Category Archives: computers

Google Begins Blurring Faces In Street View

Via Slashdot:

Google has begun blurring faces in its Street View service, which has spawned privacy concerns since its introduction last year. Google has been working for a couple of years to advance the state of the art of face recognition. Quoting ‘The technology uses a computer algorithm to scour Google’s image database for faces, then blurs them, said John Hanke, director of Google Earth and Google Maps, in an interview at the Where 2.0 conference…’ Google wrote about the program in their Lat/Long blog.

Of course, geek that I am, I immediately thought about advertising billboards with people’s faces on them. I look forward to many blurred ads in our Google Street View future.

Help, My Font Is Too Big

My choice for a RSS feed reader, the Google Reader app, with really, really big letters.

I did the font-enlargening on purpose. Please don’t worry.

You can click on each Reader image to see the font rendered in its proper behemoth size — each image represents a maximized browser window on a 1280 x 960 monitor.




Dungeons And Databases

It’s been a couple months since I last provided you with an update as to my brother’s progress on World of Warcraft (WoW).

My brother has a little problem. He’s got a little something I’m going to call “organizational mania”. It’s probably more correctly identified as a strain of your garden-variety anal-retentiveness, but lemme just call it what I want to call it.

In WoW, one’s character (or as they say in WoW, “toon”) has lots of different body parts that can be festooned with gear, and a variety of weapons that can be wielded as well. For someone playing multiple toons, it can get rather confusing as to what toon is wearing what equipment.

When I was playing WoW’s predecessor Diablo II, I would occasionally scribble down some of the belongings of my various characters. This is not a valid approach for my brother.

So, enter a new Microsoft Access Database application called Toon!. My brother wrote Toon! to keep track of all his characters’ gear.

In my brother’s words:

I created it was so I could check to see if any new item that dropped would be an improvement in equipment on any of my characters. In order to complete the database I had to overcome the following challenges:

1. I needed to concatenate all modifications into one line because MS Access does not permit nesting sub forms.
2. I needed to be able to minimize the application window to use as little screen space as possible (allowing me to easily enter data while having the game running).
3. Also wanted a “nice to have”, that any new modification type encountered (strength, intelligence, attack power, etc.) would be automatically added to the modifications table.

Originally I was planning on using the report as a paper print-out and marking it up with updates, but I’ve since streamlined by making updates directly to the database. Still, the report is useful to have as an “at a glance” tool while playing.

So, please enjoy these screenshots of Toon!, a database application written by my crazy-organized brother.

Please note that in some of the thumbnails only a partial view of an application screen is displayed. Click on an image to view the app in its full screen glory.

Main screen (it’s more functional than fancy-looking)

Screen to add a new toon:

Screen to edit an existing toon (can update toon data and edit equipment carried or worn by toon):

Screen to edit an individual piece of equipment on a toon:

Report of all items worn by toon: