Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Dopeness from Google

Take a good look at the picture below. It's a screenshot of two of Google's newest, biggest, baddest products. I downloaded and installed the beta version of Google's new Chrome web browser. As you can see, it's pretty sleek and streamlined. It frees up a large amount of real estate by doing away with the toolbar and the other screen gobbling features that might be seen as frivolous. The url field also serves as the search field which is pretty convenient. I've been using Firefox 3 as my go-to browser. Having worked(played) with Chrome for a couple days now, I think I'll stay with Firefox for now. The main reason is that I'd miss all the wonderful add-ons and extensions that I have installed on my Firefox browser(s). Yes, I not only run Firefox on every computer I use, I also sync my bookmarks in Firefox which boosts productivity wonderfully.

As you can see in the pic, I also downloaded Google's Picasa 3 yesterday. I couldn't wait to get home from work today to play with... I mean... evaluate it. I must say, I am thoroughly impressed with this new iteration of Google's image editing suite. It is by far the easiest way to organize, view, edit, upload, share, and make cool stuff with your digital photos. I tried out the "I'm Feeling Lucky" feature, which adjusts the settings for each picture to automatically make each photo look amazing. These all in one editing features usually suck. I was quite impressed with how well pictures turned out after one simple click.
One of the coolest new features of Picasa is pictured in the screenshot. You can opt to have Picasa scan your entire library of uploaded photos for faces. Yes, it scans for faces. Once it's scanned all the photos in your web albums, it presents similar faces for you to tag. For example, I uploaded an album of pictures that were taken while I was out digging up fossils in Montana with my buddy Marc and a bunch of other science teachers and scientists. Picasa went through my pictures and picked out Marc's face from each picture. It then allowed me to tell it to whom that face belongs. The impressive part of all that is that it picked out his face whether he had dark shades on or sunglasses. Pretty neat.
Picasa even picked out paleontologist Paul Sereno's face in a photo I took of a tv screen at the Children's Museum that was playing a video of him talking about their exhibit.

Extremely impressive.
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