Amazon finally released a free iPhone app for the UK. Aside from searching for items as you would using a normal browser, this app has an interesting feature called Amazon Remembers. It will let you take a photo of an item you’re interested in, upload the photo and Amazon will try to find it for you. Yes, you read that right. Amazon will analyse the photo and match it to the items available for purchase.
Actually, that’s partly incorrect. The service doesn’t computationally analyse the photo, it uses Mechanical Turk to farm the job out to people who match the photo with items Amazon sells. Mechanical Turk is their online market place for people to carry out repetitive data-based menial jobs for a few cents per task.
When I tried the Remembers feature, the results came back within 15 minutes of the upload. I took a photo of our juicer and kettle and sent them off. The juicer was matched perfectly but it returned a coffee machine instead of the kettle. I’m sure the service will be refined and only improve over time.
It’s clear that Apple created a very compelling platform on which developers are using in inventive and brilliant ways.
Thanks to a tip on MacOSXHints, in Snow Leopard if you need to know how much space is available on the internal drive, just highlight the drive icon on the desktop and then press space to invoke Quick Look. It’ll display the drive size and remaining space.
I think it’s about time I spec out my ideal Mac. I need a Quad-Core all in one system with a 27″ LED screen, ideally 2560 x 1440 res with up to 16GB RAM and 2TB internal drive. It would absolutely need a multitouch wireless mouse and have a DisplayPort input to turn it into an ultra HD viewing device. Oh, and it would need to be wall-mountable.
But who am I kidding? When is a dream system like that ever see the light of day?
Marshall Alexander, a paper sculptor has taken over our afternoon. He constructs delightful stylised paper sculptures which are downloadable from his website. This is one my girls and I constructed. It’s Max from Maurice Sendak’s popular children book Where The Wild Things Are and Max is in mid-rumpus mode.
There’s a whole set of images on my Flickr photostream. A word of warning though, put aside a lot of time to do these sculptures. It’s worth it!
A photo of the spire of Christ Church in Crouch End. This is the view from our bedroom window.
Click for a full view.
Meet Hugo Gernsback, the father of Science Fiction and inventor of the TV Glasses. This image is from a gallery by Life magazine titled 30 Dumb Inventions and it’s absolutely delightful. I mean which mother wouldn’t want to try the Baby Cage and what party wouldn’t be complete without the Yodel Meter? Fantastic.
Oh, and click on the image above to see it in its full glory.
We don’t get a chance to go to the cinema very often but one weekend Gillian and I had the opportunity. We went to see Star Trek and boy did it make every other film in the series look weak, thin and boring! The new cast were absolutely spot on and the effects were utterly fantastic. The story and the action drew you in and kept you in that universe.
Directed by none other than J.J. Abrams, the film had 1,005 visual effects shots beautifully realised by ILM and Digital Domain. Any post house that can take anamorphic plates with tons of lens flares, create intricately detailed CG and comp it to perfection deserves all the accolades the industry can award. There’s a really good write-up on the VFX side of Star Trek on the CG Society site.
It’s fantastic that J.J. Abrams decided to take a very well known franchise like Star Trek, shake it to it’s foundations and come up with a much better story than almost every other film done before. Bravo, and I’m looking forward to the next one!
Click on the plates above for a larger view.