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Open Source

Open Source OCR That Makes Searchable PDFs 133

An anonymous reader writes "In my job all of our multifunction copiers scan to PDF but many of our users want and expect those PDFs to be text searchable. I looked around for software that would create text searchable pdfs but most are very expensive and I couldn't find any that were open source (free). I did find some open source packages like CuneiForm and Exactimage that could in theory do the job, but they were hard to install and difficult to set up and use over a network. Then I stumbled upon WatchOCR. This is a Live CD distro that can easily create a server on your network that provides an OCR service using watched folders. Now all my scanners scan to a watched folder, WatchOCR picks up those files and OCRs them, and then spits them out into another folder. It uses CuneiForm and ExactImage but it is all configured and ready to deploy. It can even be remotely managed via the Web interface. Hope this proves helpful to someone else who has this same situation."

Comment Re:Can someone who understands the IRS explain? (Score 1) 691

There's a difference between talking about the law and "legal advice." I have an ethical obligation to avoid giving anyone a sense that I am forming an attorney-client relationship with them by giving them legal advice. The signature is a snarky way of making it clear that, while I might be talking about the law, I am not giving anyone any legal advice in any sense that should be relied upon.

As for my client pool, my client is the largest employer in the country, so I'm not exactly looking to build a private practice. My goal in coming here is to talk nerdery, being a geek who dual-classed into law.


Submission + - Simulation of Closest Asteroid Fly-By ( 1

c0mpliant writes: NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have released a simulation of the path of an asteroid, named Apophis, that will come closest to Earth, since humans have monitored for such heavenly bodies. The asteroid, which once held an above 2% chance of impacting Earth, had caused a bit of a scare when it was first announced that it would enter Earth's neighborhood some 30 years in the future.

However since that announcement in 2004, more recent calculations have put the number at 1 in 250'000. The simulation can viewed here.


Photoshopping Gets Harder to Detect

Frosty Piss writes "We all know by now that you can't trust magazine covers and advertisements for skin-care products. The power of Photoshop is startling when you see it in action, and realize how much the representations of reality we see all around us are distorted and "improved" according to whatever the current standards of blemish-free beauty are. While we learn how to detect the tell-tale smudges, spots of flat color, inconsistencies in lighting, and pixelated artifacts left behind by digital manipulation, Dr. Ariel Shamir has developed a technique called Seam Carving that will make detection of Photoshopping much more difficult in the near future. As shown in this video, it's astonishing and almost disturbing how easy and fast it is to distort distances or remove objects entirely with this new tool."

Submission + - Germany moves to ban Scientology (

An anonymous reader writes: "German federal and state interior ministers declared the Church of Scientology unconstitutional on Friday, opening the door for a possible ban on the organization.
Earlier this week, a Berlin district set up an office to deal with complaints about Scientology.
Koerting said Germany's domestic intelligence agencies should continue gathering information on the legality of Scientology's activities in Germany so that a decision could be made on what to do about it next year."

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Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming