Technological Hide and Seek with new Facial Recognition Technology

I read two fascinating articles the other day. One was about the new Windows 10 update and the other was about a new type of glasses in Japan. Both articles had to do with security and face recognizing technology.

Windows 10’s new edition Windows Hello now makes signing into your computer or laptop easier and safer with facial scanning technology. The Verge reports the new system adjusts to recognize the user is wearing glasses. The tech is so accurate, it can tell when an identical twin is trying to log into their siblings computer and deny access. This feature was tested in Australia with a small sample size. It would be interesting to see if the same results happen in a larger sample group.

Inversely, Japan’s National Institute of Informatics (NII) has revealed their most recent shot at thwarting facial recognition tech. People might remember them from a few years ago with their bulky and stroppy LED lighted half-eye mask that would blind cameras. This device, the Privacy Visor, is something completely different and so much cooler.

The Privacy Visor looks like an average pair of sunglasses with a titanium frame. The lens wraps around the front of the face with a white, customizable pattern on them. From the look of them, they do not use any special coatings. Instead, the lens’ material itself tricks facial recognition software by sending light toward the camera.

With a price tag of $240USD, these are definitely a pair of specs found in the trendy part of town. The Privacy Visor will be going on sale next year in Japan.

So whether one wants to hide from recognition or secure their private computer, there are options available.



Photo by Michael Carian.

Originally published on the Amcon GAZEtte.

UV Rays and Aging Around the Eyes

“Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.”
― Maya Angelou

Some people do it more gracefully than others do. Many people have a problem with aging around their eyes. This can come in the form of puffiness and wrinkles that make a person look worn out and not retain their youthful glow.

One of the biggest factors for this type of aging is the amount of UV radiation that the skin is exposed to. The EPA says, “up to 90 percent of the visible skin changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun…most premature aging of the skin can be avoided.”

In previous blogs, we have told you how to block out UV rays with sunglasses labeled UV 400 and wide brimmed hats. There are other ways to stop sun damage, and it is never too late to do so.

Wearing sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or greater when you go outside is one of the best ways to stop skin damage around your eyes and elsewhere. You can use a regular SPF lotion or one of the many foundations and concealers that include SPF in their formula. BB and CC creams are great for this. They even out skin tone while providing SPF protection and moisturize the skin.

Moisturizing is another important way to stop aging around the eyes. Skin around your eyes is the thinnest anywhere else on your body and does not have as many oil glands as other areas. Adding a moisturizer to your nighttime routine can help with this battle.

What you put in your body is just as important as what you put on it when it comes to aging. Per WebMD, “Antioxidants like vitamin C and E, as well as vitamin A and the B vitamin biotin, are particularly important for healthy skin.” This means eating fresh fruit and vegetables with every meal and including a multivitamin like Oculair in your daily routine. A big spinach salad with tomatoes, carrots, and grapes for lunch can go a long way in ensuring the skin around your eyes and elsewhere stays subtle, smooth, and healthy.

There are many things out to get us; by using the above knowledge, aging doesn’t have to be one of them.

About the author: Tiffany Kraus is a territory sales manager for Amcon Labs who writes in her spare time. Unfortunately, there is no MD behind her name. The above information is just that, information. For medical advice please ask a medical professional.

This blog was originally published on the Amcon GAZEtte.


Image by: Pink Sherbet Photography

Some rights reserved

True Clichés and How to Overcome

I had an abysmal childhood, not that I knew that. I knew we were poor. My clothes were hand-me-downs from older cousins, and we ate poor people food. To this day, I refuse to eat bologna, Concord grape jelly, or spaghetti because of how often they were staples of our larder. But, my understanding of how poor we were didn’t come until I was graduating high school and going off to university.

My parents had finally divorced. It was something that I had hoped for since I was a child (yes, it was that bad of a relationship). I lived with my mom in a cute little trailer in a neighborhood where my friends lived. My grades were great and I ranked somewhere in the top 15% of my class. Every single university I applied to sent back an acceptance letter with perks like scholarships and grants that covered most of tuition.

I picked one to go to and five days after moving into my dorm, I was back in the trailer with my mom.

Turned out administrative errors were swarming on campus and several of my grants did not go through. Grants that I had paperwork saying had. It also came out that my mom wasn’t sure she could actually afford the loans she took out to cover what we thought was the remainder of my tuition.

Now, I could have stayed. Financial aid had found me a few grants that would have kept me in school for at least that year. But with my mom’s bombshell, I decided going home and figuring something else out was my best option.

That was my first and largest hurdle when it came to continuing my education, figuring out what I was going to do now that money was not forthcoming and probably wouldn’t be.

I took a semester off, mostly because all the local community colleges had already started up. Looking back, I wish I had taken an entire year off. I let people in my life rush me into an education path I really did not want because they were afraid I would give up.

That was something that was never in the cards for me. I wanted to do better than my parents did. I thought, “When I have children, I don’t want the only thing in the pantry to be peanut butter and jelly.”

It has taken me several years and getting over hurdles like getting kicked out of my father’s house, taking a year off because I didn’t have money for even a single class, and lousy grades due to concentrating on surviving a soul sucking job, but, as of Tuesday August 25th, I have my associate’s degree from Jefferson College in Missouri. Now, I am looking forward to the next leg of my education.

The only advice I can give is do not give up on yourself. I know it is a cliché, but it is a true one. You are your best advocate and know what you want. Or maybe you don’t, but you will figure it out. Take your life one class, one day, one second at a time. It will work out.


This post was written as part of the #Hurdles series, which is tied to LinkedIn’s student editorial calendar. Please, follow the stories here or write your own.

Image by Alessandro Valli

Brown Eyed Girl Turned Blue

If envy is red and doubt is black then happiness is brown. I looked from the little brown stone to the tiny brown freckle to her huge brown eyes.

Annabel Pitcher

With over 7.3 billion people in the world, around 3.63 billion of them have brown eyes. Once, scientist believed that a single gene decided if a person’s eyes were brown or not. We now know several genes control eye color along with skin and hair color. As we learned in my previous blog about blue eyes, the state of the OCA2 gene that codes the P protein is the biggest factor in eye color. High levels of the P protein are associated with brown eyes. The P protein itself is involved in producing melanin. Other genes including TYRP1 and ALC4A5 also influences the amount of melanin a person has.

Studies about eye color have turned up all kinds of interesting facts and tidbits. It is more likely that brown eyed people (especially men) will be perceived as more trustworthy and dominate than their pale eyed companions. Several reasons for this might be true. A slim possibility is a genetic link between certain facial structures and brown eyes. With so few genes controlling eye color, this might be a stretch. A more likely link is purely social.

The authors of the above study done at the Czech Republic’s Charles University believe the correlations stem from brown eyed people being treated more adult-like in infancy and adolescence than their blue eyed peers. They suggest people with blue eyes are treated like children for longer because blue eyes are associated with infants whose melanin hasn’t completely developed in the eyes. In the minds of others, this causes brown eyes people to seem more adult-like or trustworthy and dominate.


Image by Andres Rodriguez