Author Archive

Police Face Recognition Software

For the majority of you who have posted pictures on your Facebook and have used the “Photo Tag Suggestion” feature.  You would probably think this article is pretty interesting.  For those who don’t know what I am talking about, it’s when you upload pictures onto your Facebook album and Facebook automatically matches the peoples faces in the pictures and tag your friends.

Now homeland security is trying out the same thing, except for police officers.  Right now in San Diego, police officers are equipped with tablets and cell phones with an app that they can use to take pictures and look up your information.  Currently the database of pictures are of people who have been arrested before.  So when the police arrests someone, they take a quick picture of them and then the app uses facial recognition to match the persons face to someone who has been convicted.  When this is matched, there are a number of pictures the officer can look at to compare.  If there is a match then the officer just selects the picture and their information comes up including arrests.

This new facial recognition technology would help police officers retrieve data from individuals in a quicker manner.  Many other states are catching on to this and they are linking the facial recognition technology to driver’s license databases.  This can be good and bad depending on how the test goes.  The technology is still in the works but they hope to improve it to work accurately.  Currently, the app may have a potential for false positives which can have a lot of mishaps.  But if you have no convictions or arrests, you shouldn’t be worried.  It would also be up to the judgement of the police officers who receives the technology to choose if the images match.

When I heard about this, I thought it was very interesting because technology is growing bigger everyday.  Now even the simplest thing we know can be used to help the police protect us from dangerous people.  This facial recognition program has been on all of our phone cameras and regular cameras for awhile now.  It’s just interesting that now they thought of the idea to use it for another good cause than just taking #SelfieSundays (Instagram Lingo).

Don’t forget to take the quiz and have a good weekend!

Feel free to comment on the post if you have any ideas or questions about the blog posted.



November 14, 2013 at 1:02 am Leave a comment

Touch Technology

Touch technology is pretty advance now a days.  The sensors that they use on phones and tablets are just incredible.  I know on my phone (Samsung Galaxy S4), while I’m watching a YouTube video, if I look away, it will pause for me until I look back.  It is one of the eye recognition sensors that the Samsung has developed.  This has spread from smartphones to tablets and also laptops as well.

One thing that these touchscreen devices are lacking is feedback.  You cannot feel the buttons you are pressing when you move candy’s over in Candy Crush.  Nor can you feel the buttons when you are typing a text message on your phone.

Well look no further folks! The research department of Walk Disney Company are developing something called “haptic” devices.  Haptic technology is a feedback technology that used the sense of touch by applying forces and vibrations to the user also known as tactical feedback.  This allows users to take control of virtual objects.  If this definition does not help you or if you want to know more, look at quick link below that will explain to you what it does.

I’m sure majority of you guys have played with the Xbox Kinect.  Imagine how much better it would be if you could feel the items around you.  The product Disney is developing shoots a puff of air at you in conjunction to what is happening in the game. As you saw on the YouTube video.  The TV had soccer balls coming at the guy and the sensor device was shooting little puffs of air at him so that he can feel it.  This device that Disney has made is called “Aireal”.

Many other research company’s are developing similar devices to this one.  Be on the lookout in the next decade for something to come out similar to this.  The feature of technology just keeps getting more advance as we know it.  I still think some people are still trying to get on to the whole touchscreen part of it and just wait until this new “Haptic Technology” stuff gets out.  Lets just hope it is as user friendly so that people aren’t left behind in this world of technology.

Happy Halloween and have a safe weekend!  Maybe if this video gets enough likes and comments, I’ll post a picture of my funny Halloween costume! haha

Don’t forget to take the quiz! A couple questions from there might be from the YouTube video. 😉

October 31, 2013 at 11:38 am Leave a comment

Cloud Storage

You may have heard people using terms like the cloud, cloud computing, or cloud storage. But what exactly is the cloud.  It is pretty much a hard drive that you can access anywhere you go without having to bring your personal computer.  When something is in the “cloud”, that means it is stored on servers on the internet, instead of on your computer. It lets you access your documents, music, videos and more from any computer that has an internet connection.  There are big warehouses filled with servers where all of your data is stored.

There are many reasons to use the cloud, but a couple of the main reasons are convenience and reliability.  At this moment, most people especially students like you carry a flash drive around with data that is important to you.  But how many times have you has to replace a flash drive because it was lost or suddenly stopped working.  I know I have been through at least 5-10 different flash drives because of those reasons.  So no more forgetting your flash drive plugged into public computers or in your pocket where you will find in the washer later. Saving a file to the cloud makes sure that you’ll be able access it with any computer that has an internet connection. Also, when you want to share a file with a friend or for a group, it is easy to give them access to the files you want them to see.

With the cloud, you’re much less likely to lose your data, since it is stored on servers. If you have a bad track record where your laptop/desktop usually dies and you lose all your data, the cloud may be for you.  Another thought is how secure is it? As long as you set up a good password, you should be fine.  Is there really a big difference to losing your flash drive versus getting your account hacked into? I’m sure there a lot of advantages and disadvantages to both but in the end they are pretty much up to par.

MAT 120 students! Don’t forget to take the extra credit quiz and stay dry out there!

Here is a video to explain the cloud more in case you still do not understand.

Have a good rest of your week!

David Nguyen

October 17, 2013 at 9:44 am 2 comments

We all know what YouTube is right, just a website with a bunch of videos.  Definitely not a school, or is it?  I’ve always considered “school” as a place where knowledge is at our fingertips and it comes in different forms: middle school, high school and even a school of fish.  In the end, it boils down to being a place where you can learn new things.

I’ve been watching YouTube videos since it hit the internet, so I’ve been to every corner that YouTube has to offer and more.  I’ve come to realize that YouTube is a great resource when it comes to looking things up; especially when you need more than just step-by-step instructions.  Even now, when you search tutorials, many have embedded videos with visual examples.

YouTube has so much more to offer than just people getting off anesthesia, random fox sounds and music videos.  It’s a great place to pick up new tips and tricks, while falling victim to a few tangents.  I actually learned how to build my computer from watching YouTube videos.  There are so many tutorials and videos that you can find from multiple people.  If you ever dislike a video, there is a high chance that you can find another video on the same topic but by a different person.


This past summer, I visited my relatives and my uncle built a patio….from watching YouTube videos.  This guy is a 40 year old man.  He was around when floppy disks were a thing, but that’s a story for another time.  My point is, is that YouTube is just as easy as using Google.

I’ve also started using YouTube to help me with my school problems.  I was in a Java Programming class and it was pretty confusing.  From my perspective, the instructor didn’t explain the material well enough, so I went to YouTube.  I found video explanations of the items we went over in class (NO READING!!)  The video was literally five minutes.  From then on, I would use YouTube whenever I got stuck.

Here is a sample of a video that I use.

October 3, 2013 at 12:22 am 1 comment

Watterson Elevators and Faster Internet Speeds

Full Elevator

Imagine yourself walking into Watterson and there is a large crowd in the lobby waiting to go into the elevator.  You think to yourself “What is going on?”, then someone tells you that there is only 1 working elevator and the stairs are just as full.  Now what goes through your mind? F*%^*@$&#T right?

After your first experience with those damn elevators, you’re probably going to race back and try to get in one before everyone else does.  No one likes to awkwardly wait for the next elevator to come.  There are just not enough elevators for all of us to get in that’s not awkward.  Maybe, someday, Watterson will finally receive the remodeling it deserves; then we won’t feel like rats in a labyrinth.

As I was reading articles trying to find an idea interesting enough to write about, I came across an article that would just do the job.  Nicolas Fontaine is an optical engineer at Bell Labs.  He has figured out a way to solve this Watterson elevator problem but through fiber optic wire instead.

Here is a picture of the inside of a fiber optic wire.

Here is a picture of the inside of a fiber optic wire.

Here is a quick crash course on what fiber wire is for those who are technologically challenged.  Fiber optic cable is a network cable that contains strands of glass fibers inside a casing.  Pretty much, it is like your basic cable wire but instead of copper, there is glass.  Fiber optic cable is fairly new and is used to transfer data faster and longer distances.  So every time you send a Facebook message, tweet, Snapchat through your computer, phone, tablet etc.  Also, since there is glass in fiber optic cables, it uses light to transfer all the information you send through the internet.

Now we get back to the article I was telling you about.  Nicolas Fontaine and his team developed a device that would send multiple devices into a single optical fiber.  This device would help avoid future bottlenecks in the information superhighway known as the internet.  This multiplexer is like having 5 times the regular Watterson elevators that are even bigger going a lot faster.  This means when you are attaching one of your many 20 page papers, instead of taking a minute, it’ll take probably a second or two.

If you would like to learn more about interesting topics such as this one and possibly major in something that involves it, you should check out the Computers Systems Technology program.  By taking an introduction class, you will see what you will be dealing with throughout your college career.

ISU MAT 120 students!  Don’t forget to take your quiz about this blog post on ReggieNet. That’s the only way you can show your interest in the blog and have your evaluation of it recorded.

Feel free to leave comments if you have anything to say.

David Nguyen

Illinois State University, Senior

Computer Systems Technology Major

Business Administration Minor

Here is the link to the article I read if you want to read it for yourself.

September 18, 2013 at 11:59 pm 1 comment

July 2018
« Dec