Carnegie Mellon is doing an experiment that will use CAPTCHA as a sort of Human OCR. (CAPTCHA refers to those characters that you have to type when creating an account like on Yahoo to prove that you are human. And OCR refers to Optical Character Recognition or a way of digitizing printed materials

Here is how the system would work.  The Captcha would consist of two words, one that was known to Carnegie and the other that was from a document that was not known.  It would be assumed that if two people typed in the known word correctly than the identity of the unkown one would also be know.

So the next time you are signing up for an account and have to type in those funny letters, you might be helping to digitize some old manuscripts.

You can

Using MySql with Visual Studio and ASP.Net

Here is a plug that you need if you are going to be using MySql:

Getting Sierra Wireless Aircard to work with Linux


How to restrict a cells in Excel

Microsoft Office Assistance: Prevent invalid data entry in a worksheet

Explains how to limit an Excel cell to:

  • Items from a list
  • whole number within limits
  • decimal number within limits
  • date within a timeframe
  • time within a timeframe
  • text of a specified length
  • calculate the limit based upon another cell
  • use a formal to calculate what is allowed

Poor Division of Labor: You and the Computer

This past week, I found myself doing lots of things that I am bad at, but that the computer is quite good at.  Rather, these things the computer should have been good at.  So, I decided to create a post outlining the ideal division of labor between the computer and humans that use them:

Computer:  should count

Human: Should say what count’s are needed

Computer: Should draw, layout, connect boxes

Human: Should say what boxes need to be created and how they relate to each other

Computer: Should manage itself and inform the user of “high level” needs, e.g. “Install another disk drive or sign up for online storage service”

Computer: Should analize emails, automatically find related emails, appointments, contacts, tasks, and other information.  It should display this information quickly and in a way that allows for the user to easily see it.  The computer should detect if a reply is necessary, find questions and place these in the reply message, find tasks, and offer to create trackable action items, find bits of information and file these away.

Here are somethings that a human should never have to do:

1) compare two lists

2) search for items on a lists

3) manually copy information from one source to another

4) be constrained by an ineffective UI

5) repeatively click the same series of buttons

6) Be afraid of making a mistake

The Boiler Room – Mark Kruger, SharePoint MVP : SharePoint Web Parts: Free 3rd Party SharePoint Web Parts & Tools

If you work with SharePoint Server, then you will find this link helpful. 

The Boiler Room – Mark Kruger, SharePoint MVP : SharePoint Web Parts: Free 3rd Party SharePoint Web Parts & Tools