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Submission + - Algorithm Clones Facial Expressions...And Pastes Them Onto Other Faces

KentuckyFC writes: Various researchers have attempted to paste an expression from one face on to another but so far with mixed results. Problems arise because these algorithms measure the way a face distorts when it changes from a neutral expression to the one of interest. They then attempt to reproduce the same distortion on another face. That's fine if the two faces have similar features. But when the faces differ in structure, as most do, this kind of distortion looks unnatural. Now a Chinese team has solved the problem with an algorithm that divides a face into different regions for the mouth, eyes, nose, etc and measures the distortion in each area separately. It then distorts the target face in these specific regions while ensuring the overall proportions remain realistic. At the same time, it decides what muscle groups must have been used to create these distortions and calculates how this would change the topology of the target face with wrinkles, dimples and so on. It then adds the appropriate shadows to make the expression realistic. The result is a way to clone an expression and paste it onto another entirely different face. The algorithm opens the way to a new generation of communication techniques in which avatars can represent the expressions as well as the voices of humans. The film industry could also benefit from an easy way to paste the expressions of actors on to the cartoon characters they voice.

Comment Re:Markup vs profit margin (Score 3, Insightful) 311

"Markup" (and its relative "gross margin") are defined in terms of selling price versus the cost of sale.

For a producer, the selling price is the wholesale price, for a retailer, it is the retail price. Despite Apple's own retail presence, the vast majority of iPhone sales is through carrier and other retailers, not through Apple Stores.

The cost of sale includes not just the production cost (materials, labor) but also supply chain, unit tariffs and royalties, shipping in, etc.

Anyways, Apple's gross margin over all products has ranged between ~40% to ~47% percent since the rise of the iPhone. This works out to a markup of 66% to 88% across all sales. Now if we assume that iPhones are particularly profitable, with estimated margins of up to 55%, that works out to a markup of ~120%. While not bad, it isn't 200%.

  And, it doesn't include R&D, administration, marketing, legal, rent, taxes, etc., which also go against profit.

Comment Re:Overstated (Score 1) 375

Don't have your 32 years, but going on 19, and post-40 here in Silicon Valley. And I haven't seen any shortage of opportunities myself, when I have been in the market, and the 97% of months when I haven't. But I have a track record, and I'm demonstrably good at cutting through crap, whether technical or political.

A 40-year trying to compete on the same terms as a 20-year old is playing a losing game. You're not going to have the stamina (as a rule, and I know exceptions), and life responsibilities generally restrict your capacity for risk. (Much harder to pick everything up and move across the country or world, for example.)

But there's a dirty little secret here. You don't have to play on the same terms. You simply have to be able to show, and explain, your own effectiveness. And even better if you can help that 20 year old enhance theirs. If you can do that, the world's your oyster.

So, learn to communicate, learn to discern, learn to make better mistakes, take more intelligent risks (and mitigate against the dumber ones), and you won't be hurting for opportunities here in Silicon Valley.

Comment Re:OS 2.1 (Score 1) 253

As far as I understand, that was fixing a different issue. Signal strength varies continuously, and the question is: Do you reflect the momentary signal strength in the UI and for purposes of connectivity, or some moving average as I understand cell phones generally do?

Pre-OS 2.1, the iPhone would reflect the momentary strength, and with that update, they moved to a moving average over 10 seconds, IIRC. So the issue was not changing the reported bars for a certain signal level, but how quickly and whether the reported bars would drop if you got momentary interference that sank your signal. This was misleading since the phone would re-establish the signal automatically anyway without a connectivity loss in the upper layers.

(Note that I'm not an expert on this field, and this is based on discussion with an engineer who works on a different aspect of the iPhone/iOS.)

Comment Re:Just give us a name (Score 1) 1204

It's unfortunate that the finder was not near any of the 12 or so Apple Stores in the bay area to return it to, and instead was only near enough to the Gizmodo editor to turn it over to him for $5K.

(Yeah, I don't buy the story about the call to tech support. Doesn't pass the smell test. I mean, tech support? To return a lost item?)

Comment Re:Major details wrong (Score 1) 469

I'd make a guess and say the author was actually talking about built in CRTs which were a dumb idea...

Except the first iMacs (the jellybeans) also built in CRTs. Of course, of these iMacs, the other writer in the story says of them:

Shaun Nichols: The release of the original iMac was in many ways revolutionary. The case design, system specifications and marketing were all hugely successful. Not as popular, however, was the iMac's mouse.

Indeed, the entire story is a fluff piece, with no data but perhaps a cursory look at specs and a vague memory of what things might have been like 10 to 25 years ago.

[This is not to say that some of these weren't indeed spectacularly bad products, but, stupid pricing decisions and initial bad runs do not intrinsically make for bad products as was the case with several of their choices.]

Comment Re:Bogus Story; Statute from the 1950s (Score 1) 849

Actually it just looks like someone confused a revision of the SC Code with a passage of a new law. (The Code appears to undergo complete revision every once in a while. In the case of this 1951 law, the previous codification was the 1976 Code as the Volokh link points out.)

I wonder if there will be a retraction, or is this one of those "too good to check" stories? Ah well.

Comment Re:Profit! (Score 1) 281

...And now we can make them pay for the same game three times! (Evil Laugh Here)

If they're all iPhones/iPod Touches, you only need to buy the game once. I don't even know if there's a restriction on the number of mobile devices you can put the games on. (You are, however, restricted to 5 computers to sync to them on the same iTunes account.) We have 3 such mobile devices in our family that we do this with.

Comment Re:Worthless Article by a Wannabe Admin. (Score 2, Insightful) 243

If you read the article, this was one of the author's points: He had gone into this thinking like a consumer, and realized that thinking like a consumer isn't enough when you're talking about high availability/high throughput systems.

The article may be worthless to you because you may have an admin background, but I know of a lot of so called "admins" who don't understand some of these basics, as well as a lot of developer types.

Every cloud has a silver lining; you should have sold it, and bought titanium.