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CACM Reports: Creating "Face Movies" from Still Photos

September 2014 Issue Reports on How to Prevent Online Deception in Social Media; Securing the Tangled Web; and Changes in Weather Forecasting

The Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession

Contact: Virginia Gold
[email protected]

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A new technique for creating face animations of real people, known as photobios, has been achieved by computer scientists at the University of Washington, Google Inc., and Adobe Inc. In this month's cover story, the scientists show how they can summarize a person’s life in photos using time, pose, and expression from large unstructured photo collections. Their innovative approach, which optimizes quantity and order of displayed photos and leverages the cross dissolve technique, has been widely deployed as the “Face Movies” feature in Google's Picasa photo sharing application. Check out the video that illustrates this process.

  • Social media provide new environments and technologies for potential deceivers, causing devastating consequences to personal lives in some cases, according to two University of Kentucky computer scientists. They explore deception motivations and techniques that include false information, identity theft, and communication-channel manipulation, and urge researchers, developers and communities to design social interaction and environments that safeguard users from the consequences of deception.
  • Google security engineer Christoph Kern assesses Web security and the difficulties in avoiding the introduction of a type of code injection called cross-site scripting (XSS). This all-too-common vulnerability is the result of insufficient data validation, sanitization, or escaping within a Web application. He outlines software design approaches used by Google that reliably prevent introduction of these XSS bugs from Web applications by isolating the potential for XSS vulnerabilities.
  • Amid growing concerns about global warming and more volatile weather and climate patterns, numerical data is the core technology of weather prediction, notes author and journalist Samuel Greengard. As the Internet of Things takes hold, new types of sensors and crowdsourcing techniques as well as more computing power and better algorithms will appear.
  • "The network is reliable" tops a classic list of fallacies of distributed computing identified by Peter Deutsch and others at Sun Microsystems. In this article, authors Peter Bailis and Kyle Kingsbury survey real-world communications failures as a first step toward more robust distributed systems. They note that it is important to consider the risk of failure before engaging in aggressive prevention of network outages.
  • "Can machines think?" asked Alan Turing in his provocative 1950 paper. Communications of the ACM Editor-in Chief Moshe Y. Vardi concludes that Alan Turing's question should have been "Can machines act intelligently?" He proposes a set of intelligence tests that measure different aspects of intelligence and says the way forward lies in identifying aspects of intelligent behavior and finding ways to mechanize them.

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About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.