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Submission Google Uses AI to Find Where You Live ->

mikejuk writes: A recent Google research paper outlines how it might use AI to read digits in natural images — specifically Street View photos. The idea is to automatically extract the number of each house as captured by Street View and then use this to improve the geocoding data returned by Google.
When you next ask for directions to a particular address the new data could be used to show you a street view looking directly at the house you specifed.

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Comment Re:This is a random comment. (Score 1) 395

> it can be a small problem, I think, when "non-random" sequences are removed from possible random number generations. [...] it may take a fair slice out of the available keyspace

This is true, and could be a problem if everyone's PIN were randomly generated. Since most PINs are selected by users and conform to a known, decidedly non-uniform distribution, this actually makes sense. If it's known that e.g. 1234 is over-represented in the pool of PINs, that would be one of the first ones an attacker would try. Therefore, it makes sense to filter that out. But note that it's the over-representation of the PIN and the fact that attackers are aware of this skew that makes it worth avoiding, and not anything inherently insecure about "runs" or "pairs".


Linux Boxee Users Get Hulu Relief 78

DeviceGuru writes "The Linux version of Boxee's eponymously-named multimedia platform has finally been updated to include several new features introduced into the OS X and Windows versions over the past few months. Key additions include an App Box and restored support for Hulu, which disappeared several months ago. Still lacking in the latest Linux release, however, is the long-awaited addition of Netflix movie and TV show streaming for subscribers to Netflix's monthly service."

Unpaid Contributors Provide Corporate Tech Support 221

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times writes about Justin McMurry of Keller, TX, who spends up to 20 unpaid hours per week helping Verizon customers with high-speed fiber optic Internet, television and telephone service. McMurry is part of an emerging corps of Web-savvy helpers that large corporations, start-up companies, and venture capitalists are betting will transform the field of customer service. Such enthusiasts are known as lead users, or super-users, and their role in contributing innovations to product development and improvement — often selflessly — has been closely researched in recent years. These unpaid contributors, it seems, are motivated mainly by a payoff in enjoyment and respect among their peers. 'You have to make an environment that attracts the Justin McMurrys of the world, because that's where the magic happens,' says Mark Studness, director of e-commerce at Verizon. The mentality of super-users in online customer-service communities is similar to that of devout gamers, according to Lyle Fong, co-founder of Lithium Technologies whose web site advertises that a vibrant community can easily save a company millions of dollars per year in deflected support calls' and whose current roster of 125 clients includes AT&T, BT, iRobot, Linksys, Best Buy, and Nintendo. Lithium's customer service sites for companies offer elaborate rating systems for contributors, with ranks, badges and kudos counts. 'That alone is addictive,' says Fong. 'They are revered by their peers.' Meanwhile McMurry, who is 68 and a retired software engineer, continues supplying answers by the bushel, all at no pay. 'People seem to like most of what I say online, and I like doing it.'"
Operating Systems

Cross-Distro Remote Package Administration? 209

tobiasly writes "I administer several Ubuntu desktops and numerous CentOS servers. One of the biggest headaches is keeping them up-to-date with each distro's latest bugfix and security patches. I currently have to log in to each system, run the appropriate apt-get or yum command to list available updates, determine which ones I need, then run the appropriate install commands. I'd love to have a distro-independent equivalent of the Red Hat Network where I could do all of this remotely using a web-based interface. PackageKit seems to have solved some of the issues regarding cross-distro package maintenance, but their FAQ explicitly states that remote administration is not a goal of their project. Has anyone put together such a system?"

Comment Types of volcano (Score 1) 293

Volcanoes 101.

There are three basic types of volcano, based on the composition of the magma.

Basaltic. Heaviest magma. Eruptions produce thick, slow, lava flows. Most beautiful, least dangerous. examples: Hawaii (Mauna Loa).

Andesitic. Lighter magma of mixed composition. Eruptions are explosive; much more dangerous. West coast of North America (Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Redoubt)

Rhyolitic. Lightest magma. Eruptions can be cataclysmic. Most dangerous; if you live within 1000 miles of a big eruption, you can kiss your ass goodbye. (Yellowstone, most volcanoes in New Zealand.)

One thing we learned while on an Earthwatch volcano-monitoring expedition some years ago is that there are no "dead" volcanoes. We are merely talking in those cases about extremely long between-eruption periods, which can be millions of years.

Comment How to get to the heart of this. (Score 2, Insightful) 379

I'm sure it's no picnic to have to deal with Time Warner. My cable company is Charter, and there is no joy there either. But let's cut straight to the quick:

After the year we have had, with deflation raging and with the consequent loss of jobs and other economic suffering all around, for anyone to demand a fee increase from anyone over anything is an OUTRAGE.


Submission The Future of Reading

rubato writes: Mark Pilgrim, best known as author of Dive Into Python, has composed a little "Play In Six Acts" called The Future of Reading , which in a minimum number of words exposes the dark nature of the Amazon Kindle, an e-book reader which might as well have been inspired by the wet dreams of the RIAA or the MPAA.

Essential reading, especially for those who still think that all technological advances are necessarily for the good.

Submission New Ubuntu Based Collaboration Server->

Christian Egle writes: "Open-Xchange today announced a new "Out of the box" email and collaboration software integrating Ubuntu 6.06. The package called Open-Xchange Express Edition is designed for small- and medium-sized businesses and offers a complete email and collaboration solution in one simple installation package. The installation process involves a series of basic questions that guide the administrator to a fully functional server. There is no requirement to install an operating system, a database, Apache server, anti-virus, anti-spam or backup/recovery, and there is no requirement to know Linux. Maintenance is easy because there is a built-in system updater that handles the operating system, middleware, application and utilities. The AJAX-based web interface provides drag and drop in all views, right-click menus, context driven ribbons and icons, shared calendars, contacts, tasks and documents.

A free unlimited evaluation version is available at"

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Never trust an operating system.