Technology

This session’s getting a little too deep for me…

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Google Auto-Awesome Fail

Say what you will about Google’s Auto-Awesome feature that automatically enhances backed up photos, but I just had to share this rediculousness.  I took a picture during a hilarious Toastmasters speech (it was a “Roast” of a celebrity…poor Big Bird).

Auto-Awesome, before and after

It happened automatically and it is awesome, in a way…

Apparently the mystical Google algorithm believed the right decision was to remove that pesky left hand.

Perhaps the algorithm picked up on the fact that Big Bird only had one hand and somehow extrapolated that the speaker should only have one hand too (I guess).

Nooooooooo

Luke Skywalker Loses Hand

Maybe the Google is secretly a huge Star Wars enthusiast and is making a subtle Empire Strikes Back reference. We’re on to you…

Computers still surprise me sometimes

I recently got a new work computer and I’ve been squinting at my external monitor because the image hasn’t been that great. I’ve checked and re-checked the resolution (no issue there).

Who/how/why was the plug-and-play monitor adapter set for a 59 Hertz refresh rate instead of 60 Hertz?

Oy. Happy 2014.

Farewell Google Reader…Hello Feedly!

I’ve been a loyal Google Reader user for many years now, but Google decided to shutter the service.  Anyone looking for an alternative has until the end of June to make it happen.    I tried a few alternatives and am most impressed with Feedly and highly recommend it.  They make it easy to migrate (1-click simplicity) and offer a richer experience that still feels familiar to a Google Reader user.

Feedly Screenshot

Not sold?  Here’s a list of what they’ve done in the last 100 days to support the Google Reader community.

Sad to see Posterous go…

Posterous sent me a final notice that their service is shutting down.

Posterous shutting down April 30, 2013.  Save your posts now.

Posterous final shutdown warning, emailed April 28, 2013

As I mentioned above, it’s sad to see them go and below are a few words about how I was introduced to the service and why it was so great.

I originally learned about Posterous in 2010 on the Future Tense radio program (now the Marketplace Tech Report).  Host John Moe posted extras on his Posterous site and I was intrigued by how easy they made it to get content posted out to a blog platform.  The biggest hassle for me when it comes to blogging is getting everything to look right, and in the case of audio/video/pictures, look right.  To date, I’ve not been able to find as flexible of a landing pad for blog content as the early days of Posterous…it’s a big gap as far as I’m concerned.

I was an avid user of the platform, maintaining several blogs and publishing dozens if not hundreds of posts.  This included photos, videos, thoughts, dreams, and ideas.  Things took a turn when Twitter acquired Posterous in March of 2012.  Development of the platform essentially halted.  I got nervous when I read the writing on the wall (actually, it was writing on their FAQ page) and I abandoned ship, taking all of my content with me to my #2 option, WordPress.  I actually posted about it in September.

I’m glad I ran when I did, because it means I’m not scrambling now to preserve my posts.  Instead I’ll now watch it fade away in peace.  Farewell Posterous.

 

Virtualizing Your Brain

I just finished listening to an extended Marketplace Tech Report interview with Ray Kurzewil, inventor, futurist, and author. The topic of conversation is what Kurzweil calls “technological singularity,” the convergence of humans and technology.

Ray Kurzweil

Kurzweil promoting his book, How to Create A Mind

During the 7 & 10 minute mark of the interview, Kurzweil describes a concept that is essentially virtualization of the brain (virtualization as in what VMWare does with IT infrastructure). I got really excited when I heard this. 🙂  Why?  Because I’d never thought to combine the concepts of virtualization and apply them to technological singularity and it’s not that big of a leap to imagine a future where this is a reality.  More processing power, more redundancy, better performance, and even leveraging brain power in the cloud.

Mr. Kurzweil is currently Director of Engineering at Google. I’ve followed Kurzweil long before his Google days though, first reading his “Age of Spiritual Machines” when I was in high school. While mileage may vary with the specific dates for predictions he makes, the core ideas of the book are fascinating and describe a more and more realistic picture of the convergence of technology that improves humans. I highly recommend the book (and I’m reminded that I should read his new book published in 2012 which delves deeper into everything I’m excited about above).