Tag Archives: tech stuff

It’s more like Predator than Harry Potter

Read this post at Ars Technica about the research into clothing that will trick facial recognition systems, the idea being that rather than disguise one’s face, the clothing would have a design that would exploit the features of the software and confusing the system. This quote in particular leapt out at me:

“I have a full belief that we actually probably all own things that may exhibit some of the principles that we want to see in blocking image detection, or gait detection, or even facial detection,” she continued. “And if you give people the ability to test it by themselves at home, and to do a sort of trial and error on their own, it can make them realize that they’re smart enough to figure their stuff out. So we don’t have to rely forever on experts to be the people that save us from surveillance.”

Kate Bertash, https://adversarialfashion.com

The whole thing is worth a read.

Source: Some shirts hide you from cameras—but will anyone wear them? | Ars Technica

It’s always something

Since most of America is stuck indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was going to start working on this site some more, since I now have time on my hands. Wouldn’t you know, a couple of weeks ago my computer’s battery swelled up and I had to send if off for repair? I knew the battery swelled because the clamshell wouldn’t close all the way and when it wasn’t plugged in, it would randomly shut down.

I contacted Apple Support and they were able to get me squared away. Since everything is closed, they had to ship me a box with packing materials and I had to send my computer off to them. Turns out the battery problem was a known issue, so even though my Macbook Pro is out warranty, the repair didn’t cost me anything. The turn around time was great too, considering the current circumstances.

Macbook Pro Clamshell after repair
It’s possible to get a computer repaired these days (at least by Apple)

I’m restoring my computer now (I wiped it before sending it off), so hopefully I’ll be up and running by the time you read this. Once I am, I’ll be upgrading the older posts to the new WordPress format and adding some new stuff. I’m sure everyone could use a Song of the Day or whatever nonsense I come up.

Coming up: Social Video, Police Academy, Celebrity Apprentice

What’s up people? I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but he’s a quick update on some upcoming posts:

It’s been a little over a year since I wrote a post on Viddy. Seeing as how the head of the company stopped by, read it and then addressed pretty much all of my beefs with the next software update, I should have acknowledged that a lot sooner, but in case you haven’t noticed, I’m kind of dick sometimes. Well, that follow up is coming, along with a look at some of the other players in the social video arena (specifically, Tout, YouToo, Qik and Color, because they’re the ones I’ve used).

Also, by (sort of) popular demand, I’ll be writing a piece on the sociological undertones of the Police Academy movies. Yup, that’s right. Last week, The AV Club celebrated Police Academy with a series of articles. I left a detailed comment on one of the articles, which got some good feedback, and a crowd sourced idea for a post. I don’t actually own the movies, because they’re on TV all the time. In fact, here’s what a TiVo search brings up:

Police Academy On TV This Week
They’re still in heavy rotation after all these years

As you can see, with the exception of The Original and Citizens On Patrol, the entire movie series will be on premium cable this week. I’ve already set the TiVo to grab them, and I’ll swing by the library to borrow DVDs of the two that aren’t airing. I’ll watch ’em all and regurgitate something eventually.

Lastly, while writing this, I’m also live tweeting this season’s finale of The Celebrity Apprentice. I’ve been doing that all season, so I’ll be writing a post or two relating to that. Eventually.

My thoughts on Viddy

A few weeks back I downloaded Viddy and played with it a bit. At the time, I tweeted that I thought it was cool with a couple of caveats and that I would follow up with more details. Well, after playing with it a couple of more days, the cons started to outweigh the pros pretty quickly. Given the amount of hype Viddy received and continues to get, I didn’t want to hate on it for a few (what seemed to be) minor bugs so I decided to hold off on writing anything further until a software update or two came out. During the last few weeks though, my opinion of Viddy went from “It’s pretty cool,” to “It kinda sucks.”

If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, check out this slideshow for an explanation of what Viddy is and how it works:

If the embedded presentation doesn’t load, click to seeViddy Screenshot Slideshow at Google Docs.

Seems nice, don’t it? There’s a sample video of all the filters at the end of this but first, my thoughts on Viddy after a few weeks of real world use.

Continue reading My thoughts on Viddy