Introducing the new HTML element - welcome <clippy>!

by @edent | # # # # | 13 comments | Read ~45,847 times.

Hello! It looks like you're writing a blog post - would you like help with that? chuckles Me and my colleagues at Microsoft have decided that the world needs more Clippy - the adorable animated paperclip. To help with that, we're bringing a new feature to Edge 6.0. Web Developers can now use <clippy> to… Continue reading →

102KB ought to be enough for any email

by @edent | # # # # | 9 comments | Read ~4,021 times.
Raw HTML in the middle of an email.

Another day, another Gmail bug which won't get fixed. The original Android phone - HTC Dream - had 192MB of RAM. The latest Android phones tend to have 6GB. A 32 times increase in a decade. Laptops have also leapt forwards in speed and memory. Sadly, no one on the Gmail team has noticed. It's… Continue reading →

A report from the AMP Advisory Committee Meeting

by @edent | # # # # | 11 comments | Read ~6,550 times.
A lightning bolt logo.

I don't like AMP. I think that Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages are a bad idea, poorly executed, and almost-certainly anti-competitive. So, I decided to join the AC (Advisory Committee) for AMP. I don't want them surrounded with sycophants and yes-men. A few weeks ago, a bunch of the AC met in London for our first… Continue reading →

Chromebooks aren't accessible - a five-year-old bug

by @edent | # # # # | 4 comments | Read ~2,959 times.

I was in need of a new laptop, so I bought a cheap ChromeBook - mostly because Amazon could deliver it the same day. Sadly, the trackpad was broken. Before I sent it back, I thought I'd try using a mouse with it. That's when I discovered that accessibility is very much a second thought… Continue reading →

Why Android Pie Won't Be Getting the Copyleft Symbol

by @edent | # # | Read ~507 times.
Wikipedia Copyleft page. The icon is a blank box.

Google is a company with nearly unlimited resources. It often chooses to use its power for the greater good of the Internet. Creating amazing projects like digitizing every printed book, bringing Internet access via high-altitude balloons, and offering high-quality language translation. And sometimes it just gets bored and abandons them. Google Noto is such a… Continue reading →

Hundreds of thousands of spam listings on Google "My Maps"

by @edent | # # | 1 comment | Read ~357 times.
Google My Maps page with spam content.

Blogging - because Google don't offer a bug bounty for spam reports... Back in 2007, Google introduced "My Maps": Easily create custom maps with the places that matter to you. Allow friends to see and edit your maps, or publish them to the whole world. Like most Google products, it was effectively abandoned after launch… Continue reading →

Context-Aware Text Recognition?

by @edent | # # # | Read ~298 times.
A scanned document, the text is askew. Next to it is a computer-generated version of the text. A passage is highlighted.

I've been playing with Google's Cloud Vision API. It is OCR (Optical Character Recognition) - but in THE CLOUD and uses MACHINE LEARNING! When it works, it is indistinguishable from magic. When it fails, it reveals a very limited understanding of human text. Let's take a look at this quick example - a piece of… Continue reading →

Using canvas to shrink images for Google Cloud Vision

by @edent | # # #
The HTML5 Logo

I've started using Google Cloud Vision for running text detection on OpenBenches images. There's just one problem - Google limits the size of the files that it will accept to 4MB. Why? Who knows! Obviously, it's easy to shrink an image server-side, but how do we do it in the browser? First, let's take a… Continue reading →

Bug with Google Pay and Amex

by @edent | # # # # # | Read ~107 times.

It is impossible to contact large companies to report a bug in their software. So I'm reduced to writing snarky blog posts about it in the vague hope that a Social Media Manager will see the issue and raise it with the appropriate team. Welcome to 2017! Google Pay now supports American Express cards in… Continue reading →

Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Families

by @edent | # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~5,007 times.

I've written before about Solipsist design - those services which have been designed to work only for a very specific type of family. I was taking a look at Google's "Family" proposition - which allows users to share their purchases with other family members. What I found didn't impress me. File under "Falsehoods Programmers Believe… Continue reading →