Today is Google’s ninth birthday – as witnessed by the cute pi&ntilda;ata in their home page logo*. So that means it’s been nine years since that clean, simple page with just a logo, a search box and a button appeared and changed the way the web worked. Again.
I won’t rehash Google’s history, Wikipedia does the usual splendid job on that, suffice it to say they are still a great example, along with many others such as youTube & Facebook, that nothing is written in stone in this Internets business. That idea you just had may seem a little crazy/obvious/impossible to you right now, but in nine years time me and many others could be blogging about how your idea changed the world. Of course it won’t be ‘blogging’ then but memelizing…. coff. Excelsior!
* And no. Nothing happens if you ‘hit’ the pi&ntilda;ata unfortunately..
Thanks to researchers who recently presented at SIGGRAPH, we may soon have intelligent image resizing in Photoshop to help fit photos into any size and scale area. The technology looks at an image and tries to work out where the important parts are – so that when you re-size the image, it knows which parts can be reduce or expanded with minimal impact to what the image is trying to convey. Very clever indeed. The movie below gives some great examples of this.
And why might this soon be in Photoshop? Well Adobe has hired one of the co-creators to join their team so expect cool stuff like this in the future. Perhaps they’ll even release some kind of image server that lets you define important image areas and then vend right-sized thumbnails or reduced images on the fly without having to go through the manual slog of intelligently cropping it yourself. That would be pretty cool. [From Wired]
The One Laptop Per Child project has released details of their new $100 laptop. This laptop was designed for poorer countries without good network & power infrastructure so it has some fascinating features. Key features that really stood out for me; the low power consumption architecture – designed to work with manual & solar charging methods, the screen that flips between colour / black & white to make it readable in direct sunlight, and most impressive, the rabbit ear wi-fi aerials that flip down when the laptop is closed, but when open allow transmission over up to 2 km. Also, the proprietary version of Linux on the machine is set up to create resource sharing networks, or a ‘mesh’ – meaning that when one laptop is connected to the Internet, then any laptop can connect via the wireless to share the connection. Genius. The BBC has a great overview here.
About is Useful.
This is the site of Matt Hobbs, Product Manager. All views presented here are my own and not those of my employers.