iPhoto Loves Cats, iMovie Fixes Shake, Keep Your ISP Honest

I’m really going to try this time, to narrate my work consistently. I’ve set aside time, I’ve got a great workflow for all of the feed items and other stuff that I collect, and I realized that all I need is to gather, synthesize, and summarize at the end of the day. So here are some things that I’ve found interesting in the last day (that didn’t morph into blog posts of their own as I started writing about them):

iPhoto 09 Recognizes Cats’ Faces, But Not Dogs

Apple’s iLife ’09 hit stores yesterday, and the wires are full of people reporting their experiences with its new features. One of the new new major features in iPhoto 09 (the other one being geotag/location support) is that it can recognize faces of people in your pictures. Apparently, it can recognize the faces of cats, too. But, for some reason, not dogs. Why does Apple hate doggies?

iMovie 09 Video Stabilization

The other iLife 09 feature that I’m excited about is iMovie 09’s new ability to stabilize shaky video. There’s lots of sample footage out there. Here’s some from from Beau Colburn (via Daring Fireball). It’s pretty impressive, and especially good news for owners of light little video cameras with small sensors, like my Flip Mino HD, which are extremely sensitive to camera shake. Can’t wait to try it out for myself.

Google Launches Measurement Lab – Tools to Keep Your ISP Honest

Via the Official Google Blog, Measurement Lab is a suite of tools to help you test your connection speed, see if your ISP is throttling bittorrent, etc. Great way to learn more about your internet connection, and see if you’re ISP is not giving you all the service you would like.

That’s all for today. This was fun! Let me know what you think in the comments. I’ll try to keep it up, but no promises. πŸ˜‰


☍ Let Google Reader Automatically Translate Feeds Into Your Language

Official Google Reader Blog: Is Your Web Truly World-Wide?

Ever wanted to subscribe to a feed in a language other than one you understand, and have Google automatically machine translate it into your language? Now you can.


Of course, machine translation is usually terrible. I worked in software localization for a few years, where I learned first hand just how far out the idea of usable machine translation is. But hey, it’s better than nothing, and is a nice option for that Chinese or Russian blog you REALLY wish you could read.

I tried this out on the feeds for the Intel Software Network blog in Chinese and Russian, and it seems to work pretty well (as well as Google Translate ever does). Pretty slick.


Using the Web to Watch Election Results

Every election is different – four years is a LONG time in Internet time. The tools and habits we have for getting our information can change a lot in four years. Here are some of the tools I’m using to track the election results today, besides my regular network of people on Twitter, FriendFeed, and blogs (which is where I get most of my news and information on any given day).

Google Maps Election Results

Pick your state, see live results. Get your own to embed on your site.

Google News Elections Coverage

Good summary of coverage from around the web. Has a nice mobile/iPhone version for keeping up away from a computer:


Twitter Vote Report

Interesting Twitter mashup, where people report conditions/experiences from their voting locations – wait times, any irregularities, etc. A real time stream of “on the ground” reports from Twitter, phone, SMS, and other means. Very cool grassroots project.


Don’t miss the “See It In Action” page, which has a bunch of embeddable maps/widgets with lots of cool data.

What About You?

What sites/resources are you using to track the election results? If you’ve got something cool or interesting to share, post a comment! πŸ™‚

Update: Sarah Perez over at ReadWriteWeb has a much more exhaustive list of resources for getting your fill of this election. Video feeds, poll tracking sites, more mobile options, etc. If you’re looking for more election info, her post is a great place to start.

Update 2: Oh! And how could I forget!


☍ iPhone 2.2 Update Brings Street View, OTA Podcast Downloads

New IPhone 2.2: The iPhone OS 2.2 Rumor Round Up


OK, so we all knew that the iPhone 2.2 update was bringing Google Maps Street View and walking directions (about time, too). But Gizmodo says it will also include over-the-air podcast downloads. First I’ve heard of this, but a welcome feature that people like me and Dave Winer have been clamoring for from the beginning.


And it suddenly makes a lot more sense why Apple rejected the “Podcaster” app (which downloads over the air, too) for “duplicating iTunes functionality”. At the time, we scratched our heads, because the iPhone had no such capability.


New Google Reader Feature – Inline Web Page Preview (Not!)

Update: I’m an idiot. This is a feature that’s part of Lifehacker’s Better GReader Firefox extension that I installed the other day. I just now noticed the behavior, and though it was part of Google Reader itself. Still, a cool feature – check out Better GReader for that and more! And sorry for the false alarm. Here I thought I was breaking news on a new feature! πŸ˜‰

Just noticed this – a new Google Reader feature!

Google Reader Inline Preview

When I clicked the post title, instead of opening in a new tab, as usual, it opened an inline preview of the entire target web page, right there inside Google Reader.

There’s a new “Preview” button at the bottom of the entry, too, where you can toggle the preview on and off.

Haven’t read anything from Google about this feature yet, but it’s neato! πŸ™‚