Tag Archives: pranks

Home Computer of the Future


The top photo was one of the most forwarded e-mail attachments of 2004. It purported to show a picture published in Popular Science magazine in 1954, imagining what a home computer might look like fifty years in the future. The caption read:
Scientists from the RAND Corporation have created this model to illustrate how a “home computer” could look like in the year 2004. However the needed technology will not be economically feasible for the average home. Also the scientists readily admit that the computer will require not yet invented technology to actually work, but 50 years from now scientific progress is expected to solve these problems. With teletype interface and the Fortran language, the computer will be easy to use and only…The photograph was actually created in 2004 by Danish software sales and support technician Troels Eklund Andersen as an entry in a Fark Photoshop contest. Andersen took a photo of a submarine’s maneuvering room on exhibit at the Smithsonian (bottom), made it black-and-white, then pasted in the teletype printer, the old-style television, and the man. Then he added the text at the bottom. He never imagined the image would generate the response it did, nor that it would start circulating by email and fool so many people. It even fooled Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, who displayed it at a computer conference as proof of the impossibility of predicting future technology.Techniques of photo fakery

There are six basic techniques of faking a photo:
1: Inserting details. This includes placing an element from one photo into another to create a composite image, reproducing a detail of the photo by cloning it, superimposing an image onto another, or drawing-in details.
2: Deleting details. This is usually done by extending background elements over the unwanted detail. Or one can crop out the unwanted detail.
3: Manipulating elements within the photo. For instance, adjusting the color, resizing details, or rotating or moving details.
4: Falsifying the caption.
5: Staging the scene. This is considered fakery particularly in photojournalism. Varieties of staging a scene include using models and cutouts and inserting a prop into the scene.
6: Taking a photo at a trick angle. The most common example of this is the use of forced perspective.

For more hoaxes visit The Museum of Hoaxes