Play Twins or Not With Images and Face API

If you’re being told that you look like someone famous all the time, or just want to check up how familiar you look yourself, then there is a new website for you. The TwinsOrNot.net site allows you to upload and match two images and get a percentual answer on how much the two match.

The site is created by Mat Velloso, the same guy that was behind the how-old.net site. The new site uses the Face API in Project Oxford, a platform of intelligent services, one of the many available in the Machine Learning APIs. The most impressive of all, it was built in just four hours from idea to the finished site function.

People have been using it not just to match with famous people, but also their own family. What side of the family does the new baby resemble the most. Did you grandfather look like you or not? There are many possibilities. People are also having fun by uploading new and old photos of themselves to check how accurate the algorithms are and how much you have changed over the years.

This comes after the initial, and somewhat pointless, method demonstrated to guess the age based on a photo that you provided. If you’d like to check this out yourself, then head on right over to twinsornot.net and start the fun. Upload any two images.

Permanently League of Legends Ban for Profanity in Just 15 Minutes

This was bound to happen sooner or later since most players I’ve seen on either League of Legends or Dota 2 gain faster profanity skills than any other game-wise skills. Thankfully, Riot Games shares the same vision and wants to keep League of Legends a fun and welcoming place.

The developer wants to make an automatic world-wide banning system for players who use verbal harassment in the game. The system is said to have rolled out for the European Union, but should the tests prove to be successful, it will roll out in the rest of the regions soon enough.

The system works by sending notification cars to players who have used verbal harassment in matches, providing an evidence of the latter and an appropriate punishment that will take effect. The player can be punished in two ways, with either a two-week ban or a permanent ban, after exiting the match. It takes only 15 minutes after the match ends for the system to register the verbal harassment and deliver the ban.

Riot states that the player behaviour team is looking over all verbal harassments being reported and if the test goes as planned, the system will be available worldwide shortly. But this is not all that it brings. The new system will also keep players who reported others up to date with the process status and rewards players for positive gameplay. Personally, if the system gets rid of all annoying players out there, it might even tempt me to join the MOBA community. How about you? What are your thoughts?

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information

Tinder Adds Instagram Support so You Can Share Your Most Private Videos with Strangers

Tinder made quite a bit of progress lately, especially on its subscription side. However, the Facebook integration doesn’t seem to be enough for the company, which now aims to roll out a new update that adds Instagram support to its growing ‘swipy’ world.

The latest Tinder update is said to let you swipe through Instagram photos, with support of up to 34 photos and videos for each account. The company has even integrated so as to redirect you to the person’s Instagram profile upon tapping a picture, providing he or she has the profile public.

Instagram is said to provide Tinder users with a better overview of how socially connected you are to the person you are about to swipe. Up until now, the Facebook integration showed you the friends you have in common with the person you are viewing, but it wasn’t enough to get you a match. Tinder aims to bring a more detailed feature that lets you have a glimpse of who that person is and hopes to bring better matches in the future.

Tinder has also announced that the integration will be available for both free and pro subscribers, so if you either use the app just for a laugh or hope to find your other half, you can still fiddle with the company’s latest feature. But let’s be honest about it, who uses Tinder as a professional dating app? Do you?

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

Video courtesy of The Verge and image courtesy of Business Insider

Walmart Enters Pricing War with Amazon

Black Friday and Cyber Monday plans are already in full swing for major American based retailers Walmart and Amazon. These two famous shop-till-you-drop holidays are set to churn massive sales figures for retail giants.

One of USA’s biggest retailers, Wal-Mart has reportedly made a brave decision to price match Amazon US in any of their products in these upcoming sale frenzies. Wal-Mart’s price match guarantee has been advertised to include any advertised sale price and extends across their brick-and-mortar to online stores.

Previously this sale matching guarantee didn’t include Amazon, reportedly due to Wal-Mart’s apparent higher cost for storage of retail items and Amazon’s 10-year experience in the field. This recent change comes as a shock to many and may prove that Wal-Mart either have something to prove, or are desperate for market share.

Wal-Mart have claimed that this price matching offer is to help generate sales year-round, saying that quite often they will see customers walk into their premises ready to purchase a product, but will then wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales to purchase at a saving. Many media outlets are reporting that this decision will not affect Wal-Marts profits too heavily and their US CEO Greg Foran agrees.

Don’t be confused however, Wal-Mart’s price match will reportedly not cover only Black Friday and Cyber Monday – they are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Image courtesy of Chiphell

OkCupid Follows in Facebook’s Footsteps, Admits to be Experimenting on Humans

After the Facebook fiasco and their little research on human behaviour, it seems that its time for OkCupid, the online dating service, to do the same. The service is said to have admitted that it too had manipulated what is shows users in order to see what would happen.

Three examples of the experiment are said to have been posted by OkCupid’s co-founder, Christian Rudder, in an article entitled “We Experiment On Human Beings!”. It can be viewed over at the site’s OkTrends blog.

“OkCupid doesn’t really know what it’s doing,” said Rudder. “Neither does any other website. It’s not like people have been building these things for very long, or you can go look up a blueprint or something. Most ideas are bad. Even good ideas could be better. Experiments are how you sort all this out.”

It is said that when talking about Facebook and its experiment that involved manipulating users’ news feeds in order to study their real-life reactions, Rudder stated the following:

“Guess what, everybody,” he says, “if you use the internet, you’re the subject of hundreds of experiments at any given time, on every site. That’s how websites work.”

The first experiment is said to have happened in January 2013, when the website removed all user images and called it “Love is Blind Day”. The user count is said to have been low on that day, but those who were online proved to have responded 44% more often to messages.

The second one involved the user’s rating, a score given to them by other users. Rudder attempted to see how much the user’s profile image counts when rating someone by presenting a small subset of users with their profile text hidden. He stated to have found that only 10% of the typical user’s score is based on what they write about themselves, while 90% is based on the profile image.

The final experiment is stated to have been more “controversial”, having OkCupid tweak with the users’ “match” rating. It is basically used to show people’s “compatibility” rating based on the information given by the user.

“In the back of our minds, there’s always been the possibility: maybe it works just because we tell people it does. Maybe people just like each other because they think they’re supposed to? Like how Jay-Z still sells albums?” Rudder stated

OkCupid has then tweaked the compatibility ratings for most of its users and noticed how many single messages led to a full conversation. The experiment noted that most users do not talk to each other due to the low compatibility ration, for example 20% or 30%. Change those to a 90% and it seems that ‘weird things happen’.

All in all, what Facebook and OkCupid did are far from ethical, but it still underlines a solid truth in all. When information is available on the internet, we tend to trust it more than we trust ourselves. Do we really need a webpage or app to tell us who to love or what to believe in?

Thank you The Guardian for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of The Guardian

Facebook Facial Recognition Software Proven to be More Accurate than FBI Counterpart

There has been a lot of debating when it comes to facial recognition, having the FBI scare people off with its Next Generation Identification project and its intention to gather millions of photos in a federal database.

However, the FBI’s system has been proven to be inaccurate despite the EFF’s concern regarding people’s privacy and pointing out the fact that innocent people might end up in the ‘pool’ of photos. It is said that the NGI returns a ranked list of 50 possibilities, giving only a 85 percent chance of returning the suspect’s name in the list. This means that one in several suspects might slip away from the analysis and nobody can do anything about it.

Comparing the FBI’s project to Facebook’s DeepFace system revealed at the IEEE Computer Vision conference could make the law enforcement agency look like little kids playing with toy blocks. It is said that DeepFace can return a match in two pictures with a 97 percent accuracy, similar to having a human witnessing a suspect. Nonetheless, both the social media giant and the authorities are still far away from true facial-recognition capabilities.

Shahar Belkin, CTO of FST Biometrics, describes that for a facial recognition software to work, it currently needs a person to stare into a camera at an offset of 15 degrees at most off the center axis. Even so, the actual camera or photograph needs to present a high density of pixels and resolution, namely to be a high-quality picture. This is why Belkin states that we are still far away from actual face-recognition software that works. Street cameras and even surveillance cameras are not made for facial-recognition technology due to their poor image quality and angle.

This does not mean that your privacy is secure though. Facebook may win in facial recognition, but it does however present an opportunity which the FBI could take advantage of. While the law enforcement agency cannot provide a fully working facial recognition system just yet, it can still drag the social media giant into court orders to gain access to its database. It is just a matter of time until a fully working facial recognition system will emerge.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of The Verge

Mensa Match – Match.com Now With Dating Options for Mensa Members

Looking for someone with similar interest and intellectual ability as your highly developed self? Match.com have paired up with Mensa to create Mensa Match – allowing some of the worlds smartest to match up with one another.

Mensa is deemed by some to be a ‘snobbish’ community of intellectuals, but there is no denying that it’s hard to get your foot in. This elite society only allows in those of the top 98th percentile of IQ based intelligence which means approximately 1 in 50 people are eligible.

As announced on Mensa.org 

American Mensa isn’t just about encouraging adults to think; connections over ideas and interests have always been a part of our culture, and now Mensa Match helps Mensans connect on a more emotional level. In partnership with Match.com®”

Some people may see this as elite level snobbery, but when some ‘Mensans’ were asked for information on their dating life and opinions on this new advancement, they replied positively.

“I’m looking for people who are intellectually curious. And when all you’re talking about is sports teams and barbeques … when you’re talking about physical traits and not existential philosophy, I’m not going to get the vibe.” Stated Mensa member Anne Sereg on CNN

According to Match.com’s information, 80% of their user base say that finding someone with a similar intelligence level as them is a must or at least very important. To take this to the extreme, Mensa member Peter Baimbridge remarked (on national Television) that those with an IQ of “around 60 are probably a carrot” as seen on Mirror.co.uk.

In addition to Mensa Match, Mensa members can also elect to have a special badge applied to their profile to flaunt their achievement.

Image courtosey of We Love Dates

Google Demos First Five Glass Minigames, Not Looking So ‘Normal’ In Public

According to The Verge, Google has demoed their first five minigames for Glass. Up until now, Glass has been shown to send messages, make calls, and do other standard things that smartphones can do, but it’s still lacking in games.

But Google apparently did not like its Glass to be all work and no play. They have demoed their first five minigames for Glass that are super simple, but which also show the gaming potential of the headset. When you say “Ok Glass, play a game”, it will bring up the minigames from the main voice menu. Each game takes advantage of a specific Glass technology.

For example, ‘Tennis’ looks to use the gyroscope and accelerometer to detect head tilts and hit the ball. ‘Balance’ is said to also uses the accelerometer to keep a bunch of shapes from toppling over. ‘Clay Shooter’ is played with the help of voice recognition to shoot clay pigeons out of the air, ‘Match’ apparently has you pairing objects using head movements, and ‘Shape Splitter’ seems that has you slicing objects with your hands in front of Glass’s camera.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9naxeHGIaRY#t=0[/youtube]

Google reportedly created the games to be just as simple as they sound. They’re easy to turn on and play when you have a few minutes of free time, and are easy to get out of when you need to come back to the real world. However, anyone yelling “Pull!” to shoot a pigeon down from the sky in a Glass game will look even weirder than a person simply wearing Glass.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
Video courtesy of The Verge

Name It! Acronym GameTo Be Released On The App Store This Month

An interesting new trivia game that tasks players with knowing abbreviations, acronyms and symbols is coming to the Apple App Store later this month. If you are the kind of person who gets great satisfaction out of knowing what OMG and YOLO means, this game is for you.

The game is called “Name It!”, and the players will have to match clues with the correct abbreviation, acronym or symbol (AAS). After that the AAS will be dragged into difference categories. The players can then choose one of the AAS’s and will be required to answer 10 questions (minimum) about it and what it represents.

The game is fast paced and there will be timers to beat to earn extra points. These are the features of the game;

· Lots of different AASs/clues
· Several bridge AASs
· At least 170 multiple-choice and true-false questions
· Lots of interesting info
· A lightning round with 10 new AASs/clues

You can also go to the website and submit an AAS if you think you have a good one for them to include in the game. Geeks will definitely love this game.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rTk9SC2iH8[/youtube]

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information

Image and video courtesy of NextPowerUp.