Google Photos - Auto GIF Creation

Last night we took a walk along the Seine with some old friends who we’ve been hanging out in Paris with this past week. There was a boat in the river that people were partying on and they started setting off fireworks. I took about six or eight photos of the fireworks along with a bunch of other photos on my phone.

This morning when I woke up, there was a notification from Google Photos that there was an “animation” available for me. When I clicked on that notification, I got this GIF. If you click on it, you can see the animation. I’m not sure why it doesn’t animate here in the WordPress post.


I think that’s pretty cool. Google figured out that those six or eight photos were all connected and stitched them into a GIF. Well done Google. This is not the first time Google Photos has delighted me with a notification like that.

We are wrapping up our time in Europe. I’ve got a board meeting and dinner tonight and we fly back tomorrow. It’s been a great trip but I’m eager to get back and start watching the Mets in real time.

#Photo of the Day

Comments (Archived):

  1. sachmo

    BOOOM! First comment. That’s twice in one week : )

    1. creative group

      sachmo (Louie Armstrong)hopefully you don’t have too much timetime on your handsBOOM SHACKALAKA…

      1. sachmo

        Getting up at 5 am is an accomplishment in my book : )

        1. creative group

          My baby boomer aches and pains agree with you.

        2. sigmaalgebra

          It’s a lot easier in France!

  2. jason wright

    is this an Android phone?you took the photos and then….

    1. fredwilson

      yes, it’s a samsung galaxy phone. but this was done by google photos in the cloud. i took the photos and did nothing else

      1. jason wright

        ah, the Edge.ok, so you just snap away and the photos auto(?) upload to Google Photos (in real time via a mobile phone network data connection, or later back at the hotel over wifi?). i think i get what’s going on here,… maybe.

  3. LIAD

    with 30 secs of thought.Almost surreptitiously, Google/Alphabet owns my….intent (search)messaging (gmail)memories (photos)location history (maps)media consumption (Youtube)business graph (email contact list)business dealings (google docs)digital files (google drive)social graph (email contact list/call log)usage habits (app installs/browser history/ad-tracking)energy consumption (nest)health info (google fit)purchase history (android pay)what else…

    1. jason wright

      your free will?

      1. LIAD

        you know what they say…errr,if you cant beat em, buy their stock

    2. creative group

      LIAD:What is your view of the best use of Google Drive? (Digital files =USB).

      1. LIAD

        don’t use drive.have been with dropbox since they were in beta and never had a reason to look elsewhere.

    3. fredwilson

      cap tables (sheets) but hopefully they are moving to eShares

      1. pointsnfigures

        I encouraged three companies that I invested in to do eShares and it’s been great. Very useful for an investor.

    4. William Mougayar

      Your thoughts (Google Keep)

      1. creative group

        William M:one of the bestbest offerings Google provides for note keeping. Hope Google does not’ abandon Keep as they did with scratchpad.

        1. William Mougayar

          I agree. I’m starting to like using it.

    5. sigmaalgebra

      Send a friend some e-mail with a lot of key words of some interest you don’t have and then see if the ad targeting on Google search responds thus indicating that Google is reading your e-mail and using it for ad targeting! I’m sure Google thought of that!

      1. LIAD

        i understood they’ve been doing that for years. they don’t hide it.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Nerds! Like naughty pre-teen boys trying to use match heads to make fireworks, they stand to get their fingers burned.And, due to such suspicions, I don’t accept Web browser cookies from either Google search or YouTube, and, for the rest of their offerings, I don’t use them.

    6. Jess Bachman

      Google Glass (your virginity)

  4. Laurent Boncenne

    nice indeed, windows phones do something similar called “living images” where it pretty much takes a bunch of shots before (and i reckon after) a shot, so swiping through pictures you get the animated bit before seeing the still images.really makes a difference in my opinion. I think some android phones and the iphone have a similar feature but the idea of stitching different but closely related pictures is very nice too!

    1. Tom Labus

      Blink is good too

  5. awaldstein

    Delight is not overrated.Safe travels.

  6. Dave Pinsen

    There’s no way to watch the Mets in realtime in Paris?

    1. Scott Barnett

      Sure, if he wants to stay up between 2-5am Paris time….

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Secret of the universe explained: So, finally, that’s why France is no good at baseball!

    2. fredwilson

      there is. but i’d have to go to a bar that would be open all night.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Ok. BTW, thanks to your Jets winning yesterday, Dunkin’ Donuts app users got coffee for 25 cents today.

  7. creative group

    Fred:The Mets are dominating the Cubs. Youmay want to increase the gimme wager. If the Cubs can rebound from this 2-0 deficit Joe Madden is a miracle workerand should make Millions on the motivational speaking circuit.

    1. fredwilson


      1. pointsnfigures

        Curtis Granderson field in Chicago. He played his college ball at UIC. Great lead off man and robbed Coughlan of a home run in the second last night.

  8. William Mougayar

    Cool. Can someone solve how to properly post an animated Gif?

    1. Vasudev Ram

      Take a video of it and post that?

      1. William Mougayar

        smarty answer…i’m looking for the more elegant answer πŸ™‚ [Maybe Disqus doesn’t allow it, which is possible too]

        1. Vasudev Ram

          Wasn’t meant as a smarty answer, actually. That’s what I thought of, off the top of my head, after reading in Fred’s post that it was not displaying properly, and then your question on the same. Only just as I hit Post button did I think that you might have meant something like using some HTML or JS embed code to make it work.Ya, Disqus doesn’t allow some things.In fact, now that I think about it more, it is likely to be Disqus. Because animated GIFs show up just fine on plenty of static web pages, even – going back to the time of Geocities et al.But someone here will probably pop up with a solution if there is one.

    2. Wyatt Brown

      Here is the Disqus community answer to your question: is the Disqus Developer’s explanation: is a tricky question, for publishers and the platforms where the content gets rendered. Many platforms “play” GIFs as video content within an HTML5 canvas content container (F Book and Pinterest by example).In general, some of the content aggregation/curation platforms’ concerns have to do with what the HTML5 canvas is actually rendering/playing. The content container basically is hosting 3rd party javascript, which could be abused. Disqus handles this by strictly controlling the in-post content formatting.If protocols can be agreed upon, then cross-platform live/interactive content sharing-posting could be a whole new user engagement paradigm, beyond just video and GIF formats. Super fun to explore.

      1. Vasudev Ram

        >Many platforms “play” GIFs as video content within an HTML5 canvas content container (F Book and Pinterest by example).So my idea was not too bad after all, Wm. Basically similar to what those platforms are doing.@Wyatt: is this issue anything to do (apart from the 3rd-party content issue) with the patent / other legal issues around GIF? IIRC it had something to do with the company where it was created?Which is why other image formats were invented, I seem to recall, like maybe PNG.

        1. Wyatt Brown

          Yes. In general, “content curation” is by definition the hosting and sharing of a 3rd party’s intellectual property. DMCA and other policy has been developed to deal with these issues, partially, but many new issues have arisen. IN general, consumers don’t pay attention to these laws, and so the platforms are left to find technologically-driven methods to help enforce the spirit of the law, and good faith.Some of the issues you bring up regarding GIF vs. PNG are discussed in this Wikipedia article:…Content curation platforms (like Facebook) may either accept, or reject identical content formats, solely based on the in-bound source of that content (perhaps a competitor). However, then we get into consumer and corporate anti-trust law related to Publisher and Curator content and sharing/hosting….. Which would be a great discussion for Fred to start :)– correction to my previous post — > iFrames (built at Youtube by example) are NOT solely rendered as HTML5 canvases. They render the iFrame video content using an HTML5 compatible javascript video player. Platforms, like Facebook have protocols to guide publishing and curation activity and content formatting. Facebook’s Open Graph Protocol being one of the most widely used.

          1. Vasudev Ram

            Thanks for the answers.

  9. Jason Sharpee

    I’m far more impressed by the broad image classification system they just enabled a month ago in photos search.Searching on “costume ” actually yielded an impressive result in my tens of thousands of pictures.

    1. boteman

      There goes the CAPTCHA check that depends on Human recognition of classes of images, then!

    2. fredwilson

      our portfolio company Clarifai does something similar. their API is available for any developer to use. they also have a consumer app for iPhone in case you want to see their tech in action…

      1. Jason Sharpee

        I have played around with that before and was very impressed with it as well. Even tried to integrate it with SmugMug a while back. Didnt realize it was one of yours. Thanks for the reminder!

    3. sigmaalgebra

      So, to find the people, use some now standard techniques to do edge recognition. Then for costumes, look at the variance in shape (e.g., from big, funny hats) and colors (e.g., as in Ronald McDonald). That might work.Gee, how generally useful might that be? Somehow I suspect that for most men with thousands of pictures, there won’t be many costumes! Gee, all that fantastic physics and electronic engineering to make giant magneto resistive disk heads for 2.5″ disk drives with several TB of space, now Samsung’s 14 TB SSDs, and then they get used for WHAT! Ah, boys and toys!

      1. Jason Sharpee

        Interesting segway. Was your question meant to be query, sarcastic, or rhetorical?Use Case: Wanted to use the Google Photo auto-collage to print/show off 12 years of halloween photos of my daughter for her Halloween / Birthday party. Combing classification terms even further narrows it to pictures of my daughter actually trick or treating: “Costumes Celine Street”.ratio of Photos of Costumes / Electronics for me: 42.3 to One :pWhile algorithmic analysis is certainly something that would be feasible to do, it is far more effective in my experience to use a form of BPNN if the processing horsepower is available.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Your use case is terrific.I was assuming that the software for identifying people via edge detection already knew what edges of people looked like and, for just one more use, didn’t need either neural networks or training (supervised learning?)I’ve never used Google’s image processing, at least, not on any of my images.Apparently Google very much wanted to do well with something like image search, as well as they have done with keyword/phrase search, and have worked hard. My view is that how far they can go that way is severely limited.I’m taking a very different approach that in some ways would be less good but in other ways, IMHO, much better.For your search, you (1) knew what you wanted to find, (2) knew that it existed, and (3) were able to give some information that accurately characterized what you wanted. Good. But in general asking for (1)-(3) is asking for a lot.Apparently Google really likes (1)-(3), e.g., it was just that way back with a library card catalog subject index. But the field of information retrieval has known well going way back that (1)-(3) is only a small part of information retrieval.My view, guesstimate, is that for the content on the Internet, searches people want to do, and result they want to find, having (1)-(3) is only about 1/3rd. I’m going for the other 2/3rds.A total joke? Not now: I worked out the math, with theorems and proofs, and wrote the software. A lot of software? Not really: It’s 18,000 programming language statements in 80,000 lines of text that I typed in using 10 fingers. What’s special is the math. Given the math, the coding was fast, fun, and easy — after I worked through 5000+ Web pages of documentation for the computing platform.What I’m supposed to be doing today is not typing into AVC but typing into some scripts to load some initial data, including a lot of images, into SQL Server, etc.If I will get off my back side, I’ll be able to go live soon. I’ll confess: Those 5000+ Web pages, including a lot on SQL Server, and part of the 18,000 statements were for ADO.NET for SQL Server, were not fun. Conceptually SQL, e.g., as in Ullman’s book, is totally simple — I read the thing quickly over a week while eating dinner at the Mount Kisco Diner.Even worse, e.g., some really simple things I did with SQL Server wiped out my software installation meaning I had to reinstall everything to a freshly formatted disk partition. It happened more than once. I have a lot of software, and reinstalling it all was very much not fun. @JLM’s “barbed wire enema” would have been joy in comparison.Actually now I have several good backups of the boot partition and do know how to restore them — yes, I did do some restores and they did work.The problem, 100% of the problem, was some really bad software and documentation from Microsoft. Too bad Ullman wasn’t writing code and documentation for Microsoft.Do I want to upgrade my Microsoft operating system? About as much as I want brain surgery.

      2. ShanaC

        so you’d find the people – now how would you match which person to which

        1. sigmaalgebra

          The question was, given some images, find the ones with a person wearing a costume. The question was not how tomatch one person to another.For matching people, that’s has little or nothing to do with edge detection, etc. in image processing.For romantic matchmaking, I considered that but was too early.Even then, a crucial, core question was, what criteria to use in the matching? I considered using psychological tests that found, say, values on 14 aspects of personality, right, the test PF14, etc. But, then, again, given the PF14 results on two people, are they promising as a romantic couple? Are their factor scores better similar or better in some ways different?So, I thought of another approach; Have a user type in some values on some variables, of course, the usual, age, education, height, …. Then they would get a list of still images, maybe also video clips. Then they could request an introduction. But that would flop: All the pretty girls would get swamped and give up. So, sure, each person in the data base would have a count of the number of people who asked to meet them. Then a pretty girl or a rich, handsome man could filter their request by that number. Not page rank — call it request rank or some such. Then a pretty girl need not get swamped with requests.And I had more that still appears to be novel.So, with this approach, never really address or answer the question of what makes a good match and, instead, find a way for the users to do that work, at least as a first cut, and have that way be reasonably easy, that is, nearly everyone gets requests and no one gets swamped with requests.But, again, the technology was not ready yet.

          1. ShanaC

            Edge Match won’t explain “Costume” Enough.A zoot suit is still a suit. If the zoot suited person is in a room full of people with english tailoring, that person is in a costume, and the computer probably couldn’t tell. Edge match as a choice would fail.Or even worse (and something that has happened), between bad training data and poor algorithm choice – black people got labeled gorillas. (… )There is a reason for the move to neural networks – edge match would fail far too often to be useful in many applications.___And I have to ask you this – why do you care who people date/marry – a lot of your metaphors surround dating/marriage

          2. sigmaalgebra

            Right, edge matching, neural networks, whatever, AI is not intelligent.”Dating/marriage”? You askedso you’d find the people – now how would you match which person to which

          3. ShanaC

            in a photo!!!!So why did you make the claim earlier that dimensionality is not a problem when clearly it is a problem? I mean, yes, you can start with matching along the edges, but it doesn’t solve the problem, just start an answer

          4. sigmaalgebra

            You are not at all clear on what you are asking. The only mention of “dimensionality” I remember considering had to do with image processing, i.e., looking for a person in an image. There someone mentioned dimensionality, and IIRC asked if they meant the dimensionality of the 3D original, real scene or the 2D projection.For yourwhen clearly it is a problem?, what “problem” for what goal and from what source of “dimensionality”?

  10. pointsnfigures

    That’s really cool. The top of the order for the Mets is killing the Cubs-and very good pitching too. Can’t wait for them to get back to the Friendly Confines where it will be warmer.

    1. fredwilson

      yeah but we got deGrom on the mound on tuesday night. i love that kid. he is a gamer.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Yup. The hipster pitcher. He is a gamer. Fitting that the Mets have a bunch of pitchers with Dutch genes.

      2. Richard

        The first two games in citifield were nothing less than a movie script, between Harvey,Familia, Murphy, Sindegard, Graderson, Travis, Cespedes, Wright, the entire squad is playing amazing October Baseball

      3. creative group

        Fred:deGrom will need to have a short rookie memory because he was rockedtwice by the Cubs.Mets retake lead on D. Murphy homer at we type. (2-1 Mets leading) end of 3rd.

  11. Seine

    What is happening in the startup world there? Did yiu meet with any French startup?

  12. JimHirshfield

    Very cool. If you watch the fence in the foreground, you can see that it’s in different places for various frames…obviously you moved a few feet between shots. So Google figures out what the subject of the picture is and how to center it (the boat, it appears).

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Naw: Given a dozen or so images, make them into a GIF? Just take essentially the Pearson correlation between all the pairs of the images (might want first, roughly, to scale all the images the same) and in the GIF put them in order to have, overall, roughly the highest correlation from one frame to the next. The Pearson correlation is a number in the interval [-1,1] and is commonly called, for good reason, the cosine distance.Or, if have time stamps on the images, sure, then just look at the time stamps and take the correlation only between pairs that were adjacent in time. If the correlations are high enough, then continue adding frames to make a GIF. No magic. Not intelligent. Likely not very hard to do. Maybe at first glance surprising, but likely not very useful or desirable.

      1. Richard

        Doesn’t the dinensionality make this non trivial?

        1. sigmaalgebra

          By “dimensionality”, you mean what?If you mean that can have two image files (JPG, GIF, BMP, etc.) with one with resolution 640 x 480 pixels and the other with 2048 x 1024 pixels, then, mostly no: Just consider how to take a picture at 2048 x 1024 and scale it down to 640 x 480. That’s been image manipulation 101 for a long time — once I looked at one of the famous, early texts that gave good details on how to do that, but I can guess, although may also want to consider gamma or whatever the heck it is. Or just look for an API, maybe even in just the .NET Framework and let it worry about gamma corrections.If you mean that the original image is a 2D projection of a 3D scene, then the work in object recognition via edge detection apparently already has that worked out. That edge detection work was apparently part of the work that looked through a lot of images from YouTube or wherever and found a lot of kitty cats.Might want to do the correlation for each of the three colors, red, green, blue, separately so get three correlation numbers — then two images are likely just different scaled versions of the same thing, or in Fred’s experience, nearly the same original 3D scene, if and only if (iff, thank you, P. Halmos) each of the three correlations of one image is close to each of the three of the other image.For the correlation, start with the covariance and that is, for random variables X and Y, where E denotes expectation (approximated by the ordinary average),E[ (X – E[X]) (Y – E[Y]) ]or write this assum_{i = 1}^n (x(i) – overline x) …etc. — I give up; it’s too early in the morning to try to type math with Knuth’s TeX into Disqus! The random variable version is much easier to read!

        2. ShanaC

          yesas soon as you stick in similar looking objects in the frames, dimensionality should shoot up

  13. laurie kalmanson

    Days of miracles and wonder; they have reverse engineered moving images

    1. Richard

      Walt Disney & Thomas Edison are llaughing

      1. laurie kalmanson

        something something persistence of vision 1/20th of a second magic lantern flipbook nickleodeon — here’s a neat trick; someone took the first freeze frame photos of a moving horse by muybridge and animated them

        1. laurie kalmanson

          let’s see, does an animated gif uploaded to disqus stay animated?

          1. laurie kalmanson


          2. Chimpwithcans

            Check that awesome bison! Love it.

  14. sigmaalgebra

    Google did a cute trick. Cute. But for helping people work with images, that path doesn’t go very far. Last week I wasted time getting rid of JPGs that were the same except for scaling and thought of some ways to write some software to do that for me. I thought of several ways, some that promise to be fast but not very accurate and others that stand to be slower but more accurate. Gee, code up several of the ways and use the fast ways as a first cut and the slower ways on some of the results of the fast ways. Looks like Google has such software already.Problem is, such software has no hope of telling the difference between a picture of a girl reading and Renoir’s version, between some violinist playing Beethoven in time and in tune and Heifetz playing it, between my writing on Syria and that of Kissinger on that subject, etc. Other software? Hmm ….

    1. awaldstein

      Consumer products are built on delight not efficacy. That comes later.How big a business can you build strictly on consumer delight with nothing but?Facebook jumps to mind.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        As I’ve noted often at AVC, to shorten and paraphrase E. Fromm, “For humans, the fundamental problem in life is doing something effective about feeling alone”. For less of a paraphrase, the reason is that as humans we have “anxiety from our realization that alone we are vulnerable to the hostile forces of nature and society”. So, Facebook addresses, let’s see, “delight”, right, but also a biggie, anxiety, and nothing less than the “fundamental problem in life”.Or, the one subject people care about most of all is, and the candidates are, a new car, new clothes, a raise at work, losing weight, good sex, and people. May I have the envelope, please? Drum roll, please. And the winner is, right, people.There’s more to Facebook (FB) than just a simple version of delight. And now FB is a very long way from, really a polar opposite from, the socially awkward, really incompetent, nerd’s “hot or not” beginning.Indeed, with some irony, FB is now really a computer version of the scene in the movie where Zuck’s girlfriend was at a table with other people and just wanted Zuck to go away and play with his “video games”. She, on the other hand, at that table was interested in, right, other people.Since Sorkin is such a facile writer, have to add some hand fulls of salt, but it would be a good story, I doubt if it’s true, if that scene is what taught Zuck to have FB serve peoples’ interests in people and not just adolescent nerd leering where, in particular, FB would have lost out to a part of 4chan long ago! Biggie difference.

        1. awaldstein

          nice but still to complex for me.people go to fb cause it’s fun and fun is both addictive and essential.that’s it.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            You are correct, and what I wrote explains just why one level deeper!For new cases of software apps, the deeper explanation stands to have better predictive power. Or we want the new app also to be “fun, addictive, and essential”. So, it should be about boiling up hot dogs, washing the car, mowing the grass, using a steam iron, lessons about how to use a computer, how to solve high school trig problems? Nope. And why not? Because they don’t do much to help people lower their anxiety from feeling alone.Of course, in this context, it’s surprising that Google was successful!

          2. Simone

            Some of peoples’ interests proved to remain ‘adolescent nerd leering’ throughout life (see selfies). FB is not essential, we will get over it in few years. It has/had it’s moment and I am not going to deny the aggregate hours spent on fb.But our data remains with them so don’t worry for Mark.

          3. sigmaalgebra

            > FB is not essential, we will get over it in few years.What is essential is a solution to the problem FB tries to solve. You are correct, FB itself is not essential. Indeed, my view is that it is a grade C- solution and stands to be replaced with something better. If Zuck wants FB to last, then he needs to work harder. Really, though, he should get a good money manager, slowly diversify into some good investments, resign for FB, and do something else, if only just to be a good husband and father.> I am not going to deny the aggregate hours spent on fb.IMHO the design was so bad I hated to try to use it. Likely I’ve spent less than 20 hours in total on FB.”Leering”: Our totally sick-o society has normal, adolescent boys deliberately denied basic, simple, and quite important information about basic human female anatomy. E.g., when I was in the fifth grade, one boy in class, not me, had and was looking at a tiny picture. maybe 1 square inch, of a woman in a bikini. Just a simple picture of a normal woman in a standard bikini. In principle the picture could have been of his mother, sister, or sister in law. When the teacher found out, she went all hysterical. Sick-o.E.g., at least middle school girls get to do babysitting.Apparently this wacko, sick-o stuff is fairly recent: E.g., in the old movie King’s Row, W. Korngold music, where R. Reagan screamed “Where’s the rest of me”, etc., apparently near 1900 it was common for a boy and girl in grade school or middle school to stop off at the local swimming hole on the way home after school but didn’t get any of their school clothes wet and didn’t bring any other clothes. A couple that did that today would be at high risk of some neurotic wacko seeing them, calling 911, and claiming that a “rape” was in progress, and the police would rush to the scene of the crime and ruin the boy’s life, just from the accusation, get his parents fired from their jobs, have the family have to sell their house to pay for the boy’s legal bills, etc. Could ruin a whole family that way. We’re talking totally wacko. Sick-o.Somehow when I was 15, I saw that disaster coming like an 80 MPH freight train only 50 feet away: When I was 14-15, I had a girlfriend 12-13, the prettiest human female I ever saw, in person or otherwise, to this day. Compared with her, the usual drop dead gorgeous is a pig in the mud. She was beyond belief, sweet, nice, etc. In a word, I was in love with her, long before I knew what the word meant. I still am.Well, one day in the summer, I called her house, and her mother, by now, thinking back, I suspect that she wanted me to marry the girl, which I should have done, eagerly gave me the phone number where the girl was. I called that number, got the girl, and was invited to where she was to go swimming. So, I wrapped my swim suit in a towel, attached it to the back of my bicycle, and rode about five miles to a house with a swimming pool in the back yard. The girl was there with her cousin, another girl, the same age.On the other side of the pool, the girls were whispering, giggling, and planning, and then decided to undress me. Well, there was no role for the cousin, so I scowled at her, and she went to the other side of the poor.Then I made a gigantic mistake: I stopped my girl friend. Why? Because (1) who was in the house, e.g., hosting the two girls? (2) The driveway was empty; who was due back soon? (3) What neighbors might walk by?My mistake: I didn’t look my girlfriend in the eyes, look serious, and ask her about (1)-(3). Likely she got the idea I objected which of course totally I did not. Likely she’d already considered (1)-(3), but it took me a while to figure out that commonly girls did consider and handle issues like (1)-(3) but not talk about them (that should be in Girls 101 for Dummies — Boys). Big mistake. Biggie.But, in a sense I was correct: Some wacko could have dialed 911 and ruined the lives of my family and me.My seeing the risks was correct; the mistake was not just asking my girl about (1)-(3).BTW, my view of her was as a childhood sweetheart. She was more safe with me than any kitten or puppy. It was also a big mistake for more: I should have married her. There’s more to the story, but that’s enough for now.The bottom line is, our sick-o society wants boys to be totally ignorant, denied even pictures. At least part of the Internet can solve some of that problem. Good for the Internet. Ah, my startup won’t help much since it is all “safe for work”!

          4. Simone

            Thank you for the long-form reply and your story, I am tempted to say that I hope she is not married to someone else, hoping this is not a life long heartbreak.Your reply prompted an epiphany – that I am currently using FB as a long-form Twitter, mainly to follow up interesting people from different domains that have a lot of value to share and use FB as a sort of mini-blogging platform.I find very interesting your take on FB use case, but I think already in the 90s/early 00s, just before FB, the world was already pretty liberal in terms of both access to any kind of information via tv/video/magazines and mentality regarding teens relationships (at least in Europe and I think US too).To me FB ‘classic’ use is publishing relationships (friendship/love etc) in the sense that these relationships exist anyway offline and users choose to also publish the relationship 5-95% of it.

          5. sigmaalgebra

            In what I typed in, glad you found something to read.I was not very clear: Too much of the US is just wacko; I mean, those people are twisted out of shape.I was just trying to estimate when this really wacko stuff started. So, that 1930s movie about 1900 America was one benchmark. It was a really big jump from what the movie suggested (it might have been an exaggeration) to some of the attitudes I saw, although only indirectly.I wasn’t suggesting that that girl I new, 12-13, and I, 14-15, should have gone swimming as in the movie even though it appeared that she wanted to. What I wanted us to do was to stand close, smile, hold hands, hug, kiss, go for a walk for some ice cream or to a movie, have her to my house for Sunday dinner. I got to do some of that.But she married someone else, who was mean to her, gads, and was lost to cancer recently.Again, I should have married her. I had a chance; I didn’t know it then, but looking back I did have a chance. If I’d just read Girls 101 for Dummies — Boys, Dad had told me a lot more, or someone had told me that the most important thing to do was to communicate and that girls tend to be afraid and need a lot of reassurance that the relationship will go basically how they want it to go, that I’d never knowingly hurt her and wanted to protect her, etc., then, from what else I understand now, we could have done well. We would have been closer and closer as boy/girlfriend until I got out of college and then would have gotten married. As a bride, she would have been pretty enough to have caused everyone in the church to faint. We would, then, have gone to DC as soon I did anyway, and my career would have gone much the same or a little better. Then when I got a call to schedule the fleet for FedEx, we would have gone together, I would have gotten the stock COB Smith promised me, and we’d be wealthy today, except for her cancer.But we, and Mother Nature, blew it. I don’t know just how Mother Nature kept the species going this long. I totally loved and cherished her like an angel; looking back with what I know now, maybe she loved me. That should have been much more than enough, but it wasn’t. We could have been husband and wife, had house and home, been parents with everyone busy, productive, and happy. She loved children, was totally taken with their little, short, turned up noses and all the rest of what mothers see in babies. Whenever she saw a baby she just melted into near ecstasy.Where can I apply for a do-over?

          6. Simone

            Don’t judge your 15 years old self with the adult mind, nobody would pass that exam.Mother Nature seems to be concerned with earthly matters, not love, and technology is advancing towards extending life, rather than do-over, perhaps you wouldn’t agree.I hope you also found some answers in your story. Perhaps you should write, if not doing so already.

          7. sigmaalgebra

            Sympathy, empathy, understanding — wow! Really good stuff! Thanks!I thought about it, wrote about it, tried to understand it, and eventually, basically did. So, understand it? Yes. Like it? No.Mother Nature made some mistakes. Darwin is on the case, and there will be some changes. Indeed, people of Western European descent are, quite literally, in a word, going extinct — the birth rate per woman is way too low. So, there are a lot of weak, sick, or dead limbs in the tree. On average, family formation is a disaster. There are also some strong limbs, and they stand to be the future — Darwin’s very old story.There are a lot of failed families and failed romantic relationships. I wish reality were otherwise. Ah, I’m not nearly the worst off and should count blessings!I thought that I had heard the quote, “We are made to suffer”. Well, that’s a phrase that would be easy for Google to match! So, there is…which is the Star Wars C3PO saying “We seem to be made to suffer. It is our lot in life.”Ah, that’s not very tough or determined! I’d be embarrassed to fall for sentiments of C3PO! But the Google search showed something interesting: Looks like the movie borrowed that statement, maybe from Thucydides and the Peloponnesian war. So, even though I’m not proud of that sentiment, I’m not nearly the first to think such a thing! The statement was also in a 2005 book about love by Helen Fisher — did she get it from C3PO or the war?I’m a guy with culture from the US, mostly the NE and from some of western Europe, am hopeless at understanding either Asian or Indian culture or wisdom, but, still, as at @JLM’shttp://themusingsofthebigre…is the Rudyard Kipling If you can meet with Triumph and DisasterAnd treat those two impostors just the same; and maybe that is better than C3PO, Helen Fisher, etc. Or, I was in a foxhole and a bullet went 6 inches over my head but didn’t actually hit me.Generally, though, I think that those two “imposters” are quite different!From some of European culture and about triumph, there is now some music in my DVD player, from 1898, the R. Strauss tone poem, if that is really meaningful, actually a lot of programmatic (from a story) music, Ein Heldenleben. Maybe English literature would say that it’s about an Everyman. Others in art would say that it is universal about the human experience, gads, our “condition in life”! So, it’s about a guy, a nice enough guy, trying to make his way in the world and end up with a family and happiness. He sees a girl, played by a solo violin, that gives him a really hard time! She changes minute by minute! But eventually he wins her over, and then she’s a good wife, help mate, whatever. Then, right, soon the guy’s life is not all about love, roses, and white hats because too soon come some adversaries, challenges, problems, whatever, maybe music critics — it’s generic. They are mean sounding. But, as in US Western movies, our white hat, good guy wins against the challenges and gets the good life of home and family he wanted.It’s good, a benchmark in time, to see how Strauss described the girl, at first giving him a really tough time. So, back when Strauss wrote that, 1898, that’s what girls were like? Maybe!So, guys, maybe it’s not that she doesn’t like you or that it’s hopeless and, instead, maybe she does like you but just wants you to prove your sincerity and seriousness. Of course, signing up for life with a girl who just gave you a really tough time does look like a bad bet in a big part of life where history shows a lot of really bad bets. It’s unromantic, but if she is that tough to deal with, maybe should have her sign a pre-nup!But, maybe stable family formation was easier there in Europe near 1900: IIRC, the mother of Gustav Mahler had 14 children! Of course as in Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder, a lot of her children died in childhood. Family? Yes. Always happy? No.The best music in the thing is when the good guy wins — that sounds more like “triumph” than Kipling! It sounds like the guy just got his IPO at some terrific price! It’s some of the best triumph music going whether winning at love, business, or anything else!Gee, if have A, B, and C and the cosines between each pair, then try to write out what single vector they have to add to. Does this work? If so, and have, similarly D, E, and F and do the same. Then get two vectors, and can use standard methods to get the cosine of the angle between those two! So, does this little calculation, then, collapse into something dirt simple in terms of the original cosines? Maybe! Ah, a little math research, although I have to suspect that, if successful, it would be reinventing the wheel! If this works, then it might be the best way to say how close two digital images are to each other! Hmm, and maybe don’t have to scale the images to the same size?

          8. Simone

            I feel brave just attempting to reply your beautiful writing! I don’t think family formation was easier cca 1900, I think it was prescribed and they were way more miserable than us and there are many ‘real’ reasons why family formation is struggling today.I think it is also a slow transition when there will be more than just one recipe to live this life. Were we have started this conversation, with communication – it is an issue today as much as it was before we had technology. Don’t think technology is key to sort out this issue.

          9. sigmaalgebra

            > your beautiful writing!Gee, check what post you were reading!Thanks.> I think it was prescribedYes, long ago thinking about these things, I wondered why Dad didn’t tell me more, eventually suspected that he didn’t know more, and then concluded that Mom and Dad had just followed a set and accepted pattern, recipe, plan, some role models, etc. I have a friend from a good family. When the friend’s marriage failed, his father explained “It was easier when I was young.”Whatever the explanations are, when the average number of children per woman is under 2.1, that is the ultimate failure, extinction. Darwin doesn’t need explanations. Instead he just goes with what works, and, for people of Western European descent, what we’ve been doing hasn’t been working. E.g,.in Finland now, the average number of children per woman is 1.5. Then from the simple arithmetic(2.1 / 1.5 )**10 = 28.9in 10 generations 29 Finns will become 1. The Finns beat off the Swedes, Russians, and Germans but now, with peace, are just going extinct essentially voluntarily.Some couples very much want to be successful parents, and some couples don’t. Patterns, traditions, roles, alternatives aside, Darwin will go with the winners.

        2. Richard

          disagree, the fundamental problem is searching for something to accomplish that is in harmony with your spirit.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Fromm went on to say that only four solutions have been found, (1) love of spouse, (2) love of God, (3) membership in a group, and (4) NSFW, not recommended.Try (1). For (3), try Facebook.Fromm was one smart cookie.

        3. laurie kalmanson

          All human evil comes from a single cause, man’s inability to sit still in a room. Blaise Pascal

    2. Lawrence Brass

      Good software to browse, manage and distribute image collections… i would pay for that! Managing image collections take so much time. Available software is either aimed at professional photographers or to casual (mobile) users. There is this unattended amateur gap in between. iPhoto, which is my de facto repository don’t seem to know the difference between a 30 MB raw picture taken with a dslr in manual mode and a casual shot with the cell phone camera, both are just photos taken some date in some place. There is still a lot of work to do in image collection management before going into AI and neural networks. It seems that everyone is rushing to the next big thing and leaving a lot of work undone in the trail.My family dismissed me as the official event photographer because, as they say, “we will never see that photos again”. Talk about sharing.If you find or build a better solution, please let me know. Even a dumb pre skynet AI version would do.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        I suspect that Google wants to do that but only via their cloud. So, you’d have to upload all your pictures to Google.

        1. Lawrence Brass

          I won’t do that. They already have enough of my stuff and I don’t think the user XP would be as fluid as with a local solution. I would rather wait for the TV or the wifi box to get more brains.

  15. LE

    A saying I have is “it’s no fun by yourself”. [1] I always thought that pictures more or less proved this very well. The point of a picture is to share something that you did with someone else and somehow get kudos, approval or a good feeling from knowing someone else might enjoy what you have experienced. Even if it’s only in your brain and isn’t even reality. [2] Imagine the pleasure of the person who got a selfie with the Pope. Works much 1m times better as brain candy than just “I got a selfie with the Pope” (words only).[1] Relates also to watching TV with my wife. Where if she falls asleep then it’s less fun to watch whatever I am watching. Or if you are in a beautiful place all by yourself you often feel it’s wasted because (even with pictures) you can’t share the experience.[2] The great thing about sharing experiences is that people are programmed to say nice things even if they don’t think much about what you did or the photo that you took. Auto programmed in the same way that they say “I’m sorry” if you tell them your mother in law died. Even if you know they didn’t care for that person.

  16. John Revay

    Mets & Jets

  17. ErikSchwartz

    If an algorithm creates a derivative work who owns the copyright?

    1. Simone

      The algorithm’s author?But I think what you wanted to ask was – if algorithm 1 creates algorithm 2, who owns copyright for algorithm 2? In this case my answer would be the electricity co. πŸ™‚

    2. Cam MacRae

      Great question.There was a case some years ago (which I will endeavor to look up later) which found that copyright did not subsist in particular computer generated works because they required no independent intellectual effort.That aside, you would be hard pressed to argue Google’s stitching together of Fred’s images to be transformative.

    3. Matt A. Myers

      I imagine you give Google et al a full license to use everything – at least that is what I default to believe all apps do/platforms.

    4. ShanaC

      ooo. That’s a good question. How far derivative does it have to be?

      1. Renaldo Kariera

        I think instead of answering the question which you will never, you pose another question !!!!! Will you ever be ahead of things at all ?

  18. Lawrence Brass

    Nice feature. For most people assembling an animated gif is a difficult task, getting them assembled for free is a great idea. Not the same thing, but also a nice feature built around photography, is apple “live photos” available in iOS9 for the new phones, where a video context of when the shot is taken is bundled with the shot. Craving to see it in action.

  19. Wyatt Brown

    @fred@fredwilson:disqus Google’s animations seem largely driven by the “where” and “when” metadata of the photos; Animating photos that are temporally and geographically “tight”. Here’s a favorite G animation (taken from my Note 4) from Bridgeport CA last Summer — introduced powerful object recognition based search last year in G Photos. I just used the G Photo’s search bar, and my results included the “things” in my photo collections. Very cool. Interestingly, all of my friends use G Photos for auto backup/viewing, but none have ever seen/heard of the OR-based search features.Can you say anything about where Clarifai has seen the most traction/interest in their “object localization” derivative output technology? – — I’m going to go play with Clarifai’s free API today!

  20. mtrono

    I’m often delighted with Google Photos interpretations of my photo library. I’ll share two panoramas Google has stitched together from a series of stills.Panorama of a Sierra lake while my wife is filling a pan with water. Coffee for breakfast! This is from a family backpacking trip.…Panorama from the edge of a cliff in Zion National Park. Deep in the backcountry, no trails. A small creek plunges 500ft over a cliff. We camped here.

    1. CJ


    2. Trevor Gardiner

      but where is the gif ? i can’t see it

  21. Ciaran

    I now take series of photos close together to prompt exactly this. I love Google Photos so much

    1. Richard

      Why not just shoot a short vid?

      1. Ciaran

        There’s just something more charming about the animation. Plus it does feel a little like magic when technology works out the photos are all connected.Google Photos brings magic back to tech.

        1. jason wright

          i see Google’s inspiration. it’s like going back to school;

  22. CJ

    Just one of the reasons that I switched to Google Photos for my online photo backup. Just so much added value in addition to photo storage.

  23. ShanaC

    :)smiles are something worth creating – but creating an algorithm that creates smiles and understanding why that happens – now that is something special :p

  24. bsoist

    I started using Google Photos after we last discussed it here and I am loving it. On Saturday, I got a “story” from 6 years ago and the next day one from last year – both about the same family tradition, cider donuts, apple cider, and pumpkin carving. Very cool to be reminded of it.It’s been a great trip but I’m eager to get back and start watching the Mets in real time.Glad you had a good trip. Safe travels back. Let’s Go Mets!!

  25. Ana Milicevic

    My brother in law is very fond of burst mode so we’ve had quite a few hilarious encounters with the auto gif. I’ve never been a fan of home videos but it’s amazing how much extra emotion can be triggered by…. well, motion.

  26. Susan Rubinsky

    I find Google Photos delightful too. It’s like a little magic delivered to you randomly. Absolutely love it.

  27. Sean Hull

    I haven’t read all the terms of service on Facebook, Google, Instagram or Tumblr. But I also assume once we’ve given content to these firms, we no longer own it.It’s our invisible payment for the *free* service.

    1. Wyatt Brown

      It’s actually pretty straight forward -Facebook clearly states that their users own their own content, and can control how it is viewed/used/shared/deleted… When “friends” re-share your content, you may loose control of it. In all cases, Facebook never directly monetizes your exact content. They monetize the patterns of user activity, relative to socially interconnected content relations (the social graph drives this). This is what allows their “native advertising” and other data/analytics business models to work.The more words (comments/descriptions), hashtags, and other metadata (maps) that we add to our own content, the more data Facebook can derive value from. Pinterest and others closely mimic these models.Cheers!Facebook Content Policy:…Facebook Community Standards:

      1. Sean Hull

        Hi Wyatt, thx for the comment. Yeah you’re probably a lot better acquainted with what facebook is *actually* doing right now.I was speaking more to hypotheticals. Once a company has tons of content on its servers, a third party can come to them offering large sums of money.For example, the US Gov comes to google & says, can your search patterns help us determine drug use by state, county or city block? We can pay for the data.Insurance company says, can your search patterns help us reduce our risk of insuring the wrong folks? We can pay for this data.Company A to Facebook: Can you search your image database & tell us all the people this person spends time with? Any images at disney world? How about Airport Hotel in city B? How about in the lobby of company C?There are all sorts of types of information & relationships that can be gained from a huge database of images, when you apply facial recognition software to it. Throw in social graphs, and that data is very valuable indeed.

        1. Wyatt Brown

          Totally! The data is the fun, and dangerous part.The GOV examples you mention are interesting. InQTel Investments facilitates a lot of that content-mission matching on behalf of GOV agencies that want to “harvest” relation data sets, as you suggest. The implications on business and society are staggering.The B-to-B sharing/selling of relational data that you mention is tricky for the big platforms, too. It is possible for them to make mistakes, and essentially show/share/sell too much, giving competitors and users too much firepower. A great example was Facebook’s initial “business pages” model. They gave businesses SO much power and visibility within the platform to connect with users and content, that they undercut their own revenue models. They then had to back-peddle, and instate strict paid placement programs for businesses to ensure visibility within social users’ feeds. Going backwards, once they had made the info easily available and free was terribly painful for Facebook and their business customers.It is an amazingly dynamic and fun industry to be involved in, IF you care about such things πŸ™‚

          1. Sean Hull

            It does sound like an exciting business. And as you say because so much is happening so quickly it’s very dynamic & changing too.

    2. creative group

      Sean Hull:nothing is “free” the service is trading use for selling to others what is being done while using the “free” service.

      1. Sean Hull

        well said.