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309 comments

In Korea only old people (-1, Redundant)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 6 years ago | (#23992039)

...use magazine photos?

Sorry, it's the only thing that came to mind.

Re:In Korea only old people (5, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 6 years ago | (#23992177)

Hey now! I use magazine photos and I'm neither old nor Korean! Oh wait, what were we talking about?

Re:In Korea only old people (-1, Redundant)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 6 years ago | (#23992601)

Actually, old people don't need to use magazine photographs. In Korea, only young people use photographs. In Soviet Russia, of course, magazine photos use young people.

Impressive (5, Insightful)

mistersooreams (811324) | about 6 years ago | (#23992047)

Wow, this whole idea is fantastically stupid in so many ways. In a sense I admire the gall of whichever company sold this technology, as they must have known that it couldn't possibly work. No doubt they'll roll out some ad-hoc solution to the magazine workaround (earning themselves another hearty payday as all the machines are updated). This can be repeated for each new workaround until everyone involved retires rich and their customer is too embarrassed to admit that the whole thing was obviously a waste of money.

At least it's a tobacco company getting shafted. Can't feel too sorry for them.

Re:Impressive (5, Insightful)

Valar (167606) | about 6 years ago | (#23992091)

Eh, actually they don't want it to work. This way they can say "we tried to stop it from selling to kids!", but when the machine dispenses anyway they can make some extra bucks. It could easily be a way to avoid the age limits on who they can sell to.

Re:Impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23992991)

This way they can say "we tried to stop it from selling to kids!"

But in Japan, the norm is that anyone can buy cigarettes and porn from vending machines. There's no need to pretend to try.

Re:Impressive (4, Insightful)

deepgrey (1246108) | about 6 years ago | (#23992147)

The whole idea of cigarette vending machines is itself fantastically stupid if there is an age cutoff for the legal purchase of cigarettes. Can you just imagine what Japan would be like if marijuana were legal there?

Age-controlled vending machines have a place (5, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | about 6 years ago | (#23992247)

Their place is in an age-restricted building or room.

Cigarette vending machines in bars, casinos, adult-entertainment establishments, and other placed where Junior can't get in without bribing the doorman, er, I mean presenting a convincing fake id, are no problem.

If they really wanted to handle this with a machine, they would make you insert your driver's license, tell you to close either your left eye or right eye or make some other facial expression at random, then compare the faces. They would double-check with the driver's license database to make sure the face on the license matched the face on record.

Thankfully, we aren't quite to this 1984 scenario yet, but this is coming.

Re:Age-controlled vending machines have a place (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | about 6 years ago | (#23992815)

According to the article, if you fail the visual check you have to insert your license. My question would be why don't they just always require the license? If you're old enough to smoke you should have a license. No idea how it works over there but I thought you could get a "non driving" driver's license here in the states to use as an ID.

I suppose this also says something about how many people there smoke, if they have to have cigarette vending machines around every corner. Here there are no such things anymore and I don't see anyone rioting over it. One would think the only reason they have those vending machines right now is to sell to underage smokers. Which is probably why the whole issue is under attack in the first place.

Anyone have any stats on what effect the age verification systems are having on cigarette sales from machines? I wouldn't be surprised to see sales drop 80%. For the sheer convenience and that most smokers are 1 or 2 pack a day addiction, you'd think most reasonable smokers would be buying cartains, not singles. Prices in the machines tend to be higher than by the cartain too,

Re:Age-controlled vending machines have a place (4, Insightful)

Deagol (323173) | about 6 years ago | (#23993001)

...reasonable smokers...

There's the main flaw in your logic. Anyone who pays (way too much) for the privilege of habitually inhaling toxic smoke and gases (which is contrary to any living creature's survival instinct) cannot be described as "reasonable". Reason doesn't come into the equation for estimating how nicotine addicts will profit the tobacco companies.

Re:Age-controlled vending machines have a place (1)

billcopc (196330) | about 6 years ago | (#23993043)

Maybe we could just do away with law-enforced age restrictions and encourage people to act responsibly, for a change.

If you want to smoke at age 12, fine! That's the price society has to pay for letting the tobacco industry thrive in the first place.

Live and let die, I say.

Re:Impressive (4, Funny)

MrMr (219533) | about 6 years ago | (#23992387)

Can you just imagine what Japan would be like if marijuana were legal there
Slightly more like here?

Re:Impressive (5, Funny)

dj_tla (1048764) | about 6 years ago | (#23992447)

Can you just imagine what Japan would be like if marijuana were legal there?

Awesome

Re:Impressive (1)

sco08y (615665) | about 6 years ago | (#23992499)

They're quite useful inside pubs and other establishments where everyone inside is already known to be drinking age.

Re:Impressive (2)

mikesd81 (518581) | about 6 years ago | (#23992629)

That's true....if you really know their of drinking age. PLCB has been cracking down alot here on stuff like that. Bars in my area have resorted to either NOT selling tobacco or having it behind the bar.

Re:Impressive (5, Insightful)

rubberchickenboy (1044950) | about 6 years ago | (#23992647)

Can you just imagine what Japan would be like if marijuana were legal there?

It would be a huge improvement. I love it here in Tokyo, but sometimes it would be nice to burn one with some Japanese friends just to chill out. So many people here are overly-stressed, anxious, and unwilling to talk about it. Sure, those things are cultural, but they're also the sorts of things pot actually helps alleviate.

What's better? The high rate of suicide in Japan? How about the high incidence of alcohol poisoning? I fail to see how pot would make things worse.

Unfortunately, MacArthur made sure that Japanese demonize marijuana and think of it as more dangerous than heroin or cocaine.

Re:Impressive (4, Insightful)

snarkh (118018) | about 6 years ago | (#23992239)

It is similar to airline security mentality -- make everything secure by installing a fancy machine.
If it is sufficiently expensive, it must be effective.

Re:Impressive (1)

Hanyin (1301045) | about 6 years ago | (#23992677)

It is similar to airline security mentality -- make everything secure by installing a fancy machine. If it is sufficiently expensive, it must be effective.

I would say that the parent's comment is more insightful than funny but maybe I'm just lacking a sense of humor...

Re:Impressive (1)

strabes (1075839) | about 6 years ago | (#23992423)

Sounds like Microsoft.

Re:Impressive (1)

mjtrac95570 (1174405) | about 6 years ago | (#23992611)

It's a little reassuring that Japanese bureaucrats can be as idiotic as American bureaucrats.

Re:Impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23993025)

How is the tobacco company shafted by selling cigarrettes to minors again?

Complex systems, simple workaround (5, Insightful)

nightglider28 (1243916) | about 6 years ago | (#23992085)

It's funny when people try to create a complex system in which someone finds a tiny, simple hole. On a related note, wouldn't it be a better idea (and probably more cost effective than continual update to the security) to have some sort of ID scanner in addition to the cameras?

Re:Complex systems, simple workaround (1)

yakumo.unr (833476) | about 6 years ago | (#23992163)

Yes, the incredible Russian space pencil come to mind.

Though I'm hard pressed to come up with so simple a solution to facilitating age restriction on product sales other than human monitoring, or CC payment only.

Re:Complex systems, simple workaround (3, Interesting)

timothy (36799) | about 6 years ago | (#23992259)

Maybe as an parable, it's good, but the "space pen vs. the humble Russian pencil" has been widely debunked as an urban legend. Still an interesting pen!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Pen [wikipedia.org]

timothy

Re:Complex systems, simple workaround (1)

Nimsoft (858559) | about 6 years ago | (#23993077)

Credit Card payment only wouldn't work at all.

CC companies are so desperate to hand out cards I had a platinum visa when I was 15!

The best bit is since you have to be 18 years of age for the contract to be valid, I could max out the limit with no repercussions!!

As far as this article is concerned, I used to use it as ID at the Bar.. "I couldn't possibly be underage Sir, I'm paying on my Visa!!!"

Yes it would, and yes they do... (4, Informative)

denzacar (181829) | about 6 years ago | (#23992265)

They are Japanese.
You really think THEY didn't come up with that technical idea by now?

TFA:

As part of the age-verification system, most of Japan's 570,000 cigarette vending machines are being outfitted with RFID readers that check the purchaser's Taspo age-verification card. Smokers without a Taspo card can now either buy their cigarettes in person over the counter or use one of 4,000 special machines equipped with face-recognition systems (these machines do not require Taspo cards). More face-recognition machines are on the way, according to vending machine manufacturer Fujitaka, who developed the face-recognition hardware.

Re:Yes it would, and yes they do... (5, Funny)

imipak (254310) | about 6 years ago | (#23992303)

And who in their right mind is going to click a link to "pinktentacle.com"?! Some of us read Slashdot from work you know...

Re:Yes it would, and yes they do... (1, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | about 6 years ago | (#23992375)

Oh... so you have balls to fool around and waste time while on the clock, but not enough to risk a potentially NSFW link? Which is not marked NSFW.

Oh... and last time I checked... At the moment its Sunday in the most of the world.
You posting from future or something?

Re:Yes it would, and yes they do... (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | about 6 years ago | (#23992421)

In the real world, people don't just work M-F 9-5.

Re:Yes it would, and yes they do... (2, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 6 years ago | (#23992465)

You're right, in the real world people work M-F 7-4.

Re:Yes it would, and yes they do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23992633)

>You're right, in the real world people work M-F 7-4.

Screw that: M-F 5-1. Leave for a "late lunch" at 1, don't return :)

Who cares what hours you work so long as the work is done?

Re:Yes it would, and yes they do... (1)

The Anarchist Avenge (1004563) | about 6 years ago | (#23992819)

I work M-F 8-4:30, you insensitive clod!

Re:Yes it would, and yes they do... (1, Funny)

robertjw (728654) | about 6 years ago | (#23992857)

M-F 10-2 with a 2 hour lunch.

Re:Yes it would, and yes they do... (5, Funny)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 6 years ago | (#23992541)

In the real world, people don't just work M-F 9-5.

If they're making you work weekends the least they could do is let you look at a little pinktentacle.com

Yeah... (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 6 years ago | (#23992685)

What are they going to do?

Fire you?
They NEED you working weekends!

Make you stay after hours?
Hello? Weekends? Working?

Re:Yes it would, and yes they do... (1)

v1 (525388) | about 6 years ago | (#23992835)

with a url like "pink tentacle" loading a japanese web site, I was not expecting to see cigarettes.

In the real world (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 6 years ago | (#23992543)

People who don't work M-F 9-5, as you put it, but instead work more... "liberally distributed" hours... have balls, authorization and right to click the links they want to click.

Don't blame your bosses on not reading TFA.
Whats that anyway? Slashdot equivalent of your dog eating your homework?

Re:Yes it would, and yes they do... (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about 6 years ago | (#23992821)

He lives on Christmas Island, you insensitive clod!

Re:Yes it would, and yes they do... (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 6 years ago | (#23992971)

Or from Israel, where Sunday is a normal working day, and you get Friday off instead?

Re:Complex systems, simple workaround (1)

kestasjk (933987) | about 6 years ago | (#23992427)

How about just not selling cigarettes from vending machines? We don't sell alcohol, guns, or porno from vending machines, so why cigarettes?

I'll answer my own question; so kids can get them. Which makes me wonder whether this flaw was an accident..

Re:Complex systems, simple workaround (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 6 years ago | (#23992467)

We don't sell alcohol, guns, or porno from vending machines, so why cigarettes?

You gotta start somewhere.

Re:Complex systems, simple workaround (1)

cryptodan (1098165) | about 6 years ago | (#23992637)

In Las Vegas, Nevada there is Porn in News Paper style vending machines.

Re:Complex systems, simple workaround (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23992481)

Why, yes we do sell porno-pocket books of porno from vending machines in Japan. And school girl panties, and salary man shirts, etc.

Re:Complex systems, simple workaround (1)

loucura! (247834) | about 6 years ago | (#23992567)

Japan does have beer in vending machines.

Re:Complex systems, simple workaround (5, Informative)

MilesAttacca (1016569) | about 6 years ago | (#23992583)

Actually, in Japan you can not only buy beer and pornography from vending machines, you can also buy used panties [photomann.com] ...

Re:Complex systems, simple workaround (1)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | about 6 years ago | (#23992955)

The thing is ... used by whom? Sure, they SAY they've been used by the cute girl, but who's to say it's not the fat, sweaty sales guy with a thing for wearing them?

Re:Complex systems, simple workaround (1)

mapkinase (958129) | about 6 years ago | (#23992861)

I think the answer is somewhere between "freedom" of doing what you want, "pursuit of happiness" of a smoking person and of CEO of a tobacco company.

The moral of the story (4, Interesting)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 6 years ago | (#23992455)

Never send a computer to do a human's work.

Re:Complex systems, simple workaround (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | about 6 years ago | (#23992761)

Why not just legalize tobacco for kids? If the kids are going to smoke behind the gym, then no video camera is going to stop them. Parenting should be left to parents, and not vending machines.

p.s. Oh, and while we're at it, legalize pot for adults too...

Re:Complex systems, simple workaround (1)

tomtomtom777 (1148633) | about 6 years ago | (#23992797)

In holland we have machines that require an "age-coin" to be inserted along with the money. The bartender gives these out for free but only to 18+. The system isn't foolproof, but I guess no system is. It's way better then camaras and waaaay cheaper.

Silly japanese

Re:Complex systems, simple workaround (1)

mapkinase (958129) | about 6 years ago | (#23992831)

They think that it is easier to stole some ID from an adult, than to buy a magazine with a portrait of Obama on the front page.

Cracking at its best (3, Interesting)

paratiritis (1282164) | about 6 years ago | (#23992099)

Fool the system by giving it false information. The recognition program never gets a chance to work.

BTW it is easy to fix this if the machine asks the people to move. This will work ... for about a week, until they start creating animations of old people that can move on command for EEEs or other such netbooks.

Re:Cracking at its best (5, Insightful)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | about 6 years ago | (#23992223)

BTW it is easy to fix this if the machine asks the people to move

Or better yet, add a second eye to make sure the subject has... depth!

Re:Cracking at its best (5, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 6 years ago | (#23992279)

Goodbye old-people photos, hello old-people masks?

Re:Cracking at its best (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23992335)

I think it would be easier at that point to get someone older to buy them for you than to spend an extra 30 bucks on a mask

I'd say after checking for depth they're almost as safe as any other grocery or convenience store where someone can buy something for you.

Re:Cracking at its best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23992283)

Then your young kid brings in a 4 inch, perfectly crafted miniature wax bust of an old man. Aged features (such as hair color and wrinkles) can be exaggerated.

Smokers don't have depth (1)

Macrat (638047) | about 6 years ago | (#23992395)

nuf said

Re:Cracking at its best (4, Informative)

v1 (525388) | about 6 years ago | (#23992887)

more likely temperature. When taking a urine sample for example, one of the things the tester does immediately is check the temperature of the sample. This helps prevent people from bringing in a medicine bottle etc with a 'clean' sample to drop in the cup. if it measures much below 95 deg, they will know you brought it in.

Reminds me of something I read awhile back, guy tried this stunt and didn't get caught until later. "Mr Doe you'll be happy to know you passed your drug test. The doctors also felt they should inform you that you are approximately two months pregnant." oops...

So expect thermal (I.R.) sensors. Most digital cameras (CCDs) are highly IR sensitive anyway if you remove their IR filter, so this has to be a really easy mod for them to make. Won't be terribly easy to fool. A bit like those thermometers used to measure high temperatures of materials. They usually have a red laser light dot shine on the target, but that's purely for aiming. It shows where the IR sensor in the test unit is focused on. They can do this same thing with the face presented to measure the surface temp of the image. (without needing the red laser dot since the target is being presented in a known location)

Re:Cracking at its best (1)

phorm (591458) | about 6 years ago | (#23992919)

In which case you bend the photo a bit?

Re:Cracking at its best (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 6 years ago | (#23993081)

I'm shallow, you insensitive clod!

Re:Cracking at its best (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | about 6 years ago | (#23992753)

Force everyone to wink at the machine when buying something ... :)

Simplicity at it's finest (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | about 6 years ago | (#23992101)

I'm sure both the hardware and software in the vending machines don't come cheap.

Amusing that the system can be fooled simply by holding a photo up to the camera.

Maybe they should just stick to the controlled substances being dispensed over the counter from say, a liquor store?
Very difficult to beat the eye to eye sales method.

Re:Simplicity at it's finest (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | about 6 years ago | (#23992145)

Maybe they should just stick to the controlled substances being dispensed over the counter from say, a liquor store?
Very difficult to beat the eye to eye sales method.

But then we'd have to pay them a salary. :(

Ahhhh... yes... The fine art of RTFA (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 6 years ago | (#23992281)

Let me quote myself:

They are Japanese.
You really think THEY didn't come up with that technical idea by now?

TFA:

As part of the age-verification system, most of Japan's 570,000 cigarette vending machines are being outfitted with RFID readers that check the purchaser's Taspo age-verification card. Smokers without a Taspo card can now either buy their cigarettes in person over the counter or use one of 4,000 special machines equipped with face-recognition systems (these machines do not require Taspo cards). More face-recognition machines are on the way, according to vending machine manufacturer Fujitaka, who developed the face-recognition hardware.

not a big surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23992103)

Visual age verification was bound to fail anyways. I've seen teens who can pass as an adult, and I've seen adults who can pass as teens. Also, I bet if anyone just put on a fake beard they probably could fool the machine.

Re:not a big surprise (5, Informative)

cyphercell (843398) | about 6 years ago | (#23992205)

I'm one of those adults. I'm 28 and if I walk around with a backpack on I will get pulled over for smoking. been pulled over for curfew, ditching class etc. I would be pretty annoyed if I had to carry around a fake beard just to buy cigs.

Re:not a big surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23992711)

and will there be bad press when the machines deny people of age their cigarettes?

Re:not a big surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23992741)

curfew?

Re:not a big surprise (5, Funny)

santiam (1279644) | about 6 years ago | (#23992845)

I had to carry around a fake beard just to buy cigs.
--
I quit sigs.



You should quit cigs too.

And in related news (5, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | about 6 years ago | (#23992141)

Japanese vending machines are now configured to dispense pictures of cigarettes.

Re:And in related news (5, Interesting)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | about 6 years ago | (#23992269)

Even better is if the machine was re-designed to detect magazines and other pictures of people and actually did dispense pictures of cigarettes.

The machine could even keep their money, because I doubt a teen is going to report a cigarette machine took it!

The Requirement Is Sound (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | about 6 years ago | (#23992179)

You have to be old enough to know better. ~

Whoever "invented" this... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 years ago | (#23992203)

...should not be allowed to buy cigarettes for having such a childish idea. Oh, and the frog (?) is cute.

thermal sensor (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23992245)

what i don't get is why they didn't include a 10$ thermal sensor on their camera. it would have made this kind of attack much harder

Re:thermal sensor (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | about 6 years ago | (#23992697)

Wouldn't they be a problem in small bars that are hot and lots of people? The bar I go to is relatively small, and it's always warm in there, probably near 75 degrees frequently. And the cigarette machine is by the pool tables that have lots of people around them, some people even put their beer on top of the cigarette machine til they are done their shot.

Re:thermal sensor (1)

Pingmaster (1049548) | about 6 years ago | (#23992993)

that wouldn't work anyways..simply take the magazine page and hold it up to your face like a mask, the thermal sensor wouldn't know the difference

this reminds me of a book... (2, Interesting)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about 6 years ago | (#23992267)

"Little Brother" by Cory Doctorow. I just finished it, and it's full of stuff like ths. Great book, btw, HIGHLY recommended.

Re:this reminds me of a book... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23992771)

the book is really impressive - and as all Doctorow-novells published under a CC-license, so you are free to download it under http://craphound.com/littlebrother/download/

Read it, the content is /. compatible :)

Jailbait detector? (4, Funny)

TibbonZero (571809) | about 6 years ago | (#23992277)

So this machine can determine 17 from 18 accurately? That would be a good iPhone app!

Re:Jailbait detector? (1)

v1 (525388) | about 6 years ago | (#23992911)

it visually is looking for people that are clearly in their 30s+. Just like the people at the quick-e-mart, if you are borderline, you have to show your ID. These machines simply ask for your ID if they cannot verify your age as being safely old enough.

Old Space Quest III trick (4, Insightful)

ebbomega (410207) | about 6 years ago | (#23992289)

Steal a picture of the CEO, photocopy, put it back, hold up in front of your face when trying to access the secret room and let it scan you.

God I wasted so many damn hours on that game.

Re:Old Space Quest III trick (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 6 years ago | (#23992825)

As long as you didn't eat at Monolith Burger you should be fine.

Welll, DUH! (1)

rueger (210566) | about 6 years ago | (#23992311)

Keee-rist! There's stupid, then there's corporate stupid. There had to be a committee in this somewhere.

You think so? (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 6 years ago | (#23992487)

From TFA:

As part of the age-verification system, most of Japan's 570,000 cigarette vending machines are being outfitted with RFID readers that check the purchaser's Taspo age-verification card. Smokers without a Taspo card can now either buy their cigarettes in person over the counter or use one of 4,000 special machines equipped with face-recognition systems (these machines do not require Taspo cards). More face-recognition machines are on the way, according to vending machine manufacturer Fujitaka, who developed the face-recognition hardware.

They have over half a million cigarette vending machines.
They equip 4000 with a face recognition thingie.

Sounds more like a field test to me.
Expect the tech and the math coming out of this to be used in the next generation of face recognition systems.
And what better way to test it than to use thousands of teenage addicts - with lots of spare time and very little care for rules and "conventional way of thinking".

And such valuable input they give...

When the reporter went to check out the new age-verifying machines after they were introduced in the Osaka area in June, he soon discovered that the machines equipped with face-recognition cameras would let him buy cigarettes when he held up a 15-centimeter (6-in) wide magazine photo of a man who looked to be in his 50s.

The reporter also went to Kobe, where different face recognition hardware is being used. There, he bought cigarettes using an 8-centimeter (3-in) wide magazine photo of a female celebrity in her 30s. He also reportedly tried to use a 3-centimeter (1-in) wide photo, but the machines rejected it

So... Once the second generation of face recognition thingies comes out (probably requiring movement of the target), they already know that the 1 inch mobile screens won't fool it.

Why not ban them? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23992341)

Why not just ban cigarette vending machines like we did here in Canada? It's much simpler than trying to invent silly age verification schemes that any tech-savvy kid can foil.

Re:Why not ban them? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23992397)

Any sentence that starts with "Why not just ban" is that of a simpleton. Please don't vote.

Re:Why not ban them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23992693)

Better yet, why don't you just let people make decisions (including bad ones) for themselves instead of banning things?

Re:Why not ban them? (2, Interesting)

mikesd81 (518581) | about 6 years ago | (#23992725)

Yup, we'll get right on that. Right after we implement liquor vending machines [philadelphiaweekly.com] .

Amateurs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23992353)

I use this. [halloweenexpress.com]

Works every time!

How about a halloween mask (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23992405)

It is full of saggy features... makeup of your own face.. if it can be fooled by a 2D image.. it is pretty dumb and will be fooled even by a hand-drawing

In my European country... (2, Interesting)

abecede (1097981) | about 6 years ago | (#23992507)

... you have to put a debit card into the machine for age verification. (of course you can pay with it too)
Why didn't the Japanese use this simple idea? It may not be perfect, but far more effective than their "solution".

Re:In my European country... (4, Informative)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 6 years ago | (#23992849)

They did. Read this thread more accurate. A possible solution would be to place digital photo on RFID chip and let face-recognition software compare both faces. But if a kid wants to buy cigarettes, it will buy it. By taking his father's RFID and printing his photo, for example. The cigarette machines are the real problem. Disassemble them, make only a few authorized sellers sell cigarettes anyway and make sure those few do have strict age controls.
Problem But tobacco companies' lobby will do anything to prevent it. So will do nicotine-addicted to get another cigarette.

Re:In my European country... (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 6 years ago | (#23993013)

You can buy pre-pay debit and credit cards in a lot of places.

What about being too old? (3, Funny)

LM741N (258038) | about 6 years ago | (#23992605)

Wait, a McCain picture might give error messages indicating you are TOO old to buy cigarettes.

Humans can't even do it properly... (3, Informative)

Feanturi (99866) | about 6 years ago | (#23992639)

So I don't know why any trust is given to a machine to guess someone's age based on the appearance of their face. A lot of retailers I've seen have a sign posted at the till that says they will ask for ID if you look under 35. 35! This enormous margin of error is due to the fact that you really can't tell if someone is over or under 18 without some seriously obvious clue. I was 30 before people stopped guessing my age to be 20. My neice was able to get service in a bar once at age 14, and it could easily be seen why.

I know how to fix this (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 6 years ago | (#23992671)

The machine asks the customer to hold up a newspaper with the publication date clearly visible. Anyone can find a picture of an old person but an old person with today's newspaper? Far less likely.

I await my royalty check.

Leisure Suit Larry Age Verification Fail (4, Funny)

mrpull (112590) | about 6 years ago | (#23992713)

This story immediately reminded me of the 12 year old me guessing my way through the quiz before playing Leisure Suit Larry.

Who the hell is Spiro Agnew? LSL taught me.

Also, why didn't I find out Alt-X would skip that quiz until nearly 20 years later?

mr.

Or just a straw-man (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 years ago | (#23992867)

How can it guard against a kid paying some adult a buck or two to get it for them?

It cant.

back on up (0, Troll)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | about 6 years ago | (#23992967)

Wait, let's back this train up a hair. So humans can't even look at another human and tell if they're over or under 18 necessarily. Like it's hard to tell a 19 year old from a 17 year old. And they expect a computer to do better?! Not gonna happen even if all asians look alike so the AI coding is 100x simpler lol. Plus, they obviously didn't consider faking it that way. Totally idiotic if you ask me.

PLCB is Considering Vending Machines for Wine! (1)

Ron Bennett (14590) | about 6 years ago | (#23993023)

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is considering vending machines for wine.

Users will have to register for the ability to use the machine, then put their ID / hand / arm into the machine each time, plus will be remotely monitored during the process.

Check out the pic of it - comical!

http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/20080615_Convenience__LCB-style_.html [philly.com]

Ron

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