African Americans Tagged As “Gorillas” By Google Photos App

google-black-gorillas

Google apparently is not the most politically-correct mind on the planet.  As a recent incident with the Google Photos app illustrates, the artificial intelligence engine is still learning…and making giant mistakes along the way.

Computer programmer and hobbyist photographer Jacky Alciné recently tweeted, “Google Photos, y’all f@#ked up. My friend’s not a gorilla,” along with a screen shot.  Jacky had uploaded a photo of himself and a friend to Google Photos, and the automatic tagging feature got it completely wrong.

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Google to Fight Revenge Porn; Will Remove Photos from Search

Revenge_PornGoogle hates messing around with its search engine, stating the company’s involvement should be limited to ensuring the relevance of the results, it usually removes search results only once legally forced to do so.

In an uncommon move, however, Google has taken initiative in this matter announcing that it will remove photos of ‘revenge porn’ victims from its search engine’s results.

“In the coming weeks we’ll put up a web form people can use to submit these requests to us,” said Amit Singhal, the senior vice president in charge of Google Search in the company’s blog.

What caused Google suddenly take responsibility for its search results and does this mean Google’s becoming more lenient towards photo take-down requests?

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Google Teams Up to Release 360-Degree Virtual Reality Film ‘HELP’

google-helpIf we look at the progression of motion pictures over the last 100 years, it’s almost like night and day. (Then again, the same could be said for the last century of computer technology as well.)

As we previously reported, Google is staying its course for diabolical virtual reality domination. Now, taking it one step further, the tech giant that owns more of your dirty secrets than the NSA has teamed up with visual effects studio The Mill to release a 360-degree virtual reality film called, ironically, “HELP.”

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Google Announces 3D Virtual Reality Rig, Says They Will Share Plans

gopro-google-jump
“What will they think of next,” was a phrase I used to hear my grandmother say. While civilization is still busy committing the oldest of sins in the newest of ways, Google has teamed up with GoPro to bring a truly new revolution to the world of virtual reality (in case real reality was just too boring for you).

Yesterday, at Google’s I/O event, they unveiled a collaborative project called JUMP. The JUMP camera rig pairs the ever-popular GoPro camera (or, rather, 16 of the bloody things) with Google’s JUMP assembler, a high-powered video processing platform, to create 360-degree, 3D stereoscopic video that can be viewed on your smartphone using Google Cardboard. Basically, you can “look around” the video in the same way that you would look around your real world (just with a cardboard box pressed to your face).

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Time Lapse Mining Automatically Creates Flawless Videos from Photos Found Online

Time_Lapse_Mining

Time lapse is possibly the best way to show change over time, be it the construction of a skyscraper or an otherwise unnoticeable change that occurs over a long period of time.

The problem with this popular technique is that it usually requires careful planning, a single photographer or a dedicated team and a decent amount of editing. However, a team of researchers from the University of Washington and Google seems to have overcome these difficulties.

The method used by the researchers takes advantage of the endless amount of photos found online, automatically detects popular subjects and edits them into seamless time lapse videos.

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Facebook to Support Spherical Interactive Video in News Feed

Facebook_360_Degree2

These 360-degree interactive videos are shot with up to 24 cameras at a time, allowing the viewer to change the point of view in any direction. It is much like Google Street View, except you can look up or down as well, and you do so while the video keeps playing.

The immersive videos will also be available on the Oculus Rift 3D goggles headset, made by Facebook’s recent acquisition, Oculus VR.

Despite Virtual Reality being associated mainly with gaming, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he expects VR video to be more engaging.

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Google Earth Pro Goes Free Enabling stunning Captures and HD Movies

Google Earth

No many know this but Google Earth had a bigger brother called Google Earth Pro and while the ‘lil sibling was free, getting the pro version was $400/year. No small change.

I guess there were not too many hoppers on that offer and now Google is releasing Google Earth Pro for free (right here). That is a steep $400/year (or 100%) drop making Pro available to everyone.

What can you do with the pro version? For starters, you can export bigger images, the regular version supported only 1000×1000px photos, while the pro version enables you to dump 4800×3200px photos which should be good enough for 4K resolution.

The pro version also enables to capture HD videos of the view you are seeing on screen.

(Pro also enables batch address import and better distance measuring, but I guess that only applies to traveling photographers).

The fact that Google Earth Pro is now free does not mean you do not have to get a key but you can easily get one on the form here.

[via techcrunch]

Sony Grabs a Lytro-Esque Patent for Light Field Sensor Technology

Sony's New Patent

Lytro’s one of the few companies out there that are pioneering in what’s called “light field” technology; their light field sensors basically take in massive amounts of data and process them into a small picture that you can interact with. The final result helps achieve a sort of post-focusing effect you’d find in Google Camera’s Lens Blur or the HTC One M8’s double-sensor camera. Back about two months ago, Lytro announced a camera called the Illum – one of the first major steps in making a camera like that reality while keeping the specs a bit up to date.

But right now, the technology’s still in its growing stages. The Illum is a first, but at the same time it’s retaining a hefty price tag of around $1500. It’s needless to say that there’s still a lot left to be done with this technology before it can actually be that profitable. Just recently, Sony took a big step for the future of light field sensors by grabbing their own patent for light field sensors. According to the patent [warning, geeky read], apparently Sony has a way to get past some of the limitations that light field sensors bring to the rest of the technology implemented in. Put that together with the fact that this is Sony we’re talking about, which both has the tech power and the market interest, and you’ve got a pretty promising look at what the future might hold for these new sensors.

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Android’s Next Update Set to Bring Manual Focus, DNG, Exposure Control, and More

Android L

Earlier this month, Apple raised the bar for the iPhone’s camera when it announced iOS 8; the upcoming software is set to give iOS users features such as manual exposure, time-lapse photography, and more. With the passing of Google I/O just last week, we were introduced to Android L. After a weekend of coverage, it looks like Android’s camera is about to get a few small updates, as well…

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