Facebook improves rights management for photographers

Seems like a win:

With the newly launched “Rights Manager for Images,” Facebook is offering creators and publishers access to content-matching technology similar to what it introduced in 2016 to combat stolen videos. The new feature, which is available in Facebook’s Creator Studio, will allow rights owners to assert control over their intellectual property across Facebook and Instagram, including when the image is embedded on an external website.

Sky-swapping tech is coming to Photoshop at last

I feel vaguely ungrateful marking the arrival of a welcome Photoshop feature by noting that Adobe first demoed it nearly four years ago—but hey, you come here, you know you’re gonna get a little salt. 😌

There’s often a lot of work to go from tech demo to robust, shipping feature (especially when targeting Photoshop’s rigorous level of quality & flexibility), and I’m sure the team has been working hard on that. In any event, I’m looking forward to trying it myself.

Check out PetaPixel’s coverage for other details & screenshots.

Tab Groups

“Can I get that icon in cornflower blue…?”

Being a middle-aged man getting excited about tab management in a Web browser makes me a little queasy—but hey, I live in this stuff all day, so 🎉.

You can now group tabs in Chrome:

You can collapse the tab groups, and you can make the titles small:

 My pro tip is that you can use an emoji as a group name such as ❤️ for inspiration or 📖 for articles to read.

Hey, find joy where you can, amirite? 😌

TensorFlow.js brings faster ML to your browser

Speaking of making machine learning-powered experiences fast & ubiquitous via the Web, check out the latest work from our friends on TensorFlow.js:

In March we introduced a new WebAssembly (Wasm) accelerated backend for TensorFlow.js (scroll further down to learn more about Wasm and why this is important). Today we are excited to announce a major performance update: as of TensorFlow.js version 2.3.0, our Wasm backend has become up to 10X faster by leveraging SIMD (vector) instructions and multithreading via XNNPACK, a highly optimized library of neural network operators.

You can see the performance improvements for yourself:

Check out this demo of our BlazeFace model, which has been updated to use the new Wasm backend: https://tfjs-wasm-simd-demo.netlify.app/ To compare against the unoptimized binary, try this version of the demo, which manually turns off SIMD and multithreading support.

Google Meet adds background blur—with a twist

“But what about the Web??”

I’d endlessly ask this of my old teammates, and I kept pushing to bring Google’s ML infrastructure (TensorFlow Lite, MediaPipe, etc.) and ML models (e.g. background segmentation) to everyone via browsers. Happily that work continues to bear fruit, and now the tech has come to the Web in Google Meet. This is something I haven’t seen from competitors (which rely on native apps for segmentation).

Background blur works directly within your browser and does not require an extension or any additional software. At launch, it will work on the Chrome browser on Windows and Mac desktop devices. Support for ChromeOS and Meet mobile apps will be coming soon, we’ll announce on the G Suite Updates blog when it’s available on those devices. 

Zen & the ARt of Motorcycle Customization

I have to admit, as eager as I am to see augmented reality thrive, I was a little skeptical about the value of this AR bike-modding application, but my neighbor Chris (who rides when he’s not designing motorsports gear) is enthusiastic and offered some good perspective:

Over the winter I will build my Suzuki into a pure track bike, but there are things I won’t know if they will fit until I get them all together. I know they all fit an otherwise stock bike, but won’t know if they fit together. 

Check it out for yourself: