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Adobe Adds 3D Printer Support To Photoshop

timothy posted 1 year,15 days | from the hey-guys-is-there-where-the-bandwagon-stops? dept.

Graphics 73

angry tapir writes "Adobe has rolled out an update to Photoshop that incorporates direct support for 3D printing. According to Adobe, they don't expect most users to directly create 3D meshes in Photoshop. Instead they expect most of the time people will import objects from other applications and then use Photoshop as a finishing tool to tweak and repair meshes — in a similar fashion to how Photoshop can be used to tweak photos before production. The application currently directly supports MakerBot printers and the online Shapeways service. More printer support is coming (printer profiles are editable XML files) and the application can also export STL files that can be copied to a USB drive and used on other brands of 3D printer."

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Awesome! (3, Insightful)

RMH101 (636144) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975279)

Some more features that I won't know how to use in PS! Seriously, this is great. But it does make PS even more intimidating - wow, the learning curve is already steep!

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45976645)

The move to an online-only, subscription model is going to kill PhotoShop. Thankfully we have Corel Photo-Paint.

please wait while loading bloat-ware... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45976911)

and it will now take 1 minute longer to load, use more ram, have more useless menus to navigate past, etc...

Re:Awesome! (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,15 days | (#45977743)

Odd that the software costs more than the hardware. You can get a 3D printer for $500, PS is about a grand unless you get the Pirate Bay Discount version.

By the time I get a 3D printer (I'm waiting for the price to come down and quality to go up) maybe someone will have added these features to Gimp, because I refuse to pay that damned much for a piece of software, especially since I had a perfectly good replacement that came free with a scanner I bought fifteen years ago.

Unless you're a rendering professional, why would anyone buy PhotoShop? Gimp and other such programs are fine for non-professionals.

Re:Awesome! (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45978343)

Odd that the software costs more than the hardware.

Was true in the 2D world too.

maybe someone will have added these features to Gimp,

Is Gimp really the right place to add it? Sounds like a kludge, if most of the tools are made for 2d stuff, unless there is a 3d side to PS I hadn't noticed before. Why work toward such features in a program already meant for 3d work, like Blender?

Re: Awesome! (1)

RMH101 (636144) | 1 year,15 days | (#45978475)

Just use free stuff like sketch up to create the stl files then. U don't have to buy Photoshop. Although if you're an imaging professional you always end up with PS eventually...

Re: Awesome! (1)

WillAdams (45638) | 1 year,15 days | (#45978787)

SketchUp isn't that free these days though --- read the license for the ``free'' Community edition.

great news for nerds! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45975287)

Now we can airbrush our 3D printed sex bots.

Re:great news for nerds! (4, Funny)

rmdingler (1955220) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975337)

Right. Just be careful not to paint over all the screw holes.

Re:great news for nerds! (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975389)

I see what you did there...

Re:great news for nerds! (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,15 days | (#45976857)

Thank you Ted, that was the joke.

Re:great news for nerds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45975453)

Every layer of latex paint is another hymen.

Re:great news for nerds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45982413)

Just make a tulpa like normal nerds.

I won't upgrade until they add.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45975331)

I'm waiting until they add the kitchen sink and rename the project adobe franken-shop. come on, photo editing, then video editing, now 3d cad? I swear they just keep adding in items so people feel they are getting value from the upgrades. OR they want to help out the massive (and lucrative) training economy built around the wonderful (and intuitive) user interface in Photoshop.

Re:I won't upgrade until they add.... (1)

lxs (131946) | 1 year,15 days | (#45977777)

It's official. Photoshop is the new Emacs.

Doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45975341)

I'm sorry, but to me that doesn't make sense. Photoshop is a program to manipulate raster images, that is, 2-dimensional arrays of coloured pixels. 3D printing simply doesn't fit in here.

I mean, there's nothing wrong with Adobe making a program for 3D printing. They also can bundle it with Photoshop, that's a pure business decision. But it simply doesn't make sense to add that functionality to the Photoshop program itself. Three are almost no operations which make sense for both raster image editing and 3D printing.

Re:Doesn't make sense (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,15 days | (#45976319)

I'm sorry, but to me that doesn't make sense. Photoshop is a program to manipulate raster images, that is, 2-dimensional arrays of coloured pixels. 3D printing simply doesn't fit in here.

I mean, there's nothing wrong with Adobe making a program for 3D printing. They also can bundle it with Photoshop, that's a pure business decision. But it simply doesn't make sense to add that functionality to the Photoshop program itself. Three are almost no operations which make sense for both raster image editing and 3D printing.

Photoshop has been adding (marginally functional) 3D tools for years now. Real 3D programs tend to offer better functionality and workflows, but I suppose the user case is that if you are just cleaning up a mesh you don't need the full Maya suite and you don't need to go wander around the depths of Free Software to fun a specific tool.

This may say more about 3D printing than Photoshop though. When you're noticed by the big guys, you've made it.

Re:Doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45977573)

You're like ten years behind. Photoshop has been able to handle 3D models for a long time.

Gimp developers - please don't (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975353)

Gimp developers - please don't feel obliges to play catch-up and incorporate this. It should be a separate application.

Re:Gimp developers - please don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45975425)

Yeah, not sure why they added this to Photoshop. They should have made a separate tool.

Re:Gimp developers - please don't (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,15 days | (#45976879)

This is Adobe we're talking about here. The Kings of bloatware. Even Microsoft seems to be making race cars by comparison.

Re:Gimp developers - please don't (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975429)

Wilber already had an encounter with Blender. That's how he became a gimp.

Re:Gimp developers - please don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45975433)

I'd imagine that Adobe has layers of patents protecting their implementation, so even if the Gimpers even attempted to try to play "catch-up" they'd be shut down pretty quickly.

Re:Gimp developers - please don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45975947)

I'd imagine that Adobe has layers of patents protecting their implementation, so even if the Gimpers even attempted to try to play "catch-up" they'd be shut down pretty quickly.

I can already see the headlines. "Adobe sues gimp over plastic tool patent."
That is going to be fun for their PR department.

Re:Gimp developers - please don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45976883)

Gimp developers - please don't feel obliges to play catch-up and incorporate this. It should be a separate application.

They do not have the development resources to do that anyway.

OT: But does anybody know... (1)

unique_parrot (1964434) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975369)

...how the software-subscription/lending business model is working out for adobe?

Re:OT: But does anybody know... (1)

quetwo (1203948) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975471)

They had their most profitable year ever last year (the first full year since they made the change), so I guess good?

Maybe not (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45975609)

That doesn't say anything. One can always cook the books to make things look spectacular.

Wake me up when their good streak continues for a second or third year in a row.

You can look at: how many people did they hire? If they hired no-one and laid off a lot, it means the ship is sinking.

Re:Maybe not (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | 1 year,15 days | (#45978733)

Well, I keep seeing them extend deals for folks to join the Creative Cloud....over and over again, which tells me, that they haven't reached market penetration they'd predicted.

I know on a number of photographer forums, I constantly hear people griping about not wanting to rent their software, and are not at this point, moving past CS6.

I'm personally sticking with the CS6 Production Premium suite I got for the educational pricing, and believe that will last me a number of years to see how this plays out, and if Adobe relents on the rental only software paradigm.

I know there are some fanboys that love CC, and for some it is a good fit. I do hope Adobe relents at some point and allows for stand alone versions again. If not, they I hope other tools stand up and maybe try to put offerings in place that would supplant Photoshop.

Heck...Adobe needs some competition in this realm anyway, long overdo.

I actually wish some other corporate types would throw money and resources maybe into GIMP, since it has a decent start, and have it fully developed into a PS competitor.

Re:OT: But does anybody know... (1)

lucyingham (3500989) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975489)

Our company seems very fond of it - I think it is easier for organisations to justify if they are small/fiscal scrooges.

Creative Cloud (was Re:OT: But does anybody know.) (1)

WillAdams (45638) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975513)

Well, over 1 million people have signed up as of 24 September or so: http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2013/september/creative-cloud-1-millionth-user [creativereview.co.uk]

which sounds impressive, until one recalls that for its 20th anniversary, Adobe announced PhotoShop had over 10 million users.

There's also no word on how many of these people have merely signed up for a 30 day free demo / trial.

Adobe's initial estimation was that only one-third or so (~4 million) of their customer base (~12 million) would initially sign up: http://www.cmswire.com/cms/customer-experience/adobes-creative-cloud-gamble-pays-off-handsomely-even-if-q2-earnings-crash-021396.php [cmswire.com]

So they're still far short of their initial estimate.

An Adobe CEO admitted to the disappointment and a need to tweak things: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/19/adobe_q2_customers_disappointed_with_no_boxed_wares/ [theregister.co.uk]

but I've still not seen any change --- just more patches and up-dates. My suspicion is that Adobe planned this a long while ago, identifying the last few product features which would be essential for profitability of users and the most difficult for a competitor to implement, then deferring implementing them until after they introduced Creative Cloud.

WHY??? (3, Insightful)

ericloewe (2129490) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975407)

Whose brilliant idea was it to add something that has nothing to do with photoshop?

2D image editing and 3D modeling are two completely seperate things that share almost nothing. I'd be surprised if they shared anything beyond the basic interface.

Re:WHY??? (4, Insightful)

Piata (927858) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975501)

To be fair, some basic 3D modelling has it's uses in Photoshop, especially if you want a super accurate rendering. Stuff like extending the perspective of a photo or placing a product label you created on a bottle or can. But that's pretty much where the uses for 3D end in Photoshop.

If it were up to me, I'd push for Photoshop to have a more tablet friendly mode (as in Wacom tablet, not iPad or Android tablets) and get rid of the subscription model.

Re:WHY??? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | 1 year,15 days | (#45978751)

If it were up to me, I'd push for Photoshop to have a more tablet friendly mode (as in Wacom tablet, not iPad or Android tablets) and get rid of the subscription model.

I use PS with a Wacom tablet, Intuos5...seems perfectly tablet friendly to me? What types of problems are you having with it?

Re:WHY??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45980209)

If it were up to me, I'd push for Photoshop to have a more tablet friendly mode (as in Wacom tablet, not iPad or Android tablets) and get rid of the subscription model.

I use PS with a Wacom tablet, Intuos5...seems perfectly tablet friendly to me? What types of problems are you having with it?

He probably said "tablet" and meant either things like the Surface Pro (or other Windows tablets), or "interactive pen displays", such as Wacom's Cintiq, or the lower-cost alternatives that have started cropping up in the past year or so. Seems likely considering the comparison to ipad and android, at least.

If I had to guess, I'd say he was asking for an option to have a more touch- or pen-friendly UI in addition to the mouse-oriented default, akin to how Krita's dual-mode Gemini [youtube.com] builds work. Less poking about for buried options and menu-diving for the more common features, but with the less-used options buried a bit more.

Re:WHY??? (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | 1 year,14 days | (#45980487)

I guess the developers on the Photoshop team are just running out of ideas for 2D image related features and management just lets them run with whatever silly ideas they come up with.

People sometimes want 3D text or preview the texture they're making for their model?
Sure, lets build 3D rendering engine into Photoshop and add support for 3D printing too!

People might want to make an animated gif?
Why don't we build a fucking audio/video timeline editor into it, even though we already have After Effects and Premiere.
I shit you not, I just played a couple of MP3s through Photoshop.

I'm pretty sure you can build a web browser into Photoshop panels.

I stopped using Winamp around the time they added the browser and then CD burning support.
And I stopped using Nero when they started bundling in all the shitty editors and video player and picture album and quick launch app and whatever.
And I'm sure the managers and marketing actually believe all those extra bullet points bring more value to the consumer or some shit.

Why does this belong in Photoshop? (4, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975449)

I don't understand why something like this would be included in Photoshop. "Kitchen sink" applications are usually a bad idea: you want your app to do one thing very well, not a bunch of different things poorly. "One thing" can be defined pretty broadly (2D still image editing, in Photoshop's case), but you need some level of focus. And it's not like there aren't still more important things to fix: the Windows version of Photoshop still does not play nice with HiDPI, and there is still no support at all for the Windows Ink API (so tablets which don't support WinTab for patent reasons can't even get basic pressure sensitivity). Adobe is aware of these issues, but they'd rather add silly glitz that no one will use instead of fixing these rather significant bugs.

Re:Why does this belong in Photoshop? (1)

garyoa1 (2067072) | 1 year,15 days | (#45976007)

If you think it only does image editing... you don't know photoshop.

Re:Why does this belong in Photoshop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45976321)

Photoshop is the MS Word of the 21 century....

In other news... (4, Funny)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975459)

Symantec now offering Norton Antivirus for 3D printers.

Re:In other news... (3, Funny)

_xeno_ (155264) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975675)

And not a moment too soon, I read somewhere that 3D printers are being used to print medical gear [slashdot.org] , can you imagine if your medical gear printed with a virus? You'd doom the human race to gray goo! It's good to think that we're safe from that, thanks to products like Norton Antivirus.

Of course, 3D prints will take twenty times as long, but it's a small price to pay for the peace of mind and ability to use a laptop as a space heater that Norton Antivirus provides.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45976023)

you think that's bad wait a few more generations the maker bot virus will turn itself on, have it print out a small robot, who walks over to your computer, hacks it, and empties your bank account.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45976781)

ob [goatkcd.com] xkcd [xkcd.com]

curses, foiled again by slashcode!

On topic... (1)

DrYak (748999) | 1 year,15 days | (#45977291)

ob [goatkcd.com] xkcd [xkcd.com]

I think that's the first in /.'s history when a goatse picture is actually on topic.

Can't wait (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45975491)

I can't wait to see the Fark Photoshop contests for 3D printers. Or better yet, give your crescent wrench huge tatas.

Re:Can't wait (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | 1 year,14 days | (#45981105)

give your crescent wrench huge tatas.

Typo. I'm sure you meant, "Cresent wench".

Why Photoship? Well... (1)

snarfies (115214) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975523)

Could it be because nobody is buying their stupid new subscription-only version of Photoshop, and this is a desperate attempt to make it tempting again?

Yeah, that's probably it. [businessweek.com]

The article/Summary are confused. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45975543)

What they mean is that you will have to tweak your models to get them to display right when you import them to photoshop because as usual, photoshop will do an absolutely horrible job of working with any non-adobe format. Lets face it, unless this is 10 to 100 times better than their SVG import support, this will be utterly useless.

If they can't even import/export SVGs or EPS correctly who the hell is going to use them for 3d models.

Adobe needs to die. I'm not sure when the shark was jumped, but I'm certain it came before CS3 after which I refused to buy another Adobe product as they are the ONLY FUCKING THING BESIDES STEAM THAT HAS A PROBLEM WITH CASE SENSITIVE FILESYSTEMS ON a Mac, I want to say it happened before CS existed.

This of course made it easy for me to deal with the transition they made to rental only model since I don't have to rent shit from them.

Of course, we spent the better part of a year retooling our software systems to get off adobe formats and move to open formats like SVG, so we don't exactly have a problem finding tools anymore.

Re:The article/Summary are confused. (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,15 days | (#45976931)

Adobe CS2 had ImageReady, a proper tool designed for Web optimization. Adobe CS3 tried to add the ImageReady tools to Photoshop in a half-assed way where you can only do actual work once you're already in the "export" mode where you lose 95% of the Photoshop power and need to go back-and-forth between regular mode and export mode.

They screwed up bad.

Ulterior Motives? (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975563)

Oh, wow, so Adobe is going to start supporting 3D printers.

Hey, wait - aren't Adobe those guys who were so adamant about DRM on their new software release they thought making it a subscription based service was a good idea?

Considering the source, I don't trust that this isn't just a power move on Adobe's part to get in on the ground floor of locking down your property (in this case, your 3D printer).

Re:Ulterior Motives? (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | 1 year,15 days | (#45977285)

With the subscription model, no one can 3d print installation media and have infinite Adobe. Obviously that had to be in place before they could support the horde of users clamoring for 3d printing for image macros and headswaps.

Re:Ulterior Motives? (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | 1 year,15 days | (#45978095)

And in the world of professional print graphics name me one other real world replacement...

That's why they can go to a subscription model...

There is no replacement for Photoshop...

Re:Ulterior Motives? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,15 days | (#45978623)

Methinks thou hast missed the point.

N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45975585)

N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers

By david e. sanger and thom shanker = jan. 14, 2014

= URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/15/us/nsa-effort-pries-open-computers-not-connected-to-internet.html [nytimes.com]
=Image: http://cryptome.org/2014/01/nsa-quantum-radio.jpg [cryptome.org]
== Coverage #1: http://news.slashdot.org/story/14/01/15/1324216/nyt-nsa-put-100000-radio-pathway-backdoors-in-pcs [slashdot.org]
== Coverage #2: http://cryptome.org/2014/01/nsa-quantum-radio.htm [cryptome.org]
== Coverage #3: http://rt.com/usa/nsa-radio-wave-cyberattack-607/ [rt.com]
=== Archive: http://web.archive.org/web/20140116010210/http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/15/us/nsa-effort-pries-open-computers-not-connected-to-internet.html [archive.org]

"WASHINGTON - The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks.

While most of the software is inserted by gaining access to computer networks, the N.S.A. has increasingly made use of a secret technology that enables it to enter and alter data in computers even if they are not connected to the Internet, according to N.S.A. documents, computer experts and American officials.

The technology, which the agency has used since at least 2008, relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into the computers. In some cases, they are sent to a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target.

The radio frequency technology has helped solve one of the biggest problems facing American intelligence agencies for years: getting into computers that adversaries, and some American partners, have tried to make impervious to spying or cyberattack. In most cases, the radio frequency hardware must be physically inserted by a spy, a manufacturer or an unwitting user.

The N.S.A. calls its efforts more an act of "active defense" against foreign cyberattacks than a tool to go on the offensive. But when Chinese attackers place similar software on the computer systems of American companies or government agencies, American officials have protested, often at the presidential level.

Among the most frequent targets of the N.S.A. and its Pentagon partner, United States Cyber Command, have been units of the Chinese Army, which the United States has accused of launching regular digital probes and attacks on American industrial and military targets, usually to steal secrets or intellectual property. But the program, code-named Quantum, has also been successful in inserting software into Russian military networks and systems used by the Mexican police and drug cartels, trade institutions inside the European Union, and sometime partners against terrorism like Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan, according to officials and an N.S.A. map that indicates sites of what the agency calls "computer network exploitation."

"Whatâ(TM)s new here is the scale and the sophistication of the intelligence agencyâ(TM)s ability to get into computers and networks to which no one has ever had access before," said James Andrew Lewis, the cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "Some of these capabilities have been around for a while, but the combination of learning how to penetrate systems to insert software and learning how to do that using radio frequencies has given the U.S. a window itâ(TM)s never had before."

No Domestic Use Seen

There is no evidence that the N.S.A. has implanted its software or used its radio frequency technology inside the United States. While refusing to comment on the scope of the Quantum program, the N.S.A. said its actions were not comparable to Chinaâ(TM)s.

"N.S.A.'s activities are focused and specifically deployed against - and only against - valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements," Vanee Vines, an agency spokeswoman, said in a statement. "We do not use foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of - or give intelligence we collect to - U.S. companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line."

Over the past two months, parts of the program have been disclosed in documents from the trove leaked by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor. A Dutch newspaper published the map of areas where the United States has inserted spy software, sometimes in cooperation with local authorities, often covertly. Der Spiegel, a German newsmagazine, published the N.S.A.'s catalog of hardware products that can secretly transmit and receive digital signals from computers, a program called ANT. The New York Times withheld some of those details, at the request of American intelligence officials, when it reported, in the summer of 2012, on American cyberattacks on Iran.

President Obama is scheduled to announce on Friday what recommendations he is accepting from an advisory panel on changing N.S.A. practices. The panel agreed with Silicon Valley executives that some of the techniques developed by the agency to find flaws in computer systems undermine global confidence in a range of American-made information products like laptop computers and cloud services.

Embracing Silicon Valleyâ(TM)s critique of the N.S.A., the panel has recommended banning, except in extreme cases, the N.S.A. practice of exploiting flaws in common software to aid in American surveillance and cyberattacks. It also called for an end to government efforts to weaken publicly available encryption systems, and said the government should never develop secret ways into computer systems to exploit them, which sometimes include software implants.

Richard A. Clarke, an official in the Clinton and Bush administrations who served as one of the five members of the advisory panel, explained the groupâ(TM)s reasoning in an email last week, saying that "it is more important that we defend ourselves than that we attack others."

"Holes in encryption software would be more of a risk to us than a benefit," he said, adding: "If we can find the vulnerability, so can others. Itâ(TM)s more important that we protect our power grid than that we get into Chinaâ(TM)s."

From the earliest days of the Internet, the N.S.A. had little trouble monitoring traffic because a vast majority of messages and searches were moved through servers on American soil. As the Internet expanded, so did the N.S.A.'s efforts to understand its geography. A program named Treasure Map tried to identify nearly every node and corner of the web, so that any computer or mobile device that touched it could be located.

A 2008 map, part of the Snowden trove, notes 20 programs to gain access to big fiber-optic cables - it calls them "covert, clandestine or cooperative large accesses" - not only in the United States but also in places like Hong Kong, Indonesia and the Middle East. The same map indicates that the United States had already conducted "more than 50,000 worldwide implants," and a more recent budget document said that by the end of last year that figure would rise to about 85,000. A senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the actual figure was most likely closer to 100,000.

That map suggests how the United States was able to speed ahead with implanting malicious software on the computers around the world that it most wanted to monitor - or disable before they could be used to launch a cyberattack.

A Focus on Defense

In interviews, officials and experts said that a vast majority of such implants are intended only for surveillance and serve as an early warning system for cyberattacks directed at the United States.

"How do you ensure that Cyber Command people" are able to look at "those that are attacking us?" a senior official, who compared it to submarine warfare, asked in an interview several months ago.

"That is what the submarines do all the time," said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe policy. "They track the adversary submarines." In cyberspace, he said, the United States tries "to silently track the adversaries while theyâ(TM)re trying to silently track you."

If tracking subs was a Cold War cat-and-mouse game with the Soviets, tracking malware is a pursuit played most aggressively with the Chinese.

The United States has targeted Unit 61398, the Shanghai-based Chinese Army unit believed to be responsible for many of the biggest cyberattacks on the United States, in an effort to see attacks being prepared. With Australiaâ(TM)s help, one N.S.A. document suggests, the United States has also focused on another specific Chinese Army unit.

Documents obtained by Mr. Snowden indicate that the United States has set up two data centers in China - perhaps through front companies - from which it can insert malware into computers. When the Chinese place surveillance software on American computer systems - and they have, on systems like those at the Pentagon and at The Times - the United States usually regards it as a potentially hostile act, a possible prelude to an attack. Mr. Obama laid out Americaâ(TM)s complaints about those practices to President Xi Jinping of China in a long session at a summit meeting in California last June.

At that session, Mr. Obama tried to differentiate between conducting surveillance for national security - which the United States argues is legitimate - and conducting it to steal intellectual property.

"The argument is not working," said Peter W. Singer of the Brookings Institution, a co-author of a new book called "Cybersecurity and Cyberwar." "To the Chinese, gaining economic advantage is part of national security. And the Snowden revelations have taken a lot of the pressure off" the Chinese. Still, the United States has banned the sale of computer servers from a major Chinese manufacturer, Huawei, for fear that they could contain technology to penetrate American networks.

An Old Technology

The N.S.A.'s efforts to reach computers unconnected to a network have relied on a century-old technology updated for modern times: radio transmissions.

In a catalog produced by the agency that was part of the Snowden documents released in Europe, there are page after page of devices using technology that would have brought a smile to Q, James Bondâ(TM)s technology supplier.

One, called Cottonmouth I, looks like a normal USB plug but has a tiny transceiver buried in it. According to the catalog, it transmits information swept from the computer "through a covert channel" that allows "data infiltration and exfiltration." Another variant of the technology involves tiny circuit boards that can be inserted in a laptop computer - either in the field or when they are shipped from manufacturers - so that the computer is broadcasting to the N.S.A. even while the computerâ(TM)s user enjoys the false confidence that being walled off from the Internet constitutes real protection.

The relay station it communicates with, called Nightstand, fits in an oversize briefcase, and the system can attack a computer "from as far away as eight miles under ideal environmental conditions." It can also insert packets of data in milliseconds, meaning that a false message or piece of programming can outrace a real one to a target computer. Similar stations create a link between the target computers and the N.S.A., even if the machines are isolated from the Internet.

Computers are not the only targets. Dropoutjeep attacks iPhones. Other hardware and software are designed to infect large network servers, including those made by the Chinese.

Most of those code names and products are now at least five years old, and they have been updated, some experts say, to make the United States less dependent on physically getting hardware into adversariesâ(TM) computer systems.

The N.S.A. refused to talk about the documents that contained these descriptions, even after they were published in Europe.

"Continuous and selective publication of specific techniques and tools used by N.S.A. to pursue legitimate foreign intelligence targets is detrimental to the security of the United States and our allies," Ms. Vines, the N.S.A. spokeswoman, said.

But the Iranians and others discovered some of those techniques years ago. The hardware in the N.S.A.'s catalog was crucial in the cyberattacks on Iranâ(TM)s nuclear facilities, code-named Olympic Games, that began around 2008 and proceeded through the summer of 2010, when a technical error revealed the attack software, later called Stuxnet. That was the first major test of the technology.

One feature of the Stuxnet attack was that the technology the United States slipped into Iranâ(TM)s nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz was able to map how it operated, then "phone home" the details. Later, that equipment was used to insert malware that blew up nearly 1,000 centrifuges, and temporarily set back Iranâ(TM)s program.

But the Stuxnet strike does not appear to be the last time the technology was used in Iran. In 2012, a unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps moved a rock near the countryâ(TM)s underground Fordo nuclear enrichment plant. The rock exploded and spewed broken circuit boards that the Iranian news media described as "the remains of a device capable of intercepting data from computers at the plant." The origins of that device have never been determined.

On Sunday, according to the semiofficial Fars news agency, Iranâ(TM)s Oil Ministry issued another warning about possible cyberattacks, describing a series of defenses it was erecting - and making no mention of what are suspected of being its own attacks on Saudi Arabiaâ(TM)s largest oil producer."

"A version of this article appears in print on January 15, 2014, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers."


The New Zealand Copyright Act 1994 specifies certain circumstances where all or a substantial part of a copyright work may be used without the copyright owner's permission. A "fair dealing" with copyright material does not infringe copyright if it is for the following purposes: research or private study; criticism or review; or reporting current events.


This is based mostly on the NSA Catalog released by Jacob Appelbaum and Der Spiegel on 30 December 2013:

http://cryptome.org/2013/12/nsa-catalog.zip [cryptome.org] (16.2MB)

NY Times reportedly has the full Snowden material sent to it by The Guardian but, like others, has published very little of it:

http://cryptome.org/2013/11/snowden-tally.htm [cryptome.org]

Sweet! (1)

Greyfox (87712) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975865)

If you have a 3D printer that can print with clay, you could use Adobe to design, print and build your adobe house!

Re:Sweet! (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | 1 year,15 days | (#45975985)

Oh, you were so close!

you could use Adobe to design, print and build your adobe abode!

You could also use Adobe to dawb the wardrobe and floor boards in your adobe adobe.

Re:Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45976101)

And if they could print bread products, you could design a dough bee.

Oh wow, the revolution is here (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45976181)

Fascinating. Because when I think poor quality fragile plastic trinkets, I'm definitely worried about the quality of the finish.

How? (1)

hackertourist (2202674) | 1 year,15 days | (#45976297)

How did they incorporate 3D modelling, which mostly uses 3D vector-based drawing, into a 2.5D pixel-based application?

Photoshop (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45976413)

Anything that I cannot run entirely from my computer without a subscription does not get put on my computer. When I purchase software, I expect it to run, not demand a subscription payment. #d printing is immaterial as there are many programs that do that.

Re:Photoshop (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,15 days | (#45976959)

So I guess you're not a big fan of World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy XIV then.

A day late, and a dollar short (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45976455)

There are still a lot of holes to be filled before PhotoShop finally fulfills its natural born role of all-round swiss army knife of um... everything we could possibly imagine. Why can't I make phone calls from PhotoShop? Why can't I bake a cake in PhotoShop? This isn't rocket science!

Re:A day late, and a dollar short (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,15 days | (#45976981)

I won't be happy until Photoshop enables me to do rocket surgery.

Re:A day late, and a dollar short (1)

morgauxo (974071) | 1 year,15 days | (#45978831)

If you can afford to buy Photoshop why not just hire a "rocket surgeon"?

More context menus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45977613)

So now there will be an additional 20 items in my context menu when I right-click on a jpg?

Oh great. (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | 1 year,15 days | (#45978833)

Now 'designers' will believe even more that they can be engineers.

Why Adobe added this to Photoshop (1)

zdepthcharge (1792770) | 1 year,15 days | (#45979411)

It's simple. They have been running out of ways to improve Photoshop. Once they realized this, they switched to a subscription only business model. Now they can roll out meager "upgrades" in drips and drabs without the pressure of having to create a whole new version of the software. I expect Adobe will update/upgrade the 3D portion of Photoshop the most over the next two years simply because there will be a lot of features they CAN add. Photoshop itself already does just about everything it needs to be able to do. Also, Adobe has been trying to crack the 3D problem for fifteen plus years now. Where the "3D problem" is how does Adobe sell 3D.

Re:Why Adobe added this to Photoshop (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | 1 year,14 days | (#45981153)

They have been running out of ways to improve Photoshop. Once they realized this, they switched to a subscription only business model. Now they can roll out meager "upgrades" in drips and drabs without the pressure of having to create a whole new version of the software.

Exactly. Which is why I stopped upgrading years ago. Now we have the problem that Apple has made it so that they're not supporting legacy software. This makes it so I can't run older software on the newer MacOS X which means I can't buy new Mac hardware. This means I keep using the same old hardware. It still works. It still does what it did before. And when my $5,000 hardware finally broke down I was able to replace it with a used one for $350 off of eBay. That saved a pretty penny.

Adobe, and Apple, are being very short sighted. They've killed their market. I'm no longer sending them my money.

Forget photoshop (1)

jonwil (467024) | 1 year,15 days | (#45979929)

When are they going to add 3D printing support to Blender. Design your part in Blender, hit "print" and out comes a piece of plastic.

Re:Forget photoshop (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45982609)

Cue the "As Soon As You Make It" symphony!

Re:Forget photoshop (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45988605)

Coming soon and cheap:

Not so good. (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | 1 year,14 days | (#45981065)

3D printing. Good.
Cloud. Bad.
Subscription. Bad.
Adobe loses 2 out 3.

Food to Be 3D Printed (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45981345)


Soon eating will require an Adobe subscription.

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