Hardware, Software Programs

FAIL: Are HP computers racist?


We have received an interesting YouTube video that might be the capital software fail of 2009.

In this two minute video, you’re introduced to Desi Cryer [his name is visible on the name tag], "black" guy [he calls himself black, Ed.] who purchased an HP laptop for Christmas – intended for his wife. However, his plan of surprising his wife for Christmas with the newest HP laptop went astray due to a "Face tracking" software glitch.

In theory, Face Tracking software should detect a person that is using a bundled web camera to track a face on a screen as the person moves. This is also widely used as a security feature, i.e. computer logon by face detection.

Well, as you can see in the video – that is not the case here; HP’s bundled software is simply not recognizing Desi’s face. But when his white coworker shows up in the screen, the camera picks up her face without a glitch and simply tracks it – the software works like a charm. So far we haven’t found HP’s answer to this funny, but still serious problem, so we can conclude that HP laptops doesn’t like black people… we definitely hope that Obama isn’t getting this laptop for Christmas. So HP… this is a capital SNAFU – we could almost guarantee a sure-fire spot on FAILBlog.org.

Editor’s note
The only problem with this story could be that Desi is mentioning that he bought a MediaSmart laptop, while there is no such thing as a MediaSmart laptop – MediaSmart is HP’s line of home servers. But, HP is selling "MediaSmart Enabled" laptops, such as this one at Walmart. Given that Desi and his co-worker Vanessa might not be computer savvy [or simply able to read through marketing BS], it might be that they’ve misread the shiny sticker next to the trackpad that only advertises MediaSmart connectivity. Regardless of that, this is a nasty SNAFU for HP.