in the interest of completeness, the line in question is:

    Storm: Do you know what happens to a toad when it's struck by lightning? ...The same thing that happens to everything else.

    But you have to hear the horrible deadpan delivery to really make the awfulness of that line sink in: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj_BjUZiNKs



  • @Eternal Density said:

    They flash between random faces until they get the right one, sometimes they flash between whole files on random individuals (criminals, personnel, whatever's in the database) until they get the right one. I understand that it's done to give the audience something to look at, but it's still stupid.
    Especially given that the images often display at the maximum possible speed, way faster than it could actually compare them. (Especially on top of the load of displaying all those images so quickly)
    Isn't this how SSDS 'searches'?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    the awfulness of that line
     

    I don't get it.

     

    What's so bad?



  • @dhromed said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    the awfulness of that line
     

    I don't get it.

     

    What's so bad?

     

     

    I think that people watching the movie are supposed to be able to realize that the statement implies, "the same thing that happens to other living things", whereas people on this forum prefer to yank up their paints, point in trumph, and say, "Oh yeah? Well, what about a lightning rod!? Yeah, not so smart now, are you? Huh! Yeah!"

    You just fail at being a pedantic dickweed.



  • @Smitty said:

    @mott555 said:
    They always get tech stuff wrong. Especially movies like Die Hard 4, Eagle Eye, and Independence Day.

    You don't believe that a reasonably smart guy can just whip up a computer virus which will massively cripple an unknown and highly advanced alien computer system? I do this kind of thing in between Wintergrasp runs on WoW, n00b.

    Wait are you trying to say that using computers from 2000 (or earlier, cant remember the year of independence day) we can decrypt encryption codes aliens would use in their computer systems.... they must be using windows 95 in those UFOs.

    Microsoft, destroying civilizations, one mothership at a time.

    Edit: I think they probably used social engeneering to get it done. "Hello dude on the mothership? This is steve from one of the destructo ships. Listen our captain forgot the password to access the weapon systems, mind faxing it over to us? I mean I really would hate for Dan to get killed for just being a little forgetful... Oh whats a fax? Nevermind just convert your information to binary and send it to that giant mountain with a big antena sticking out of it. Cool, thanks bro!"



  •  @CnC said:

     @El_Heffe said:

    TRWTF is having "security cameras" with such shitty resolution that the pictures are useless when something bad happens.

     Not at all, the cameras aren't there to catch the crooks they are there to satisfy the insurance requirement to have cameras. This is SOP for banks, they don't give a fuck about catching the guy TBH.

    I'm not that cynical, and, I have some real life experience in this area.  I worked at a large factory with a storage area next door that was surrounded by a fence.  We had a lot of problems with people breaking in at night when nobody was around, so cameras were installed. They even had motion sensors so that the cameras only came on when someone entered the area.  We weren't interested in "satisfying the insurance company" we wanted to catch whoever was doing it so that it would stop.

    Unfortunately, I had nothing to do with the installation of the cameras, but later I became the guy who was told "pull the security camera images and give them to the police".  (getting data off the hard drive used by the security system was an huge WTF all by itself).  The security cameras were less than useless and produced nothing but a bunch of blurry blobs.  In one case, one of the guys who was caught on camera was wearing a jacket with a huge emblem on the back -- it literally covered the entire back of jacket.  But the picture was so blurry you couldn't make out the slightest detail that might give a useful clue.  I wouldn't have recognized my mother on one of those cameras (although I 've always wondered why my mother had a forklift in her garage).



  • @El_Heffe said:

    Unfortunately, I had nothing to do with the installation of the cameras, but later I became the guy who was told "pull the security camera images and give them to the police".  (getting data off the hard drive used by the security system was an huge WTF all by itself).  The security cameras were less than useless and produced nothing but a bunch of blurry blobs.  In one case, one of the guys who was caught on camera was wearing a jacket with a huge emblem on the back -- it literally covered the entire back of jacket.  But the picture was so blurry you couldn't make out the slightest detail that might give a useful clue.  I wouldn't have recognized my mother on one of those cameras (although I 've always wondered why my mother had a forklift in her garage).

     

    Note to self: when robbing bank or convenience store, wear jacket with large, blurry out-of-focus emblem on back.



  • @da Doctah said:

    Note to self: when robbing bank or convenience store, wear jacket with large, blurry out-of-focus emblem on back.
     

    Also wear a mask that looks pixellated 


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.