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Software

Algorithms Can Make You Pretty 288

caffeinemessiah writes "The New York Times has an interesting story on a new algorithm by researchers from Tel Aviv University that modifies a facial picture of a person to conform to standards of attractiveness. Based on a digital library of pictures of people who have been judged 'attractive,' the algorithm finds the nearest match and modifies an input picture so it conforms to the 'attractive' person's proportions. The trick, however, is that the resultant pictures are still recognizable as the original person. Here's a quick link to a representative picture of the process. Note that this is a machine-learning approach to picture modification, not a characterization of beauty, and could just as easily be used to make a person less attractive." Note: As reader Trent Waddington points out, the underlying research was mentioned in an earlier story as well.
Space

Messenger Sends First Full Fly-By Image of Mercury 55

An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from Gizmodo: "NASA's Messenger (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging spacecraft) has flown by just 125 miles over the surface of Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun and the smallest in the Solar System. This is the first time in history that the whole planet is going to be photographed in its entirety by an Earthling probe, with amazing resolution and ultra-crisp detail." The picture at the top of the linked story is fantastic, too.

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