Month: Nov 2017

Paying with Your Face?

Face-detecting systems in China now authorize payments, provide access to facilities, and track down criminals. Will other countries follow?

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by Will Knight


·         Shortly after walking through the door at Face++, a Chinese startup valued at roughly a billion dollars, I see my face, unshaven and looking a bit jet-lagged, flash up on a large screen near the entrance.

Having been added to a database, my face now provides automatic access to the building. It can also be used to monitor my movements through each room inside. As I tour the offices of Face++ (pronounced “face plus plus”), located in a suburb of Beijing, I see it appear on several more screens, automatically captured from countless angles by the company’s software. On one screen a video shows the software tracking 83 different points on my face simultaneously. It’s a little creepy, but undeniably impressive.

Over the past few years, computers have become incredibly good at recognizing faces, and the technology is expanding quickly in China in the interest of both surveillance and convenience. Face recognition might transform everything from policing to the way people interact every day with banks, stores, and transportation services.




A smartwatch made by Google

Google delayed its big software update for Android Wear watches until 2017, and the company is expected to launch its own watch as well, according to Android Police.

The circular smartwatches will be Google’s opportunity to inject new interest into its wearable computers, a category that’s been dominated by the Apple Watch so far.


Windows 10 now runs on 600 million machines

Windows 10 released just over two years ago, and according to the latest report from Microsoft, it runs on 600 million active monthly devices. Microsoft Chief Executive Officer, Satya Nadella, made the announcement yesterday morning during the company’s annual shareholders meeting.



The machines that run Windows 10 include PC’s, tablets, Xbox One consoles, phones, HoloLens headsets and Surface Pro devices. The 600 million milestone is an impressive number, but it does fall short of Microsoft’s original goal of having 1 billion devices run on Windows 10 within two to three years of its release.

In May this year, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 was running on 500 million devices, that means the user base showed a growth of 100 million in seven months. Microsoft has another seven months before Windows 10’s third anniversary to see the operating system launch on 400 million new devices. Microsoft later admitted that they would need more time to reach the 1 billion milestone.

Windows 10 growth slowed down a lot after the free upgrade offer expired on 19 July 2016. It’s also not helping sales that with almost every new Windows 10 upgrade, users report some kind of system failure or corruption. The October mandatory updated caused havoc for some users, myself included.

Issues aside, Windows 10 is still a fantastic operating system and provides some of the best features of all Microsoft OS to date. Besides, support for older versions as well as the beloved Windows 7 is all but a thing of the past.

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