Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Blogger Beta Images Requiring Picasa Contract?

(Hat Tip: Google Operating System)

I don't think I could have seen this coming. It seems that users who now upload images onto Blogger Beta now have to agree to a Picasa Web Albums terms of service.

Google claims no ownership or control over any Content submitted, posted or displayed by you on or through Picasa Web Albums. You or a third party licensor, as appropriate, retain all patent, trademark and copyright to any Content you submit, post or display on or through Picasa Web Albums and you are responsible for protecting those rights, as appropriate. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Picasa Web Albums, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, distribute and publish such Content through Picasa Web Albums, including RSS or other content feeds offered through Picasa Web Albums, and other Google services.

Users will have to agree to the terms of service, or forfeit the right to upload images to their blog. Here is a mini screen shot below:

Ironically, I was unable to agree to the terms via Firefox, as it would not let me select the option (thankfully IE was more gracious, otherwise I would have been completely out of luck).

I wonder how "legally binding" this contract is, since this refers to Picasa Web Albums and not Blogger. Either Picasa is going to host images for Beta Blogger (which may not be a good idea, especially with political/science blogs) or someone at Google was too lazy to write up a contract for Blogger Beta.

Is it me, or does this not make any sense?

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's Been Awhile...

...since I've posted anything here!

Well, I have decided to get back into the blogging mode. Mainly because I am still getting emails and comments about this weblog (which I almost gave up due to my last error here).

Meanwhile, I am going to give this site a "fresh coat of paint" in order to make it look less like an Official Google Blog (as that can get you into trouble).

Cheers! ;)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Picasa And Blogger Are Dating Again

I have been waiting for this for way too long! The Blogger (in beta) team has finally courted Picasa and its nothing but love from here on out!


There are a few known issues that have to be resolved, which Blogger and Picasa have to work out (hopefully soon!) but here are some of the problems that they are working on.

  • Errors posting from Picasa to Blogger if there are html validation problems.

  • If you are signed in as a Blogger user, sign out, and then sign back in with your Google account (to post to the beta), you will receive an error. The work around is to close the window and repost from Picasa (signing in with your Google account).

  • Once you post to beta, you will not receive a confirmation window. Once the rainbow progress indicator goes away in Picasa, open up your blog in your favorite browser to confirm the post.

  • You cannot post from Picasa to Blogger in beta if you have backlinks turned on.

Even though the label feature does not work yet, I'll be posting from Picasa (as I am more comfortable doing it that way, at least on this weblog).

Congrats to the Google Picasa and Blogger Beta teams! Now if we can just get some API support going on, then we can put Flickr out of business Picasa back at the number one spot! :)

Note: I wonder if they will allow Hello to post to the new Blogger in Beta's? Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Picasa Makes Life Beautiful...Again

The boys and girls at Google have finally released a new (and improved) version of Picasa, allowing users to organize their photo's better as well as save image changes permanently.

(Official Google Blog) We've also fixed a whole bunch of things in Picasa. Folders finally work as you'd expect, so people who've kept their photos meticulously organized in folders and subfolders can see them displayed the same way in Picasa. And we've added a shiny new feature to photo-editing: Save. Your Picasa edits can now be preserved when using other programs. The save feature is even undoable, so you never lose your original files.

You can now use Picasa to upload photo's to Google Earth too, although if you have been using the beta for a while this is probably old news to you.

Users who have either upgraded or downloaded the latest version will probably notice the Picasa Web Album's button is "slightly glowing."

That is because now anyone can sign up for the Web Albums, although I am unsure whether or not if international users can upgrade to the pro account (as their were reports that this was not available to them).

Anyways, congrats to the Picasa Team! Now only if Blogger could release their fix for Picasa working with the new Beta Blogs (as I think helping out Flickr first was pretty much evil). ;)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Background Color Verification Test....

Testing to see whether this is really a "white" back ground or just a really dingy greyish white (using a photo).

Abandon Ship!

I pretty much think it is a miracle that I am able to log into blogger at all!

Since my login success rate to the old blogspot currently stands at 10%, I am manually switching over to the Blogger in Beta, as the old blogspot is having major issues, a problem I am all to familiar with.

Until then, you may want to check out Documenting Picasa (one of the few surviving Picasa blogs online--we will prevail).

In the words of the Governator, "I'll be back."

Test Post...

Converting over to the new beta. More posts will follow.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Flickr Now Compatable With Blogger In Beta

The Blogger Buzz has just announced that Flickr is now compatable with the new Blogger in Beta.


(Blogger Buzz) I'm very pleased to announce that Flickr has added support for the new version of Blogger in beta! Now you can blog and post photos directly from Flickr to your beta blog. This is something that a ton of you have been requesting, and many thanks go to the Flickr folks for upgrading their site to work with the new version of Blogger.

While I'm excited that Flickr now works with the new Blogger in Beta, I am however waiting for Google to do something similar for Picasa Web albums (as the old blogger is giving me too many head aches and I've already manually switched some of my blogs over to the beta).

For those of you looking for any updates on Picasa, Documenting Picasa has two great posts regarding evil teddy bears and some serious linkage between the online gallaries. Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 21, 2006

Picasa Googler Engineer Spotted?

While I was doing a recap of Google employees over on Inside Orkut, I spotted this profile.


I came across Andre's profile before, mainly because he was the owner of the Picasa forum on Orkut. Who would have guessed that one of Picasa's own would have started this community? (or a least take ownership of it)

The forum does not seem to be too active, although I'll list it on the sidebar and let anyone know if I find anything interesting in there. Posted by Picasa

Email Digest For Picasa Web Albums

Note: Belated news, I know.

Google has released another feature on its photo social networking site. Users of Picasa Web Albums can now be alerted about activity regarding not only their photo albums, but some activity in your friends as well.

(From Picasa Web Albums site) When people you have marked as favorites create new albums, upload more photos, or comment on your photos, we send you a summary of these activities to your email address at the interval you specify.

Users can adjust the frequency of the notifications by simply clicking on the settings link near the top...


...and adjusting their preference as seen below.


This should help users of Picasa's Web Albums to stay updated about what is happening on their site, although if someone desires to be notified more than once daily, then they may want to try subscribing to an album via RSS feed. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Google Assimiliates NevenVision (For Picasa)

Good news for Picasa users! It appears that Google has acquired NevenVision and according to the Google Blog their technology will be used to improve image search.


More information from the Official Google Blog:

We've been working to make Picasa (Google's free photo-organizing software) even better when it comes to searching for your own photos—to make finding them be as easy as finding stuff on the web. Luckily we've found some people who share this goal, and are excited that the Neven Vision team is now part of Google.

Neven Vision comes to Google with deep technology and expertise around automatically extracting information from a photo. It could be as simple as detecting whether or not a photo contains a person, or, one day, as complex as recognizing people, places, and objects. This technology just may make it a lot easier for you to organize and find the photos you care about.

Documenting Picasa has more info regarding the acquisition and Beta News goes into a little bit more detail about NevenVision.

Note: It looks like AOL is getting jealous of the photo social networking wars, and had decided to jump into the battlePosted by Picasa

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Picasa Web Albums Link Within Gmail

Some of you may have noticed that Google has recently inserted a Picasa Web Albums link within Gmail.


For those of you unfamiliar Picasa Web Albums, its basically Google's photo social network where users can view and comment on each others pictures (and download them as well). Sort of like Flickr, except it is owned by Google instead of Yahoo.

Although this will make it easier to access your photo's while checking your email, this latest addition is a distant second to a Firefox hack by Matthew Parker (allowing users to insert photo directly from their album). Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 07, 2006

Adding Text To Your Photos

In previous discussions, many users have desired to add text (or fonts) to their photos via Picasa. Unfortunately the Google team is busy making Picasa Web Albums even better for us (a higher priority IMHO) so until then here is an alternative way to add text to photos.

Note: Since the world runs on Windows, this tip is designed for them.

Before starting, if you are looking to add fancy fonts to your posts, you can find some free downloads over at 1001freefonts.com, Dafont.com or SimplytheBest Free Fonts. If you are happy with the ones you have, simply continue below.

First, find the image you like and right click on it inside of Picasa. A menu should appear, allowing you to select which program to open the photo with.

Simply highlight Open With and after the side menu appears, choose the program you would like to open the image with (I would recommend Microsoft paint or Paint below).


If you are in MS Paint, a new window should appear displaying your image. Click on the "A" button to select the text on photo feature.


Also make sure you select the translucent text box (as shown below), otherwise MS Pain will fill in the text box area with a color.


Next, click on the image and draw out the box size that you prefer on your image (this is where the text will go).


Grrr....unfortunately Picasa will not let me upload the other screen shots. You may have to visit this web page to see the entire presentation (as I'll have to upload the images manually via Blogger or Photobucket.com.) Posted by Picasa

Update: The show must roll on.

Right click on the text box area and after the menu appears, highlight the Text Toolbar option.

Once the toolbar appears, select the font that you want to use on your photo. You can also adjust the text size, and whether or not it is bold, italicized or underlined.

Type in the phrase you want to appear on your image. If you run out of space, either adjust the image size or delete your phrase and redraw the text box on the image for more words.

Now you are done! Simply save the image on your computer, and Picasa should update your gallery reflecting the new text on your photo.

MySpace, Blogs Invade Picasa Web Albums

(Hat Tip: Documenting Picasa)

The Google team is finally allowing users to sport Picasa Web Albums within their blog or MySpace. Unfortunately you can not post individual photos to your weblog, although hopefully the Picasa team will add that feature within their site.

Once a user clicks on their individual album, they should notice the Embed in Blog/Myspace link on the sidebar.


Clicking on it will reveal the html code necessary to add your images to your weblog, website, etc.


Once inserted, users will be able to display their pretty faces (or anything else of interest) on their site.

Note: Depending on whether you use Firefox or IE, you may notice that your image looks "funny." Here is a snapshot using Firefox:


...and here is the same one using Internet Explorer (both IE6 and IE7)


I have no clue (at least yet) why the image looks funny, although I noticed the same thing in reverse on Documenting Picasa (where Firefox looked weird and IE displayed the photo properly).

This may have to do with some weird html browser laws, although hopefully this problem can be resolved by either Google or Firefox (I gave up on IE long ago). Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 04, 2006

Google Mac Attack (Picasa Web Album Uploaders)

(Hat Tip: Documenting Picasa)

The boys and girls at Picasa have (finally) started to court the Mac market by releasing the Picasa Web Album Uploader. Mac users can download the uploader over here, although you will need a Picasa Web Albums account in order for this piece of software to work.


More from the Google Blog:

This new download comes with two handy tools for uploading photos: There's a plug-in for uploading your pics within iPhoto. If you don't use iPhoto, or just want to upload the occasional picture, just drag your photos into the provided standalone app and click Upload. Either way, I can't wait for my fellow Mac users to showcase their talents. [...]

For me [Ted Bonkenburg, Software Engineer] this has been a great opportunity to meet and work with new people, explore new technologies, and help create something that I hope the Mac community will find useful. So, please sign up for Picasa Web Albums, download the uploaders, and show the world some beautiful photos.

Ted did this project as a part of Google's 20 percent time, (great job Ted) although I wonder if he would consider making a full blown version for Mac? Posted by Picasa

Update: Zmarties is hosting Documenting Picasa on his own server. Please update your links (as well as your RSS feeds).

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Future Mock Up For Picasa 3

Dave, over at Picasa Musings does some mock photo's on what he thinks Picasa 3 should look like.


Explanation (via Dave): This mock-up is the LIBRARY with 'thumbs only' display preference. This would be the equivalent view to the current library, and picture area can be expanded by collapsing the browser and/or the left side panel at will.

Note: Corrected for grammar.

Dave's whole idea is to make Picasa simpler and easier to use, mainly by giving users more choices and moving some of the tool bars around. You can view more of his mock up's for Picasa 3 over on his web albumPosted by Picasa

Picasa Book For Dummies?

(Hat Tip: Bill in the Picasa Forum)

No, this book is not authored by me (although perhaps I should consider writing one when my skills are up to par) but apparently someone wrote a book for Picasa newbie's on how to use Google's photo product.


Looks very interesting and it only costs about $12. I may have to pick this up over at Barnes and Noble and perhaps write a review on it later on. Posted by Picasa

Update: It looks like Amazon has a cheaper one for about four dollars. Heh.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Digg Me Out Of This Mess!

Alternate title: Updating your original post with correct info could save your blog life.

After making this mistake early on in this young blog's life, I decided to contribute this towards Darren's If I Had To Start My Blog Again project as fair warning to all blog newbie's.

(Note: Above photo from FAS.USDA.gov)

About almost a month ago I had posted an article detailing a feature I thought Google had rolled out.

It later on turned out to be nothing but a Firefox extension, which I posted four days later after some users were unable to see it in their Gmail accounts and I was unable to see it via IE.

What I should have done was inserted an update alerting users that this was not a feature rolled out by Google, (as any Pro Blogger would have done) but being careless I soon forgot about the post and moved on blogging about other topics on other blogs. Thus began my first nail in my coffin.

(Note: Above photo from Under Ground Humor)

Later on, my post was picked up by Digg and thus began the confusion and destruction of my poor weblog's image.

It came to the point where I debated even continuing the site (as I felt very low blog wise) even though I went back and inserted those little bold updates that you see on blog posts every so often.

After coming across Darren's post (my unofficial blog mentor) I decided to continue on blogging and perhaps highlight this post as a monument to my mistake for future bloggers.

So, to sum up the moral of this story:

  • Always verify your sources or posts.

  • If discovered to be inaccurate, post an update for your readers lest you lose "blog honor" which may be hard to recover.

  • Thank your readers for correcting you.

For all future readers, learn from other's mistakes as you will go far in life (especially the blogging kind). Posted by Picasa

Update: Sigh, even my Picasa program is angry at me. Updated photo html links.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sharing Your Images (Via Hello)

For those of you who do not know, Hello is a chat program developed by Picasa which allows you to share images with your friends, neighbors, or even strangers. ;)

You can also use Hello to post to your blogspot blog, although it would be wiser using Picasa's button (I'll cover this later) as you can add titles for your images.

In order to post via Hello, you are going to have to download it from their website. If Hello is on your machine and you are having problems, see this post to resolve this issue.

After selecting your images, click on the Hello button below.

If you are not logged in, a screen should pop up asking you to type in your Hello screen name and password. Simply enter your info and press the Sign In button near the bottom right corner of the screen.

Another screen should appear asking you to select which friends you would like to share your images with. Since all mine were offline during this screen shot (a good thing), I'll use Blogger Bot as an example.

Your image should appear to the left. If your satisfied with how it looks, share it with your friend and don't forget to comment about the image you are sending.

Although this is a partial snapshot, you may notice the Send Recent button near the top. This allows you to send all of your recent images to your friends as well as review the ones you have shared with each other.

You can also send images to your friends while they are offline, which is pretty handy if you are in different time zones. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 10, 2006

Picasa Web Albums Upgrade: Americans Only?

Note: Published on The Social Networking Weblog

There seems to be an explanation regarding the upgrade link dissappearing within users Picasa web albums, a Google network where people can upload and comment on photos.

Apparently a user in the Picasa Usernet forum contacted the Google team in order to find out what was going on and received this reply.

Hi [name removed],

Thank you for your note. At this time, you must have a United States billing address to purchase additional Picasa Web Albums storage. As such, users located outside the United States will not see the link to upgrade their storage and they may also see an error when attempting to purchase.

We appologize for the inconvenience and look forward to offering you more
options, for international purchasing, in the near future.

The Google Team

Google's servers were probably trying to figure which users were from America and which ones were not, resulting in the upgrade link disappearing and then reappearing every time the page refreshed.

The upgrade link should be now appearing in American accounts, although it will be interesting to see if Picasa can dethrone Flickr (owned by Yahoo!) once it opens the gates to the international community. Posted by Picasa

Trouble Shooting Picasa's Hello

Some of you may not know this, but Picasa has a chat client called Hello. Hello is a chat program that allows users to swap images with each other and (for IE lovers) share web linked screen shots.

If you are having trouble reinstalling or uninstalling Hello from your computer, you may need to download the Hello Cleanup Tool (http://public.picasa.com/HelloCleanup.exe).

I also came across this in the Picasa forum which may be handy if you are still having some issues. Posted by Picasa

Sharing Your Images (Via Email)

One of the unique things about Picasa is that it presents seven ways for a person to show their pictures towards their friends. (there is an eighth way, but you have to become "a little geeky" in order to accomplish it).

Note: This is a seven part series, and I'll start with the simple ways and end on the more complex.

The first (and perhaps easiest) way to share your images is via email. Once you have selected your picture, simply click on the Email button near the bottom of your screen.

Next a screen should pop up, asking you which method you want to choose to send your email.

If you are a fan of Bill Gates, Microsoft Outlook is available for you to use. Since Gmail is better (in my opinion, so if you differ don't hate me) I am going to cover that method below. You can also use your Picasa Mail (which basically is your Hello screen name) but I'll cover that one later.

(Update: Picasa mail covered below, scroll down).

Next, Picasa will ask you to log into your Gmail account. Depending on your internet speed it may take a little while for it to go through.

After logging into your Gmail, Picasa will automatically attach the photo to your message.

After typing out your message (and the email address on who to send it to) simply click Send (which is not highlighted in the photo above, but will be once you start typing.). Posted by Picasa

Update: For those of you who choose to select Picasa Mail, it basically sends the photos through the email address you signed up with via Hello.