Earthbound Light - Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond by Bob Johnson
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Earthbound Light Comes to Facebook and Site Updates

It seems like everybody is on Facebook, doesn't it? Well, now Earthbound Light is too. I thought I'd take a few minutes to let you know and also give you some details on recent site upgrades here at Earthbound Light.

After listening to friends incessantly extoll the wonders of Facebook, I finally joined and also set up a page for Earthbound Light. I'm still figuring out how best to make use of Facebook, but I've already connected with friends I haven't talked to in years. If you're a Facebook member, drop by the Earthbound Light page and become a Fan.

The NetworkedBlogs application on Facebook also gives readers one more way to follow my weekly PhotoTip articles. Read them on the Facebook Earthbound Light page or add them to your own Wall.

Kind of cool, actually.

This week, I also upgraded the site here to a new more powerful server to handle the continual increase in traffic. You should find response time a bit more snappy and it will give me some room to grow. Everything seems to have come through the upgrade ordeal just fine, but if you do find anything that doesn't work right, please let me know.

My Contact page now makes use of a web service provided by reCAPTCHA.net to cut down on spam and help digitize books at the same time. A CAPTCHA is program that attempts to tell whether its user is a human or another computer program. You've undoubtedly seen them before – they display boxes with distorted words or letters that people can still read (hopefully) but that generally stump character recognition systems. "CAPTCHA" is supposedly an acronym for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart," for whatever that's worth.

reCAPTCHA logoWhat makes reCAPTCHA different than other similar systems is that the mushed up words come from projects that scan and digitize books written before the computer age so they can be made more accessible. Words that their OCR programs can't recognize make perfect candidates for CAPTCHA's. So when you contact me you are also now helping to digitize books at the same time. In addition to Earthbound Light, other sites using reCAPTCHA include Facebook, Twitter and Craigslist. Currently reCAPTCHA is helping to digitize old editions of the New York Times. No telling what they'll start on next, but since they got bought by Google earlier this month, I'm sure they'll have plenty of books and periodicals to keep them serving up CAPTCHA's for a long time to come.


Date posted: September 27, 2009

 

Copyright © 2009 Bob Johnson, Earthbound Light - all rights reserved.
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