Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September and this holiday’s purpose is to pay tribute to the achievements and contributions of American workers. It became a federal holiday in the year 1894 and was created by the labor movement at the conclusion of the 19th century. And, for many Americans, Labor Day marks the end of summer and is celebrated with barbeques and parades.
This year, during these troubling economic times, we extend our thoughts and prayers for speedy employment resolutions to those American workers who are experiencing difficulty in their job searches.
Our empathy also for those victims of Hurricane Isaac. We know it will take time and money to rebuild and that the personal losses you have suffered can not be replaced or minimized. If readers have a moment, please donate to the Red Cross Hurricane Isaac effort. You can visit www.redcross.com or text your donation:
There’s a rumor sweeping the internet that a software engineer visited Disneyland, and went on a ride and that the theme park then offered him a photo of himself and his girlfriend to buy – with his credit card information already linked to it. The engineer emphatically stated that he had never entered his name or information into anything at the theme park, or indicated that he wanted a photo, or advised the human ride handlers as to who he and his girlfriend were. So, he stated, based on his professional experience, the system had to be using facial recognition technology. He had never signed an agreement allowing them to do so, and he declared that this use was illegal. He also stated that he believed Disney was sharing information related to facial recognition technology with the military.
As it turn out, he may not be wrong or very far of from his claim.
First, let’s define facial recognition technology:Facial recognition software (FRS) can pick someone’s face out of a crowd, extract the face from the rest of the scene and compare it to a database of stored images. In order for this software to work, it has to know how to differentiate between a basic face and the rest of the background. Facial recognition software is based on the ability to recognize a face and then measure the various features of the face.
Every face has numerous, distinguishable landmarks, the different peaks and valleys that make up facial features. FRS defines these landmarks as nodal points. Each human face has approximately 80 nodal points. Some of these measured by the software are:
•Distance between the eyes
•Width of the nose
•Depth of the eye sockets
•The shape of the cheekbones
•The length of the jaw line
These nodal points are measured creating a numerical code, called a faceprint, representing the face in the database.
Next, let’s review how facial recognition occurs. (In the past, FRS use was limited to 2D facial images, and subject to many environmental factors, such as lighting or blurring, that restricted its use to primary law enforcement agencies for comparative analysis v. existing pictures of the subjects of interest. We are now well past that stage and into comparing live 3D images to networked databases worldwide.)
3D Facial Recognition Facial recognition software uses a 3D model, which provides more accuracy than its 2D predecessor. Capturing a real-time 3D image of a person’s facial surface, 3D facial recognition uses distinctive features of the face — as outlined above — to identify the subject. These areas are all unique and don’t change over time.
Using depth and an axis of measurement that is not affected by lighting, 3D facial recognition can even be used in darkness and has the ability to recognize a subject at different view angles with the potential to recognize up to 90 degrees (a face in profile).
Using the 3D software, the system goes through a series of steps to verify the identity of an individual.
Acquiring an image can be accomplished by digitally scanning an existing photograph (2D) or by using a video image to acquire a live picture of a subject (3D).
Once it detects a face, the system determines the head’s position, size and pose. As stated earlier, the subject has the potential to be recognized up to 90 degrees.
The system then measures the curves of the face on a sub-millimeter (or microwave) scale and creates a template.
The system translates the template into a unique code. This coding gives each template a set of numbers to represent the features on a subject’s face.
If the image is 3D and the database contains 3D images, then matching will take place without any changes being made to the image. However, there is a challenge currently facing databases that are still in 2D images. 3D provides a live, moving variable subject being compared to a flat, stable image. New technology is addressing this challenge. When a 3D image is taken, different points (usually three) are identified. For example, the outside of the eye, the inside of the eye and the tip of the nose will be pulled out and measured. Once those measurements are in place, an algorithm (a step-by-step procedure) will be applied to the image to convert it to a 2D image. After conversion, the software will then compare the image with the 2D images in the database to find a potential match.
Verification or Identification
In verification, an image is matched to only one image in the database (1:1). For example, an image taken of a subject may be matched to an image in the Department of Motor Vehicles database to verify the subject is who he says he is. If identification is the goal, then the image is compared to all images in the database resulting in a score for each potential match (1:N). In this instance, you may take an image and compare it to a database of mug shots to identify who the subject is.
Facial Recognition Systems Uses
Law enforcement: Aside from the obvious background identification and history of arrested suspects, l.e. uses the system to capture random faces in crowds to match to their terrorist databases. .
Government agencies: Some government agencies have also been using the systems for
- monitor voter fraud
- eliminate “buddy punching” (The practice of a coworker signing for a friend or displaying that friend’s id for UPC processing. )
Other potential applications currently in use include ATM and check-cashing security and access to your own lap/desk top via the monitor’s FR program.
To get back to our irate software engineer, he is correct in identifying Disneyland’s use of facial recognition software and sharing it with the United States Department of Defense. This collusion is referred to as Operation Mickey Mouse (not joking) and has been in effect for decades. Who would suspect the family friendly theme park of being a de facto arm of the government? I say this laughingly in that no one questioned the origin of E-Verify’s (the government program to positively i.d. potential employees via collected data and through FRS, if necessary) massive database of personal information. Of course they have tapped into every record (address changes, DMV and SSA records, credit history…) to compile this uniquely comprehensive store of information.
Now the vast majority of us will never really notice how much facial recognition has creeped into our lives — but if there is a foul-up, you can expect it to be a big deal. ALL government FR dbases will have to be updated if an error (e.g., surgically enhanced faces) occurs. I’m not planning any changes to my face but this is going to be an interesting trend to follow.
(We are not sexist. We’ll post the men’s sites in the next newsletter! We’re also forwarding a copy of this week’s newsletter to Congressman Akin; a nudge in the correct direction in relation to women’s issues.)
We roamed the internet, far and wide (albeit from a fixed location in the office), to bring you a hopefully interesting compilation of the best sites for women online. Whether you work in an office, at home, from home or in the home, you’re a working woman. We try to cover work, parenting, lifestyle, fashion, cooking, business-building and a myriad of other daily issues that has us on our toes trying to do it all. And we succeed. In no particular order but all in order, we suggest:
85 Broads , founded by female former Goldman Sachs investors, is a global network of 30,000 trailblazing women who are inspired, empowered, and connected.
Over the past decade, 85 Broads expanded its membership to include women who are alumnae and students of the world’s leading colleges, universities, and graduate schools worldwide. Our members are located in more than 90 countries around the world and work for thousands of for-profit companies and not-for-profit organizations. 85 Broads has student members at hundreds of undergraduate and graduate schools worldwide. Our campus clubs host conferences on global topics of interest such as wealth management seminars, industry panels, and career and networking workshops. Our campus clubs provide a forum for our undergraduate and graduate school members to develop and hone their leadership skills which dramatically increases their lifetime investment return on their education.
Up-to-the minute career advice from one who has survived the trenches.
The Boss Network is dedicated to female majority owned and operated small businesses.
BOSS™ stands for “Bringing Out Successful Sisters,” and our mission is to promote and encourage the small business spirit and career development of women. The BOSS Network is a community of professional and entrepreneurial women who support each other through conversation, online and event-based networking.
Corporette is a fashion and lifestyle blog for corporate women: lawyers, bankers, MBAs, consultants and “otherwise overachieving chicks.”
Corporette has been called the “go-to source” for professional but fashionable women, and was #2 on Forbes’ list of the Top 10 Lifestyle Websites for Women. The site has been recognized by the ABA as one of the “Top 100 Blawgs” for four years in a row, and has made Forbes’ list of the Top 100 Websites for Women in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
The Full Plate Blog is brought to you by Eila Debard Johnson, mother of two, who developed her cooking skills for busy parents by night while working at an investment bank by day, and is well peppered (couldn’t resist!) with vetted, healthy and easy-to-prep and -cook meals.
Simple, nourishing recipes for those that have a full plate… and need one.
Ladies Who Launch is an insightful and provocative site for female entrepreneurs that provides resources for starting, building and running a business.
Victoria Colligan is the Founder of Ladies Who Launch, the first new media company to provide resources and connections for women entrepreneurs. She is the creator of Ladies Who Launch Online and the Featured Lady stories. She is also co-author of the book Ladies Who Launch: Embracing Entrepreneurship and Creativity as a Lifestyle.
Mint.com offers a free tool for setting a budget–and adhering to it–by synching bank accounts and pestering you with email reminders to stop spending and keep saving. Easy to use, easier to stick with.
At Mint, we believe money is for living. So we make everything simple and streamlined. Sign up takes less than five minutes. Then Mint automatically pulls all your financial information into one place, so you can finally get the entire picture.
Secret Society of Women: TV journalists Lisa Ling has women sharing their deepest secrets online through SSOW’s anonymous portal. On the site, read and share with other women on topics ranging from addiction to parenting and work issues and infidelity—without the fear of judgment.
Secret Society of Women was created by Sophia Kim and Lisa Ling to offer women a confidential community to freely share thoughts and advice, and by doing so, to learn from each other.
What you’ll find here is that no matter what the topic may be, you’re not alone. There are others like you who may have had similar experiences and can offer perspectives about whatever is on your mind.
TrustLaw Women is the newest channel from Reuter’s TrustLaw franchise. Designed as an international hub, TLW offers free legal assistance and news and information women’s issues.
What is TrustLaw Women?
Trustlaw is a one-stop shop for news and information on anti-corruption and women’s rights from our expert editorial team and content partners.
The website includes:
• News and analysis from Reuters and the Foundation’s 15 journalists • Country profiles • RSS feeds from leading actors in relevant fields • Expert commentary • Weekly news digest • Resources, including handbooks and best practice • Links to all relevant centers of information • Photos and videos
Women For Hire hosts recruitment services for women such as career expos, blogs and feature articles as well as an online job board that interfaces leading employers with professional women.
Founded in 1999 as the first and only company devoted to a comprehensive array of recruitment services for women, Women For Hire offers signature career expos, inspiring speeches and seminars, a popular career-focused magazine and customized marketing programs. Our website, womenforhire.com, offers a wide variety of career-related information and videos geared to working women, and an online job board that helps leading employers connect with top-notch professional women in all fields.
Visit the sites and see what works for you. Share this list with friends and family. A broader network works!
Disposable Temporary E-Mail Address: Lasts for 60 minutes, either use a domain given to you or create your own.
Hide My Ass - (Ok, our first test run was out of curiosity. With a name like that…)
“When websites or persons you do not necessarily trust ask for your email address, give them one of our anonymous email addresses and hide your true email address and online identity.” – can last anywhere from 24 hours to 12 months (year) - “Hide behind one of our email address aliases and never have to reveal your real email address.” - “Need to register on a shady website? Stop spam emails from entering your real email inbox.”
“Every day over 60,000 free anonymous emails are sent from our servers, making us the world’s largest and most trusted anonymous email service” – It is a one time use email (obviously can be used multiple times using different anonymous emails)
(Visit our pic originator’s site: www.sjbn.co for great info on everything techno related as it applies to domain searches, email identifiers, tagging…
Additional disposable and anonymous email information in the below articles.)
Just about everyone I know has posted a pic or video on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr and or on the many other social networking sites online. People post visual shares of themselves standing by their expensive new cars, daughters in prom dresses and of course, the countless family dog chasing the squirrel (yet never the catch.. odd, isn’t it?) photographic staple. And who can resist the envy-inspiring caption ”Off to vacay for the weekend. Squeal moi!!”. (Ok, most of you would just add the comment, “Taking the family to the shore/cabin/lake this weekend.)
Embedded in most images are geotags, data providing the longitude and latitude of where the photo was taken. Hence, you have just revealed exactly where you live. Adding that caption also lets burglars know you are not going to be home.
As security experts, we have begun warning our clients, friends and families about the potential dangers of geotags, which are embedded in photos and videos taken with GPS-equipped smartphones and digital cameras. Because the location data is not visible to the casual viewer, most people do not realize it is there; potentially compromising their privacy and safety when this geotagged media content is posted online.
I’ve had IT friends forget to disable their geotagging capabilities on their iPhones, Blackberries… But let’s face it, many of us are just not that technologically informed or aware.
The problem too with GPS-enabled devices is that the access to turn off geotags in hidden behind several layers of menus before you actually get to the “location” setting. Once you find this setting, you can select “Off” or “Don’t Allow” to deactivate this feature. Seems simple enough, right? But in doing so, this can sometimes turn off all GPS capabilities, including mapping, so it can get complicated.
Other networking sites like Foursquare or Twitter can reveal your geographical location but a) it is not hidden and b) can easily be disabled without extraordinary effort.
Okay, so now that the burglar has the geo data, how does he convert that to an actual location from just the lat and long? Using any number of available apps online such as Opanda IExif for Internet Explorer, anyone can not only find the address but create a Google map of the location of where the photo was taken. (Wouldn’t want to have a criminal get lost on his way to your house now would we? )
We recently conducted a real-time experiment for a client.
The objective:To tell him where he, his wife and kids were during the week and the times that his home and possessions were most vulnerable to break-ins.
We laid out the criteria for this test: 1. The client was not to change his posting habits whatsoever, 2. He was not to let us know in any other communication form of his location at any given time and 3. We would not visually surveil him.
It took less than an hour to find his main accounts on FB, Twitter and LinkedIn. From there, we identified his wife and children, her job location and photos of the kids in team gear gave us the names of the schools they attended. We kept a closely monitored calendar of his posts (usual times of his first to last daily posts), called the wife’s job under pretext to determine when she was in and from the school, unquestioned, obtained sports/activity practice schedules.
After one week, we provided our client with a time grid – of the most accessible times to his house. If we were on the opposite team, under guise of course (neighbors almost never question certain company-issue uniforms or grounds services), we could have entered, removed property and left the scene in less than 15 minutes. The items that get hit are laptops, iPads, phones, jewelry and money. All easily hidden in a larger than the thief sized, multi-pocketed uniform.
(In one recent burglary, the thief carefully removed the hard drive from a home office pc and simply screwed the unit back together. The tampering was undetectable. He also took a few small valuables so as to qualify the crime as he had to do a “soft” but noticeable to the homeowner break in and clipped some interior wiring. By the time the owner came home, realized he’d been burglarized, called the police, gave them a stolen items list, settled down, realized his pc didn’t work and hadn’t figured out why, all of his personal info had been ripped off of his drive. Social Security Number, Driver’s License, credit card info, other banking data and much more. This criminal was clever. If your pc is not functioning, especially after noticing clipped electrical wires, which also affected other devices, who would think to look for a missing hard drive??)
Most multimedia sites like Twitter and YouTube have user-friendly application programming interfaces, or A.P.I.’s, which will allow anyone who knows how to even turn on a pc to create a program to search for geotagged photos in a systematic way. For example, they can search for photos, vids or other media posts with text like “on vacation” “at work” or those taken in a specified neighborhood.
ICanStalkU.com has a unique marketing approach. They monitor geotagged photos posted on Twitter and send notifications to the posters. (Is there a better word?) One of four recipient responses will occur: 1. It is ignored and deemed spam, 2. anger at the intrusion, 3. acknowledgement and nothing else or 4. proactive reaction and request for methods to moat the castle.
Several sites like Flickr have taken recent steps recently taken steps to block access to geotag data on images taken with smartphones without the user’s manual opt in.
This issue goes well beyond social networking sites. Innocent posts on blogs and bulletin boards create the same problem. Or a friend may take a photo in or around your home and post it.
The best advice we can give you is to make sure your geotagging setting is disabled, think from a criminals’ perspective and review your media posts and ask friends and family to have the courtesy of asking you before they post your child’s cute Halloween outfitted pic on their site.
For the trial law and legal community from a NY private investigator's perspective.
The Beacon Bulletin is the weekly newsletter authored and published by our parent company, Beacon Network Investigations, Inc. (BNI) and will shortly be combined with The MainPower Post, of our new company, MainPower Investigations, Inc., (MPI). (BNI will be involved in the development end of investigative and informational services and products. MPI will carry on with traditional private detective services.)
We're a private investigation company. We DON'T dispense legal advice, respond to anonymous queries or black hat your enemies for you. (Internally, however, points are alloted to our favorite subtly phrased compliments.)
We DO hope to inform. That's our business.