The real Hillary Clinton?

February 8, 2008

Ok, this isn’t really a political post at all, rather it’s about a new suite of online image editing tools called Aviary. They’ve put a great screen cast on YouTube showing just how cool their suite of tools is. This is impressive stuff for an online tool, how long till we can all ditch our bloatware and move to these online tools?

Looking through the rest of their product blog this is going to be very cool indeed!

And it’s not just images; they have a whole suite of tools from images, to video and even audio related.


Google News goes visual

June 27, 2007

Google news have now launched a visual way to read the news through a new interface which displays images from the news stories of the day along with the headlines and links to the stories.

It’s a really nice interface and as you hover over an image the list of headlines on the right scrolls and highlights those that are associated (nice AJAX work).

I like this way of browsing the news, now Google, please could you reverse engineer it so that when I hover over a headline and intro on the text version I get to see an associated image?

It seems Google may have slipped in some Neven Vision functionality into their image search without telling anyone!

It is now possible to search for images that only contain faces by appending the “&imgtype=face” query string onto the end of a search URL. There is currently no way to indicate that you only want to search for faces through the image search interface.

Is this going to pave the way for proper image recognition? Imagine being able to upload a photo of a friend and find all other images of them automagically!


February 8, 2007

Very useful little app I came across today that I thought I’d share. It’s an Ajax based tool for creating loading indicator GIFs on the fly. There’s quite a selection of styles and they come in really handy for most web designers. Example GIF below.

Check out Ajaxload!

Good article in the New Scientist today regarding the coming launch of Polar Rose, an image search service that works with facial recognition technology combined with user input.

The article discusses the implications for privacy to all of us. While this is a huge step in the right direction for search (making it more accurate and allowing user input) the article makes some very valid points.

It means we could all be tracked down through photo sites like Flickr and with users adding names and content to photos, it could make us all easily discoverable by the type of people we really don’t want to be able to discover us! I’m all in favour of new developments in search so it’s a difficult call as to whether this is taking it to a place where we really don’t want to be heading… has launched now. This is the first truely visual search facility on the web and has been something I’ve been keeping a tab on for a while (knowing someone who worked on it). Riya are a company who have worked on technologies such as facial recognition in photos and they’re putting some of their fancy technology to work on the web. provides a way to find things visually, if you submit an image it will return results that are visually similar, if you submit a text query it will convert that text into a visual search (using meta data one would assume) and again return results that are similar.

So far it’s only offering searches on fashion items (seems a natural place to start) but this could get really useful once it broadens it’s reach.

Soon you’ll be able to upload an image and look for similar results. This could be really useful for copyright holders etc.

This is a route I’d expected Google to go down after their acquisition of Neven Vision but it seems they’ve been beaten to it this time. It’ll be interest to see who’s first to implement this type of visual recognition technology into a video search.