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Who’s using your face? The ugly truth about facial recognition
In order to feed this hungry system, a plethora of face repositories — such as IJB-C — have sprung up, containing images manually culled and bound together from sources as varied as university campuses, town squares, markets, cafés, mugshots and social-media sites such as Flickr, Instagram and YouTube.

To understand what these faces have been helping to build, the FT worked with Adam Harvey, the researcher who first spotted Jillian York’s face in IJB-C. An American based in Berlin, he has spent years amassing more than 300 face datasets and has identified some 5,000 academic papers that cite them.

The images, we found, are used to train and benchmark algorithms that serve a variety of biometric-related purposes — recognising faces at passport control, crowd surveillance, automated driving, robotics, even emotion analysis for advertising. They have been cited in papers by commercial companies including Facebook, Microsoft, Baidu, SenseTime and IBM, as well as by academics around the world, from Japan to the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

“We’ve seen facial recognition shifting in purpose,” says Dave Maass, a senior investigative researcher at the EFF, who was shocked to discover that his own colleagues’ faces were in the Iarpa database. “It was originally being used for identification purposes . . . Now somebody’s face is used as a tracking number to watch them as they move across locations on video, which is a huge shift. [Researchers] don’t have to pay people for consent, they don’t have to find models, no firm has to pay to collect it, everyone gets it for free.”
data  privacy  face-recognition  cameras  creative-commons  licensing  flickr  open-data  google  facebook  surveillance  instagram  ijb-c  research  iarpa 
4 weeks ago by jm
Turla’s watering hole campaign: An updated Firefox extension abusing Instagram
Pretty crazy.
The extension will look at each photo’s comment and will compute a custom hash value. If the hash matches 183, it will then run this regular expression on the comment in order to obtain the path of the bit.ly URL:
(?:\\u200d(?:#|@)(\\w)

Looking at the photo’s comments, there was only one for which the hash matches 183. This comment was posted on February 6, while the original photo was posted in early January. Taking the comment and running it through the regex, you get the following bit.ly URL: bit.ly/2kdhuHX

Looking a bit more closely at the regular expression, we see it is looking for either @|# or the Unicode character \200d. This character is actually a non-printable character called ‘Zero Width Joiner’, normally used to separate emojis. Pasting the actual comment or looking at its source, you can see that this character precedes each character that makes the path of the bit.ly URL
security  malware  russia  turla  zwj  unicode  characters  social-media  instagram  command-and-control 
june 2017 by jm
Exclusive: The Leaked Fyre Festival Pitch Deck Is Beyond Parody | Vanity Fair
This is the worst future ever.
As the pitch deck claims, within the first 48 hours of the social-media blitz, the Fyre Starters had reached “300 million social impressions”—impressions being the kind of dumb synonym one uses instead of the word “people,” in the same way someone at a bar tries to sound smart by saying he is “inebriated” instead of “drunk.” (And to be fair, an impression isn’t even a sentient person. It’s essentially reaching a person when they aren’t paying attention.) To pull off the 300 million impressions, McFarland and Ja Rule partnered with a P.R. agency, a creative agency, and Elliot Tebele, a once-random nobody who has created a social-media empire by siphoning other people’s jokes into the Instagram account @FuckJerry.

One of the biggest deceits of the entire media campaign was that almost all of the 400 influencers who shared the promotional videos and photos never noted they were actually advertising something for someone else, which the Federal Trade Commission requires. This kind of advertising has been going on for years, and while the F.T.C. has threatened to crack down on online celebrities and influencers deceitfully failing to disclose that they are paid to post sponsorships, so far those threats have been completely ignored.
fyre  fail  grim  influencers  instagram  ftc  pr  advertising  festivals 
may 2017 by jm
J. G. Ballard predicted social media in a 1977 essay for Vogue
'In the intro essay to High Rise it says that J G Ballard predicted social media in a 1977 essay for Vogue. Here it is'
j-g-ballard  social-media  twitter  instagram  youtube  future  society  vogue  1977  facebook  media 
april 2015 by jm
Instagram: Making the Switch to Cassandra from Redis, a 75% 'Insta' Savings
shifting data out of RAM and onto SSDs -- unsurprisingly, big savings.
a 12 node cluster of EC2 hi1.4xlarge instances; we store around 1.2TB of data across this cluster. At peak, we're doing around 20,000 writes per second to that specific cluster and around 15,000 reads per second. We've been really impressed with how well Cassandra has been able to drop into that role.
ram  ssd  cassandra  databases  nosql  redis  instagram  storage  ec2 
june 2013 by jm
vmtouch - the Virtual Memory Toucher
'vmtouch is a tool for learning about and controlling the file system cache of unix and unix-like systems. It is BSD licensed.'
vmtouch  vm  linux  unix  fs  filesystems  instagram 
december 2011 by jm

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