Archive for smile

Tin Eye reverse image search engine

Tin Eye is a great tool for finding out who uses your images online…

I went to a school reunion last weekend. One of my old school friends is now a bit of a ‘business guru’ and, inspired by the 30 year interval between seeing people, blogged about change – including a picture of a yellow road sign reading ‘change ahead’.

‘I wonder how many times that sign’s been used?’ I thought to myself – and went to consult Tin Eye, an amazing image reverse search engine. You upload the image you’re interested in (a screen grab of the yellow sign picture in my case), hit a button and in seconds it will find a whole list of instances where that image has been used. Since the file names of all these occurrences are different, this operation can only be by analysis of the bitmap itself – quite some mind-boggling feat.

Tin Eye found 17 instances of this image (but I’m sure there are a lot more out there). In each case, the wording had been changed but Tin Eye found it anyway based on the overall composition of the picture. I decided to add mine to the list but be a bit more… honest about it :-)

LG condenser dryer not heating?

Has your LG condenser dryer stopped heating?? Read this before you spend another £500

** Online reputation boost due to and the internet generally!! **

Same happened to us this morning. Can’t live without one. Can’t (frankly) be arsed to start thinking about ‘repair man’ (if such a reliable person can even be found any more?). So started immediately thinking about just buying another. Hell, we’ve had this one running continuously for 4 years – it’s not as if it hasn’t seen good service.

But before spending another £500 I went to our friend Google.

And discovered that if your LG condenser dryer stops heating, you might want to take off the back metal panel (after switching off from the mains, of course) – whereapon you’ll find a little red reset switch.

If you press that little red reset switch, the dryer will start heating again. At least mine has.

I’m not sure it’s a permanent fix (there’s something about the filter sensors increasingly coming on – but no idea of how to get to those sensors to clean them…) – but I’ve just done it and it worked for now.

Thank you Internet. :-) I’m suddenly £500 better off than I was about to be. Nice.

Two other things:

1) LG – why don’t you paste a little note on the machine itself saying “If your heater element should stop working…”

2) LG – why don’t you print your little instruction stickers that you DO have on the machine upside down in future? That way I’ll actually be able to read them when I’m on my hands and knees trying to fix the unit (instead of putting the ‘right’ way up at floor level?)

Earliest recorded use of the world ‘Pixelated’

Has got to be Mr Deeds Goes To Town (1936), surely?

First of all it was the earliest screen appearance of the flat-screen TV in the 1960 ‘The Time Machine’ directed by George Pal. Now, we bring you arguably the first recorded use of the word ‘pixelated’ – the two little old ladies in the courtroom scene in the 1936 Gary Cooper classic ‘Mr Deeds Goes To Town’.

I say ‘arguably’ because of course, the lil’ ol’ dears aren’t really talking about the basic unit of the digital picture.  Nope, they’re saying ‘pixie-lated’ and they mean someone who’s ‘away with the fairies’.

But it would be a pity to let the truth spoil such a good soundbite, eh?

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First flat screen spotted in 1960 film ‘The Time Machine’

Is this the earliest flat screen TV sighting ever? Or perhaps the first iMac?

George Pal’s 1960 film of H.G.Wells’ classic sci-fi story ‘The Time Machine’ has long been a favourite of mine. I’ve watched it dozens of times. But last week, on the train up to London, I spotted something new that I’d not noticed before.  There’s a scene where the Time Traveller stops in the year 1966, amazingly, on the very day that the world gets destroyed by atomic war (what are the odds of that?).

It wasn’t the awful ‘burnt toy cars floating in red porridge’ end of the world special effects. No – it was something in a shop window that caught my eye: the world’s first ‘tubeless TV’.  Not bad for a film made in 1960!

I can’t help thinking how much it looks like an iMac.

Snowing in Florida? Let’s investigate

Has it really snowed in Florida? Or is this just another ‘wildfire’ Google trend gone mad?

Lets investigate.

First, there’s this picture which I’m told is of a man sunbathing in the snow on Daytona Beach.  Suspicious.

Second, there are several blog reports here, here, here, here, here (lols), and here as well as Flickr photosets that seem to show that it has, indeed, been snowing in the Sunshine State.

It could just be a moment of madness showing up as a Google trend.  Mind you, I’ve just been for a walk with my cat in the thick snow in the UK, so anything’s possible I suppose.

Personally, I believe the Daytona Beach News Journal.  If anyone should know, they should.

Snow in Florida.  Who would have believed it?

Monster Tuna picture? Nope. Just a bit of photoShop, Tokyo style

Someone caught the worlds’ biggest tuna – and forgot to take a picture? Huh?

Can you believe it?

I saw this news item on BBC website and immediately clicked, expecting (not unreasonably) to see a monster tuna.  All I got was some stock photography of a tuna processing plant.  I went to Google but couldn’t find any pictures, anywhere.  Just more text reports and fishery shots – like this.  What??  A story without a picture?  What’s that worth?  Like, er, nothing?  According to the BBC, their fish weighed ‘nearly four times as much as the average Japanese man’ so, in the absence of any real pictures, I thought I’d help out with my mock-up.

The whole thing smells fishy to me.  I mean, you wouldn’t believe your mate if he came back from fishing with a story about the 232kg fish that got away, would you?

So imagine my surprise to Google this – a 268kg tuna, pictured next to a small kid.  Hang on BBC – that’s 36kg bigger than your ‘record breaking’, invisible, monster.

I know which story I believe.

“hp computers are racist” – this is very funny and interesting

HP computer’s webcam ‘prefers’ white people to black people. Does that make it racist?

This is going viral on YouTube – and no surprise. The fact that the software / hardware can’t identify Black Desi but happily tracks and follows White Wanda is quite amazing. In the video, Desi is good humoured (if a little surprised).

In the wider world, however, this of course raises some big questions about the unchallenged assumptions that are what we mean when we say ‘institutionalised racism’. Whether or not it’s the truth, it’s all too easy to imagine a cluster of young, white geeky guys developing this technology. If it is true, then it gives us a glimpse of an unconscious aspect of racism: that if we’re white, we just don’t just think about being black.

In terms of online reputation, how HP handles this from here on in will be telling – and hugely important. All I can say is that I hope they deal with it with the same mixture of lightness, seriousness and openness as Desi and Wanda did.

On first investigation, I can’t find much response from HP.  There is this… and Mashable goes into more detail here….  Mashable seems to just want to write it off as a technological failing.  I disagree. I think it’s more revealing than that.

And is anyone else surprised that HP didn’t respond in the same medium (YouTube) the way that Domino’s did over that infamous YouTube video?

Adressbuch-Schwindler. Couldn’t have put it better myself

Expo Guide, World Business Directory et al – you’re a bunch of ‘Adressbuch-Schwindleren’ :-)

I love German, don’t you?  A real ‘say-it-like-it-is’ construction kit of a language.  They don’t piss about with euphemisms and veiled descriptions for things.  They just bolt together enough words to get the job done (in the order that they think of them).

Business directory scams? “Address book swindlers” more like!


Swine Flu Kills Healthy People!

Look out Healthy People, swine flu wants to Kill You!

So says the Evening Standard headline I spotted at Paddington tonight. I love headlines – especially when they’re so deliciously over the top.

‘Swine flu kills healthy people’ is ‘stating the bleedin’ obvious’ as Basil Fawlty might have said. It’s also the journalistic equivalent of ‘Defcon 4′. Logjcally, there’s only one place to go after that headline. “Official: End Of World”.

But it’s not just the apocalyptic that amuses me but those damn headlines that catch your eye like a virus you can never quite get rid of. Ones like the surreal and inexplicably pleasing “Fish Spillage”.

Years later, I still find myself trying to picture that event. ;-)