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there was a image search on the iPhone, last night I found the Android equivalent – Google Goggles (I may well be well out of date – remember I’ve only had a smart phone for a month!).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

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.

Star Trekking (across the Universe): Intech Planetarium Tuesday, Aug 25 2009 

Holiday: Day 1, Monday.
Last week we spent a few days in Hampshire. As is our usual practice we started the visiting on the day of travel before arriving at the place we stay (in this case a cheap family room in a Travel-lodge). This time it was the Intech Science Centre just outside Winchester. 
Lady Hussar had got money off vouchers from the ‘web, and I think it cost about £20 for a family ticket, plus another £2 per person ( four people) for the addition of the planetarium. (fold put in, as it is a long post- but my experience was amazing)


Her Morning Elegance by Oren Lavie Saturday, Mar 7 2009 

An amazing video to a song with wonderful dream-like quality .

Found via Les’s place

Purchase Win Tuesday, Mar 3 2009 

My monitor has been playing up- it brightens and then darkens as though on a dimmer switch.  I’ve been waiting for it to go altogether, then bitch about having to buy a new one.  In town on Saturday (28th) I dropped into the Curry’s, which is closing down- there is a large Curry’s on the trading estate, plus a PC World (also owned by DSG) next door, and the restructure was announced pre-credit crunch, so it was only a matter of time.

There, sitting on a shelf, was a CRT with a label “£5, please buy me”.  I asked, and it turned out nothing wrong, just been sitting in store for years, no box, and in these LCD days they wanted to get rid of it. 

£5! So I bought it. Only down side was having to carry a boxless CRT monitor over a mile!  Carry heavy purchases home appears to be a new hobby.  On the 22nd I had to buy a new car battery, and carry that 2  miles (on account of having no working car).

10,000 Monday, Jan 26 2009 

The view counter for the Barracks hit 10,000 at some point in the last 2 hours 15 minutes, and as of 30 seconds ago was on exactly that.

Now to get you buggers posting responses.

Addendum- I’ve only just spotted the spellchecker, and full screen editing of posts, after 21 months!  I should really play with it more to see what else it does.

Hard drives- WOW. Thursday, Nov 27 2008 

Found over at ***Dave’s place- why you shouldn’t thump your computer to fix it.

Hard drives, by analogy

 We are so blasé about hard drives and how they work. But the precision involved is astonishing:


The dimensions of the head are impressive. With a width of less than a hundred nanometers and a thickness of about ten, it flies above the platter at a speed of up to 15,000 RPM, at a height that’s the equivalent of 40 atoms. If you start multiplying these infinitesimally small numbers, you begin to get an idea of their significance.
 Or, to give an amazing analogy:


Consider this little comparison: if the read/write head were a Boeing 747, and the hard-disk platter were the surface of the Earth:

  • The head would fly at Mach 800
  • At less than one centimeter from the ground
  • And count every blade of grass
  • Making fewer than 10 unrecoverable counting errors in an area equivalent to all of Ireland.


(via kottke)

Wow indeed- do you really want to jog something floating at 40 atoms height?