Years ago, Kevin and Hal wrote a story for me about the lack of traces in software tools. ("The draft is a document with its own history inscribed upon it. It is thought and process made visible--or rather, left visible.")
In the time since, MS Word's track changes has become indispensible in my life; Quark CopyDesk in others'. A Chicago Tribune story about fingerprints reminds me that we're still lacking traces of most things:
"One of the nation's first successful challenges to the use of digital fingerprinting in the courtroom came in 2003 in Broward County, Fla. The only physical evidence linking Victor Reyes to the murder of Henry Guzman was a partial palm print--an intriguing trace of evidence found on duct tape used to wrap the body in a peach-colored comforter.
A forensic analyst with the Broward County Sheriff's Office used a software program known as MoreHits along with Adobe Photoshop to darken certain areas and lighten others--a process called "dodge and burn," which has long been used in traditional photography. ...
"The makers of the [Adobe] software dropped the ball in not providing a digital record of every action applied to the image," Morris said. He said he would like to see lab analysts or police personnel use software that automatically would log any changes so other examiners could determine later whether the digital print had been altered inappropriately."Posted by dbrown at January 03, 2005 12:38 PM