Monthly Archives: September 2019

“Meet the Photographer Single-Handedly Putting Zimbabwe on Google Street View”

Tawanda Kanhema is a Zimbabwe-born PM working in Silicon Valley who’s spending his own time & money using equipment borrowed from Google & Insta360 to help map his home country. According to NPR,

In 2018, Kanhema applied to borrow a 360-degree camera through Google’s Street View camera loan program, and in the fall, he took a two-week trek through Zimbabwe with the equipment. There was a speedboat ride across the Zambezi River and a safari trip through a national park. Most of his time, though, was spent driving down the streets of Harare and the highways that connect Zimbabwe’s major cities. […]

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Most recently, in March, the Mushkegowuk Council, in northern Ontario, paid him to document the network of ice roads that connect indigenous communities in the area… Next up, Kanhema says he might head to Greenland, or maybe Alaska or Mozambique — and you’ll be able to see everything he has seen by clicking on Google Maps.

Rock on, man!

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[Via]

The Micronaxx go AR

Much like his big bro did last year (see below), our son Henry stepped up to el micrófono to tell tales of meteorological mayhem. It took a village, with mom scoring a green-screen kit from her Adobe video pals & me applying some AR effects created by my talented teammates.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes peek at our advanced VFX dojo/living room. 😌

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Adobe & Apple partner for hands-on sneaks of Adobe Fresco

All through October. Looks like fun—and great to see how far the world has come from the “Thoughts On Flash”/“Sympathy for the Devil” days.

Google announces the biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history

Heck yeah:

This purchase is made up of a 1,600-megawatt (MW) package of agreements and includes 18 new energy deals. Together, these deals will increase our worldwide portfolio of wind and solar agreements by more than 40 percent, to 5,500 MW—equivalent to the capacity of a million solar rooftops. Once all these projects come online, our carbon-free energy portfolio will produce more electricity than places like Washington D.C. or entire countries like Lithuania or Uruguay use each year.

Our latest agreements will also spur the construction of more than $2 billion in new energy infrastructure, including millions of solar panels and hundreds of wind turbines spread across three continents. In all, our renewable energy fleet now stands at 52 projects, driving more than $7 billion in new construction and thousands of related jobs.

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Google creates a dataset to help detect deepfakes

“With great power…” I’m pleased to see some of my collaborators in augmented reality working to help fight deceptive content:

To make this dataset, over the past year we worked with paid and consenting actors to record hundreds of videos. Using publicly available deepfake generation methods, we then created thousands of deepfakes from these videos. The resulting videos, real and fake, comprise our contribution, which we created to directly support deepfake detection efforts. As part of the FaceForensics benchmark, this dataset is now available, free to the research community, for use in developing synthetic video detection methods.