That was Brexit: the mad energy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but lasting three and a half years | Marina Hyde

It unearthed some of the worst people in the country – on both sides. And the worst of all were the politicians

Tonight’s Parliament Square party to mark Brexit was hit by a ban on booze, live music and fireworks – the first three in a presumably infinite series of things that we now won’t be able to blame on boring Brussels bureaucrats. Right about now, you’re probably starting to think “Oh my God … what if … what if we were the bastards all along?” Crazy as it may seem on this day of national emancipation, it’s just possible that one day we might yearn to be plugged back into the matrix where it was all someone else’s fault.

Still, to the victor go the spoils. Brexit is done, except for the many big bits that aren’t. All UK humans must absorb the sledgehammer implication of the fact that a man with the mind and moral stature of Nigel Farage is far and away the most successful politician of his generation. Like Farage said last week: “Unless this government drops the ball, and I don’t think it will, you will never, ever see me again.” And like he said this week: “I look forward to a new role with Newsweek, where I shall be commenting on the battles ahead.”

On Brexit eve, Farage stood in what appeared to be a restaurant’s attic and unveiled a hideous portrait of himself

Related: Brexit: sadness and celebrations as UK prepares to leave the EU – live news

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John Naughton: Quick, cheap to make and loved by police – facial recognition apps are on the rise | John Naughton

Clearview AI may be controversial but it’s not the first business to identify you from your online pics

Way back in May 2011, Eric Schmidt, who was then the executive chairman of Google, said that the rapid development of facial recognition technology had been one of the things that had surprised him most in a long career as a computer scientist. But its “surprising accuracy” was “very concerning”. Questioned about this, he said that a database using facial recognition technology was unlikely to be a service that the company would create, but went on to say that “some company … is going to cross that line”.

As it happens, Dr Schmidt was being economical with the actualité, as the MP Alan Clark used to say. He must surely have known that a few months earlier Facebook had announced that it was using facial recognition in the US to suggest names while tagging photos. And some time after Schmidt spoke, Google itself launched a facial recognition feature in its own ill-fated social network, Google+. It was called Find My Face and it scanned photos from users and their friends to identify recognisable faces. Four years later, as the tech analyst Ben Thompson points out, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud released face-recognition APIs, followed by Amazon Web Services with its Rekognition service in 2016. So it turns out that lots of companies – including Schmidt’s own – had crossed the facial recognition red line.

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