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In Istanbul, Cameras To Recognize 15,000 Faces/sec. 221

An anonymous reader writes "Istanbul's popular (and crowded) Istiklal shopping, cafe, and restaurant street is being outfitted with 64 wirelessly controlled, tamper-proof face-recognition cameras attached to a computer system capable of scanning 15,000 faces per second in a moving crowd for a positive match. The link from Samanyolu, badly translated by Google, states that 3 cameras are in place so far and that if trials are successful, this will mark the first time such a system, previously used by Scotland Yard and normally reserved for indoor security use, will be put to use in a public outdoor setting. It also notes that each camera controlled by the system is capable of 'locking onto' the faces of known criminals and pickpockets detected in the crowd and 'tracking' their movements for up to 300 meters before the next, closer placed camera takes over." Hit the link for more of this reader's background on the growing electronic encroachment on privacy in this city, which will be the European Capital of Culture in 2010, causing him to ask, "Is the historic city of Istanbul turning into the new London?"

While the article doesn't state it outright, it would appear likely that the outdoor face recognition system, if "successful," will be expanded to other crowded areas of Istanbul as well, which has already seen a dazzling increase in the number of installed plain-vanilla (non face-recognizing) CCTV cameras in recent years. This comes after Istanbul's two signature Bosphorus bridges have become passable only by vehicles with a mandatory vehicle windscreen-mounted electronic pass, subway and bus tickets in the city have gone electronic, vote tallying in municipal and national elections has become fully computerized, and future plans for mandatory biometric ID cards for all Turkish citizens have been announced by the government.

The ruling "moderate Islamist" AKP party appears to frame these and other e-government initiatives as "keeping step with the times," "keeping step with other major world cities," and "making living safer, easier and more efficient through the targeted use of electronic technology." Its secular critics, on the other hand, argue that everything and everyone under the sun is rapidly becoming electronically trackable thanks to the omnipresence of mobile phones and gratuitous overuse of these installed electronic systems, and that these systems will, eventually, form a dense surveillance grid that could turn daily life for Turks (and secular Turks critical of the current government in particular) into living in a veritable Big Brother House.
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In Istanbul, Cameras To Recognize 15,000 Faces/sec.

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  • Oh really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by master5o1 ( 1068594 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @08:34PM (#28078981) Homepage
    But can there be 15000 people in it's view within each second?
    • by neovoxx ( 818095 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @08:37PM (#28078997) Homepage Journal
      In Istanbul but not Constantinople?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tnnn ( 1035022 )
      I believe that those 64 cameras are connected to a system capable of scanning 15000 faces total - not 15000 from each camera. 15000/64 gives us about 235 faces per camera which is quite possible when using high resolution wide-angle cameras. Besides think about the future - you can easily double the amount of cameras and the system will still work without any upgrades.
      • Re:Oh really? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by fractoid ( 1076465 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @09:41PM (#28079337) Homepage
        What's scary is that even with excellent success rates, that's going to be a lot of misfires. 15,000 faces/sec is 54 million faces an hour. At 'five nines' accuracy (which is far beyond what facial recognition can do as yet) that's still 540 false IDs per hour. It'd really suck to be one of those 540.
        • Re:Oh really? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anpheus ( 908711 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @09:54PM (#28079393)

          You're assuming every second that it rescans the crowd and does 15,000 new recognitions. More likely it scans the crowd constantly, and adds new faces to its database and continues to refine images on existing faces, tracking their movements to handle the interface between one camera and another.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Perhaps if the high res camera's stream uncompressed data ... but MPEG4/H264 camera streams have already thrown away significant amounts of "fine detail" data. So the system will probably report 1000 sightings a second of Saddam Hussein, 2000 sightings a second of Osama Bin Laden, 20 an hour of Mickey Mouse, 100 an hour of Barbara Eden ...
  • by Chmcginn ( 201645 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @08:39PM (#28079007) Journal
    So I'm guessing that setting up a stand selling fake mustaches, Guy Fawkes masks, and Groucho Marx glasses on a busy corner in Consta... er.. Istanbul would get me a lot of money and a lot of police attention quickly.
    • Nah, that's no one's business but the Turks.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Just normal sunglasses would do the trick nicely, not to mention traditional Muslim head wear.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hurricane78 ( 562437 )

        Which is officially illegal in the Turkey.

        You know... They reformed...

        At least before the fundamentalist retards got strong again.

        Compare this to your own history. ^^

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dimeglio ( 456244 )

        The infrared option will allow it to see right through the beard and glasses. Not to mention the X ray option which will allow to scan through just about everything and match teeth to dental records.

        If Hubble can detect what some million-light years away sun is made of, I'm pretty sure a face within a kilometre should be no problem.

        Too bad prisons are so full already. Otherwise we could use such a system.

        • Hubble uses spectroscopy to do that. I don't think you can use that method to pick one person out of a crowd.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by BlueStrat ( 756137 )

            Hubble uses spectroscopy to do that. I don't think you can use that method to pick one person out of a crowd.

            Why not?

            All you'd have to do is heat the crowd until they're glowing so as to give off enough light to analyze.

            Or is that a problem?


            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              If you are going to go that far just build a big gas chromatograph. Run an electric current through them and measure how far their molecules move.
    • Fake moustaches? Having seen a few Turkish TV shows, I'd say they have no need of those.
  • afaik (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 24, 2009 @08:40PM (#28079009)

      - less effective than promised
      - doesn't reduce serious crimes like assault
      - doesn't reduce, but shift crime scenes to other areas
      - less effective than more light, more policemen, ...
      - more expensive than more light, more policemen, ...
      - often not working, tech staff admits ...

    • by mangu ( 126918 )

      - more expensive than more light, more policemen, ...

      How's that? Do you mean that the cost of a camera, spread out over its useful life, plus the cost of a monitoring center where hundreds of cameras are watched is higher than paying a crew of officers to have someone stand 24/7 where every camera is located?

      • Instead of paying police men, you pay repair crews. The difference is that those cams need to be bought, along with spare parts, while policemen come with all their limbs attached, and they also tend to repair themselves over time should they get damaged during their life cycle.

        I'll consider supporting cameras no sooner than them being able to keep a robber from stealing my wallet. I don't really win a lot when there's footage of me being shot by some junkie who doesn't give a rat's ass whether someone sees

    • Re:afaik (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @10:36PM (#28079571) Journal

      - doesn't reduce serious crimes like assault
          - doesn't reduce, but shift crime scenes to other areas

      The point of automated face scanning and license plate scanning technologies is not to reduce crime.
      The point is to catch criminals.

      It means the police no longer have to hope that they randomly pull over [criminal] or that someone calls a tip line.
      You put these cameras in high traffice areas and criminals will walk past them and get flagged.
      Or at least that's how it works in ideal situations.

      • Re:afaik (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @10:42PM (#28079615) Journal

        The point is to catch criminals.

        What good is catching them if your penal system releases them back into society without reforming them? Most developed countries don't seem to have a problem catching criminals. The problem seems to be keeping them behind bars and/or showing them the error of their ways so that they don't commit more crimes upon their release.

        I'm skeptical that a fancy camera system is going to change this underlying problem.

        • by gnud ( 934243 )
          Maybe it's got less to do with showing them the error of their ways, and more to do with providing a REAL alternative?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by speedtux ( 1307149 )

        It means the police no longer have to hope that they randomly pull over [criminal] or that someone calls a tip line.

        I don't think either of those is how regular police investigations work.

        You put these cameras in high traffice areas and criminals will walk past them and get flagged. Or at least that's how it works in ideal situations.

        It's a question of false positives vs false negatives. If this has any false positives, it's nearly useless because it will effectively end up being a denial of service attack

      • Catch them? How? Along with stocking up cameras, countries have started laying off policemen. Who should catch them?

        And how? You know that Jonny Badguy was at the corner of Whateverstreet and Humpmyass at 13:52 on the 5th of this month. Too bad nobody had time to take a look at the tapes earlier, but probably he's still around.

        No gee, really? You needed a CAM to know that? A halfway good policeman who knows his area can pin that guy with more reliability.

  • add to their massive data mining efforts. I can't even imagine the possibilities...
    • by value_added ( 719364 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @09:07PM (#28079161) add to their massive data mining efforts. I can't even imagine the possibilities.

      If they do, I hope for our sake it turns out better than their translations.

      the competent authorities will be transferred to safety in the system

      Somebody set us up the bomb.

      the street that 15 thousand people in the face of a second degree in the search by scanning the person is detected and the system of the images with image is brought to the screen.

      Main screen turn on.

      That the people at the top to lock the camera by a third during the 300 meters, is to follow.

      You have no chance to survive make your time.

      To all corners of the country should not be.

      For great justice.

  • Say what again? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by laughingcoyote ( 762272 ) <barghesthowl&excite,com> on Sunday May 24, 2009 @08:44PM (#28079043) Journal

    ...64 wirelessly controlled, tamper-proof face-recognition cameras...

    Sorry, but that's an oxymoron. It may be tamper-resistant (and some wireless devices have pretty good tamper resistance), but nothing that can be controlled wirelessly is tamper proof. Especially not when even the entity that has legitimate access (presumably the Turkish government) is entirely trustworthy to begin with.

    • by Chmcginn ( 201645 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @08:53PM (#28079091) Journal

      Sorry, but that's an oxymoron. It may be tamper-resistant (and some wireless devices have pretty good tamper resistance), but nothing that can be controlled wirelessly is tamper proof.

      Any time you see 'X'-proof in a description, you know they're bullshitting you. There's never been a lock made that couldn't be picked or bypassed in some way.

      The real question is whether it's worth the hassle - hasn't London's experiences shown that CCTV cameras either get broken or people just move into the blind spot to do something they don't want seen?

      • by yog ( 19073 ) * on Sunday May 24, 2009 @11:09PM (#28079757) Homepage Journal

        Well, the London underground CCTV cameras helped them identify [] the subway bombers and locate their helpers and arms stashes. I don't know if even this heinous a crime merits losing one's anonymity, but it proves that such technology can help the good guys when applied correctly.

        As someone above pointed out, however, it's questionable that the Turkish government is benevolent enough to use this technology wisely and correctly. It's doubtful that any government can, actually.

        But, if you were to ask me whether I would sacrifice my life and/or my loved ones in the name of freedom, I would probably say no, go ahead and mount the cameras. I'd rather live.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @10:09PM (#28079469) Homepage

      Sorry, but that's an oxymoron. It may be tamper-resistant (and some wireless devices have pretty good tamper resistance), but nothing that can be controlled wirelessly is tamper proof.

      I think the day they invent a wireless camera that is tamper resistant to a can of spray paint is quite impressive, too.

    • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) *

      "idiot proof" doesn't mean what you think it does either. That's the thing about words.. they have meanings that are assigned by people who use them and cannot be deciphered by those "not in the know". The term tamper-proof is thrown around a lot but it has a meaning.. specifically that if you tamper with it, it'll stop working, so you can't tamper with it anymore, or even cause guys with guns to come stop you from tampering with it.

      Of course, some people are of the belief that if you can't make something

      • The trouble is when you make something idiot proof, nature instantly evolves a bigger idiot!

      • Making the attack obvious is a good idea, because it tells you someone tried and you should check whether he overcame your security obstacles. We use seals for this purpose, and generally they work (no wonder, there are usually neither programming nor moving parts involved).

        Trying to make it "secure" without adding a layer that shows you if someone at least tried to tamper with it is folly. Hybris. You intrinsically assume that your security is foolproof and that anyone trying to break it will fail.

        I have o

  • by aunt_jamima_sr ( 668433 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @08:44PM (#28079045)
    It's inevitable that face-recognition technology, combined with the myriad of other technologies that already allow individuals to be tracked in their daily lives, will become pervasive enough to provide a "dense surveillance grid" to anybody with access to a big enough dataset. The era of anonymous living is quickly coming to an end. We'd be better off devising technological counter-measures than trying to hold back this tide with laws.
    • I'd like to see a system that would work in the winter in Canada. Hard to track faces when they are all covered with scarves. If this became a big problem, I imagine a lot of people would simple cover their faces.
    • This plus data mining:
      1) Point one of these these in each direction on every traffic light
      2) Correlate cell phone conversations (just the participants, not the audio)
      3) Add in some credit card data
      4) Wait for Moore's law to catch up.

      a) Suicide bombers have all their friends checked out, then all their friends, etc.
      Eventually patterns will emerge, allowing ringleaders to be found.
      A few dozen bombers in a region would quickly generate some patterns.

      b) Death of all privacy as we know it..

      • Terrorists may be a lot of things. Most of all they are fanatic and don't care about anything but their 'goal', but one thing they are not: Dumb.

        What do you think will happen if you implement a total surveillance of all electronic communication, from cells to email to whatever else you can come up with? Well, the first thing is that terrorists will use one-time tools. A phone that you use once, then throw away. That's even easier with email addresses. You're going to blow up stuff, so you get issued 20 cell

  • Wow- Every day we are making leaps and bounds in the fields of political oppression! It truly is a bright*I MEAN GRAY* future. Lets all get together and have a party! It would be )@(dwCARRIER LOST
  • Jeez... (Score:4, Funny)

    by FlyingSquidStudios ( 1031284 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @08:58PM (#28079109) Homepage
    First Constantinople, then this. And I still want to know- why did Constantinople get the works?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mahsah ( 1340539 )

      That's nobody's business but the Turk's.

    • I don't know the specifics, but since the official name change came shortly after the collapse of the Turkish Empire, I'd guess that it had a lot to do with the ethnic cleansing that occurred at the time, which resulted in most of Turkey's Greek-speaking minority being forced to leave the country. Under the circumstances, it's not surprising that the city's Greek name got dropped from official usage, and replaced by a Turkish colloquialism ("Istanbul" is a Turkish corruption of a Greek phrase that could be

  • by Assmasher ( 456699 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @09:01PM (#28079125) Journal

    ...the phrase 15,000 faces per second is just an example of sensationalistic journalism.

    There is a minimum input size for the identification of a 'face' dependent upon aspect and the focal length of the camera in question (amongst many other factors such as radial distortion due to the lens, whether the lens is shielded, lighting, et cetera); ergo, the camera in question, at a given focal length, could contain a field of view large enough and the resolution is high enough to meet 15,000 x the absolute mimimal pixel input for a 'face.' The processing for systems of this type (although I don't recall if it applies to this particular system) is tileable and accounts for boundary conditions (a 'face' falls on up to 4 tiles); therefore, the processing is highly parallel in nature. Most likely they meant that with the maximum cameras in place, given their proposed resolutions and fields of view, if they had unlimited computing power they'd theoretically be able to process 15,000 faces each second.

    Solving a computer vision problem like this turns out to be highly hierarchical; i.e. a large number of computers process the incoming camera frames for optical flow, multigaussian motion detecxtion, edge detection, --insert motion map generating algorithm here--, these motion maps are shuttled to a second tier of systems who perform basic pattern recognition in order to discern probable aspect, reference points, and other forms of meta data. This tier can, if given a profile, apply discriminatory filters to sort the wehat from the 'chaff.' These 'probables' are then passed to the highest tier of systems who process this (hopefully) much smaller number of 'faces' using things such as color-space normalization from the original image, the motion map, and all the associated method data that has been generated along the way.

    Luckily, most of the large companies working in these sorts of field are capable of producing crude prototypes; but, oddly enough, quality software engineers tend to be scarce amongst security companies. It is the startups and smaller companies (such as those found in Israel) that approach these types of problems with the flexibility to lead to some seriously scary big brother stuff.

    • Just from the summary, it's 64 cameras which "report" (ie dump images) to a computing cluster which can process the 15,000 faces/second. I would agree that it's sensationalistic journalism, hell it got me to read the article, but I don't think it's merely a theoretical possibility. I would argue that the person with the first post had a more intelligent comment and with much less text.
    • ...the phrase 15,000 faces per second is just an example of sensationalistic journalism.

      I entirely agree, although the journalist is probably just selling a press release. A much more honest description would be to say a minimum of at least 150 faces wrongly identified per second, in ideal conditions.

      Facial recognition systems have misclassification rates measured in percent. If we're being generous, and we say it's 1% (crazy, I know), then that's 150 faces incorrectly identified per second. That's 9

  • Sunnah says: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mapkinase ( 958129 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @09:39PM (#28079329) Homepage Journal

    Hadith - Sahih Bukhari 9:38.2, Narrated Sahl bin Sa'd As-Sa'idi

    A man peeped through a hole in the door of Allah's Apostle's house and at that time, Allah's Apostle had a Midri (an iron comb or bar) with which he was rubbing his head. So when Allah's Apostle saw him, he said (to him), "If I had been sure that you were looking at me (through the door), I would have poked your eye with this (sharp iron bar)." Allah's Apostle added, "The asking for permission to enter has been enjoined so that one may not look unlawfully (at what there is in the house without the permission of its people)."

    Hadith - Mishkat, Narrated AbuDharr Tirmidhi transmitted it, saying this is a gharib (weak chain of narration) tradition

    Allah's Messenger said, "If anyone removes a curtain and looks into a house before receiving permission and sees anything in these which should not be seen, he has committed an offence which it is not lawful for him to commit. If a man confronted him when he looked in and put out his eye, I should not blame him. But if a man passes a door which has no curtain and is not shut and looks in, he has committed no sin, for the sin pertains only to the people inside."

    Though those stories clearly refer to invading the privacy of one house, scholars universally extend to any prying.

    • I see your Sahih Bukhari and raise you Herodotos. The following is my paraphrase of the story of a man who peeped and ... became king []. I reckon Herodotos trumps the Sahih al-Bukhari -- Turkey is a secular state, after all, while Herodotos was Anatolian, and writing about an episode in Anatolian history!

      King Kandaules of Lydia had a particular favourite, a man named Gyges, and boasted to him of his wife's beauty. "You don't believe me?" said the king. "Well, here's a royal command: hide in my wife's bedroom behind the door and watch her as she undresses. Then you'll see her naked, and then you'll have to believe me."

      Gyges was unwilling, but had to do as the king commanded. He hid as ordered and saw the queen naked. Then he tried to sneak out quietly without being seen. Unfortunately the queen noticed him departing, and began to make plans of her own.

      The next morning Gyges was summoned to attend on the queen. "I saw you last night, Gyges," she said, "and you have two choices before you. Either die for having committed the crime of spying on me; or join with me, slay the king, and seize the throne yourself." So Gyges made his choice. At night he followed the queen into the king's bedroom, took the knife she gave him, and murdered the king.

      In this way Gyges usurped the throne and married the queen.

      • by xant ( 99438 )

        So spy on your neighbors if you want their stuff, and their smokin hot wives. (What's up with him having to wait until she's naked though? The face not so good?)

  • This explains it! (Score:4, Informative)

    by B5_geek ( 638928 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @09:43PM (#28079341)

    Istanbul was Constantinople
    Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
    Been a long time gone, Constantinople
    Now it's Turkish delight on a moonlit night

    Every gal in Constantinople
    Lives in Istanbul, not Constantinople
    So if you've a date in Constantinople
    She'll be waiting in Istanbul

    Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
    Why they changed it I can't say
    People just liked it better that way

    So take me back to Constantinople
    No, you can't go back to Constantinople
    Been a long time gone, Constantinople
    Why did Constantinople get the works?
    That's nobody's business but the Turks

    Istanbul (Istanbul)
    Istanbul (Istanbul)

    Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
    Why they changed it I can't say
    People just liked it better that way

    Istanbul was Constantinople
    Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
    Been a long time gone, Constantinople
    Why did Constantinople get the works?
    That's nobody's business but the Turks

    So take me back to Constantinople
    No, you can't go back to Constantinople
    Been a long time gone, Constantinople
    Why did Constantinople get the works?
    That's nobody's business but the Turks


    • Isn't something only "informative" if it provides new information? Is there really anyone here who hasn't known that song by heart for at least ten years?
      • "Is there really anyone here who hasn't known that song by heart for at least ten years?"

        Never heard of it, I'm a 50-ish white Aussie, radio is tuned to "Golden oldies".
      • ah, it's a song? and i'm probably among the many that don't know it?

        i just looked it up on youtube, and it does sound familiar, but i couldn't say when i last heard it (many many years ago).

        perhaps it's more "popular" where you are are then here?

        • the version by They Might Be Giants was a huge hit with the geek crowd in the mid 90s, at least in america. (the song itself actually dates to the 50s.)
          • never heard of them either.
            so basically adavies42's response was yet another example of "america = the entire world, it's known and popular here, so it must be so all over the world"

    • by dargaud ( 518470 )
      Straight from wikipedia:

      Depending on the background of its rulers, it often had several different names at any given time; among the most common were Byzantium (Byzantion), New Rome (Latin: Nova Roma), Constantinople, and Stamboul. It was also called Tsargrad ("City of the Emperors") by the Slavs, while to the Vikings it was known as Miklagad, "the Great City", similar to the common Greek appellation "the City" (he Polis).
      It was officially renamed to its modern Turkish name Istanbul in 1930 with the Turkish Postal Service Law, as part of Ataturk's national reforms. This name in turn derives from the Greek phrase eis ten polin ("to the City").

  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @09:43PM (#28079347) Homepage

    0.6% seems like a good ballpark figure for false positives.This research paper [] claims 0.6%. This article [] says "Commercial facial recognition technology ... had a 1 percent false positive rate."

    15000 faces/sec * 0.6% false positives = 90 false positives per second.

    How many cops does it take to ask 90 people per second to come to the police station to answer a few questions? How many busses does it take to take 90 people per second to the police station?

    Once they get there, if it takes five minutes to look at each suspect's papers, run them through the computer, and clear them, that police station waiting room will need to be big enough to hold 27,000 people.

    • If there is a 0.6% to 1% false positive ratio, that means that out of 1000 "flagged" people 6-10 of these will be of innocent people. Those other 990-994 other guys will be "bad guys" - or true positives from a technical point-of-view. So, whatever the detection rate, a false positive ratio of 1% - as grave as that is to those innocents who are "flagged" - will not make the solution completely unworkable.

      Notice who you don't need a waiting rom big enough to hold 27 000 people when you apply knowledge and ma

      • >If there is a 0.6% to 1% false positive ratio, that means that out of 1000 "flagged" people 6-10 of these will be of innocent people.

        No, that is not what it means.

        Biometric error rates are calculated, naturally enough, on the number of inputs. A false positive rate of 0.6% to 1% means that for every 100,000 people who go past the cameras, if all are innocent, then 600 to 1000 innocent people have to be reviewed by the police. That number needs to be compared with the cost of police time, the number of a

        • OK, then. Definitions seem to be different in different domains. In my domain, the sum of false positive rate (measured in percent) + true positive rate measured in percent = 100%. The sum of false negatives and true negatives is also 100%.

    • Yeah, 1% in a controlled laboratory setting where photographs taken indoors were used as input, instead of actual images taken from actual video footage. Otherwise, it's a 47% success rate for contrived photographs taken outdoors (according to that second article you linked to).

      So unless the Turks plan to make everyone of their people entering a public place, enter a well-lit photo booth, and stare at the camera for a couple of seconds a certain way (otherwise, they get zapped a la Minority Reports) -- then

  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @09:44PM (#28079355) Journal

    Anyone else think this is overkill? I can't pull 15,000 faces a second. Hell I don't think I know how to pull more than about 50 faces. Maybe 100 with variations. I can pull maybe 2 a second. Does this technology recognise middle fingers too?

  • . . . and it is looking back at me.
  • The Amazing Kreskin predicts a new fashion trend in headscarves and veils.

    And yes, the Amazing Kreskin is well aware of the political climate in Turkey regarding scarves.

  • 1984 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wlt ( 1367531 ) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @11:43PM (#28079931)

    paired together with computer-based/automated facial recognition, all this monitoring is going to make life really hard for dissidents eventually. at some point they're really going to be forced to live/hide out in the sewers, if they're going to remain in built-up areas.

    considering Orwell was British (and the widespread deployment of CCTVs seems to have begun there), it makes sense that resistance to this pervasive monitoring began there, but even with these (generally fringe) groups, it's still happening. You've got to wonder if the reason the totalitarian regimes we've had crumble, is because the technology wasn't available yet. What happens when it IS available?

  • The main point is, automated Google translation from Turkish is nowhere is good, and any respectable news source (i.e: slashdot) should not refer to it, unless they want to look funny.

    As someone mentioned above: "they set us the bomb". But given the context of the article, probably "all your base are belong to us".

  • Oh come on, they made a camera immune to slingshots, spray paint, chewing gum on the lens, Vaseline on the lens, a bag placed over the camera, a piece of aluminum foil wrapped around it... not to mention a thousand other things including just being stolen... yes, they could use the other cameras to defend each other... but no, then you can't watch the crowd.

    This only works if the people tolerate it.

  • So you still lose your wallet, but now you get to watch it on youtube from three different angles.
  • by Rick Bentley ( 988595 ) on Monday May 25, 2009 @01:24AM (#28080291) Homepage
    ...and this is sensationalism, there is no good way to process 15,000 faces/second.

    Here's how it works in the real world:
    1) Face recognition demos well with small data sets. When you set it up on a conference room and scan everyone's face in the meeting, and then have each subject re-approach the camera, it works great. Note that the each subject in this demo is in the same lighting and didn't grow a mustache in the last 5min -- and there were only ~10 people in the data set. The real world is very different. A 15,000 subject data set is very very different.

    2) When you set up a camera to scan for faces you need a lot of pixels in a head-on portrait type of shot. 640x480 is actually still pretty high resolution for a camera (there are some 8 megapixel ones but they are rare and they generate so much data that it quickly gets hard to switch and store that much data, even locally). Still, you'll need most of those 640 pixels wide in order to get a good shot of a face -- esp. if you're going to run that face against a large data set.

    3) So, if you had 15,000 640x480 cameras, they'd still have to be setup in front of 15,000 turnstiles, or some other kind of crowd control device, for you to know that you're going to get a good face shot AND people would have to be moving through those turnstiles at 1 person/second. Picking faces out of a crowd? Not going to happen. You'd at least need PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras) with face finding/tracking/grabbing algorithm to even try ... and those algorithms tend to get confused easily (the one on our test bench, from a very large company that does a lot of government sales, tries to chase shadows from the ceiling fan, inevitably follows them to the corner and never sees anything useful again until someone manually overrides it).

    The closest centralized face-tracking technology is from a company called 3VR [], they are used by banks to spot known bad-check writers at the bank counter (when someone cashes a bad check, they will use a different name/account/ID but they still show up with the same face). It works okay, better than nothing at least, but they can tolerate a lot of false-positives and just slow pay them or ask for a 2nd form of ID or whatever.

    The company I started, Connexed [], centralizes video from a lot of cameras, but I can say definitively that there is no tool on the market that will process 15,000 faces per second, no matter how much money you throw at it, and do anything useful other than trigger a flood of false-positive ID's faster than humans can process. You could always try to set the algorithm for maximum false-negatives (let a lot of bad guys get by) and minimum false-positives but even then, unless you have some way to get 15,000 people/second to look directly into a camera under good lighting, you're not going to have anything useful happen.

    I'm sure it demo'd well, though, and the vendor got a good chunk of money for the trial that will ultimately fail.
  • Why have there been so few mechanical turk jokes?
  • ...nationalist nation like Saudi Arabia.
    For the past decade, muslim conservatives have slowly wormed themselves into Turkey's prominent positions and have implemented Sharia/Local Muslim laws.
    Ataturk's greatest legacy was a fiercely secular nation which was protected by its Army.
    The Army was highly secular and any attempts to make the country another muslim dictatorship was resisted with force.
    However in the past decade, the wise old men have slowly faded away and as a result the long-suppressed muslim irri

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!