Therefore, It’s Perfect!

How Old Do I Look

Have you seen Microsoft’s “How Old Do I Look?” site? It’s a fun toy, but with a business purpose.

Part of Microsoft Project Oxford, Face APIs provide state-of-the-art algorithms to process face images, like face detection with gender and age prediction, recognition, alignment and other application level features.

The horse is already out of the barn on this extension of technology. Walk in front of a camera and it’s likely you can be identified. Often times you are identified. No permission asked or needed.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is trying to tweak its carnival like ability to guess your age. I tried a few times. All were well below my chronological number (but above my level of maturity).

If Microsoft is going to flatter me by lying about my age, I’m not going to argue. Therefore, it’s perfect! Case closed.

How Old Do I Look

Ballmer? Really?

The NBA gets another schmuck as an owner. I see Ballmer behind Microsoft’s failure to innovate over the past few years. Even worse, I see his mean spirited imprint on most everything Microsoft has done.

Steve BallmerIt looks like the Clippers will go quickly. Published reports says Steve Ballmer, who recently left as CEO of Microsoft after seeing the writing on the wall, will pay $2,000,000,000. That’s an impressive number. Now I understand why Windows costs so much.

Donald Sterling, disgraced current owner, gets to laugh all the way to the bank. The value of his team seems to have doubled over the past few weeks. He can buy new friends.

The NBA gets another schmuck as an owner. I see Ballmer behind Microsoft’s failure to innovate over the past few years. Even worse, his mean spirited imprint is on most everything Microsoft has done recently.

But let me allow Steve to speak for himself. On the iPhone:

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.”

Of Google’s Eric Schmidt:

“F**king Eric Schmidt is a f**king pussy. I’m going to f**king bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I’m going to f**king kill Google.”

On Apple’s Macbooks:

“Apple gained about one point, but now I think the tide has really turned back the other direction.”

And, on business in general:

“That doesn’t mean nobody else ever thought about it, but ‘How do you make money?’ was what I got hired to do. I’ve always thought that way.”

After a friend posted this sale on Twitter, I replied, “Until Sterling, he was my most despised CEO.”

Good luck to all of us.

The Bing Commercial

The Bing commercial just aired. It’s the one with a blind Internet search ‘taste test’ between Bing and Google. Bing wins.

Duh. They’re paying for the ad.

Funny thing, unbiased reviews also show Bing produces more search satisfaction. So why am I not using Bing?

I don’t trust Microsoft.

Yes, without Microsoft personal computing as we know it would not exist. I am grateful. They still can’t be trusted.

The first hint was Micrsoft’s attitude toward content owners as shown in Vista. End users could no longer record the audio playing through their computer. They shut down a feature which had been available to Windows users and which could be used legally. My uses are legal.

Anti-consumer move.

Microsoft is the current owner of Skype. Until Microsoft bought Skype your conversations and video chats were heavily encrypted and protected. Microsoft changed how Skype communicates and no longer makes a claim for security.

Then there’s Microsoft’s method of selling its office suite to governments considering a switch to Linux. FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) spread by Microsoft dominates the geek press coverage. Scare tactics.

And Steve Balmer.

So, even if Bing is pretty good and Google is no longer a saint, I’d still rather not send my business to Redmond. It took a long time to develop this attitude (theirs and mine). It won’t go away overnight.

Las Vegas Boulevard After Dark – Panorama

This is a 360&#176 panorama consisting of sixty separate images and put together in Microsoft ICE. I took this standing on the curb at the North Entrance to The Mirage on Las Vegas Boulevard.

lv-blvd-pano.jpg

Entrance To The SW Steakhouse At Wynn Las Vegas

This is a 28 shot panorama which covers nearly 180&#176 horizontally and 140&#176 vertically. It was shot in Canon RAW and then assembled in Microsoft ICE. Finishing touches (sharpening, levels) were added in Photoshop. This is a very small sample of the actual image.

entryway-to-SW-Steakhouse.jpg

Expertise Is Underrated

Expertise is underrated!

This comes directly from “Clients from Hell.”

Prospective client: $400 for a logo?! Why are you so expensive? My nephew has Photoshop—I can just get him to do it.

Me: Does your nephew have Microsoft Word?

Prospective client: Yes.

Me: Then have him write you a novel while he’s at it.

Expertise is underrated!