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One of the most-used Popcorn Time forks has revealed the global popularity of the "Netflix for pirates." The application has the largest user base in the United States, with 1.4 million installs and 100,000 active users. The Netherlands and Brazil follow in second and third place respectively. The Popcorn Time app brought BitTorrent streaming to the masses earlier this year. The software became an instant hit by offering BitTorrent-powered streaming in an easy-to-use Netflix-style interface. While the original app was shut down by the developers after a few weeks, the project was quickly picked up by others. This resulted in several popular forks that have gained a steady user-base in recent months. Just how popular the application is remained a mystery, until now. TorrentFreak reached out to one of the most popular Popcorn Time forks at time4popcorn.eu to find out how many installs and active users there are in various parts of the world. The Popcorn Time team was initially reluctant to share exact statistics on the appâ€™s popularity across the globe, but theyâ€™re now ready to lift the veil. Data shared with TorrentFreak shows that most users come from the United Stateswhere the application is installed on more than 1.4 million devices. There are currently over 100,000 active users in the U.S. and the number of new installs per day hovers around 15,000. â€œAt the beginning of August there were between 17-18K installations a day on all operating systems and last weekend there were somewhere between 13-15K a day,â€ the Popcorn Time teams informs us. The application has a surprisingly large user base in the Netherlands too, as Android Planet found out. The country comes in second place with 1.3 million installs. Thatâ€™s a huge number for a country with a population of less than 17 million people. Brazil completes the top three at a respectful distance with 700,000 installed applications and around 56,000 active users. The United Kingdom just missed a spot in the top three. The Popcorn Time fork has been installed on 500,000 devices there, with 30,000 active users and 4,500 new installs per day. Australia, which generally has a very high piracy rate, is lagging behind a little with 93,000 installs thus far, and â€œonlyâ€ 6,500 active users. The statistics above only apply to the time4popcorn.eu application. While itâ€™s probably the most used, other forks such as popcorntime.io also have a large following to add to the total Popcorn Time user base. The team behind time4popcorn.eu, meanwhile, says that it will continue to add new features and support for more operating systems. They are currently finishing up the first iOS version which is expected to be released in a few days. Aside from the technical challenges, the developers keep motivated by the large audience theyâ€™ve gathered in a relatively short period. â€œWe really love and appreciate all our devoted users from all over the world, and we want to emphasize to them once more that this is only the beginning of the beginning. We have so many awesome plans for the future,â€ they stress. As long as there are no legal troubles down the road, this user base is expected to grow even further during the months to come. http://torrentfreak.com/popcorn-time-installed-1-4-million-devices-u-s-140901/
A cold case comes back to life after facial recognition software recognizes an alleged US outlaw who'd been hiding out in Nepal. Facial recognition technology used on the photo in the Neil Stammer wanted poster led to his arrest.FBIIn 2000, after being accused of child sex abuse and kidnapping in New Mexico, Neil Stammer skipped town and went underground. Fourteen years later he was arrested in Nepal. How did the authorities catch this fugitive? Facial recognition technology. Stammer was first arrested in 1999 on multiple state charges, but after being released on bond, he never showed up for his arraignment. He was said to be a talented juggler who spoke a dozen languages and traveled the world as a street performer. The FBI thought he could be anywhere. After years of trying to locate Stammer, with no luck, the feds decided to shelve the case. Then, earlier this year, FBI Special Agent Russ Wilson was assigned to be a fugitive coordinator in New Mexico. "In addition to the current fugitives, I had a stack of old cases," Wilson said in a statement, "and Stammer's stood out." So, Wilson reissued Stammer's "Wanted" poster. At the same time, the Diplomatic Security Service, which cracks down on bogus US passports, had just begun testing facial recognition software designed to expose passport fraud. An agent from the Diplomatic Security Service ran the software on Stammer's poster and came up with something interesting -- a match with a passport photo of someone named Kevin Hodges. The agent contacted Wilson who quickly tracked down Stammer in Nepal. Stammer had been living under the alias of Kevin Hodges and was teaching English to Nepalese students. "He was very comfortable in Nepal," Wilson said. "My impression was that he never thought he would be discovered." Although facial recognition technology has attracted growing attention in recent years from law enforcement and commercial interests, its reception has been rocky. Privacy advocates raised concerns in April over a facial-recognition database being developed by the FBI that could hold 52 million images by next year. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has also questioned the FBI's use of facial recognition software, saying it could infringe on people's privacy. According to a report from July 2011, it's not just the FBI employing facial recognition software -- around40 law enforcement agencies across the US are attempting to use mobile facial recognition technology to identify individuals. http://www.cnet.com/news/facial-recognition-tech-leads-feds-to-fugitive-after-14-years/