24Feb/120

No Boys Allowed – This Ad is For Women’s Eyes Only

Posted by Emily

Photo: i.bnet.com

We're all aware that once we leak our information into cyberspace there's no going back. Google knows things about us from the brand of shoes we pine after to our favorite dessert, knowledge they use to bombard us with targeted ads for Jimmy Choos and French Macaroons. The same goes for super stores like Target; swipe your credit card at Target and you're immediately assigned a unique customer ID number used to track every single one of your purchases so they can then mail you relevant coupons and ads (I'm sure you've heard about the father who found out about his daughter's pregnancy from Target?). Well, one company is taking this "invasion of privacy" one step further with high tech facial recognition software. "Plan UK's 'Because I Am A Girl' campaign uses facial recognition software mounted on a bus stop and, if it recognizes a female face - which the charity says it does accurately 90 percent of the time - shows the viewer a video from the 'Because I Am a Girl' campaign urging them to support the education of young women in developing countries." If the facial recognition technology detects a male face brief stats and a URL are shown, rather than the full video, in an attempt to drive the point home about what life is like for women who are not allowed basic rights. Does anyone else feel like this is a scene out of Minority Report? This new technology isn't necessarily taking note of your personal information, it's merely recognizing your sex, but is the advancement of technology and its use in advertising going too far? Will our great grandkids live in a world, like the one depicted in Minority Report, where we're greeted by holograms when we enter the GAP and our irises are scanned so they can provide us with suggestions based on previous purchases? I'm all for embracing new technology, so I'm not going to write this off just yet (I actually think it's pretty cool), but it does seem like our world is evolving into a place straight from the pages of a science fiction novel. Next thing you know we'll be perfecting the science cryogenics and ordering our burgers from androids.

9Jan/120

5 predictions for CES 2012

Posted by Emily

Each year, geeks the world over travel to Sin City for a first look at all that is new in the world of technology. Just when you think things can't get any more advanced, an amazing new gizmo makes its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show. The gadgets featured at CES 2012 are sure to, once again, change the world of media and content creators. The following are five things predicted for this year's show:

1. A new technology called "4K" will exponentially improve the resolution in televisions, making them sleeker, brighter and "sexier."
2. There will be further improvements on the already impressive Microsoft Kinect.
3. Apps. Apps. And, more Apps.
4. New companies like Syncback will be heading in the direction of "cable-cutting" - yep, that's right, cable will probably, eventually, become superfluous.
5. Other laptop producers are trying to catch up to Apple by creating thin, sleek "Ultrabooks," comparable to the popular Macbook Air.

The only downside to CES? No Apple.

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