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
Update at 12:30 p.m. PT: Google claims CNN's story to be speculative. A company representative said "we are in fact not working on developing an app with these capabilities."
Update at 4:30 p.m. PT: CNN is now countering Google's claims, saying it stands by the original piece. An updated version of our story follows.
Google says it's not working on an application that would allow users to identify others by snapping a picture of their face with a cell phone camera, despite a high-profile report that one is on the way.
A report posted by CNN earlier today claimed the company is at work on such an application, but faces privacy hurdles in readying it for market. The story contained an interview with Google's engineering director for image recognition development, Harmut Neven.
In a statement earlier this afternoon a representative for Google said, "we are in fact not working on developing an app with these capabilities," and referred to the piece as speculative. Now CNN is fighting Google on the issue, claiming that the company's claims "do not fit the facts of the situation."
"This interview was prearranged--on the record--and staffed by a Google PR rep, who raised no objections at the time and did not deny what the engineer said," a CNN representative told CNET. "Additionally, we have an audio recording of the interview, as does Google. We stand firmly behind Mark's reporting."
A Google representative declined to comment on CNN's statement.
Privacy remains a touchy subject for Google. Earlier this week Google entered a settlement agreement with the Federal Trade Commission over last year's launch of its Buzz service, which has led to the company agreeing to establish a "comprehensive privacy program." In terms of imaging, Google had also gotten in hot water with privacy groups when it rolled out its Street View technology, which provided raw photos with faces and license plates, two details that were later removed.… Read more
Taking yet another step in the ongoing process of upgrading its photo-sharing service, Facebook announced today that it will soon enable facial-recognition technology--meaning that when members upload photographs and are encouraged to "tag" their friends, they will be able to choose from a list of suggestions.
Thanks to its treasure trove of user photos that have already been tagged, not to mention personal profile photos, Facebook has built up a huge base of data for gauging exactly who's in what photo. There are now 100 million photo uploads per day, according to Facebook, and 100 million "… Read more
Apple has acquired Malmo, Sweden-based Polar Rose, a facial-recognition company with several products that could be integrated into Apple's current and future product lines.
"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not comment on our purpose or plans," Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told CNET when asked about Polar Rose, all but confirming the widely reported acquisition.
Polar Rose closed down a free face-tagging service it operated on September 6, citing interest by larger companies in licensing its technology. Thijs Stalenhoef, director of solutions for Polar Rose, wrote on the company's Web site … Read more
It is now harder to blank on computer security with the newest version of Luxund's facial-recognition log-in program, Blink!. The newest version supports Windows Vista and Windows 7 64-bit, in addition to the original 32-bit version. On Luxand's Web site, the company promises "more stability, more reliability, and thus more security."
This free application uses advanced biometric identification, allowing users to log into their computer simply by looking into a Webcam. Blink cleared numerous tests, including sunglasses. The program has multiple security functions, such as support for multiple users and the capability to create a log … Read more
There's more to your webcam than Chatroulette and Skype-powered confabs. Blink ties your Windows log-in to your face, supported by the facial-recognition algorithms of its publisher, Luxand. Luxand is best known for a facial-recognition SDK and search engine that it licenses to Web sites such as Universal Pictures.
Blink differs from competition like KeyLemon by offering fewer features, but for free. When you install the program, it will offer to run a wizard to help you set it up. The wizard will autodetect your Webcam, and give you a choice if you have more than one. After giving you … Read more