Google Plus Photos now offers a new form of auto-awesome, their service best known for adding snow to winter photos, sparkles to Christmas tree lights, and turning successive photos into animated gifs. This one is called “Smile” and it truly lives up to its name. Read more
Well I was excited to see that they also auto-awesomed some photos from my 2013 to create this cute little video. Log-in to your Google Plus to see your version of 2013, auto-awesomed.
Featured in this video are (in order of appearance): Me, Sara Higgins, Tara Fournier, Tim Jones, Drew Higgins, Jim Higgins, Lorie Higgins, My fourth grade class at Langtree Elementary School, Aidan Dunfey, Sarah Greer-Pennington, Greg Rogers, Alicia Samfilippo, Audra Fournier, Dennis Duffy (Dean Winters), Simona Rodano, Luigi Rosa, Mike Citarella, Angie Melvin, Sarah Roddis-Martin, Jacqué Citarella, Giammario Piumatti, Francesco Piumatti, Lauren Citarella, Steve Farjam, Sue Fleming Citarella, Jeff Arcara, Agnetta Citarella, Allie Citarella, Jules Feiffer, Frank DeGrazia, Katie Bacus, Thompson, and Ian Warner.
Todd recently pointed me to the attention of Google’s new “author” tag, to help users read more articles by journalists and bloggers, and their new “publisher” tag, to help users find more articles by companies and organizations. Hopefully, within the next few months, you’ll be able to see my mug appearing by articles in Google search results pages, directing your attention to other articles I’ve written.
Google has always had technology that’s been both cool and creepy at the same time. In fact, I believe their upcoming “Google Now” was criticized for this reason, precisely, and CNET has a great article showing how Google products go from creepy to cool.
Anyway, Google now has a “Find My Face” feature which scours the social networking world for recognizable faces and then emails you to let you know it found your face. Take a look at this email I just received:
Here’s how Find my Face works:
After you turn on Find my Face, Google+ uses the photos you’re tagged in to create a model of your face. The model updates as tags of you are added or removed, and you can delete the entire face model at any time by turning off Find my Face.
If you turn on Find my Face, we can use your face model to make it easier to find photos of you. For example, we’ll show a suggestion to tag you when you or someone you know looks at a photo that matches your face model. Name tag suggestions by themselves do not change the sharing setting of photos or albums. However, when someone approves the suggestion to add a name tag, the photo and relevant album are shared with the person tagged.
As Zeh informed me, it’s fairly similar to what face.com used to do (before Facebook bought the Israeli facial recognition firm in June 2012) and Picasa and Facebook offer similar services. However, the idea that Googlebot is spidering the web with a model of my face, reporting back to me similarities is both creepy and cool. Creepy, because it brings to mind Sci-Fi movie gadgets where the government can spot your grainy likeness on any CCTV feed across the world. Cool, because it’ll help me to ensure no weirdo is montaging some shrine of my physiognomy somewhere in cyberspace, or some perverted derelict isn’t “catfishing” me by using my photos for a fictional online persona.
What are Sitelinks?
The links shown below some of Google’s search results (1), called sitelinks (2), are meant to help users navigate sites. Google’s systems analyze the link structure of each site to find shortcuts that will save users time and allow them to quickly find the information they’re looking for.
Google only shows sitelinks for results when they think they’ll be useful to the user. If the structure of the site doesn’t allow their algorithms to find good sitelinks, or they don’t think that the sitelinks for the site are relevant for the user’s query, Google won’t show them. At the moment, sitelinks are automated, but there are best practices site owner’s can follow, however, to improve the quality of their sitelinks.
Android’s “Note to Self” feature has become a life saver for me. I remember things when I’m walking to and from meetings, sitting on the train, or generally away from my desk. And rather than keep a notepad or moleskine and pen with me at all times, I’d begun to use the message voice action that’s packaged with Android.
The only cumbersome aspect of this feature is that it doesn’t let you specify the recipient of the note to self. After all, in Google’s world, your Google Account’s main email/gmail address is (and should be) your “self.”
“Maybe I can recreate the main email address tied to my HTC Evo,” I thought, “so that it’s a more specific ‘self'”. I tried to change it from don.citarella to don.citarella+mobile, but had no luck. Apparently, once you’ve associated a main address with an Android phone, the only way to remove/change it is to perform a factory reset.
So, while it’s not the cleanest/best solution, Gmail Filters do the trick.