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Comment Re:Permissions (Score 1) 278

I'd be far more willing to install new apps if the permissions weren't so incredibly invasive.

Speaking from an IOS viewpoint, I'd be far more willing to install new apps if managing them wasn't so incredibly painful.

Apps on my phone are like search engine results -- if it isn't on the first screen, I rarely see them.

Comment Re:diybookscanner.org forum (Score 1) 122

I've built a book scanner from that site a number of years ago and it has worked well enough for what I needed.

The real problem isn't the hardware though, it's the multiple programs needed to process the images and get everything into a small text searchable pdf file afterwards.

To give you an idea, my workflow usually starts by importing all the left pages into Lightroom, process for things like correcting blacks and whites, keystoning, skewing, and cropping, and then I export everything as jpg files. I then repeat for the right pages. This has to be done separately because each camera sees the book from a different angle -- lighting is usually different, keystoning will be different, and even the distance of the camera to the page has to be taken into account for correct cropping. After that, I run a perl script to combine the left and right pages so that they're numbered sequentially, and then finally import into Adobe Acrobat Pro to make text searchable pdf files. I've tried all other OCR software, and Acrobat has them all beat. If there is color in the images the pdf file will be HUGE. I've scanned some of my son's books for school that were in color and attempting to view them on an iPad 3 was folly.

There is a program called Scan Tailor that also helps process images. It does a decent job of finding the borders of the pages for auto-cropping, and attempts to correct skewed pages, however it requires looking through each page to make sure it's found everything correctly. Too often I'll find it crops incorrectly, missing things like page numbers in the corners of the page. http://scantailor.org/ When I'm looking to make the smallest PDF files possible, I'll use this after Lightroom.

This indigogo campaign looks to make this whole thing a lot simpler (Czur Scanner): https://www.indiegogo.com/proj...

It's apparently an all-in-one solution with hardware and software. The video shows it doing black and white well enough, but I question how well it will deal with color (They don't show any demos of color books). Seemed good enough to purchase (I did so), even if only for black and white, and simpler than the DYI setup I've been using.

Comment Microsoft already has a solution for this... (Score 2) 288

Microsoft has two versions of Windows 10 for volume license users: CB and LTSB.

CB (Current Branch) is the same as what the home users have to deal with.
LTSB (Long Term Service Branch) however does things differently.

"For example, systems powering hospital emergency rooms, air traffic control towers, financial trading systems, factory floors, just to name a few, may need very strict change management policies, for prolonged periods of time. To support Windows 10 devices in these mission critical customer environments we will provide Long Term Servicing branches at the appropriate time intervals. On these branches, customer devices will receive the level of enterprise support expected for the mission critical systems, keeping systems more secure with the latest security and critical updates, while minimizing change by not delivering new features for the duration of mainstream (five years) and extended support (five years)."

Source: Windows 10 for Enterprise: More secure and up to date

The only other solution I can think of would rely on setting up a WSUS server, and managing the updates from there. The OP would then just need to change some registry settings on his family's computers to point to his WSUS server for updates.

Instructions: Configure Automatic Updates using Registry Editor

Comment Army of attorneys? Please. (Score 2) 653

/Any/ attorney fresh from law school who has taken /one/ course in trademark law would know that there are circumstances where colors can be trademarked. No "army" needed here. If Sparkfun has an issue with anyone, it would be with the manufacturer of those devices - not the countries that enforce IP laws.

Comment Not for all degrees... (Score 1) 469

If by classrooms we're only talking about lecture halls where the information flows in one direction, then yeah, I could see this possibility. After all, students still need to attend things like labs, exams, and some other types of interaction, right? I could even see some back and forth communication working better online (async vs sync). I think the biggest hurdle isn't technology, but of the inability for many to express themselves (or understanding others) through the written word.

Doing recent research in online schools for graduates, I ran into another problem: professional acceptance. I couldn't find one online law school that is even state accredited, let alone ABA accredited. Without backing from theses types of institutions, technology is the least of their worries.

Even if the schools were accepted, look at the success rate of Concord Law School:


Concord Law School has a 44% pass rate. This is a little bit better than half as good as the /worst/ ABA accredited school. Note that before potential students can even take the real bar, they had to have passed the baby bar too. That success rate is currently clocked in at 14.3%:


I'm not certain 11 years of technology advancements is enough for some of the degrees out there.

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