Business Facts

Google intends to scan the more than 130 million published books in the world, but they are making enemies along the way

By 2010 there were almost 130 million published books in the world! In an effort to actively promote the democratization of knowledge, Google announced that it intended to scan all of the books which would total 4 billion digital pages and 2 trillion words!

Google plans to complete the project by the end of the decade, but the project is not without controversy.

Books are scanned at a rate of 1,000 pages per hour with an Elphel 323 camera and errors do sneak in. Some pages are unreadable or upside down or in the wrong order. The book information such as publishing dates, authors and publishers may even be incorrect or wrongly abbreviated.

Google has therefore been widely criticized for the lack of editing to correct the thousands of mistakes.

There have also been numerous lawsuits against the company for copyright infringement. Google has a very unorthodox policy of freely copying any work until the copyright holder actually instructs them to stop!

The China Written Works Copyright Society has accused Google of scanning 18,000 books by 570 Chinese writers without the writer or the publisher's authorization. The company refused to admit to having "infringed" copyright laws.

Although the project has the potential of becoming the largest body of human knowledge, there seem to be a few things that need ironing out first.


There is a horror film that was secretly filmed at Disney parks

Disney puts a lot of effort into keeping their image up, and is known to be aggressively protective of their intellectual property.

This is especially true when it comes to their parks, as the image of a magical, always fun place is a key part of their draw.

So when a horror film was announced at the Sundance Film Festival that was filmed at the two Disney parks, pretty much everyone expected some kind of legal response from the mass media giant.

That film is "Escape from Tomorrow," and first premiered in 2013. When filming, the crew was aware that Disney wouldn't be too happy about the idea.

To make sure they weren't stopped, the actors kept their scripts on their phones and the crew filmed the whole thing using the video mode of two Canon EOS 5D Mark II and one Canon EOS 1D Mark IV digital single-lens reflex cameras, helping them blend in as typical visitors.

In one more attempt to keep the film a secret from Disney for as long as possible, it was edited in South Korea. Sundance similarly declined to discuss the film in detail before it was shown.

Although it's likely that park security would have stopped them from making the film had they known about it, the company didn't take any legal action against them once it was released. Instead, they decided to ignore it to stop from drawing any more attention to the film, only stating once to CNN that they were aware of it.


New York City plans to turn all its old payphone booths into WiFi hotspots and free cellphone charging facilities!

In this age of wireless technology, what are payphones good for? Think about it. Everybody owns a cellphone these days!

Well, if New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio can have his way, the payphone booths of the Big Apple will all be converted into WiFi hotspots that would blanket the city's five boroughs with free wireless Internet access!

"By using a historic part of New York's street fabric, we can significantly enhance public availability of increasingly-vital broadband access, invite new and innovative digital services, and increase revenue to the city — all at absolutely no cost to taxpayers," said de Blasio in a statement.

The payphones will still offer traditional phone service, as well as free 911 and 311 calls over and above free WiFi.

In addition to that they will also contain free cellphone charging stations and interactive touch screens that will facilitate business transactions.

Dana Spiegel, Executive Director of NYCwireless, said: "If this is any indication of things to come, we're very excited about the city's commitment to open, competitive and innovative solutions to bring the Internet to everyone."

If this venture is successful it could provide a blueprint for other big cities to follow in New York City's footsteps.


Some awesome lists!

There is a McDonald's in Australia that plays classical music to annoy its patrons!

Teenage hoodlums beware. A McDonald's in Mount Annan, Sydney Australia, has been casually forcing teenagers off of its premises by playing classical music late at night.

This strategy was put in place to prevent the adolescents from hanging out in McDonald's through the late hours of the night.

Is the strategy working? Well, the store's operations manager, Matthew Watson, stated that "we've noticed a reduction in the number of young people hanging around, but we'll have to reassess it properly in a couple of weeks."

People in the neighbourhood around the McDonald's have also noticed that teenagers are causing less fuss and lingering around in the parks less after hours. In fact, the McDonald's restaurant apparently turns up their music really loud when they notice teenagers lingering in the car park. This causes the teenagers to leave almost immediately.

Of course, there have been a few people who are genuinely confused as to why teenagers are fleeing classical music, as if it is unbearable to listen to. Most people find it soothing, and some have even stated that they might stay at the McDonald's restaurants even longer.


In an warehouse, workers had to work in 100+ degree heat and sometimes walked 15 miles a day. After the news broke, Amazon's initial response was to keep an ambulance outside the warehouse.

For a long time the working conditions in the United States have been generally very good.

We now look at the outsourcing of jobs to other countries and hear about the conditions there being terrible, and there is a push to help improve conditions around the world.

There are still some bad conditions in the United States, though.

Amazon has received a lot of criticism for its working conditions from both current and former employees, as well as the media and politicians.

The "pickers," who travel the building with a trolley and a handheld scanner "picking" customer orders can walk up to 15 miles a day back and forward, and if they fall behind on their targets, they can be reprimanded.

In 2011 it was publicized that at the Breinigsville, Pennsylvania warehouse, workers had to carry out work in 100 °F (38 °C) heat, resulting in employees becoming extremely uncomfortable and suffering from dehydration and collapse.

Loading-bay doors were not opened to allow in fresh air as "managers were worried about theft". Amazon's initial response was to pay for an ambulance to sit outside on call to cart away overheated employees.



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