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Submission + - Microsoft and Kittens join forces to stop spam ( 1

Onlyodin writes: An executive at Microsoft has an unusual idea for beating spammers. Powerful software tools and supercomputers aren't involved, but kittens are. Or rather, photos of kittens.

Kevin Larson, a researcher at Microsoft's advanced reading technologies group, has found that asking a user to identify the subject of a photo, like a kitten, could help block spam programs.

Services like Microsoft's free e-mail service Hotmail commonly require new users to type in a string of distorted letters as proof that it's a human signing up for the account and not a computer. The trouble is, computers are getting smart enough to recognize the characters and it's a race for Microsoft to continue to alter its HIP (Human Interactive Proofs) system to fool the computers before they catch on.

With 90 billion pieces of e-mail spam sent every day, according to Larson, companies like Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft that offer free online mail services have an incentive to try to block spam. Otherwise they pay for the resources that help send the spam.


Submission + - Non-digital computing theory from Rudy Rucker

destinyland writes: "Mathematician Rudy Rucker argues that any natural process can be regarded as a computation — which means "The digital thing is sort of a red herring." If one system can be "mapped" using another — since they share a recurring pattern — a universal computation is expressed in any number of systems, including living beings. Taking the idea to an extreme, he's explored the idea in a new science fiction book asking if existing patterns approximate ongoing patterns, could it generate partial predictions of the future?"

Submission + - Bill Gates in Hissy Fit Over New Apple Ads

WillCodeForRaisins writes: "Bill Gates has lost it again, this time in a fit over Apple's new John Hodges' PC ads. Among his comments:"I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it's superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say? Does honesty matter in these things, or if you're really cool, that means you get to be a lying person whenever you feel like it? There's not even the slightest shred of truth to it." The full interview with Newsweek can also be read here."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Apple Homepage India Error

If you go on the apple website & select India from the drop down list, it navigates to the India website but gives a little error message on top of the site.

I tried both with ie & Firefox just to be sure that it is not an Apple/MSFT issue. I have a screenshot on my blog for the non believers ;-)

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