Feeds

Google eyes filing cabinets

Paper files next for the great data hoover

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Google has revealed plans to help convert the world's paper filing cabinets, in Tron-like fashion, into mere nodes in the great hive mind.

The firm will be using an optical character recognition program called Tesseract that was found gathering dust in Hewlett Packard's garage.

"In a nutshell, we are all about making information available to users, and when this information is in a paper document, OCR is the process by which we can convert the pages of this document into text that can then be used for indexing," Google uber techie Luc Vincent said on the firm's code blog today.

Once recognised as one of the three most accurate OCRs on the market, Tesseract had been out of action since 1995.

HP decided it was better out than in if it wasn't making any money and punted it to the Information Science Research Institute at the University of Las Vegas to have it restored for an open source release. The uni gave it to Google, where it was quickly assimilated.

The software has some limitations, Vincent said. Comparatively speaking, it's not that accurate any more, it will only read English, does not like multiple columns or fancy layouts, and baulks at greyscale and colour documents. But, he said it was better than any other open source OCR software.

"Google currently "reads" almost every web page in the world. Come help us read all the printed material as well!" the firm said in an advertisement for OCR engineers. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
Netscape plugins about to stop working in Chrome for Mac
Google kills off 32-bit Chrome, only on Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.