The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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V12 2009 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 38, September 20, 2009, Article 15

GOOGLE ACQUIRES RECAPTCHA TO POWER BOOK SCANNING

Google Books has been a boon to numismatic research, and the party's only starting. Here's an update to how Google is using technology to augment computers with human intelligence to decipher scanned text. -Editor

Google Acquires reCAPTCHA

Google has acquired reCAPTCHA, an open source technology that provides CAPTCHAs to prevent spam and fraud. Captchas are those security questions you find on Web sites that require you to decipher and type words or numbers and detects whether the user is a human.

Here's what Google wrote in a blog post about the announcement:

CAPTCHAs are designed to allow humans in but prevent malicious programs from scalping tickets or obtain millions of email accounts for spamming. But there's a twist the words in many of the CAPTCHAs provided by reCAPTCHA come from scanned archival newspapers and old books. Computers find it hard to recognize these words because the ink and paper have degraded over time, but by typing them in as a CAPTCHA, crowds teach computers to read the scanned text.

Google says that reCAPTCHA's technology improves the process that converts scanned images into plain text, known as Optical Character Recognition (OCR). It sounds like Google will be using the technology to power massive scanning projects for Google Books and Google News Archive Search as well as for fraud and spam prevention.

In May, the New York Times reported that Google was developing their own type of captcha and also took notice of the potential of reCAPTCHA's technology. Sounds like Google found it more effective to acquire reCAPTCHA's technology instead of reinventing the wheel.

To read the complete article, see: Google Acquires reCaptcha To Power Scanning For Google Books And Google News (www.techcrunch.com/2009/09/16/google-acquires-recaptcha-to-power-scanning-for-google-books-and-google-news/)

THE BOOK BAZARRE

RENAISSANCE OF AMERICAN COINAGE: Wizard Coin Supply is the official distributor for Roger Burdette's three volume series that won NLG Book of the Year awards for 2006, 2007 and 2008. Contact us for dealer or distributor pricing at www.WizardCoinSupply.com .


Wayne Homren, Editor

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The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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