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Submission + - Google engineers open source book scanner design (

c0lo writes: Engineers from Google's Books team have released the design plans for a comparatively reasonably priced (about $1500) book scanner on Google Code.

Built using a scanner, a vacuum cleaner and various other components, the Linear Book Scanner was developed by engineers during the "20 percent time" that Google allocates for personal projects.

The license is highly permissive, thus it's possible the design and building costs can be improved. Any takers?


Submission + - Video codecs, nuclear options and freedom (

c0lo writes: Maybe old-news already, but last Wednesday Google source-opened the VP8 codec, thought to be patent free. The project (nicknamed WebM) will release the codec under the liberal BSD license.

The possible consequences in the "HTML5 geopolitics" include a "nuke option" available to Google against the players that would decide to stick with H.264 and H.264 only for the HTML 5 video tag: to serve the YouTube content only in WebM/VP8 encoding .
An interesting situation: use a huge pile of content against a huge pile of patents — I reckon a smarter option than the skirmishes using patent arsenals.

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Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.