NOTICE: Facebook And Google Indexing Your Firearm Serial Numbers

Google and Facebook have now made it possible to find photos of firearms by simply typing a serial number into the search box.  Earlier today, the automotive website Jalopnik published a story showing how license plate numbers are evidently scanned using optical character recognition (OCR) on Google images, allowing them to be searchable using text queries. Using the OCR hypothesis, TFB wondered if this image data mining technique might be able to be used to search for firearm serial numbers. Using images posted previously on TFB with serial numbers displayed on firearms, we tested the serial number search technique.  As you can see from the results below, firearm serial numbers are in fact part of this apparent large-scale data mining operation by companies like Google and Facebook.

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Google Confuses Rifles with Helicopters, and Turtles as Rifles

Researchers from MIT have recently found a way to trick Google’s image search engines and identifiers into confusing a popular photograph on the internet of three M16s (and one M4) representing chronological development as a helicopter. Check out the article on Wired for a more detailed description of the methodology used in the study. Essentially what it boils down to is that the MIT researchers tweaked this original image by slowly superimposing another image of a helicopter onto it, pixel by pixel. To a casual observer, the difference is barely noticeable between the two. But to Google, one is classified as a rifle, while the other is classified as a “helicopter”.

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Google's Visualization of Small Arms, Light Weapons and Ammunition transfers

Google and the Igarape Institute and the Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers teamed up to develop this beautiful visualization of small arms, light weapons and ammunition transfers between 1992 and 2010. The visualization requires a modern web browser and graphics card that supports WebGL. I suggest using Chrome or Firefox.

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A newbie's perspective: From NERF, to computers, to guns

Hi folks, if you don’t watch Top Shot on the History Channel, please let me introduce myself. My name is Chris Cheng and I am a professional shooter. I recently won Season 4 of Top Shot. Along with the $100,000 and the title of “Top Shot”, the prize included a professional shooting contract with Bass Pro Shops. I decided to quit my job at Google, where I worked as a program manager on the technical support team, and took up the Bass Pro contract. I loved my time working at Google, but this was obviously a once-in-a-lifetime chance to switch careers and see where life takes me. I am a self-taught amateur shooter who has ironically not shot very much in my lifetime. I relied on my childhood experiences shooting slingshots, potato & rubber band guns, BB/pellet guns, paintball guns, Super Soakers, NERF guns, and other childhood toys which helped me develop my marksmanship skills.

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Google Relents, Gun & Ammo Shopping Results Are Back

UPDATE: See bottom of post.

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Google Shopping Censors All Gun, Ammo & Accessories Results

Google sent out an email to Google Adwords customers saying that they are going to pull all Google Shopping results for guns, ammunition, gun optics and gun accessories (Shopping results, not general search results).

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Google executive admits gun don't kill people, people kill people

I nearly fell out of my seat when I read this. From the an article at The Age (emphasis mine):

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Deer hunting google style

The Google Street View photo taking van ran over a deer in Rush, NY while capturing every moment of the encounter on their 360 degree camera system.

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Gun photos in the Life magazine Google archive

Google is hosting a huge archive of millions of Life magazine images since 1750. I thought I would see what interesting gun photos I could find.

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Google advertises on their own Gun site but not on Gun blogs!

SayUncle recently wrote here and here about how Google refuses to allow Google ads on gun blogs because….

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