Friday, 30 October 2009

Picasa 3.5 face recognition tips

Picasa 3.5 is here!  I realise that it's been here for quite some time....but I'm just jumping on board now.

The top feature of 3.5 (and the reason I upgraded) is face recognition.  Turning on face recognition prompts Picasa to scan your photos and identify faces.  Once the face has been identified, the application will suggest other photos with similar features and auto-tag them appropriately (BTW, the face tagging syncs with your gmail contacts!).

However, after the scan I still had around 3,000 photos that remained for manual tagging.  I.E. Picasa couldn't match them with a previously identified face.  Here's a tip I picked up from cronoklee in the Google Support Forums: 

  • A low suggestion threshold suggests more faces (less accurate matches) for each person.
  • A high suggestion threshold suggests only faces Picasa is pretty certain about.   
  • A low cluster threshold groups more faces together on the naming page. (but obviously may get some wrong)
  • A high cluster threshold means that only very similar photos are grouped together on the naming page.

You can access these options from the menu using Tools > Options > Name Tags (tab)

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

What Google Chrome needs before I give up FireFox

I spent some time this afternoon thinking about migrating my browser experience from FireFox to Google's Chrome.  Why?  Chrome is lightning fast, and always has been.  But previous releases of Chrome have been unstable, and in my own beta testing I found numerous websites that were not formatted properly.

It seems that Chrome has come a long way and I'd like to switch...  However, I have my FireFox exactly the way I want it.  If there were a way to speed up FF I wouldn't even consider switching.  Here's what I'd like to be able to do in Chrome:

  1. Use custom search operators from the omnibar *SOLVED* (e.g. "youtube STRING" is equivalent to typing
  2. Allow me to change my bookmark icons (similar to the FireFox Favicon Picker extension). Apparently there is a way to do this, but it's long and complicated.  I have about 20 bookmarks in my toolbar and do not have room to give each a name.  I distinguish between them by their icon.
  3. Search the page automatically (i.e. as soon as I start typing, similar to the feature in FF via Tools > Options > Advanced > General).  Chrome allows you to search the page, but you need to press CTRL + F or F3 first.  As simple as it sounds, this is a great feature to have when quickly browsing pages with lots of text.
  4. Customizable proxy settings.  My workplace is fairly strict in filtering our web content.  I use the FireFox extension FoxyProxy to route certain webpages through a company-approved proxy.  FoxyProxy allows me to specify which domains go through the proxy (e.g. **) and which do not.  So far I haven't seen anything like this in Chrome.
  5. Another workplace necessity: a mechanism that allows me to view my current web page in IE.  In FireFox, I use the IE Tab extension which reloads the current tab in IE (within the current FF tab) with the click of a button.  No one likes IE, but unfortunately we still need to test in it.
  6. Show current weather in the browser.  This isn't as important as items 1-5, but would still be nice.  My FF version is the Forecast Fox extension
  7. Another one for the would-be-nice category: the ability to shorten a URL directly from the right-click context menu.  My FF version, the Shorten URL extension, creates a short URL and saves it to my clipboard with one click of the mouse.  It is configurable and can use many services - from to  *SOLVED* There is a chrome extension called shorten URL that basically does the same thing.  Not from the context menu... available here.
If you have answers to any of these questions PLEASE don't keep them to yourself.  I'm hoping to switch soon :-)

Friday, 9 October 2009

How To Sync Facebook Events with Google Calendar

Super simple, and extraordinarily useful:

  1. Click on the "Events" link found in the left menu of your Facebook account.
  2. On the top of the page you'll find a link called "Export Events". Click on it, and copy the URL that appears in the pop-up window.
  3. Go to Google Calendar, and press on the "Add" button, found in the "Manage Calendars" box there. Then select "Add by URL".
  4. Enter the URL you've just got from Facebook there, and click on the "Add" button.
Done! You may need to refresh your Google Calendar to see the update.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

How To Remove Windows Search (WDS)

I decided to switch from Windows Search to Google Desktop this morning... the microsoft search application was simply to slow and heavy.

Unfortunately, the application doesn't show up in Add/Remove Programs and there is no uninstall option from the Start Menu. After wracking my brain for a few minutes, I found this handy step-by-step guide by David Arno:

Works like a charm.

  © Blogger template 'Isolation' by 2008

Back to TOP