Hosted HashThySelf Available

HashThySelf is proud to announce the availability, going forward, of a hosted solution for face matching. From now on, if you want to experiment with face-matching technology, you can do so from the comfort of your cloud by delegating all matching work to us. Simply ship us the images you seek to search, either one-time or on a periodic basis. We will arrange to have them all analyzed and indexed for you to search via a convenient HTTP interface. The SLA is straightforward, and the pricing is simple.

You can have us index anywhere from a few hundred images to several million, and yet not worry the slightest bit about installation and maintenance of the image matching technology if you don’t want. Leave the hard-work to us and concentrate on what you do best - leveraging match results to deliver high-quality value-added services to your clients. Contact our friendly support staff at sales@hashthyself.com for further details.

Enjoy!

Hashers.

HashThySelf to help Partner Launch Cool Ad Campaign!

Watch this space! HashThySelf is actively working with one of our partners (soon to be announced) to launch a novel and cool interactive ad campaign. Sounds intriguing? Well, we hope that it will also sound scrumptious.

All we can say at this point is “yum!”

Hashers!

HashThySelf working with Siam2you.com

In late March, contacted out of the blue by Jai Govindani at Siam2you, HashThySelf was surprised to know that there was strong interest in implementing our image matching technology for a mobile celebrity image matching game in Thailand! Who would have thought…

Well, to cut a long story short, our staff have been spending considerable time with Jai Govindani of Siam2you, to help create and run a customized version of the image matching engine for them.

The siam2you product that HashThySelf is intended to be incorporated into, as you will no doubt find out yourself, is supposedly called “MMS Star-a-like”, intended to tell how similar a contestant is to the stars of popular movies (Think Zetameter!)

We at HashThySelf wish Jai and his staff the best, and hope that our collaboration results in great success for them.

A. Hasher

Power outage!

We were up until 2am last night, but as Murphy will have it, a power outage struck at about 3am. Unfortunately this meant that all systems shut down after their UPSes drained!

We have just restarted all servers and they should all be fully functional within the hour. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we cope with the second ever such downtime since HashThySelf launched!

Hashers!

Hello Timberlake-o-meter!

Dudes et dudettes,

HashThySelf is pleased to announce the availability of the third Z-meter application - Timberlake-o-meter. This lets you proudly display the unfortunately percentage of users who don’t look as much like Justin Timberlake as you do!

Timberlake-o-meter is available online at http://hashthyself.com/zm, and as a Facebook application as well.

Check out:

Enjoy!

- A. Hasher.

Please welcome Zetameter and Pittometer

Dudes et dudettes

Please welcome two new facebook applications into the fold. These are Zetameter and Pittometer, part of a growing family of applications that we have called z-meter apps.

z-meter apps offer a unique Facebook experience by mashing up the HashThySelf Image Search Results JSON object via its Mashup API into Facebook apps that tell you where you stand at that very instant, in relation to all other users, when compared to the z-meter target.

The zetameter application, for example, allows you to display on your profile the percentage of users who look less like Catherine Zeta-Jones than you do! The Pittometer application allows you to display the percentage of users who look less like Brad Pitt. Needless to say, the percentage will keep changing as more and more people use these apps.

We hope you enjoy them. Please keep an eye out for more z-meter apps down the line. We plan to launch a new z-meter app about once each week, especially for those targets that you want us to. Soon we also hope to give you a web-based interface to z-meters, just like for HashThySelf, so you can install z-meters on your own home pages too.

Zetameter and Pittometer were created by David Romano and Anand Venkataraman.

Enjoy!

A. Hasher

Something new and cool around the corner

Dudes et dudettes,

Given the popularity of the HashMash Facebook app, we have decided to ramp up the schedule of a new project that we just know you’d love. Keep an eye out for something new and cool to make its appearance in a couple of weeks. We won’t say any more right now, except that the name begins with an Z.

- A. Hasher

Pleased & Proud to Present HashMash for Facebookers

Dudes et dudettes,

HashThySelf is pleased and proud to present David Romano’s HashMash for Facebookers. The coolest :-) Facebook application to date, it allows you to instantly Hash your Facebook profile photos and post your zetas online in your Facebook profile. Please check it out, and as always, please let us know what you think.

Once you are logged into your Facebook account, you can get HashMash from

http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2573460755

Here’s a screenshot from a facebook profile of a HashMasher!


HashMash Screenshot from a Facebook profile

Nice, no?

Enjoy!

A. Hasher

LAMP and Blog migration complete

Dudes et dudettes,

Did you notice what happened between:

Sat Jul 21 11:47:51 PDT 2007
Sat Jul 21 11:47:51 PDT 2007

Hopefully your answer will be “no”. Somewhere in the milliseconds between those two times, the back-end of HashThySelf switched over from being MLDBM-based to MySql-based. This is a significant step for us, as we prepare to receive and field substantially more traffic. We have had minor issues with MLDBM in the past, and have always wanted to migrate to MySql. This line-item in our project pipeline has finally been addressed.

Oh. Our blog has now migrated to hashthyself.com too, in case you didn’t notice :-)

A. Hasher

All systems go on Facebook app. Look out for it!

Dudes et dudettes,

David Romano informed us that his Facebook HashThySelf Mashup, which he has called “HashMash”, has been tested and is ready to go. It will soon enter the Facebook apps pipeline and you would be able to install it on your profiles. As his sponsor, we had first look at this application, and we installed it on our own Facebook profiles. Need I even say it looks Shmashing!

Even better, David has decided to give his app away for free, since he had a great deal of fun developing it.

So, look forward to HashMash soon, the coolest ever hi-tech Facebook app!

- Hashers

iPhone app potentially delayed until API is opened!

No surprise here dudes et dudettes,

Apple is finding it hard to release the iPhone API to let us build you an iPhone version of HashThySelf. Knowing Apple’s penchant for fostering innovation, I find it difficult to believe that they could be anything but unhappy themselves about the decision to lock up the API.

Sure enough, the answer is right here, in an article that offers a modicum of hope in the possibility that good Google might eventually become a player in the wireless space. Imagine what would happen if the soon-to-be federally auctioned portions of the 700MHz spectrum end up being fully owned and controlled by the existing carriers! Harold Feld, senior vice president of the Media Access Project, a non-profit law firm representing consumer groups sums it up best:

“The real question is, what will our digital future look like,” Feld said. “If we do nothing, it will look like what it is now, very limited, managed networks where [providers] control what you can attach to the networks, the services that are offered to the networks, and what applications can be run by the devices that connect to the network.

We really hope, for the sake of all good things to come, that the valuable spectrum or some significant part of it falls into Good hands.

- Hashers in frustration!

PS. Here is a hghly recommended read: Google Public Policy Blog: Restoring competitive balance to the upcoming spectrum auction

Migrating the blog (and other news)

Dudes et dudettes,

Last night, we finally managed to get Wordpress installed and configured just right on HashThySelf.com. Yes, selecting the right theme is always the most time-consuming as usual, and we’re still not fully satisfied. We welcome your suggestions, of course.

We’ve been wanting to move the blog over to our local host for a while, now, but it had to wait for its turn in the project pipeline. Once we figure out a way to script or otherwise automate the transfer of past articles from blogger.com, we will start hosting our blog locally. (Thanks blogger, for having us in the meantime).

We have also made major progress with the promised FaceBook application, which is undergoing rigorous QC as we speak. I’m pleased to say that David Romano himself, the author of the Perl Facebook API on CPAN, is leading this effort.

And finally, of course, the migration of the back-end to be fully LAMP based is on schedule. We managed to scope out the issues in the last few days, and hope that this will happen before too long. We’d really like the databases to be migrated from MLDBM into MySql before we launch the FaceBook app. We have confirmed that the migration is most likely trivial, but as always, we need to make triple-triple sure that we haven’t overlooked any hidden issues.

So, I ask you to please contain your excitement and keep watching our site.

Cheers.

A. Hasher

More cool things around the corner

Dudes et dudettes,

Since the launch of the “new look new feel” website for HashThySelf and a rather major overhaul of the back-end to be almost (but not yet quite) LAMP based, we haven’t been twiddling our thumbs, of course. More new and exciting features are just around the corner.

Stay tuned for

(1) Some cool news about a HashMash API that will let you create your own custom widgets from HashThySelf Image Search Results

(2) A fantastically cool FaceBook HashMash app that lets facebookers directly hash their album photos and display the HashMash results on their profile

(3) Hopefully (yes, only hopefully, I’m afraid) an iPhone app, so you can Hash til’ your heart’s content from the coolest newest gadget out there! We’ve even looked at the Hash Widget under Safari on an iPhone and it looks like the funkiest Screensaver ever :-)

So keep an eye out for happenings at Hash. You’ll like ‘em.

A. Hasher!

Launched at last!

Dudes et dudettes,

As some of you might have seen already, HashThySelf Version 2 has now been live for a couple of days. We’re very pleased with its look and feel, although it doesn’t quite measure up to our old literary standards :-)

As I had mentioned earlier, we had some setbacks including hardware failures and network outages. But the killer setback was that Morgan R. Allen, who was originally assigned this project ran into personal emergencies that made it impossible for him to finish it in time. Fortunately for us, and thanks to Google, I managed to locate Mike Foster by searching the net for folk who had implemented things similar to what I had in mind. A quick email discussion later, despite the vast distances separating us, Mike and I had struck a chord and the cosmically cool widgets you now see on our site and yours are the results of his amazing work.

Let me take this opportunity to thank Mike for (a) stepping in to rescue us in the nick of time and (b) for doing such a great job in such a short time, allowing us to stick to our original deadline!

More good news - HashThySelf has found our first technology licensee. We have already confirmed that our simple plug-and-play deployment option works like a charm at their site. All they had to do was practically insert our HashThySelf image matching linux box into their network, point it at their image store and it went to work right-away, serving image matches from their inventory. With this new source of funding, you can therefore expect us to invest in improvements to both the service and the core technology going forward.

In other news, we have our first job posting out for a Business Development manager, although it is initially commission based. Let’s hope this is the first of many in a rapidly growing venture.

Meanwhile, enjoy the new site and feel free to send us your comments. We appreciate them greatly, as always.

A. Hasher

New Look New Feel is on schedule

Dudes et dudettes

Despite enormous setbacks and hurdles, we have managed to stick to our schedule and the new look of hashthyself that was promised earlier is due to roll out tonight. If you are one of a select set of invitees, you will receive an invitation to beta-test the new site this evening.

Then, depending on whether your collective feedback suggests drastic mods or not, we hope to go live on Independence Day, 2007.

We thank everyone who had sent in comments and feedback, every word of which has been immensely valuable to us. We hope you will be as excited about the new site as we are.

We just can’t wait to open up the site!

A. Hasher.

Widget ETA is by the middle of June

Dudes et dudettes,

Just to let you know that Craigslist stepped in to the rescue once again in helping identify who seems like an absolutely top-notch developer for the Widget task. His name is Morgan R Allen (Check out his blog). For a sample of cool stuff he’s done recently, look at:

http://www.turnhere.com/sfbayarea
http://error.servebeer.com/sand box/hashThySelf_widget

So welcome Morgan. We look forward to a really cool widget from you.

Cheers.

A. Hasher.

Widget on the way

Dudes et dudettes,

As part of the UI reengineering effort, we have decided to present the results in the form of an animated widget. But wait, here is the cool part: You can show the same widget on any web page of your choosing by inserting a single (configurable) javascript line in the page where you’d like to see your HashThySelf results Widget.

This is very exciting. So stay tuned and watch this space!

A. Hasher

New look for HashThySelf Zeta

Dudes et dudettes,

In response to your feedback, for which we are thankful, we have decided to increase the priority of a redesigned web interface for the HashThySelf app. In particular, we hope to model it after our experimental QTmeter website. Yes, that’s right. This was in the pipeline scheduled to make its appearance sometime in the 3rd quarter. But it may be sooner than that. If you happen upon this site, please tell us what you think (be mindful that we are still not using the right reference images for comparison, i.e. not composites from the real top 10 cuties).

Check out qt meter

Both as a fun diversion and for a peek into what the HashThySelf interface will look like shortly.

And BTW, we will also, most likely, do away with the archaic language that has adorned Hash up till now and move to plain clean modern English!

Cheers.

A. Hasher.

Zetangole is down!

Dudes et dudettes

Zetangole is down due to a serious hardware fault and we will resuscitate it at as soon as possible. Please bear with us in the meantime. Apologies for any inconvenience this is causing.

Hashers

Outage on Dec 28, 2006

Dudes et Dudettes,

All us Hashers were celebrating a good year with our families in Disneyland, LA, when the predictable thing happened. Murphy struck and a power outage in Palo Alto caused all servers to switch off. Unfortunately, power-up had to wait until we returned. HashThySelf and Zetangole were not available for a full 24 hours, the first time this has happened in over a year since our launch.

Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused. Everything is back to normal now, as we work to bring you even newer features this year.

Hashers.

NEW - Search within popular celebs

Dudes et Dudettes

At long last, something that was suggested and requested by several users has moved from the product pipeline into implementation. We now have a feature that allows you to restrict your searches to only happen within a (user selected) subset of images. Right now, this subset happens to just be the set of all faces that are “deemed” to be popular (algorithmically, of course). Later, we hope to tag more subsets allowing you to choose various intersections (e.g. popular male sportsperson). Until, then we hope you enjoy this new feature, and of course, comments are always welcome and appreciated. We’re not entirely happy with the current interface, of course, but it’s been launched after preliminary testing because you wanted it so bad :-)

Thanks.

- HASHers

Model retraining planned

At the current rate we hope to have enough annotated training data to refine our face recognition models and search algorithm early next year. Bear with us until then. When the new models are released, expect significantly improved matching and faster search.

A. Hasher.

Two more Creative Error messages (Only for HashThySelf Mobile)

These were written by ourselves :-) following in the footsteps of our original contributors to the Web-based service). These two new messages were needed because of mildly annoying hurdles imposed by the carriers upon developers. On first-use (assuming application permissions are set to “ask on first use”), the J2ME client will ask for permission to use the camera and access the net. If you deny either, then one or both of the following messages pop up.

CAMERA ACCESS REQUIRED

Thy camera I seek to use
Thy likeness I seek to capture
Thy trust, fear not, I sha’nt abuse
Thy results shall bring you rapture

Until thou grants permission
To snap thy still pictures
My program I cannot comission
To use thy cellphone’s fixtures.

- Thy Faithful Zetamaton

INTERNET ACCESS REQUIRED

I need to use the Net
To send thy lovely likeness
But it seems that thou hast set
Permissions to deny me access

Dear patron, return’st please
Enable me a Network link
Thereafter problems will cease
To hinder our search, I think.

- Thy Faithful Zetamaton

On Data plans for cellphones

To use the HashThySelf Zeta application on your cellphone, you obviously need to have a data plan with your carrier. I find Cingular to be pretty good in terms of coverage and speed, but it charges $19.99 per month for a data plan because, I’m told, it bundles the “use your phone as a modem for your laptop” feature, which I hardly ever use. After all, aren’t we all perpetually in one WiFi zone or another?

In contrast, T-Mo offers a data plan (unlimited Internet browsing via the phone only) for just $5.99 (at least as long as this link is active)

Check it out. Once you have a data plan on your phone, not only can you have fun with HashThySelf and the upcoming Zetangole Mobile party game, but you can also use the ever-so-cool Google Maps on your phone (which has gotten me unlost more times than I can remember)

A. Hasher

Wanted! Folks to try out HashThySelf Mobile on platforms other than Nokia 6682

Since the Nokia 6682 HashThySelf app is writtin in Java, we want to find out which other phones it will run on. If you have a recent camera equipped Java phone, and would like to try out the HashThySelf app on it, you should let us know via this Contacts page. We will then send you a free version of the Mobile client in the understanding that you will promptly let us know if it works or not on your phone. Once we have confirmation that it works on your phone, we will be able to add the phone to the list of supported devices with our distributor. Tell us your phone’s make and model, your name and the email address to which we should send the application.

Note that you also need to have a data plan with carriers in order for the application to work.

A. Hasher.

New! HashThySelf Zeta on Nokia 6682, etc.

Since my last post - we’ve actually made double
progress. Not only is HashThySelf Zeta available on
Palm Treos (which the developer chose to
give away free), we also now have a version on the
Nokia 6680 series cellphones. I must say that the UIs
of both these mobile apps are amazing and wish to thank
both developers for wonderful jobs.

If you have an Internet enabled camera phone that is
compatible with the Nokia 6682 or a Palm Treo with a
data plan, I urge you to give HashThySelf Zeta a try.

See how easy it is to find which celebrity you or your
friends look like by just pointing your mobile camera,
clicking and sending.

Enjoy dudes et dudettes, and be sure to send us your
comments.

A. Hasher

HashThySelf Palm Treo Client to be available soon

Something in the pipeline, which we’ll probably release soon, just to get closure :-) is a HashThySelf client for Palm Treos. Soon Treo users will be able to snap up their friends with their Treo cams and instantly find celeb doppelgangers then and there.

Hashers.

Recent Zetangole Games

At our focus group Phase 1 trial of this game, two features came out as really desirable - 1) A page linking Zetangole games played by anyone and 2) Ability to personalize games through the web so that players could preselect celebs they want to play with, have a “My games” area, and so on. We listened, and we’re working on both.

Watch this space for a notification about the availability of these features soon.

Enjoy!

-HASHers.

Zetangole and MagnaDoodle!

Seems like a creative Zetangole player has come up with a new and fun way to “abuse” Zetangole!

This comes from a comment on this blog (by hb?). Looks like if you have a Magnadoodle at hand, you can play “who can draw better” with your friends using Zetangole. Simply take turns in drawing the target celeb’s face, snap it and let the Zetamaton decide who drew better!

Here’s the link hb posted of his/her own game.

http://zetangole.com/cgi/a?i=01f5000481

This is fun. Thanks, hb, for pointing this out!

-HASHers

Recent Hashes page makeover

We have now made some (but not all) of the suggested mods to the “Recent Hashes” page at http://www.hashthyself.com/recent. In particular, the layout has been slightly cleaned up, and voting links are not presented for images that failed to hash (that is, images in which our algorithm could not automatically register a face).

The page refreshes automatically every 5 minutes, and displayed images are actually thumbnailed, so they load sooner.

At some point we will change the “auto-refreshed at …” tag into a counting-down timer.

Enjoy!

-HASHers