As he turns 93, Mugabe dismisses corruption allegations
By MacDonald Dzirutwe HARARE (Reuters) - As he celebrated his 93rd birthday on Tuesday, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe brushed aside persistent allegations of corruption against senior officials, saying rumour-mongers were merely targeting "big fish" in his administration. In comments to be aired on state media on Tuesday, the world's oldest leader said he would act if shown evidence - even though graft scandals involving ministers and even members of his own family are regular fare in local newspapers. People have not come out and actually said here is a case against a big fish," Mugabe said in the pre-recorded interview.
02/21/2017 - 06:46 AM
Iraqi troops advance on western Mosul as Mattis holds talks
SOUTH OF MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — Iraqi forces advanced Monday into the southern outskirts of Mosul on the second day of a push to drive Islamic State militants from the city's western half, as the visiting U.S. defense secretary met with officials to discuss the fight against the extremists.
02/21/2017 - 12:09 AM
Debt-saddled Mongolia agrees $5.5 bn IMF bailout
Mongolia has reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a $5.5 billion bailout package, officials announced, as the debt-wracked country tries to stabilise its economy. The landlocked north Asian nation has been hit hard by a more than 50 percent fall over the past five years in the price of copper, its main export. Billions of dollars' worth of natural resources lie buried beneath Mongolia's sprawling steppes, but development has been delayed for years and slowing growth in its biggest customer China has hobbled the economy.
02/20/2017 - 01:07 AM
Cop Helps Girl, 10, With Math Homework After She Messaged Police Department on Facebook
"I'm having trouble with my homework. Could you help me?" 10-year-old Lena wrote in a Facebook message to the Marion, Ohio Police Department.
02/20/2017 - 04:59 PM
Shocker! World’s first self-driving car race ends in a crash
The world's first race on a professional track involving self-driving cars ended, not surprisingly, with a crash. As part of the Roborace competition held in Buenos Aires over the weekend, one of the two self-driving Devbot vehicles involved in the race slammed into a wall after miscalculating a particularly sharp turn.
While the Devbot vehicles weren't going all out, they weren't exactly driving at a leisurely pace either. At their best, both cars were driving in excess of 100 MPH, with one reaching a top speed of 115 MPH at one point.
In addition to racing around the track at high speeds, it's worth noting that each car can communicate with the other as to prevent them from crashing into each other. Unfortunately, the racetrack wall proved to be an insurmountable foe.
As for the software malfunction that caused the crash, Roborace's Justin Cooke explained what happened in an interview with the BBC:
One of the cars was trying to perform a manoeuvre, and it went really full-throttle and took the corner quite sharply and caught the edge of the barrier.
It's actually fantastic for us because the more we see these moments the more we are able to learn and understand what was the thinking behind the computer and its data.
Indeed, for as far along as self-driving software and hardware has progressed, it's clear that there's still a lot of work to be done before self-driving cars can replace human drivers completely across all driving environments.
While the DevBot vehicles are designed such that they "can be driven by a human or a computer", the versions used in the race over the weekend did not have any humans inside. Photos of the crash can be seen here.
02/20/2017 - 02:40 PM
Philippine minister stands by call to shut mines as review begins
By Manolo Serapio Jr MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines' environment minister said on Monday she stands by her decision to shut more than half the country's operating mines and bar mining in watershed zones as an inter-agency panel began a review of her actions. Members of the government's Mining Industry Coordinating Council will scrutinize the affected mines to ensure due process was followed and consider the impact on jobs and the economy after an outcry by the mining industry in the world's top nickel ore supplier. The council cannot overturn her orders, but its findings could feed into a decision by President Rodrigo Duterte, who has said he will review the planned closures after initially throwing his support behind his environment minister.
02/20/2017 - 07:54 AM
APNewsBreak: Utah's anesthesia abortion law unenforced
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Last year, Utah enacted a first-in-the-nation law requiring that fetuses receive anesthesia or painkillers before elective abortions starting at 20 weeks gestation. Nine months later, the only licensed clinic providing those abortions in the state says no changes have been made in how doctors perform the procedures.
02/20/2017 - 03:46 PM
Elderly woman finds £5 note worth £50,000, donates the money to young people
Finding out that the fiver in your wallet is worth thousands of pounds is a dream-come-true for some — but not everyone. A Northern Irish woman who discovered a rare £5 note worth £50,000 ($62,317) has given the note to charity because she says she has no use for the money. SEE ALSO: Some lucky duck got a £5 note 'worth £50,000' in a Christmas card The note is one of just four ultra-rare notes worth £50,000 in circulation in the UK. The note — which is engraved with a special Jane Austen inscription — is the third one to be snapped up, leaving just one left. The woman who discovered the note contacted the gallery founded by Graham Short — the artist who engraved the notes — stating her wish to donate the note to charity. "£5 note enclosed, I don't need it at my time of life. Please use it to help young people," reads the letter sent to the gallery by the donor, who prefers to remain anonymous. Image: graham short "The lady who found the note has surprised us all by sending it to the gallery and asking that it be used to help young people," reads a blog post on Short's website. According to the post, the proceeds from the note will be donated to children's charity Children in Need. "Currently contacting outlets connected to Children in Need to try and give this to a good cause so we honour the request of the lucky woman who originally discovered the note," the post continues. BONUS: This keychain can take away that annoying jingle your keys make
02/20/2017 - 08:05 AM
‘A Serbian Trap’: Freezing conditions in Belgrade are not the biggest problem for refugees in Belgrade
A trip along the refugee track within Serbia reveals that the old route through the Balkans is still being used despite strong border control, harsh conditions and frozen temperatures. Despite the existence of camps built by the Serbian state, the migrants are here trying to make their way into European Union countries illegally.
02/21/2017 - 12:35 PM
‘Not My President’s Day’ protests break out across the U.S.
On President’s Day, thousands of people in cities around the country turned out in protest of President Trump at rallies dubbed "Not My President's Day." The protesters took to the streets to declare their opposition to President Trump’s policies.
02/20/2017 - 06:42 PM
AP Exclusive" Malnutrition killing inmates in Haiti jails
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Dozens of emaciated men with sunken cheeks and protruding ribs lie silently in an infirmary at Haiti's largest prison, most too weak to stand. The corpse of an inmate who died miserably of malnutrition is shrouded beneath a plastic tarp.
02/20/2017 - 11:13 AM
Families flee as Pakistan cracks down along Afghan border
Hundreds of families were fleeing from both sides of Pakistan's border with Afghanistan Monday, officials said, as Islamabad continued a violent crackdown on extremists after multiple attacks last week raised fears of a militant resurgence. Pakistan has accused Afghanistan of harbouring the militants who carried out last week's attacks, which killed more than 100 people across the country. The Pakistani military said it used heavy artillery to fire at militant hideouts in Afghanistan Monday, after carrying out airstrikes on both sides of the border over the weekend.
02/20/2017 - 10:36 AM
Time for Some Creative Solutions At the NSC
Here's how Trump can avoid getting trapped in an H.R. nightmare.
02/20/2017 - 11:52 AM
Iran Launches ‘Advanced’ Rockets In Military Exercise
The launches during the annual three-day military exercise took place a day after U.S. senators indicated they could impose further sanctions against Tehran.
02/20/2017 - 05:52 AM
Scuffles at Thai temple as police hunt for monk
By Cod Satrusayang and Aukkaraporn Niyomyat BANGKOK (Reuters) - Monks and police scuffled on Monday at a Buddhist temple in Thailand where security forces are trying to arrest an influential former abbot on money-laundering charges. The standoff at the scandal-hit Dhammakaya Temple represents one of the biggest challenges to the authority of Thailand's junta since it took power in 2014. Police said they would try to avoid violence while threatening arrest for followers of the sprawling temple who have defied orders to leave and instead flocked there, hampering the search for 72-year-old Phra Dhammachayo.
02/20/2017 - 06:25 AM
Traffic study ranks Los Angeles as world's most clogged city
DETROIT (AP) — When it comes to getting stuck in traffic on the way to and from work, Los Angeles leads the world.
02/20/2017 - 01:14 AM
Africa's elusive forest elephants are disappearing
The clock is ticking to save Central Africa's forest elephants. Populations of the elusive elephants have plunged by around 80 percent inside one of the region's most important nature preserves. Within Gabon's Minkébé National Park, poachers likely killed about 25,000 forest elephants for their ivory tusks between 2004 and 2014, according to a Duke University-led study in the journal
Current Biology. SEE ALSO: The world's fastest land animal is even more threatened than we thought That's a significant number of animals, considering that Gabon holds about half of the estimated 100,000 forest elephants across all of Central Africa. Forest elephants in Gabon's Minkébé National Park. Image: john poulsen "The loss of 25,000 elephants from this key sanctuary is a considerable setback for the preservation of the species," John Poulsen, an assistant professor of tropical ecology at Duke'd Nicholas School of the Environment, said Monday in a statement. The dramatic population decline from one of Central Africa's largest, most remote protected areas "is a startling warning that no place is safe from poaching," he added. Across the African continent, populations of all elephants have plummeted from about 1.3 million in the 1970s to less than 500,000 today due to poaching and habitat loss. This week's dismal numbers from Gabon arrive in spite of a concerted effort by governments and conversationists to halt the illegal killing of elephants for their ivory, meat and other parts. Soldiers watch as ivory elephant tusks are burned on a pyre in Libreville, Gabon. Image: Joel Bouopda Tatou/AP/REX/Shutterstock In December, two major global conversation unions adopted resolutions to ban all domestic ivory sales, on top of existing bans on international ivory trading. China, the world's largest ivory market, said it plans to shut down its ivory trade by the end of 2017. Gabon itself has also taken important steps to curb poaching, Poulsen said. The government created a National Park Police force, elevated the conservation status of forest elephants to "fully protected," and doubled the national park agency's budget. In 2012, Gabon was the first African country to burn all its confiscated ivory — a gesture meant to snuff out the spike in poaching. Yet Gabon's elephants are still vanishing, as the new research shows. For their study, researchers estimated a population loss of between 78 and 81 percent by comparing data from two large-scale surveys of elephant dung in the Minkébé park, which were done in 2004 and 2014. The team also used different analytical approaches to account for periods of heavy rainfall, which might've sped up the dung's decay and skewed the accuracy of the surveys. Poulsen and his colleagues said that most poachers likely came from outside of Gabon, including the neighboring country of Cameroon. The edge of Minkébé National Park lies just 3.8 miles from a major Cameroon road, which makes it easy for Camaroonese poachers to cross into Gabon, do their dirty work and bring their illegal haul back into Cameroon. Poulsen and his colleagues urged governments in Central Africa to team up to stop illegal cross-border traffic, including by establishing new multinational protected areas and coordinating international law enforcement. BONUS: Elephants take their final bow at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
02/21/2017 - 02:34 PM
Bouche à Oreille: Michelin mixup makes modest French café a star
Last week, Bouche à Oreille, a café in Bourges, central France, found itself suddenly in possession of a Michelin star. The eatery, which serves hearty dishes of beef bourguignon and lasagna to its clientele of locals, was taken aback by the arrival of swarms of new visitors. Thanks to their identical names, and eerily similar street addresses, the Michelin website had listed the Bourges café on its website by mistake.
02/20/2017 - 03:40 PM
Indonesia Islamists urge ouster of Jakarta governor, plan more protests
Indonesian Islamist groups on Monday called on the government to suspend the Christian governor of the capital and for the courts to convict him of blasphemy, demands they will make again at a rally outside parliament on Tuesday. Islamist groups have held two big rallies since November against the governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who is on trial for insulting the Koran, and in the midst of an election in which he hopes to win a second term. "Our demands to parliament are that they urge the government to suspend Purnama ... and urge the Supreme Court and judges to detain him and impose the maximum sentence," said Muhammad al Khaththath of the Islamic People's Forum.
02/20/2017 - 03:04 AM
Ex-cop says Duterte paid him, others to kill crime suspects
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A retired Philippine police officer said Monday that President Rodrigo Duterte, when he was a mayor, ordered and paid him and other members of a so-called liquidation squad to kill criminals and opponents, including a kidnapping suspect, his family and a critical radio commentator.
02/20/2017 - 04:51 AM
Nigeria urges AU to intervene over 'SAfrica killings'
Nigeria on Monday urged the African Union to step in to stop what it said were "xenophobic attacks" on its citizens and other Africans in South Africa. "This is unacceptable to the people and government of Nigeria," a senior presidential aide on foreign affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said in an emailed statement. There was no independent verification of the claimed number of deaths, which may have been the result of wider criminal activities rather than anti-immigrant sentiment.
02/20/2017 - 11:27 AM
A big day in the history of the United States Postal Service
On February 20, 1792, President George Washington officially created the modern United States Postal Service by signing a sweeping act that promoted a free press and put privacy safeguards in place.
02/20/2017 - 09:55 AM
Azerbaijan strongman appoints wife vice president
Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday appointed his glamorous wife as first vice president, the latest move seen as tightening the family's iron grip on the oil-rich Caspian nation. The elevation of Mehriban Aliyeva -- a prominent socialite and lawmaker -- sees her now become the country's second most senior official after her husband. "She is professional, educated, experienced, principled, and magnanimous," Aliyev told a National Security Council meeting.
02/21/2017 - 08:31 AM
EU welcomes Pence assurance of Trump's support
By Roberta Rampton and Alastair Macdonald BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence assured the European Union in Brussels on Monday that the Trump administration will develop their cooperation in trade and security and backs the EU as a partner in its own right. A month after Donald Trump caused alarm by renewing his endorsement of Brexit and suggesting others may follow Britain out of the EU, Pence told reporters that he had come to "the home of the European Union" with a message from the president.
02/20/2017 - 11:45 AM
SpaceX celebrates successful launch from historic NASA launch pad in Florida
The private company's newest rocket was sent with supplies to the International Space Station.
02/20/2017 - 04:35 AM
Duck boats face increasing calls for improvements, bans
BOSTON (AP) — With their festive, party-like ambiance and ability to travel on land and in water, duck boats have long been tourist attractions for sightseers around the U.S. But a string of deadly accidents has left the industry reeling, forced safety improvements and led some advocates to call for a total ban on the vehicles.
02/20/2017 - 01:20 PM
Waitress evicts huge, pesky goanna that snuck into her restaurant
What comes in, must go out. Especially if it's a massive goanna and it's in a restaurant. Especially in the case of French waitress Samia Lila, who was tasked with evicting a pesky and rather large goanna which had snuck into a winery's restaurant on Sunday. SEE ALSO: Wild koala and dog hang out, proving that we really can all get along According to
ABC News, Lila was serving diners at Mimosa Wines on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia, when one of the customers pointed to a goanna on the deck. "I couldn't believe it was a goanna. I thought it was big dog," Lila told the news outlet. She bravely leapt into action, pulling the goanna by its tail out of the venue. The moment was captured and posted on the Mimosa Wines Facebook page. While some commenters on the video have noted that dragging a goanna by its tail is cruel, Lila said she was trying to be gentle in removing the intruder. "I like reptiles, I think he is a really beautiful creature [and] I didn't want to hurt him," she said. Following the encounter, she said was a bit "shaky." Goannas are often timid and aren't really a risk to humans, but they can produce a nasty bite if threatened. BONUS: This flying motorcycle is straight out of Star Wars
02/20/2017 - 09:12 PM
China opposes U.S. naval patrols in South China Sea
China said on Tuesday it opposed action by other countries under the pretext of freedom of navigation that undermined its sovereignty, after a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group began patrols in the contested South China Sea. The U.S. navy said the strike group, including the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson, began "routine operations" in the South China Sea on Saturday amid growing tension with China over control of the disputed waterway. "China always respects the freedom of navigation and overflight all countries enjoy under international law," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news briefing.
02/21/2017 - 04:22 AM
Beta Shows Off New Trials Models
Beta Shows Off New Trials Models Italian off-road manufacturer Beta has unveiled a number of new and updated Evo Factory range of Trials models. The new line-up features two-stroke 125, 250 and 300cc engines and a 300cc 4-stroke. Beta says the Factory
02/20/2017 - 11:45 AM
Brazil's race to save drought-hit city
The shrunken carcasses of cows lie in scorched fields outside the city of Campina Grande in northeast Brazil, and hungry goats search for food on the cracked-earth floor of the Boqueirao reservoir that serves the desperate town. After five years of drought, farmer Edivaldo Brito says he cannot remember when the Boqueirão reservoir was last full. Brazil’s arid northeast is weathering its worst drought on record and Campina Grande, which has 400,000 residents that depend on the reservoir, is running out of water.
02/21/2017 - 11:36 AM
Supreme Court weighs case of Mexican boy slain across border
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sixty feet and the U.S-Mexico border separated the unarmed, 15-year-old Mexican boy and the U.S. Border Patrol agent who killed him with a gunshot to the head early on a June evening in 2010.
02/20/2017 - 10:47 AM
Romania's have-a-go heroes fight corruption
Romanian architect Serban Marinescu never thought he'd come up against such brazen corruption. Traffic cop Marian Godina came under pressure from superiors over a traffic incident involving a local official. "Romanian society has reached saturation point with regard to corruption," said Godina, 30, the policeman from Brasov in the central Transylvania region.
02/20/2017 - 11:28 PM
Syrian army pounds rebels in pre-talks shelling
Syrian government forces Monday escalated their bombing campaign around Damascus, raining shells down on rebel territory and sending out a "bloody message" just days before renewed peace talks in Geneva. Representatives from the opposition and of President Bashar al-Assad's regime are to head to Switzerland on Thursday for another attempt to end their country's brutal six-year war. "The toll in regime air strikes on (northern rebel district of Damascus) Barzeh has increased to seven people, including a woman and child," the Observatory said, adding that 12 more had been wounded.
02/20/2017 - 03:11 PM
3 Reasons to Celebrate Love Your Pet Day
We know you love your pet because he or she is cute, loyal, and entertaining, too. But scientific evidence suggests that you might want to show your pet some gratitude for your good health. Pet o...
02/20/2017 - 06:00 AM
Storms, tornadoes damage dozens of homes in San Antonio area
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Severe storms that pushed several tornadoes through parts of Central Texas ripped the roofs from homes and damaged dozens of other houses and apartments in San Antonio and toppled auto-carrier cars of a freight train near Austin, authorities said Monday.
02/20/2017 - 07:10 PM
Ski resort razed by the Taliban lifts Pakistan's domestic tourism
By Drazen Jorgic MALAM JABBA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Atop the piste of Malam Jabba in Pakistan's once dangerous Swat Valley skiers schuss downhill, a new Chinese-built chairlift ferries tourists to the peak, and a luxury hotel is under construction to replace one torched by the Taliban. The Taliban declared skiing "un-Islamic" during their 2007-2009 reign of terror over Swat, but improved security in recent years has allowed ski tourism to re-emerge on Malam Jabba, a hill station in the Hindu Kush mountain range. Locals tout Swat as "the Switzerland of Pakistan", with an international ski tournament held there in January.
02/20/2017 - 06:25 PM
Russia's U.N. envoy Churkin dies suddenly in New York
By Jack Stubbs MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's combative ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died suddenly in New York on Monday after being taken ill at work, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. It declined to comment on reports that Churkin had been taken to a hospital shortly before his death. A U.S. government official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the case, said that Churkin had died of an apparent heart attack.
02/20/2017 - 06:54 PM
2017 Mercedes-Maybach S550 4MATIC
A perfectly restrained chauffeur-mobile.
02/20/2017 - 03:15 PM
Here’s how badly the Galaxy Note 7 destroyed Samsung’s reputation in the US
It goes without saying that the spontaneous combustion of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 was a big deal, but rarely do we get an opportunity to see the impact of tech gaffes on public sentiment quantified. A new Harris Poll ranking the "reputation quotient" of the 100 most recognizable brands in the United States provides just that, and the picture isn't good one for Samsung. In fact, it's pretty dire.
In last year's reputation ratings, Samsung landed in the seventh position out of 100 companies, beaten only by Amazon, Apple, and Google on the tech side of things. Fast forward to today, and Samsung has found itself barely squeezing into the top half of the chart with the number 49 spot on the rankings.
As big of a drop in the charts as it has taken, it's interesting to note that Samsung's actual reputation rating only actually dropped from 80.44 to 75.17. Harris considers a rating of 80+ to be "Excellent," and groups ratings of 75 to 79 into the "Very Good" category. Additionally, both Apple and Google took hits in their ratings as well, though not nearly as drastic — Apple fell from 83.03 to 82.07 and Google dipped from 82.97 to 82.00.
The study is conducted via interviews with US adults, each of which are asked to rate companies that they are familiar with. According to the methodology of the research, each company received a rating from approximately 300 respondents. The timing of the study wasn't particularly favorable to Samsung, having been conducted from late November to mid December of 2016, which was precisely when Samsung was in the midst devising a way to remotely kill off the Note 7s that were still in the hands of owners.
02/20/2017 - 03:28 PM
12 workers fired for skipping work during 'Day Without Immigrants' protest in Oklahoma
Twelve employees of a Tulsa-area restaurant are without a job after skipping work on the "Day Without Immigrants."
02/19/2017 - 10:57 PM
Asylum-Seekers Flee US Border Patrol For Canada
There has been a reported increase in the number of individuals trying to trespass into Canada — several doing so under dangerous and freezing conditions — since President Donald Trump assumed office.
02/20/2017 - 06:40 AM
Swedish PM 'surprised' by Trump's remarks
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said Monday he was "surprised" by US President Donald Trump's remarks linking the arrival of a wave of migrants with a supposed rise in violence in the Scandinavian country. "I was, like many others I believe, surprised by the comments made about Sweden this weekend," Lofven said during a joint press conference in Stockholm with visiting Canadian Governor General David Johnston. "You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden.
02/20/2017 - 01:45 PM
Philippines: Vietnamese ship attacked; 1 dead, 6 abducted
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Gunmen attacked a Vietnamese cargo ship off the Philippines' southern tip, killing a Vietnamese crewman and abducting six others including the vessel's captain, the Philippine coast guard and the ship's owner said Monday.
02/20/2017 - 07:53 AM
Floods inundate thousands of homes in Indonesian capital
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Torrential rains in the Indonesian capital have overwhelmed drains and flooded roads and thousands of homes.
02/20/2017 - 11:16 PM
Women named to head Saudi bourse, major bank
Women have been named to head Saudi Arabia's stock exchange and a major bank, the institutions announced, despite the kingdom's social restrictions on females. Samba Financial Group on Sunday said Rania Mahmoud Nashar had begun work as chief executive officer. The announcement came three days after the Saudi stock exchange, known as Tadawul, named Sarah al-Suhaimi as chairman of its board.
02/20/2017 - 10:41 AM
In photos: TV show and movie-inspired bars and restaurants around the world
02/21/2017 - 09:00 AM
Ex-president's supporters arrested as tensions flare in Gambia
Gambian police said they arrested 51 people in a former stronghold of ex-president Yahya Jammeh for harassing followers of new leader Adama Barrow, amid lingering tensions following Jammeh's flight into exile. Jammeh narrowly lost a Dec. 1 election to Barrow after 22 years of authoritarian rule. Jammeh initially refused to step down but fled to Equatorial Guinea last month as international military forces descended on the capital Banjul to uphold the election result.
02/20/2017 - 10:36 AM
This new iPhone 8 feature might end up blowing our minds
Amid rumors that the iPhone 8 will incorporate advanced facial recognition features, the Hebrew-language website Calcalist (via Times of Israel) is reporting that Apple recently acquired Realface, an up-and-coming Israeli startup with impressive real-time facial recognition software.
Lending credence to rumors that the iPhone 8 may forgo the use of Touch ID in favor of facial recognition, Realface's software is said to be sophisticated enough such that it can reliably be used as a foundation for mobile-based biometric authentication.
As is often the case when Apple acquires a company, Realface's web presence has already been wiped from the web. Still, thanks to the magic of Google, we were able to poke around and dig up some intriguing nuggets of information about the company's promising technology.
Realface boasts that it's AI software rests upon deep learning methods and is so reliable and quick that the end-result is an absolutely seamless user experience.
"Our technology provides our customers and end-users with the highest level of authentication and security available on all platforms," says Realface. "We have proprietary IP in the field of frictionless face recognition and effective learnings from facial features." Incidentally, Realface's technology is also capable of filtering out photos of faces and advanced sculptures designed to trick the software into thinking that a device's camera is honed in on an actual human face.
Further, Realface claims that its software can recognize faces with a 99.67% success rate, an impressive figure that is even higher than the average 97.5% success rate exhibited by humans. To this point, a profile on Realface from last year relays that the company's technology is so advanced that it can even distinguish between identical twins with alarming and impressive accuracy.
Below is a quick and dirty demo of the software in action.
What's particularly interesting is that Realface's technology is not only capable of discerning individual faces, but can also analyze specific facial expressions as a means to determine a user's mood. If this sounds somewhat familiar, Apple last year acquired Emotient, a company with similar AI technology of its own.
Now as for what Apple is planning to do with its growing portfolio of AI-based facial recognition software, well, that's the million dollar question. While initial speculation centered on Apple rolling out augmented reality features, perhaps similar to what the beloved MSQRD app does, more recent rumblings suggest that Apple wants to position facial recognition as a means to identify users and securely authorize sensitive transactions. Again, there are even reports that facial recognition might ultimately serve as a replacement for Touch ID.
While this seems far-fetched, Ming Chi-Kuo -- an analyst with the best track record regarding Apple rumors -- seems to think otherwise. In a recently issued research note, Kuo claims that the iPhone 8's rumored edgeless design cannot, for whatever reason, coexist peacefully with Touch ID. Consequently, Kuo relays that Apple wants to eventually replace Touch ID with a facial recognition solution.
When it comes to Apple, the old adage that when there's smoke, there's fire is generally true. That being the case, it stands to reason that facial recognition will be a huge and incredibly exciting component of the iPhone 8 user experience.
02/20/2017 - 09:33 AM
2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
Hyundai's eco warrior stares down the reigning champion.
02/20/2017 - 12:01 AM
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