Sunday, November 6

Random Stalking

I was browsing Instinct music critic Dave White's LiveJournal this morning when I happened across an item describing his partner's new book 101 Must-See Movies for Gay Men. This made it child's play to figure out that Dave's unnamed husband is in fact Advocate deputy arts and entertainment editor Alonso Duralde.

I love uncovering the kinds of connections blogging, Flickring and Friendstering reveal. But every now and again, technological advances in personal surveillance give even me pause. One example of such "progress" is Riya. After relatively short training, this software learns to recognize faces in your digital photographs and adds tags to enable searching. More importantly, Riya has a shared option which permits friends -- or even the public -- to tag and search your photos.

Now, consider: social networking sites like Flickr and Friendster already have a massive store of photos attached to mountains of tagging information like captions and personal profiles. Adding Riya technology to the mix couldn't be simpler. If the power to google someone's photo knowing a few personal details (or find their details, knowing their photo) doesn't scare you, consider that Riya would work just as well on, say, Manhunt.

Oh, back to Dave White's MoroccoMole. Seems like his book would be a valuable companion to my NetFlix queue -- I've been meaning to see Valley of the Dolls.