Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Small Bits: Turing Test, Keynote HTML!, individual i, zipcar,

  • Students need volunteers:

    Back in the 1930s, Alan Turing proposed a “Gender Guessing Game” in which a judge, connected to two people in closed rooms with a teletype each, would attempt to guess which was a man and which was a woman. Turing then proposed extending the game into his infamous “Turing Test” where a judge tries to tell the difference between a human and a computer.

    On April 16th (Today) between 3pm and 6pm Eastern Time, a group of students at Simons Rock College of Bard will be implementing the first half of Turing’s test with AOL IM — they will try to see if judges can tell the difference between men and women over Instant Messaging.

    (Via Simson Garfinkel)

  • individual-i.gifThis logo is cool, a symbol for liberty. Maybe it’ll compete with the smiley face.
  • Simon Cozens has put a Javascript reader for Keynote on his blog. Cool! (Previously here: “Why I Want HTML Export (from Keynote)”. Thanks, Cat X!)
  • The Marriage of True Minds is pretty entertaining.
  • Blog*on*nymity notes a BBC article on Zipcar. It turns out they have extensive tracking technology attached to their cars. Not really surprising, but I hadn’t thought about it. Update: In a totally scientific survey (n=1), users report:

    I know that they track them pretty closely because I returned one six minutes
    late once. They figured it out, and automatically charged me for being late.

4 comments on "Small Bits: Turing Test, Keynote HTML!, individual i, zipcar,"

  • Nikita says:

    Discovering late returns doesn’t require extensive tracking. CityCarShare in SF doesn’t use any wireless technology; they simply record the times you lock and unlock the car on the in-car unit and then download the data during regular maintenance.

  • DM says:

    The ][ is cool. A shame it can’t easiy be replicated with ASCII like a smiley can. =* just doesn’t really cut it. 🙂

  • Apart from billing which can be done offline (like CityCarShare is apparently doing), I think Zipcar is closely tracking vehicles in order to make new bookings in the most optimal way possible… pretty much like a cabs dispatcher!

  • Nikita says:

    I don’t see how tracking where the cars are helps you make more optimal reservations. It doesn’t help to know where the car is now, since it will (presumably) return to its designated parking spot at the end of the reservation. I guess they could estimate if the car is going to be late, but I doubt they do that.

Comments are closed.