E3 after hours: Gadgets you won't see on expo floor After the first day of E3 2011 wrapped, a handful of tech companies invited press to sample their wares at ShowStoppers inside the Icon Ultra Lounge near Staples Center. More
Facebook and its opt-out-by-default policies have struck again, this time with automated photo-tagging through facial recognition, which had been in tests but is now being rolled out internationally.
Bloomberg reports that European Union data-protection regulators say they will investigate the photo-tagging feature. The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, which advises national data protection agencies that could then potentially establish punishments, will evaluate whether the feature breaks privacy rules, according to member Gerard Lommel's comments to Bloomberg.
Steve Jobs pitches the city of Cupertino on a gigantic, circular "office complex" with its own power supply and, of course, a totally gorgeous design. Our question: does it come with its own Arc reactor? Also, World IPv6 Day is actually about preventing riots in the streets. Now do you care? And we found out right after the show ended that the Facebook profile pic tattoo story is a hoax. So now we hate the Internet, but we're still a little relieved.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Tagging friends in Facebook photos may be somewhat of a chore, but that doesn't mean we asked to be opted in to Facebook's new facial-recognition photo-tagging feature. As we reported yesterday, Facebook quietly rolled out facial-recognition software "that will automate photo tagging and suggest friends to tag in your photos based on what they look like."
Here's how it works: when you or a Facebook friend uploads a photo, Facebook uses facial-recognition software to match faces in that photo with previous photos on Facebook in which you've been tagged. Facebook groups similar photos together and suggests names for tagging purposes. Granted, Facebook isn't tagging photos itself, but it is certainly making the process easier for your friends to tag photos of you.
As Facebook says here, "Now if you upload pictures from your cousin's wedding, we'll group together pictures of the bride and suggest her name. Instead of typing her name 64 times, all you'll need to do is click 'Save' to tag all of your cousin's pictures at once." That's great, unless one of those 64 photos are of you at the end of the evening, slumped in a chair with your tie in your drink.
The introduction of facial recognition on Facebook has many users rightfully uneasy. Worse, Facebook has enabled it by default. Here's how to disable it:… Read more
"Weinergate" reminds us yet again that photos can quickly become embarrassing, and even scandalous.
For this and other reasons, many consider it important to have control over who sees their photos. Facebook may be further pushing users' sense of privacy limits with its latest privacy setting change: it has quietly rolled out a facial-recognition tool that will automate photo tagging and suggest friends to tag in your photos based on what they look like.
According to Facebook, people are adding 100 million photos to Facebook each day. In a blog post, the company said users have called tagging a chore. True, it can certainly feel like it when you have to manually type in who your friend is and tag every picture in the album. Tag suggestions are made when people add new photos to the site, and only friends are suggested.
"When we announced this feature last December, we explained that we would test it, listen to feedback, and iterate before rolling it out more broadly," a Facebook spokesperson told CNET in an e-mail today. "We should have been more clear with people during the rollout process when this became available to them. Tag suggestions are now available in most countries and we'll post further updates to our blog over time."
Chester Wisniewski, a senior security adviser at Sophos, isn't surprised by the way Facebook introduced the technology. "This is their standard method. They do it secretly and see if the uproar is loud enough. Previously, they've made addresses and phone numbers available to developers but backed out once people made a ruckus about it. This time, they tested [the facial-recognition feature] out on Americans, who are the least privacy-aware." … Read more
Imagine logging in to Facebook or eBay with just a blink of an eye. A new gadget for consumers may soon make that possible.
Designed by the Hoyos Group, a device called EyeLock uses iris-recognition as an alternative to passwords to log you in to password-protected Web sites and applications. Although similar eye-scanning devices are already used in the business and industrial markets, Hoyos calls EyeLock "the first and only portable iris-scanning device for consumers."
The scanning device, which resembles a wand, plugs into a base that connects to your PC via a USB port. After you install the software and choose the sites and applications that you want to iris-protect, you pass the scanner in front of your eye. A snapshot is taken of your iris to confirm your identity. Assuming you're the real you, you're then granted immediate access to the secure Web site or application.
With security always a primary concern, the company boasts that the device is unhackable.
"Every time you log in, it reads your iris and creates a unique key, which is a series of numbers, and this key changes every time you log in, so no one can hack it," Tracy Hoyos, assistant marketing director, said in an interview with CNN.… Read more
The goings-on within Apple's new North Carolina data center remain largely unknown, though a new report suggests Apple is using at least part of the facilities to power an enhanced voice services platform that will be unveiled early next month.
In a report this afternoon, TechCrunch claims that Apple is running voice software, and "possibly" even hardware from communications company Nuance in its data center. The end result is said to be improved voice technologies in the next major version of Apple's iOS, which is expected to be unveiled at next month's Worldwide Developers Conference. … Read more
UPDATE 8:00 AM, May 7th: You asked for it, we are giving it to you... due to popular demand, KeyLemon has agreed to extend the offer through the weekend. This offer will now end at 11:59PM PDT on Sunday, May 8th.
Often in movies, we see a lot of bad guys breaking into someone else's computer to steal confidential information by somehow decoding the password. As much as we would like to believe that it will never happen to us, it can.
We all know how important security is these days, so for 24 hours only, we … Read more
Nero Kwik Media is a light and free media manager with which you can organize, edit, and share your music, photos, videos, and data. Imagine iTunes and iPhoto rolled into one, then trimmed in half. While this download is technically "free," there is one caveat: you'll have to purchase some of its functionality in the form of "apps" listed in Nero's built-in store. Sure, most of these add-ons aren't too expensive, but it's a shame that a few of them (like Nero Kwik Play, a video decoder) don't come with the … Read more
Links from Friday's episode of Loaded...and, no, there are no April Fools' jokes in today's show!
Google denies working on a mobile app that searches faces and uncovers personal info
AT&T offers a new Mobile Protection Pack to locate and insure mobile phones
Samsung and Visa will offer mobile phone payment systems using NFC tech at the 2012 Olympic Games
Amazon.com may be working on a mobile phone payments system as well
Activision announces the next Spider-Man game