Walking the line between nerd and cool.

Back To School – Google Style

Google has been busy this summer and released two fun new toys, just in time for students to return to school.

  • Chrome: The Big G’s own web browser.  It’s lightweight and fast with some nice features, but it’s not in danger of supplanting Firefox anytime soon.  It’s got a minimalistic skin so there’s lots of space to view the actual webpage.  It will replace Internet Explorer as my 2nd browser for Google Calendar and select other tasks for a while as I test-drive the new browser.
  • Picasa 3, now with souped up Web Albums.  Much like Facebook, you can now tag photos with people in them and do searches by people.  Google will search for faces in your photos and then let you name the faces.  It’s scary good at picking out faces, even in the shadows.  I’ve got 1800+ faces in my photos and I’ve named about 500 of them so far.  You can see the feature in action in one of my galleries.  They need to adjust the way you make your “Name Tags” as they’re calling it public to make this super useful (for me at least).  Currently you have to set it by album.  I’d like to set it by tag so I can make some people (like me for instance) appear across every album but keep others from appearing at all (youth for example).   It’s still a pretty good feature for me as I try to find pictures of students.  Next they need to build it into Picasa itself, not just Web Albums.
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