Digitizing Books using CAPTCHA

I came across this morning, a very interesting service that prevents spam using CAPTCHA and uses those results to digitize books.

What is a CAPTCHA?
A CAPTCHA is a program that can generate and grade tests that humans can pass but current computer programs cannot. The term CAPTCHA (for Completely Automated Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart) was coined in 2000 by Luis von Ahn, Manuel Blum, Nicholas Hopper and John Langford of Carnegie Mellon University. At the time, they developed the first CAPTCHA to be used by Yahoo.

reCAPTCHA is a free CAPTCHA service that helps to digitize books.

reCAPTCHA is a system developed at Carnegie Mellon University which utilizes CAPTCHA to assist in the process of digitizing the text of books, while protecting websites from bots attempting to access restricted areas. More specifically, each word that cannot be read correctly by OCR is placed on an image and used as a CAPTCHA.

But if a computer can’t read such a CAPTCHA, how does the system know the correct answer to the puzzle? Here’s how: Each new word that cannot be read correctly by OCR is given to a user in conjunction with another word for which the answer is already known. The user is then asked to read both words. If they solve the one for which the answer is known, the system assumes their answer is correct for the new one. The system then gives the new image to a number of other people to determine, with higher confidence, whether the original answer was correct.

More info: http://recaptcha.net/learnmore.html

get it for FREE


Cannot open SharePoint sites in Firefox

If you use Firefox along with Internet Explorer, each time you want to open up an internal network site or SharePoint or Team System Web Access etc…you have to provide your windows credentials or log in with some valid details.  This will repeat with every page you access and have to use Internet Explorer to stop Firefox annoying you.

You have to enable NTLM using the following steps, so that Firefox will authenticate automatically.

  1. Open Firefox
  2. Type about:config in the address bar and hit Enter.
  3. Type network.automatic in the top Filter bar
  4. Right click network.automatic-ntlm-auth.trusted-uris and click Modify
  5. Enter only the names of your internal(SharePoint) servers in a comma-delimited list.  For example: lon-ad-01,contoso and click OK.
  6. Restart Firefox

You should be able to access all of your SharePoint sites on the servers you entered through Firefox now without providing credentials repeatedly.

The above setting is usually stored in “prefs.js” in the following directory:

C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<uniqueid>.default
eg: C:\Documents and Settings\technobuff\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\viqz4db1.default

Communicator Add In for Outlook 2007

 Michael Dunn, a Senior Consultant for Microsoft developed an Add-In for Outlook 2007 which allows you to view and interact with your entire contact list from Office Communicator 2007.

This Add-In allows users to keep working in Outlook as well as view presence, call or instant message thier contacts. Outlook already gives you presence and functionality to communicate with the people for the currently selected email, but if you want to communicate with some one that isn’t included on the original email, you’d have to switch to Communicator. The idea behind this Add-In is that a lot of people spend the majority of their day in Outlook, so why do should you have to switch to another program to get presence and communicate with them?

The application with source code is available at http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Communicator4Outlook

An other intresting Add-in for Outlook is Xobni. Xobni (Inbox spelled in reverse) is the Outlook plug-in that saves you time finding email conversations, contacts and attachments. It provides threaded conversations, Email analytics, personal assistant (for those who cant afford one) etc… Here is my outlook with both the plug-ins in action.

Communicator & Xobni for Outlook 2007

Communicator & Xobni for Outlook 2007

Backup user information for Office Communications Server

If you are un-installing the trial version of OCS 2007 and are upgrading to RTM, you can export all the user information and then import back to the RTM version using DBImpExp.exe tool.

Office Communications Server 2007 DBImpExp.exe tool is required for this operation. Do not use the LCS 2005 version of this tool. The Office Communications Server 2007 User Services database (the RTC database) must be available when you perform this procedure, but users should not sign in while you are running the DBImpExp tool. To prevent users from signing in, stop the Communications Server service on the Office Communications Server 2007 server.

The default location for the DBImpExp.exe tool is located in the <drive>:Program Files\Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007\Server\Support folder of a server on which Office Communications Server 2007 is installed.

In order to export user information of every user hosted on the pool or server, run following command on the OCS Front End Server.


Standard Edition Server: dbimpexp.exe /hrxmlfile:”%temp%\SavedUserData.xml”

Enterprise Pool: dbimpexp.exe /hrxmlfile:”%temp%\SavedUserData.xml” /sqlserver:<SQL_Hostname>


Run the following command(s) to import the backed-up user information on the target server.


Standard Edition Server: dbimpexp.exe /import /hrxmlfile:”%temp%\SavedUserData.xml”

Enterprise Pool: dbimpexp.exe /import /hrxmlfile:”%temp%\SavedUserData.xml” /sqlserver:<SQL_Hostname>

If you just want to export and import contact list of one or few particular user(s):

add another parameter /user:<sip URL> to the above commands.


Dbimpexp.exe tool is case sensitive when using /user: parameter. If the text in the /user:switch does not match the case sensitivity exactly as it is stored in the database, an error occurs. The user portion of the URI must be exactly the same as the user portion of the SIP URI stored in Active Directory and the host portion of the URI must be entirely in lowercase.