Today Google came out with a new app called PhotoScan that will scan your old photo collection. Like just everyone, I have stashes of shoeboxes inherited from parents full of pictures. Some were scanned in a scanner, back when I had one that was compatible with a computer. More recently, I’ve used scanning apps like Readdle’s Scanner Pro and Scanbot. These de-skew the photographs of the photos that your phone takes but the resolution’s is not always the best and there can be some glare from overhead lights, especially when you’re working with a glossy original pictures.
Google’s approach cleverly stitches together multiple photos. It uses a process much like their 360-degree photo app: you start with a overview photo. Once taken, you see four circles hovering to the sides of the picture. Move the camera to each and it takes more pictures. Once you’ve gone over all four circles, Google stitches these five photos together in such a way that there’s no perspective distortion.
What’s remarkable is the speed. I scanned 15 photos in while also making dinner for the kids. The dimensions of all looked good and the resolution looks about as good as the original. These are good results for something so easy.
Check out Google’s announcement blog post for details.
My long-running blog over at http://quakerranter.org has been out of the loop for awhile. I don’t often have the time for long-form blogging. The style of classic blogging feels less immediate nowadays: Facebook, Google Plus, Tumblr, etc. are easier to post to and get more responses. The immediacy of the social networks provides mini ego boosts. The staff at the hospital where my daughter Laura was born last week invited me to bring my camera phone into the operating room to take pictures of the new one. The hospital had public wifi so it was just a click of a button to share it to Facebook. I was receiving my first rounds of aww’s and congratulations before my wife has even been stitched up.
But being an early blogger (starting nearly a decade before Facebook became an open network), I know that the most influential posts took months and even years to make a difference. It’s not very revolutionary to find out your friends are your friends, which is 90% of Facebook commentary. Personal change happena when you meet someone new; cultural change happens when you’re exposed to people whose ideas are new to you. On the internet that happens at two in the morning when you wonder whether anyone has made a connection between two ideas obsessing you – the unexpected results in a Google search can change how you understand the world. It can starts you down the path of a new self-identity. It doesn’t matter if the post is a couple of years old: what matters is that it’s speaking to the spiritual condition of that searcher.
I know this (and I’ve written about it before) but I still tend toward short social media posts. So I’m going to integrate my Google Plus account with my WordPress-powered blog at Quakerranter.org. I’m picking Google Plus because it’s where I’ve found myself writing the more thoughtful bits and pieces. A neat WordPress plug in called Google Plus Blog (link below) will help the integration.
The Google+ musings of Daniel Treadwell
Google+ Blog Concept — Daniel Treadwell. View your Google+ Posts in the form of a clean and simple blog. Also home of the Google+Blog WordPress plugin.
SOPA would likely cause far more damage than it’s worth, keep the internet free from corporate censorship. #sopa #internet
Reshared post from +Sergey Brin
In just two decades, the world wide web has transformed and democratized access to information all around the world. I am proud of the role Google has played alongside many others such as Yahoo, Wikipedia, and Twitter. Whether you are a student in an internet café in the developing world or a head of state of a wealthy nation, the knowledge of the world is at your fingertips.
Of course, offering these services has come with its challenges. Multiple countries have sought to suppress the flow of information to serve their own political goals. At various times notable Google websites have been blocked in China, Iran, Libya (prior to their revolution), Tunisia (also prior to revolution), and others. For our own websites and for the internet as a whole we have worked tirelessly to combat internet censorship around the world alongside governments and NGO promoting free speech.
Thus, imagine my astonishment when the newest threat to free speech has come from none other but the United States. Two bills currently making their way through congress — SOPA and PIPA — give the US government and copyright holders extraordinary powers including the ability to hijack DNS and censor search results (and this is even without so much as a proper court trial). While I support their goal of reducing copyright infringement (which I don’t believe these acts would accomplish), I am shocked that our lawmakers would contemplate such measures that would put us on a par with the most oppressive nations in the world.
This is why I signed on to the following open letter with many other founders — http://dq99alanzv66m.cloudfront.net/sopa/img/12 – 14-letter.pdf
See also: http://americancensorship.org/ and http://engineadvocacy.org/
http://dq99alanzv66m.cloudfront.net/sopa/img/12 – 14-letter.pdf
When I watch the Pepper Spray Copy video, Google shows ad “Become a Police Officer.” No, I don’t think we want to consider this a recruitment video.
“Animated People” from Theo’s animation class this summer (he’s in the yellow and blue stripes) #blog #family #theo #video
Google+: View post on Google+
As I've used G+ more the last week, I've realized the service that feels the most redundant is my Tumblr account (on the custom domain http://www.quackquack.org). I started the Tumblr because I wanted something more "mine" than Facebook, a place where my photos and links would live independently. But how silly--Tumblr is just a hosted service that I ultimately have no control over.
So what's different with G+ and Facebook? I think it's the sense that Google will archive things. It feels like everything disappears after it ages off of the FB feed. #blog
Miscellanea from Martin Kelley
Google+: View post on Google+
There's a lot of primary source material on Friends that Google's scanned in. I stumbled on this doing a search on something completely contemporary!
Google+: View post on Google+