Plip's Weblog

Phil Winstanley - British .NET chap based in Lancashire. Enjoys tea and tech. Working for Microsoft.

March 2006 - Posts

UK MVP Open Day

I spent Tuesday in Cambridge (UK) at the Microsoft research facility with about 50 or so other MVP's, we saw discussions on where MSR want to take the company in terms of their research strategies and got some interesting insights into the projects on which they're currently working with including: -
  • Location aware devices and services (Think Minority Report)
  • Search Engine strategies and complexities.
  • Robotics systems - from Home Automation through to Frankenstein stylee Robosapiens.
  • Windows Vista - all of it's dirty secrets.
  • VSTS Server
In the evening we where whisked off to Kings College, an ancient complex of beutiful architecture, winding passageways and grand halls. We were wind and dined then our MVP lead brough her band in and they sang some fantastic songs whilst I got very, very drunk.

You can see the Photo's I took here: -

Posted: Mar 30 2006, 08:57 AM by Plip | with 9 comment(s)
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Riya - face recognition for the masses

Big Brother is watching you, or rather there are computers around the globe that know who you are and what you look like.

Riya have brough such a service out and it's now avaliable to the general public not just clandestine government departments and stalkers ...

1. Point the little uploading application at a folder with images contained within it.

2. Wait for *AGES* as the application painstakingly analyzes each image for Text or Faces and then uploads them all to Riya's servers.

3. Go and look at all the Faces it's identified, pretty neat I think you'll agree. Once here you then have to tell Riya who each person is, lots of funky client side code helps you along with autocompletion and slick drag and drop functionality (it even works in FireFox!).


4. Once you've named a few people it's time for Riya to have a go recognising those people in other photos' it's been given, here was it's first attempt after naming six images of individual people, which wasn't that bad, it correctly guessed two people including myself: -


5. Time for some more training now, in quick sucsession I trained a full screen twice and here were the results: - 


6. Time to hammer through, after doing two more screens of training I was done, and here's the finished result: -


Check out the finished product here:

So there you have it, the service is better than doing the job yourself, it's not fantastic in that it didn't get them all right, but over time I can see Riya and Flickr becoming very competitive!


Posted: Mar 21 2006, 10:26 PM by Plip | with 1 comment(s)
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