released Picasa 3.5 with a slew of new features including facial recognition and name-based batch tagging, faster geo-tagging and better web uploading functionality. The service is so good at finding your mug and tagging it that wild photos from yesteryear can resurface and wreak havoc on your reputation.
In the same way that Picasa web albums offer facial recognition and tagging, Picasa 3.5 automatically scans all of your photos and groups similar faces together. From there users can add names to their photos in bulk and upload them to their web albums. One of the interesting features of this program is that names auto-complete from a user's Google contacts. While services like Face.com offer facial recognition-based tagging on Facebook, the Picasa 3.5 desktop software allows users to organize friends and groups of friends with a simple offline hard drive scan. After a couple minutes of scanning you can create name-based collages, slideshows and geo-tagged albums. The bottom line is, if you're going to get tipsy at a bachelor party, you better hope your friends have the good sense to uncheck those photos before they start uploading your Coyote Ugly bar dance antics to the wedding slideshow.
Other new features include drag and drop geo-tagging over a Google map and simultaneous uploading and sharing. In the past, photo uploaders have had to go through the additional act of selecting specific contacts to share albums. Now users can alert their contacts to an album as it's going up. Your coworkers and family may get an eyeful. At this point, facial recognition software and batch tagging is making it tougher to put on the facade of being a respectable human being. It looks like underground speakeasys are about to see a resurgence. To download the new Picasa visit Picasa.google.com.