Saturday, June 4, 2011

Was News Corporation's giant sign actually hacked?

I don't think so. Don't get me wrong, I love a good act of public defiance. And I'm not a huge fan of Fox News. But I don't think this video is legit.

Here's how I used Conjure to come to this conclusion...

First, I looked for reference points and lines in the video that could be compared. It wasn't easy, since you only get about half a second of video zoomed in at the same distance as the final text is zoomed. But that's enough.

Next, I resized, rotated, and changed the alpha on the second image to match the points of reference on the first image...

Third, I looked for any dead giveaways. 

There are. With all of the reference points lined up, the replacement text is slightly larger than the original text. That could be the result of replacing one font with another one, or just showing it at a slightly larger zoom level. The visual distortion on the screen between when it's normally running, and when it's 'hacked', is pretty considerable, and suggests this is just a giant LCD screen. But most screen hacks like this only aim to replace the text itself, not the font, and they usually don't change the font size either. 

So it looks a little fake, to me. 

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