Yahoo! Taglines project provides time-lapse view of history in photographs

TaglinesYahoo! Research, with their minds bent on "the next generation of search," have come up with a unique way of viewing how tags have evolved over time on Flickr. Tags are like keywords that are assigned to millions of photographs by Flickr members. The Taglines project gives a visual representation of the top tags and photographs associated with those tags for each day from June 4, 2004, through September 16, 2005. Clicking on any tag as it drifts by loads additional photographs and pauses that tag for a while so you can examine it more closely. Pretty neat.

Pod giveaway and welcome back

Monday was Memorial Day in the US. I took last Friday as well for a nice, relaxing 4-day weekend. Welcome back, everyone. As soon as I finish my coffee, it's time to get back to work.

Meanwhile, the two lucky winners of the Pod giveaway drawing are Deirdre from New York and Asten from Illinois. Congratulations, guys! Your shiny new Red Pods are on the way. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Slickr screensaver is a fun and beautiful way to view photographs

SlickrI must just be in a reviewy mood this week, but have you seen Slickr from Cellar Door Software? It's a fantastic screen saver for Windows (sorry, Mac and Linux guys---I'll review more OSX and Linux stuff in the future) that integrates with photo-sharing site Flickr. The latest version, 1.0.1 released on May 19, is no longer beta and is completely stable. So what makes it so special? When it is running, it will connect to Flickr and download the images you specify. You can tell it to get images from a particular group; from your contacts; from a user's favorites, tags, or sets; latest uploads; or from Flickr's Explore feature which showcases 500 different, interesting photographs every day. You can also just set it to show you images from a folder on your computer.

By default, when viewing images, it will enlarge them to slightly larger than screen size and slowly pan and zoom them. You can specify how long each photo appears on screen before it cross-fades to the next photo. Slickr is an apt name---it is extremely slick. When I first installed it, I set it to my favorites. What a great way to review some wonderful images I hadn't seen in a while. I now have it set to show me the latest photos from Explore. I'm frequently mesmerized by the beautiful and ever-changing imagery when I return to my computer.

I've also got the TV output on my video card connected to my 42-inch television. Running the screen saver manually (just double-click Slickr.cmd where Slickr is installed) and viewing them on the big screen is---well, it's inspiring.

Two features I hope that they add for the next version: I'd love it if I could press the back arrow to go back to the previous picture without ending the screen saver. And I'd like to be able to press a key and make whatever image is currently being viewed a favorite.

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