Adobe's popular photo-editing software has long been used to manipulate media, and as digital tools get better and better it's becoming more difficult to tell what's real from what's Photoshopped.
The company is trying to do something to fix this problem, which its software didn't originate but helped propagate for decades (such as with this popular faked image of a shark swimming on a flooded freeway). On Tuesday, Adobe announced the release of a "beta" version of an attribution tool for Photoshop, with the hope it will encourage people to trust that the images they see are truthful (or at least make more informed judgments).
The feature, which is optional and will be available initially just to select users, lets photo editors append images with detailed information known as metadata that, in essence, travels around with it online. This information will go far beyond the basic details that can currently be added to pictures and may include who created the image and where, a thumbnail of the original image, and data about how it has been altered — as well as whether AI tools were used to change the picture. This data will be secure and it will be clear if it has been tampered with, Adobe said.
"If you have something that you want people to believe is true, then this is a tool to help you get people to believe in it," Dana Rao, Adobe's general counsel, told CNN Business.
The release is part of the company's Content Authenticity Initiative to fight against dis- and misinformation, which Adobe launched a year ago with Twitter and The New York Times. Initially, the content attribution tool will be for publishing still images to Behance, an Adobe-owned social network for sharing creative work. Over time, the company hopes this kind of authenticating information will be added to different types of content, and be shared widely on social media platforms and through media companies.
"The public is going to have to understand they should expect to see this metadata if they want to trust these things," Rao said. "And if they don't see metadata, they should be skeptical."
Adobe's effort will be limited by the fact that those editing images need to use it voluntarily. And the company won't be the first to attempt to popularize a method for making media trustworthy. However, it may have a better chance at success than others due to its reach. Adobe claims that more than 90% of "creative professionals" use Photoshop, and 23 million people use Behance. The company also has experience in popularizing digital content standards such as the PDF.
Hany Farid, a UC Berkeley professor who specializes in digital forensics and is an unpaid adviser to Adobe for the authenticity initiative, thinks the company's approach makes sense because it makes the content producer responsible for making the image trustworthy, rather than leaving it to each individual viewer to sort out.
Siwei Lyu, a professor at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, who also studies digital forensics, believes the tool will be more effective than the limited metadata that may be connected to images today, which he said is easy to manipulate.
"This should have happened a long time ago," said Lyu, who was advised by Farid while completing his graduate studies at Dartmouth College.
Yet, as Farid pointed out, Adobe's content-attribution tool can't confirm the veracity of an image before it is edited in Photoshop. To address this problem, photo- and video-verification startup TruePic, which is part of the Content Authenticity Initiative and for which Farid is a paid adviser, recently announced it partnered with chip-maker Qualcomm to create a way to securely snap pictures via a smartphone's built-in camera app.
"It's taken us years to get to this problem and it will take us years to get out of it," Farid said.
Last week's weird news
Finnair is selling its airplane food in grocery stores
What do you miss most about air travel? Is it the thrill of the take off? The excitement of stepping off the aircraft and arriving in a new country?
Or perhaps you're daydreaming about something more unexpected -- airline food.
Assuming that would-be-fliers might be missing fine dining at 30,000 feet, Finnair is bringing a taste of air travel to the ground.
In a new business venture, the Finnish airline has started selling ready-made meals inspired by its Business Class offerings in a grocery store in the city of Vantaa, Finland.
Head to K-Citymarket in Vantaa's Tammisto neighborhood over the coming weeks and you can purchase pre-packaged reindeer meatballs, smoked char and chanterelle risotto and other Finnair meals.
Marika Nieminen, VP of Finnair Kitchen, tells CNN Travel the initiative aims to satiate the appetite of Finns who're missing air travel -- and allow the airline to bring back some of the Finnair Kitchen staff who were laid off when the pandemic hit. Nieminen says they've been able to rehire roughly 10 employees for the project.
Finnair tested the concept internally first, selling the food to airline staff.
When that proved popular, the airline took the idea to K-Citymarket in Tammisto, Vantaa. The grocery store is located super close to the Finnair Kitchen headquarters.
After launching the meals in Vantaa on October 15, Finnair plans to expand to other K-Citymarket stores across Finland, and maybe even beyond.
The airline reckons its specialty food options -- contemporary Nordic offerings infused with a Japanese flair -- could have an international appeal too, although Nieminen caveats it's still early days.
"The quality of the food is really something that we are proud of," says Nieminen.
Finnair was also keen to give passengers who usually opt for Economy plane tickets a taste of the Business Class experience.
Currently, there are two main course options available to buy daily -- and each weekend there will be an appetizer on offer too.
The menu will change every two weeks.
For this fortnight, the main courses are 12,90 euro (roughly $15) and the starter is 5,90 euro ($6.90).
When CNN Travel spoke with Nieminen, only a couple of hours after launch, she said 100 meals had already been snapped up.
Other airlines have also been experimenting with bringing the airplane experience to grounded aviation fans.
Qantas recently put several bar carts that were recently removed from 747s on sale, stocked with alcohol, first class pajamas and other goodies. They've since sold out.
Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines launched a pop-up, aviation-themed restaurant at Singapore Changi Airport, creating a dining experience on board an Airbus A380. Initial reservations were snapped up in 30 minutes.
A tiny boat was discovered on a remote beach 27 years after it was launched by teachers
A mystery from Lake Superior has been solved, after a tiny boat ended up on the remote shores of one of the Great Lakes.
The red, white and blue vessel was found at a remote area on Apostle Islands National Seashore in Wisconsin with a very intentional message on the bottom.
"I am traveling to the ocean. Please put me back in the water. Will you send information on your whereabouts to: Lakewood School Room 116 & 118 5207 N. Tischer Duluth, MN (scribbled out zip code) 53304," the message reads.
There was no date, and no one knew where it came from until the school did a little digging.
It turns out two teachers, Brenda Schell and Bonnie Fritch, did a lesson on the book "Paddle-to-the-Sea" in 1993 and 1994 and two wooden boats were part of the lesson.
"We mapped out the travels of the canoe through the Great Lakes," Fritch told the school, Duluth Public Schools ISD said in a recent Facebook post.
"A friend of Brenda's made the boats for us and our classes painted them and added the message to the bottom. On our end of the year field trip for our Duluth unit we stopped at Brighton Beach to launch the boats."
After almost 27 years, the boat was still in good shape making its way around the lake though, obviously, it's not known where it was the entire time.
"I am not sure what happened to Brenda's boat but mine was spotted a year later up the North Shore. The people put a second coat of varnish on the boat and relaunched it. I thought we wouldn't hear any more about it. Amazing it is still out there," Fritch added.
Lynn BeBeau and her husband were the ones who discovered this little wooden boat while out hiking on the lakeshore across from Eagle Island.
"It was a very fun and unexpected -- extremely -- unexpected discovery," BeBeau told CNN.
"We decided we wanted to go check out this area and my husband sees this red wood sticking out. He goes to pick it up and it's this crazy little boat!"
She said they didn't expect it to be as old as it was. They assume a storm put it on that beach years ago, based on how protected the area is from the elements.
"That little boat took on a journey of its own," BeBeau said.
After taking photos that are on the They released the boat back into the water like the inscription instructed, but the experience left BeBeau with a sense of wonder and greater appreciation for the unknown.
"You just never know what you are going to find, so get out there and explore because there is stuff to be found," she said.
Minnesota man wins the 'Super Bowl of Pumpkins' with 2,350-pound pumpkin named The Tiger King
A Minnesota man and his gigantic gourd are reigning royalty after taking home top prize in a Northern California pumpkin-growing competition.
Travis Gienger won first prize in the 47th annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon, California, on Monday for his 2,350-pound pumpkin, according to contest officials.
The champ took home $16,450 in prize money, receiving $7 per pound in a "pay-by-the-pound" system.
The contest congratulated Gienger in a social media post giving him the title of the 2020 Pumpkin King of Half Moon Bay.
According to contest officials, the massive gourd made a record as the heaviest grown pumpkin to be weighed in North America this year.
Gienger named his winning pumpkin after the popular Netflix series "Tiger King" when he noticed it might have striped coloring.
"It was kind of funny deciding the name for this little, little pumpkin at the time," he said. "I noticed that it might be orange with white stripes and my brother goes, 'Oh it's 2020. We should name him Tiger King.' And I thought that's great!"
The name was popular at the competition with many cheering The Tiger King on to victory.
Gienger says he took extreme measures to keep the giant pumpkin intact while transporting it on a 35-hour drive from Minnesota to Half Moon Bay, including building a special palette for his trailer, wrapping the pumpkin in blankets and pool noodles to keep it from getting scratched, and throwing dirt in the back to keep the vines watered so it wouldn't lose as much weight.
"People were wondering what we were hauling when we stopped at the gas station and we had to throw buckets of water on it. It was kind of funny," he said.
It was his first year entering the competition at Half Moon -- although he is not new to growing giant pumpkins. About 25 years ago, he grew a 447-pounder. He decided to enter the competition at Half Moon this year because it's known as the "Super Bowl of Pumpkins," he told CNN.
The competition offered a special $30,000 mega prize this year to any grower who broke the world record of 2,624 pounds that was set in a weigh-off in Germany in 2016. No one at the Half Moon Bay competition broke the world record this year, according to contest officials.
On each Columbus Day since 1974, growers gather in Half Moon Bay from around the country to compete for the title and cash prize in the pumpkin weigh-off, according to the contest website.
Gienger told CNN he felt honored to win.
He had been working all season toward the competition, so the winning moment was "quite a joy," he said. He is undecided on whether he will reenter the contest next year to beat his new record.
The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
Be the first to know
Get local news delivered to your inbox!