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June 21, 2011

Bubble-filling technique can identify test-takers

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Who knew?

From Christopher Shea's June 16, 2011 Wall Street Journal story:

People who fill out bubble forms like those ubiquitous fill-in-the-circle tests use distinctive pencil strokes that can be used to identify them, researchers report. They programmed a computer to take stock of 804 potentially tell-tale aspects of people's pencil strokes on such forms. These include the mark's center of mass, the variance of pencil strokes from the bubble's radius, and the depth of shading, as well as more mathematically advanced measures.

The computer analyzed 92 student surveys, checking a dozen marks from each respondent. Then the researchers scrutinized eight marks from a randomly picked person. The computer identified its man or woman 51% of the time. The correct answer was among the computer's top three choices 75% of the time and was 92.4% of the time among the top 10.

The method could be used to catch students who hire proxies to take their SATs and teachers who change answers on their students' high-stakes tests. But employers, the researchers said, could also use it to monitor the voting habits of their employees, since some jurisdictions, in the interest of transparency, release scans of voters' bubble forms, without attaching their names.

The paper "Bubble Trouble: Off-Line De-Anonymization of Bubble Forms," by Joseph A. Calandrino, William Clarkson and Edward W. Felten, will be presented at the USENIX Security Symposium in August.

Can't wait that long?

No problema, I've got you covered.

Read the paper in its entirety here.

Fair warning: there goes the day.

[via Freedom to Tinker]

June 21, 2011 at 05:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Coil Lamp

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From the website:

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"D.I.Y. Coil Lamp Kit allows the buyer to participate in the design process by having them wrap their own extension cord to complete the form. The kit includes laser-cut acrylic frames, bulb adaptor, and illustrated assembly instructions. Buyers will need to purchase one 100-foot extension cord as well as one CFL lightbulb. No electrical modification of the cord is required."

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$79.

Coil-Lamp-2

[via LikeCool]

 

June 21, 2011 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Build-it-yourself IKEA Stonehenge

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Wrote Doug Osborne in a February 19, 2011 Geek.com post, "If there were any IKEAs around back then, the instructions for Stonehenge might have looked something like the graphic you see above."

[via Flautist (just moments ago) who wrote, "It cracked me up a little. Love the wizard.]

Concur.

June 21, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Green Croc Socks

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$6.

Cheap at twice the price.

[via Svpply]

June 21, 2011 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Re'Search Wait'S — Ryan Trecartin

"Re'Search Wait'S" is one of seven recent films by video artist Ryan Trecartin included in "Any Ever," which opened last weekend at P.S.1, an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

[via Rhizome]

June 21, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

WaveJet Electric Surfboard

Wrote Charlie Sorrel in a May 24, 2011 Wired story: "The WaveJet is a 'Personal Water Propulsion' engine which can be built into surfboards, kayaks or anything else" that floats.

"The engine is powered by li-ion batteries and can produce 20 pounds of thrust for up to half an hour, after which you'll have to plug it in to recharge. The idea of an electric surfboard... is that you can catch faster-moving waves without being towed."

From a story in the July issue of Wired: "WaveJet boards have pair of battery-powered water jets that can propel surfers at up to 12 mph. We tested a 9-foot carbon-fiber model over two weeks at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, in waves ranging from shoulder-high junk to thigh-high peelers. The jets, controlled by a wrist-strap remote, are barely audible over the noise of the ocean, yet they're powerful enough that we were paddling out at twice the speed of our fellow surfers."

Good: Jets cut off after wipeouts.

Bad: "Bulky controller feels like a house-arrest bracelet." No throttle — just on or off. Jet unit adds 16 pounds.

More videos here.

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$4,800.

June 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wolfram Tones

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From a June 2, 2011 article in the Economist: "Such computational creativity can be seen (or, more precisely, heard) in action at the Wolfram Tones website, which can produce a two-minute tune in any of 15 genres using NKS. 'What I’ve heard from a surprising number of very upscale, reputable composer types is that this is actually pretty useful,' says Dr Wolfram. 'They go to the website, press the button a few times and get some ideas. Creativity is now free.'"

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The way we like it.

June 21, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Outhouse Salt & Pepper Shakers

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3.75" H x 2" W.

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Ceramic.

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$13.70.

June 21, 2011 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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