Google Goggle – potentially Damn Cool. Monday, May 30 2011 


I was aware there was a image search on the iPhone, last night I found the Android equivalent – Google Goggles (I may well be well out of date – remember I’ve only had a smart phone for a month!). 

The concept is simple.  Take a picture with your smart phone, and it will ‘Google’ the image.  That’s right ‘Google’ an image.

Point it at a DVD box, and you get the links to iMBD and Amazon.
Point it at a book cover, and you get reviews, and links to Amazon (unsurprisingly)
Point it at a work of art, and get links to Wiki, and histories of the painter and work.
Point it at a foriegn language and get a translation.
Not had a chance to try this, but apparently photo a landmark, and find out what it is!

I’ve spent the day photographing odd things, and its been quite successful – I’ve found out one of the pictures on my bedroom wall is a print of a famous painting of Romeo and Juliet.

For what it is its been quite successful.  I’d say a hit rate of 75%.  The failures tend to be the way the picture is taken – a camera has little way to distinguish depth of field, so reflections on the glass over pictures tend to confuse it. It swipes the photo in a most pleasing Sci Fi way, and marks up points (a la a CSI finger print scan) , as well as carries out Optical Character Recognition.  It took a couple of tries to get it oto recognise a short French sentence; however it was something I typed into word, so it had the graininess of the display to contend with, plus on the first attempt I had it to close, so it lopped off part of the first line, though what it did get it recognised as French.  Worked fine the 2nd attempt.  Hand shake bluring the image can be a big problem, as is moving the phone too early, not realising how long it takes to capture the image it needs.

It recognised not just the words ‘Warhammer 40,000″ on my son’s codex, but the fact that it was the logo, so found said codex.

It even managed to recognise the cover of my Black Powder rule book, and linked me to relevant hits, given the complexity of the cover I was pleasantly surprised.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Powder-Battles-Soldiers-Musket/dp/0956358101

You can get some odd results – I took a picture of the car across the road, and it picked up the brand badge on the hubcap, and gave me a link to vans by that manufacturer.  I also took a picture of a 12″ model Cyberman (from Doctor Who), but it said it could find no matches.  It offered instead a number of choices, one of which was a picture of some breasts.  It was an ARTY picture, but still a picture of a pair of tits!

Despite its sometime oddities, its definately worth having on your phone.

These tests run on a HTC Wildfire, Android 2.1, 5mp camera.

I’m going to get a Super-injunction Thursday, May 26 2011 


No one is allowed to say I haven’t had sex with lots of beautiful women.

“Hell of a way to spend Valentine’s day!” – A ‘Platoon Forward’ battle report. Monday, May 23 2011 


“Seeing the Elephant”, Italy 1944

Our (Graham and I) latest campaign is Italy World War 2 using the “Too Fat Lardies” ‘Troops Weapons and Tactics’, with their new “Platoon Forward” Supplement (Suitable for all low level rules, but written with TW&T in mind).

We will be following 2 Platoon, B Company, 1 Battalion, Berks, Bucks and Oxon Infantry Regiment, who, arriving in Italy January 44, have been placed with 11 Infantry Brigade. The account of their first action is recounted below.

Note – I have put it in a PDF – editing into WordPress with that many pictures is a bit time consuming! (and the PDF is smaller than 1 photo)

01 – Hell of a way to spend Valentines day

Feel free to leave a comment

Running out of superlatives Sunday, May 22 2011 


Having listened to my son speaking to a freind this morning, I wonder what the youth of today will do when the do encounter something that is, actually, ‘awesome’.

Or come to that, how will they convey when something is ‘literally’ true (as opposed to “I literally died”. Really – you are a zombie then?)

French in the War of Spanish Succession – painting guide Saturday, May 21 2011 


French painting guideI put together this basic painting guide for a friend. As we do 10mm only the major bits are identified – no lace etc.

French_Paint_Guide

The flags should print roughly the correct size for 10mm, I believe they are from the rather fine “Warflag” site.

Complete History of the Soviet Union… Wednesday, May 11 2011 


as seen through the eyes of a humble worker.

Random Platoon Generator for Troops, Weapons and Tactics Sunday, May 1 2011 


This spreadsheet will generate a random (British) platoon for Troops, Weapons and Tactics/Platoon Forward. Of course it can be used for any other platoon level wargame (NUTS etc) though you will have course have to tweak the stats. For reference TI is Tactical initiative, and runs from 1 (plodder) to 4 (heroic). The Big Man Bonus is the extra added when a leader is directing fire (Typically 3d6-3 for rifles up to 4d6+4 for MG42, the results table maxing at 36). Making the Big Man drop down YES shows the values for that man (TW&T is not normally interested in non leaders). I have defaulted the Lance Corporals, who lead the Bren gun group to BM, as they may well be called on to replace a killed section leader during a battle.

I suggest that you put ‘Workbook Calculation’ (found under Options/Formulas) to Manual, otherwise everything changes each time you change a cell. F9 is the manual update. Use Copy then “Paste Special –>; Values” to put the results you want to keep onto a fresh spreadsheet (this pastes results, rather then the formulae, so won’t keep getting updated).

Note – this is a Excel 2007 spreadsheet, so has the extension .xlsx (see below for a possible earlier version)

Random lists

This is the version saved as compatable with Excel 1997-2003. I can not guarantee which bits (if any) will work. If anybody wants to do a rewrite I’d be happy to work with them on it.

Random lists excel 97

Rights/IP stuff. I’m providing this free for personal non-commercial use, the basic work remains mine. I haven’t put anything malicious into it, but I can provide no warrenty etc etc yadda yadda yadda. Feel free to edit the names/platoon layout for other nations – I’ll happily upload it here or provide a link to where ever you host it: My Gmail address is (unsurprisingly) Last.Hussar@…