Maybe, just maybe it is darkest before the dawn and this “bug” is really a fix in progress. I did notice that the links to anonymous “Google User” reviews has gone missing once again.
And although I have said this before, I will say it again: It is well on time for Google to get their proverbial “review shit” together. Google has played a critical role in making reviews a central part of the local ecosystem and yet for way too long they have put forth a buggy forward facing review product that leads to unpredictable outcomes and frustration for both the user and the businesses that receive them.
Google should be “doubling down” on their review commitment. It is a huge flash point for business owners and it seems hard to understand having such a buggy product in place just as the concept of business reviews is spreading broadly amongst every day users.
Here is a screenshot for a user with a public profile that is leaving a review for comparison:
The first time I saw Augmented Reality in action, I wondered if I’d accidentally fallen through a wormhole on the way to work; it’s the kind of thing you’d expect to see on Boba Fett’s BlackBerry. AR is downright futuristic.
In the 3D modeling sense, AR involves combining a live video stream with a 3D model to create the illusion that the model is a physical object in the real world. All you need is a webcam (the ones that are built in to many laptops work just fine), a 3D model (SketchUp takes care of that), a printed-out paper “target” and a piece of AR software that can put everything together. This video shows AR in action:
And here’s an illustration that shows the setup:
A simple Augmented Reality setup for SketchUp, using an external monitor to show the video output.
Thanks to an Italian outfit called Inglobe Technologies, SketchUp users have been able to ride the AR wave for a while now. They’ve just released version 2 of their AR-media Plugin for Google SketchUp. Three great things about this shiny, happy piece of tech:
- It’s available for both Windows and Mac OSX.
- It’s available in three flavors: Free (Personal Learning Edition), Professional Lite and Professional.
- I was able to use it, which means that it can’t be that hard to figure out.
Start out by grabbing the Quick Start Guide; you’ll find the relevant links about halfway down the plugin’s webpage. Follow Steps 2 and 3 to download and install the software; the free Personal Learning Edition will let you see how everything works without spending any money. After that, achieve instant gratification (my favorite kind) by skipping ahead to Step 6 in the Quick Start Guide: “Creating your first Augmented Reality Scene”.
China is the world’s most populous nation . That much anybody knows. But even if we know a bit more (that the number of Chinese is around 1.32 billion, which is just under 20% of all humans alive today), that figure is still too big to mean much beyond that China is ‘number one’ . This map compares the population of China’s provinces (plus the ‘renegade province’ of Taiwan), autonomous regions and municipalities with those of whole countries, and thus helps shed some light on that issue.
Here, for easy reference, is a list in descending order of magnitude of those Chinese territories (their population in brackets) followed by the foreign country they compare to.
Guangdong (113 million) Germany plus Uganda
Henan (99 million) Mexico
Shandong (92 million) Philippines
Sichuan (87 million) Vietnam
Jiangsu (75 million) Egypt
Hebei (68 million) Iran
Hunan (67 million) France
Anhui (65 million) Thailand
Hubei (60 million) U.K.
Guangxi (49 million) Burma/Myanmar
Zhejiang (47 million) South Africa
Yunnan (44 million) Colombia
Jiangxi (43 million) Tanzania
Liaoning (42 million) Argentina
Guizhou (39 million) Sudan
Heilongjiang (38 million) Poland
Shaanxi (37 million) Kenya
Fujian (35 million) Algeria
Shanxi (33 million) Canada
Chongqing (31 million) Morocco
Jilin (27 million) Afghanistan
Gansu (26 million) Saudi Arabia
Inner Mongolia (24 million) North Korea
Taiwan (23 million) Yemen
Xinjiang (20 million) Madagascar
Shanghai (18 million) Cameroon
Beijing (16 million) Angola
Tianjin (12 million) Cuba
Hainan (8 million) Austria
Hong Kong (7 million) El Salvador
Ningxia (6 million) Sierra Leone
Qinghai (5 million) Slovakia
Tibet (3 million) Jamaica
Macau (0,5 million) Cape Verde
Some obvious conclusions (from a non-expert, non-Chinese point of view):
Most of China’s main administrative subdivisions are literally unheard-of in the rest of the world, save for some obvious exceptions like Tibet, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
The names of some provinces sound especially indistinguishable (or at least are rather indistinct to western ears): Hebei and Hubei; Shanxi and neighbouring Shaanxi; not to mention Jiangxi and Guangxi; or Hainan, Hunan and Henan.
The well-known pattern of heavy population density on the coast and lesser density inland belies the fact that even in the most far-flung provinces, the populations are not exactly tiny (Xinjiang: 20 million, Inner Mongolia: 24 million), Heilongjiang: 38 million, Yunnan: 44 million), except in Qinghai (5 million) and Tibet (3 million).
This map was sent in by Isaac Lewis, who was “inspired by the map that did something similar for US states and international GDPs (here and here) in order to “get a perspective on just how many people 1.3 billion actually is.”
“Mostly the provinces and their labels are very close in population,” Mr Lewis explains. “The largest difference is between Henan province (98.7 million) and Mexico (106.7 million). Other than that, they’re mostly within 1 or 2 million of each other.”
The True Size of Africa is a map by Kai Krause that truly clarifies just how big this continent is. I mean, you know in your mind it’s big but do you really get it. Carefully looking at it, you’re awed by the facts that it can hold the United States, China, India, Europe and Japan with its 30.2 million square kilometers.
You may recall seeing this great visualization from Facebook last week on the links between friends. Well the creator of that graphic has blogged about how he did it using R and some amazingly simple processing. R is one of those tools that isn’t used in our space enough (really, you use Excel for analysis?) and if this doesn’t open your eyes to its great potential, your priorities are in the wrong place.