Tag Archives: google

Opinion: Google+ Gifs (or My gifs to You)

Warning — if you are at all sensitive to quickly moving animations, turn your images off now….

Back sometime in late June or early July I noticed something strange on my Google+ photos: many of them moved. And they were not videos. I did some investigating and discovered that Google was making gifs out of my photos. Without my knowledge or permission. Not that it was that important, but I really hate animated gifs. I thought they were ugly in the 1990s and I think they are ugly in 2013. They are distracting and take away all semblance of professionalism.

What Google was / is doing is taking photos that were shot within seconds of each other and stitching them together to make mini-animations. For instance I took a bunch of photographs of various family members holding my grand-nephew at a family picnic and when I saw them on my Google+ page the photos were all part of a new photo/animation/gif. (although the photos were there as well)

Jill and Preston with grumpy Dean int he background
Jill and Preston with grumpy Dean in the background
Jill, Preston, Brandon, Ashley, Steven
Jill, Preston, Brandon, and Ashley

When I took a lot of photos of the flower girls and other children dancing at a wedding Google+ made a rather cute animation. (okay, not all the gifs are bad)

Dancing flowergirls
Dancing flower girls
Dancing flowergirls
Dancing flower girls

Then, a week or so ago I took a photo of Rupert in front of a snowy scene. What did Google+ do? Made it snow in front of Rupert. In the house.

Rupert in the snow.
Rupert in the snow.

A few days later I took a photo of a Christmas tree in Bethesda. Google made the lights twinkle. (okay, that was kinda cool).

Estrogen Alley tree
Estrogen Alley tree

I took a photograph of our Christmas tree, and again, Google made the lights twinkle.

Christmas tree
Our Twinkly Christmas Tree

So, while I don’t like most of the stitched together gifs, I don’t mind the twinkles.

Merry Christmas!

Google Maps 8-bit quest

My house in 8-bit
No monsters or dragons here

Quick. Go to Google Maps and look up an address then click Quest in the top right-hand corner.

Try looking up Googleplex. Or The White House. (you may need to zoom in or out to see things)

An explanation is on the Google Maps Blog

http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2012/03/begin-your-quest-with-google-maps-8-bit.html

Let me know if you found any other cool things at other addresses.

Update: Danny Goodwin over at Search Engine Watch has screen shots of many of the landmarks found on the 8-bit maps.

Rupert Bear’s open letter to Google

I’ve been busy trying to learn how to make PDF files accessible, so I’ve recruited a guest blogger today. He’s in a foul mood though… Sorry about that.

He wanted send a message to Google about today’s Google Doodle.

I give you, Rupert the Bear.

Dear Google,

This morning when I logged onto my computer home page I couldn’t help but notice that you are paying homage to Paddington Bear on the anniversary of his 50th year. While I don’t mean to take away from Paddington’s celebrations, I must admit to feeling a little left out. Only three years ago I celebrated my 85th anniversary, and did anyone at Google make me a Google Doodle? Nope. Not even a sketch.I mean, 85 is awfully old for a bear.

You may or may not know, but Paddington and I have a long-time rivalry. Here in the States, where i’m now staying with Dona and her family, no one knows who I am. Everyone thinks I’m Paddington. They don’t even know I was around first!

Dona tried a website about my adventures, but the rhyming scheme just got too much for her.

But I digress.¬† Google, I’m fully expecting that in the year 2020, on 8 November, you will dedicate a Google Doodle to me for my 100th anniversary. I even made one for you, so you don’t have to do any work. Just put it on your Google calendar. Or send yourself a Gmail.

Sincerely,

Rupert Bear
Formally of Nutwood.

PS I’m not that other bear either — the one that cannot spell and who lives in the Hundred Acre Woods.

Home is where the big green arrow is

It’s a small thing among all the other annoyances in life, but ever since I’ve been using mapping software the marker for my address is about 7 houses away from where we really live. I’ve always wanted to grab that darn pointer and put it where it belonged. Mr. Monk would have been proud of my desire.

I even bought a GPS device that accepted corrections so it drove me exactly to my home, safe and sound. (Can I help it if I get lonely in the car sometimes and like listening to various voices from the British Isles?)

So, imagine my delight when I noticed a new feature on Google Maps tonight — the word “edit” next to the green marker. Further playing around and suddenly, my house was where it belonged and all was right with the world.

Their promo video is pretty good too.