Mystery of tiny faces on Vista DVDs solved
'Conspiracy theorists will be disappointed,' says Microsoft
Computerworld - The three faces embedded in the surface of Windows Vista's installation DVDs may have been too small to see with the naked eye, but they're no big mystery, Microsoft Corp. said late last night.
First spotted by a Spanish-speaking blogger identified as Kwisatz, the photograph showing three men is tucked into one of the holograms on the surface of Vista DVDs. But at just one millimeter in size, it's too small to see without magnification.
Conspiratorial tongues began wagging almost immediately. "I got word from someone on the inside that they are running a query inside Microsoft, that e-mails are flying around trying to figure out who put the picture in there," wrote blogger Nathan Weinberg on InsideMicrosoft. "That pretty much means this wasn't known until now, this wasn't approved, and there's some level of concern internally."
Others, including Paul McNamara of Computerworld sister publication Network World, figured it was an Easter egg, the term for hidden -- and usually funny -- bits tucked into software. Or people just wondered exactly what was going on. "There's a picture of three guys hidden on the Vista DVD. Who the hell are these people, and why are they on Vista?" asked blogger "otozh" on Windows Vista Videos.
"The fact that it took five months for this to get caught shows the problem: There could have been anything there," said Weinberg. "Whoever stuck in that photo could have stuck in [anything], and Microsoft will probably feel the need to go with overkill to prevent that ever happening."
Nope, said Microsoft's Nick White last night in a posting to the Vista team's blog.
"Conspiracy theorists will be disappointed," said White. "The photo is only one of multiple images contained in the hologram design, all of whose inclusion serves to make it more difficult to replicate a Windows Vista DVD." The three men in the photo, said White, are members of Microsoft's antipiracy team who worked on the Vista holograms. Other images on the disc -- Kwisatz said he had found three others, but couldn't make out details -- are art masterpieces in the public domain, added White.
"These security measures were never intended to be impossible to find, but rather difficult to reproduce," said White.
Microsoft stepped up the DVD antiduplication measures used for Vista and embedded numerous holograms in the plastic. "While it's extremely difficult to replicate a holographic design in general, the inclusion of original images makes it that much more so," White said.
There's one mystery still unsolved, however: White did not name the three tiny Microsoft employees.
But maybe the readers of Make magazine's blog can help there. "My money is on 3 horseman of the apocolypse [sic]. The fourth is a mac user," opined one.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Taking Windows Mobile on Any Device Taking Windows applications mobile has many advantages, but the process of identifying a solution is complex. Learn how to solve this complex problem...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Windows White Papers | Webcasts