While I was away in Canada last week, Siggraph 2006 was taking place down in Boston. Many of the papers from that enormously engaging conference on graphics and interactive techniques are now available on the web.
You've probably already seen the amazing new Photosynth technology, which allows you to navigate and explore collections of photos in 3D. It's been all over the blogs, and you can download a demo video at that link. There's also an accompanying paper, called Photo Tourism: Exploring Photo Collections in 3D.
Impressive as it is, Photosynth was only one of a vast number of research contributions Microsoft Research unveiled at Siggraph. If you're into graphics, you may find some of the following research papers interesting. If you're not that way inclined, a lot of the accompanying videos are still impressive and accessible, like this video of drag-and-drop image pasting.
Here are the Siggraph 2006 papers I could find with Microsoft Research contributors on board:
AutoCollage (which I saw an impressive demo of at MSR Cambridge),
and, lest we forget the real-time graphics stuff:
Real-Time GPU Rendering of Piecewise Algebraic Surfaces (alas, no video)
Enjoy -- and, my compliments to the MSR teams for such a tremendous and diverse show of innovation!