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Submission + - Apple Seeks Patent on Celebrity Spotting

theodp writes: To paraphrase Ken Kesey, 'You're either on the TMZ Celebrity Spotting Bus or off the bus.' Well, from the looks of its newly-published patent application for Auto-Recognition for Noteworthy Objects, Apple is definitely on the bus. 'The present invention relates to determining whether famous people or objects appear in digital images that are taken or identified by a user,' explains Apple. Its techniques for automatically identifying famous people, Apple adds, employ 'faceprints of a famous person's face, such as Tom Hanks, or of an iconic image, such as the Mona Lisa, Michelangelo's David, or Santa Claus, that are generated separately from and remotely relative to the digital image management software used by an end-user.' Apple further notes that its innovation has tackled the pressing problem of spotting celebrities over the decades: 'Multiple faceprints of Paul McCartney may be stored in remotely-generated faceprint database 130. In an embodiment, such faceprints are selected based on how Paul McCartney has changed (e.g., aged) over time. For example, remotely-generated faceprint database 130 may include a faceprint for each decade of his life beginning with, e.g., the 1960's decade. Thus, remotely-generated faceprint database 130 may include at least 5 faceprints, each of which is associated with Paul McCartney.' Nice, but can Apple tell us whether the images are actually Paul McCartney or an Impostor?

Comment Re:A BIT expensive?! (Score 1) 627

Good point re: the resale value, forgot about that. Maybe I came across too strong when I say I hate Apple - I just don't like some things that they do, but then again, for every person that likes company A over company B, there's probably an equal number that feels differently. It is occasionally challenging to have an objective discussion over Macs / operating systems / {insert hot topic here}. At the end of the day, everyone has their preferences - I happen to like the Mac's hardware design, generally happy with the OS, and totally hate iTunes, either on OSX/Windows. So, I find an alternative to iTunes. Someone else who totally loves iTunes, will similarly find a reason to use it over everything else.

Comment Re:A BIT expensive?! (Score 1) 627

Except for the standards-based browser, talks-to-everything email app, third-party apps like GoodReader, DropBox, AirVideo... which offer alternative ways to sync/share/stream material... Oh, and while you do have to use iTunes to sync videos and music, iTunes will happily accept audio and video in a variety of common formats from any source (you may need to re-encode the video - but there is free software for that and it makes sense to optimze video for the target device anyway). Yes, there is an element of lock-in, but it doesn't half get exaggerated.

I agree with you in that for the masses, it really makes things easier. For myself, my hate of iTunes stems from the fact that I sort all my songs myself, i.e. I put albums into sorted folders, categorized by genre, artist, etc. When I want to put a song or picture onto my music player, I don't really like the fact that I have to first import it into a library, wait for it to scan through all the gapless information (!), and the transfer it to the iPod. I've used Handbrake to reencode videos for the iPod and PSP, so I know that works very well too. I now use my Android phone, so I don't actually need iTunes for transferring anything. On the Mac itself, iTunes will also not play half the media that I have - flac, avi, mkv, etc. I miss that flexibility of Linux on the mac, but then for everyone's different needs, there are choices. I've ended up just installing XBMC on the Mac, which will play everything under the sun. I suppose at the end of the day, not one company is perfect, you just pick and choose what works for you. I've got friends and family who use Macs too, and they're perfectly happy with iTunes, and whatever else came with their Mac. Me, I love my MacbookPro, but I'm still miffed that there's no Home and End keys on it :-)

Comment Re:A BIT expensive?! (Score 1) 627

Actually, all three. Bit of background - in the office, I've always been 'forced' to use Windows XP, but for the past four years, I've used Ubuntu Linux as my primary OS. I know we're digressing from the main the main Macbook thread here, but oh well - this IS slashdot :-) So anyhow, what I ended up doing was taking my office's XP image and converting it into a VM, and then starting up that up whenever I go into the office. During those earlier times when I'd been forced to use iTunes to sync songs to the iPod Touch (I have a generation 1 model), I actually had a small XP VM that had nothing but iTunes on it. This way, I can load that VM on any computer I happen to be using, and still be using that same iTunes installation - no more of that you "you can only sync iTunes to 5 (don't quote me on that number!) of your PCs. I was using VMWare workstation, and XP starts up plenty fast on it. On that Dell notebook, I was dual booting Windows XP (standard corporate image), and Ubuntu. Now that I've switched jobs and using my own MacbookPro, I only run OSX on it. I still use Windows and Linux on it a lot - all through VMWare. I guess I could load BootCamp, but two things are keeping me back: (1) power and (2) compatibility. I'd read all the horror stories about battery life dropping like a lead anchor in anything other than OSX, and that's why I still run only OSX. I find that battery life is still acceptable when running VMWare.. haven't done any scientific measurements, but I'm guessing I take a hit of 1 to 2 hours tops? Really depends on what I'm doing inside the VM. I also used to have a Windows partition on my desktop at home to tinker around with cellphones and consoles - for those apps that only run under Windows. Well, I had a need to do something with my Android phone just last month - I just took the sotware, and booted it up in its own VM on the Mac - done! On the compatibility side, Ubuntu support on my 2010 MBP 13" was not 100%, but it's much better now. So, battery life remains my #1 concern. And yes, you're absolutely right - what keeps me mostly sane is the fact that I still have bash - although, don't get me started with the slightly different syntax on some of the commands. :-)

Comment Re:A BIT expensive?! (Score 1) 627

I'm in Canada, not Australia, but other than that very much in the same shoes as you. I really don't like Apple - how they lock you in to their way of doing things... I had an Ipod Touch as a gift, and although I loved the design, totally hated how Apple forces you to use iTunes and locks down everything to their way. I've used a fair share of notebooks in the office, and have always built my own PCs from parts, but when it came time to shop for my own notebook, I looked at Asus, HP, Dell, Sony, Acer, Toshiba, and Apple. Things that mattered to me were : great battery life, ability to play HD media, runs cool, long battery life, backlit keyboard, no keyboard flex, as much metal as possible on the chassis, as little plastic as possible on the chassis. Asus came very close, but it was missing the backlit keyboard, and at close to $1000, I was but $150 away from getting a Macbook Pro which had an-all metal body. So, in the end, that's what I bought. To each his own, I guess.. Yes, there is an Apple tax to pay for the quality.. Yes, I really hate Apple.. but the Macbook Pro has all the criteria I wanted.. and is slim, and doesn't weigh 6.5 lbs.

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