Monthly Archives: April 2017

Try the new Google Earth, right in your browser

It’s finally here!

The whole world is now in your browser. Fly through landmarks and cities like London, Tokyo and Rome in stunning 3D, then dive in to experience them first hand with Street View. See the world from a new point of view with Voyager, which brings you stories from the BBC, NASA, Sesame Street and more. Start exploring: https://g.co/earth.

  • Choose your own adventure with Voyager: Experience interactive stories from around the world.
  • Discover new places with Knowledge Cards: Flip through cards and learn about local landmarks.
  • Orbit the world in 3D: Use the new 3D button to tilt the map.
  • Snap and share a Postcard: Capture snapshots of locations and share them with your friends.
  • Feeling Lucky? Roll the dice and see where the world takes you.

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This is going to open amazing doors for interactive storytelling. I can’t wait to show my kids the snow leopards from Planet Earth.

We’ve joined up with some of the world’s leading storytellers, scientists and nonprofits to bring the planet to life with Voyager, a showcase of interactive guided tours. Start with Natural Treasures from BBC Earth, and journey to six habitats—from islands to mountains to jungles—and learn about the unique and thrilling wildlife in each. Then head to Gombe National Park in Tanzania and hear from Jane Goodall about her team’s chimpanzee research and conservation efforts.

Get the new Google Earth now on the web in Chrome; on Android as it rolls out this week; and on iOS and other browsers in the near future.

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[YouTube]

Bob Ross on A.I. Acid

(aka, Hieronymus Bosch, PBS Edition)

Felt like you’re having a stroke yet today? No? I can fix that. Here:

areben.com This artwork represents what it would be like for an AI to watch Bob Ross on LSD (once someone invents digital drugs). It shows some of the unreasonable effectiveness and strange inner workings of deep learning systems. The unique characteristics of the human voice are learned and generated as well as hallucinations of a system trying to find images which are not there.

Frame.io & FiftyThree introduce new design collaboration apps

Ever since the late 90’s, when I was a designer browbeating Adobe for a good collaboration system, I’ve been intrigued by efforts to help teams work better together. Frame.io has just rolled out v2 of its video-centric team platform:

Elsewhere, FiftyThree (makers of the much-loved Paper sketching/notes app) have introduced the Slack-savvy Paste tool:

  • Arrange your flow and add text to craft the story you want to tell
  • Fullscreen walkthroughs and fast feedback from your team that syncs with Slack.

Knowing their history, I’m expecting a lot of delightful attention to detail.

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[Vimeo]

Logojoy: “AI-powered logo creation”

I’m intrigued by—but don’t quite know what to make of—Logojoy, a hosted app that promises, “Using artificial intelligence and advanced learning algorithms, our logo maker is able to produce designs just like a designer would.”

It seems that almost no one in the general public can define just what the hell “AI” means, and I’m not sure that this offers anything more than a nicely packaged wizard/template system. Still, some of the results I got weren’t half bad, and creative disruption will only continue: The world at large will get greater & greater access fairly competent aesthetics (think Target & design for all), while creative people will have to hustle more & more to remain relevant.

If you take it for a spin, let me know what you think.

 

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Night vision: Color 5,000,000 ISO that looks good?!

Around 2am in a long-past life, I terrified some young kids fishing for sharks off the end of their pier in Puget Sound. I was wearing night vision goggles in a RIB alongside a bunch of M16-toting Navy guys, and we’d been quietly paddling around the boys’ pier as we hid from our own ships while we stalked Rangers. But that’s a whole other story.

The X27 seems amazing & makes the goggles I wore look like Frogger by comparison:

Kottke writes:

The camera was developed for military use, has an effective ISO rating of 5,000,000, and has a comically long name: “X27 Reconnaissance Day/Night high Fidelity true real time low light/low lux color night vision Imaging Security / Multi Purpose camera system”. Pricing information is not available, but I bet you’re paying for every single one of those words. 

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[YouTube]