Seattle in Virtual Earth 3D (Beta)

Ok, so there aren't many cities available in Virtual Earth 3D (Beta) yet, but it's still very cool. I did some moving around Seattle, and quite easily found the standard shot of the Space Needle with the city and Mount Rainier in the background. You can see it at


Now, wouldn't this be even better if it could detect some photos that people had taken of it, and place a Photosynth-style picture on top of this? Keep the street labels and stuff like that, so that you can actually see what's going on, but use the 'hybrid' concept to be able to get a photo-real map. Then making the photos smarter could really start to see some incredible technology.

I'm sure this will be available in Firefox soon too, but for now, IE is the tool of choice.

Not glandular fever

I do have something – although I'm nearly better now. But my blood test showed that my white cell count wasn't up, so therefore, it wasn't glandular fever. I had most of the symptoms though, and the doctor said it was some virus similar to the glandular fever one.

I'm hoping to be back at work tomorrow, although I might have to ease back in. Working from home might be a better option.

Photosynth – I hope it handles movies

Photosynth is cool. But in the trial version you can't upload your own photos. That's cool though – because at the moment you can get a good feel for what it's going to be like.

But it got me thinking – when I went to St Mark's Square in Venice, I didn't take that many photos. I don't really want to take 100 shots, even in an incredible place like that. I appreciate that other people will have taken shots and be letting the Photosynth community share them, but they won't be doing that when it comes to looking around a school, or a house that I'm considering buying. So then I got to thinking that if I take a video camera, and split out the movie into individual frames, then Photosynth could weave its magic with that. I know the resolution is a lot smaller, but it would let me walk in somewhere, turn around (slowly), keep walking, and get my 'hundreds of shots' quite quickly. If my wife is taking photos of things in detail, then together we should get good coverage – enough low-res to cover up the gaps, with high-res detail for zooming in.

So then my imagination started to run… if Photosynth could just handle movies straight off, then could it be modified to take several synchronised feeds? Could it then produce a world from the images at a certain point in the game, like when a goal was scored, or something like that? With enough processing power, could you watch the match from anywhere on the ground, flying around it as you wanted?

Or could you manipulate the world that Photosynth created? Could you make a world of your house, and then replace a wall with a window? If Photosynth knew what was on the other side of the wall (garden, other rooms, whatever), then you could work out how your renovations might look? Or could you change the colours, wallpapers, etc?

Could you then make a movie of yourself, which you could look at from various angles (but particularly, looking directly at the eyes, in mirrored image, as if you were looking into a mirror), and try on clothes, glasses or hairstyles? It's all well and good for people to have software that shows a picture of their face with a different haircut, but if you could move around this world, and even see animations, then that gives you a much better impression about what you will look like.

The thing that impresses me the most about Photosynth is the imagination. I know the technology must be pretty clever – I did some image processing subjects during my degree, and I know it can be all kinds of headaches… but if they've cracked the concept of matching pictures to a virtual world, then I can see much bigger things in the not too distant future.

Office 2007 RTM today, great time for a talk about it and SQL!

Office 2007 has RTM'd today, and this includes Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

This is great timing, with Grant Paisley coming to Adelaide to give his talk about integrating BI and MOSS. This is a great talk, and if you're going to be in Adelaide, you should be there! Go to, and find the link. And if you can't make it in Adelaide, go to his session in Canberra instead! I heard it at the SQL Code Camp, and it's definitely worth checking out.

The great thing about Office 2007 with BI stuff is that BI is all about making the data you have more useful. And Office 2007 is so much better integrated with other systems than previous versions, so it can become a great portal to getting your information out there.

My twin's birthday

Today is my twin brother's birthday. He's 32, poor guy. He'll probably call me later on today, which will give me the opportunity to wish him a happy birthday. But if he reads my blog, he'll see me wishing him happy birthday here. Happy Birthday, Andrew. You're getting old!

Oh, I get it. 🙁

So, the thirty-second year is over. Felt like it took longer than half-a-minute, although in some ways it didn't. Time to reflect perhaps – I'm sick today, so maybe there's a good opportunity.

Mono = Glandular Fever

Tomorrow I get birthday presents and blood test results. I'm sick at the moment, have been for more than a few days. Today I had blood taken out, which is being tested for glandular fever.

I told an American friend of mine (in Phoenix), and he said "What's that?" Turns out that it's what Americans call 'mono'. I never knew that! I knew there was a thing that Americans called mono, but I didn't know it was glandular fever.

I'm not sure whether the news would be good or not. I guess it depends on what they can do about it.

Looking at the wikipedia site, I don't have the fever which it says tends to occur. But I do have the swollen glands, and fatigue. My throat isn't great either, and 3 out of 4 ain't bad. Or ain't good, whichever way you want to look at it.

So I've been resting. Only doing a bit of work… wishing I had wireless at home, and wondering how the user-group meeting this Thursday is going to go. If you're going to be in Adelaide, you should come along…

My brother, the Hawk

Well, he's training with them at least.

I heard a few weeks ago that Jonathan had been invited to train with Hawthorn (the Aussie Rules side). And today my Hawthorn-supporting friend Ryan has dropped me a line showing me an article on the AFL site which lists him. The funny thing is that they've spelled both his names wrong. They've put Jonathon instead of Jonathan, and Wynne instead of Wynn. He's a half brother, 12 years younger than me, which is why we don't share the same surname.

There's no guarantee he'll actually become a Hawk. Apparently he'll be in the draft, and so any of the clubs (or none) could pick him. The Norwood coach (the Victorian Eastern League club where he's played recently) Brett Ratten (yes, the Carlton legend) thinks he'll be picked in the 3rd round of the draft, and I think Doug Barwick (of Fitzroy and Collingwood, but more significantly the dad of Jonathan's girlfriend) agrees. He's a lot taller than me (I think he's about 6'7"), which could help generate some interest. And he'll be 20 in January.

Very proud of course, although it's a shame that I have very little interest in the game. 🙂