Posts Published in March 2010

iPhone App Flaw Leads to Massive Photo Sharing Privacy Breach

Quip is an iPhone application that provides simple “private” photo sharing without MMS. A flaw in the service was posted to Reddit a day ago by FlamingZebra90:

Here’s the deal. As stated in the title, QuipText is a service that lets iPhone users send picture messages to others over the internet. The service works by saving the image as a webpage on their server with its own unique URL and then texting the person in question the url. The only problem? They’re only using 5 alphanumeric, noncase-sensitive characters for the URL, meaning it can be brute forced in a few seconds.

So basically, the way in which photos are accessed is similar to services like TwitPic, with the difference being that users of Quip had the expectation of privacy for their photo sharing. Before long, tech-savvy folk had whipped up automatic scripts for harvesting these private photographs, and the story has erupted in the past day as thousands of private photographs have been released to the Internet.

Ish, a founder of Quip responded to the Reddit thread stating:

As soon as this post came to our attention, we immediately shut down our servers. We have also now disabled all S3 access and have started to systematically secure all files in the system. We will not bring the system back up until we have adequate security around all files shared over Quip.

I apologize to our users for this security breach and promise we will do everything in our power to make sure none of their information is exposed once we bring the service back up.

The vision for Quip has always been to provide users a quick, simple, and affordable way for iPhone users to send picture messages without paying exorbitant carrier fees. We are a small company (3 people) but we will work as quickly as possible to bring back the service up in a safe and secure manner.

The makers of Quip have since completely shut down the service in an attempt to protect whatever photos hadn’t been breached yet (if any). Furthermore, the app is no longer available from the iTunes store.

A takeaway for those in the photo-sharing business: if your users have an expectation of privacy, those photos had better be inaccessible to the general public.


Image credit: Iphone sunset in the Andes by Gonzalo Baeza Hernández

Surreal Pillow Project by Ronen Goldman

Ronen Goldman is a photographer based in Tel Aviv, Israel who specializes in surreal “dream” photography:

Goldman tells us,

I have no formal photography education, I’m actually a trained Scriptwriter that got tired of writing scripts and discovered a passion for making images that tell stories. I find the medium to be a lot quicker and easier for me to communicate, with it being a universal language, people can understand whether they are old or young.

The great thing about photography in my opinion is the learning curve — its never ending. There are always new techniques and views to develop and master and as a photographer you are forever a student, which in my opinion is a great place to be.

I have always been attracted to the Surreal movement, be it Magritte, Dali, Yves Tanguy Andre Breton or Man Ray, I love the idea of creating art that comes from the unconscious realms of the mind, feelings that cannot really be explained or articulated. The feeling you get from a dream you had that fills you up with happiness or sorrow, even when you cant really explain what you have experienced to anyone, no matter how much detail you give of the dream you had.

I hope those elusive feelings are somehow conveyed through the imagery i create.

To see more of Goldman’s work check out his website.

Image credits: Photographs by Ronen Goldman and used with permission

Canon 7D Shooting 8 Frames Per Second

This video, created by PhotoErrant, shows a Canon 7D shooting at 8 frames per second on high-speed continuous mode. This definitely isn’t something you should try yourself, since it whacks hundreds of shutter actuations off the lifespan of your camera and exposes the sensor to dust. Luckily for us, there’s people willing to do these experiments and upload them to YouTube.

A Dynamic Time-Lapse Visualization of the Sky for an Entire Year

A History of the Sky is an ambitious project by San Francisco-based artist Ken Murphy that aims to create a gigantic mosaic of 365 time-lapse videos of the sky – one for each day of the year.

Time-lapse movies are compelling because they give us a glimpse of events that are continually occurring around us, but at a rate normally far too slow to for us to observe directly. A History of the Sky enables the viewer to appreciate the rhythms of weather, the lengthening and shortening of days, and other atmospheric events on an immediate aesthetic level: the clouds, fog, wind, and rain form a rich visual texture, and sunrises and sunsets cascade across the screen.

Currently a work in process, Murphy uses a camera installed on the roof of the Exploratorium in San Francisco to capture a photograph of the sky every 10 seconds. The photographs from each day are then combined into a 6-minute time-lapse movie.

Once the project is complete, the 365 time-lapse movies will be combined into a mosaic, with each of the movies playing in parallel. Since the time of day in each movie is the same across all the movies, the viewer is able to see the graduate shifting of sunset and sunrise times.

To get a sneak peek of what the final result will be like, check out this video created with 126 days:

Murphy’s next step is to build a display for the project using a set of HD monitors arranged side by side.

I want viewers to be able to stand back and observe the atmospheric phenomena of an entire year in just a few minutes, or approach the piece to focus on a particular day.

If you’d like to support his efforts, he’s created a project on Kickstarter to raise funds for this display.

Apple Releases Overpriced Camera Connection Kit for the iPad

Over the weekend Apple finally made the iPad Camera Connection Kit available for pre-order. The kit, which will ship “late April”, includes two connectors: a USB connector and a SD Card reader. If you use some other memory card, you’ll need to plug your existing card reader into the USB connector. So how much do these connectors cost? A mere $29 plus tax.

Any guesses as to how much it costs to manufacture these little connectors?

Impossible Project Releases Special Edition Polaroid 600 One

The Impossible Project has done it again — in a new Polaroid product revamp, the company has released a brand new Polaroid 600 One model designed by Paul Giambarba.

Giambarba is the designer behind the Polaroid branding and design since the late 1950s.

The 600 One features a digital LCD counter, a focus free lens, a built-in flash, and  comes packaged with 600 film.

It’s a little poetic how design and business can come full circle; Polaroid’s reinvigorated by tapping back into its own retro styles.

(via Gizmodo)

Stop Motion Animation with Knitting

Knitting is getting quite a bit of coverage on PetaPixel this week. Just a couple days ago we featured the surreal knitting photographs of Daniela Edburg. The above is an creative commercial for natural gas by TBWA Brussels and directed by Olivier Babinet. What’s amazing is that all the stop-motion animation you see is done using wool and a team of super dedicated knitters. They’ve also released a behind the scenes video showing how the commercial was made.

I love this kind of effort because it shows you how much you can do with good ol’ fashioned hard work and perseverance.

Update: Rather than “knitting”, the process is probably better described as “un-knitting”.

Relive the Darkroom on Your iPhone

SwankoLab is an image editing app for the iPhone and iPod that features a complete darkroom simulator with chemicals, timers, and the whole shebang.

Rather than offering simple filters to customize the look and feel of your photographs, you process your digital photos using chemicals combined into custom formulas, giving you a large degree of control over how your photos turn out. You can even save successful formulas in a Formula Notebook built into the app.

The app is by the makers of Hipstamatic, and is set to be released in early April 2010. There’s currently no word on pricing, but an additional 9 chemicals will be available for $1.99.

Here’s a sneak peek at the app’s user interface:

Make Your Own Printable Lens Hood

Lens hoods are ridiculously expensive considering the fact that they’re simply fancy plastic tubes. If you’d like to use a lens hood but don’t feel like shelling out wads of cash, you can create your own cardboard lens hoods!

First, a disclaimer: The resulting lens hood may not make your camera look more impressive, and may not be as effective as the real thing. and are two nearly identical websites that offer printable lens hood templates for a huge list of lenses. Here’s what the templates look like:

The only difference with is that it offers hoods that are “optimized” for crop sensor cameras.

All you need to do is print out the template (on A4, A3, or A2 paper), cut it out of black card stock, and assemble it with tape or glue.

If you’d like to have a unique looking hood for your lens, you can also design your own custom lens hood.

(via Lifehacker)

Wedding Photographer Doing Forensics

What would happen if you hired a wedding photographer to assist with forensics at a crime scene? British show School of Comedy explores this scenario in this charming little sketch.

(via Scott Wyden Imagery)