“Fawkes” can protect you from facial recognition online


Jason Hargrove/Flickr

Software called Fawkes “cloaks” photos to trick the deep learning computer models that power facial recognition…

The rapid rise of facial recognition systems has placed the technology into many facets of our daily lives, whether we know it or not…But thus far, people have had few protections against this use of their images—apart from not sharing photos publicly at all.

The Fawkes project provides a powerful new protection mechanism.

With enough cloaked photos in circulation, a computer observer will be unable to identify a person from even an unaltered image, protecting individual privacy from unauthorized and malicious intrusions.

Math and science wins, again.

Saving the “Rosa Parks” bus

Museums often showcase artifacts that represent significant technological advances as symbols of our scientific progress. Cultural innovation, however, is more difficult to convey. In our quest to spotlight social change, curators at The Henry Ford search for objects that embody some of America’s most compelling cultural movements.

On December 1, 1955, African-American seamstress Rosa Parks was arrested for failing to give up her seat on a Montgomery city bus to a white man, breaking existing segregation laws. Many believe this act sparked the Civil Rights movement. When the opportunity arose, our staff recognized that the Rosa Parks bus would be an extraordinary addition to the museum—though it would be a long journey to acquire and restore it…

Montgomery bus station manager Charles H. Cummings had maintained a scrapbook of newspaper articles during the 1955–56 Montgomery bus boycott. Next to articles describing the arrest of Rosa Parks, he wrote “#2857” and “Blake/#2857.” James Blake was the bus driver who had Rosa Parks arrested. The son and wife of Mr. Cummings, now deceased, confirm that he jotted down the bus number because he felt the events were so important.

Often, as in this case, historical truth is not officially recorded, but is passed along in private memoirs and oral tradition.

Never forget. Never relent!

Dubai recycles 50,000 gallons of cooking oil every day

Every single day, 14,000 eateries across Dubai discard roughly 80,000 gallons of cooking fats, oil and grease from some of our most favourite kitchens, enough to fill 1,600 average-sized bathtubs.

But thanks to a public-private partnership called Envirol inked in 2006 between Dubai Municipality and Blue — an eco firm owned by Al Serkal Group — up to 50,000 gallons of the contaminated greasy waste in Dubai are being collected from 7,000 eateries and transported to Blue’s recycling plant in Al Warsan.

For every gallon of oil and grease recycled, that’s one less gallon being dumped in Dubai Municipal landfills and the city sewer system, lessening the threat of it permeating groundwater or making its way into the sea…

The Blue recycling process converts 70 per cent of the oil waste to clean water to be used for irrigation, a further 20 per cent is converted to fertiliser for farming and gardening with the final 10 per cent turned into a refined oil to be converted to environment-friendly biodiesel.

Even small nations dependent upon producing crude oil for their GDP can sort out the need for recycling the stuff from a useless retail residue into more than one form for re-use.

Whiners wrong again — MLB with player support for Black Lives Matter sets TV records


Mark J. Terrill/AP

Despite the repeated insistence by some that the return of national anthem protests would cause MLB television ratings to crater, the two games televised to a national audience Thursday night set multiple viewership records.

According to Nielsen ratings shared by ESPN, the first regular season game of the season between the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals averaged an audience of 4,00,000 viewers, which is a new record for an MLB opening night game telecast. The broadcast was the most-watched regular season MLB game on any network since 2011.

In addition, the late game between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers generated an average audience of 2,764,000 viewers, and was the network’s most-watched MLB regular season game in a 10 p.m. ET slot ever. Locally, the broadcast drew a 6.9 rating in the San Francisco market — a figure that makes it the highest-rated regular season MLB game in the SF market since 2013.

Always an extra tug on the heartstrings seeing the folks who get to be role models for so many young Americans in particular demonstrate solidarity with the fight against racism. Especially in this land at this time, when so many politicians, including the thug in the White House, make it clear the bigot status quo is OK with them.