Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Group Shot for making photo montages of groups of people

Microsoft Research have released an experimental program called Group Shot that, in their words:

creates a composite image from a series of photos. The photos must be of the same scene, taken from the same point of view within a short period of time. The application uses regions that you indicate to build a composite image automatically.

Its aim therefore is to let you take a bunch of photos of the same group of people, and then to produce a composite one where the participants weren't blinking or looking away from the camera etc.

Its certainly a specialist photographic requirement, but one that many people occasionally hit.

Thursday, January 19, 2006



Weblogistan are providing LinkClouds, which seem like a bit of fun, hence I thought I'd place one here.

Initially I'll populate it with some of my own favorite products and services, but it will be interesting to see how it may change in time.

Friday, January 13, 2006


Google music search

Google have a largely ignored specialist search for music available, which was announced last month.

The system is not specifically labelled as beta, but is fairly experimental, and has severe display problems in my Mozilla Firefox browser, but looks OK in IE.

Searches bring up matches in separate categories for Artists, Songs, and Albums, with results illustrated by 90 pixel square images served up from Froogle. Clicking through on the artist brings up all their albums, on an album all the tracks, and on a track details including a snippet of the lyrics plus links to other sites with the lyrics.

Where appropriate, there are links to actually buy the album or song, either as a CD or as a download, and the artist pages also include links to do searches on other Google properties, including the web, images, news, and groups.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Google Earth for Windows and Mac

Google Earth for Windows has supposedly graduated from beta to full release status as stated on the main Google Blog. However, despite this claim, the current version available for download is the same build number 3.0.0762 from November last year.

Maybe they thought that this build was "good enough", which is a shame since it still proclaims it's beta status quite prominantly:
The same announcement also notes that Google Earth is also available for the Mac OS X 10.4.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Globe Glider marries Google Earth and Google Maps

Globe Glider, as announced on the Google Earth BBS, is a web application that runs inside the browser window of Google Earth, linking the aerial photo views of Google Earth, with the pre-drawn map views of Google Maps, along with other relevant information.

The application interacts with Google Earth via its unpublished scripting interface, and as such requires a small registry tweak before the browser window can be used.


Searching on another plane with dohop

dohop is a fairly recent entry into the specialized flight search arena, but with its December 2005 upgrade to include 660+ budget and full fare airlines, it really has become an incredibly useful one.

The features I like best about it include:
The initial search just brings up possible itineries based on timetables - if you then ask for details on a particular flight, it does more searching and adds a price for that flight, and probably all others with the same airline. This two stage process does mean you get a view of the flights very quickly, but it would perhaps be better if they could cache the price info, or else fetch this in the background so that its available without the second action being necessary. Prices are shown in the currency of your choice. Sometimes sponsored results come up - which moves them to the top of the list, even if they are not necessarily the best matches.

Once you have a list of flights, you can filter them by time, airports involved (including for transits), airlines, and number of stops.

The site makes good use of AJAX to provide a snappy experience, but unfortunately there are a few technical problems with the implementation. As you navigate around the pages, the url address displayed is locked to the homepage, since you are really only navigating an inner frame, yet its easy to get to a state where that outer frame is inaccessible, so all the AJAX stops working. In fact the site does not degrade gracefully if Javascript is unavailable - it simply stops working at all.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


url(x) for shorter urls

url(x) is a new "shorter url" service, and as such joins a long list of alternatives, of which TinyURL is probably the best known.

urlx however has a few tricks up its sleeve:
The AJAX feature seems to be a bit too eager, at least with my hesitant typing - it came up with shorterned urls for lots of partial urls that I hadn't finished entering yet.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Commercial packages using Autostitch panoramic software

As I've covered before, Autostitch is a program and algorithm that is capable of producing some quite amazing stitched panorama images with little effort.

The free demo version continues to be available direct from the author, but the system has also been licenced and included in two newly released commercial packages:
It's also interesting to note that Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), (a Lucasfilm company) has licenced Autostitch software to produce panoramas for film production.