Archive for October 12th, 2010

October 12, 2010

The Turk

the turk

The Turk was a fake chess-playing machine constructed in the late 18th century. From 1770 until its destruction by fire in 1854, it was exhibited by various owners as an automaton. Constructed and unveiled in 1770 by Wolfgang von Kempelen (1734–1804) to impress the Empress Maria Theresa, the mechanism appeared to be able to play a strong game of chess against a human opponent. The Turk was in fact a mechanical illusion that allowed a human chess master hiding inside to operate the machine.

With a skilled operator, the Turk won most of the games played during its demonstrations around Europe and the Americas for nearly 84 years, playing and defeating many challengers including statesmen such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin. Although many had suspected the hidden human operator, the hoax was initially revealed only in the 1820s by the Londoner Robert Willis.

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October 12, 2010

Mechanical Turk

The Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a crowdsourcing Internet marketplace that enables computer programmers (known as Requesters) who are located in the United States to co-ordinate the use of human intelligence to perform tasks which computers are unable to do. The Requesters are able to pose tasks known as HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks), such as choosing the best among several photographs of a store-front, writing product descriptions, or identifying performers on music CDs. Workers (called Providers) can then browse among existing tasks and complete them for a monetary payment set by the Requester.

Requesters can ask that Workers fulfill Qualifications before engaging a task, and they can set up a test in order to verify the Qualification. They can also accept or reject the result sent by the Worker, which reflects on the Worker’s reputation. Currently, a Requester has to have a U.S. address, but Workers can be anywhere in the world. Requesters, which are typically corporations, pay at least 10 percent over the price of successfully completed HITs to Amazon.

October 12, 2010

Choco Taco

Choco Taco

Choco Taco is a brand of dessert food resembling a taco, consisting of a taco shell-like waffle cone, reduced-fat vanilla ice cream, artificially flavored fudge, peanuts, and a milk chocolate coating. The product was invented in Philadelphia in the 1980s by the Jack and Jill Ice Cream Company, but was introduced nationwide by Good Humor-Breyers in 1996 as ‘America’s coolest taco,’ at the Supermarket Industry Convention in Chicago, Illinois.

The ‘Choco Taco’ is marketed under both the Good Humor and Klondike brands. Both brands are owned by the same ice cream conglomerate, Good Humor-Breyers, a unit of Unilever, based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In 1998, Unilever introduced the Choco Taco to Italy with the name Taco Algida.