Last updateMon, 03 Aug 2020 9am


Introducing – Tools for Cinema Quality Assurance


Cinema Test Tools for the Non-Technical Manager 

Cinema Test Tools is a free resource for the cinema industry, tuned most particularly for the non-technical manager. The tools include several DCPs, all with interesting means of testing the sound and picture quality for the interested by lightly trained staff. The lessons on sound and light are written to provide a foundation to communicate with the technician who must respond quickly and well to the information that they discover.

The key is a free Online Managers Online Walk Through Checklist that correlates with the many DCPs. It helps bring an understanding of the many nuances of the auditorium's situation in a straightforward way. 

The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved. Confucius Chinese philosopher & reformer (551 BC - 479 BC)

Fibre-optic networks vulnerable to hacking

ITHackers can access data by tapping the fibre-optic networks used by businesses around the world, according to an IDC report.

Fibre-optic cable networks are not as secure as believed - with new technology making it easy for hackers to steal data from them, according to an IDC report.

IDC research analyst Romain Fouchereau said that the reputation of a fibre-optic cable network as more secure than copper cables wasn’t justified, and that new and inexpensive technologies have now made data theft easily possible for hackers without detection.

Organisations ... are potentially vulnerable from criminal threats, as much of the cabling is easily accessible and not well protected. ... hacks on optical networks could be achieved simply by extracting light from ultra-thin fibres.

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Urgent Adobe PDF Reader Alert - UPDATE NOW

Adobe logoIn March of this year, Adobe released Version 9 of their free pdf display software, Adobe Reader.Not long after, they acknowledged that they had had several security flaws in all previous versions. In November they released Version 9.1, which addressed the most egregious errors.

A month later they released another security warning and update which was supposed to go even further in stopping the abuses that hackers were able to perpetrate. They promised to re-write more of the basic code (hardening) so that they wouldn't have problems in the future.

The future came early. For the last several weeks there have been continuous updates that were labled Urgent.

Sub-bottom Line: Versions before 9.1 have a vulnerability that allows 'no click' ability to executables - Make certain to upgrade all computes in your domain now...the computer you don't change can affect (infect) those which do. Remember, Adobe has found exploits of Reader in the field.

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SSL-BlackHat Hacked-'Urgent'

IT Pro LogoBlack Hat: It wasn’t just the iPhone that got hacked… SSL encryption was also found to be vulnerable. So what could this mean when it comes to the sites we have been led to trust?

The biggest story that came from the recent Black Hat conference in Las Vegas was the discovery of a major iPhone security flaw that enabled hackers to take over the handset.

This has now been patched, but it has overshadowed another serious problem discovered during the conference.

Hacker Moxie Marlinspike discovered a new way to defeat SSL encryption, which could leave common web apps such as online banking vulnerable to attack.

After initial discoveries at a previous Black Hat event, Marlinspike revealed more vulnerabilities in SSL which our resident security blogger Davey Winder called “really rather worrying”.

As Winder describes in his blog post, Marlinspike revealed how man-in-the-middle attacks could fool web browsers and email clients into thinking fake sites were legitimate.

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CineCert Gets DCI Cert Nod

At last night's meeting of the ISDCF (Inter-Society Digital Cinema Forum), John Hurst of CineCert announced that CineCert has received a 1 year renewable contract from DCI. The contract will give a special credence to compliance tests that CineCert performs for manufacturers, upon equipment meant to be in compliance with DCI Specifications.

CineCert will issue a Pass Report to the manufacturer (assuming the equipment passes). The manufacturer then can pass that report onto the individual studios, and to end users, as they see fit. The critical aspect is that reports submitted from CineCert will be acknowledge as valid by the studios, which has been a problem for exhibitors.
[Edit: 14 Oct. - And then there are three

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Civolution Acquires Watermarking Business from Thomson

Civolution announced on Tuesday that it is acquiring the digital watermarking business from Thomson.  Terms were undisclosed.

This move represents further consolidation in the watermarking market, following Dolby’s shutdown of its Cinea video watermarking division last year.  Civolution itself spun out of Philips Electronics and acquired Teletrax, the video broadcast monitoring business that uses Civolution’s technology, late last year.

With this action, the only major players left in watermarking are Civolution and the Korean vendor MarkAny.  Apart from those two, there are a few players in niche markets, such as Verimatrix (IPTV/digital pay TV), Verance (Blu-ray audio), and USA Video Interactive (Internet video delivery).

This development does not necessarily point to decline in the adoption of watermarking.   First of all, Thomson’s watermarking business was known to be in disarray amid management changes.  Thomson has had some recent success with its NexGuard technology for pre-release content protection (which combines encryption and watermarking), but it has been hard to get management’s attention alongside other Thomson product and service properties such as Grass Valley and Technicolor.  Watermarking is more of an enabling technology, which should fit much better at Civolution.

More importantly, the success of watermarking requires standardization.  As I noted last week, standardization in the “secret sauce” of watermarking algorithms is unlikely, and there have been several vendors, each with their own secret sauce.  Consolidation is a market force that will promote de facto standardization.  For example, Thomson and Philips/Civolution were the two suppliers of watermarking technology for digital cinema; with this deal, there is now only one supplier and thus a de facto standard.

Of course it remains to be seen whether Civolution will integrate its two watermarking technologies or leave them be.  Integration is better for the market insofar as it is feasible.


Senate Legislation Would Federalize Cybersecurity

Sample imageSenate Legislation Would Federalize Cybersecurity Rules for Private Networks Also Proposed

The legislation, co-sponsored by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), was drafted with White House input. Although the White House indicated it supported some key concepts of the bill, there has been no official endorsement.

Many of the proposals were based on recommendations of a landmark study last year by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

[Editor] Why is this important?

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There are a lot of experts in security out there. What they write is often dry as a bone. But there are a few sites that stay on top of the events, and express themselves in ways that us mere mortals can comprehend.

Bruce Schneier -  He wrote the books, he writes the newsletters, he has the blog. Top of the list for a reason. The link is to his monthly CryptoGram...subscribe now.

Hagai Bar-el - Information Security Specialist whose websites focus on security engineering and on managing innovation processes. Good source for definitions. There is also a blog and RSS feed.

Handbook of Applied Cryptology - All Chapters are free for the download. Get them off the cloud now.

We are putting millions of dollars of library materials into the hands of people trained to believe that MP3s and everything else should be free. We give them all the late hours unsupervised. What is wrong with this picture?

Security issues should always be taken seriously. Then again, so should consistent exercise and taking regular breaks from madness. Notwithstanding, here's the recent news in the field of security.

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature.... Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
~ Helen Keller (1880 - 1968), The Open Door (1957)