Sep 13 2007

No Sleep – Average Faces And Gigantic Firewalls

OK it is 6.55am over here, and I am still up, hoping to catch another WorldWide Wednesday opportunity over at PayPerPost, as I managed to last week (see the Argus post). If it does not appear soon, I shall give up and grab some sleep. The official release time for these opps is Wednesday midday until Thursday midday, EST. Here in Astana, Kazakhstan, we are 10 hours ahead of that time (no daylight saving time adjustments over here), so if I’m lucky, I may not miss the releases whilst asleep.
In the mean time, here are a couple of articles I found interesting…

Although I will not need to get a new passport for another 6 years (and therefore, unless a new law is passed, not have to have biometric information added to it with a RID chip (thats a whole other ‘Aware Or Conspiracy Nut‘ post for another day…) facial recognition is already in use at the passport control areas I usually use when flying home. Because of this, I need to remove my glasses (and also not smile, I recently discovered) to ensure that the cameras in the official’s booths can easily measure the distance between my eyes, nose, mouth size etc. and compare it to the passport photo. Although this software aids the fight against the use of false ID, it is not perfect. This BBC article explains how a researcher has discovered that by averaging different photos of a human face into one composite, both computers and humans make less mistakes comparing real life faces to the photo. This should eventually lead to a higher accuracy rate…
Lastly, we have another article, this time on how the Chinese Great Firewall is not so great when under strain. The article goes into some detail about how the Chinese authorities actually manage the flow of information on subjects they would rather their citizens did not have unfettered access to. However, I would really like to hear from anyone who has some first hand knowledge in this area (are you reading this Gavin?), as I was previously under the impression that the so called Great Firewall of China was infact NOT centrally administered or even based, and that the blocking of sites and information was the responsibility of the different ISPs that serve different areas of China. From previous blog posts I have read elsewhere, a resident of one area in China may find they are able to access sites that someone thousands of kilometres away can not. Anyone able to enlighten me?

I have just noticed this blog is #1 on Google for the term Aware Conspiracy Nut 🙂

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