Robotic Cameras Will Snap Pictures at the Olympics

Robotic Cameras Will Snap Pictures at the Olympics - New York Times

Photo: Adam Bishop, Wikimedia Commons

“Cameras with swiveling, nimble robotic heads will be deployed by photographers who work for Getty Images, the official agency of the International Olympics Committee. The robotic heads will be perched on scaffolding above several of the sporting sites. The photographers themselves will be stationed below with what one Getty photographer described as a ‘joystick’ to control the movement of the camera head — and click.” (Somini Sengupta, NYTimes.com)

Microsoft Builds a Browser for Your Past

Microsoft Builds a Browser for Your Past - Technology Review

Photo: Microsoft Research

“Behind the scenes, Lifebrowser uses several machine-learning techniques to sift through personal data and determine what is important to its owner. When judging photos, Lifebrowser looks at properties of an image file for clues, including whether the file name was modified or the flash had fired. It even examines the contents of a photo using machine-vision algorithms to learn how many people were captured in the image and whether it was taken inside or outdoors. The “session” of photos taken at one time is also considered as a group, for cues such as how long an event was and how frequently photos were taken.” (Tom Simonite, Technology Review)

A Digital Death? Why Kodak Stopped Clicking

A Digital Death? Why Kodak Stopped Clicking - NPR

Photo: David Duprey/AP

“The profits [Kodak] earned from selling film have dried up. Over the past decade, Kodak has lost money almost every year, and the 123-year-old company has had to lay off most of its workforce.  But Kodak does have one big thing going for it: It still owns about a thousand patents for the technology behind digital photography.” (Jim Zarroli, NPR)

Also check out NPR’s Interactive Timeline – Kodak Moments: Snapshots of a Camera Company

Clay Shirky: How social media can make history

“What matters here isn’t technical capital, it’s social capital. These tools don’t get socially interesting until they get technologically boring. It isn’t when the shiny new tools show up that their uses start permeating society; it’s when everyone is able to take them for granted.” (Clay Shirky, TED Talks)

Speed of Light Lingers in Face of New Camera

Speed of Light Lingers in Face of New Camera - New York Times

Photo: Di Wu and Andreas Velten, MIT Media Lab / NYTimes.com

“The project began as a whimsical effort to literally see around corners — by capturing reflected light and then computing the paths of the returning light, thereby building images coming from rooms that would otherwise not be directly visible. ‘When I said I wanted to build a camera that looks around corners, my colleagues said, Pick something that is more safe for your tenure,’  said Ramesh Raskar, an associate professor of media arts and sciences at the Media Lab. ‘Now I have tenure, so I can say this is not so crazy.’ (John Markoff, NYTimes.com)

Beauty Now in the Eye of the Algorithm

“What they show is that now you don’t need a human to select images that are going to be judged beautiful,” says Aude Oliva, an associate professor of brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, who also works on image recognition. “You can run the algorithm, and it will give a good estimate.” (David Talbot, technology review)