Projects Arcturus and Aurae

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I've got two projects that I'm far too excited about for what they actually are - so much so that I've given them semi-sinister sounding names because all good projects require names.  And henchmen, but I'm still a little lacking on that front.

Project Arcturus is my scattershot random picture project - I'm going to scatter 100 disposable cameras around the city in neat little yellow boxes that say, "hey, congrats on being one of the less than 1% of folks even willing to pick up a box like this let alone look inside.  Now comes the fun, you're part of a participatory art project.  Take some pictures of you, your friends, your family, funny looking dogs, whatever, and mail them back to me in the envelope provided (don't worry, I'm covering postage) and together we'll make something cool.  Look at this website for more info and updates".  I think it'll be smashing and I hope that I'll get fewer than 5% pictures of people's junk (both literally and scatalogically).  So Arcturus is progressing nicely with a source for cheap disposable cameras, cheap remailing envelopes and potentially cheap boxes to put them in (though I'll probably have to spray paint them yellow).  Now the only problem is where to get 100 rolls of film developed somewhat cheaply.  I looked into doing it myself at home and despite the opportunity to play with caustic chemicals it's just too expensive still.

Project Aurae is much less interesting but probably more useful overall - with the iPhone SDK now out I've been working on a scrabble dictionary application for it - with "find me a bingo with these letters" functionatly and everything.  "But zack, what use is that application when your iPhone already has teh interwebs and there are free dictionaries online?" you say.  Well, yes, that is a rather huge gaping hole in my plan and part of the reason this idea is unlikely to make me massively wealthy.  Mostly it's because finding quick ways for a computer to find words that match your letters is just an interesting problem to me.

Lastly - you now have to think ever so slightly harder if you want to comment here.  As Mikey rightly pointed out the russian mafia/spammers had sucessfully migrated to the new format and my anti-spam-fu is weak.  However I read recently about reCaptcha and I like what they're doing.  It's one of those "squiggly words" tests (captchas) except what these folks do is use it to help digitize old books for the library of congress or google or whomever.  They give you two words, one of which they already know the answer to and the other their computers have had a hard time with.  If you get the one right they assume the other is also good and - tada - you've helped digitize a book.  Swanky no?  If you get a particularly hard one (I got a giant black box one time) just click the little refresh button and they'll happily send you more words.


Wow i really like the idea of the first project! I used to participate in a book leaving thing where you finish a volume, put a note in it, and then leave it somewhere for someone else to find. I have some luck meeting cool people and spread the literary luck. Mostly Europeans though. Go figure.

Hmm I think my keyboard is possessed. What I meant to say is:

Wow I really like the idea of the first project! I used to participate in a book leaving thing where you finish a volume, put a note in it, and then leave it somewhere for someone else to find. I have had some luck meeting cool people and spreading the literary love. Mostly Europeans though. Go figure.

That was bizarre. >:P

If you're typing from Al's computer I know the keyboard is possessed. That thing is just nutty

I don't quite understand that algorithm - "one they already know the answer to"? What is the answer to a word?

I'm pretty sure you can easily wrangle up a few henchmen...

The last paragraph Captcha'd my interest, I just wanted a little looksy.

That was truly horrible there Moni - on a scale not seen in quite some time :)


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