All posts by jnack

The brutal, balletic test crash of a Lego Porsche

Like a Tracy Jordan joint, this is Hard To Watch: ADAC, “the German equivalent of AAA… usually crash tests real cars at their facility in Landsberg, Germany,” but in this case put a 2,700-piece Lego Porsche to the test at 28mph:

“The challenge was now to test this small car in the normal crash system and still produce the most realistic damage possible,” explains Johannes Heilmaier, head of the crash system at the ADAC Technikzentrum. “We developed a crash set-up like for any other car – just in mini format.” [details]

Enjoy (?):

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[YouTube] [Via Tom Hogarty]

The NYC hyperlapse features some eye-popping details

I know, I know: as technically impressive as they may be, all these hyperlapse videos can get a little played out. But this piece from FilmSpektakel offers some fun details:

In particular:

Over the 10 days we took photos of yellow cabs whenever we had time to from as many different angles as possible. So we gathered 2000 (!) photos in total we had to sort afterwards and compile to a hyperlapse around a cab in post production. It took us 5 whole days in post production to get this one shot.

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[YouTube]

The charm of Smart Reply comes to Gmail

I find this so oddly delightful—and kind of the polar opposite of my car’s door handles.

See, the latter are supposed to be magical, automatically popping out when I approach the car. In practice, though, they’re unreliable enough (e.g. when my key is buried in my pocket, which of course is inevitably when my hands are full) that the they feel like a net negative. Something that used to work just fine, and that is now supposed to be an improvement, leaves me stressed & a bit bummed out.

Smart Replies are on the opposite end of the spectrum: They never used to exist, and even when they aren’t relevant, I’m reminded of the old bit about a dog walking on its hind legs: It’s not done well, but you’re charmed to see it done at all.

Anyway, you can check it out today in Gmail on Android and iOS:

Smart Reply utilizes machine learning to give you better responses the more you use it. So if you’re more of a “thanks!” than a “thanks.” person, we’ll suggest the response that’s, well, more you! If you want to learn about the smarts behind Smart Reply, check out the Google Research Blog.

And yes, you should now have email exchanges with colleagues composed entirely of Smart Replies. “Thanks, I will!” 🙂

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Google Photos introduces better sharing for terrible people

Tell me you can’t relate. 😉 (I know I can.)

The team writes,

Using our machine learning technology, Google Photos will not only remind you to share—it will automatically select the right photos, and even suggest who you should send them to based on who was in the photos. Just tap send, and your friends and family will see all your photos, and get a reminder to add theirs too.

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[YouTube]