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Microsoft's Virtual Skywriting Patent App Features the Real Thing 66

theodp writes "GeekWire reports that Microsoft this week was awarded a patent on something it calls 'virtual skywriting', an augmented reality service that adds fake skywriting to scenes captured on a cell phone screen. Odd enough in its own right, but Microsoft also included an unattributed photo in the patent application which it described as 'an example of virtual skywriting in use,' although it certainly appears to be identical to a famous image of actual skywriting from a 2001 public art project. If that turns out to be the case, could the self-described opponent of half-baked patents and IP misuse find itself in hot water with the USPTO for using the 'prior art' to fake its fake skywriting?"
United Kingdom

EDSAC Computer To Be Rebuilt 97

nk497 writes with this bit from PCPro: "The first working stored-program computer is set to be rebuilt at Bletchley Park, home to the UK's National Museum of Computing. The Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator ran its first programme in 1949, and was two metres high. Its 3,000 vacuum tubes took up four metres of floor space, and it could perform 650 instructions per second. All data input was via paper tape. The EDSAC used mercury-filled tubes for memory, but in the interests of safety, the replica will use an alternative non-toxic substance. Rebuilding it will take four years, and the public can visit to watch the work as it happens."

Comment I'd like my receipt please. (Score 1) 236

Voting needs to give you a receipt. That receipt would have a hash encoded number that you could then compare to a publicly available vote count and verify that your vote was counted correctly. As simple as a .gov website with SSL that allows me to either download the entire data count or to enter a hash key and see the resulting voting.

It seems ridiculously simple to me. You can verify your own vote and tally all the votes yourself to ensure that the totals are accurate.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 102

This is chess rating algorithm. The goal is to predict given a matchup between two players with known histories how they will likely fare in a game or series of games against each other. Elo is the standard rating system and has been for some time. These algorithms are improvements on that. So they predict better who will win. They have nothing to do with playing actual chess. So the Turk is irrelevant to this discussion (aside from the not minor issue that the operator has been dead for some time.)

You don't understand, the winning system is using a midget to guess the outcomes.

Comment Who Faces the Facebook? (Score 1) 302

My brother recently was convicted of bank robbery. He's currently in prison serving his sentence. His life is a sad story, but that's not why I'm posting this.

The reason I'm posting this is because he has access to Facebook.

So ask yourself, "Why would the federal prison system allow inmates to us a social networking system?"

The paranoid answers are more terrifying than I care to entertain, but the most obvious answer would be that they don't fear Facebook. That implies that they can monitor it... that the federal government has access to the information being stored in Facebook and more importantly wants inmates to show their connections and to possibly implicate others through the system.

What government in the world wouldn't want access to the information that Facebook has? Social networks at your fingertips? Messages that can be filtered for problematic content?

Anyone who seriously entertains the idea that Facebook has not bowed down before the government information community is deluding themselves.

Expect Facebook to continue to make headlines with possible privacy issues with advertisers while privately giving its information away to the government.

Comment Re:I'm wondering if it degrades. (Score 1) 632

It's called Uncyclopedia.


"Blaraka Hussein Obama bin Laden (pronounced Bárockus Obomus) (born Baruch Seamus O'Bama to an Irish Catholic family in County Cork) won the 2008 presidential election in a historical milestone becoming the 44th half-white man elected to office. He is a well known terrorist who claims his god "Oprah" is commanding him to destroy America. He started out as the young shiningly optimistic upstart United States Senator from Illinois that went out to shake up Washington and change the system and the world for a brighter and better tomorrow. He is also not a Muslim (But even if he was a Muslim, speaking hypothetically of course, it would be just fine) . In 2008, Obama became the first African American (his dad was from Africa and his dad's baby mama came from America) to be president of the NRA and not be lynched by an angry mob in white robes holding torches, so you know he's one of the good ones. He brings hope and change and you know we can do it. By taking down the man, Barack will set the lower class working people free from economic oppression."

Comment So keep your claims of "it's finished, dummies" (Score 1) 632

When the Chinese writer wants to contribute about Heilongjiang, I'll be right there supporting them. But it's not going to be anyone who's been with Wikipedia all this time. Those people have already written everything they know. The original post is about the current editors leaving. It's finished for them.

Now figure out a way to get Jing Gu to write about Heilongjiang.

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