Facial recognition tech spreads to car rentals

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Why take out your wallet and photo ID if a camera and software program can scan your face, verify your identity, and send you on your way in 30 seconds?

That’s what Hertz rental cars is asking with its new partnership with Clear, the biometric face and fingerprint scanning company you’ve seen at airport security checkpoints. 

SEE ALSO: Microsoft wants regulation to keep the ‘facial recognition genie’ in the bottle

At the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport this month, you can check out and drive off in your rental car with just a scan of your face (or a fingerprint reading). The offer only applies, however, if you’re a Gold Plus Rewards program member who’s signed up for Clear. Instead of showing an ID, you just look up at the camera from the car window and after scanning your face it matches the images against the database where your info is already logged. Read more…

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102-year-old woman may just be the oldest skydiver ever

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This badass lady didn’t let her age stand in the way of a thrill. 

Irene O’Shea became what seems to be the oldest person to skydive at 102 years old and 194 days. The previous oldest skydiver, according to news reports, was Kenneth Meyer, who landed a jump in 2017 at 102 years and 172 days. 

On Sunday, O’Shea bundled up, boarded a helicopter, and while strapped to her instructor, she jumped out at 14,000 feet — all for a good cause.

SEE ALSO: These old and obsolete tech products actually make great gifts

After her daughter died of motor neuron disease — a degenerative disorder also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease — 10 years ago, O’Shea began raising awareness and funds for research. This is her third dive for the Motor Neurone Disease Association of South Australia. Her first was on her 100th birthday in 2016.  Read more…

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Facebook is still trying to find new places to put ads

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It might seem like there’s already tons of ads on Facebook, but the company is still searching for new places to put more of them. 

The latest method that’s materializing is in search results, where Facebook is now experimenting with ads, the company confirmed. 

SEE ALSO: ‘Highly confidential’ documents reveal Facebook used VPN app to track
competitors

“We’re running a small test to place ads in Facebook search results, and we’ll be evaluating whether these ads are beneficial for people and businesses before deciding whether to expand it,” Facebook product manager Zoheb Hajiyani said in a statement.  Read more…

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Cosmonauts brought a knife to a spacewalk

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Let’s be honest, spacewalks, as a whole, can be pretty boring to watch. 

Yes, it’s one of the most dangerous things an astronaut or cosmonaut can do in space: floating out into the void with just a relatively thin spacesuit to protect them.

But at the end of the day, these spacewalks usually amount to some pretty tedious tasks performed in the name of routine maintenance on the International Space Station.

However, this week, things got a little more interesting.

On Tuesday, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev ventured outside of the station to perform a little rocket surgery.  Read more…

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Puma is reissuing a 1986 fitness-tracking ‘smart shoe’

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The nostalgia carousel keeps going round and round, and brands have happily hopped on for the ride.

Puma announced Monday that it would reissue a little-known shoe with a technical twist from 1986: the RS-Computer Shoe. The shoe, then and now, looks like a running shoe with a plastic protuberance on the back — which is where the shoe tracks your movement and activity. 

SEE ALSO: Bose Frames are augmented reality audio sunglasses

Chunky and retro fabulous? Yep, sounds like a very on-trend shoe to us. Plus, Puma is only releasing 86 of these babies (as in the year the shoe was released). So the hype beasts might really line up for this one. Read more…

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At the Google hearing, Congress proves they still have no idea how the internet works

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s long-awaited Congressional hearing took place on Tuesday.

Pichai testified before Congress on Google+ data breaches, the controversial Chinese-censorship friendly search product, and perceived anti-conservative bias. But, there was one more pressing concern that took center stage to those watching the hearing: Several members of Congress, at least on the House Judiciary Committee, have no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to technology.

At the #GoogleHearing, Rep. Smith is bringing up debunked claims that have been pushed by President Trump. Here, @LamarSmithTX21: “No, 96% of Google news stories on Trump AREN’T from left-wing outlets.” https://t.co/bRHn5zPPjR

— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) December 11, 2018 Read more…

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Instagram will offer special features to influencers with new ‘creator accounts’

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Instagram is taking new steps to woo some of its highest profile users. 

The app is testing “creator accounts,” which would add new analytics and messaging features geared toward influencers and other power users of the photo-sharing app.

SEE ALSO: These viral Instagram workout videos have gone too far

The update is currently being tested and will roll out more broadly next year, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  It will offer influencers an alternative to Instagram business profiles, which the company introduced in 2016, Instagram wrote in a statement.

“Increasingly, creators rely on Instagram to connect with followers and grow their personal brands, however the tools that are currently available to businesses today make it difficult for them to track their growth and engagement over time. We’re building the new Creator Account to help solve some of those challenges and make it easier for creators to grow their personal brands on Instagram,” the announcement reads. Read more…

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NASA responds to moon landing truther Steph Curry

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NASA wants Steph Curry to know that yes, the moon landing was real, and they’re even inviting him to check out some space rocks to prove it.

During an interview on the podcast “Winging It,” the Golden State Warriors star revealed that he doesn’t believe the United States has been to the moon. 

About 46 minutes into the episode, he abruptly changed the conversation topic from what sounds dinosaurs made to space exploration.

SEE ALSO: Steph Curry responds to 9-year-old’s letter about offering his shoes in sizes for girls

“We ever been to the moon?” Curry asked. 

The group, including Atlanta Hawks players Vince Carter and Kent Bazemore, and Curry’s teammate Andre Iguodala, concluded with a unanimous “Nope.”  Read more…

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New study finds female-led films perform better at box office. Your move, Hollywood.

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Movie audiences love women. 

According to a study by Creative Arts Agency and shift7, films with women in leading roles earn more than their male counterparts at the box office, a finding which should lead to a major paradigm shift in show business.

“The perception that it’s not good business to have female leads is not true,” CAA agent Christy Haubegger told The New York Times. “They’re a marketing asset.”

SEE ALSO: We have a lot to learn from Megan Fox’s #MeToo comments

CAA and shift7 examined 350 top box office films from 2014 to 2017, defining “lead actor” as the first performer credited in official press materials (also of note: most of these films passed the Bechdel test). 105 of these were women. In every category broken down by budget, films with women in the lead outperformed those starring men.  Read more…

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