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Comment Re: Great event! (Score 1) 420

"Why would he be considered more than an editor at best?"

Take the works of Shakespeare. Each play is, in its original version, copyright free; but you, as an editor, provide the modern reader with updated punctuation, consistent spelling, explanations of archaic words and expressions, historical notes on the characters and settings - and so on. What is copyrighted here is the contribution the editor has made - because he or she has created a new edition of the play.

Personally I think that the Anne Frank copyright renewal finagle stinks to high heaven - but the underlying principle is well-established, at least in English law.

Comment Who, or what, is being tested? (Score 1) 49

I call absolute bullshit on this one. Language testing is about measuring a student's performance against one or more criteria. What Khan is apparently hoping to patent is a method for measuring the effectiveness of a piece of media, in this case video.

In the realm of text readability analysis this has a long history, perhaps the best-known technique being the Gunnar Fog Index, invented in 1952. The ubiquitous Cloze test, invented in the early fifties, was originally intended to measure and grade the reading difficulty of a piece of text.

So prior art aside, as far as I can make out Khan's product has nothing to do with the measurement of language skills.

Comment Re:Welcome to 2006 (Score 3, Interesting) 221

There are two curses of modern book publishing that cause problems whatever hardware you use. The first is so-called 'perfect binding' in which the folds of page gatherings, through which the sections are traditionally sewn together, are instead sliced off and glued to make a rigid spine with an exceedingly narrow angle of opening; the second is the use of low-grade, thin paper with high show-through that mucks up the scan.

The best software I've found to scan and collate is Softi ScanWiz. With it you may scan one stack of pages, flip the stack and scan the other side - the program then shuffles the page images into the correct order. It also automatically adjusts brightness and contrast so as to minimise ink show through.

Comment Re:why? (Score 2) 40

"sure there's a few islands and it's pretty big geographically"

Something tells me this AC has never set foot in Indonesia. In reality there are about 6,000 inhabited islands out of a total of 17,508, and end-to-end the country stretches 3,977 miles.

When you scratch the 4G wireless and fibre optics surface, the telecommunications sector here is a shambles. Even in Jakarta, whether or not you can get cable Internet depends on which side of the street you live - the original franchise was for a broad coverage of business and living areas, but the reality is that almost all the quality access is restricted to a handfull of prestige business zones and a smattering of upmarket (and high-priced) residential developments.

The new kid on the block is 4G wireless access, but even in Jakarta coverage is so patchy it's frustratingly inadequate - and a lot of domestic Internet access is still through good old copper telephone wires. Google balloons are just so much pie in the sky, a sticking-plaster solution for the country's systemic communications problems.

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