Dear Mr. Woodman,
There is no possible way I can tell if the PDF of President Obamas birth certificate (POBC) made available by the White House is a forgery or not. The forgery can happen before being processed not to mention that the paper document itself could be forged, before the scanning. Thus, this is not the point.
[Note: This is very similar to what I said in my book on the birth certificate — JW.]
The question is whether all these artifacts we see after rendering the PDF of POBC are signs of forgery. I do not see that. I see them more likely as a result of inadequate processing.
The document has poor quality and it has been aggressively processed, no questions about it. The question is whether the corruptive processing was individual with the intent of forging it, or if it was automated within regular MRC segmentation.
If it was a forgery it was a very sloppy job. Any photoshop-knowledgeable person, of the garden variety, can do a much better job than that. If it is automated, it is a lousy job too, but bear in mind that algorithms for these jobs are not trained on specific documents. They were more likely developed, trained and tested on magazine pages and books. A US birth certificate is unlikely to give good results because it may be an outlier in the big picture of all documents they had in mind when developed their MRC tool.
MRC is about separating the single-image document into multiple layers, hopefully each one with a given characteristic. This has to be done automatically, in what we call segmentation. What I see in the document are signs of MRC segmentation consistent with strategies in line with the techniques pioneered by DjVu. I (and my students) do not advocate doing the segmentation that way, but that is not the point either. In fact, I would not be surprised if the software which segmented the WH document was derived from some DjVu tool.
They first try to lift the text to another layer. They can find more than one type of text and place them in different layers. The rest is background and they compress with standard image compression methods.
An Illustration From a Seminal 1999 Technical Paper by Professor and Inventor Ricardo de Queiroz Shows Multiple, Different-Colored Bitmask Text Layers.
In the POBC [President Obama Birth Certificate] I see lots of signs of that. It missed a lot of text, like the R in BARACK and in many other places. The missed text is aggressively compressed with JPEG for example, which justifies the damage to those text parts.
About the halos around some text: I am not sure why they do it, but it may be trying to suppress another halo problem caused by lifting scanned text that leaves some of the foreground in the background and vice-versa causing trouble to compress the layers. We wrote some papers about it. You can still see background through inside some O letters and inside the check boxes.
There might be morphological dilation around the text mask or the segmentation is block-based. The halo could be caused by the foreground in a dilated mask, or by processing the background. One plausible alternative is that the algorithm finds text as the letters with a bit of the surrounding background for safety. Some Adobe tools do that.
Furthermore, the text is lifted to the foreground and sharpened (nearly binarized) making the background surroundings to disappear. When the text layer is pushed back onto the background plane the letter surroundings become halo. There is also some grayish lifted text, which was perhaps found to have different statistics and was then treated differently. The mask is binary, the foreground (text) can have any color or texture, or even parts of the background around the text. All these are conjectures; different algorithmic choices might produce similar results.
I took a birth certificate which has a similar background pattern, scanned and compressed using an older DjVu tool. It has shown the same problems as POBC, like text letters that were missed and sent to background, and multiple text styles. It didnt have halo, though, because its algorithm decided to obliterate the whole background pattern. Perhaps if I had time to toy around with packages and parameters I might find something very close to what was used to generate the document shown by the WH, but I unfortunately do not have the time right now.
In summary I can only say I see much stronger signs of common MRC algorithmic processing of the image rather than some intentional manipulation.
At this point what matters for eligibility purposes is that Alvin Onaka has confirmed to AZ SOS Ken Bennett that Obama’s HI BC is not legally valid and that the White House image is NOT “a true and accurate representation of the original record on file”. He also confirmed to KS SOS Kris Kobach that the information on the White House image is NOT “identical to” the information on the original BC.
DjVu has been promoted as an alternative to PDF, promising smaller files than PDF for most scanned documents. The DjVu developers report that color magazine pages compress to 4070 kB, black and white technical papers compress to 1540 kB, and ancient manuscripts compress to around 100 kB; a satisfactory JPEG image typically requires 500 kB. Like PDF, DjVu can contain an OCR text layer, making it easy to perform copy and paste and text search operations.
He TOTALLY ignores the mix of raster scanned image and digital text placed on the BC, mixed resolution scans, and varied rotation scans, as well the kerning found in supposed typewriter fonts. Registration problems, changing typewriter typefaces, all issues that have been identified as existing on the Obama long form BC, which are NOT issues that could be created by artifacting by DjVu layering errors and human intervention to correct said errors. Finally, DjVu could not have inserted the spurious happy face found in the the stamp ONLY on this single copy of a Hawaiian BC, or duplicated check boxes with exactly identical pixels in seven different locations. Signs of cutting and pasting to remove boxes with 'x's in them from the original template used.
Until we see the REAL, LEGAL, OFFICIAL OBAMA HAWAII BIRTH CERTIFICATE....we do not know whether the previously released copies are frauds
However, I am way more confident with the people Sherrif Arpaio used than some pro-Obama scientist. Arpaio’s people have experience in investigation....anything pro-Obama and Science is suspect
None of this changes the fact that Obama spent millions to prevent the release of his real birth certificate before he started producing the phony ones
And, the PhonyCon Liberals need to stop attacking those who want Obama Eligibility answered. If you are not an Obama Birther by now....you are definitely an Obama Supporter
College Professors are known for their liberal tilt here in America. This man seems to be from Brazil. Does this tip the scale more to the right or left? Left I would think. Not only is he a College Professor, but one who is a citizen of a very socialist country.
Should his opinion be accepted at face value? I wouldn't. At least not without better explanations than he has provided. It's like accepting what the Media says at face value.
I happen to know something about computer graphics, image rendering, file formats and compression. (I grew up programing machine code in Hexadecimal .) I have yet to see what I consider to be a reasonable explanation for why different characters in the same word would be rendered in different bit depths and resolutions.
There is no mechanical process or algorithm of which I can conceive that would make this result a reasonable byproduct. Whatever process or algorithm that chose the bit depth and pixel resolution for the letter "A" should have chosen the same bit depth and pixel resolution for the letter "R".
Changing formats mid word accomplishes no useful benefit in terms of compression or clarity for the document. It produces no optimum effect. In fact, it destroys whatever benefit might be obtained from choosing one format or the other. (Clarity or Compressibility.) Why would any sanely written piece of software make such a decision?
What value or benefit can be obtained by mixing two different formats in the same word? That simply does not make any sense, and I have yet to hear from anyone explaining how it should make some sort of sense.
This is just plane BULL$HIT
I have done computer graphics and imaging software for a living.
Despite all the techno-jargon this guy has no clue what he is talking about.
So since we are unwilling to admit there are unexplained anomolies here, then we must conclude therefore that all is well? OK, your work here is done Dr. Queiroz, you may pick up your check at the desk before you leave Obama headquarters.