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November 22, 2012

Technology News Briefs — Nov. 22, 2012

Yes, Sam Sung exists

Sam Sung has gone viral. No, not the company, the Apple employee.

The image of a Vancouver Apple store employee’s business card was tweeted recently by Toronto Web Developer Shaun O’Toole , and has since become the joke of the week on the Internet.

When the image first went viral, it was deemed a hoax. After all, how likely is it that an Apple employee (Sam Sung) would share the name of the company’s biggest rival (Samsung)?

It is no hoax, however. Until recently, a LinkedIn profile existed for Sam Sung, which indicated he is a marketing graduate and has worked for Apple in Vancouver since September 2010.

A Vancouver Huffington Post reporter tracked Sung down at the West Georgia Street Apple Store to get his take on the Internet hoopla.

He told the reporter while he was aware of the interest his name had generated, Apple’s media policy prevented him from commenting. When pressed by The Huffington Post reporter, he simply smiled, shook his head and wished her “a nice lunch.”

Hacker Convicted, Faces Jail Time, Fines

A “grey-hat hacker” has been found guilty by a federal jury of violating AT&T’s site security in 2010 to attain the data of about 120,000 iPad customers.

Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer, 27, from New York, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to hack and one count of identity fraud, Reuters reported Nov. 21.

Auernheimer is facing a maximum five years in prison and $250,000 fine on each count. Co-defendant Daniel Spitler, who pleaded guilty to identical charges last June, is awaiting sentencing according to Reuters.

Prosecutors have said Auernheimer and Spitler were associated with Goatse Security, a group of anti-blogging Internet “trolls” that specializes in uncovering security flaws.

Dummies Are Watching You

Store mannequins might have their eyes on you this weekend.

With the biggest shopping weekend before Christmas fast approaching, some retailers are using mannequins equipped with cameras to do two things: watch for shoplifters and record shopper behavior to improve sales.

According to CNet, the EyeSee mannequin, made by Almax SpA out of Italy, is used with facial-recognition software that can identify the age, race, and gender of shoppers and record how long they spend around a display. Almax has said the technology doesn’t violate shoppers’ privacy.

A number of the EyeSee mannequins, which were launched last year, are now being used in U.S. stores and dozens more are on order, Bloomberg reported. Almax declined to say which retailers are using the dummies.

EyeSee mannequins have shock-proof polystyrene exterior and a camera in one eye that gathers footage. The units cost $5,130 each.  The footage is used with facial-recognition software much like that which law enforcement uses.