## Sunday, December 13, 2009

### ChromeEye, a TinEye extension for Google Chrome

I made a simple reverse image search extension for Google Chrome. Reverse what? Reverse image search. Think Google, but instead of text you enter an image. Ah okay. Please continue.

The ChromeEye extension uses the image search engine TinEye, whose technology allows you to find exact copies of images (including scalings and slight distortions).

Version 0.1 of ChromeEye (updated: now latest version) basically mimics the TinEye bookmarklet behavior, i.e. it lists all images of the current page with links to TinEye results. Let's hope Google Chrome allows for editing the browser context menu soon, so you can right click and select a "Search Image on TinEye".

Meanwhile, you can download the latest version of ChromeEye directly from this link, while the complete source code is available on GitHub. So until the oficial TinEye plugin gets released, have fun with this easy solution.

Update 14 December 2009: ChromeEye now has a page on the google chrome extensions site. Version 0.2 was also released, with a nicer logo.

Update 17 June 2011: ChromeEye is now called Reveye and it includes different search engines, such as Google, Tineye and Cydral.

## Friday, December 04, 2009

### Drawing beautiful block diagrams in LaTeX

I used to put together the illustrations in my publications with a mixture of Inkscape, CorelDraw and psfrag, but obviously this couldn't continue for a long time without becoming an insult to graphic design.

For my latest writings I am returning to the basics: PSTricks. (I know there are lots of other programs to draw block diagrams, but I didn't find any that allowed enough customization). To avoid starting from zero, I am using the PSTricks Signals and Systems package (pst-sigsys), which is easy to customize if you keep the PSTricks user guide (pdf) at hand.

Here's a simple example:
\documentclass{article}\usepackage{pst-sigsys}\pagestyle{empty}\begin{document}\begin{figure}[ht]\centering %\begin{pspicture}[showgrid=false](0.5,-1.2)(9,1.55)%--- Define blocks ---\rput(0.5,0){\rnode{s}{$s[n]$}}\dotnode[dotstyle=square*,dotscale=0.001](1.7,0){dot}\psblock(3,.75){H1}{$H_1(z)$}\psblock(3,-.75){H2}{$H_2(z)$}\psblock(5.8,.75){B2}{$\hat H_2(z)$}\psblock(5.8,-.75){B1}{$\hat H_1(z)$}\pscircleop(7.7,0){ominus}\rput(9,0){\rnode{e}{$e[n]$}}%--- Connect blocks ---\psset{style=Arrow}\ncline[nodesepA=.15]{-}{s}{dot}\ncangle[angleA=90,angleB=180]{dot}{H1}\ncangle[angleA=-90,angleB=180]{dot}{H2}\ncline{H1}{B2} \naput[npos=.5]{$x_1[n]$}\ncline{H2}{B1} \naput[npos=.5]{$x_2[n]$}\ncangle[angleB=90]{B2}{ominus} \naput[npos=.5]{$z_1[n]$}\ncangle[angleB=-90]{B1}{ominus} \naput[npos=.5]{$z_2[n]$}\ncline[nodesepB=.15]{ominus}{e}\end{pspicture}\end{figure}\end{document}
which, after some retouching of the .sty file produces this pretty diagram:

Update 6th December 2009: Here's a slightly more complicated diagram, based on the same codes as the above example.

## Friday, May 08, 2009

### Kindle DX for Scientific Papers?

Just out of curiosity, I wondered what scientific papers look like on the Kindle DX's 1200 x 824 pixel resolution. The native PDF support is great, but exactly how readable are those tiny little subscripts in mathematical formula?

Although it will probably take some time until I can lay my hands on a real device, I did the test by scaling a page of one of my own papers to the Kindle's resolution. Check for yourself by clicking on the thumbnails below.

 mode original version(vectorial) scanned version(IEEE archive) portrait(full page zoom: page fits within 824 x 1200 pixels) landscape(width rescaled to 1200 pixels)

(The original PDFs can be found here and here.)

In portrait mode, some details might be difficult to distinguish, especially when the PDF is generated from a scanned image. Check for instance this formula, from the scanned version in portrait mode:
But in landscape mode everything looks perfectly readable (at least in this probably very unrealistic experiment). This is the same formula, as it appears in landscape mode:
So I might buy one when it's launched in Europe. But the price needs to be slightly lower. \$300 (or its equivalent in €) would be fine. And it needs an SD slot. And Wifi. Apart from that it seems to be fine.

## Friday, April 24, 2009

### Pictures on ClusterShot

Time to boost my picture sales!

I am putting some of my pictures for sale on ClusterShot, a new photo marketplace I found this week. Until now I only had my pictures sitting on flickr, and every time somebody wanted to buy one that meant paperwork.

ClusterShot seems to make the process pretty easy, for buyer and seller. And apart from that, their design is very neat. There are still a lot of features missing and issues to work on, but let's give them some time. In the meantime, I invite you to go check out my page and haggle on my pictures: clustershot.com/steven2358

Illustration: some Spanish lolcows

## Tuesday, February 17, 2009

### The Love Injections web sites

Now that Valentine is over, can we please proceed with the serious matter?

I programmed the websites for the release of the Love Injections book, written by Kim Brusselmans. Here are the English version (Love Injections) and the Spanish version (Inyecciones de Amor). This book might be described as "an original attempt to inspire people to boost their relationships", but to get a better idea of what that means you should check this page: Example pages.

The book is on sale in a few shops in Spain and Belgium, and after the crazily successful book presentations in Barcelona and Ghent, we also opened online shops for both countries.

The sites were done in Drupal, with a fairly simple Ubercart setup to deal with the shopping part. The minimalist graphic design was done by Luxoa and programmed as a subtheme of the Zen theme.