Project Loon Taking the Next Step

It appears that Google has decided to see if Loon can become a real thing.

Alphabet spins drone and internet balloon projects into independent companies

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/11/alphabet-projects-wing-and-loon-spin-out-into-separate-companies.html

Alphabet’s Loon and Wing are now more than just ‘projects’

https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/11/alphabet-google-project-loon-project-wing-spun-off/

Spinning projects out of Google-X into their own divisions holds no guarantee that they will succeed, but it is encouraging to see Google placing more behind its internet connectivity projects.  You might have seen the news about the ability for these systems to adapt and provide emergency coverage in the wake of the Puerto Rico devastation.

Project Loon delivers internet to 100,000 people in Puerto Rico

https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/09/project-loon-delivers-internet-100-000-people-puerto-rico/

FWIW – Drone delivery (Wing)is an interesting spin out too.  I would have thought that this use case would have needed more time in the incubator.   But, perhaps that’s the strategy, prove the technology and then spin them out as projects quickly to see if they find their use cases.

 

 

 

Reducing Noise in Digital Images

NVidia has announced impressive progress in using AI to remove noise from “grainy” images without access to a clean version of the image to learn from.

https://news.developer.nvidia.com/ai-can-now-fix-your-grainy-photos-by-only-looking-at-grainy-photos/

By noise – they tend to refer to the grainy result of a low light digital photo, a side benefit being that they can also easily remove textual noise.  Currently, the result is “softer” than the original clean image, but I’m curious whether it will end up causing issues with watermarking or other copy protection schemes.  At what point will “good enough” be sufficient for a derivative use when we deal in low resolution imagery on the web all the time?

Many of us in collections rely on the use of watermarks to make openly sharing our collections more palatable to our donors.  Already, we have to warn them that there is no low barrier way to really prevent unattributed image reuse… This is simply going to make that conversation even more difficult.

 

How does a small robot get around an interior space?

We’ll need a robot navigation system that will allow it to get around the inside of the library and roam the stacks.

Open Autonomous Domestic Robots – An open source system for domestic cleaning robots using low-cost hardware

Build your own friend

How to build a robot that “sees” with $100 and TensorFlow

Carmen Robot Navigation Toolkit

Mobile Robot Navigation on Partially Known Maps using a Fast A Star Algorithm Version

Mobile Robot Vision Navigation & Localization Using Gist and Saliency

Indoor Robot Navigation by Landmark Tracking

Robot Navigation

Detecting Book Spines in an Image

I have images of stacks of books – can I detect the spines? Can I get the call numbers?

Combining Image and Text Features: A Hybrid Approach to Mobile Book Spine Recognition
(combine text recognition with comparing to known images of book spines)

Automatic Book Spine Extraction and Recognition for Library Inventory Management

Discussion on the OPENCV forum

Matching book-spine images for library shelf-reading process automation

Smart Library: Identifying Books on Library Shelves Using Supervised Deep Learning for Scene Text Reading

Mobile augmented reality for books on a shelf

Viewpoint-independent book spine segmentation

Identifying books in library using line segment detector and contour clustering

A review of Augmented Reality and its application in context aware library system

Describing every 10 square feet of the surface of the earth

Interesting approach to make sharing your location verbally easier. GPS has more resolution, but is almost impossible to share quickly without some sort of electronic handshake.

What Three Words

How What3words pinpoints every spot on Earth for better navigation

Note to Libraries colleagues – this company currently has a staff of 12 just to manage and encourage the use of this single set of three-word terms…

“We make money by a tool that converts three-word addresses into latitude and longitude” (spoken by Sheldrick in the CNET interview)

Lest you say – “well, that’s interesting – but I think the terms we use should be in the public domain…” may I refer you to Patent #9883333

2018 refresh of the Tradin’Post

I’ve moved the EVTradin’ Post to a new platform.   I’m really excited about the things it will allow you all to do.  It already deals with some of the most asked for features (mapping of vehicle listings and proximity searches).  It allows you to comment on the listings and ask questions both privately and in the comment stream.  It allows you to rate the sellers.  And, best, it should allow me to phase in new features allowing for people to offer services, share or trade tools or supplies and even take payments through the site as I learn how it all works.

If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, please take a look and let me know what you think.

https://www.evtradinpost.com/

/Aaron

National Drive Electric Week – Austin (2017)

Day: Saturday, September 16, 2017
Time: 9AM – 1PM
Location: Sunset Valley Farmers Market (Tony Burger Center)
3200 Jones Rd
Austin, TX 78745
Registration: NDEW – Austin event page
Come meet EVs and their drivers! Requests to ride or drive vehicles welcome.
NOTE: The farmers market is located more exactly at intersection of Pillow Rd and Hwy 71.
  • Did you know that Austin has well over 400 charging ports for electric vehicles?
  • Did you know you can buy a tag from Austin Energy for $4.17 a month that will let you charge free at almost all of them?
  • Did you know that every EV comes with a charging cord that plugs into a regular 110V, three-prong outlet?

Come to our event and find out more about why electric vehicles make sense in Austin.

Register to attend and / or bring your own EV at the National Drive Electric Week – Austin event page.

EV Tradin’ Post Tips — Alerting to potential scammers

On occasion, scammers will attempt to trick the people who post ads on the EV Tradin’ Post into sending them money.  I have enabled captchas on the site to help reduce the amount of spam our users get, but some of these guys can be pretty persistent.

I will include Mike’s Chancey’s original examples below for posterity, but people have been reporting more recent examples on the feedback forums if you want to go there and see recent examples, discuss them or report one yourself.

https://evtradinpost.uservoice.com

Continue reading “EV Tradin’ Post Tips — Alerting to potential scammers”