Thursday, June 14, 2012

Flaming headlines

Readers of this blog know that I can't miss a chance to ridicule hyperbolic headlines. Mocana has a great blog on the "Security news for the Internet of things" but they sometimes overstate the case.

The headline of today's Mocana post is "Researcher: Flame’s Crypto Collision Discovery Cost At Least $200K". The source Mocana gives for this assessment is an Ars Technica post. Reading that post one finds the following statement:
Sotirov said the $200,000 estimate is likely the maximum cost of the computing power that would have been required when Flame was likely being designed. He held out the possibility that the collision attack may have cost much less if the researchers figured out techniques that were less computing intensive.
Notice how Sotirov's "maximum cost" of $200K became "At Least $200K"? Nuff said.

Video Turing tests and face recognition

This post starts off topic, but does get back on topic in the end. Please bear with me.

I assume the readers of this blog know what the classic Turing test [Wikipedia] is. To pass the Turing test a machine must be able to impersonate human responses to such a degree that a human can't distinguish between the machine and a human based on their responses.

The original Turing test is meant to test artificial intelligence. Similar tests could be used to test other artificial entities - such as video.

A Video Turing test (TM) could be defined as follows. Set up a wall with a window and with a video monitor that displays a stream captured by a camera on the other side of the wall.To pass the Video Turing test (VTT), it needs to be impossible for a human to distinguish the window from the monitor.

There are various levels of VTTs. A 2D VTT assumes a static one-eyed viewer. A 3D VTT would also work with a two-eyed viewer, but still static. A virtual reality VTT would also work with a moving viewer.