Saturday, February 01, 2014

A simple variation on “Crowd Sourcing.” If “many” people are interested in an “event” then it is possible the police will be interested too. It might be an interesting “thought experiment” to see what other scenarios might trigger similar actions.
From the is-this-the-old-good-Google-or-the-newer-evil-one dept.:
Quentyn Kennemer reports:
We come across tons of interesting patents each and every day, but recently none have caused as much concern and curiosity as this one. Google recently filed a patent for a system that identifies when and where a “mob” event takes place and sends multimedia alerts to relevant parties. The patents are actually titled “Mob Source Phone Video Collaboration” and “Inferring Events Based On Mob Sourced Video“.
No… not that mob. In this case a “mob” is essentially an activity or event attracting an abnormal amount of attention in the form of video recording and picture taking. Here’s a quick blurb from the patent description:
“When there are at least a given number of video clips with similar time stamps and geolocation stamps uploaded to a repository, it is inferred that an event of interest has likely occurred, and a notification signal is transmitted (e.g., to a law enforcement agency, to a news organization, to a publisher of a periodical, to a public blog, etc.).”
Read more on Phandroid.

For my students.
Buying Textbooks? Chegg And Should Be Your First Stops
… Two of the most used sites for getting textbooks (besides Amazon, of course) are Chegg and, but which should you use for your next college textbook buying excursion? Well, let’s take a look at what the two bookstore behemoths have to offer, then you can decide which site is right for you.

For my amusement.
… A report from the House Education and the Workforce Committee examines the working conditions of adjunct labor in higher education. More via Inside Higher Ed.
… For those keeping score at home, here’s a map of how much snow it typically takes to cancel school in the US.
Getting rid of the playground rules altogether at Swanson Primary School has meant “a drop in bullying, serious injuries and vandalism, while concentration levels in class are increasing.” [Libertarians take note! Bob]
… For-profit Bridgepoint Education’s Ashford University will let students take certain MOOC classes for credit.
But Stanford economist Caroline Hoxby says that “Elite Colleges Should Not Give Credit for MOOCs.” [Is this the start of a useful debate? Bob]

Oh, the horror! Surely, this can not be allowed to stand!
Beer-delivery drone grounded by FAA
Ice fishers in Minnesota are reeling from a recent FAA decision prohibiting beer delivery by drone.
Local brewery Lakemaid was testing a new drone delivery system to airlift frosty cases of beer to fishermen holed up in ice shacks on Mille Lacs Lake. After spotting a Lakemaid YouTube video that went up last week of one of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on a test run, the Federal Aviation Administration contacted Lakemaid and told the company to stop.

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