Flickr Goes Native With Windows Phone 7 App

Flickr, the grandfather of online photo-sharing sites, is giving the kids a new way to use the site with their fancy Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7 devices. Yahoo has announced Flickr for Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7 — native Flickr apps for Windows phones and tablets.
Flickr already offers an iOS app for Apple […]

Flickr, the grandfather of online photo-sharing sites, is giving the kids a new way to use the site with their fancy Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7 devices. Yahoo has announced Flickr for Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7 — native Flickr apps for Windows phones and tablets.

Flickr already offers an iOS app for Apple devices, but the new Windows 7 apps look considerably slicker and offer a much better interface than what you’ll find the iOS app. The new software won’t be available until the end of January, but you can check out the video below for a teaser.

According to our friends at ReadWriteWeb, the new Flickr for Windows 7 apps use Windows Azure, Microsoft’s foray into cloud-based software, behind the scenes. It’s an interesting choice of platform considering Flickr is already, well, in the cloud. Given that Yahoo has a considerable infrastructure of web-based services, why use Azure?

Marcus Spiering, Flickr’s mobile product manager at Yahoo, tells RWW that “Azure allowed us to build an app quickly and do it with quality.” Reading between the lines it’s hard to escape the subtext: Yahoo’s own tools weren’t up to the task.

Whatever the case, Flickr for Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7 is a slick looking app and we’re hoping to see the iOS version get a similar makeover. Curiously, there’s still no official Flickr app for Android.

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Twitter Adds More Media-Sharing Services to Inline Previews

Twitter has expanded the integration of third-party services on its website, adding five new photo and video sharing services to the growing list of what shows up as an inline preview.
Among the new services to secure a spot in the ever-expanding Twitterverse is Instagram, the current darling of the Twitter hipsters. The photo-sharing service has […]

Twitter now offers inline previews for more services, like the popular Instagram.

Twitter has expanded the integration of third-party services on its website, adding five new photo and video sharing services to the growing list of what shows up as an inline preview.

Among the new services to secure a spot in the ever-expanding Twitterverse is Instagram, the current darling of the Twitter hipsters. The photo-sharing service has managed to build an impressive following even though it’s currently only available as an iOS app. The majority of Instagram fans use Twitter to post links to their artsy photos.

The other new services available as inline previews include videos from Blip.tv, music players from Rdio, slideshows and presentations from SlideShare and photos and videos from Dipdive.

The new inline preview feature, introduced in September’s make-over, shows a preview of an image or a video in the right-hand pane whenever somebody tweets a link to a supported video or photo site. At launch, that was Flickr, Vimeo, TwitPic and YouTube. Along with the inline previews, you also see associated conversations, recent tweets and mini bios of the people mentioned in the tweet. It’s a feature we really like — it takes Twitter beyond the 140 character limit to include photos, videos, maps and all sorts of other rich media.

While we’re happy to see Twitter integrating with more web services, the new web-based preview features highlight just how far behind the website the company’s official mobile apps have fallen. Neither the official Android client nor the iOS Twitter clients support any of the inline previews you’ll find on the web. Twitter’s mobile site doesn’t show them, either. For a richer mobile Twitter, you’ll need to turn to third-party mobile apps.

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Mining Flickr to Build 3D Models of the World

Microsoft’s PhotoSynth tool is jaw-droppingly awesome. But, because it’s a Microsoft project, the technology is unlikely to appear on some of your favorite non-Microsoft online apps, like Google Maps or Flickr.
However, our friends at ReadWriteWeb stumbled across a very similar tool — at least in terms of the end result — developed by the University […]

Microsoft’s PhotoSynth tool is jaw-droppingly awesome. But, because it’s a Microsoft project, the technology is unlikely to appear on some of your favorite non-Microsoft online apps, like Google Maps or Flickr.

However, our friends at ReadWriteWeb stumbled across a very similar tool — at least in terms of the end result — developed by the University of North Carolina in conjunction with Swiss university, ETH-Zurich.

The team has developed a method for creating 3D models by pulling in millions of photographs from Flickr and using some fancy algorithms to generate 3D models of local landmarks. Perhaps even more impressive the results can be generated using a single computer in under a day.

Project lead Jan-Michael Frahm touts the project’s efficiency saying, “our technique would be the equivalent of processing a stack of photos as high as the 828-meter Dubai Towers, using a single PC, versus the next best technique, which is the equivalent of processing a stack of photos 42 meters tall — as high as the ceiling of Notre Dame — using 62 PCs. This efficiency is essential if one is to fully utilize the billions of user-provided images continuously being uploaded to the internet.”

While the results are cool and would make an impressive addition to any number of geo-based services, more serious use cases include helping disaster workers get a better idea of where they’re headed and the extent of damage.

So far the researchers have released a movies demonstrating the technique on landmarks in both Rome (get it? built in a day…) and Berlin, and the results are impressive. For more information on how the process works, check out the UNC website.

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Goo.gl Gets Its Own Website

Google’s new URL shortening service has finally taken flight.
Goo.gl now has its own dedicated website where you can shorten a URL and collect data about all the activity around it.
Google first announced it would be launching a URL-shortening service back in December of last year, choosing the top-level domain of Greenland (whose awesome coat of […]

Google’s new URL shortening service has finally taken flight.

Goo.gl now has its own dedicated website where you can shorten a URL and collect data about all the activity around it.

Google first announced it would be launching a URL-shortening service back in December of last year, choosing the top-level domain of Greenland (whose awesome coat of arms is on the left) to handle the honors. The company then made goo.gl short URL generation available through Feedburner and Google Toolbar, but the general public couldn’t access it on the web or third-party apps like Twitter clients. It slowly rolled out into other Google products — Maps, News, Blogger — and just today became usable by the anyone on the web.

Since December’s launch, Twitter and Facebook have also pushed out their own URL-shortening services which, much like the early goo.gl model, are used to squish links within each network, but lack broad reach via a website or a public API.

And there will be an API in the future, Google says, so you can add goo.gl as a choice for shortening links in your applications when that arrives. Until then, there are some extensions — two for Chrome and one for Firefox — you can use if you don’t want to take a trip to Goo.gl.

The web service (or the front end, at least) is basic.

If you’re a signed-in Google user, you can view a history of the URLs you’ve shortened and see real-time stats on traffic, top referrers and some info on the people who are clicking, like their browser and platform. All of the collected data is public and can be viewed by anyone.

The service uses the same spam detection that’s in Gmail, so bad links theoretically get squashed. Read more at the Google Social blog.

As a bonus, you get a QR code for every link you shorten. You can either view it on the stats page for your link, or you can just append .qr to any short URL to generate a code. Why would you want to do this, you ask? Google’s Android platform for mobiles can read QR codes through a camera, making them a no-click passkey to a mobile-ready web page.

Try this one on for size:


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