Using canvas to shrink images for Google Cloud Vision

by @edent | # # # | Read ~102 times.
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…

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Bug with Google Pay and Amex

by @edent | # # # # # | Read ~124 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…

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Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Families

by @edent | # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~5,461 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…

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Google's AMP is a gilded cage

by @edent | # # # # # | 47 comments | Read ~73,820 times.

AMP is Google’s attempt to re-fight the transcoding wars of the early 2000s. It is actively dangerous to the web ecosystem, helps disseminate propaganda, and is disliked by many users. If, like me, you made the mistake of trying out AMP on your website – you’re in a tricky position if you try to remove…

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Does Google's Hiring Process Put Off Talented Applicants?

by @edent | # # # | 1 comment | Read ~5,843 times.

I was contacted by a Google recruiter the other day – and I turned them down without a second thought. Part of the reason is that I’m happy in my current role (hi boss!) – and another part is that last year Google deleted me. But perhaps the biggest reason is Google’s awful reputation when…

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Liberate Your YouTube Videos

by @edent | # # # # | Read ~414 times.

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that Google unjustly shut down my YouTube channel. They’ve now reinstated it – but I can no longer trust them as custodians of my data. So, here’s a quick tutorial on how to download all your videos – and metadata – from YouTube. The Official Way Google…

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The Day Google Deleted Me

by @edent | # # # # | 12 comments | Read ~6,513 times.

(Trigger Warning – violent swearing and criticism of your employer / focus of your fanboi-ism.) Google knows me. I’ve been using Google since long before they were fashionable. I have a Gmail account (in my name), YouTube (also in my name), an Android developer account (name and bank details), Play account (name, credit card, and…

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Google's Secret Screenshot API

by @edent | # # # # | 9 comments | Read ~14,300 times.

I’ve been looking for a way to programmatically take screenshots of websites. Most of the solutions I’ve found won’t work on headless servers, require complex libraries to be installed, or cost money. So, what do we do when faced with a knotty programming problem? Hack it! Google has a “Pagespeed” service, it allows any webmaster…

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Get your Google Location History the hard way… Again!

by @edent | # # # # | 10 comments | Read ~8,979 times.

Last year, I wrote about how to extract Location History from Google. Once again, Google have changed their URLs to make it even harder to get one’s current location out of their data-greedy hands. It used to be the case that Latitude gave that information – but they killed it. Then they promised it in…

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