Entries Tagged as ''

Group Shot

Group Shot is an application released by Microsoft Research that can create a composite of pictures by allowing you to add and delete sections of photos to create the best composite. What does this mean?
Say Dad takes a picture of the family and then the son takes another picture of the family. Picture A doesn’t have Dad, and Picture B doesn’t have son, but are the same background and environment. Group Shot allows you to add and delete sections of images and create the perfect “photoshopped” image.
Have an old boyfriend that you don’t want in the family album anymore? No problem! Group Shot can take care of it. Have a guy that just stuck his head into the shot and don’t know who he is? Cut him out! Ahh… the wonders of technology.
Oh.. and obviously only for Windows.
Via MicrosoftResearch

Hacking Google.cn to show uncensored results

Looks like some people found an easy way to get around the whole censorship issue with Google.cn. Wonder if Google will close this “hole” or call their current scenario as “due diligence” and leave it open.

Chinese web users can see full, uncensored results for their Google search by replacing “&meta=” with “&meta=cr%3DcountryBR” in the URL. Once the string is replaced, the censorship will not affect the results.

Via Digg

Clamwin Antivirus Glue

Clamwin Antivirus Glue is an extension for Firefox where it scans everything you download with Clamwin. Obviously that means that you’ll have to install Clamwin, the open-source anti-virus scanner. Definitely worthwhile for those that have friends or family that like to click on anything and everything.
LifeHacker < Addons

Priceline throws pianist in jail for 215 customer refund calls

Another case of bad customer service. After bidding on a $500 plane ticket, and not winning… Priceline offered the pianist Ronnie Segev a ticket for $953. He refused it but Priceline insists he bought it and billed it to him. After calling customer service 215 times asking for a refund, the corporation finally had the NYPD cuff the pianist and drag him down to jail on 215 counts of harrassment.
Give me a break. If the guy didn’t buy the ticket, you have no right to charge him. It’s even in your best interest to help him out. I’m surprised Priceline actually didn’t just refund it instead of letting it become a 215 count.
No wonder there are people out there that want to sell Priceline short. WIth customer service like this, there is no way to guarantee any decent service at all. And the poor guy still hasn’t gotten his refund.
Via NYPost

Recolored: Recolorize photos

Recolored is an interesting program that allows you to colorize your black and white photos. Only for Windows, and the beta is currently free. The tutorial seems to make it look terribly easy, but when it comes to art, it’s never a cakewalk. If you’re interested in adding some color to those photos, this would definitely be a place to start.
LifeHacker < Recolored

Hope for RIM: Congressmen trying to make patents worthless

There’s some hope for RIM now that some Congressmen are trying to fight to get NTP’s patents invalidated. Personally, this geek thinks that all Crackberries should be banned. And just because it’s self-serving, to invalidate NTP’s patents would be against everything that the Patent Office stands for. If this goes through, then there will no longer be any value in patenting.
Why? Well, obviously if you infringe on a patent but have Congressmen on standby, then the patent doesn’t count for anything. Then what’s the point of invention or innovation? Some political type can just come out and bash your patent and all your blood and sweat is down the tubes. RIM didn’t do their due diligence when it came to finding out if they infringed on a patent and so they’re paying for it.
And as far as the Crackberries are concerned…. they’re really not that great.
Via Slashdot

Sprint joins in on confusion of EVDO data plans

Sprint is now pushing their PAM (phone-as-modem) plans as part of their Broadband Initiative. Regardless of all the marketing crap that they throw at you to confuse you, this is what is really going on with Verizon and Sprint.
If you have a 1XRTT phone, then you can use your phone as a modem and not pay extra. If you want an EVDO plan however, you cannot use your phone as a modem unless you pay for an extra plan. Sounds like crap? It is. Pure marketing crap. They’re basically telling you that a feature that you had before doesn’t exist anymore unless you want to pay for an extra plan. Two plans? WTH. Yeah.
Providers, you need to get a clue. You’re just hurting your business when you break out features that existed before. Create new features, don’t deny old features.
Via PCSIntel

Congressman grilling Google on China involvement

This is total hypocrisy. Congressman Smith (R. – New Jersey) just went up on the list of people that doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. Why? He’s grilling Google on the fact that they’re censoring speech in China. Why is this hypocrisy?

The hearing will also include testimony from Yahoo, Microsoft, Cisco and senior State Department officials who advise on China.

Yahoo, Microsoft, and Cisco? Every single one of those companies have done the EXACT same thing. Censorship of free speech. Gee… can you say someone’s getting paid off to hack at Google? Oh yeah. I’d love to trace those connections with the latest Abramhoff scandal.
Sometimes, I love it when people don’t know about what they’re talking about. The more fun highlight the stupidity.
Via FinancialTimes

Canadian music giant Nettwerk suing RIAA

Setting a precedence, Canada’s largest record label and music giant Nettwerk is suing the RIAA. Representing artists such as Avril Lavigne, the CEO has the following words for the RIAA:

“The current actions of the RIAA are not in my artists’ best interests,” said Nettwerk chief executive Terry McBride in a prepared statement.
“Litigation is not ‘artist development’. Litigation is a deterrent to creativity and passion and it is hurting the business I love”.
McBride said the RIAA has “misapplied” the law and that lawsuits should be a “shield, not a sword”.

Ahh… lovely. A music giant that is stepping up on the side of consumers. Nettwerk is suing the RIAA while fighting on the behalf of a family that is being sued by the RIAA. Some of the songs in the list that were named by the RIAA were songs that were by Nettwerk clients. At the most, this will begin the fall of the RIAA. The worst… good PR for Nettwerk.
Via TheRegister

How to get a standing ovation

Sometimes, it pays to learn how to speak well in public. Especially if you have an important message. It’s definitely not my cup of tea, but this is something to keep in mind always for the times that you will be speaking to a large number of people….

  1. Have something interesting to say.
  2. Cut the sales pitch.
  3. Focus on entertaining.
  4. Understand the audience.
  5. Overdress.
  6. Don’t denigrate the competition.
  7. Tell stories.
  8. Pre-circulate with the audience.
  9. Speak at the start of an event.
  10. Ask for a small room.
  11. Practice and speak all the time.

They’re very good tips, and it took Guy Kawasaki twenty years to master (he’s a great VC by the way). Definitely something to keep in mind for your next speech.
LifeHacker < LettheGoodTimesRoll