Thousands of people already sharing the results of their experiments on social media. Transformations of famous figures, actors, politicians, and cricketers emerging from everywhere.

Haven’t you tried the new FaceApp? I bet you may have tried or at least heard the latest viral news about it. If not, this App can transform your face to make it smile, look younger, look older, or change gender in seconds (Oops!).

This app is also capable to turn blank or grumpy expressions into smiling ones. Well, this at least helps some people smile.

The app has gone viral - but how many of you have read the terms and conditions? 

What the FaceApp do?

The FaceApp is an image editing App which generates highly realistic transformations of faces in photographs automatically using the neural network technology.

The App provides many options to manipulate the uploaded images such as editor options of adding an impression, make-up, smiles, hair colors, hairstyles, glasses, age or beards. Filters, lens blur, and backgrounds along with overlays, tattoos, and vignettes are also a part of the app.

Is it the new kid on the block?

The FaceApp is not new. It was developed by a Russian company Wireless Lab (Russian? oh yes). First launched in 2017 on iOS in January and on Android in February same year. Ever since it has met much criticism in many areas like gender changes, ethnicity filters and of course over privacy concerns of user data.

Why FaceApp seems so scary?

Ever since the face-editing tool went viral in the last few days (especially after July 18, 2019 update), many have raised concerns over its terms and conditions. Many claims that the company a cavalier approach to users’ data. Some further claims the App can upload additional images available in the phone where the app is installed.

Eyebrows were raised lately when app developer Joshua Nozzi tweeted that FaceApp was uploading troves of images from people’s smartphones without permission.

The company said the App takes only the uploaded images by users that have been selected for editing and not additional images. Further FaceApp said in a statement most images were deleted from its servers within 48 hours of being uploaded.

The FaceApp also informed they even accept user requests to remove personal data from their servers. However, they said their support team is backlogged with those requests. FaceApp also stated 99% of users choose not to log in, so they don’t have much in the way of identifying information.

A French cyber-security researcher who uses the pseudonym Elliot Alderson investigated Mr. Nozzi’s claims. He found that no such bulk uploading was going on – FaceApp was only taking the specific photos users decided to submit as the company responded.

Why the App cannot process locally?

Questions raise why FaceApp needs to upload photos to the cloud at all when the app could just do the same process images locally theoretically.

Steven Murdoch, at University College London, agreed.

“It would be better for privacy to process the photos on the smartphone itself but it would be likely [to be] slower, use more battery power, and make it easier for the FaceApp technology to be stolen,” he told BBC News.

https://www.bbc.com

Cyber-security researcher Jane Manchun Wong tweeted that this may simply give FaceApp a competitive advantage – it is harder for others developing similar apps to see how the algorithms work.

Though the FaceApp itself is a Russian company with offices in St Petersburg, the servers (Google & Amazon) that stores user photos are located in the US.

What about facial recognition?

Others have speculated that FaceApp may use data gathered from user photos to train facial recognition algorithms. This is also possible even after the photos are deleted because measurements of features on a person’s face can be extracted and used for such purposes.

“No, we don’t use photos for facial recognition training,” the firm’s chief executive, Yaroslav Goncharov told BBC News. “Only for editing pictures.”

https://www.bbc.com

The gender change filter

The gender change transformations of FaceApp have attracted particular interest from the LGBT and transgender communities, due to their ability to realistically simulate the appearance of any person as the opposite gender in a few seconds.

In another instance, a “hot” transformation was available in the earlier app (in 2017) supposedly making its users appear more physically attractive. This was accused of racism for lightening the skin color of black people and making them look more European. This same feature was briefly renamed “spark” before being removed.

The ethnicity filter

The FaceApp once again faced criticism when it featured “ethnicity filters” depicting “White”, “Black”, “Asian”, and “Indian”. In response to much criticism made in Press and Social Media, the company immediately withdrew this feature.

Call for FBI investigation into the App

US senator Chuck Schumer expressed “serious concerns regarding both the protection of the data that is being aggregated as well as whether users are aware of who may have access to it” and called for an FBI investigation into the app.

In response to questions, the company’s founder, Yaroslav Goncharov, stated that user data and uploaded images were not being transferred to Russia but instead processed on servers running in the Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services

Furthermore, FaceApp’s privacy policy says that all information collected by the app can be stored and transferred to whichever countries FaceApp and its affiliates operate from. This means user images and app data can be stored even in Russia, the country where the app’s development team is based.

Twitter has similar Terms and Conditions

US lawyer Elizabeth Potts Weinstein argued the app’s terms and conditions suggested user photos could be used for commercial purposes, such as FaceApp’s ads.

But Lance Ulanoff, editor-in-chief of tech site Lifewire, pointed out that Twitter’s terms, for example, contained a similar clause.

You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your User Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you. When you post or otherwise share User Content on or through our Services, you understand that your User Content and any associated information (such as your [username], location or profile photo) will be visible to the public.

— FaceApp terms of use, Forbes, 2019

Are users aware of all these?

Everyone is fascinated to look into their future and the past. Well, FaceApp brings this wish into a reality in seconds. Many people just install Apps and mark the Terms and conditions as agreed even without reading a word.

FaceApp is the most popular free app on Google Play and Apple’s App Store thanks to an age filter that makes people in photos look much older. I believe this trend will go on for some time until er pick up the next.

What would you do if you didn’t get the opportunity of following a formal training program to land in a suitable job? Specially when you have acquired necessary skills through experience to practice a particular trade.

Though you can perform what a professional does in the same industry but you don’t carry that particular certification or the recognition as a professional.

Who is there for your rescue?

How about if you can turn your experience into a certification accepted by the industry nationally or maybe internationally through testing your skills to standardize and certify as a professional?

Read More

I thought to write an article after a very long silence. Today I thought to reveal about a website. Actually, this website is a tool which you can use to Test your website (mobile site, app, etc) to obtain independent feedback (A free peek into the usability) from a user. I know you will be happy to hear feedback about your website from someone else, especially if is launched recently so that you can fine tune and optimize its features to improve it further.

Can you imagine how many websites are on the World Wide Web (WWW) today? According to the Internet Live Stats, There are over 1 billion websites on the World Wide Web today. This milestone was first reached in September 2014, as confirmed by Netcraft in its October 2014 Web Server Survey and first estimated and announced by Internet Live Stats.

Yes, 1 billion websites. Do you know how many websites are born each day? This value lies around 140,000 per day (at least during 2012). A survey by Netcraft in 2012 showed that a total number of websites launched in 2012 were 51 million i.e. ~140,000 per day. At the time of this article, there are 1,693,861,084 websites and 4,255,498,850 internet users (WOW).

Current Internet users

I can imagine the impact of this growth as a person in the pre-internet era where I worked on Commodore 64 PCs (with 64KB RAM + 20 KB ROM). I will write a separate article about them in the near future.

So I know you will definitely agree on how important it is for you to improve and optimize your website to stand against this huge competition. So let’s review this tool and understand its potential benefits further.

With the Internet Live Stats tool, you can do a Usability testing (the process of evaluating a site or product’s usability by letting real people try it). You can get a peek into the mind of your users (real feedback, real people, real fast) within a very short period. Here you can see and hear a 5-minute video of a real person using your site or app for free. You have the option to select your own intended audience for testing. This will bring you real feedback from real people.

Using this tool; you can test;

  • Websites
  • Mobile sites
  • Games
  • Prototypes
  • Mobile Apps
  • Competitor sites

Watch this Reemyu Store Video Review prepared for a web store called Reemyu Store for apparel and clothing accessories. Remember this reviewer is randomly selected (for the free review) and he provides his feedback based on his own knowledge and experience.

You can also obtain a more narrowed down professional feedback based on your;

  • own tasks
    I Know How It Works - create your own tasks

I Know How It Works - create your own tasks1

  • target audience and
    I Know How It Works - select your target audience
  • even create and share clips

They also provide upgraded versions (Basic and Pro). Here are the features of both versions.

Basic

  • Video and audio of your site or app is used
  • Test on computers, phones, and tablets
  • 15-minute maximum video length
  • 25 video storage limit

Pro

  • Video and audio of your site or app is used
  • Test on computers, phones, and tablets
  • 60-minute maximum video length
  • Unlimited video storage
  • Screeners and demographic filters
  • Moderated usability testing
  • Competitive benchmarking
  • Dedicated account manager
  • User tests with your own customers
  • Highlight reels
  • Customer experience analytics
  • Research team to summarize key findings
  • Omni-channel studies
  • Live intercepts of your website visitors
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Dedicated recruiter

To do a test yourself visit the Internet Live Stats website and try it for your own website (or even any selected website).

Hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you have any comments please post it below.

Also, you may visit the Reemyu Store website and review it yourself and compare with your feedback with the video above.  Post your questions in our Useful sites Forum to take you to the next level on improving your web site.

Sources Internet Live Stats

I Know How It Works USB

This is the second post written consecutively regarding USB drives within a short period of time (read the previous article Should you pull out your USB or eject?). The previous post was viewed and highlighted by many readers. I decided to write again about USB and this time it is about the speeds and the technology behind it. I hope this will help everyone to understand and benefit in their day to day life in the home, school or at work.

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is the communication protocol used between computers and electronic devices to communicate with each other. The initial usage of USB did not support high-speed data transmission but was intended to use with slower devices like mouse, keyboard, game consoles, etc.

The evolution of USB devices can be noticed in parallel to its demand by various devices evolved in the market. Nowadays devices like tablets, smart-phones, game consoles, camera, scanner, etc and many more devices are connected through USB, allowing communication and recharging more convenient and faster.

The evolution of USB technology with time and speed.

USB StandardData Transfer speedKnown As
USB 1.112 MbpsFull Speed
USB 2.0480 MbpsHi Speed
USB 3.05 GbpsUSB 3.0 or SuperSpeed
USB 3.1 Gen 15 GbpsUSB 3.1 Gen 1 or Super Speed
USB 3.1 Gen 210 GbpsSuper Speed+ or Super Speed 10

Evolution in detail – facts and figures

USB 1.0

  • Speed – 1.5 Mbps (Megabits per second) as a low-speed device and 12 Mbps (Megabits per second) as a full-speed device.

USB 2.0

  • High Speed (HS) – 480 Mbps (Megabits per second)
  • Half duplex – can either send or receive data
  • Power usage -Up to 500 mA

USB 3.0

  • Super Speed (SS) – 4.8 Gbps (Gigabits per second)
  • Full duplex – can send/ receive data asynchronously
  • Power usage -Up to 900 mA, more power efficient (less power in idle state)
  • Can power more devices
  • Backward compatible – can be used with USB 2.0 devices at the speed of USB 2.0.

USB 3.1

  • Super Speed (SS) – 10 Gbps (Gigabits per second)
  • Can power any type of device
  • The c-type connector that plugs in without regard to orientation.
  • Improved bus utilization using NRDY & ERDY packets to let a device asynchronously notify the host, of its readiness to function.

USB Connector Standards

StandardDescription
USB Type-AThis is found on virtually every desktop PC, laptop, TVs, game consoles and media players in use today. Although the USB 3.0 Type-A connectors hold more internal pins, the form factor is the same, therefore, it can operate in any Type-A port, even USB 1.1. data transfer, however, will be at the speed of the older generation.
USB Type-BThis is commonly used to connect printers and external hard drives to desktop computers. The Type-B port actually has two different configurations; one is specific to USB 1.1 and 2.0-speed protocols, and the other is for use with the USB 3.0 and later specifications.
USB Mini-BThis is mostly used by portable electronics such as digital cameras, MP3 players and certain mobile phones, and only with USB 1.1 and 2.0 speeds. There are two types of Mini-B connectors, i.e. four-pin and five-pin versions.
USB Micro-BThis has one configuration for USB 2.0 and a different configuration for USB 3.0 and later standards. This same standard is found on many popular models of Android smartphones and external hard disk drives.
USB Type-CThis is made to support devices with a smaller, thinner and lighter form factor. This is slim enough for a smartphone or tablet, yet robust enough for a desktop computer and has the advantage of a reversible plug orientation and cable direction, eliminating the guesswork about which direction the connection goes. That's a big relief, right?

Hope this post is helpful for you to gain an idea about the USB, the speeds and technology you need to choose before you buy your next USB.

If you have any comments, post below and share your ideas.

You can also join the forum to raise your queries and to start a discussion with others.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

I Know How It Works Mouseflow

How is your business going? Are you sure you are heading the right direction? Are you sure your company website is aligned with your company strategy? and your website supporting well enough to perform towards achieving your company goals. To answer above questions, why don’t you use an analytical tool to measure your website’s performance?

Today, I am revealing about a website analytical tool, called Mouseflow. It will track and transform visitor clicks, mouse movements, and scroll behaviors in to valuable information to boost your decision making ability. Mouseflow will help you to increase sales, boost conversions, and improve usability of your website. It will optimize your site’s usability and conversions rate.

Read More

Udemy is one of the most successful and popular websites providing many advantages and money. Udemy provides over 40,000+ courses on demand, online, taught by experts i.e. teachers, professionals, trainers, instructors, scholars, etc from around the world. According to Udemy team, there are 10 million+ students are currently taking various courses ranging from Programming, Entrepreneurship, Photography, Yoga, Marketing, Salsa, Cake Decorating, Design… and everything in between. In numbers, we are talking about 42 million+ course enrollments.

Read More

How many times have you pulled out your USB without ejecting it from the computer? Does it really matter to eject or what will really happen, if you don’t? If everything works well when you plug it in next time (luckily), you may be wondering which method would be best to follow. Let’s go deeper into more details before we conclude with an answer.

Read More

Spreadsheet applications are used to fulfill many requirements. Especially in accounting and mathematical fileds. Today, we are going to learn a powerful feature in Excel called ‘Pivot Tables’, a quick and easy way to prepare valuable information using a data set.

Read More