Microsoft’s ‘CaptionBot’ Adds Incorrect Captions to Your Favourite Pictures

Microsoft, as part of its new research into storytelling by artificial intelligence, has released CaptionBot, an AI designed to recognise images and add an appropriate descriptive caption. However, like its previous attempt at AI – chatbot Tay – CaptionBot isn’t entirely successful. As with Tay, though, the results are hilarious (and without any fascistic or incestuous overtones).

The accompanying academic paper, titled Visual Storytelling [PDF], describes how the Microsoft Sequential Image Narrative Dataset (SIND) applies value judgements to picture content, setting, composition, and human expression in an attempt to describe the scene. The paper adds:

“There is a significant difference, yet unexplored, between remarking that a visual scene shows “sitting in a room” – typical of most image captioning work – and that the same visual scene shows “bonding”. The latter description is grounded in the visual signal, yet it brings to bear information about social relations and emotions that can be additionally inferred in context.”

To set CaptionBot’s base level, 10,117 CC-licensed Flickr albums were ploughed through by Amazon Mechanical Turks, who assigned tradition captions to a series of pictures. An ‘average’ description of each picture was derived by the multitude of entries, and that average was reduced to an algorithm that CaptionBot could apply to fresh images in order to evaluate them.

“Captioning is about taking concrete objects and putting them together in a literal description,” Margaret Mitchell, lead researcher on the project, said in a Microsoft blog post. “What I’ve been calling visual storytelling is about inferring conceptual and abstract ideas from those concrete objects.”

China Releases True Colour HD Photos of the Moon

The China National Space Administration has released a series of beautiful images from its recent moon mission. The photos – all true colour and high definition, taken by the Chang’e 3 lunar lander and Yutu rover in 2013 – are available for download from the Chinese Science and Application Center for Moon and Deepspace Exploration website. While the Chinese site is a tad unstable, thankfully Senior Editor and planetary evangelist Emily Lakdawalla grabbed some of the highlights and is hosting them on the Lunar Society blog.

China’s Chang’e 3 mission – named for the Goddess of the Moon in Chinese mythology – was the first soft moon landing for 37 years, the first since Russia’s Luna 24 mission in 1976. The Yutu rover, nicknamed the “Jade Rabbit” then explored and photographed the lunar surface with its HD camera, radar, x-ray, and infrared spectrometers.

The results from the Chang’e 3 mission suggested that lunar surface is more diverse than previously thought.

After a year of exposure to lunar conditions, Yutu was left frozen, unable to fully mobilise, and yet was still able to collect data and images, and beam them back to China, until March 2015.

An image from NASA (courtesy of TechCrunch) shows where the Chang’e 3 lunar lander touched down on the surface of the moon:

 

The US Snowfall Captured Through a Lense

The recent US snowfall has absolutely hammered the East Coast of America in terms of size and ferocity which has led to the cancellations of thousands of flights as well as leaving tens of thousands without power, below is a selection of stats which conveys the extent of this force of nature.

  • 40 inches of snow – Has been recorded in Glengary, West Virginia; 39 inches fell in Philomont, Virginia; and Redhouse, Maryland, received 38 inches.
  • 11 states declared states of emergency – Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia. Washington, D.C., has declared a “snow emergency.
  • 8,569 flights – Have been cancelled for Saturday and Sunday
  • More than 74,000 people – Without power.

Below is a selection of beautiful, fantastic yet thought-provoking images that conveys just how disruptive this storm has been for residents as well as the country as a whole.

Below is the first image of “Henry Street in the Chinatown neighbourhood of New York”, as you can see, this bustling street has rather ground to a halt.

Next Image below is of a “snowball fight at Dupont Circle in Washington, DC”, this image has been captured in pretty good detail.

The next image below conveys a gentleman by the name of “John Mexner who tries to make headway by shoveling  his vehicle out in Washington”. The morning commute looks rather in vain after the size of disruption from the storm.  

The next image below certainly conveys the amount of snow that has been dumped on the US, the gentleman within the photo is “Ben Osborn who walks with a shovel past a line of snowed-in cars in northeast Washington”, each car looks similar to a giant snowball.

The next image below is beautifully shot and conveys an individual who is producing a “snow angel in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C”, the blueness of the sky is a striking contrast to both the memorial and also the snow.

The last image is certainly thought-provoking and shows “Gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia”  being almost completely hidden from snow.

The last image may not be relevant to the US, but it is certainly stunning, it conveys a frozen mast within Fujian Jiuxian China, wow.

Image courtesy of BBC

Man Shoots Down Expensive Drone

Drones may be the future, but owners certainly need to take a bit more responsibility while flying them if this tale is anything to go by. A gentleman by the name of William H. Merideth looked skyward and noticed a Drone was flying over his property, so he acted the same way any American with access to war grade weapons would, he took aim and shot it down.

According to an account of the incident, Mr Merideth’s shotgun blast hit the Drone and the hardware crashed within a short distance of his home. When police arrived to investigate why there was ammunition being fired, Merideth admitted that he shot down the Drone because it was flying over his home. Mr Merideth then gave an interview to propaganda Republican 1 channel Fox News, which he explained his actions with the following statement

I went and got my shotgun and I said, ‘I’m not going to do anything unless it’s directly over my property.’ Within a minute or so, here it came. It was hovering over top of my property, and I shot it out of the sky…”

Owners of the Drone were slightly angry considering the machine was estimated to be worth $1,800 (£1152.75) they also claimed that they were only shooting photos of a friend’s house when the incident occurred. Police arrested Merideth and charged him with first degree criminal mischief before promptly releasing him the next day, law enforcement gave what was left of the crashed Drone back to its owners.

I haven’t really any sympathy with both parties, on one hand William Merideth should not have really shot someone else’s Drone down, on the other hand, don’t fly a machine over someone’s house. It will be interesting to note how police handle this in the future, if the fore mentioned gentleman does not receive a punishment, it will be shoot a Drone season arriving down a street very soon.

On a side note, what is wrong with the gun owner? There are ways to resolve conflicts rather than taking aim and firing a cartridge into a direction of anything which annoys you.

Thank You wdrb for providing us with this information

Google Photos App Continues to Sync Photos After Uninstall

One might think that an application would stop with the uploading and synchronizing of files when you uninstall it, but not so with the Google Photos App as David Arnott, a journalist at Nashville Business Journal, recently discovered.

After downloading and testing the Google Photos App, he decided that it wasn’t for him and uninstalled it again, expecting it to actually be removed and stop its functionality. But he discovered months later when visiting the online version of Photos that it didn’t and it had continued to upload and synchronize photos of him, his family, and other snapshots taken.

And where do you take out frustrations on developers, you do that on twitter; and so did David Arnott. In a series of five tweets, he posted his problem.

https://twitter.com/ArnottACBJ/status/618586832490643456

https://twitter.com/ArnottACBJ/status/618586917693689859

https://twitter.com/ArnottACBJ/status/618587166025850880

https://twitter.com/ArnottACBJ/status/618587493622018048

https://twitter.com/ArnottACBJ/status/618587574085492736

Google responded to Arnott in an Email, stating that “the backup was as intended” and that the settings would have to be turned off in the phone’s Google Play Services settings. In contrast to other application, Google Photos’ settings are connected with the Google Play Services where Google Play keeps Google Photos’ settings even after it is removed and continues to sync your files.

This surely can’t be right, it just isn’t appropriate for a service to continue to upload your personal photos to the cloud after you uninstalled it.

Thank you TechWorm for providing us with this information

Facebook Knows When You Missed The Flash

Let’s picture the scene, you upload a snap of a special occasion to your Facebook account to share with your friends, family and followers, as there are many people in the scene you decide to tag everyone individually, you think this will be easier for everyone, but there’s a problem, Facebook doesn’t recognize you as the moment the flash went off, you were pictured with your head to one side attempting to avoid a wasp which came hurtling towards you at warp speed.

Help may soon be at hand with an experimental algorithm which has been devised by Facebook’s artificial intelligence lab. This new technique is software which can recognise people in photographs even when it is unable to see their faces; instead it relies on points of reference which are unique to each individual. This can include hair style, specific clothing and even the pose which you often strike.

In order to test the final algorithm, researchers downloaded 40,000 public photos from Flickr which contained a mixture of clearly and obscure images of individuals. The algorithm was able to recognize the identities of individuals with an 83% success rate. As this is Facebook I am sure privacy of these photos were high on their agenda, cough cough.

This experiment does have the potential for real world applications, but there needs to be caution exercised if a machine can identify you without you wanting it to. If someone takes a photo before uploading the image to Facebook and you happen to be in the background, this algorithm will identify you for all to see.

Thank You New Scientist for providing us with this information

Image Courtesy of Geek Snack

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Photos and GPU-Z Details Revealed

We still have to wait a couple of days until we get to see some performance benchmarks and reviews of the new AMD Fury X graphics card powered by the Fiji GPU and with HBM memory. The release is scheduled for the 24th, but not everyone keeps up their end of the deal and release information prior.

That has given us all the beautiful photos of this new card that you see in this article, but it doesn’t stop with photos and more information has been released in form of a GPU-Z screenshot detailing the actual specifications.

The interesting part about the GPU-Z screenshot is found in the ROPs. AMD had previously disclosed 64 Render Output units but the GPU-Z clearly shows 128 here. Whether that is a bump up, false read information or something else, we don’t know. It’s still interesting, but we’ll have to wait for the official launch to get anything confirmed.

Other specifications for the Radeon R9 Fury X are that it uses the full version of AMD’s Fiji GPU named Fiji XT. This 596mm² GPU features 4GB HBM memory, over four thousand GCN stream processors, 256 texture mapping units and a massive 4096bit memory interface.

None of Fiji’s architectural details are embargoed and while AMD didn’t disclose any of them, that allows for others to reveal them and we’ll hopefully get more information about it soon.

In the meantime, you can enjoy all the photos below of the new AMD Radeon Fury X Graphics cards that already have been published on various outlets.

More than one person leaked photos of this beautiful card ahead of launch and we get another set of photos.

 

We also get to see it built-in and powered on. This gives a much better impression of the overall card than photos of just the card on its own.

Thanks to WCCFtech for providing us with this information

E3 2015 Booth Gallery

E3 2015 is well underway now, and with Sony and Microsoft delivering killer keynote presentations earlier this week, we thought we would bring you a quick look at some of the other fun stuff happening in and around the event. There’s a huge amount of booths at the show, although that likely comes as no surprise. However, there’s no doubt that many of you are unable to make it to the event, so why not check out this gallery of the fun you could see at the show, and who knows, perhaps it’ll be enough to tempt you into booking up tickets for next years show!

If you were at E3, which booths and more importantly, given this is a gaming event after all, which games would you be most eager to check out? There’s still a few days left of the show, so no doubt we can expect a few more cool surprises from various developers and studios, so stay tuned and we’ll bring you the latest as soon as we have it.

BitTorrent Wants to Offer More P2P Freedom on Mobile Devices With New App

BitTorrent just announced a new mobile app named Shoot that is based around P2P connectivity between individuals. While this sounds good to some people, others may think that this is a new means to start a piracy war on mobile devices. I mean, come on? Secure Peer-to-Peer connectivity on mobile devices and BitTorrent? What’s next, The Mobile Bay?

The company may have good intentions for releasing their new Shoot app to anyone looking to transfer photos and some big videos on the go, but I’m fairly sure the app will not be used exactly for what they have in mind. BitTorrent Shoot is said to be based on their Sync technology already available on all major mobile devices.

“Shoot allows you to send photos or videos directly between mobile devices, no matter what device you use or what network you’re on. Based on BitTorrent Sync technology, large items are no problem. And since files move directly between people without going through the cloud, it’s all fully private to you and the recipient.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOaOycHcNO0

BitTorrent Shoot is available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone and allows 3 sends for free. If you like to send more, you have to couch up $1.99. A good thing about it is that you can receive an unlimited number of files, even if you haven’t bought it. So what do you think? Is it really worth its price?

Image courtesy of BitTorrent

Holus Turns Your 2D Photos into 3D Holograms

No matter how well Don Draper was able to wax lyrical about them, slide shows are all too often a tedious exposure to other people’s mundane memories, but do you know what makes holiday snaps and baby photos infinitely more interesting? Holograms! At least, that’s what startup H+ is counting on, with its innovative display unit that turns 2D digital photos into 3D holographic recreations. The Holus is a tabletop holographic projector that is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.

As the product is described on Kickstarter:

“Holus is a tabletop holographic platform that converts any digital content from a computer, tablet or smartphone into a 3D hologram. To put it simply, whether it is a board game, DNA structure or the solar system, your content comes alive – view it from four different angles and interact with it in ways that have never been possible.”

A pledge of at least $550 will guarantee you a Holus Home Edition when the first shipments are released in July 2016, while $650 will get you a Holus Pro (or would have, had they not all been snapped up already). The Pro model includes an HDMI port and a software development kit, both features that are absent from the home edition.

Holus has already exceeded its $50,000 Kickstarter pledge goal, raising $71,505 (at the time of writing) in just a day.

Mad Max’s Insane Vehicles Look Awesome in Lego

No pop culture phenomenon is complete until it gets made in Lego form. Thankfully for fans of Mad Max: Fury Road, that moment has arrived.

A Flickr user has uploaded a massive photo gallery of his collection of Lego inspired by the movie’s incredible array of outlandish vehicles. He’s recreated everything from the ludicrous Doof Wagon to Immortal Joe’s Gigahorse and Furiosa’s almighty War Rig. You can check out more Lego versions of the film’s vehicles over at Lego Will’s Flickr page.

The film was released earlier this month and has an IMDB rating of 8.7/10. A summary of the film is below:

“Years after the collapse of civilization, the tyrannical Immortal Joe enslaves apocalypse survivors inside the desert fortress the Citadel. When the warrior Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) leads the despot’s five wives in a daring escape, she forges an alliance with Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), a loner and former captive. Fortified in the massive, armored truck the War Rig, they try to outrun the ruthless warlord’s henchmen in a high-speed, deadly chase through the Wasteland.”

It has made $239,289,534 since the launch based on the box office’s estimated figures and stars the likes of Tom Hardy(mad max himself), Charlize Theron (Imperator Furiosa) and Nicholas Hoult (Nux).

Here are some of the photos:

 

Thank you to Flikr for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Flikr / LEGO Will

Yahoo Labs Finds Filtered Photos Are More Popular

A new paper from Yahoo Labs “Why We Filter Our Photos and How It Impacts Engagement” delves into its findings after analyzing 7.6million photos on Flickr. They found that filters boost engagement on Flickr.

Thanks to social photo sharing apps the majority of the photos we seem to see these days on the internet have been filtered. Filtered photos sure have their haters, but love them or hate them they are here to stay. Yahoo Labs found that photos that are filtered are 21% more likely to be viewed than their original and 45% more likely to be commented on.

Yahoo Labs even found that warmer filters boost engagement more than cooler filters. So now you know if you want your photos to be a bit more popular always go for warm filters. They even were able to nail down that casual shooters tend to use heavy filtering while more experienced photographers generally use filters that have a light effect. So the takeaway is if you don’t want to look like a casual photographer you need to use filters that lightly enhance the photos, not change them drastically. It sure is an interesting point, as it wouldn’t have occurred to me that choosing a filter made that much difference to how others give it their attention.

Sony Reveals New Range of Compact Cameras

Sony has recently unveiled some more additions to their Cyber-Shot digital camera range. The new cameras feature slimmed down bodies and some more high-end functions.

The HX90,HX90V and the WX500 are extremely compact cameras yet provide some seriously big specs; the cameras use an 18 megapixel Sensor and take advantage of the Bionz X image processor to provide you with some seriously high quality photos. The cameras use a lens that provides you with up to 30x optical zoom, and a further digital processed zoom up to 60x. The cameras have an ISO range between 80 and 3200 then extendable to 12800 if required.

The camera range has a five-axis image stabilization system, similar to their Alpha range. The system allows you to record stunning full HD movies at 60fps. Various effects are available too; you can add effects such as the Beauty effect to your videos and photos. The software provides 13 effects for still images and 7 effects for videos with WiFi and NFC capabilities allowing for you to seamlessly to connect to the cloud and the PlayMemories apps.

The cameras have 3 inch LCD screens on the back to allow you to have a sneak peek at your holiday snaps. The HX90 and the HX90V have a pop up view finder too if you really want to get the best photo.

Sony is planning to release the cameras in June at around £230 for the WX500 and £290 for the GPS equipped HX90V. The prices for the other cameras have not been revealed as of yet.

Thanks to electronista.com for this information

Images Courtesy of komputerswiat.pl

Leaked iPhone 6C Photos Leaked!

The next new iPhone may have just had pictures of it leaked by Future Supplier, that claim to show the rear casing of the rumored iPhone 6C. The authenticity of the photos has not been confirmed as yet, and there are noticeable differences to the back of the device compared to previous models.

The noticeable differences are the cutout for the camera flash, as well as the microphone and speaker holes, which are obviously in a different configuration. Setting this “6C” back from the current 6 models is the lack of a camera bump. As these are leaked photos that can’t be verified as of yet it is best to take them with a grain or two of salt, though many Apple leaks have turned out to be true in the past.

Source: 9to5 Mac

$12,500 for Reporting Facebook Bug That Allowed You To Delete Anyone’s Photos

Researcher Laxman Muthiya discovered that Facebook had extraordinarily simple bug that essentially gave anyone the ability to delete any photo on Facebook. Literally, any photo – this could have given someone the ability to delete every single photo on Facebook.

The bug used Facebook’s Graph API, which basically allows anyone to delete an entire photo album with one command. That of course only applies to the photos that belong to you and are in your account – not photos from other accounts. However, using the mobile version of that API, the following command was all it took to instantly wipe pretty much anyone’s Facebook photos.

Request :-
DELETE /518171421550249 HTTP/1.1
Host :  graph.facebook.com 
Content-Length: 245
access_token= facebook_for_android_access_token

Now there’s quite a few people who would have taken this as quite an opportunity to cause some mayhem. It could have developed into a massive problem for Facebook all over the world, except Muthiya decided against that and did the right thing – he reported it to Facebook. The company kindly gave him $12,500 for his discovery.

Source: The Verge

OS X 10.10.3 Seeded to Developers – Includes Highly Anticipated ‘Photos’ App

Apple has just seeded the first beta of OS X 10.10.3 to developers, asking them test a number of tweaks and improvements, but most importantly, asking them to test the newly included Photos app – the iPhoto replacement that has apparently been heavily delayed.

Photos is set to be the all-out replacement for iPhoto, the app Apple introduced in the early 2000s as part of its ‘digital hub’ strategy. That was the concept that the Mac would become the centre of someone’s digital life, in that you would sync your iPod, your camcorder and your camera with your Mac acting as the central hub between all of the devices.

Of course, that isn’t the case these days, with the cloud having essentially taken that place of the hub. So Photos will essentially be the iPhoto of the cloud, tying in with Apple’s (currently in beta) iCloud Photos providing easy sync between Mac and iOS devices.

Developers are the only ones with access so far, with registered public testers possibly getting a chance to access it soon.

Source: Re/code

Twitter Begs Power Users to Stop Using Instagram

Twitter has been messaging high-profile users, imploring them to tweet photos directly, rather than links to Instagram. The message includes an image comparison, showing the difference between a Twitter photo and an Instagram link (above).

After Instagram was purchased by Facebook in 2012, Twitter stopped supporting Twitter Card integration for Instagram photos, so instead of the image only a link is displayed. The move was considered spiteful at the time, since Twitter had expressed an interest in buying the photo sharing app before Facebook pipped them to the purchase. The decision seems churlish now that Instagram’s 300 million userbase now surpasses Twitters 284 users.

In an effort to mitigate the damage, Twitter introduced its own Instagram-esque photo filters towards the end of 2012, but it has done little to sway the younger demographic that has flocked to Instagram over the last two years.

Twitter’s latest attempt to gain back photo traffic smacks of desperation. Whether it will work remains to be seen.

Source: TechCrunch

Miss Disposable Cameras? WhiteAlbum For iOS is For You

Do you miss the days of disposable cameras? The times that meant the picture you took was the picture you got? Well, a new iOS app might be just for you.

WhiteAlbum aims to bring back some of the excitement and mystery of film by making picture taking really important. After taking your picture, you get no chance to see it again, that’s unless you order prints of them. Yes, the photos you take are final and are not transferred to your camera roll. Instead they get sent off to a server for printing – just like the good old days (except the server part).

Another big part of taking pictures before digital was the cost – each picture you took cost you money. For 24 of those prints, that’ll cost you $20; a far cry from today’s trigger happy picture taking.

The app on the other hand is available for free from the iOS App Store.

Source: The Next Web

New Google Technology Can Automatically Describe Images

Google has unveiled an interesting new technology that can automatically analyse images and provide in some cases, accurate descriptions of what appears in those images.

The “intelligent computer vision software” can scan a collection of images and provide general descriptions of what can be seen. Those descriptions can then be tagged to the images and used to make a Google search more accurate or to, according to Google, “eventually help visually impaired people understand pictures” and “provide alternate text for images in parts of the world where mobile connections are slow”.

While the technology isn’t yet completely accurate for every single image, it does however produce rather amazing results for some images:

Source: The Next Web

The Multiplayer Exploration Game, World of Diving, Now in Steam Early Access

It’s been over a year since we first reported about World of Diving, this was back when the game was launched as an Indigogo campaign. Now the alpha version of this multiplayer underwater exploration game has made it to Steam’s Early Access program, as well as some other game platforms.

Back then Vertigo, the creators of this game, promised to develop it tightly with it’s founding helpers, and they have done just that. Listened to their users feedback and created features based on them. On of the cool things worth mentioning right away about this game, is the virtual reality support it gains via the Oculus Rift. An amazing feature in such an exploration game.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYWJMt9zuDM[/youtube]

This is not a game about killing stuff or going head-to-head with some killer shark, it’s all about exploration, discovering sunken treasures and ship wrecks. You can take photos and join up in multiplayer with your friends for some cooperation. Of course, like almost any game these days, you can customize your characters appearance to your liking, whether it might be a ripped washboard stomach, a tiny bikini or maybe you’re even one of the few who would chose a full-body suit.

This is an early access alpha game, but already has a lot of features such as a mission editor, a diving base, historical sunken ships and aircrafts to discover and much more. The next update will see German WW2 Battleship the Bismarck added while the eventual full release will boast animal companions and more fully featured multiplayer.

The game is available now on steam for a price of $19.99 / € 19.99 / £ 14.99. A relative high price considering the state of the game, but that’s the deal with early access.

Thank you Steam for providing us with this information.

Images and video courtesy of Vertigo.

 

There was no ‘Leak’ to the iCloud – Apple Proclaims

We’re sure you’ve seen the above image by now. In recent days, an apparent Apple iCloud hack has seen numerous A-list celebrities have naked pictures and videos leaked all over the internet – stemming from popular image board website 4chan. Some people seem to think they may have even found the original perpetrator in this case.

Apple has now come to their own defence, claiming that it was not in fact an iCloud ‘leak’ but these celebrities have had their personal accounts hacked individually. Apples Natalie Kerris explained:

“We wanted to provide an update to our investigation into the theft of photos of certain celebrities. When we learned of the theft, we were outraged and immediately mobilized Apple’s engineers to discover the source. Our customers’ privacy and security are of utmost importance to us. After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet. None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.

To protect against this type of attack, we advise all users to always use a strong password and enable two-step verification. Both of these are addressed on our website at http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4232.” Business Wire

So although technically not a leak, Apple are claiming that these stars have fallen victim to “social engineering”. Although this is quite possibly true, Apple has already had some serious damage dealt to their reputation surrounding iCloud as a whole since this story surfaced just a few short days ago.

Moral of the story once again? If you’re going to take these kinds of photos, don’t store them anywhere on, at or near the internet!

Stay tuned to eTeknix for more information as it develops.

Image courtesy of 4chan

The Main Suspect behind the Celebrity Nude Leak Denies All Accusations

The leak of hundreds of erotic and nude photos of celebrities quickly got the interest of most of the internet and has dominated the news headlines for the past day already. As it is with every leak, people start to wonder where it came from and who could be behind it. Like before, the users of reddit and 4chan started their own investigation and also got some results quite fast.

They started the claim that the 26-year old web developer Bryan Hamade was behind the hack and leak. This was based on the posted screenshots that appeared online that showed a series of names that could be connected to the web development company Southern Digital Media. At first however they thought it was the 15-year old intern that was the culprit, but quickly changed their target towards the server administrator.

Hamade has given several interviews and is denying any and all allegations that he should be the hacker, saying “I only reposted one thing that was posted elsewhere and stupidly had my network folders visible.”

“I am not the original leaker. The real guy is on 4chan posting intermittently,” Hamade says. “He’s most likely the one behind it, but it does seem the photos passed around to multiple people before being leaked, so it may just be someone who has them and didn’t hack to get them. I’d never in a million years know how to hack into any of the accounts listed. 4chan just attacked me because they like to attack anyone in situations such as this.”

Hamade has also become the target of serious abuse in the wake of the accusations. It’s been a nightmare and he hasn’t slept for 34 hours, he said in a statement to BuzzFeed. He is being bombarded by email threatening him and to hack his websites and calling him at home to insult him only to hang up again. They even said they would hack his mothers website, so he took that down for now.

Hamade really regrets that he shared the photos, specially since he didn’t even get any Bitcoins out of it. “It’s the stupidest thing I’ve done and I hope it won’t ruin my life, though it probably will sine it’s the biggest news story.”

I honestly hope that this story won’t turn into another version of the CCTV investigation by the Reddit community on the Boston marathon bombings, where their identified suspect turned out to be an innocent homeless man, and was found dead. Vigilante actions aren’t the solution.

Apple is currently investigating the breach, but haven’t said anything definite about the attacks yet. “We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report,” said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris. Some reports also indicate that the photos have been sold on black market sites for some time, but it wasn’t until they hit 4chan that the general population found out about it.

Thank you Business Insider for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Business Insider.

Ex-F1 Head taking Google to the High Court over Sex Photos

Max Mosley, the son of the ex-British Union of Fascists,  has issued High Court proceedings against Google recently – claiming that they are in breach of UK’s data protection act.

Unfortunately for Mosely, this is not the first time these damaging news have reached the public eye. Back in 2008, Britain’s News of the World tabloid published unsavoury images and accused Mosely of organizing a sex party with a Nazi theme. Mosely successfully sued the paper with the High Court ruling that the story was not in the public interest.

Google has stated they are working with Mosely on the issue at hand, which involves images of the ex-FIA boss with prostitutes

There have been no other public statements.

Image courtesy of the FIA

Wink And Snap A Photo With Google Glass

Google Glass has updated software in its internet-linked eyewear to allow users to snap pictures by winking. The new feature, which promises to escalate privacy concerns already being voiced about the hi-tech gadget, came as one of an array of improvements. Google Glass posted on its Google+ social network page;

“We have got a new setting that lets you quickly and easily capture the moments you care about with a simple wink of the eye. We are starting with pictures, but just think about what else is possible.”

Notions put forth included Glass wearers some way paying for cab rides by winking at meters or paying for something in a shop with a blink. Other updates included letting owners lock eyewear so it can not be used unless a person knows the “handshake” of swipes and taps. The “Glassware” code powering the device was also modified to allow uploads directly to the Google-owned video sharing site YouTube.

“Glass is about helping you look up and experience the world around you without getting bogged down by technology,” Google said.

The hi-tech accoutrement lets wearers take pictures, record video, send messages or perform other tasks with touch controls or by speaking commands. It connects to the internet using Wi-Fi hot spots or being tethered to smartphones. Facebook, Twitter and major news organizations have already tailored apps for Google Glass, which has only been made available to developers and a limited selection of “explorers” who paid $1,500 each for the hi-tech eyewear. Envisioned uses range from practical tasks such as shopping or delivering local weather reports, to sharing real time video streams or playing augmented reality games, in which the world would be the board or platform.

Google has not made an announcement for a public release date for Google Glass, however speculation is that it will arrive around early 2014.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EvNxWhskf8[/youtube]

Welcome to Google Glass, an insight on Google Glass’s settings and functions

Thank you News.com.au for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of AP 

Instagram now sells users photos to advertisers

Facebook’s acquired the photo-sharing website Instagram and has now updated its privacy policy which gives itself the right to sell photos without notifying users.

The terms that were included by Instagram are as follows:

“We may share your information as well as information from tools like cookies, log files, and device identifiers and location data with organisations that help us provide the service to you… (and) third-party advertising partners.”

It later on continued:

“To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

Although the photos will belong to users and privacy restrictions will not be altered, that will not be enough to prevent/stop Instagram from selling the photos to advertisers to recommend a product to another users.

Facebook is no stranger to privacy issues that has been raised time and time again and many people questioned about their privacy ever since Facebook bought Instagram in April for $1 Billion, but everytime Facebook alters its privacy policy, there is always a backlash.

There are a lack of proper opt-out options within the terms and conditions which has seen the complete Facebook business model drawing a lot of criticism as of late. As of now, the only way you can opt out is by deleting your account before the 16th January.

Source: BBC