O'Reilly Open Source Convention - August 1-5, 2005 - Portland, Oregon
 Convention Coverage

Session

Smoking Out Corporate Malfeasance with Open Source Software
Bob Mason, Lead Programmer, Tobacco Documents Library, UCSF Library

Track: Linux
Date: Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005
Time: 1:45pm - 2:30pm
Location: Portland 252

The Master Settlement Agreement of 1998 opened internal Tobacco Industry records and research to the public. The UCSF Library was tasked with organizing 42 million pages of low quality TIFF images into a searchable database, so that many interested communities (public health, law, political science, medical science, corporate history, and the public at large) would have optimal access to these documents.

Faced with modest resources for software purchase or development, UCSF turned to a dozen or so open source products/libraries to put together a database, a search engine, and an Optical Character Recognition 'Farm' (or grid) to make this huge corpus of difficult material searchable and accessible. The OCR grid uses the spare cycles of PC's on campus--in labs and classrooms--to convert images into searchable text and PDF's. At peak levels, a million pages a day were processed.

The site thus created offers a rare and often astonishingly revealing look at corporate power in action, and an example of how socially important and technologically interesting systems can be built with Open Source tools.



Diamond Sponsors

Computer Associates International Inc., (CA)
Hewlett Packard
SpikeSource
Sun Microsystems

Platinum Sponsors

Novell, Inc.

Gold Sponsors

ActiveState
IBM
Ticketmaster

Silver Sponsors

ActiveGrid
Alfresco
Black Duck Software
CollabNet
Covalent Technologies
Google
GroundWork Open Source Solutions
Intel Corporation
Mergere, Inc.
Microsoft
Oracle
Palamida
SourceLabs
SugarCRM
Yahoo! Inc.
Zend Technologies, Inc.

Media Sponsors

boing boing
C/C++ Users Journal
DevtownStation News
Digital ID World
Enterprise Open Source Journal
Free Software Magazine
InsideMac Radio
Integration Developer News
Linux Journal
LinuxQuestions.org
Open Enterprise Trends
Queue
SDForum
Software Association of Oregon
Version Tracker
Wi-Fi Technology Forum
Women's Technology Cluster
WorldWIT

In-Kind Sponsors

Dell Inc.
Gibson
Griffin Technology
Harman Multimedia
Smugmug

Sponsors

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Press and Media

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