Facial detection can be blocked by changing the spatial relationship of your features: notes on event with artist Adam Harvey

Painting like this on your cheekbones is more likely to throw off facial detection technology than other methods, according to a thesis from artist Adam Harvey. Image courtesy of Harvey

Facial detection can be blocked by changing the contrast of and spatial relationship between key facial features.

So, though growing a beard might throw a casual human glance off, the growing process of computerized recognition is rarely tricked, because it focuses primarily on the T made by your eyes and the bridge of your nose. You’d be better served by painting on your cheekbones like above, a discovery that was part of a masters thesis from artist and photographer Adam Harvey. Harvey does research on tricking facial detection technology.

That discovery was among the coolest lessons I took from moderating a Q&A seminar hosted by the Academy of Natural Sciences as part of the kickoff of the Philadelphia Science Festival. Called Hiding in Plain Sight, it was also one of a number of events done in partnership with the second annual Philly Tech Week, which I’m helping to organize this week.

There were others — Harvey noted that he focuses on facial detection, instead of facial recognition, because the former has to happen first. Roughly 40 people listened, if only in part, to Harvey’s compelling presentation and his answers to questions from me and the audience, seated in a crowded Frankford Hall last Friday. The major kickoff event followed.

Continue reading Facial detection can be blocked by changing the spatial relationship of your features: notes on event with artist Adam Harvey

Philly Tech Week presented by AT&T: the second annual celebration of innovation

More than 80 events celebrating technology and innovation in the Delaware Valley are taking place over the next few days as part of the second annual Philly Tech Week presented by AT&T and organized by Technically Philly.

We first introduced this second year last fall. I am enormously proud to follow the work we managed last year.

Philly Weekly cover story on Technically Media, Philly Tech Week and our roots

Proud to say that popular alt-weekly Philadelphia Weekly put a feature story about my Technically Media colleagues and I on its cover this week.

Thanks to freelancer and ReadWriteWeb scribe John Paul Titlow for the interest, PW editor Nina Hoffman for editing and young Karrisa Olsen for taking some photos. A few others are here.

Under different leadership, this is the same publication that not too long ago poked some fun at us.

Find the story here or browse the issue here.

Philly Tech Week April 22-28, 2012: seeking anchor organizers and sponsors for second annual festival

The second annual Philly Tech Week will take place April 22-28, 2011, as we announced on Technically Philly recently.

We unveiled our media kit, made impressively by my colleague Brian James Kirk, which you can see here.

The open calendar of events was first held this past April, attracting more than 4,000 people attended at least one of 65 events held throughout the city and surrounding counties during the inaugural celebration. See my roundup of the event series impact here.

Continue reading Philly Tech Week April 22-28, 2012: seeking anchor organizers and sponsors for second annual festival

White House Urban Entrepreneurship Forum: speaking on public-private partnerships

White House Urban Entrepreneurship forum Better Together panel, featuring (from left) moderator Kathleen Warner from Startup America; Doug Rand from the White House Office of Science and Technoogy; Sherryl Kulman from the Wharton Program for Social Impact; Prof. Youngjin Yoo from Temple University's Fox School of Business; Jane Vincent from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Dept and, behind the camera, me.

One of seven White House Urban Entrepreneurship forums across the country was hosted at Temple University in Philadelphia Monday, and, in addition to Technically Philly being a media sponsor, I served on one of a dozen panels.

Find the Livestream and Technically Philly coverage of Philadelphia Mayor Nutter’s address here.

I was on a panel called “Better Together: Public-Private Partnerships to Accelerate Urban Entrepreneurship and Startups.”

Unfortunately, our time was truncated due to a late start, so I spoke briefly once and answered one question.

I spoke about Technically Philly involving itself in connecting startups and entrepreneurs with the city, by way of Philly Tech Week, the Open Data Philly initiative and further fostering collaboration in various corners of the region’s technology community.

White House officials are holding these forums, from Newark to New Orleans, to connect and discuss ideas with local business leaders and entrepreneurs. Philadelphia’s forum coincided with a meaningful minority business event. The forum was co-hosted by the White House, The Office of Mayor Nutter, U.S. Departments of Commerce, Energy, Labor, Treasury, Education, and several federal, state, and local agencies.

Talkadelphia: talking to podcast about Technically Philly, Philly Tech Week, business

For years, I felt there was a shortage of good, long-form podcasts in and about Philadelphia.

Last year, Talkadelphia came about and has helped, offering weekly conversations with mostly younger Philadelphians in the arts, though Kishwer and Gino have traveled a lot of ground in more than 30 episodes.

The pair visited our Technically Media offices, and we talked about Technically Philly, Philly Tech Week and starting a business. Listen to the podcast here.

Philly Geek Awards: nominated by Geekadelphia for Philly Tech Week, Story Shuffle, Constitution Daily

As I shared on Technically Philly today, the team behind Geekadelphia, the playful geek culture blog, has announced the first ever Philly Geek Awards to take place Friday, Aug. 19 at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

I am proud to say I have my hand in three of about a dozen or so nominations. Thanks Eric and crew!

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Do news orgs have a responsibility for action?: Notes from BarCamp NewsInnovation 2011

Do news organizations have responsibility for their outcome?

That became the final and, I think, as yet unanswered close to a discussion I led during the final session of the third national BarCamp NewsInnovation, held Saturday April 30 at Temple University and rounding out the inaugural Philly Tech Week. [See past BCNI write ups here.]

Overall I felt this BCNI, with some 150 attendees from startup shops and some serious brands, featured more sessions that embodied that unconference spirit in being less presentation and more dialogue, something I don’t think I felt in the past. I was also interested to see the true step forward past social media and other tools and into sustainability, which I find to be a far more important place to be.

To that end and coming off Philly Tech Week, without preparation, I proposed a session in the day’s final hour: “A conversation on news as a convener.”

Continue reading Do news orgs have a responsibility for action?: Notes from BarCamp NewsInnovation 2011

Philly Tech Week Signature event: video of my address and take aways

Standing with my colleague Sean Blanda, City Managing Director Rich Negrin and my colleague Brian James Kirk at Signature Event. Photo by Rachel Playe.

The inaugural Philly Tech Week has passed, and I shared a roundup of the entire week, but I wanted to focus in on one of the larger events.

As I noted, my Technically Philly colleagues and fellow PTW organizers each took hold of a portion of the nine of the week’s 65 events that we organized. Among what I handled was taking the lead on our Friday night Signature Event, featuring a 150-person, catered cocktail reception at WHYY in Old City, featuring keynote speaker Rich Negrin, the City of Philadelphia Managing Director who discussed good government initiatives.

I have some take aways below, which I hope to add to, in addition to the text of the quick address I gave to kick off the evening and video, showing that I’m not very good at actually listening to what I write.

Continue reading Philly Tech Week Signature event: video of my address and take aways

Philly Tech Week: the inaugual roundup of coverage, lessons and highlights

The inaugural Philly Tech Week, made official by City Council, has come and gone.

All told, my fellow Technically Philly co-founders and PTW co-organizers helped bring together 65 events, from more than 50 groups that attracted more than 3,000 people (we’re still tallying) in the first six day-event that we first suggested in the summer, confirmed in November but did get moving until February.

So, as is my custom, I wanted to gather together what happened, the thoughts from others and my take aways so we can do even better next year.

Continue reading Philly Tech Week: the inaugual roundup of coverage, lessons and highlights