TEH 038: Your Face Rings a Bell

In This Episode: Scanner OCR software may be uploading your documents to the cloud — and showing them to anyone who knows where to look. U.S. airports are starting to get facial recognition software. Twitter has new rules for bots.

This Week’s Hosts

  • Randy Cassingham, founder of the Internet’s oldest entertainment newsletter, This is True.
  • Leo Notenboom, “Chief Question Answerer” at tech education site Ask Leo!
  • Gary Rosenzweig host and producer of MacMost, and mobile game developer at Clever Media.
  • Kevin Savetz, web site publisher and Computer Historian at Atari Podcast.
  • Longer Bios on the Hosts page.

Show Notes

  • In the warmup, Randy says Colorado already has its first mountain snow (a little, anyway) — in August! Kevin visited the Krakow Pinball Museum and the Wroclaw Museum of Computers and Games of the Past Era. We also discussed whether to switch cell carriers at the same time as getting a new phone, or not waiting for the new phone. And Leo has been choking on smoke from numerous fires.
  • Breach of the Week: Scanner OCR software may upload your scanned (sometimes very confidential) documents to the cloud to do its work without you knowing it — and maybe accidentally show it to anyone who knows where to look. (Bleeping Computer). Kevin chimed in with the semi-related screenotate screenshot software Screenotate with built-in OCR.
  • Randy has mixed feelings about airports in the using facial recognition systems to screen passengers — and already caught someone using a false passport (Engadget). One test of such software made multiple errors looking at pictures of very well-known people.
  • Kevin discussed Twitter’s new rules for bots, which could spell the demise of the scripts behind fun Twitter accounts like fishtanks and screenshots Slate. LinkArchiver has already shut down.
  • Randy says Lockheed is considering going back into production of passenger aircraft — with a new super-sonic transport that has super-quiet sonic booms (CNet).
  • Leo’s been seeing Lime Bikes around his suburban neighborhood, which coincided nicely with a news item that Uber has bought into the bike/scooter business (says The Guardian. Which, Kevin says, has led to another “gig economy” job, charging the things.
  • Leo says Amazon is opening a second “Amazon Go” store in Seattle (Seattle Times), but he’s more excited about Amazon-based restaurant delivery.
  • And yes, we’ll be here next week: Labor Day? Entrepreneurs don’t get holidays!

1 Comment on “TEH 038: Your Face Rings a Bell

  1. I read an article on the NAACP facial recognition test weeks ago. I was shocked at the time about how it was used for dishonest hype. They had it adjusted for a very loose find (ie: it was set to err on the side of finding extra matches, more than it was normally used for) and was only checking on one database that did not include the people they were using as test subjects. There was no way for it to find the correct person but it was set to find someone who remotely looked like them in a database of criminals.


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