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Japanese Researchers Develop World's Fastest Book Scanner 138

Posted by timothy
from the don't-they-have-any-boffins? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "IEEE Spectrum reports that Tokyo University researchers have developed a superfast book scanner that uses lasers and a high-speed camera to achieve a capture rate of 200 pages per minute. You just quickly flip the book pages in front of the system and it digitizes the pages, building a 3D model of each and reconstructing it as a normal flat page. The prototype is large and bulky, but if this thing could be made smaller, one day we could scan a book or magazine in seconds using a smartphone." The article mentions Google's similar dewarping system; the difference here is speed.
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Japanese Researchers Develop World's Fastest Book Scanner

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  • by davidwr (791652) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @03:51PM (#31514068) Homepage Journal

    Does it come with a shark-mount?

  • we just need a few at libraries to digitize everything for everyone... no need to make it any smaller.
  • Copyright (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Logical Zebra (1423045) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @03:57PM (#31514150)
    Oh, my, isn't this going to be a huge copyright scandal in a few years? I could walk into Borders, scan a few books onto my iPhone, and walk right out without paying.
    • by bb5ch39t (786551) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:09PM (#31514326)
      You're absolutely correct! The researchers need to immediately be jailed for contributing to copyright violations. Scientists! They never think about how their inventions will impact our Corporate Overlords.
    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:20PM (#31514528)
      I know! Can you believe that even now you can go into Borders or Barnes and Nobel and -read- an entire book! And guess what? The employees there think its perfectly natural! There was a man there who said he had spent -3- hours just reading a book and drinking coffee! Talk about outrageous!
    • by gwern (1017754)
      Isn't it outrageous? I mean, one could also buy a few books, scan them at leisure and return them!
    • by knarf (34928)

      scan a few books onto my iPhone

      Strange the way people seem to make the same typo. The i is rather close to the p but not next to it, so why do so many people put a 'i' in front of the word 'phone'? The summary did not mention any specific phone, just that this technology might be shrunk to fit in a phone.

      Don't be an iTool or iDroid! Use normal words! A phone is a phone and does not need a vowel prepended to become viable. If this scanner technology ever comes to fruition the Apple-branded version of it wo

      • RTFA. It specifically says "iPhone."

        The system is currently a prototype that occupies an entire lab bench. But in the future, they hope to simplify and miniaturize it for integration into portable devices like a smartphone. So one day you might be able to flip the pages of a book in front of your iPhone and get a digitized version in seconds.

  • Prior Art. (Score:5, Funny)

    by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @03:58PM (#31514168)

    Johnny 5: Alive!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by necro81 (917438)
      Damn! I had mod points this morning.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hurricane78 (562437)

      Need input! Input, input, input!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bughunter (10093)

      Does no one here read Vernor Vinge?

      (Spoilerish bit follows. Only a spoiler for the worst of purists, but they have been warned.)

      Rainbow's End [teleread.org] has an act where an virtual book cartel deploys a giant vacuum/shredder/optical scanner to the UCSD Geisel Library. It sucks in books a shelf at a time, feeds them thru a wood chipper, and the shreds pass thru a tunnel lined with optical scanners. A photo is taken of each bit, and software reconstructs the books.

      Needless to say, this idea displeases many people, an

  • High Speed Camera (Score:3, Informative)

    by bhima (46039) * <Bhima.Pandava@NosPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @03:59PM (#31514190) Journal

    The project uses a high speed camera... so if a camera from a handy is going to be used, they are going to have to get a lot better.

    • Rainbows End? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by snikulin (889460)

      Now if they also will learn to shred the books in the process and sell the technology to Google, then I will really respect Vernor Vinge's insight (Rainbows End [wikipedia.org])

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      The project uses a high speed camera... so if a camera from a handy is going to be used, they are going to have to get a lot better.

      I assume you could use a regular camera and just get more regular rates of speed, but without breaking the spine which is pretty much the point of the lasers.

      Or for speed, take the binding/glue off, and use a Fujistu Scansnap. 50 pages per minute IIRC.

      • We have a Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 Sheet-Fed Scanner [fujitsu.com]. This is our experience with it.

        The good:
        1. It scans both the front and back of a page in 2 seconds, in one pass. If the back is blank, the back is ignored.
        2. It automatically feeds oddly sized pages intermixed with standard pages.
        3. The software supplied accurately OCRs the scanned pages and makes a searchable PDF file.
        4. It is possible to select words and sentences in the PDF file and copy them to the clipboard.
        5. It is very small. It doesn't take much desk space
    • Re:High Speed Camera (Score:5, Informative)

      by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted AT slashdot DOT org> on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @05:08PM (#31515340)

      By the way: “handy” is not used as a term for a mobile phone aka cell phone in the English language.
      I know it’s used in Germany, and people from there are prone to mess it up, because it’s a foreign English word in the German language.

      • by oljanx (1318801)
        I'm glad I wasn't the only dirty-minded person who read "a handy" and immediately thought of something very much unlike a cellphone. Or was I?
      • It's a particularly convenient false friend because the "alternatives" are regionalisms (ie either AE or BE) and much longer because phone is tacked onto them or, in their short forms, colloquial and have even stronger associations with one region. Of course, these days you can often get away with simply using phone by itself.

    • The project uses a high speed camera... so if a camera from a handy is going to be used, they are going to have to get a lot better.

      Just throw it faster!
  • Faster method (Score:3, Informative)

    by vlm (69642) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:01PM (#31514216)

    Faster method:

    Cut the spine of the book off with a bandsaw with a metal cutting blade (finer pitch teeth than typical wood blade)

    Run thru sheet feeder scanner twice, once for each side.

    A bit of scripting hackery later, one fresh PDF! Or .djvu, or whatever.

    For those of us brought up that its sacrilegious to damage a book, realize that many books were printed on acid paper; yellowing, decaying, brittle, and will soon be dust regardless of what you do, so may as well preserve the content and properly recycle the pulp.

    The bandsaw trick also works on magazines, you know, the things we used to read before websites.

    • Re:Faster method (Score:5, Informative)

      by sribe (304414) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:12PM (#31514378)

      How the heck did this get scored insightful??? Seriously?

      First, there are guillotine-style shears for cutting bindings off books that do no damage at all to the pages. Second, nearly all the high-speed sheet-fed document scanners out there are duplex scanners. In the case where the owner is willing to cut the binding off the book, there are well-known equipment and well-established techniques that do not involve rubes with bandsaws and script hackery.

      • Re:Faster method (Score:5, Interesting)

        by vlm (69642) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:34PM (#31514768)

        First, there are guillotine-style shears for cutting bindings off books that do no damage at all to the pages.

        My bandsaw does no damage to the pages either. Clearly you haven't tried this. It worked for me, but I'm a small timer compared to the guys at bitsavers.org. They claim it works on an EXTREMELY large scale. I "saw" an ad for a paper shear (usually used for binding, and sorry for the pun). The shear was about 10 times the cost of my little tabletop bandsaw. If the market has changed and you can now buy a shear for the cost of a good steak dinner, well, I guess I'm out of date then. But even then, I needed a bandsaw for other purposes, and if its dual use, all the better, and I'd not be amused at buying, storing, maintaining, and evnetually disposing of two tools to do a job that one does perfectly well.

        Second, nearly all the high-speed sheet-fed document scanners out there are duplex scanners.

        New, maybe. Not in the olden times aka longer ago than yesterday. Maybe the new ones even duplex properly with paper other than standard 8.5x11 laser paper, and don't just jam on the cut edge. Maybe the new ones don't duplex at a speed about 4 times slower than non-duplex. You're the expert, I'm merely a guy who's actually done it.

        I'm only saying what worked with what I had, and what I know other people have successfully done in the past, I'm not just some dude quoting specs out of a tiger direct catalog with an infinite budget for brand new gadgets.

        • by sribe (304414)

          New, maybe. Not in the olden times aka longer ago than yesterday.

          It's been the case for at least 10 years.

          Maybe the new ones even duplex properly with paper other than standard 8.5x11 laser paper, and don't just jam on the cut edge.

          As do the older ones.

          Maybe the new ones don't duplex at a speed about 4 times slower than non-duplex.

          Same speed duplex as single-sided. I do have to admit that I don't know how long that's been common.

          You're the expert, I'm merely a guy who's actually done it.

          Well, thanks for the compliment, but I am also a guy who's actually done a lot of scanning, with several different models spanning a fairly wide range of costs & speeds.

          I'm only saying what worked with what I had, and what I know other people have successfully done in the past, I'm not just some dude quoting specs out of a tiger direct catalog with an infinite budget for brand new gadgets.

          So, who is this mythical dude quoting specs out of a catalog? Must be what some people call a "straw man", because it sure as heck isn't me.

        • by sribe (304414)

          One more thing:

          My bandsaw does no damage to the pages either.

          ...jam on the cut edge.

          So, perfect smooth cut edge? Or not?

          • by vlm (69642)

            Damage as in think of how the bottom of a piece of plywood looks after you cut it, chips yanked off the edge. Tensile strength of paper is pretty high... with fine tooth blade and a cardboard backer board the pages are not torn, wrinkled, ripped thru the saw, etc. One sneaky way to prevent damage to the cover/last pages of a book you want, is to use a magazine/catalog/cardboard box or whatever as a backer board underneath the book you want to cut.

            The bandsaw edge is, however, much more frizzy than the she

            • by Chirs (87576)

              You can get wavy (as opposed to toothed) bandsaw blades that might give a nice smooth cut for paper. They're designed for foam, I think.

            • by sribe (304414)

              Fair enough dude, I'll try a shear some time, since you claim it works so well. If its anything like my old high school sheet metal shear, I'd worry about losing fingers in it, but I'll be careful so I think it will be OK...

              I've never used one; I've only stood by and watched someone else use one. Dude, the thing could take your arm off in the blink of an eye. (And you'd definitely want to blink, considering the blood spatter...)

              If you're not scanning massive quantities of books (which is what the article is about), then a bandsaw is probably a darn fine hack to get covers off books. If you're doing a library, the difference between a split second per book and a few seconds per book, plus the smoother edge, would be worth it I'

      • by pydev (1683904)

        First, there are guillotine-style shears for cutting bindings off books that do no damage at all to the pages.

        Yes, but they are very expensive.

        there are well-known equipment and well-established techniques that do not involve rubes with bandsaws and script hackery.

        Why don't you do something useful and put together a HOWTO?

        • by sribe (304414)

          Why don't you do something useful and put together a HOWTO?

          Here you go: step 1) buy duplex document scanner; step 2) scan.

          • by pydev (1683904)

            Are really that dumb? You recommended guillotine-style shears, but they are expensive, heavy, and big. So, what is your alternative?

            And if you think book scanning is as simple as "step 1) buy duplex document scanner; step 2) scan" your really ignorant.

            • by sribe (304414)

              Are really that dumb? You recommended guillotine-style shears, but they are expensive, heavy, and big. So, what is your alternative?

              No alternative. My HOWTO is that if you have a large quantity of books to scan, and you can remove the bindings, then you buy the appropriate equipment to do so.

              And if you think book scanning is as simple as "step 1) buy duplex document scanner; step 2) scan" your really ignorant.

              Well, once the binding is off, assuming clean edges, then yes it is just that easy.

              • by pydev (1683904)

                You said:

                there are well-known equipment and well-established techniques that do not involve rubes with bandsaws and script hackery.

                But you keep saying nothing about how to remove the binding, other than recommending that people buy an overpriced and completely unwieldy guillotine (which, incidentally, also doesn't just work). What cheaper methods are there? Is a bandsaw OK or should it be a circular saw? Does a scroll saw work? How do you fix the book? How do you avoid having the pages become jagged?

                We

                • by sribe (304414)

                  A $20000 scanner lets you scan a lot faster than a $50 scanner, but you'll probably actually have a harder time getting it to work.

                  No, you won't. It will have vastly superior paper handling compared to the $50 scanner.

                  In summary: you don't know what you're talking about, and you would do well to just keep quiet and don't give people lousy advice.

                  I have experience in the area, and know first-hand that an appropriate scanner does make the scanning part very easy. Your last two posts make it clear that you've got no experience with production-level document scanners. Perhaps you should stop denigrating the advice of someone who's worked on projects scanning millions of pages (some portion of which were old and in lousy condition).

                  • by pydev (1683904)

                    Your last two posts make it clear that you've got no experience with production-level document scanners. [...] an appropriate scanner does make the scanning part very easy

                    That is preposterous. There are so many exceptions when scanning books (stuck pages, brittle pages, bad cuts, foldouts, torn pages, dog-ears, gum, double-feeds, failure of double-feed detection, sticky notes, napkins, and tons of others) that scanning is never "very easy", even if scanners were perfect. But scanners aren't perfect: they

      • by Mista2 (1093071) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @06:36PM (#31516512)

        I just place my kindle on my scanner, hit scan, then next page. Rinse and repeat. 10 minutes later I have the book ripped. Then a little OCR work converts to text. this still takes a little time though as I'd have to proof read afterwards as well. Once I've done a few, I'll look at finding out how to re encode as a .mobi file.

    • by OzPeter (195038)

      Cut the spine of the book off with a bandsaw with a metal cutting blade (finer pitch teeth than typical wood blade)

      Note to self .. remember not to use Vim's method on priceless, one off books that are irreplaceable.

      • by vlm (69642)

        Note to self .. remember not to use Vim's method on priceless, one off books that are irreplaceable.

        You, uh, might have missed the rest of the post:

        For those of us brought up that its sacrilegious to damage a book, realize that many books were printed on acid paper; yellowing, decaying, brittle, and will soon be dust regardless of what you do, so may as well preserve the content and properly recycle the pulp.

        I own DEC technical manuals from the 70s that are going in the trash within a decade at most. A decade ago, painfully yellowed. Today, turn a page and it snaps off. Thankfully, someone else did the bandsaw and scanner thing some time ago, so I can still read a .PDF of the same manual.

        • by OzPeter (195038)

          You, uh, might have missed the rest of the post:

          Ahh .. you might have missed the "humor". And I wouldn't exactly call a DEC manual priceless, one-off or irreplaceable.

          • by vlm (69642)

            And I wouldn't exactly call a DEC manual priceless, one-off or irreplaceable.

            Not in the 70s, no. But now, they are more or less "irreplaceable" in one sense, just like any other out of print book. As far as priceless, assuming its not so rare it never, ever hits ebay, I guess it had a recent "price", sort of.

            Since DEC enjoyed using acid based paper which is literally rotting away, a 60s/70s era DEC manual will very soon be literally priceless, one-off, and irreplaceable.

            Hopefully someone scanned it...

    • by mini me (132455)

      Why not use a dual-sided scanner?

    • by necro81 (917438) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:18PM (#31514498) Journal
      Cutting the spine off a book you already own may or may not be sacrilege. But doing that to your friend's book might strain your relationship.

      The employees at Borders were not amused when I wheeled my band saw in. They demanded that I pay for the book I'd just sawed up and scanned. I told them "I'm certainly not paying money for that book now, look how ruined it is! Besides, I already have a copy," as I waved my thumb drive in their face.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by vlm (69642)

        The employees at Borders were not amused when I wheeled my band saw in. They demanded that I pay for the book I'd just sawed up and scanned. I told them "I'm certainly not paying money for that book now, look how ruined it is! Besides, I already have a copy," as I waved my thumb drive in their face.

        Someone with real balls would have asked for a cash refund. "Clearly my copy of the book is faulty, can I get cash refund, or just instore credit?"

        (just kidding)

      • by Stormalong (36874)

        Proprietor: Why don't you try W. H. Smith's?
        Customer: I did, they sent me here.
        Proprietor: DID they.

    • AFAIK, what you described isn't too far off the technique used by Google to scan non-valuable material.

    • your script might be very simple if you use pdftk. It's a very powerful pdf merging and exploding program.
  • by trurl7 (663880) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:01PM (#31514224)

    1) Yes, but does it run Linux....
    2) Imagine a beowulf cluster of these...
    3) I can't understand 200 pages/minute, what's that in LOC/furlough?
    4) I can't read you insensitive clod.
    5) In Soviet Russia, the book scans the book scanner...wait that's not quite right...ah, got it, ... the book scans you!
    6.1) Scan books real fast
    6.2) Tie into massive database that indexes every perceivable medium on the planet
    6.3) Get sued by publishers.
    6.4) ....
    6.5) Profit!!
    7) How fast can it build a 3d model of Natalie Portman with hot gritz?
    8) The CIA will use this to scan every page of the manuscripts you've stored in your apartment and will come for your tin foil.
    9) Netcraft confirms: reading is dying...
    10) A book scanner is like a car that drives really fast over a highway full of book pages...

    Someone needs to fix the above list for me.

    • by vlm (69642)

      2) Imagine a beowulf cluster of these...

      That would be a "library". A dynamically linked library, I suppose, since multiple people can borrow/read the same book.

      11) If I read something on a LCD, my eyes hurt. And, I refuse to see an optometrist, instead the world has to bend their display technology to my will, ADA style.

      12) If I compare, side by side, an expensive ebook reader with a cheap one, the expensive one always subjectively seems to look better. Surprisingly, works for audiophile stuff too. I'm waiting for an ebook reader with those "

      • I don't really care much either way about LCD vs e-ink, but in a real-life environment, there is an effective difference between reflected and transmitted photons. The brightness of the screen can be drastically different than the surrounding environment with a backlit screen, with e-ink that is generally not the case. Don't optometrists recommend not using a bright monitor in a dark room? Presumably you want the display to be fairly well matched to the background. E-ink allows that, and LCDs don't.

        I hav
        • by vlm (69642)

          in a real-life environment, there is an effective difference between reflected and transmitted photons.

          Show me the physics... other than light polarization weakly depending on reflection. But human eyes have an extremely weak response to polarization.

          The brightness of the screen can be drastically different than the surrounding environment with a backlit screen

          Then it looks terrible until you adjust brightness/contrast. Which my ipod touch tries to do automatically, albeit very poorly. I think TVs have been available with auto-brightness adjustment since I owned one with that feature in the late 70s.

          Don't optometrists recommend not using a bright monitor in a dark room?

          Bright room equals tiny pupil diameter equals wide depth of field. And vice versa. If you're borderline near or far

  • by AdmiralXyz (1378985) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:04PM (#31514268)
    This guy has produced some really fascinating work, I strongly recommend checking out some more of it if you have some free time. The high-speed robot hand [youtube.com] he developed literally made my jaw drop.
  • is that it can only scan child-porn manga.
  • Mr. Sulu would not be pleased...
  • "Watanabe told me he was particularly interested in scanning manga comics" Why does cool Japanese tech always end up back at tentacle rape?
  • is soooooo relieved...his warp engines really need a rest from Captain kirk's demands in galactic emergencies...
  • The article mentions Google's similar dewarping system; the difference here is speed.

    There is nothing preventing Google from pushing high speed video through their book software. In fact, they could probably do that with very little work, since you can use an off-the-shelf high speed video recorder and then just push the frames through the regular processing pipeline.

    The reason they don't (and nobody else does) is because it's not useful. For getting acceptable quality from book scanning, you need upwards

  • The prototype is large and bulky, but if this thing could be made smaller, one day we could scan a book or magazine in seconds using a smartphone.

    You lost me here. How exactly do I scan an entire book or magazine in seconds using only a smartphone. Somehow I imagine this technology is slightly more than software, unless cameras start coming with super-fast automated page turners attached.

  • Bender did it first (Score:3, Informative)

    by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3@@@justconnected...net> on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:39PM (#31514854)

    There was an episode of Futurama where Bender is captaining the ship, and Fry asks him if he's read the manual. Bender flips through the several-hundred-page book in about a half second and proclaims "Done", then proceeds to quote it.

    It always seemed like a plausible thing to me. Isn't that what they're doing here?

    • FYI the episode is "Birdbot of Ice-Catraz" about 4 minutes in.

    • by RobVB (1566105)

      You'd have to be pretty good at flipping pages. Some of them always stick together, and I'd hate to be in a space ship where the Captain is a robot who "read" the manual but skipped the page about turning on the life support systems.

    • oh noez "prior art"

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      You do realize fictional cartoon characters don't really count as "prior art", don't you?
    • Superman did it once too, in one of the movies or TV episodes.
  • There was a similar post in december last year [slashdot.org]. Main difference seems to be speed. That did 400 pages in 20 minutes, this new one does 200 in 1 minute.

  • one day we could scan a book or magazine in seconds using a smartphone

    ... I guess this claim was made because we all know that soon smartphones will all have lasers and high speed cameras.

    • one day we could scan a book or magazine in seconds using a smartphone

      ... I guess this claim was made because we all know that soon smartphones will all have lasers and high speed cameras.

      .. which will be mounted on the heads of friggin' sharks, who will not only zap you, but save pictures of it for their scrapbooks.

  • by trb (8509)
    I believe the narrator in the video says that the high speed camera is scanning 1000x1000 pixels, and the book he is scanning has very large type, with fewer than 20 text lines per page. I imagine that this scanner can't scan normal text as fast as the Google book scanner.
  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @05:24PM (#31515578)
    Sure, it can scan 200 pages per minute... but I could swear I saw it's lips moving as it was reading!
  • Technology like this will cause the publishing industry to go the way of the music and movie industries.

    Right now the publishing industry is where the music industry was 7 years ago. Multiple incompatible book formats, DRM that lets rights holders yank your paid content away from you, DRM/formats that leave you tied to specific vendor readers, etc.

    The barrier of scanning a book has made the publishing industry think that they don't need to provide books in a format that users want and feel that they ca

  • by pclminion (145572) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @05:29PM (#31515640)
    Why the fuck are we scanning books? Isn't there, you know, a DIGITAL REPRESENTATION which is used during typesetting? This reminds me of that crazy story of the person who printed out a spreadsheet, scanned it in, printed out the scan, laid it on a wooden table, took a digital picture of it, then uploaded it to his web site (or something like that).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hawguy (1600213)

      There are many (most?) books published before computer aided writing and typesetting became the norm. Even for many books that were published electronically, the electronic files used to create the books may not exist or may be unreadable due to poor archiving, publisher is out of business, hard to parse proprietary file formats, archaic hardware (cobbling together a punched tape reader from the 70's might be harder and more trouble-prone than just scanning the book), etc.

      And then there are the non-techn

    • by ajrs (186276)

      yeah, there was nothing of interest that was ever published without a DIGITAL REPRESENTATION.

      I don't see what the big fuss about Gutenberg is. Even the ancient Babylonians were using lasers to print on their clay tablets.

      • by pclminion (145572)

        Obviously, books printed before the digital era are not available in digital form. Duh. But I don't understand -- you want to take a very old, presumably fragile book, and run it through a 200-page-per-minute scanner? The only books I'd feel comfortable doing that to are books where the value is mostly in the words, not the paper they are printed on -- and for the most part, those are recently published books where a digital representation is available.

        I'm not discounting the value of scanning old books. Bu

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by hawguy (1600213)

          There were around 400,000 books published in the 70's alone reference [swivel.com]. Most of these books are not rare, nor would they be fragile enough to be significantly damaged by a high speed scanner. And I'd be willing to bet that most of them do not have electronic publishing files.

          Some high speed scanners (like Google's) are designed to cause no more harm to a book than a person reading it.

    • I always assumed licensed, translated Japanese comics were made by acquiring the digital masters from the Japanese publishing companies and using staff translators, maybe even in collaboration with the original author. I was very wrong.

      Tokyopop, a large importer of Japanese comics, has a video explaining their technique. They have a contact in Japan purchase off-the-self tankobon (compiled volumes) and ship them to the states, where they microwave them to loosen the binding, and scan them in. Then they outs
  • I believe that Google owns the patents on this approach.
  • The fastest non-destructive book scanner.

    The fastest are ones where you chop off the binding, run the pages through an industrial scanning machine, and dump the blob off into modern character recognition software.

    • To put it in perspective, you'll need over 5000 years to process all 7 million books in the U-Mich library using one of these, or one year with over 5000 such machines, round the clock.

  • how long it takes for the authors guild or whatever they're called to brand this as a purely copyright infringement machine.

  • by zappepcs (820751) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @06:04PM (#31516122) Journal

    When established industries become prey for new technology, why do they resist and ask for protection? This is a fundamental question of society. We protect indigenous peoples. We have copyright and patents. We do much to preserve the old along with the new - backwards compatibility. Why do we not simply tell such industries that it's time to change and support them through the change? Yes, I get the whole free market thing, but rather than fight them to force them to accept change, why don't we offer them ideas and methods to change their business model to match the change in consumer requirements?

    No, I'm not being trollish or suggesting stupidity. Why can't we crowd-source ideas for how these industries can recover from game changing technology? Must we wait for Jobs to tell us?

    It's just a question.

  • A few months ago I asked my city's transit if they would post pdfs of the schedules on the web page. They print route schedules/maps and provide them in malls, campuses, and larger public places all over the city. Online, they use Navigo trip planner, links to pdfs and gifs of route maps, and text links to the schedules. So obviously they have some graphic designer in a hole somewhere making this stuff, and probably with InDesign.
    Despite all the obvious cost in printed materials, and huge effort in the w

  • would anyone scan a magazine?

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