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Comment Re:Nice timing... (Score 0) 207

How did anyone impair his ability to say anything? Was he thrown in prison for what he said or his beliefs? No. He has the right to say and believe what he wants. Other people also have the same right. The right to say he is a bigot. An asshole. Unfortunately for him, bigots are not a protected class of people. So he lost his job. Because he is an asshole.

Submission + - US Supreme Court upholds removal of works from Pub ( 2

langelgjm writes: While much of the web is focused on the SOPA and PIPA blackout, supporters of the public domain today quietly lost a protracted struggle that began back in 2001.The Supreme Court, in a 6-2 decision, rejected the argument that Congress did not have the power to convey copyright upon works that were already in the public domain. The suit was originally filed to challenge provisions that the U.S. adopted when signing the TRIPs agreement. Justices Breyer and Alito dissented, arguing that conveyed copyright on already existing works defied the logic of copyright law. Justice Kagan recused herself. The text of the opinions is available here (PDF).

Submission + - Apple provides patents to patent troll so they can (

An anonymous reader writes: Apple, further showing that they're willing to abuse the patent system however possible, has now teamed up with a patent troll.

Over the last two years, Apple has been engaged in vicious legal battles over smartphone patents, many of which are aimed at squelching (or squeezing money out of) manufacturers of devices running Android. And now, for some reason, it has given valuable patents to a patent troll — which is using them to sue many of the top technology companies in the world.

Submission + - Apple behind patent troll which is suing all mobil (

dell623 writes: "Techcrunch have posted a story about the patent troll company Digitude Innovations that recently filed suit with ITC suing all major mobile manufacturers except Apple. It turns out DI is a patent accumulating and licensing company and the patents it is using to sue were owned by Apple until recently before being transferred via a shell company. The patents in question are typical software patents that could be said to be infringed by every smartphone."

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Image recognition for race timing?

int2str writes: Slashdot, Autocross ( is a form of motorsports practiced in the US and around the world where car enthusiasts explore the capabilities of their car in an open parking lot or similar suited area. It's point-to-point racing (not closed circuit). Most of these events are organized by car clubs and volunteers.

Timing is usually done with a form of detection beam at start and finish that gets interrupted by the car crossing the beam. Many commercial systems are available. All of these system require the operator to enter the car's number or ID and requires the cars finishing in the order they started. So if one car is not able to finish, the operator has to intervene, or timing is broken.

For closed circuit racing, transponder systems are available to address this problem. But such systems require sensor loops in the track or overhead (bridge setup) and the transponders are expensive.

Do you think it would be possible to design a timing system using off-the-shelf parts and open source solutions to uniquely distinguish about 100 participating vehicles and time them from a start to a finish point, independently of their finishing order?

My initial idea would be:
- Use (web-?)cameras at each end that feed into a Linux based notebook (USB/Ethernet).
- Start recoding still images as fast as possible when motion is detected
- Identify unique shape, numbers, barcode, qr code or similar in the images, that have been attached using a magnet to the vehicle's door.

Difficulties to overcome:
- Camera with high enough shutter speed to get recognizable image of vehicle traveling 30-60mph
- Quickly and accurately identify a unique symbol or shape

So far I've started looking into OpenCV as a possible tool for image recognition, but have not been able to find a capture solution.

Does anybody have experience with something like this?

The solution would be open source and well documented as to benefit the many car clubs around the country and the world.

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