Google Magic

I am a big fan of what Google does with its search capabilities (along with other things). I love the fact that you can use Google search to perform math, to convert between different measurements, to track your UPS packages, etc.

That features all work great , but I like it when they do something new and cool.

Today, I learned about something cool you can do with Google Image search. With Google Image search, you can now drag a picture to your search bar and Google will search for it. This is similar to the Google Goggles, app, but cooler, I think.

I tried this both with some paintings from Picasso as well as a Chicago style hot dog. Google correctly identified everything that I threw at it.

I am sure Google is using the photo’s metadata to help with the search. Regardless, I think this is pretty awesome.

Hattip to Slog for pointing this out.


Bing Product Placement

I saw a recent article that said that for every $3 that Microsoft is spending in advertising costs to promote Bing, it is making only about $1. That is burning money at an ridiculous rate, even if you have as much money as Microsoft. That same article indicates that if Microsoft continues to spend Bing money at the same rate it will lose $3 billion.

I found the article fascinating. I also understand that, if Microsoft wants to challenge Google, it has to spend a lot of money to do it. A lot of money right now, may lead to increased revenues later. However, I am not sure that Microsoft can really spend Google into the ground.

A recent post by Dan Savage on Slog, however, recently put this into perspective for me. Savage said:

Did you see Source Code? There’s a moment in the movie where Jake Gyllenhaal’s character—about to be burn to death in a fiery explosion for the seventh or eight time that morning—does a quick web search on someone’s smart phone. The search engine he uses? Bing. The audience at the screening I attended erupted in laughter. This was a screening in Seattle. We were willing totally willing to suspend our disbelief when it came to time travel and alternate realities and that comedian’s jokes. But the idea that someone would use Bing to look something up instead of Google? That was laughable.

I think that says it all.

Fighting Crime Through Facebook

I don’t practice criminal law. However, in the event that a future criminal stumbles across my website, let me offer a piece of advice: Don’t steal someone’s phone, take a picture of yourself, and upload that to the internet. Yes, I realize that the phone was set to automatically upload photos to facebook when the phone was connected to a computer. However, I don’t find that to be a very good excuse.

I mean really, if you have stolen a piece of electronic equipment, shouldn’t you make sure it isn’t going to phone home before you plug it into a computer?

Good Grammar is Important

I had a submission published on the blog of The society for the Promotion of Good Grammar. This was a sign in a parking garage where we parked when I went to a Jonathan Coulton concert recently with a friend. The worst part was that this was not an isolated sign. My friend and I saw at least a half a dozen signs in the part of the garage we were in.

And Now for Something Completely Different: Jonathan Coulton

I know that this has nothing to do with anything legal, however, this weekend I was finally able to see Jonathan Coulton in concert. For a good description of the concert, check out this review. The short version is as follows:

Paul & Storm opened and did a fantastic job. They are hilarious and I would love to see them do a full show.

They took a short intermission and then Coulton came out with Paul and Storm and performed the entire They Might Be Giants Flood album. For an explanation of why, see Jonathan’s blog here.

After that, Jonathan went into his own stuff and played a really enjoyable set. The audience clearly loved songs such as Code Monkey, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Skullcrusher Mountain, and Re Your Brains. The only songs I really missed that he did not play were Chiron Beats Prime and The Presidents.

The concert started at 8 and didn’t end until about 11:15. Although there was a brief intermission, it was still basically 3 hours of musical goodness.

If you like Coulton at all and you are anywhere near where he is performing, I can’t recommend him highly enough.

Also, I would recommend the venue where we saw the concert: Park West. This was a great venue with good seating (we sat in a booth) and an attentive, but not overbearing, wait staff. After looking around, I am not sure that there is a bad seat in the house.