Tech Life: Acne - JOE

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Welcome to a new feature for Joe Tech as we bring you best of tech stories on the web that caught our attention. This week we have dodgy apps, the future of night vision goggles and how even the blood vessels in your face can catch you in a lie.

By Leo Stiles

Shock News: iPhone apps can't cure acne.

Here at Joe Tech, we are always on the look out for bogus claims made by manufacturers and developers but when we head about this outrageous statement, we were sure that no-one would fall for it. Oh, how wrong we were.

According to a report over at the Telegraph, makers of AcneApp have had their hands slapped for claiming that their app can cure acne with little more than a few multi-coloured lights. Advertising on the app page claimed that: "This app was developed by a dermatologist. A study published by the British Journal of Dermatology showed blue and red light treatments eliminated p-acne bacteria (a major cause of acne) and reduces skin blemishes by 76%."

American consumer standards authority, the Federal Trade Commission quickly stepped in after complaints were made regarding the accuracy of the claims but that wasn't before over 11,000 gullible types paid $1.99 a pop for the chance at blemish free skin.

Still, at least it's nice to see that the age-old tradition of snakeoil salesmanship is alive and kicking, even in our digital world.

GameStop wants a piece of the Apple(pie)

GameStop is the last company we would have thought to dip their toes in the bloody waters of the tablet market but this week, the news came in that the games retail company would do just that with a videogame-centric tablet that could be utter genius or a blunder of biblical proportions.

Judging by comments made by GameStop president Tony Bartel to, the proposed tablet will likely become a reality sooner rather than later and will be paired with a controller and more intriguingly a proprietary games streaming service that would see console titles such as Modern Warfare 3 playable on the device.

Our take is that GameStop is making a bold move here as with traditional games retail in gradual decline, they really had to take a few risks in securing their future. However, games streaming services are so far, an unproven technology and non Apple tablets have been spectacularly ignored at retail ( just ask HP about their Touch Pad which crashed on the runway earlier this year). Time will tell on this one but win or lose, this is going to be a  mightily interesting show.

Thermal Vision: Not just for alien hunters.

Wired has one of our favorite new tech stories of the week by proving that while the US might be up to its eyeballs in debt, it can still find the money to make sure its military forces have all the best toys to play with.

Military contractor ITT Night Vision Technologies latest innovation for the World Police, are super high-fidelity night vision goggles that you might have seen before, only this time with thermal imagining goodness that highlights any warm bodies no matter how well they are hidden.

Check out the results at Wired for some pretty eerie looking images but given the exclusive nature of the tech, we don't think that it will be used for celebrity sex tapes any time soon.

Flush Faced Liars

Staying with thermal imaging, CNN is running a story on the possible introduction of thermal imaging  in the ongoing quest to spot a liar.

Researchers at Bradford University in the UK have been using thermal imaging along with facial tracking software to spot the subtle changes in facial temperature that occurs when someone is telling a porky.

While the research is still ongoing, project lead Professor Hassan Ugail has claimed that recent tests have been quite successful with two out of three liars being caught out by the system.

Typically, the tech has already been eyed up by the British government who have decided to trial it in airports to complement their existing profiling techniques. While this sounds a little bit too much like Big Brother stuff, we can think of a few more practical applications-like finding out who drank our beers last night.

17 Sep, 2011

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