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The Rise of Crowdsourcing

Technological advances in everything from product design software to digital video cameras are breaking down the cost barriers that once separated amateurs from professionals. Hobbyists, part-timers, and dabblers suddenly have a market for their efforts, as smart companies in industries as disparate as pharmaceuticals and television discover ways to tap the latent talent of the crowd. The labor isn’t always free, but it costs a lot less than paying traditional…

Bleached Conditionals

The truth about snow words in the Eskimo languages simply doesn’t matter. If it did, I would carefully explain that there seem to be only a handful of roots that really are snow roots in the languages of the Yup’iks and Inuits, maybe four or five, not very different from the number found in English (snow, sleet, slush, blizzard). But it doesn’t matter. All that matters to journalists is that…

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Canon to stop making single-lens camera

Japan’s top camera maker, Canon Inc., will stop developing new single-lens reflex film cameras as more people abandon film for digital, company officials said Thursday. The Tokyo-based Canon’s move followed a similar move by its closest Japanese rival, Nikon Corp., which announced earlier this year it would stop making seven of its nine film cameras and concentrate on digital models. –Canon to stop making single-lens camera (Yahoo!) Part of me wants…

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Stop Chasing High-Tech Cheaters

In classroom after classroom, all across the nation, students are being asked to memorize and regurgitate trivia at the expense of time spent learning what is essential in the 21st Century. As one letter to the Times editors asked, “In today’s information age, where a body of information in all but the narrowest of fields is beyond anyone’s ability to master, why aren’t colleges teaching students how to research, organize…

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Contacting a Plagiarist

Most plagiarists don’t expect to get caught and, when they do, they generally go along with the demands to avoid escalation. Many will do so silently, never writing back and others will write back to apologize or make excuses. A few bold souls might even blame the infringement on a friend who gave them the work. If that happens to you, be sure to ask for the name and E-mail…

Soldiers bond with battlefield robots

IRobot Chief Executive Colin Angle said one group of soldiers even named its robot “Scooby Doo” and grieved when it was blown up after completing 35 successful missions defusing improvised explosive devices. “Please fix Scooby Doo because he saved my life,” a soldier told repair technicians, according to Angle‘saccount at last week’s Future in Review technology conference. –Joel Rothstein –Soldiers bond with battlefield robots (MSNBC | Reuters)