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Comment: Subsidized hardware (Score 2, Insightful) 156

by Falkkin (#28362419) Attached to: Kindle Pricing, Business Models and Source Code

"If I'm buying a Kindle from Amazon that enables me to buy books from Amazon, I'm broadcasting a desire to buy Kindle books. I would welcome some subsidization of the hardware since I'm going to be buying content anyway. No, I really think Amazon priced the Kindle the way they did because they thought they could get away with doing so..."

Why is it only in the tech-gadget industry that people expect manufacturers to sell items for *less than cost*?

Comment: Re:Checked it? (Score 1) 544

by Falkkin (#27805139) Attached to: Options For a Laptop With a Broken Screen?

"... putting it in a separate tray for security."

No need to do that. I just leave the laptop in my bag. Usually the screeners don't notice/care; if they do notice, smile and apologetically say "whoops, sorry, I forgot." They'll then take it out and run it through separately. I've done this probably 10-15 times in the last year or two, and they've only taken it out for a separate scan once.

Exception: if some TSA guy before the x-ray belt asks me directly if I have a laptop, I take it out of my bag. There's no penalty for acting dumb for something you forgot to take out (or every high-school girl with a 6-oz bottle of shampoo would be doing time in federal prison), but I presume there's a significant penalty for lying to a TSA agent.

Comment: Re:Copyright The New York Times?!? (Score 1) 177

by Falkkin (#27786373) Attached to: Canadian Pirates Sell Spurious Songs — In 1897

This seems to be a blanket statement that NYT puts on all their online articles. It might be insane in this case, but from their standpoint I understand why they do it: they put the publishing date there, and the fact that the article was Copyrighted then, and let the user figure out whether the laws in their jurisdiction actually allow the work to be copied. They have no idea what the hell laws Congress might pass (even applying retroactively) in the future, so pass the buck to someone else on determining that a given article is, in fact, not copyrighted.

I also wouldn't be surprised if this is just laziness on the part of some programmer; I can imagine something like this happening:

for (a in articles) { addStandardCopyrightMessage(a.date()); }

(I'm not saying that any of this is *right*; I'm just saying that I can see how this happened, and I'm not at all surprised.)

Education

+ - New Species of Bird Discovered in Brazil [pics!]->

Submitted by
grrlscientist
grrlscientist writes "A lovely new species of antwren from Brazil has just been described in the literature, and the best part is that the majority of this bird's status as a new species was argued based on its distinct vocalizations.

From the article: "This is potentially another new species for Brazil. Once confirmed, it is vital that we assess its conservation status and any potential threats. It would be sadly ironic if, as soon as it was discovered, Sincorá Antwren became threatened with extinction," observed Stuart Butchart, who is the Global Species Program Coordinator for BirdLife."

Link to Original Source
Google

+ - Immersive Media powers Google Maps Street View

Submitted by
PotatoPhysics
PotatoPhysics writes "Immersive Media is feeding data to Google for their Street View panoramic street view [requires Flash]. They collect the views as full motion video from a tricked out Volkswagon Beetle (of all things). You can see the extent of the complete Immersive Media collect at their website as well as see some of the original full motion panoramas [requires Shockwave]."
Spam

+ - reCAPTCHA: Stop Spam, Read Books

Submitted by
mcmillen
mcmillen writes "Humans solve about 60 million CAPTCHAs a day. A new project called reCAPTCHA aims to put this human computing power to good use. reCAPTCHA improves the process of digitizing books by sending words that cannot be read by OCR software to the Web, in the form of CAPTCHAs for humans to decipher. With reCAPTCHA, a pair of distorted English words is presented to a human. One word cannot be read correctly by OCR; the other word's answer is already known. The user is asked to transcribe both words. If they solve the one for which the answer is known, the system assumes their answer is correct for the unknown one. reCAPTCHA was developed by Luis von Ahn, one of the original CAPTCHA inventors."
Security

+ - reCAPTCHA - preventing spam and digitizing books.

Submitted by
mikecslashdot
mikecslashdot writes "Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have launched a free service that uses CAPTCHA's to prevent spam and digitize books. When OCR fails at reading words from old books, the words are placed in an image and used as a CAPTCHA. reCAPTCHA can protect your email address against abuse, and plugins are available for web applications to prevent edit and comment spam."
Announcements

+ - Digitizing Books with CAPTCHAs

Submitted by
greatgregg
greatgregg writes "The guy who invented the ESP Game (now Google Image Labeler) has figured out a way to harness the time spent solving CAPTCHAs for something useful: digitizing books. Books digitization projects use OCR to transform scanned books into ASCII text, but OCR is not perfect. Now, every time you solve a reCAPTCHA you will also be helping to digitize a word that cannot be read by OCR."
Announcements

+ - Okami, Oblivion Lead GDC Awards Finalists

Submitted by
njkid1
njkid1 writes "Capcom might feel snubbed by AIAS, but its beautiful action/adventure title Okami is actually up for best game at the seventh annual Game Developers Choice Awards. Both Okami and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion received four nominations apiece. Full finalists list inside... http://biz.gamedaily.com/industry/feature/?id=1517 6&ncid=AOLGAM000500000000006"
PC Games (Games)

+ - Playing Video Games Improves Vision

Submitted by
cmill-bigft14CM
cmill-bigft14CM writes "Researchers at the University of Rochester made subjects play games like Unreal Tournament for a few hours a day over the course of a month. Then something incredible happened: Subjects "improved by about 20 percent in their ability to identify letters presented in clutter — a visual acuity test similar to ones used in regular ophthalmology clinics." Or to put it another way, playing Halo could improve your performance on a standard eye chart. Interestingly, the effect only showed up in games like Unreal Tournament — not in games like Tetris."

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