Pittsburgh Stories June 19, 2012

Google just announced on the official Google Mobile Blog that it is releasing a Google Offers app for iPhone. The app is available on the App Store now for United States users, which is just in time to take advantage of today’s Netflix deal that offers movie theatre tickets for $1 to new subscribers (free one-month trial available here). Google outlined the available cities and some features for the iPhone app below:

Cities available (US only): Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fort Worth, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, NYC, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Oakland / East Bay, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orlando, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, St. Paul, St. Louis, Tampa and Washington D.C.

  • Instant savings, just around the corner: Quickly discover offers near you in map view or search for deals by category to easily find the right deal for you.
  • See & use the deals you want, when you want them: All of your purchased and saved offers are tracked in “My Offers,” for easy access from your iPhone or online.
  • Savings made simple: Instantly redeem most offers with your iPhone, without having to print vouchers.
  • Never miss a great deal: Get notifications when new deals are available or when a deal that you’ve purchased or saved is about to expire.

Pittsburgh Stories August 1, 2011

In a report from the WSJ, a new study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh used facial-recognition technology in combination with data from Facebook accounts to successfully identify one-third of volunteer participants.

In the study, researchers used PittPatt software and a webcam to snap photos of volunteers who would later be identified via their publicly available Facebook profile pictures. Raising considerable security and privacy concerns, however, was the fact Professor Acquisti was also able to correctly predict the first five digits of a participant’s Social Security number in approximately 27% of cases (those are determined where you are born and when).

Should you be worried? Not if you trust Google’s stance on privacy… Addressing the privacy concerns highlighted by the study, a Google spokesperson told WSJ:

“We’ve said that we won’t add face recognition to our apps or product features unless we have strong privacy protections in place, and that’s still the case”

Google recently acquired the facial-recognition technology and will more than likely be integrating it into various Google products including Google+ and Google Goggles. A Google spokesperson had this to say about the acquisition:

“The Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition team has developed innovative technology in the area of pattern recognition and computer vision. We think their research and technology can benefit our users in many ways, and we look forward to working with them.” expand full story

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