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Slashback: Counterstrike, Identification, Patenxtortion

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the joining-the-spider-man-herd dept.

Slashback 357

Slashback has updates tonight on the fate of Counterstrike in Germany, PanIP's lawsuit-happy past, and facial recognition software's spotty results so far. Go on, read more!

False negatives, false positives, anda false sense of assurance. coryboehne writes: "TechNews has a report on the face recognition system installed at the Palm Beach Internation Airport early results of face-recognition surveillance suggest the technology is proving once again to be unreliable.

The ACLU said the first four weeks of testing at the Palm Beach airport showed the technology was "less accurate than a coin toss." The system matched the faces of the volunteers just 455 out of 958 times, or about 47 percent of the time.

Seems to me that this is a controlled environment for the most part, and still they have problems this big? I wonder if this technology will ever be accurate enough to work properly. I suppose the biggest problem is the size of the database that would be necessary to hold the high quality pictures necessary for accurate identification.

However I must admit that I am rather glad that this is'nt working yet as I'm not too sure I even like the idea of being able to digitally locate and track anyone within range of a camera."

This is what's meant by "repeat offender." Audent writes: "Following on from this story on Slashdot about PanIP's nasty habits, InfoWorld is running a story about it all.

To quote from the story about PanIP's boss:

'These lawsuits aren't the first time that PanIP principal Lawrence Lockwood has initiated legal proceedings against companies he felt were infringing his patents. Lockwood filed a lawsuit against American Airlines in 1994, claiming that American's SABREvision airline reservation system infringed on other patents he holds. Lockwood lost the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California and then lost again on appeal in 1997.'
He's since had a bunch of patents disallowed. He's obviously learned from his earlier 'mistake' and is only going for the smaller companies.

Kick his ass I say. Disclaimer: I work for IDG Comms in New Zealand)."

Temporary sanity. CyberQ writes: "Some news from Germany on the censorship front: Despite demands from prominent politicians the responsible Federal Authority decided today not to ban the sale of Counterstrike to minors [Link in German, use the fish]. This came after weeks of public discussion following a school shooting by a student who apparently trained by playing CS."

cancel ×

357 comments

nigger nate (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533598)

nigger nate is gay

Re:nigger nate (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533630)

i agree nigger nate must be burned alive.
hitler is coming! the revolution continues.

I am a non nigger Nate... (-1)

Big_Ass_Spork (446856) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533631)

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french tost (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533599)

props to egg troll!

I know it's you (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533615)

Egg Troll, I know that's you. You are so lame.

Re:I know it's you (-1)

egg troll (515396) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533764)

nope. i'm not lame enough to post props AC.

Re:I know it's you (1, Offtopic)

DavidJA (323792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533782)

it was not egg troll, it was me!

Re:I know it's you (-1)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533880)

Liar! It was not DavidJA, it was me!

third: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533605)

toast!

The kid should have played Day of Defeat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533612)

Then he could really train to be a killer nazi.

German Inconsistency? (1, Troll)

CmdrTaco (editor) (564483) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533613)

Why does the German government seem to be so inconsistent with censoring/banning games? Quite a while back when the game Carmageddon came out I remember I read in the news that the German version had zombies to replace the people that you could run over in the original. How is Counterstrike different?

Don't click that signiture! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533629)

No one click the signiture in the parent comment. Read the address to find out why.

Re:German Inconsistency? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533655)

Even more recent than that, the German version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein was modified so the antagonist is a mystic cult instead of the Nazis. (It seems that Germany is protecting the Nazis. I don't see how murdering digital Nazis in any way promotes their ideology.) Unfortunately for the Germans who demanded this alteration, patches are out on the Internet that change it back to the Nazis.

Re:German Inconsistency? (3, Funny)

Metrollica (552191) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533696)

I'm surprised that German gamers didn't demand a patch for Return to Castle Wolfenstein turning the Nazis into the French.

Re:German Inconsistency? (3)

Stoutlimb (143245) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533716)

There is a law which bans the glorification of Nazi's. At least, I think. Also, in German culture, they're pretty much scared to mention anything regarding the Nazi past... It's still a touchy subject for Germany, and their answer is to not deal with it directly.

Re:German Inconsistency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533831)

I don't see what Nazis and running people over in a car game have in common....

Re:German Inconsistency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533844)

i think he was describing the german response, they are both in video games.

Re:German Inconsistency? (2)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533902)


I don't see what Nazis and running people over in a car game have in common....

e.g. mindless killing of people? Isnt it cynical to be rewarded for killing people who just pass by?

angel'o'sphere

Re:German Inconsistency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533747)

To anybody who digs deep enough into the matter, the Nazis WERE a mystic cult.

Unfortunately, a cult that got control of the state. Similar in some ways to what would happen if the Scientologists took over in the United States. (they try)

Re:German Inconsistency? (-1)

Drunken Coward (574991) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533724)

How is this a fucking troll? I think an editor is being a little bitch.

Re:German Inconsistency? (1)

snol (175626) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533774)

The zombies are in the U.S. version of Carmageddon 2 as well. Ze Germans aren't alone in their squeamishness. In any case, they were pretty lame zombies if you ask me - looked, acted, screamed, and dismembered just like real pedestrians.

Re:German Inconsistency? (5, Insightful)

EboMike (236714) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533869)

Why does the German government seem to be so inconsistent with censoring/banning games?

Germany has this problem with violence, similar to the US trying to censor "indecent material". You can say "fuck" on German TV without problems.

My guess is that this dates back to WW2; Germans now have this built-in problem with anything related to violence and discrimination.

Quite a while back when the game Carmageddon came out I remember I read in the news that the German version had zombies to replace the people that you could run over in the original.

Actually, the zombies were in the UK version (who do have this violence problem too). In the German version, you had to run over traffic cones. Yes. Traffic cones. No joke.

How is Counterstrike different?

Well, the rationale as far as I understand it is this:

In Carmageddon, the purpose is to mindlessly kill people and get rewarded for it. While Counter-Strike lets you kill people, the focus of the game is on "strategical thinking and communicating in the team". Hey, don't flame me, that's the BPjS' explanation.

I saw a funny headline (0, Offtopic)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533614)

This headline nearly made me crack up:

The worst mass murder in Germany...
since World War II.


Maybe it's not the video games after all?

Re:I saw a funny headline (2)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533632)

I forgot to add: Now back to RTCW.

Re:I saw a funny headline (1, Insightful)

neksys (87486) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533644)

I don't know if I find that very funny - it implies that Germans are murders, not Nazis.


While I don't want to say that headline is false, I will say that any editor worth his salt would reject that headline - it's just too contentious an issue, and a dangerous generalization.

Re:I saw a funny headline (-1, Flamebait)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533674)

I don't know if I find that very funny - it implies that Germans are murders, not Nazis. While I don't want to say that headline is false, I will say that any editor worth his salt would reject that headline - it's just too contentious an issue, and a dangerous generalization.
1) The Germans were both Nazis and murderers during WWII.

2) The title Worst mass murder in German history would have been false.

3) The only time that affirmation that the holocaust occured is contenious is when you are dealing with holocaust dening kooks.

Re:I saw a funny headline (2, Insightful)

neksys (87486) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533739)

1) The Germans were both Nazis and murderers during WWII

Its exactly people like who who continue and propogate this hatred - the same hatred that killed six million Jews. All Nazis (originally) were Germans. Some Germans were Nazis. Your reasoning states that all Germans were Nazis... False! That's *exactly* like saying: All Democrats are American. Some Americans are Democrats. Therefore, all Americans are democrats.

Get your head out of your ass. The average German farm worker was not a Nazi - he was just a regular person caught up in an extremist government.

Re:I saw a funny headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533750)

The "average German" was just a bit more caught up in the holocaust than I think you'd like to admit.

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!!! (-1)

Big_Ass_Spork (446856) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533752)

Forget about the jews, if it was not them, it would'a been someone else. Never trust a krout!!!

Re:I saw a funny headline (3, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533820)

Not all Nazis were German. Some with Czech, French, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonion, Croatian, Ukranian, Hungarian and especially Austrian - including the main one. There were plenty of collaborators and party members from outside of Germany.

Re:I saw a funny headline <-- WRONG!!!! (-1)

Big_Ass_Spork (446856) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533679)

And just who the fuck were the Nazis? That's right, Germans. Murderous fucking krouts, synonymous terms, my friend. Those bastards fought the world twice (well, not including the Germanic tribes vs the Romans, who once ran "the world") and lost! Maybe they will think twice the next time round...

The Krauts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533792)

That's "Kraut", like "Sauerkraut."

Re:I saw a funny headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533704)

Offtopic, ha ha ha. Topic: Considered ban of Counterstrike sales because of a recent high school mass murder. I wouldn't mind that you all moderators were on crack if you hadn't taken me down from +50

The whole idea that violent video... (3, Funny)

mestreBimba (449437) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533620)

leads to violent children is bogus.

It's logic like this (from my discreet math days)...

1)Penguins are black and white
2)Old TV shows are black and white
3)Therefore some penguins are old TV shows.

Re:The whole idea that violent video... (5, Funny)

bobdehnhardt (18286) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533673)

Or my prefered example:

Fire is hot
I am hot
Therefore, I am on fire.

Now, this is utterly ridicul AAAAAlIIIEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

Re:The whole idea that violent video... (5, Funny)

FyRE666 (263011) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533688)


leads to violent children is bogus.

Damn right! I've played video games since I could reach the coin-slot on a Pacman machine. I'd love to meet some of the people making these unfounded allegations linking the games to violence. I'd give them such a savage beating they'd never say it again! Let's see how they'd like a few smart bombs up their asses! I'll frag the lot of them! Kill them, kill them all!!!AAARRGGHHHHHHH!!!

;-)

Re:The whole idea that violent video... (1)

Jick (29139) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533692)

How about:

God is Love
Love is Blind
Ray Charles is Blind

therefore

Ray Charles is God!

Re:The whole idea that violent video... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533712)

Ray Charles is a fictional being?

What will they come up with next? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533743)

Next they'll be saying that people who play flight simulator a lot are more likely to be good at flying real planes...! Where's the logic in that??

Re:What will they come up with next? (-1)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533922)

Simply because they learned how to fly a plane, motherfucker!

Re:The whole idea that violent video... (2)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533788)

Actually it's you logic that is bogus. Your attempt to apply simple logic games to a complex issue is amusing, but no better than anyone who believes the original concept purely from the standpoint of "logic". This can not be "disproved" by x -> y -> z -> x as much as we'd like to think so. The overarching question is "is the exposure to violence more likely to make on exhibit that trait". Now tell me how your simplified logic is supposed to lend even the slightest bit of insight into trying to answer that question. Fact is we're talking human behaviour here, not simple "facts".

I know I'll problably get modd'ed down for this, and let me say that I don't believe in the blanket statement that "watching violent tv/playing violent video games makes for violent children". It's just that seeing such simple minded logic applied to counter what the author claims is simple minded logic is annoying. It's almost like the athiest saying "since there is evil/suffering in the world, god can not exist", brilliant.

Re:The whole idea that violent video... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533849)

I think it has to do with someone becomming 'desensetised' to the killing of people. If you're spending hours playing counterstrike which has (somewhat) lifelike humans.. And you're killing them all.. When you have a real gun in your hands it'd be easier to pull the trigger because you could think it's just a game.

Re:The whole idea that violent video... (1)

snol (175626) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533797)

Not to defend their viewpoint, but for one I'm not sure I get your analogy (penguins = children? violence = black & white? tv shows = tv shows? Are they saying some children are tv shows?)...

And for another, attacking ideas like this as logical fallacies isn't such a devastating argument. Sure, their logic isn't deductive and/or/if/then/exists/forall type logic; it's more inductive, as is all science. Like this:
I drop a rock; it falls.
I drop a rock; it falls.
I drop a rock; it falls.
I drop a rock; it falls.
I drop a rock; it falls.
I drop a rock; it falls.
....

Therefore, if I drop a rock, it'll fall.

Not a (deductive) logical consequence, but a pretty safe bet anyway.

Anyway that's the basis of their argument: they're saying show a kid violent tv; the kid acts violent, etc. Whether you have observed the same is what's arguable, not the basis of logic. You use the same logic every day whether you like it or not.

Are You Kidding? (3, Funny)

dupper (470576) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533623)

Counter-Strike is horrible training. Imagine the inefficiency in a real-life situation stemming from wall-hack paranoia.

bans don't work (5, Interesting)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533635)

you would think by now germany would know better..

Bans don't work in the long run ..

Fro example the ban on nazism in Germany forced everything underground in which the German police have to expend more hours than otherwise to keep track and monitor theri actions..if they weren't banned everyone woudl know what they are doing due to the fact that they woudl be out in the open in public view..

Re:bans don't work (2, Interesting)

Heghta' (246911) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533725)

I don't think you really know what you are talking? Well, living some what, 5 miles from the border to Germany, I may be able to give you some insight.


The banning of computer games is in no way anywhere close to the banning of nazism.

The banning of games is handled by an institution called BPjS/BPjM. If they think a game is too brutal, violent shows too much blood etc, it will be banned from sale to minors, banned from advertisement, and banned from being displayed in shops. It is then more or less dead, and all the minors download a copy from the net or order it abroad. So yes. Stupid institution.


2) As for nazism. This is a Law in Germany, and this law was actually imposed by the USA after WWII. So whether banning nazism works or not, it was the decision of the USA.

now... you would think by now the USA would know better...

Re:bans don't work (1)

redtoade (51167) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533779)

actually... I would think that Germany will never ban guns ever again.

The last guy to try that (and, from what I understand, actually succeeded) in Germany was Adolf Hitler.

besides, according to that CNN link... the kid used guns that he legally owned.

That proves nothing (1)

beanyk (230597) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533793)

You (and I) might believe that banning a political movement, however odious, is unacceptable on principle. But it's just possible that it would have been much worse for Germany and Europe and the world if the ban hadn't been placed. There's no way to know one way or the other.

Sorry if it's O/T.

Re:bans don't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533809)

Gee that sounds just like the United States' stance on drugs. That's working real well too! Yet i don't see too many people in the US protesting for a change in the laws. Hmm, hypocrisy? i think so.

Re:bans don't work (1)

ahoehn (301327) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533871)

I just drove on the autoban a few weeks ago, and it seemed to be working fine to me
.... what? You say that's bahn... Ohh, my bad.

Re:bans don't work (5, Interesting)

at-b (31918) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533882)


you would think by now germany would know better..

Bans don't work in the long run ..

Fro example the ban on nazism in Germany forced everything underground in which the German police have to expend more hours than otherwise to keep track and monitor theri actions..if they weren't banned everyone woudl know what they are doing due to the fact that they woudl be out in the open in public view..


I'm not sure how much you know about Germany; for all I know, you may be German yourself. Whilst I am German, and whilst I don't support bans on violent games, I honestly believe that banning the open display of Nazi symbols, the Hitler salute, and the organization of radical fascist parties is a good thing.

Right now, 20 people will jump on that statement and scream that bans don't help, that you need to have everything out in the open, that it's great and fabulous to have radicals integrated into society, etc.

And that's all fabulous. And wrong. The Nazis in Germany came to power through democratic means. Although behind-the-scenes wrangling happened that ultimately allowed Hitler to become Chancellor without a genuine popular mandate, the NSDAP was one of the most, if not the most popular party in 1933. Through democratic means. They then used the democratic mandate they'd gained without illegal means to dismantle the Weimar Republic. (France allowed the National Front to enter local governments here and there, and local councils in certain regions of France have already seen an alarming rise in incidents where radical right-wingers successfully removed a variety of critical works from public libraries, critical newspapers from circulation, etc. Critical of their neo-fascist tactics that restrict democratic expression, mind you. Of course someone will go on about how ironic it is that it is those very fascist who are banning things, just like Germany is banning stuff, but they need a serious reality check.)

That's why radical groups are banned. That's why they have to operate underground. That's why Germany is quite keen to ban 'ideas' (I can hear the flames already) and things that are 'dangerous'.

Because people in general are easily seduced by things that make them feel good about themselves. Hitler told Germans that they were special and superior.

Thus, you want to make sure that radical groups that want to dismantle democracy are not allowed a popular mandate. You do not want to legitimize them by allowing them to exist in the public sphere. You do not want to allow them to become coalition partners, to enter local governments, and to slowly subvert and destroy freedom, tolerance, and democracy.

Because that's what they want.

And they're not going to get it. We've been there, we're not going back. We like democracy, we like freedom, we like being able to say whatever we want without being locked up, we don't want to be herded into camps because of our racial distinctions or religious beliefs, and we sure as fuck don't want to let radicals who want to destroy all of that back into the limelight.

So go on all you want about 'bans are bad!' and 'information wants to be free!'. Naivety will only get you so far, and jackbooted thugs will exploit all of it quite happily while you sit there letting them take away everything you hold dear.

Alex
St Andrews

See also my earlier comments at:
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=23633&cid =2549 958
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=23633&cid =2550 035

Larouche! (1, Offtopic)

a3d0a3m (306585) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533638)

Here's a reply from a presidential hopeful, Lyndon Larouche. Here's what he has to say about video game violence.

Here is Mr. LaRouche's reply.
Thanks,
Beth Pascali
Webmaster
PS: I believe that the articles written by his associates that he refers
to are
posted on the site of the newsweekly Executive Intelligence Review,
which is
http://www.larouchepub.com. If you go there and search on "New Violence"

you will see a fair amount of material.

TO: Adam T. Rzepka [adam@imsa.edu]

Dear Adam:

Wow! That is a big subject-area. To develop a general overview of
the subject-area in which the military use of point and shoot video
games arises, you might wish to dip into Stewart Brand's "The Media
Lab," published (1987) by Viking and as a Penguin book. That
describes the general setting in an easy writing-style. For a more
narrowly focussed follow-up on the spill-over from military
applications , there are a number of reports written by my associates,
on our websites. These include our coverage of Columbine,
Littleton, and now Erfurt. I featured this matter in a special
campaign project, on the subject of "The New Violence," I
conducted in 2000. My wife, Helga just produced a policy-paper
addressing some implications of Erfurt.

This is a major topic for me right now, and therefore I expect a
continued outpouring of relevant materials on ths subject.

- - Lyndon.

Re:Larouche! (1)

snol (175626) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533701)

How about +1, Funny instead? At least, I hope it was supposed to be a joke... I pretty much have to laugh at Lyndon Larouche; haven't found any other reaction that works for me. Such a hilarious loony-toon, he is.

Censorship Front? (0, Offtopic)

Heghta' (246911) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533642)

Some news from Germany on the censorship front

As much as I am against the banning of cs sales to minors, I must make one thing clear. Banning the sales to minors has absolutely nothing to do with censorship. Else it would be censorship as well if a minor wasn't allowed to buy porn. Sorry, but you messed two totally different things up here.

Still, glad to see they didn't ban it, I am neither from Germany, nor do I play cs, but still, I like the gaming community.

Re:Censorship Front? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533720)

Else it would be censorship as well if a minor wasn't allowed to buy porn.

It is censorship. We are censoring porn for minors.

This issue is whether or not this should be censored for minors (the game, not the porn).

Bah (2, Insightful)

CoCo Buckets (184480) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533648)

Of course it was the game!!

The fact that he somehow got a gun, got it into a supposedly secure area and shot people without his parents knowing he was disturbed is irrelevent as always.

Bah!!

I suppose we are lucky he wasn't using OGC 8.2..

Was he bunny hopping??:)

Re:Bah (1)

KentoNET (465732) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533734)

"The fact that he somehow got a gun, got it into a supposedly secure area..."

A German school is hardly secure. Actually when compared to North American schools, Germany has one of the most laid back systems. Perhaps theirs is the better system. They do, afterall, have a much lower school killing rate.

Also, from the linked CNN article:
"The failed student was a gun club marksman who used his training to shoot many of his 16 victims..."

Re:Bah (1)

redtoade (51167) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533758)

you should read the CNN article linked in the original post:

1. He was using guns that he LEGALLY owned. I infer then, that they were HIS guns... so there was no "somehow he got a gun."
2. His parents were separated, and the article is quoted as saying he had bad relations with both. So there is no "without his parents knowing."
3. The article also says that he "was a gun club marksman who used his training to shoot many of his 16 victims -- 13 teachers, two pupils and a police officer..." so this isn't just some random steal your grandfather's shotgun and go on a shooting spree.
4. According to the secret service report released a few days ago, the ONLY thing that all American school shooters had in common was that they WARNED everyone it was going to happen, and it was never a spur of the moment decision. There was NEVER any sign of insanity... these were normal kids who under great chronic pressure finally decided that they would rather risk dying than "deal with it" anymore. They said that most shootings could be stopped if people would just learn to see the signs. (completely UNLIKE a demented individual, these kids were crying out before hand.) Obsession with violent video games IS one of the signs. BUT, it is only one of many. by itself it means nothing. This shooting (acording to the article) ALSO falls along these guidelines. So there is no "he was disturbed."

And finally.

As to your OGC joke... I guess 16 people being murdered just isn't as funny as it used to be.

You need to watch a little less TV me thinks.

Broken Link (2, Informative)

nzkoz (139612) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533650)

Of course most people probably know this, but the babelfish link should be: fish [altavista.com] .

The editor left out the http://

Re:Broken Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533663)

An editor made a mistake? No! Impossible!

Cheaterstrike sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533651)

Games like Urbanterror [urbanterror.net] , a mod for q3, are much better.

Osama? (1)

sylvester (98418) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533652)

"Under real world conditions, Osama Bin Laden himself could easily evade a face recognition system."

Apparently the ACLU thinks that camera detection systems should give OBL preferential treatment. Either that, or they think he's one distinctively ugly mofo. :-)

It's Counter-Strike! (2)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533653)

You'd think we'd have learned after that "Spider-Man" fiasco. ;o)

well... (4, Informative)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533659)

From the poster: Seems to me that this is a controlled environment for the most part, and still they have problems this big? I wonder if this technology will ever be accurate enough to work properly.

A similar story on Wired [wired.com] indicates higher match rates (90%) at airports in Dallas Boston. The maker of the recognition system speculates that lighting was a factor in the Palm Beach for the low match rate. 90% still a bad rate (better than 99.9% or something like that would be ideal), but it shows how differences of environment can affect these things.

Re:well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533715)

cool! 90 percent. Yet for some reason, the ACLU wont do a report on that. Any chance they're biased?

Point: The ACLU will only publish negative reports to this technology regardless of how good it is or what policy accompany's it's use. They just plain dont want it and will do anything that'll make it look bad. There's another post in this article that examines their actual argument and suggests that the ACLU fscked up their math and that it shouldnt be 47, but rather 99.5%.

Re:well... (1)

cpeterso (19082) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533755)

If the machine is correct 90% of the time, then it is wrong 10% of the time. Of those incorrect 10% responses, how many are false-positives? That is how many times would it incorrectly think YOU or YOUR MOM is a match for Homer J. Terrorist?

Now multiply 10% x millions of airline travelers. How many false-positives would the machine report EVERYDAY?

Re:well... (1)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533835)

you didnt read my post in it's entirety. i said "90% still a bad rate"

Re:well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533812)

[...] A similar story on Wired [wired.com] indicates higher match rates (90%) at airports in Dallas Boston [...]

Dallas Boston??! They're one city now? Talk about suburban sprawl!

Re:well... (1)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533842)

yeah! You be livin under a rock or something? It's now one large city from Texas to Massachsettes! :)

seriously .... s/Dallas Boston/Dallas and Boston/

odds.. (2, Interesting)

eightball (88525) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533664)

Correct me if I am wrong (and I am sure you will, thanks), but coin tossing is hardly comparable to facial recognition. The only thing the coin would have done is approximate the correctness.

What the facial recognition software did was run approximately 1 in 1000 odds almost 50% of the time. If a medicine cut risks by 1000 times for half the people who took it, it would be a sensation.

Of course, what people really care about is not inconveniencing innocents.. I think it is a bad tactical move for the ACLU to pick on these points. Eventually, computers will be so much faster that we will have a pretty good recognition system and they will be up a creek.

Re:odds.. (1)

YourGarbageMan (537956) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533811)

I think you are correct. One coin toss will not allow you to pick 1 choice from a list of 1000. It requires a minimum of 10 tosses to perform a binary "search" of a list that size.

Still 47% accuracy is pretty awful for a critical system.

Dumb patent question (3, Interesting)

Bollie (152363) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533671)

IANAL: this means I cannot think totally illogically.

1) In exchange for patent rights, the company must make public the details of the design it wants to patent.
1.1) In a software patent case, this may consist of example code.

2) It is legal for any person to obtain the patent application for a succesful patent.
2.1) In a software patent case, this means you may posess the example code.

3) It is illegal to implement the patent without the patentholder's express consent.
3.1) This means it is illegal to compile and execute the example code.

So now: suppose someone takes the patent application form and translates it into a different language. That definately has to be legal.

Since code is speech, this may be a computer language.

Add a bit of embellishments and you have a full-fledged application that incorporates the patent. Still legal to posess, but illegal to compile or run.

Assume it's legal to publish this (free speech and all that), and furthermore assume that US citizens may download it.

I would assume some form of system needs to be in place that prevents US citizens from compiling and executing the code, otherwise it violates the patent.

Therefore, code anything you want, make one deliberate error, publish the code and allow downloads. Citizens of a country that's stupid enough to allow patents on software must therefore be stupid enough not to be able to compile and execute broken code! (No flames please, my <sarcastic> tags don't work!)

Please, shoot holes in my argument! Where'm I going wrong? It can't be this simple!

Re:Dumb patent question (1)

snol (175626) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533756)

IANAL - This means I won't draw the same line between logic and reality that a lawyer will. Ya know, we all see this kind of thing all the time on slashdot, and it makes me wonder if people really think it'd actually fly. You've seen them a million times before: some genius poster takes some legalism (the DMCA is popular, for instance) to some far-out logical extreme or other for the purpose of defeating or ridiculing the piece of law in question. You know what? The law doesn't deal with logical extremes, you weirdos. It's all well and good to spoof bad laws with the old ROT-26 joke and whatnot, but posts like this which try and pull clever loopholes out of their non-lawyer asses make me wonder alot about slashdot poster sanity. You're not alone -- but really.

In answer to your question:
Projects which implement patented algorithms without paying aren't unheard of: lame mp3 and xvid mpeg4, for instance. As you say, it's compiling and distributing that's iffy, and for that question I don't see how it makes any difference whether or not there's some small deliberate error. What's the point? You're not allowed (?) to compile and use this stuff, whether or not there was an error in there before you fixed it. I ain't a lawyer either but what're you getting at?

I don't think so (1)

YourGarbageMan (537956) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533860)

Code is speech and speech conveys an idea. In the case of code speech, the idea that is conveyed is a mathematical one. Changing the form of the equation does not change its function. So, its not the code that is important, its the function of the code.

Less Accurate? (2)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533675)

The ACLU said the first four weeks of testing at the Palm Beach airport showed the technology was "less accurate than a coin toss."

Now, a coin toss generally turns up the null hypothesis (completely random). So it's worse than completely random?

I've got an easy solution, then. All they have to do is reverse the answers and they'll be MORE accurate than a coin toss!

Re:Less Accurate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533693)

well, there was once a dilbert where Dilbert asked someone to call a coin toss. The guy called "Side!" Sure enough, the coin was pictured on it's side in the third frame.

Face recognition by humans is this good? (1)

KurtP (64223) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533691)

Hmmm. Lets see...

We have 4 weeks of 10,000 face captures a day. That's 280,000 face captures. This test generated 1000 false positives, and caught any of 250 people about 50% of the time passing through. That makes the system correct about 278,500 times out of 280,000 samples, according to my count (500 false negatives and 1000 false positives).

This is a failure? Is Could any human being you know do as well? Even close? And how does 99.5% correct translate to "less effective than a coin toss".

Honestly, this was pretty pitiful argument by the ACLU. I hate face recognition on unreasonable search grounds, like most people I know. However, this kind of argument doesn't help their cause! Anyone who can do a bit of arithmetic (and I think we can count on the systems designers to supply it to any decision makers who can't do math for themselves) can see for themselves that this looks pretty damn successful.

Re:Face recognition by humans is this good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533735)

Anyone who can do a bit of arithmetic

Remember, now, that this is meant to play to the kind of people who donate money to the ACLU.

Re:Face recognition by humans is this good? (2)

BCoates (512464) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533901)

This is a failure? Is Could any human being you know do as well? Even close?

Given enough humans, yes. Human face recognition scales--you assign, say, 10 targets each to 25 people, have them memorize them, and they'll be able to pick one of their targets out of a crowd with the same ease you identify people you know from afar. It would be damn expensive, but unlike this system, it would actually work, given sufficent resources.

--
Benjamin Coates

Video Games != Root of Violence (3, Insightful)

AnimeFreak (223792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533698)

This is something I came up with a while back. If you're going to ban the sale of violent video games to minors, why not ban violent books to minors?

Books are full of violence ranging from rape, murder, war, you name it, books are just as bad as television and video games alike. If you're going to ban the same of such games as Unreal Tournament, Counter-Strike, or Quake III Arena, then you might as-well ban books involving material I just mentioned.

Re:Video Games != Root of Violence (1)

randombozo (212355) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533770)

You don't think books are routinely banned?

Or youngsters aren't constantly told that they need to stay in the children's section of the library, because some of the other books aren't appropriate for them?

Comic books?

Re:Video Games != Root of Violence (1)

redtoade (51167) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533834)

I think that comic books kind of regulate themselves? I've seen a few documentaries that discuss how there was this "code" of what can and can't go into a comic book.

The example they use was of the Spider-man where Peter's friend was dealing with a drug addiction in the sixties. It was a very anti-drug message, but the code forbade the issue from being published because comics could NEVER include themes of drug use in ANY form. But, Marvel went ahead and published anyway...

The point is, I don't think comic books are regulated by any GOVERNMENT agency... they just all agreed to self-censorship.

yes/no?

This is a good idea. (2)

cpeterso (19082) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533781)


How many people on death row have:

  • played a violent video game?
  • read a book?


Re:Video Games != Root of Violence (1)

OrangeHairMan (560161) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533799)

This is something I came up with a while back. If you're going to ban the sale of violent video games to minors, why not ban violent books to minors?

But the thing that you don't see is that books are a passive, or so to speak, medium. What happens in the book is the author's decision. What happens in Unreal Tournament is the player's decision. What you're saying is sorta like "If cars were bad for minors because of how they drive them, lets only let them have one that drives itself. Yeah, it might crash, but all cars crash some time or another."

I totally agree that many books have lots of violence in them. But one of the big factors in teens is doing something themself. How do I know? I'm 13. :D Actually, when I'm angry, I just fire up Unreal Tournament, and in 15 minutes I'm not as angry...

Orange

Better than it sounds. (2)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533713)

... said the first four weeks of testing at the Palm Beach airport showed the technology was "less accurate than a coin toss." The system matched the faces of the volunteers just 455 out of 958 times, or about 47 percent of the time.

Actually, no. It's considerably more accurate than a coin toss!

Let's say you have 1,000 faces in your (rather small) database. You walk these 1,000 people by the camera, and some guy with a quarter.

The camera was able to identify, of the 1,000 people, which person it was 47% of the time.

The guy with the quarter would get (on average) 0.1%, (1 in 1,000 odds) and this is assuming that the guy knows that the person in front of him is actually in the database! That's 470 times better!

However, this is a test done in a real airport! Run 10,000 people by, and let's say the camera gets 47% right.The guy with the quarter now averages around 0.001%

In this scenario, the camera would do 47,000 times better than the guy randomly guessing!

But even that is not as rigorous as the actual test! In this case, they ran it 10,000 times per day for 8 weeks, or (potentially) 560,000 faces.

What we should be looking at, is that it's choosing the right guy (out of 250) almost 50% of the time in a sample size of 560,000.

That's quite a feat. When that hits 95%, and it's pattern matching Osama Bin Laden, what do you think airport security would do if there's a match?

Even with that, I don't think it's going to reach that point without 3D modeling with two cameras. Isn't there an article here someplace about how great and wonderful NVIDIA is at 3D stuff?

Re:Better than it sounds. (4, Insightful)

BCoates (512464) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533858)

That's quite a feat. When that hits 95%, and it's pattern matching Osama Bin Laden, what do you think airport security would do if there's a match?

The problem isn't so much that it only matches successfully 47% of the time, it's that the 47% doesn't appear to be random--the article makes it seem you can make it very likely that you will consistently be missed by the system just by wearing glasses and not looking straight at the camera. Once it's well-understood how to avoid being caught by the system, it's worse than nothing (false sense of security) even if it correctly identifies 95% of people not taking countermeasures.

Not that Osama bin Laden would be on a flight in florida anyway, and remember that identification would not have helped prevent the events of September 11, since we knew who the hijackers were when they walked on the plane, we just didn't know what they had planned.

--
Benjamin Coates

Re:Better than it sounds. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533859)

I think the major thrust of the coin toss comparison fallacy is that the camera is battling odds at least 1000:1 every time it examines a face, while the coin is 50/50.

The problem is not that face recognition is worse than a coin toss, it's what happens to the 53% of the people that have been misidentified (both false matches and false search failures)?

Time to get creative (4, Interesting)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533718)

These lawsuits aren't the first time that PanIP principal Lawrence Lockwood has initiated legal proceedings against companies he felt were infringing his patents...He's obviously learned from his earlier 'mistake' and is only going for the smaller companies.

So, what we should do is keep our eyes out for companies that are violating his "patents" (e.g., get a phone book) and start notifying them that they appear to be in violation. Copy PanIP on the notice, and see what happens. If enough people (hundreds? thousands?) do this to enough companies, it should surely stir up some dust.

Foe good measure, 1) pick companies that look big enough to fight him (or obvious sympathy cases), 2) also copy the patent office on the message, and 3) send a copy to the journalists who have covered the story.

Smirk. One good way to kill things that live under rocks is to expose them to daylight.

-- MarkusQ

SABREvision (1)

gmp (155289) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533891)

The 1994 suit was over the SABRE airline reservation that was introduced in 1962 and was one of the first truly massive computer applications in history. Here is a quote from the federal circuit opinion.
American submitted an affidavit averring that the SABRE system was introduced to the public in 1962, had over one thousand connected sales desks by 1965, and was connected to the reservation systems for most of the other airlines by 1970. Lockwood does not dispute these facts, but argues that because "critical aspects" of the SABRE system were not accessible to the public, it could not have been prior art. American's expert conceded that the essential algorithms of the SABRE software were proprietary and confidential and that those aspects of the system that were readily apparent to the public would not have been sufficient to enable one skilled in the art to duplicate the system. However, American responds that the public need not have access to the "inner workings" of a device for it to be considered "in public use" or "used by others" within the meaning of the statute.

We agree with American that those aspects of the original SABRE system relied on by the district court are prior art to the '359 patent. The district court held that SABRE, which made and confirmed reservations with multiple institutions (e.g., airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies), combined with the terminal of the '631 patent rendered the asserted claims of the '359 patent obvious. The terminal of the '631 patent admittedly lacked this "multiple institution" feature. It is undisputed, however, that the public was aware that SABRE possessed this capability and that the public had been using SABRE to make travel reservations from independent travel agencies prior to Lockwood's date of invention.

Lockwood v. American Airlines, 107 F.3d 1565 (1997)

coin flip != 50% accuracy (3, Interesting)

big.ears (136789) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533730)

The ACLU has a good point, but their coin flip analogy is a little misleading. If they were really using a coin flip to 'guess' who each person was (i.e., guessing randomly), accuracy would have been much lower, with expected normalized discriminibility score (d') of 0. For example, their target set was of 250 people. So, a dumb guessing system would have less than a .4% hit rate: compared to that, 50% is pretty good. Furthermore, this wasn't a simple categorization task: there were 5000 passengers a day that were tested. Over 4 weeks there were around 1000 false alarms, which is a false alarm rate of .007 (and a d' of 2.5). Note that they could have increased the hit rate to above 50% if they wanted to allow for more false alarms, but they tuned the algorithms to err on the side of letting people through if there was any question. To me, this sounds like something the ACLU should be happy about, and they should perhaps recognize the difficulty of setting these thresholds and attempt to provide guidelines about how to do it and what to do after you register a hit. Face it, automated detection devices are going to exist, and they won't be perfect. But, in order to optimize the detection criteria, costs must be assigned to false alarms relative to misses. This is something that we shouldn't let the engineers and businessmen and law enforcement do alone--it is something that the humanists and the civil libertarians and the policy-makers and you and I need a voice in too.

Amazing... (2)

RadioheadKid (461411) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533738)

Even with all the technological advances we have today, we still can't reproduce one of the common tasks the human brain performs, face recognition. It just shows you how complex our brains really are. Although, we're not perfect at face recognition either, but I'm sure the average person could do far better than 47%. Someday, a computer will be better, but I guess not today...

Re:Amazing... (0, Informative)

a3d0a3m (306585) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533863)

It's not that simple. I don't think the average person could memorize 250 faces from pictures and pick those 250 people out from the thousands of people at the airport every day with much more accuracy than 47%.

The computer is actually more accurate than the average human, if you want some statistics about human's ability to recognize faces, I suggest you check out the following literature. These are two must read articles on facial recognition.

Lopes, B. J. (Apr 1997). Facial recognition, a proposed theory. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: the Sciences & Engineering, 57 (10-B), 6653.

Trafimow, D. (Dec 1996). Feature analysis, a proposed theory for facial recognition accuracy. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 26 (24), 2167-2188.


adam

Re:Amazing... (2)

os2fan (254461) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533872)

It is amazing. It can do 47% on a very large sample, and presumably learn the sample quickly. We may no lots of people, purely as "the girl at the paper-shop", or "the ticket guy", or "a bus driver". It can learn to pick 47% out of hundreds of people very quickly.

So yes, it is amazing, and often better than what we can do. If you hook up three of them and get them to vote, you might get a better result...

He was also in the gun club (5, Flamebait)

metalhed77 (250273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533772)

he was also a member of the local gun club. I'm sure that gave him far more training than playing CS did.

Re:He was also in the gun club (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533875)

i agree. private ownership of any firearm needs to be banned.

Prior Art (1)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533839)

If PanIP got the patents in 1996, doesn't that make sites such as eBay which was created in 1995 as prior art? I'm mean ebay is a pretty good example of prior art for a video-based sales terminal. Or perhaps ATM machines that have been around since the 70's / 80's. I think this case should be a cakewalk.

The video games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3533861)

The massacre in Erfurt had little to do with video games and everything to do with guns. All guns or gun lookalikes need to be banned including toys, BB guns, paintball guns, etc as even these promote gun violence. Only the government has a need for guns and only they should have them. I can't wait for the day when the government cracks down and seizes and arrests those who own guns. The world has moved on folks, this isn't 1776, it's 2002. By the way, the 2nd amendment is a protection of the *GOVERNMENT'S* right to bear arms, not some libertarian nutcase.

Re:The video games? (1)

a3d0a3m (306585) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533877)

Let me get your argument straight: BB guns and paintball guns, as well as toys promote violence but video games have nothing to do with violence. Even if those said video games have 'gun lookalikes' in them? What about movies. If you think that a toy gun is more likely to promote gun violence than a video game that shows realistic portrayals of people being killed? Can you show me any research to support this?!?

Adam

Re:The video games? (1)

idontneedanickname (570477) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533913)

can U show anything that supports UR statement?
if not then u shouldn't be talkin'

americans, sheesh! (1)

idontneedanickname (570477) | more than 12 years ago | (#3533898)

several YEARS ago i saw a show ongerman television about a program that could do face recognition alot better than wht u ppl have. They took a picture of a guy across the street with a normal canon camera and he was wearing a beard and mustache (fake) and the program still identified it as him. this program was still in delopment back then so it should have been finished a year ago. wonder where the ppl u call "leaders" are lookin'.....
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