Facial recognition software is widespread and has been for a while now. Although the software is known to be somewhat finicky (there was one unfortunate and highly publicized incident in which Google Photos tagged a young African American woman as a gorilla), they are getting more and more accurate and tend to be very helpful and widespread. You may be wondering exactly how engineers have created software that can recognize something as subtle and complicated as a unique human’s face. Here’s an article to tackle the fundamentals of the issue and help explain how we got where we are today.
If you’re wondering where the money came from, you won’t be surprised to hear that facial recognition software has both a purely economic market and serves government interests. There have been attempts to use cameras outfitted with the software to serve law enforcement purposes, though the attempt in 2001 by the Tampa Police Department to install such cameras in the Ybor City nightlife district was definitely a failure; people just made a game of putting on masks and making obscene gestures at the camera, to the point that the whole project was scrapped by 2003.
Efforts were made to incorporate the software into the security system at Boston’s Logan Airport as well, though it only worked with a 61.4 percent accuracy rate that eventually led airport officials to try other methods of enhancing security.
So what about the systems that do work? Facebook seems to have developed a pretty accurate system of automatically tagging friends in photos you just uploaded.
Most operational systems function by identifying nodal points in a face. These points are distinguishable landmarks that occur in approximately 80 different places and include the distance between the eyes, the width of the nose, the depth of the eye sockets, the shape of the cheekbones and the length of the jawline. These nodal points are measured with the sue of a numerical code called faceprint.
It wasn’t so hard for engineers to make programs that identified facial features among pictures that were all taken the same way in a controlled environment that had, for example, the same shot taken from the same angle with the same lighting. But in real life, photos of people vary widely in setting which means wide variances in face angle, brightness, contrast, etc. In order to make up for this, software writers had to come up with something called 3D facial recognition.
3D facial recognition uses a 3D model of a face to more accurately store distinctive features. The software looks at where rigid tissue and bone is most apparent, such as curves in the eye socket, which varies less over time and depending on facial angle. With this kind of modeling, a face can be recognized in its profile form after being input in a straight-ahead shot. It takes the alignment of the face into consideration when it is given its first example of the face to be recognized, allowing for more accurate results.
Surface texture analysis can also allow for faces to be recognized, though this is more common in security contexts than for Facebook.
You’ve likely heard of both, and are most familiar with their differences in terms of clocks and watches. However, their differences exist in the world of computers, display monitors, and all kinds of other technology related fields. Here’s a brief synopsis on what these particular terms mean and what sets them apart.
It’s no coincidence that “analog” sounds similar to “analogy.” Before computers, almost all measurements were in analog because people used to find ways to measure things in nature by using analogies. For example, measuring electric current was done through using a moving-coil meter with a little pointer that moved over a dial. The higher the current, the more the pointer moved up the dial, making it an excellent analogy for the current’s rising power.
An analog watch demonstrates the passage of time via movements by its hands; twice as much time has passed if the hand moves past twice as many segments. This is another analogical measurement of time’s passing.
Similar methods have been used by weighing machines, speedometers, sound-level meters and seismographs.
When something is known as analog information, it can be assumed that it was gathered without processing numbers electronically. Analog film uses transparent plastic and silver-based chemicals that react to light. When the film undergoes a chemical process, it reacts to light and a representation of the scene you photographed is created. Recordings taken by using magnetized areas is also analog. No numbers were processed by a machine to create the end product.
Digital technology is different in that it requires that all information be converted into numbers to work. Digital measuring devices don’t necessitate dials or pointers and are generally quicker and easier to read than analog ones. Whether or not they’re more accurate however, depends on how the device works and how the measurement is displayed.
Your cellphone is an example of digital technology. It works by converting the sound of your voice into numbers and then sending those numbers across distances using radio waves. This real life to number conversion makes it easier to store information in digital form and allows for the information to take up less room.
Analog LP records, for example, take up a lot of shelf space if you have a large collection. If you’re willing to convert them all into MP3 files, you can store the same amount of music in a laptop, or even in a tiny iPod if you still have one hanging around. Audiophiles understand that a lot is lost in such a conversion, but book lovers likely have little to complain about when entire libraries can be stored on their kindles.
Digital technology also allows us to edit photos and music much easier than if we were to build the skill necessary for actually painting pictures or making music ourselves. This has opened the door for new and more accessible forms of art.
One interesting difference between the two: it’s actually hard to predict which kind of storage will pass the test of time. After all, people covet their LPs but care little for their MP3’s, even if MP3’s can be mass produced. Only time will tell!
They exist, and they’re all over. Some are a lot more obvious than others- think here about the Nigerian prince who needs your help to immigrate to America (i.e. you gotta spot him a few thousand dollars) and then for some reason his money will become available and he can pay you back tenfold.
Most of us wouldn’t fall for that one, but sadly a lot of scams are a lot trickier.
Take for example the scam involving creating fake windows alerts that pop up on your browser and tell you that your machine has been infected by a virus and you need to call a particular phone number right away. A lot more people fall for this one and opt into having their PC remote-accessed by hackers abroad who then download malicious software onto your PC while pretending to run checks and remove harmful viruses.
This one is also easily avoided; just search whatever program they say to download or google the phone number and see what company is actually behind the “service.” Don’t ever let a third party company perform cleans for you unless you can see that they are clearly affiliated with Microsoft and it says so in Microsoft’s website.
Another popular scam utilizes social networks; you may suddenly get a message with a hyperlink that says something like “You look amazing in this video” or “You might want to see yourself in this.” This one’s likely a little less malicious. You may just get hit by a pop up advertisement when you try to start the video. However, sometimes hackers outfit these pop ups with information that claims that you don’t have the right video driver installed to view the video. If you download the driver they say you need, the video will supposedly play. Unfortunately, there is no video and you just downloaded malware onto your device.
What happens once you mistakenly download malware? It’s different with every scam, but there’s always the potential that your every keystroke is being recorded and sent out to a remote hacker who now has access to your usernames and passwords. Other downloaded malware could give root access of your machine to a cracker (or malicious hacker) that can then control your computer, potentially without you ever noticing.
Online scams tend to have certain consistent properties. For example, a lot of them may pressure you to “act now” by scaring you with the prospect of imminent cyberdanger or a deal that won’t exist for long. Rushing you into an impulsive decision makes you more likely to make the mistake of falling for the con.
Often cons boast the possibility of making huge profits in a short time frame (as with the Nigerian prince). A quick googling of the company and checking for if they exist at all and what people have been saying about them can elucidate a lot, but in general you shouldn’t buy anything just because an imposing internet ad said it’s going to rise in value. You’ll just end up with a bunch of beanie babies.
A distasteful use of buzzwords and jargon can also connote an internet scam; if there seems to be very little meaning behind a stream of promising rhetoric, someone’s trying to pull something over on you.
Claims of insider information and/or confidential data are also suspect; why would someone you’ve never met be telling you about this stuff over the internet? You’re sure to be scammed if you follow along.
You’ve probably heard of software and hardware and you may even know the difference (software refers to programs while hardware refers to the physical electronic components of your device), but how well do you understand firmware?
True to its name, firmware occupies a middle ground between software and hardware; it is a set of programs foundational to your device’s operating system, which is in turn foundational to all the various applications you may have downloaded onto your device. What makes it “firm” instead of “soft” is that firmware is often not changeable, at least not during your advice’s economic lifetime.
Firmware is held in non-volatile memory devices such as flash memory or read-only memory. Up until the 90’s, you couldn’t update the firmware of your device without actually replacing whatever storage medium your firmware was written on. Now that flash memory exists, you can download a firmware update, but often devices become obsolete before an update is even offered.
Other than the difficulty with which firmware is changed, it’s basically the same as software.
Here’s how it was created:
In 1967, Ascher Opler coined the term “firmware” in an article written for Datamation. The term originally referred to the contents of a writable control store (or small, specialized, high-speed memory) that contained microcode that could define and implement a computer’s instruction set. Basically, firmware contrasted with hardware (the central processing unit) and software (the normal instructions actively being executed on the central processing unit.
However, firmware no longer truly exists on the boundary between hardware and software; its definition has moved closer to the software side in that the term is now used to refer to any software written onto the read-only memory (ROM), including processor machine instructions for the basic input/output system (BIOS), bootstrap loaders (which help you to initialize or boot up your computer system) and other specialized (but still basic to the operating system of the device) applications.
Firmware often causes issues among hardware and software specialists; despite still being closer to software than hardware, it does force the two teams to put their heads together and puzzle over what’s no longer a completely shared field. Elaborate documentation, specification and description are necessary aspects in any successful electrical engineering pursuit, and there are plenty of team-building exercises and advice websites to prove it. Lots of these advice websites offer pictures of people rowing boats, stacking themselves physically atop one another to make a human pyramid, cooking a 12-course Italian meal, going to an outdoor retreat that involves sleeping together in a cabin by a lake and doing that one game where you fall backwards into a group of people to prove that you can trust them to catch you, drinking copious amounts of alcohol during business-compensated happy hours, going to consent workshops, being forced to wear the same shirt to work that has a company logo, being sent emails about the successes of other employees who love the business, and many many more team-building things.
It seems like every month or so this year there was some kind of cyber security breach blowing up the news… Here’s a time-line of 2015’s international hack-a-thon.
May, 2015- International Revenue Service (IRS)
Hackers gained access to the personal information of more than 300,000 people right before the summer holidays. Upon investigation, the IRS found that the hackers had used a software called “Get Transcript,” a tool originally made to help taxpayers retrieve their tax returns from previous years. With the help of Get Transcript, hackers were able to see not only tax returns, but the social security numbers, birth dates and street addresses of hundreds of thousands of people. The hackers then used that information to file fraudulent tax returns and generate almost $50 million in refunds.
The IRS famously low-balled the amount of people affected (claiming at first that only 170,000 people’s information was exposed to the hackers), but eventually had to come out months later and admit that the damage was worse than they originally thought. They were forced to send out letters to hundreds of thousands of people alerting them that their specific information was compromised and are currently being sued.
July 2015- Hammertoss Malware
Over the summer, hackers used Twitter, GitHub and cloud-based storage systems to inject Hammertoss malware into people’s computers and breach important security systems. Because the malware used Twitter to communicate with its source and hack into people’s computers, it left behind no incriminating search history to tip off suspicious users.
Although the hackers’ Russian origin wasn’t confirmed, a variety of evidence pointed towards that particular conclusion. For one, use of the malware tended to halt during major Russian holidays. Secondly, the times the malware was used lined up with the average working hours of the Moscow and St. Petersburg time zone.
July 2015- Ashley Madison
A group called “The Impact Team” stole user data from extramarital affair dating website Ashley Madison on July 15, 2015. The hackers threatened to expose the identities of all of Ashley Madison’s users if its parent company, Avid Life Media, did not immediately shut down Ashley Madison and its sister site, Established Men. Avid Life Media did not comply, and the users’ personal information was eventually published online later in the summer.
Apparently “The Impact Team” blackmailed some users and accepted money in return for not publishing their information. The hackers thought that the users of the websites were despicable (Established Men was a sugar-daddy dating website) and also frowned on the websites themselves for charging cancellation fees, even for accounts made as a joke.
July 2015- Stagefright Vulnerability
Stagefright, the collective name for the group of software bugs that affect Android operating systems, allows hackers to use other people’s Android devices from remote locations. It was noticed in late July and announced publically in early August. Most devices still aren’t patched for the bug, so this story continues on.
With the advent of IT the current organizations are working with efficacy and in consequence there is more productivity these days. With the help of the IT sector there is faster communication and one can enjoy the convenience of electronic storage and there is even faster transmission of data. With the help of the IT infrastructure all important data are securely protected and IT has much to do with computer applications and on the same the working ambience is utterly dependent. In fact, this is all about storing and processing data in time for the benefit of the organization. In fact, IT helps your organization stay updated and now you can act with better confidence.
The Benefits of IT Infrastructure
Information technology has the best advantage in making an organization work in the right manner. This is the system to support electronic data storing system and with this all essential company data are stored in style. Now, you know that the important company records are absolutely safe. In order to maintain the integrity of the business it is essential that you completely protect the files of the customers. The IT incorporates the best engineering system so that data can be protected and maintained by all suitable means.
How Does IT Mechanism will help?
With the help of the IT mechanism you can handle data and company records with absolute ease. Now, you can easily withdraw, change and add documents and with the help of the IT Security Engineering system all your important electronic data are safely maintained and they are simply protected from getting hacked and the records are even saved from being deleted even after the happening of a disaster. With the IT electronic engineering system the sanctity of the data id better maintained and the documents are sure to stay safe and untouched.
How Can the IT System Help the Company?
When doing business you would want to do more amount of work in the least of time span. This is when the IT system becomes handy and with the help of the sort of data technology the productivity of the company is all the more enhanced and made perfect. It is an automatic process and in consequence the burdens of the employees are automatically reduced. Once the time is saved the employees find the option to work on other things as well. This is the time when the computer IT system is busy doing other things like preparing the reports, creating the queries, tracking the projects and even monitoring the fiscal activities of the company.
In Depth IT Knowledge
With the innovative mechanism of information technology you can get an easy access to the process of electronic networking and this makes you enjoy the convenience of working from the comfort of your home. Due to the accessibility you are sure to have an increased rate of productivity. In the process you can become a part of the IT department and now you can make the best use of the employees in matters of emailing and video conferencing and all things are made easy with the perfect IT mechanism.
There are huge strides coming in the world of artificial intelligence. And the first big changes we are going to see, are going to actually come in the form of software. This is the biggest contender, as it can largely determine how scalable, affordable and economically feasible it is to create AI systems. Unfortunately, there was a slow innovation period in the business of enterprise software until more recent years. Those years could have set us back farther than we would have likes. In 2015, many companies (which are also involved in something called the billion dollar startup club) have begun providing financial support and funding for artificial intelligence development.
This money will help researchers develops services like predictive analystics, and begin employing a short range of AI and machine learning. Of course, with a jump in investment, we are sure to see a good amount of hype surrounding the research, without much of the experience. Large quantities of money will be spent as well on configuring database systems to allow these projects to store and retrieve information the way the human brain does. This is critical to the development of AI. This is also referred to as semantic standards, which was originally incorporated by one leading vendor and is now closely followed by a second in the market.
With multiple choices available in the market, competition is going to become very fierce. This emergence has resulting in the first real competition in database systems, many of which are steadily fighting for critical systems and high performance levels… but at a much lower price.
These programs are hard to use and manipulate, usually, with each company having their own way of issuing commands in the system and it’s responses. Interoperability is another critical component to developing AI further, but with this competition, it’s going to slow the process down. The artificial intelligence programs down show much adaptability, which essentially makes the governing of its creation and use all but impossible. Sure, early users of semantic standard may include intelligence agencies and computational science, but now we are seeing banks beginning to incorporate those standards into their own systems as well. This data is sensitive, which also makes it high quality. High quality data (which is built on incredibly descriptive standards and advanced analytics) can certainly provide an increased defense against risks.
Standards are necessary, and these companies need to begin working along the same lines if they want to begin making bigger waves in the development of artificial intelligence. That high quality data that protects against risks can also make operations more efficient, speed up research and development, and even improve a company’s performance in their finances. Without standards and compatibility, we may see research stagnate. Many think that the only thing that will change their outlook may be a catastrophic event involving data and information. We’ve been on the brink of it for so long, would it even be surprising to see digital disruption? It may have already happened, and this clarity may only be achieved via hindsight.
Flash based memory is found in many of today’s memory storage devices, including USB sticks, SD cards, micro SD cards and Compact Flash cards (CF cards). There are also flash based cards by Sony known as Memory Sticks, and an old competitor to SD – XD cards. Flash based memory was a huge hit with consumers due to its small size and secure storage.
What is Flash Memory
The flash memory is a type of storage device that contains a solid state memory. The solid state memory is used to store and persist data and information. The flash drive contains a high speed circuitry, which is able to solve the problems with physical constraints. It solves the problems with had disk drive by with high amount of speed of circuitry. Flash memory uses plenty of memory chips to store data instead of the rotating disk.
For this reason the flash memory provides a faster access than any other hard disks or hard drives. One more amazing feature of flash memory is that it can access data with the same time of the storage location. So no failure of data can be caused according to the time. Flash memory does not depend on the read or write policy. The head is synchronized with a sector of data of rotating disks. The flash memory also provides a huge amount of physical vibration to physical resilience. It also controls the grate shock and temperature fluctuations. Only one draw back of solid state drive is that it is not immune to strong magnetic fields which can not sterilize the hard drive.
What to Do in the Event of Data Loss on Flash Memory Based Drive?
You are a professional photographer, and after a hard day of shooting a wedding, you come to your studio to work on your photos, you discover that your compact flash card’s content will not show up. You panic, try again and again only to realize the card’s contents are still unreadable. You then call a professional data recovery company, who specialize in recovering data from damaged flash memory based cards. A similar scenario could happen to anyone, who is dependent on flash based memory storage, a student working on a project and cannot access it due to damaged USB stick, or a businessman who worked for months on a presentation, and stored it on a micro sd card on his phone. The scenarios in which loss of data in a flash based drive could happen and endless.
the main advantage of flash drive is that you do not have to worry about its mechanical failure. You can trust on flash drive data recovery service blindly. You do not have to worry about the components failure of flash memoryor the electronic components are going bad etc. there is a common thinking among people that the mechanical hard drives failed quickly. You don’t have to worry about this matter in this case as this device does not contain mechanical component within it.
Are you looking for some serious solutions with regards to saving your important files and documents? People are demonstrating an increased dependence on their smart phones, not only for purposes of communication and entertainment, but also on account of they being the reserves of loads of important data.
With the evolution of smart phone technology, there has been a rise in data loss caused either by malfunctioning of the handset or by an erroneous operation by the user. Latest data recovery software aimed at mobile data recovery are best suited to recover data in the form of photographs and videos in scenarios when the phone gets corrupt. This data can easily be retrieved from the inaccessible or formatted memory card of mobile phone.
Mobile Phone Data Recovery on Windows platform
The latest data recovery software in fray are designed to recover data from common storage devices, both external and internal, including USB attached drives, CDs, DVDs and memory cards. In addition to retrieving deleted files, some of the latest versions of data recovery software are adept at performing complex tasks involving recovery of information from even reformatted and changed storage partitions.
Some of the latest software can handle file strength close to 550 including a variety of operations to retrieve audio files, images, archived data, backed up data, internet files and even documents. Audio files and MS office files with various extensions are easily retrieved by some of the latest data recovery software. Going further, advanced versions of such software are capable of restoring files with extensions of pdf, text, csv and xhtml.
Latest kits of data recovery software provide a strong backup and an exhaustive collection of powerful rescue procedures that will help users to rescue their systems from a disaster in addition to their valuable data. Newer versions of data recovery software are well positioned to recover voluminous data from corrupt Windows partitions based on FAT and NTFS file systems.
The following are the features of FAT and NTFS data recovery software
1. Windows FAT and NTFS Data Recovery software helps recovery of deleted and damaged FAT and NTFS partitions. In addition to this, missing files and folders and even the virus attacked files are retrieved with ease.
2. Upon the system flashing error messages like “formatting error”, or “Cannot delete or repair corrupted file on NTFS Volume,” the software pitches in perfectly to counter such error messages and recovers lost data.
3. Latest versions facilitate formatted partition recovery. This is made possible even under conditions of accidental formatting, or if the disk partition has been formatted with a different file system. In this context, the NTFS data recovery software provides full recovery assistance from various drives including IDE, SATA, PEN, ZIP, and USB drives, in addition to maintaining recovery support for files with long file names.
While technological advancements fueled the growth of computer and mobile usage amongst the general public, these simultaneously paved way for disaster recovery to become an easy chore, despite the involvement of high costs concerning paid data recovery software.