searchers at Columbia Engineering, led by Computer Science Professor Peter Belhumeur, have taken bird-watching to a new level. Using computer vision and machine learning techniques, they have developed Birdsnap, a new iPhone app that is an electronic field guide featuring 500 of the most common North American bird species. The free app, which enables users to identify bird species through uploaded photos, accompanies a visually beautiful, comprehensive website that includes some 50,000 images. Birdsnap, which also features birdcalls for each species, offers users numerous ways to organize species -- alphabetically, by their relationship in the Tree of Life, and by the frequency with which they are sighted at a particular place and season. The researchers, who collaborated with colleagues at the University of Maryland, are presenting their work at the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition in Columbus, OH, June 24 to 27.
This story from TechDirt lays out yet another reason I recommend that folks DON'T use the email provided to them by their ISP. My typical recommendation right now is to get a Gmail account instead. It also points out why I want to manage all my SPAM on my end, without pre-filtering from an ISP. I will gladly manage my spam if it helps to insure that I see as many of my "real" messages as possible. Again, Gmail's tools work pretty good in this regard. Having an alternative email account also insures you will keep the same email, even if you decide to leave your current ISP. Witness all the folks holding onto AOL accounts just to keep their AOL email address. Thank goodness at least that is free now. AT&T's Spam Filter Gets A Bit Too Aggressive You can certainly understand why ISPs offer spam filters. It's a service for users who don't want to be totally bombarded with spam. But what I've never understood is that these ISPs rarely give the us