Thursday, July 19, 2012

The YouTube Face-Blurring Tool - Protect the messenger…


An excerpt from the Google blog post

YouTube is proud to be a place where citizens and activists come to tell their stories -- stories that may otherwise go unnoticed. A study released this week by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that YouTube is a top destination for news and that “citizens play a substantial role in supplying and producing footage.”
But this level of exposure can be risky to the citizens shooting the footage and the people who appear in their videos.
Today, we announced a new face blurring tool that represents a first step toward providing visual anonymity in video.

Read the rest at Google Blog.

This is explained from YouTube's POV at the YouTube blog.

Excerpt here -

Blurring faces on YouTube is simple. Once you’ve chosen the video that you’d like to edit within our Video Enhancements tool, go to Additional Features and click the “Apply” button below Blur All Faces. Before you publish, you will see a preview of what your video will look like with faces blurred. When you save the changes to your video, a new copy is created with the blurred faces. You will then be given the option to delete the original video.

I can only say this is a two edged sword. It could be protecting the innocent, but it could also prevent the guilty from deserving punishment.

To each his own…,

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The hunt for the best (non-SSD) Hard disk…in India…


Sometimes, being a part of the 3rd world sucks big-time.

A major conversion-cost-hitter is the Info-tech related sector, IT Hardware stuff. Things and innovations taken for granted in the west, are quite successful in burning out holes in the Asian IT aficionado’s pockets (if at all it is available in their homeland).

Be it Smart-phones, Hardware accessories, or novelty stuff (games etc.), these things can easily set some of us back by our monthly pay-cheque!

But as they say, technology is best embraced when it is needed badly the most.

Coming back to the story, my (still) decent DELL XPS 15 (the 1st generation L501x) is raising the need for expanding the primary storage section.

The seagate stock HDD is slowly on its way out, and although I am having the extended warranty (which again left some burn marks on my pockets !) I am on the lookout for a perfect (non-SSD) 750 GB HDD.

I have just started scouting the web for the same, and am zeroing in on some options…

One of the most interesting one is the Western Digital's Scorpio Black 750GB notebook hard-drive.


Checkout the comprehensively excellent review here.

I have had some experience with the earlier WD Scorpio 500 GB HDD, but am yet to try out the 750 GB beast.

Also, one other contender which is quite popular is the Seagate 2nd Generation Momentus XT Solid State Hybrid Drive 750 GB.

Seagate Momentus XT - Hybrid hard drive

As the name suggests, this Seagate has the traditional platter storage coupled with a 8GB NAND (SSD technology) which supposedly should help boost boot up and app access speeds much beyond the normal HDD. So basically that is what makes it hybrid.

AnandTech has an exhaustive review for the same.

The only thing I am actually apprehensive about is the finite NAND read/write cycles. And that the price is killing (amazon retails for $150, the INR rate would be anybody’s guess!).

So I am looking for the Scorpio black… Would be touring the local Hardware shrine this week probably… Let’s see how lucrative the hunt turns out.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bit down.. but not quite out!

I am in-between stuff…lots of it.

And, am finding it difficult to do justice to the blog… but.. should be back in about … 2 more days…hopefully..

Hang on to the dear Boson till then!

NOOB ALERT - What Higgs Boson Discovery Really Means