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Tesco To Use Face Detection Technology For In-Store Advertising 212

TinTops writes "Tesco has sparked privacy concerns following its decision to install technology that scans shoppers' faces in order to display video advertising on screens at its petrol stations. The UK's privacy watchdog the ICO is looking into the technology. This is the first national rollout of the system, known as OptimEyes, which claims to recognize facial characteristics that determine a customer's gender and age in order to show more relevant video adverts on screens as they queue at the till. Simon Sugar, chief executive of Amscreen, the firm which sells the technology, has admitted it has connotations of science fiction, but is looking to increase its reach further. 'Yes, it's like something out of Minority Report, but this could change the face of British retail and our plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible,' he said."

Amazon Botches Sales Tax, Overcharges NJ 179

Hodejo1 writes "On July 1 Amazon started to charge sales tax to NJ residents, which is 7% in the state. But something was not right when I attempted to buy a book for my daughter. Just as I was about to finalize the order I noticed the charges were way off. The book cost $8.09. The tax I was to be levied was $0.85. That's a 10.5% tax rate! Why am I being charged 10.5%? It turns out that Amazon is also charging me tax on the $3.99 cost of shipping and handling. That's a problem, because New Jersey does not tax shipping and handling as I confirmed on the state's web site. I then checked a purchase I made from Amazon on October 7th of this year. Guess what? I was taxed on the $13.50 shipping and handling charge for that order. Now it is very possible — probable most likely — that this is nothing more than a coding error on Amazon's site. But it's a whopper! Just consider the hundreds-of-millions of dollars in sales Amazon makes in New Jersey each year. These extra dimes add up very quickly. Has Amazon been overcharging NJ residents' sales tax since July? If so, why haven't they picked it up by now?"

Comment Re:I wonder.. (Score 1) 358

Is that stack trace correct for you also? it looked like it was unable to connect to storage (all the file & db reads threw null pointers). Possibly something with the MBR.

Do you flash a lot of ROMs? Have you flashed any before? Do you know how to clear the dalvik cache?

Not sure what's wrong there but it looks like a hardware issue or something in the system image was corrupted. I might try a factory reset and clearing the dalvik cache before you RMA, other than that there should be some folk on XDA or who know a lot more that could help you.

Something similar used to happen to the Galaxy Nexus but a battery pull would fix it -- clearing the dalvik cache IIRC. (they fixed it in JB also)


Comment Re:And there's a whole series of comments at Ars.. (Score 1) 245

That just looks like a typical 44.1khz response graph. Your desktop may have a 48kHz sound card which gives it more "breathing room" above human hearing. (longer tail above 20kHz)

There's still enough room in a 44.1kHz DSP above 20kHz to transmit data though. (As far as I understand it)


Comment Re:And there's a whole series of comments at Ars.. (Score 1) 245

Incorrect. This is actually completely doable I used to work for a company that did it (not malware though). You dont have to be much outside the range, even smartphones mics / speakers et al can do this. You only have to go just past 20kHz


Comment Re:youtube ads (Score 1) 185

I have noticed this too, but you can usually still ad-block them (at least the dynamic ones). Although they have been getting better about forcing it, there is also usually an option to skip after 5 seconds.

Still, you had to kind of expected that with YouTube. But these giant image ads on search results are surprising to me, and disappointing.

Though most of all I find video ads on YouTube mobile to be more irritating. Using my bandwidth. And most of all ? The complete fail of the aggressive attempts to push people to use real names on youtube. (I understand why, but they should have stopped pushing it after I said no the first time).


Google Testing Banner Ads On Select Search Results 185

cagraham writes "Google promised in 2005 to never "ever" put banner ads on their search results, but that appears to be changing. The company confirmed to SearchEngineLand that it is running a "small experiment" involving large-scale banners on searches for Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Crate&Barrel, among others. The ads are being shown in less than 5% of searches, and only in the US, for now. Interestingly enough, the Google exec who wrote the no banner ads promise was Marissa Mayer, now CEO of Yahoo."

The Cost of the US Government Shutdown To Science 355

An anonymous reader writes "Richard Schiffman writes in The Guardian that the Republican-led shutdown of the U.S. government caused significant damage to many scientific programs. For example: shortly before the shutdown started, over a hundred scientists had gathered to perform critical equipment tests on the James Webb Space Telescope — Hubble's successor — and that work was unable to continue without the government around. 'Not only did this delay cost the program an estimated $1M a day, but, given NASA's tight schedule, some tests may never get done now.' It doesn't stop there: 'This is only one of untold thousands of projects that were mothballed when Congress's failure to approve a budget defunded the US government at the start of the month. Federal websites were taken offline, scientists couldn't receive emails, attend meetings, or interact with their colleagues. Crucial environmental, food safety and climate monitoring programs were either suspended, or substantially scaled back.' Schiffman provides a few more examples, including one project that's losing a year's worth of work and equipment that will end up buried under snow in Antarctica. But it goes beyond even the basic funding issues; in many cases, scientific work is simply too intertwined with the government to continue without it. Andrew Rosenberg, the director of the Union of Concerned Scientists' center for science and democracy, said, 'It is all so interconnected now. Federal researchers collect data that is utilized by researchers in academia, by people working in industry, at state and local levels, so when you ask how dependent are we on the federal government in terms of science, it's a bit like asking: do you need your left leg?'"

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