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Cold Takes: A Scanner Darkly

I love this new Google Photos PhotoScan app. I've long wondered why a company like Facebook, which lo
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Cold Takes: A Scanner Darkly
By M.G. Siegler • Issue #27 • View online
I love this new Google Photos PhotoScan app. I’ve long wondered why a company like Facebook, which long ago became the de-facto photo service of the internet didn’t offer to scan and upload every user’s old collection of photos – the actual physical kind – for free. It just seems like it would have been so powerful from both a nostalgia factor and, of course, a customer lock-in factor. But enough time has passed that Google was able to do that idea one better.
While taking pictures of old photos is nothing new, our smartphone cameras are finally good enough, our connections fast enough, and the algorithms the big companies like Google are able to use to perfect photos in the cloud are robust enough that it’s the perfect storm, and time, to do this in an even easier way. 
Yeah, I know a lot of startups have been trying to do this for a while with varying degrees of success. But the last part above is key in my mind for why one of the larger companies has to be the one to do this. Not to mention the cost of storing and serving all those photos. And, maybe most importantly, the notion that they won’t be going away if a startup goes under – something which, sadly, I think all of us have experienced. 
Also, this is a great launch video. Kudos to the team that launched this, I’ll only take half the credit ;)

5ish Links
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In the Family
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M.G. Siegler

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