Tuesday, April 08, 2008

reCAPTCHA: Stop Spam, Read Books

I just discovered this site, http://recaptcha.net/. They do the regular "image verification" stuff you see to prevent spam on web sites, except they use scans from real books. They present two words: one for which the result is known and a second for which the OCR had low confidence. If you match the known word, they assume you're probably right on the unknown word, too (and they verify it multiple times to improve confidence). I think it's a great idea: as a side effect of preventing spam, they're digitizing old books. Cool.

Friday, April 04, 2008

HDHomeRun, or, 1080i QAM in Vista Media Center

The Office Screenshot 1080

Last night I installed a new HDHomeRun. It's a unique device, a network-attached ATSC and QAM HDTV tuner. Setup was a little kludgey (some steps about making sure that the call letters that it detects match up with Zap2It's listings, and you have to ignore a warning from Vista that you're using digital cable listings when you "don't" have digital cable), but wasn't too bad. After that, it was smooth sailing. And now—AT LAST—I have HD content in my Vista Media Center again. I'm SO HAPPY!!