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If you've been seeing some hate leveled at Microsoft on social media today, odds are it's due to a new online tool released by the company which attempts to gauge your age from an uploaded photo.
According to the Machine Learning Blog, The 'How Old Do I look?' website is based on the "APIs available in the Azure Machine Learning Gallery. The gallery contains many finished intelligent services such as Face, Speech, and Vision which are part of a new suite called Project Oxford from Bing and Microsoft Research." and took only a day to put together.
For the record, the site guesstimated that I was 36. I'm 29. But they were nice enough to apologise in advance with "Sorry if we didn't quite get the age and gender right - we are still improving this feature."
For the first time since launching in 2009, the Microsoft Bing search engine now has over 20 percent market share of the US desktop search market, according to comScore.
Google still leads the way with 64.4 percent of the increasingly competitive market, while Bing has 20.1 percent - Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and other companies are trying to adapt to a growing mobile market.
Bing has been a major effort for Microsoft, which has continually dumped money and development time into Bing. The search engine is now integrated into Xbox, Office, Windows and the Windows Phone, as Microsoft wants to try to lure users away from Google.
If you're on a contract with Optus or iiNet there's a possibility that you've been enjoying watching quota-free Netflix content in recent times, thanks to the online streaming giant signing deals with these ISP's in order to secure unlimited viewership for their customers down under.
In a recent statement, Netflix reflected on these past signing and have commented that "we should have avoided that and will avoid it going forward."
According to an interview with Gizmodo, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is a strong believer in data cap abolishment worldwide. Claiming "there's no reason for data caps. We want to make the internet unmetered. Period. The capped model is antiquated: we want to make it about speed."
There has also been no comment as of yet on how many customers Netflix actually holds in Australia, but we're very interested to see the results.
According to an e-mail sent out to Google partners today, the Mountain View-based search giant will soon be offering a monthly subscription service to YouTube, which would offer an ad-free experience.
The e-mail says: "Your fans want choices. Not only do they want to watch what they want, whenever they want, anywhere, and on any device they choose, they want YouTube features built specifically with their needs in mind. Over the past several months, we've taken bold new steps to bring these experiences to life. Since inviting hundreds of thousands of fans into our YouTube Music Key Beta, we've seen tremendous engagement. And we've seen an equally enthusiastic response for our new YouTube Kids app, designed to give families a simpler and safer video-viewing experience- it's already crossed 2 million installations in less than one month.
We're excited to build on this momentum by taking another big step in favor of choice: offering fans an ads-free version of YouTube for a monthly fee. By creating a new paid offering, we'll generate a new source of revenue that will supplement your fast growing advertising revenue".
We should expect YouTube to unveil its monthly subscription service before the end of the year, with a sure to be competitive price.
The next evolution of Google's search functionality could see users hooked up with easier access to local electricians, plumbers and the like. Not only that, but scheduling appointments could eventually get easier.
The Wall Street Journal has unnamed sources providing it with the news, where they have reported: "Google is planning a service to connect users with plumbers, electricians, roofers and other home-service providers, according to two people familiar with the matter. One of the people familiar with the matter said service providers would be able to upload their schedules to Google, where searchers could sign up for an appointment".
The biggest hurdle here is securing local service providers, as unlike airlines and car insurance companies, more local services operate on a much smaller scale. The challenge here for Mountain View is getting enough of these local providers to sign up for the new service, where it could offer it on a national scale.
The words 'revenge porn' have been plastered across many online and local media outlets in recent months and the website ugotposted.com was in the center of it all.
Kevin Bollaert was this websites former operator and his business was all about hosting thousands of sexually explicit images of various women without their consent - mostly submitted by disgruntled ex-boyfriends and ex-husbands. The real cash flow for Bollaert came through the form of 'take down fees' - charging the victims hundreds of dollars to have their photos removed from the archives.
This court case conviction is the first of its kind and has seen Bollaert handed 18 years in prison (eligible for parole in 10 years) alongside a $10,000 fine for his troubles. This case also sends a clear message to any 'would-be' revenge porn participants that these types of actions are unacceptable.
Liberal politician, Federal Member for Mayo and Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs made a joke about the wrong subject when engaging in a Twitter conversation with political journalist Bernard Keane recently, stating that he will search through Keane's private metadata in order to 'dig up some dirt'.
This incident comes soon after news that the Government will have the unwarranted right to search phone and internet records for all Australian citizens from the past two years.
Although Briggs may see this as a lighthearted joke towards a critic, many users online are furious that this joke has even taken place, further labeling it as the 'harsh reality' that our future generations will have to face.
Karen Davis, 28 year old mother of three from Port Pirie, had something a little different on her bucket list. Sitting right next to meeting ex-AFL player and current media personality Sam Newman was to flash her k-cup breasts at the Google maps car as it went through updating local street view images.
Part of the reason for this addition to her list was that of long distance friendship, with Davis stating "I have a friend over in the UK and we Google map each other's houses. I thought I'd give him something interesting to look at." Taken in January and uploaded this month, Davis has ignored online Facebook critics who have labeled her as "disgusting filth."
Davis claims this action is somewhat part of her "freedom of speech," furthering "I used to be ashamed of my bust size and now I've accepted it and I embrace it."
Popular Australian ISP Internode is well known for their support of gamers and now they're offering up Netflix quota-free for certain plans.
Excluding "all NBN Fixed Wireless, NodeMobile Voice & NodeMobile Data plans, and access via IPv6," you can take full use of this deal by owning one of Internode's "fixed-line broadband or NBN Fiber plans" which encompasses almost everything they have on offer, really.
If you're wanting to sign up for this deal yourself or check out more information, you'll need to head to their Netflix landing page.