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Traffic cams, drones were just the beginning …

Posted By Andrea Shea King On 08/20/2012 @ 12:06 pm In Diversions,Front Page,U.S. | No Comments

How concerned should you be about one company’s facial recognition technology and the potential for Big Brother to record your every move? That’s the question The Blaze posed to military and tech experts.

How accurate is facial recognition technology? Is there enough bandwidth to handle the voluminous amount of data fed by cameras? And does there exist a repository large enough to store all that collected data? Could it be the Utah desert National Security Administration data center under construction and control of the U.S. government? Can and will that data be used against us in the future?

As we know, technology is only evil when in the hands of evil people. And we aren’t casting any aspersions on any company. But some of the clients they serve are suspect.

According to its website, Trapwire works with the Department of Homeland Security, law enforcement and intelligence agencies, state and local homeland security and law enforcement organizations and military force protection services. In the private sector, Trapwire’s work focuses on areas where people congregate in large numbers. Some of its clients include: air and seaports, transit authorities, oil refineries, power generating, water treatment and chemical facilities, financial services institutions and entertainment complexes.

One of The Blaze article’s interviewees points out that “constant surveillance could record a variety of offenses, identify the person via facial recognition and send them a fine in the mail. But looking down the road, the infrastructure set up to monitor people becomes more disconcerting … when you think of changing views toward protection of civil liberties.”

The expert notes, “It could open the door for retrospective prosecution.”

Does this violate our constitutional protections? Our civil liberties?

This is an article well worth your read.

Related: Pakistani-originated text messages cause fear, panic and mass flight in India.

Speaking of facial recognition …

“Getting Facebook to listen to user complaints is like pulling teeth” – so says Ars Technica’s Jacqui Cheng who found that if you had a direct link to a photo that was supposed to have been deleted, guess what! It remained on Facebook’s servers. For up to three years.

Ars Technica reports that the problem is now resolved. And though it’s no longer the case that photos you deleted from Facebook’s pages could still exist on the social media site’s server, Cheng says Facebook is still notoriously slow in responding to users’ complaints. And there are plenty of them.

Wireless FaceTime, for some

AT&T has announced that beginning Aug. 23, it “will offer FaceTime over Cellular as an added benefit of our new Mobile Share data plans, which were created to meet customers’ growing data needs at a great value. With Mobile Share, the more data you use, the more you save. FaceTime will continue to be available over Wi-Fi for all our customers.”

This means that depending on which plan you’re on, you might be able to converse “face to face” over your iPhone without having to be around a Wi-Fi hotspot. Check your plan to see if you qualify.

The lost pyramids?

An archaeological researcher peering through Google Earth’s satellites may have found lost pyramids of Egypt. Angela Micol has found two sites, both verified as undiscovered until now by an Egyptologist and pyramid expert.

You can view more Google Earth satellite images at The Ultimate Anomaly Collection, where there are more than 5,000 Google Earth place marks consisting of “anomalous earthworks, unusual topography, geographical anomalies, geological anomalies, scientific anomalies, mound sites, extraordinary sites, weird sites, unexplained features, mysterious landscape signs, unusual underwater formations, and strange places seen with Google Earth.” It’s a bird’s eye view of our world from the comfort of home.

Streaming Olympics scores.

YouTube says 231 million video streams were viewed by its users across the United States and 64 countries in Africa and Asia during the Olympics.

According to TechCrunch, “The IOC’s YouTube Channel alone was responsible for 72 million of these, and the Team USA U.S. Olympic Committee Channel registered more than 6.75 million views (though most of these views seem to have come from a few select videos and quite a few of the Team USA uploads currently have fewer than 1,000 views).”

YouTube live streamed the Olympics for NBC.

Stocking up

Apple stock hit an all-time high last Friday, with stock peaking at $648.19, beating the previous high set in April, before settling a few cents lower at the close of the day at $648.11.

According to one analyst, “If shares reach $663.68, Apple will become the most valuable company of all time, eclipsing the record Microsoft set in late 1999.”

What’s driving the stock prices upward are the anticipated September launch of the new iPhone, which represents 55 percent of Apple’s business, and rumors of a smaller iPad. Apple’s existing share of the tablet market is 75 percent.

Also, the promise of Apple TV is keeping the stock aloft as well. According to a published report, Apple is reported to be negotiating with cable companies to add live TV access to a future Apple TV device – could be an actual TV, or something else.

Rumor has it that Apple is planning an event for Sept. 12 to unveil its next smart phone, expected to include 4G wireless support and a larger screen.

Things are not looking up for Facebook, however. The social networking giant keeps losing value, with stock closing below the $20 mark for the first time last week. Some are asking if it is time for founder Mark Zuckerberg to hand it over to someone with more business savvy. Initial Public Offering shares were priced at $38 last May. The stock has been shaved of nearly half its value over worries about slowed revenue growth.

Bits & Bytes

App-etite for coffee

Attention coffee lovers: Dunkin’ Donuts has an app that lets you pay for your coffee and doughnuts with your iPhone, iPod touch or Android smart phone. Download it from Google Play or the App Store, load it with money (American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Discover and PayPal) and use it for purchases, gift cards or nutritional info on those doughnuts you’re about to eat.

DD’s app works like Starbucks’ mobile payment app.


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