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  • Jack Lau

Huawei-Google, Your Black and White Photo


Good morning, everyone. Hong Kong is turning sizzling hot. Good if you are a beach goers. But not so for many others.

Hot News

The hot news this morning would be a rumor that Google will not support Huawei on the Android development. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48330310

This is a super big news for mobile phones followers. As most of us know, currently Android operating system is the dominant operating system used by mobile phone manufacturers. While roughly 25% of the worldwide mobile phones are Apple iOS based, 75% are Android based. http://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share/mobile/worldwide

In theory, Android system is an open source system. So technically, one can claim that if you use an Open Source OS, you can grab all the source code and maintain it yourself. Case in point is all the set-top TV boxes one see in Hong Kong and the rest of Asia. They mostly use an older version of Android, and create their limited APP store -- such as video streaming.

Operating System (OS) deals with what we call in electronic engineering "low-level" stuff. For instance, if a new memory chip is adopted, we rely on the OS to make sure that things are compatible. And, that ensures all the APPs we download would work perfectly with hardware.

For hardware in which the electronics components don't really change over time, such as a bill board, the lack of new OS update is not a big deal. But, for phones which always use the latest electronic components, support requires plentiful of resources and testing.

Let's see how this will evolve.

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A fun AI application

We have come across a fun AI application on the internet and thought we would share. Some of you must have old black and white photos.

Well, we do. And, one thing we have always wanted to do is to figure out a way to restore the color of the photos. Now, a simple click will help that. It is pretty amazing.

We use this site to demonstrate: https://demos.algorithmia.com/colorize-photos/

Here is an old photo of Hong Kong in black and white we found on http://hongkongthrumyeyes.com/2013/07/23/sham-shui-po-street-market-in-black-and-white/

Here is a colorized version based on Artificial Intelligence

Some of us may say that this is still not good enough. It is certainly not as good as one that is taken by a color camera. But, look at some of the details. You can now see that the guy on the lower right is actually wearing a red tee shirt.

We have tried to do colorizing with something with known color, such as old school badges and uniform. The result is pretty uncanny. Below on the left is a photo taken 50 years ago of someone from a local school in uniform. The lower right photo is done (without further touching) of the same photo after A.I. colorization. Look at the color of the bow tie and the badge. The bottom photo is the real badge color as seen today (2019). We could not find the actual color badge. But, we are quite sure that the white background was somewhat more silver-ish and that is what the colorization predicts.

Color of the Bow-tie as seen today.

Color of the School badge as seen today:


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