YouTube offers tool for blurring faces, though anonymity not guaranteed

YouTube offers tool for blurring faces, though anonymity not guaranteed
July 18, 2012 - 5:48 PM

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - YouTube is offering people a way to blur faces in submitted video.

The new tool is designed for human-rights activists and others who may want to protect people in a video. Simply blur faces using the tool before submitting it. It will appear among the "Additional features" under editing enhancements when it's available late Wednesday.

Google Inc., which owns YouTube, is warning that blurring faces by itself may not guarantee anonymity. Background scenery or a license plate might give away someone's identity, as might a recognizable voice. The software also might miss a face or two, though people will have a chance to review the blurring before submitting it.

YouTube says the feature "allows people to share personal footage more widely and to speak out when they otherwise may not."




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News from © The Associated Press, 2012
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  • Port Hardy earthquake felt across Okanagan

    KELOWNA - A series of earthquakes 90km south of Port Hardy has several Twitter users saying they felt it here in the Okanagan as well.

    According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the first quake hit at 8:10 p.m. and registered 6.7. A second 5.0 quake struck the same area seven minutes later followed by a 4.3 at 8:40 p.m.

    Several Tweet's were sent by Okanagan residents saying they felt the earthquake in Kelowna, Kamloops and Vernon, however this has not been confirmed.

    There are no reports of damage or injuries. Information will be updated as it becomes available.

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

  • You dirty rat: almost 80 dead rodents found in southern Alberta landfill

    MEDICINE HAT, Alta. - Another 78 dead rats have been pulled from a southern Alberta landfill that has been plagued by the pests.

    The City of Medicine Hat is working to get rid of the rodents and is providing a weekly update.

    Last week, 63 dead rats were discovered and the week before there were 39.

    Jason Storch, an agricultural fieldman with Cypress County, says he can't put a timeline on the situation.

    The rats were spotted at the dump earlier this month after someone reported finding one in a farmyard.

    Alberta has always prided itself on being rat free, but that status has been in question since August 2012 when the vermin were first found in the landfill.

    At least 100 Norway rats were killed by city workers after an 80- metre-long nest was discovered. It took six hours for 21 workers and two excavators to dismantle it.

    The landfill has been continuously monitored since then and the city credits that vigilance for discovering the new cases. City officials said earlier this month that more poison was being put out and that staff would check bait stations daily.

    Agricultural fieldmen known by Albertans as the "rat patrol'' have worked for years to target invading rats in a control zone along the province's eastern boundary.

  • Clearwater man charged with murder

    KAMLOOPS – Police have charged a Clearwater man with the murder of his common-law wife—mother to three children—who was found dead in her home on Stegg Road April 21.

    Iain Scott, 41, of Clearwater B.C. was arrested after a lengthy standoff with police at his Clearwater home.

    Angila Wilson, a nurse at Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital. She was found in her home April 21.

    Wilson was a mother of a girl and two boys aged six, four, and two. Police said Scott barricaded himself in his home near Joyce Road in Clearwater - holding his children hostage.

    After a seven-hour standoff with police, Scott was arrested without incident.

    The children are safe and physically unharmed.

    The eldest child attends elementary school in Clearwater. School District 73 has taken a proactive approach and has sent counsellors to speak to students who may be emotionally affected by the incident.

    The Crown has approved charges for Scott, but hasn't specified first or second degree murder. His lawyer met with a Justice of the Peace today to confirm a court date.

    Scott is in currently in custody.  He will appear in court over video conference on June 2.

    To contact a reporter for this story, email, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

  • Mining for fun at science centre

    KAMLOOPS — If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to drive the heavy equipment at New Gold or how to pan for gold Mining Day at the Big Little Science Centre has you covered.

    The Kamloops Exploration Group and the South Central B.C. branch of the Canadian Institute of Mining are hosting the day as a way for adults and kids to learn about the industry through interactive displays.

    From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 3 New Gold will have a heavy equipment simulator to try out as well as the company fire truck on display. Other heavy equipment will also be on display and a number of hands-on activities and displays will be available.

    Rockhounds can bring in their rocks to be identified and Yukon Dan will show you how to gold pan. From 2:30 - 4 p.m. kids can make a business card with gold on it (while supplies last.)

    The day is being held as part of Mining Week, April 27 to May 3, which will also include a business luncheon on the Friday. The Kamloops group hosted 4,500 delegates at the annual conference earlier this month as well.

    To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

  • Four robberies in four days and no leads

    KAMLOOPS – RCMP are still investigating four robberies which took place between April 15 to 18.

    Cpl. Cheryl Bush says police are still investigating each case to determine if there is a relationship between the male suspects in all four robberies or if it's the same suspect.

    In three of the cases, the robber produced a knife or knife-like object, such as an x-acto blade or a needle, when demanding cash.

    Locations of the robberies included McCleaners on the North Shore, the Adultz sex shop, and two other downtown locations not specified by the RCMP.

    Rick Decap, the owner of McCleaners on Tranquille drive says his staff member was not able to provide a detailed description of the suspect. Although the robber didn’t produce a knife, he did grab hold of his clerk.

    “She was in the process of being manhandled when everything was going on, so I don’t think she worried too much about what he looked like.”

    Decap says the suspect made off with about $200. He says he has not heard since from RCMP.

    James Porvis, the owner of Adultz says he hasn’t heard anything further from the RCMP regarding this robbery or any of the others in proximity to his store.

    In reference to the case files, Bush says Mounties are examining evidence through labs, tracking down witnesses for statements, and reviewing video surveillance.

    “All those things take time,” Bush said.

    “None of the files are concluded. That’s about as much as I can tell you.”

    To contact a reporter for this story, email, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

  • Expect road closures this weekend for Boogie

    KAMLOOPS — There'll be road closures this weekend when more than 2,500 people hit the streets of Kamloops for the annual Boogie the Bridge.

    Sunday, April 27 several blocks in the downtown core will be shutdown, along with the inside travel lanes of the Overlanders Bridge and several streets on the North Shore.

    For travel on the North Shore the city is recommending motorists use the signalized intersection at Fortune Drive and Nelson Avenue (for access to Fortune Drive) and the Halston Bridge where possible.

    Participants can show their race bibs to get free rides on race day as well.

    The race is expected to be the biggest ever and for the first time two local charities, Family Tree Family Centre and CMHA Youth Clubhouse, will benefit from the funds raised.

    The following closures will take place Sunday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.:
    - Victoria Street between 1 and 5 Avenues
    - 1, 2, 3 and 4 Avenues between Seymour Street and Lansdowne Street
    - Inside travel lanes of Victoria Street West
    - Inside travel lanes of Overlanders Bridge

    Closed from 8 a.m. to noon:
    - Fort Avenue
    - Larch Avenue
    - Baker Street

    Delays from 9:30-11 a.m.:
    - York Avenue
    - Kemano Street
    - Patricia Avenue

    To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.


  • Penticton family with epileptic child wants law allowing her to use medical marijuana

    PENTICTON - When a retired police officer from Summerland left his job after 25 years, he hardly imagined fighting for his little granddaughter to be given marijuana.

    Chris Nuessler, along his wife and Elaine, wants Canada to allow two-year-old Kyla Williams to be given a form of medical marijuana known to prevent seizures resulting from epilepsy.

    The girl's parents, Jared and Courtney Williams, along with the Nuesslers, have been researching medical pot use and speaking with experts to build what they're calling "Kyla's medical team."

    They say Kyla has suffered severe side effects from prescription drugs when she could be helped like other children in the United States.

    A strain of marijuana commonly called Charlotte's Web has been known to help kids in the U.S., but it's illegal in Canada.

    It contains very little THC, which provides the buzz recreational pot users crave, and is mostly made up of CBD, which limits the severity and frequency of seizures.

    Named after a little girl named Charlotte Figi who has epilepsy, the weed has allowed her to develop and enjoy a more normal life.

    In Canada, the only form of legalized medical marijuana is dried, meaning Kyla would have to smoke it.

    Chris Nuessler said his view of marijuana as medicine has radically changed since his policing days.

    "For me it was back to the 1980s and 1990s mindset when I was busting people. I had to do a 180 (degree turn) and start researching this."

    Kyla appeared to be a healthy, little girl for the first six months of her life until her mother noticed she wasn't progressing at a normal rate and had unusual eye movements.

    After she was seen by a pediatrician, Kyla was rushed to BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver, where she was diagnosed with retractable seizure disorder.

    Over the next year, the little girl was placed on a series of prescription drug mixtures, received steroid shots and was given a high fat diet.

    She even developed a kidney stone. Some of the drugs had brutal side effects and she was averaging 100 seizures a day, her grandparents said.

    "The drugs aren't really working and we were told there's really nowhere she can go," Elaine Nuessler said. "She's down to her last drug. She may seizure for the rest of her very short life."

    In March, Kyla's mother and grandmother made a trip to Vancouver and were told Kyla's life expectancy would be short.

    "We both cried all the way home from Vancouver," Courtney Williams said.

    The next day, Courtney's 91-year-old grandfather called to tell her he'd seen a CNN report on Charlotte's Web and how it's been known to help children with cancer and epilepsy.

    "Her development was so similar to so many of the kids who have been helped by cannabis," Elaine Nuessler said.

    With Kyla's father working for long periods of time in Fort McMurray, the Nuesslers have become incredibly active in Kyla's life and are in the process of selling their home to accommodate the toddler and her parents.

    They say they've spoken with leading experts in the field, including Figi's doctor, and have even considered moving to Colorado, where marijuana is available.

    "Our entire support network is here," said Courtney Williams, who was trained as a health-care aide.

    Growing pot themselves is not an option because it requires detailed chemistry to create Charlotte's Web.

    The family said they want to try the marijuana to see how it will work for Kyla and understand that there are no guarantees.

    "Why not? It can't be any worse for her than some of the horrible drugs she's been put on and the side effects her little body has had to endure," Elaine Nuessler said.

    "Our main thing is access, awareness and acceptance, not only for Kyla but for other children in her situation. In my opinion you should be able to go to your doctor, get a prescription and then go to a pharmacy or dispensary and get exactly what you need."

  • Extradition in Amanda Todd case could come before Dutch trial: prosecution

    VANCOUVER - Dutch prosecutors says the possible extradition of a man accused of using the Internet to target underage girls, including B.C. teen Amanda Todd, won't necessarily have to wait until after his trial in Holland.

    Thirty-five-year-old Aydin Coban is facing charges in Canada and the Netherlands over allegations he surreptitiously recorded webcam footage of underage girls and men and then used the footage to extort them.

    The RCMP announced last week that Coban is facing five charges in B.C. related to Todd, a 15-year-old Port Coquitlam girl who turned to suicide after she was exploited online.

    B.C.'s criminal justice branch has already said it plans to ask the federal Justice Department to seek the man's extradition to face trial in Canada, but there have been questions about how quickly that could happen.

    Paul van der Zanden, a spokesman for Holland's public prosecution service, says it hasn't received a formal extradition request, so the court process in that country will continue toward a trial.

    But van der Zanden suggests that plan could change if an extradition request is made, though he says he can't speculate about precisely what would happen once that occurs.