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YouTube: Getting Infringing Content Removed

Two of my images were incorporated into a video on the Sigma DP Merrills (more than one video actually). YouTube did respond.

See Copyright Infringement Notification Requirements.

Probably there are thousands of my images out there being used without permission, but I’m just not going to worry about that battle.

YouTube confirmation of infringing content removal
YouTube confirmation of infringing content removal

David W writes:

I too am concerned about images on my website being stolen. Here's a quick, easy and free way to check the entire Internet to see if someone is using one of your images.

1. Open the Google "Chrome" browser on your computer.
2. Right click on the image you want to check.
3. Select "Search Google For This Image" in the drop down box.

That's it! I've caught many people who've stolen my images. If they have a legitimate website they will usually take down my image after I contact them.

DIGLLOYD: good tip, though it won't find images turned into video as was the case above, or at least I think it won’t.

Topics Menu System

Not everyone notices such things, so here I make it better known. See also all the various tips for using this site.

The topic menus at the top of most pages organize all content on this site. Not everything is included, so consider using search also. The three top-level menus organize three major areas.

Choose the menu for Cameras/System or Lenses or Optics/Technique.

Site Automation

From external appearances (this blog), I’ve been quiescent watching cooking shows and football while I bake cookies and munch carrot sticks. Not so.

Rather, I’ve been diligently coding new site capabilities to be deployed very soon. These capabilities will not only shrink my publication preparation significantly, but will offer new and useful behavior for readers. In short, I’ve been working 18 hour days coding server-side java, though I did take a break to do a 1.5 hour pitch-black and rainy night ride last night, with dual Lupine Betty II lampheads brighter than most car headlights. The ol' body doesn’t like 18 hours in a chair, so it needs a break. And after all, I was a software engineer for 25 years, and a damn good one. So I write my own server code.

Hang tight, and when it’s ready (soon), I’ll get back to producing content. Thank you for your support, the most helpful being the everything deal.

Meanwhile, head over to my MacPerformanceGuide.com for some interesting SSD stuff.

Leica M CCD Sensor White Spots

Kudos to Leica.

Leica Camera AG official statement:

Important Information Concerning the CCD Sensors of the Leica M9 / M9-P / M Monochrom / M-E

In some cases, particularly when using the camera models Leica M9, M9-P, M Monochrome or M-E with smaller apertures (5.6-22), effects caused by corrosion of the sensor glass may be encountered.

Leica offers a free replacement service for the CCD sensors of cameras affected by this problem as a goodwill arrangement. This goodwill arrangement applies regardless of the age of the camera and also covers sensors that have already been replaced in the past. Customers who have already been charged for the replacement of a sensor affected by this problem will receive a refund.

We have now identified the problem and are currently concentrating our efforts on finding a permanent technical solution. The marks on images mentioned earlier are related to the properties of the CCD sensor. The sensors are equipped with a specially coated IR filter cover glass to ensure optimum imaging performance. Should this coating layer be damaged, corrosion effects that alter the filter surface may begin to appear after several years.

The effect described does not affect the CMOS sensor of the Leica M (Typ 240). Should you be considering an upgrade from your camera to a Leica M or M-P (Typ 240), Customer Care would be pleased to make you an attractive offer following a check of your camera and under consideration of the model and its age.

If the imaging quality of your camera gives cause for complaint in this respect, we recommend that you send it directly to Leica Customer Care or the authorized Customer Care department of your country’s Leica distributor. As longer waiting times may otherwise occur, the camera should only be sent to Customer Care after prior arrangement.

Contact: Web site: http://de.leica-camera.com/Service-Support/Reparatur-Wartung. E-mail: Customer.Care@leica-camera.com. Telephone: +49-6441-2080-189.

For us, it is important that we offer only technically faultless products. We are therefore particularly sorry if the imaging quality of your camera should be adversely affected in any way. We hope that the goodwill arrangement we have decided upon will allow us to remedy the problem as soon as possible and rebuild and maintain the trust you have always placed in our brand.

Nikon D810 Instant Savings of $300

See in depth review of Nikon D810 in DAP.

My workhorse camera is the Nikon D810. Get it with the Otii if you want the best.

D810 $300 instant savings

Canon has similar rebates.

Nikon D810 with $300 instant savings
Nikon D810 with $300 instant savings

Sony Pictures Hacked: Do You Really Want to Update your Camera Firmware with a Sony Updater that Runs as 'root'?

A month ago I wrote in Sony Firmware Updater: a Security Risk that the Sony firmware carried serious security risks, because it runs as a kernel extension (complete control over the system). It was a prescient blog post.

If you have not been following it, the IT infrastructure of Sony Pictures was hacked, taking down large chunks of Sony’s operations for at least a week, according to news reports. As well as exposing all sorts of juicy stuff to public view, like internal emails, as the Wall Street Journal reports in At Sony Pictures, Drama in Email. And a lot more apparently.

Ask your self a simple question: do you want to run a Sony updater that runs as “root” (total control over the system) from a company that has been hacked in one of the most devastating IT attacks in memory? (update: Sony private keys have been stolen).

Why would the perp stop at Sony Pictures—what’s to stop malware from being inserted into the Sony updater, which having complete control over your system as root, could do anything it wants, such as keylogging all your passwords, and then emptying your financial accounts, or similar fun stuff. Without Sony having a clue. Or you. Until you find that all your your bank accounts are empty.

Sony private keys stolen

This was written after the previous paragraph was written, before your author knew that keypairs had been stolen.

A PFX file usually contains the private key corresponding to the public key.

Compromise of the private key of a public/private keypair is a massive security blunder with huge ramifications: all content signed by that key is reported as “verified”. Yet SecureList.com reports that Sony PFX files containing private keys have been stolen.

If the PFX files are not protected with unusually strong passwords, password cracking can be employed (using massively parallel services). Once a private key is compromised, hacker malware can be inserted into desired content, then signed with the now compromised private key. The software/content would be valid by definition, since it is signed. Sony should immediately revoke all of its stolen public/private keypairs for that reason. Yet so far, it seems that Sony is mum on the stolen keypair issue. Which if correct is grossly and perhaps criminally irresponsible, because of the huge worldwide potential for damage by compromise of user systems.

It is inconceivable that a private key used by a major corporation to sign software be on any web-accessible computer. It is gross negligence. Yet this is what Sony has apparently made its practice, for how could PFX files otherwise have been stolen.

Put simply, the smart move is to assume that ALL Sony digitally-signed content/software might be compromised (soon or in coming months). As per SecureList.com:

So far dozens of PFX files have been leaked online. PFX files contain the needed private key and certificate. Such files are password protected, but those passwords can be guessed or cracked. Not all of these PFX files will be of immediate value to attackers.

The importance of leaked code-signing keys cannot be overestimated. Software signed by a trusted publishing house will generally be trusted by the operating system, security software and first responders. It's an extremely powerful way for attackers to stay below the radar.

IEEE times hits the nail on the head with “cavalier” in How Not to Be Sony Pictures:

The scope of the recent hack of Sony Pictures — in which unidentified infiltrators breached the Hollywood studio’s firewall, absconded with many terabytes of sensitive information and now regularly leak batches of damaging documents to the media — is only beginning to be grasped. It will take years and perhaps some expensive lawsuits too before anyone knows for certain how vast a problem Sony’s digital Valdez may be.

But the take-away for the rest of the world beyond Sony and Hollywood is plain: Being cavalier about cybersecurity, as Sony’s attitude in recent years has been characterized is like playing a game of corporate Russian roulette.

Sony counter attacks?

Stolen content has appeared on various sites, and apparently Sony is attacking sites hosting the content, a dubious practice at best, and possibly illegal here in the USA. That article does not cite its sources, other than “two people with direct knowledge of the matter”, so it could be incorrect, but it would not be out of character with Sony’s past ethical lapses.

The Cloud

Now forgetting Sony, consider whether the 'Cloud' is safe: Apple and Google and so on are tempting targets for all hackers. Do you want to store your stuff in the Cloud? The idea of storing anything sensitive in The Cloud is a really bad idea, just by the constant and ongoing security breaches one can read about every week. The advice here is “think about it”. But hey, cats don’t do it and celebrities do.

But all such stuff is trivial in the Big Picture. And Sony is just the canary in the coal mine. News reports indicate USA power infrastructure has been hacked. Consider the taking down of critical infrastructure of all kinds by skilled hackers backed by a foreign government. The recent turkish pipeline explosion was a non-event in terms of all the internet-connected gear that was supposed to monitor the pipeline and report failures. But stuff blew up and burned nonethelss.

Now consider the same 'turkish' ideas applied simultaneously to every power plant, nuke plant, electrical and pumping and substation, dams, ventilation systems, pipelines and railroads and hospitals and even home power meters (installed by mandate on every home here in California by jackasses with no concept of security risks). All at once with a few keystrokes, everything everywhere stops working. Stuff shuts down, blows up. Maybe a nuke melts down for good measure. Well, to put any critical infrastructure on the internet is criminally negligent by design. Cut off the water and power and nothing works—possibly for weeks and month if hackers persist. Millions die in urban areas from deprivation of food and water (consider even simple things, like cutting off natural gas supply in a severe cold front in winter). Riots and anarchy reign. Or just shoot out a few key transformers across the country. Yet this national security threat hardly registers with any of our professional politicians. The next war may not have a shot fired.

See also

Reader Comments: Sigma DP Merrill vs Alternatives

Sigma DP1 Merrill
Sigma DP1 Merrill

See in depth review of Sigma DP Merrill cameras in Guide to Mirrorless.

Also, the Sigma DP Merrill topics page and Pixel for Pixel, *Nothing* Beats a Sigma DP Merrill.

Elaine D writes:

I subscribed to your Mirrorless for one year to read the Sigma DP Merrill reviews. I know everyone, including non-photographer bloggers who have no expertise at all love to bash these cameras. I bought the Sigma DP2M based on your review. Most people and non-photographer bloggers hate the cameras due to all the listed reasons. Their reviews stop there.

I understand all the annoying quirks, but the end result is the picture. I can honestly say that out of all of my digital cameras, this one is the most annoying, and yet the most exciting. I am always excited when I print and viewing the details. Nothing gives me the 3D detailed imaging for a camera of this size like the Merrills. I could get the Nikon D800E or the latest greatest camera. I’ve had the Leica system.

I sold all my expensive gear, except to keep a few quirky items. The reason I did this was picture results. Some camera, lens, sensor combos produce lovely results, and others look like crap. The Leica gear was way overpriced for what it produced. Loved the rangefinder and the M6 film cameras were the best to use, but I’m talking digital. Sold it all. I wanted to LOVE the Fuji X-E1 but hated the pictures coming out of it, (except the color). The smearing, slow focus, not sharp photos drove me insane! I sold it and was deeply upset as I loved the body's design, but wished for the tilted screen like on the Sony NEX camera. Everyone is jumping on the Fuji wagon with the X-T1 and such, but I can’t get past my first experience of slow, inaccurate AF focus coupled with smearing files. What does everyone see in those cameras? And what’s changed? Is it better now? I still see the same sensor going into slightly different bodies.

I wanted to get the Sony A7 series camera, but the shutter vibration issue and then lack of lenses kept me from delving into it. Plus, I had the Sony NEX 6, which is as much as I wanted to delve into Sony right now. But I think the files are nicer coming out of the Sony than the Fuji. Am I the only one who thinks so? Am I crazy?

My Sony NEX 5 & 6 which everyone dismissed was much faster and smaller, with tilted screen too. It’s great for a carry-all in my bag, though not the sharpest results..

But the Merrills with all their annoying quirks beats all of my cameras in the final result…Files!. It is closest to that 3D film look, kind of reminds me of Kodachrome and Ektachrome slide film. Kind of shoots like that too in its unforgivable nature. Ha! So, unless I break out my old film cameras, the next best thing is the DP2M, and DP3M. I almost got the DP1M, but many reviews showed that it wasn’t sharpest of the three. I kind of regret that. Sharp in the Merrill world is pretty sharp, and I love that wide angle view. It’s between the Ricoh GR and DP1M. I have no doubt the Ricoh would be easier to use. I know Sigma moved onto the Quattro and I hate the look, and the fact that it shoots more like all the other Bayer sensors (read in your review). I am so happy I got a much-reduced DP3M the other day from B&H Photo. Both cameras I purchased at much lower prices, because no one is buying them. I know everyone hates Sigma Photo Pro, but it works fine on my Macintosh. An occasional crash, but not since I updated both the OS to Yosemite and the Sigma Photo software. I live in Arizona, so the Merrills are perfect here. I just need a good tripod. I have never owned a good one and think most of the gear is overkill.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for your reviews. While less knowledgeable people bash these gems for their faults, which they do have, again, the final result is worth the hassle. One day Sigma will get it all right with that Foveon. I think they should dump the Quattro and focus on coming out with a workable solution for their Merrills. I’m happy with them. but it would be great to work in low light with them, and on moving subjects. LOL! I know it’s wrong of me to say, but I hope no one uses them, because I want my photos to stand out. Hahahaha!

DIGLLOYD: Agreed. And I always try to do more than review—hints, tips, how to use, etc I try to incorporate whenever possible. See Sigma DP Merrill pricing on gear page.

Richard R writes:

I can't miss this opportunity to second Elaine D's conclusion and observations about the Merrills. And nod to your not small part in introducing your readers to these marvels.

I have a 16x22 black and white of an Easter lily framed in a guest bathroom. People have actually gone in and been so blown away that they have walked out forgetting why they went in!

DIGLLOYD: Agreed. My tulips shot from the DP2 Merrill is still my favorite print ever.

Henning K writes:

I must say I really enjoy your site. I subscribe to Mirrorless guide, and I guess as many of the readers I value light weight, as I travel a lot.

I have used DP2M for a long time and recently bought DP3M as well as Ricoh GR.
Until now I have treated the Merrills as low ISO cameras only, but today I decided to try High ISO BW converting using blue channel 100 percent in SPP.

What a missed marked opportunity for Sigma, they could easily have advertised this great behavior or even made a firmware with this as a feature from start. Please see the included 2 photos, ISO 2000, one Sigma default BW(in-camera) and the other one Blue Channel BW only no noise reduction, sharpness minus 1. This is my first attempt and only a grab picture of my son.

For people who wants the phenomenal low ISO for instance when travelling but still be able to take photos in low light and not be left with a useless camera in many situations; I find it really expands the shooting envelope as Ming Thein would have called it.

According to Sean Reid it is only 2/3rd of a stop worse for noise than Leica Monochrom at 6400,when using Blue channel.

Actually this trio GR,DP2M and 3M is growing on me.

DIGLLOYD: the Merrills are keepers in many ways. Mixing color channels or using singly for black and white is another terrific application. I’ve long felt that the DP Merrills are better black and white cameras than the Leica M Monochrom: far more flexible in applying a color filter after the shot for starters.

Aspen, late autumn f/5.6 @ 1/13 sec handheld; ISO 100, Curves Sigma DP-1 Merrill
Aspen, late autumn
f/5.6 @ 1/13 sec handheld; ISO 100, Curves Sigma DP-1 Merrill

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