Well shit. I’m done with the Internet for the day.
Your Face Will be Recognized
A Japanese company is set to release a surveillance camera system that can search through 36 million images per second to match faces with those captured via still and video cameras.
Via Singularity Hub:
The scenarios that this system could be useful for are endless. The police, for instance, could find individuals from old surveillance video or pick them out of large crowds, whether they are suspects or people who’ve been kidnapped. Or if a retail customer is caught stealing something on camera, the system could pull up footage from each time the customer has been in the store to identify other thefts that went unnoticed…
… Interested parties have to contact [Hitachi Kokusai Electric] directly, which is probably wise in order to control whose hands it ends up in. And this means that soon, the only thing that’s going to be anonymous anymore are the agencies and organizations using the software.
Somewhat Related: In a separate article, Singularity Hub profiles Face.com, an Isreali facial recognition company that provides apps and API services to third parties. To date they’ve identified 41 billion faces from the world’s online images and their algorithms include data such as gender and mood from the photos.
Their latest innovation: determining the approximate age of the person being analyzed.
Minority Report, now in Japan.
How much longer before this is used for marketing?
When asked why The Bodyguard was pulled from Netflix streaming following Whitney Houston’s death, Dan McDermott got the following response from a Netflix rep:
I just went and talked to my main supervisor as to why the movie had been pulled and the reason it was pulled was the production company pulled the streaming rights from us because all the publicity after Whitney Houston’s passing there was an opportunity to make really a very large amount of money on the DVD sales of her movies. So they’re going to pull all the streaming titles we have of Whitney Houston so they can make more money off the DVD sales of her movies.
What fucking scumbags. Not Netflix, which sadly has no control over situations like this, but the movie studio.
It seems like Hollywood is eyeing two business models in order to preserve their precious DVD sales (which are tanking more each day):
1) Make it basically impossible to rent a film. It used to be that you could rent a movie the day it came out for sale on DVD. Then it was 30 days later. Now it’s 56 days later. And you can’t even think about renting the films for 28 days.
As a reminder, torrents currently have no such window.
2) Hope and pray that big time stars die to temporarily boost sales. And instead of doing everything in you power to ensure that fans have easy access to remember the stars they cherished, pull all access except for the most expensive and limited variety in order to maximize profits.
Every few years, the MPAA’s lobbying power, rhetoric, and immense campaign contributions succeed in purchasing a bill in Congress to advance their agenda in a way that’s hostile to the technology industry and consumers.
Their bills have had mixed success and usually die before being brought to a vote, but SOPA and PIPA came frighteningly close to becoming law. The internet-wide protest this week seems to have stalled their progress and probably killed them for now.
But what will happen when the MPAA buys the next SOPA? We can’t protest every similar bill with the same force. Eventually, our audiences will tire of calling their senators for whatever we’re asking them to protest this time.
Eventually, we will lose."
In a YouTube video posted on Monday, Trevor Eckhart showed how software from a Silicon Valley company known as Carrier IQ recorded in real time the keys he pressed into a stock EVO handset, which he had reset to factory settings just prior to the demonstration. Using a packet sniffer while his device was in airplane mode, he demonstrated how each numeric tap and every received text message is logged by the software.
The Jobs tribute that went viral
A Hong Kong design student’s poignant tribute to Apple founder Steve Jobs became an internet hit on Thursday with its minimalist, touching symbolism and brought a job offer and a flood of commemorative merchandise using his design. Jonathan Mak/Reuters/Courtesy