Apps that modify your appearance are nothing new, but as technology advances, they seem to be getting creepier and creepier. The website Mashable tested out the newest edition of Oldify – an app that ages faces in photos – on some celebrities.
Another Website’s Been Using Us for Experiments
After the headline-making revelation in June that Facebook had experimented on its users, tweaking what people saw on their News Feed to see if the kind of stories they looked at could make them feel happier or sadder, another social media website is admitting that it also messed with its users in the name of research. Dating website OKCupid posted in its OKTrends blog on Monday (July 28th) about the experimentation, but was totally unapologetic about it, with co-founder Christian Rudder writing, “Guess what, everybody: if you use the Internet, you’re the subject of hundreds of experiments at any given time, on every site. That’s how websites work.” Titled, “We Experiment on Human Beings!”, Rudder explained three of its experiments, including the most questionable sounding one in which they told people who were bad matches that they actually had a high compatibility score, and found out the users were much more likely to exchange messages with a bad match OKCupid told them was a good one than a bad match the website told them truthfully wasn’t right for them. Rudder justified the experiments by saying this is how sites get better for their users, explaining, “Most ideas are bad. Even good ideas could be better. Experiments are how you sort all this out.”
Congressman Wants Passenger Planes to Have Missile Defense
In the wake of the Malaysia Airlines flight that’s believed to have been brought down by a missile over Ukraine, and a Hamas rocket landing near Israel’s main airport, Rep. Steve Israel is calling for all new U.S. passenger jets to be equipped with a missile defense system. The New York Democrat told ABC News, “Terrorists are copycats, and I’m concerned that [when] they see these tactics, they’re going to try and employ them. We know that there are thousands of shoulder-fired missiles in the hands of terrorists around the world. They’re going to use these things and we are still leaving our public undefended.” Rep. Israel made a similar proposal after a 2002 missile attack on an Israeli charter plane flying over Kenya, but it didn’t go anywhere. Israel’s El Al Airlines is reported to have anti-missile systems on its planes, which the congressman referred to in making his argument, saying, “If you’re flying on an El Al aircraft, you’re defended, Air Force One is defended, many military aircraft, defended. But no commercial plane in the United States fleet is defended. And that’s just wrong.” Objections include the cost to airlines of installing the systems — estimated at about $1 million per plane — as well as that commercial pilots aren’t necessarily trained on such equipment, and that defense systems would likely involve sudden maneuvers that commercial aircraft aren’t designed to handle, which could endanger passengers.