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58 comments

It'll never work (3, Funny)

spartacus_prime (861925) | about 3 years ago | (#35776448)

They ALREADY look like bar codes.

Re:It'll never work (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | about 3 years ago | (#35776490)

And they are too heavy to move up on the checkout counter in a back-and-forth motion.

Re:It'll never work (1)

JackpotMonkey (703880) | about 3 years ago | (#35776496)

Thats why they made hand scanners

Re:It'll never work (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 3 years ago | (#35776538)

shhhhh, it's only a model

Re:It'll never work (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 3 years ago | (#35779014)

From RTFT, my first thought was that scientists had:
1) put barcodes physically on some Zebras to identify them
2) found that the stripes on the Zebras interfered with reading said barcodes
3) came up with an alternative to barcodes that they could put on the Zebras that could be read without interference.

I was disappointed to find out they were using the Zebra's native stripes as a pseudo-barcode.

Now I will have to find another way to track individual boxes that are covered with stripes that interfere with reading barcodes.

Re:It'll never work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35776550)

Tweeeet

Price check!!!!!

Re:It'll never work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35779836)

Oh, f___. "Cleanup on aisle 6." (Bad, zebra. Bad.)

Re:It'll never work (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about 3 years ago | (#35776498)

That's the point! Nature barcodes them for us, we just need to use a barcode reader to identify them as individuals. It's brilliant!

Re:It'll never work (3, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 3 years ago | (#35776586)

OK, there's a new addition on my list of "Jobs I don't ever want to have": I don't want to be the guy who has to lift up a Zebra's tail to verify his check digit.

Spoiler Alert (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35776754)

It's a zero.

Re:It'll never work (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 3 years ago | (#35786078)

OK, there's a new addition on my list of "Jobs I don't ever want to have": I don't want to be the guy who has to lift up a Zebra's tail to verify his check digit.

Just buy it a plane ticket. The airport will do that for you.
   

...zeebas are the mark of the Beast (2)

dogsbreath (730413) | about 3 years ago | (#35776698)

.. if you look carefully you will see that all zeebas have the UPC 666.

Re:...zeebas are the mark of the Beast (1)

LocalH (28506) | about 3 years ago | (#35777616)

Good thing we're talking about zebras then, else I'd be worried.

Re:...zeebas are the mark of the Beast (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 3 years ago | (#35778310)

.. if you look carefully you will see that all zeebas have the UPC 666.

Good thing we're talking about zebras then, else I'd be worried.

A Zeeba [wikipedia.org] *is* a Zebra. It's just that crocodiles [wikipedia.org] aren't great spellers.

Re:It'll never work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35777090)

Is it open zorse?

More than you know... (3, Funny)

DG (989) | about 3 years ago | (#35777542)

On a whim, I pointed my BlackBerry with ScanLife (one of those square barcode reader apps) at the picture of the zebras in the article, and got redirected to a Groupon for discount rates on an African safari.

Man, *everybody* has sold out.

DG

Re:It'll never work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35779008)

What's with all the "Scientists adjective" articles where the "scientists" can't even be called scientists - these are CS majors AT BEST. Then again they are "biologists and computer scientists" so perhaps the biologists (hard to call any of them post-Darwin scientists - there's no real research left in their field) requisitioned this system from the computer scientists, but the "Scientists adjective" still fails - and it happens all the time. It would be really cool if AT LEAST ONE SLASHDOT we could have titles that don't use the word "scientists" so liberally to mean some retard that just learned image recognition and now think's their God with humility.

Re:It'll never work (1)

Jurily (900488) | about 3 years ago | (#35779760)

I propose a ban on the words "science" and "scientist". It's so vague that the only time you can use it is when you want to obscure their qualifications.

Besides, if a "non-scientist" had done the same, would it be less newsworthy?

Re:It'll never work (1)

mikael (484) | about 3 years ago | (#35782288)

Biology seems to be more statistics than actual anatomy these days . Most research seems to involve measuring populations over vast areas in order to document effects of various ecological events in order publish papers. Most of the time, they can't measure the whole population, so have to take samples at specific points. Then all sorts of measurments can be made - time of arrival, departure, direction of arrival, direction of departure. There are specific fields of statistics which deal with distributions over particular topologies (square grids, spheres, circles). Trying to do this counting and identification of individuals is the hard part. Easy way is to just paint-spray a catalogue number onto the side of each animal like with polar bears, or stick on an electronic tag with seals or penguins. Doing the image processing bit takes out the mundane eye-strain bit of trying to match photographs with catalogue entries as well as not harming the animal.

It's true, the actual computer science bit is just going to be stringing together some image-processing stages (segmentation, feature vector extraction), to add a "plug-in" to a texture retrieval database, maybe as a shell or Python script. But there is still the analysis and determination of the best sets of stages and filters to use. That's the research bit.

The Computer Science research bit as geek would know it would be developing new image recognition algorithms or optimizing the image processing algorithms using multithreading or parallel processing.

Eh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35776460)

I thought April Fool's was over already?

privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35776508)

why violate the privacy of these innocent creatures? after this, they'll try to track us humans!

Re:privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35776596)

They already do. Fingerprints, DNA, retina scans.

University of Illinois at Chicago (4, Informative)

Lord Byron II (671689) | about 3 years ago | (#35776514)

The article didn't say who did the research, but I'm pretty sure that this was done by the CS department at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). I've seen some "zebra barcode" images up on their campus. Here's the link to their "Images of Research" page (along with a picture of the zebras:

http://grad.uic.edu/cms/?pid=1000950 [uic.edu]

Re:University of Illinois at Chicago (3, Funny)

JackpotMonkey (703880) | about 3 years ago | (#35776522)

This may be the first time in the history of slashdot where a link to pictures of animals wasn't a trap

Re:University of Illinois at Chicago (1)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | about 3 years ago | (#35776708)

yup, this is a UIC project. This is the grad student who won the Image of Research prize: http://compbio.cs.uic.edu/~mayank/ [uic.edu]

Re:University of Illinois at Chicago (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | about 3 years ago | (#35777604)

And he will be defending his dissertation on Friday.

We might not be as famous as our sister school down in the middle of the corn field a.k.a. Chambana but we have tons of stuff that they don't have, famous people like Bill Ayers for example.

Re:University of Illinois at Chicago (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 3 years ago | (#35778738)

And he will be defending his dissertation on Friday.

We might not be as famous as our sister school down in the middle of the corn field a.k.a. Chambana but we have tons of stuff that they don't have, famous people like Bill Ayers for example.

Is he barcoded too?

Re:University of Illinois at Chicago (1)

TheOldestGit (859438) | about 3 years ago | (#35776714)

I'm convinced that this is a post by a colleague of mine ;-)

http://www.muzu.tv/colinmather/colin-mather-my-name-is-mather-official-music-video-music-video/902070?country=ww&locale=en

BTW the Isle of Man is great - so don't bother us...

Re:University of Illinois at Chicago (2)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | about 3 years ago | (#35777562)

I work in the Computer Vision and Robotics Lab (CVRL) where our office completely encapsulates the CompBio lab which published this. They only occupied a room smaller than a typical kitchen and only have a handful of people in it, but the stuff they pull off so far is amazing.

Re:University of Illinois at Chicago (1)

Idbar (1034346) | about 3 years ago | (#35781130)

The article has a link to the application, where states that they collaborated. From the code page:

Acknowledgements

This work is part of a project performed in the joined Princeton-UIC Computational Population Biology Course in Spring 2010 (http://compbio.cs.uic.edu/~tanya/teaching/KenyaCourse.html), with co-instructors Tanya Berger-Wolf (University of Illinois at Chicago), Daniel Rubenstein and Iain Couzin (Princeton University), who were instrumental in several parts of this research. We thank he Kenya Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (research permit MOST 13/001/29C 80Vol.11 to D.I. Rubenstein), the staff at Mpala Resarch Centre, Kenya and fellow graduate students at EEB-Princeton University and CS at University of Illinois at Chicago. Funding was provided by Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Princeton University, generous contribution by Bill Unger (for the UIC students in the course), UIC College of Engineering, Department of Computer Science at UIC, UIC Graduate Research Award (Lahiri), NSF III-CXT 0705311 (Rubenstein) and IIS-CTX-0705822 and NSF IIS-CAREER-0747369 (Berger-Wolf).

bored recursionists. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35776546)

n/t

Scientists can finally read zebra barcodes (1)

syousef (465911) | about 3 years ago | (#35776808)

Scientists invented a system sounds like they're putting little checkout stickers on the zebras. What they've done is learnt to read what any imprinting newborn zebra foal must learn to read instinctively in the first couple of hours of life.

Zebra stripes decoded (1)

heretic108 (454817) | about 3 years ago | (#35776822)

Researchers at the University of Botswana have taken this research a step further and decoded the encoding of stripes and the underlying alphabet. One young zebra, limping along the savannah nursing his fresh wounds, was decoded to read "lions suck!" while another slightly older male's markings were decoded to read "I got deep throated by a giraffe but all I got was this lousy T-shirt".

Just in time!!! (1)

owlstead (636356) | about 3 years ago | (#35776828)

A few more decades and we would have been out of tigers! Add another hundred and we will probably out of zebras too.

they're not zebras (1)

cstacy (534252) | about 3 years ago | (#35777200)

These so-called "zebras" are actually horses. The scientists are being tricked because they are looking at them through COLOR video cameras, which in the natural habitat of the horses pick up vertical distortions from the background and make "stripes" appear on the animals. They are actually barcoding the terrain and vegetation, not the animals.

There was a similar problem with a 1960s television show; if you don't believe me, check Snopes.

ZBRA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35777330)

It's been done before. http://www.zebra.com/id/zebra/na/en/index/industry_solutions/technologies/bar_code_printing.html

New Jersey Residents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35778710)

I'm just sayin' - you ever see the pelts on those things? Might be a project the next time you're down the shore. Whatever.

Nice work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35778840)

A team of biologists and computer scientists has come up with a unique barcode-like system for tracking zebras called Stripespotter.

cute quotes [allbestmessages.com]

I'm actually surprised... (1)

cyclomedia (882859) | about 3 years ago | (#35779080)

...that this didn't already exist, did zoologists only just learn about computers or something?

Well I'm just grateful... (1)

BadgersAbout (1145813) | about 3 years ago | (#35811082)

I finally have a way to keep track of those pesky zebras running about the place who just *will not* stay where they are put. I'll sleep easy tonight.
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