Saturday, May 27, 2017

Keyser Soze or TinEye

I was recently reading stories on an online magazine website when an image in an advertisement caught my eye. Here it is, more or less.
It appeared, slightly smaller, with a headline something like "Michael Jordan buys World's Fastest Jet." I blush to admit that I clicked the ad, hoping against countless past disappointments that, just maybe, this time the linked story would contain some reference to the odd-ball photo. It didn't of course. It led me to a perfectly-nice if slow-loading story about celebrities' private jets. It was a slideshow with 40 individual pages with a million ads each. I saw Celine Dion's jet and Harrison Ford's. But nothing about Michael Jordan, and more to the point, the come-on image did not appear.

The set me to wondering, once again, about what is to be done about click-bait artists who post links that are blatant lies but who none-the-less get paid when they trick us into clicking on their links.

Two approaches occurred to me. The first would be more satisfying but possibly tricky to implement. That idea is a sort of crowd-sourcing thing to raise funds to hire death squads. Then one could simply find the people responsible for the misleading ads and kill them... and their families... and their livestock... burn down their offices... the whole Keyser Soze thing.

Any takers?

No? (*sighs*)

Ok, then, the other option is to right-click on the image you want information about and pick "view image" from the right-click menu. You can then copy the image's URL from the location bar and paste it into the* image search engine. They will come up with a list of pages where visually similar images have appeared. You can then scroll down the list looking for a less sketchy url -- skipping and the like -- until you find something that looks like an actual story.

On page three of their list I found this link: Formidable biologically inspired airplanes by Al Brady

So, the image is a computer generated model by a man named Al Brady who designs futuristic stuffola for use in films... or, maybe more accurately, aspires to do so since the one credit I can track down appears to be a completed-but-unreleased 2016 made-for-tv film named "This Is Heaven" for which IMDB lists a runtime of 17 minutes.

So, there you go. With TinEye and option two my curiosity bump got scratched and no one died. That's better ... isn't it?

* I am sure there are other similar search engines for visually-similar images but was the first I found and it is convenient and works well. If you prefer a different one that's lovely. Leave a comment about your favorites.

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