Google

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…

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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.

Well Played, Bing Maps

I’ll admit, I’m typically a google maps person.  It’s habit at this point and I’ve found the detail to be pretty reliable.

Earlier today I decided to send out a Bing map (which seemed appropriate because it’s a meeting before a Microsoft event) and was amazed at some of the detail offered.

I had a map up that included the MS office in Minnesota, and I happened to hover over nearby Southdale Mall.  I clicked on it and two things happened:

  1. The outline of the building was replaced with store locations
  2. The sidebar changed to a listing of all the stores in the mall

Very nicely done, Bing maps.

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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).