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Google Docs Now Does OCR for Images & PDFs (Sort Of)

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… OCR (optical character recognition) fans that are frustrated with the current offering of online services may be pleased to learn that Google Docs will now grab text from images and PDFs quickly and cost free. According to the blog Google Operating System, the new feature has quietly been pushed live by Google after several months of experimentation and development, but will it replace commercial software or online solutions?When uploading files to their account, Docs users will now see an option to run an OCR scan, which will extract characters and place them within a new text document. As far as accuracy goes, PDFs fair much better than images, especially basic black text on a white background. Tags:#Google#web I uploaded a picture of my business card and Google Docs had trouble recognizing the largest text and clearest text on the card, but surprisingly did better with smaller text. A test of a PDF document turned up nearly perfect recognition results, but Google Docs strips nearly all of the formatting out, spewing out the text in a stream of letters and spaces. Other examples from Google Operating System produced decent results, but far from perfect or useful.Additionally, when scanning a PDF, Google Docs does not save a copy of the PDF, so scanning to text and saving an original file requires two separate uploads. This feature is great for casual OCR users that want to quickly grab text from PDFs and some images or business cards. Those who rely on OCR heavily will likely be disappointed with the features and may have better results with commercial solutions. chris cameron Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts last_img read more

The Cloud Is Officially Boring. Finally

first_imgIt’s official: the cloud is boring. While some of you already felt like cloud was BOA (boring on arrival), the reality is that it’s been causing all sorts of headaches within the enterprise. Until now.As Forrester analyst James Staten suggests, new product announcements from both OpenStack and Microsoft Azure got a muted yawn this past week, which is a Very Good Thing, as he explains:“[H]o-hum releases like these are signs of maturity that signal to enterprises that it’s now okay to invest. Let’s face it. Most enterprises are conservative. We don’t like to be first with any new, risky technology. That’s why we wait for the 2.1 release before trying something new… We’d like other companies to work all the kinks out of the system, live through all the stability issues and fix all the bugs so we can get a solid release to work with.”  As much as people have tried to hype the cloud over the years, hype is precisely the opposite of what was needed to make cloud mainstream. As such, it’s arguably a great sign that cloud is about to surrender the hype crown to Big Data, at least as measured by Google searches (as pointed out by Timo Elliott): Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Matt Asay How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud In sum, for years we’ve known that cloud computing would be big. But that’s not what CIOs needed to hear. They needed to know that it could also be boring. We have arrived! It’s about time. As a Unisphere survey (PDF) of Oracle users indicates, cloud is becoming strategic within the enterprise, and much more pervasive. As the survey reveals, 37% of enterprise managers are running or piloting private clouds, which is a jump from 29% two years ago. More significantly, an additional 26%  use public cloud services for enterprise applications, a big boost from 14%. This jibes with a new Barclays survey of 100 CIOs, which found them piling into the cloud. Indeed, cloud, second only to Big Data, topped the list of IT spending drivers:center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Azure#CIO#cloud#enterprise IT#Forrester#James Staten#Microsoft#OpenStack Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Related Posts last_img read more

Harnessing the Awesome Power of Social Media

first_imgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Hi, AleXA time or two we’ve thrown around this big term: generative capacity — a big term, yes, but one that you should not find intimidating.What it means is that all the interaction taking place within online media is churning out insights and knowledge at rates and volumes we couldn’t have imagined even a generation ago.It’s intimidating for countless millions of people, and, no doubt, you’re one of them.Take heart, AleX. These changes present you with a huge opportunity to serve your clients in even better ways. How? By organizing this information to ensure it’s more accessible for your clients. However, to tap into all this power, you’re going to have to master a couple of skills – beginning with curation. Yes, content curation is a big term, but don’t let that term spook you.  It simply means presenting information in ways that your audience will find useful.Aggregation 101:The first step toward curation, AleX, is learning how to take an inventory of all that’s available. Experts have a lofty term for this too — aggregation — but don’t let it intimidate you.   Simply defined, aggregation in this context means collecting online sources of information that your audiences will find useful.There’s a wealth of places to find this information.  You could start with online newspapers and magazines. Blogs and Twitter feeds are good sources too. Bookmarking services such as Delicious and StumbleUpon are good references as well.Google Alerts, which offer a whole array of convenient options to search and filter content, are excellent resources also. Here’s an archived webinar that explains how to get information to come to you using Google Alerts, Creating your own Learning Network.Curation 101:Now we come to the next step summarized by another big word — curation — but don’t let that one throw you either.Within a social media context, curation simply means presenting information in one or more forms that your audiences will find useful.Blogs offer a great way to curate information.  Simplicity is the first rule of thumb.  Keep your blogs short  — ideally, no more longer than 400 words — as well as easy to understand, and to the point.   The subject matter needs to be tightly focused on a simple theme. Break up the text under headers , which make reading a lot easier.For example, a blog may include a brief description of a problem or challenge, a few real-life accounts to support your basic theme, and links to other informative blogs or online newspaper or magazine articles.Capitalizing on What You’re Already DoingWe mentioned bookmarking services as a creative source for collecting — or aggregating — information.  Consider reverse engineering this idea…in other words, use bookmarking services as a way to curate links to your blog.Facebook and Twitter are also excellent places to curate your information. Always remember that your challenge is assuring that your material stands out in the dense news feeds that characterize both Facebook and Twitter.Needless to say, this calls for some creativity. Preface what you post with some attention-grabbers.Adding ValueUnderstand, though, that harnessing the power of social media doesn’t have to be limited to aggregating and curating content.You can harness this power on behalf of your clients simply by helping focus on and refine online discussions, and when the need arises, correcting faulty information.Granted, mastering this skill presents yet another professional challenge, but there is some good news in all of this.  Your professional training and your passion for your job have uniquely equipped you to tap into this awesome power — more important, they have equipped you with the abilities required to help your audiences profit as fully as possible from all this information.So, take heart, AleX. This is part of the “Hi, AleX” series — advice to AleX NetLit about enhancing her levels of network literacy through day-to-day personal and professional social networking. AleX Netlit is a fictional persona created by Network Literacy Community of Practice to serve as a guide to Military Families Service professionals, Cooperative Extension educators and others seeking to learn more about using online networks in their work.More about Alex NetLitcenter_img Author: Jim LangcusterThis article was originally published Monday January 14, 2013 on the Military Families Learning Network blog.last_img read more