back to article Brit turns Comp Sci coursework into $100k glad-rags search biz

A computer science graduate who used her final-year coursework on image processing to establish a startup has netted a $100k (£60k) prize. Jenny Griffiths, who studied at Bristol University, became interested in computer vision during the second year of her master's degree - and in her fourth year she wrote software to recognise …

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Big Brother

Google?

I imaging that Google will snap this up. Most of their good stuff is bought in and EVERYTHING they have is to sell adverts. Search is important to them.

You can't sensibly search for images on t'Webs currently unless they are labelled, Though recently Google has been using the surrounding text to "guess", sometimes with hilarious results.

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Ru

"Google, they're such a great company"

Yeah, no prizes for guessing her number one exit strategy.

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Silver badge

Re: Google?

Yeah, cos they just snapped up TinEye, didn't they?

(Which is a fabulous service, I hasten to add, and deserves to be bought, but has still been unbought by anyone serious since it was founded in 1999)

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M7S
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Re: "Google, they're such a great company"

or perhaps she was being diplomatic, and using great in the sense of "big". Either way she seems shrewd.

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When i did my degree, i was told in no uncertain terms at the start of the course that anything i created as part of the course belonged to the university. I had to sign things to that effect and was given warnings about using university resources for anything personal and commercial.

I wonder if there was anything similar there?

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Thumb Up

Exactly the same case for my degree as well. I always begrudged it, because it doesn't encourage you to do the best you can in some respects.

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Interesting point

What if you drop out? Or just insist that this is a development of your MSc created in your own time and therefore doesn't belong in a submitted thesis?

Love to know the answer to this one.

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Silver badge

If it was an MSc at a UK University...

...then you should be able to look at the project write up at the research library of the University. Many will also sell copies if you ask them.

I would suggest that if it is a trade secret, there must be more in the product than was in the final year project, or else anybody would be able to see it. A trade secret that becomes known via a legitimate means then has no further protection in law.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If it was an MSc at a UK University...

No, if she produced it on her own systems it entirely belongs to her. If she produced it with university help they'll probably both own a share in it. Universities won't give away information which is commercially sensitive, when that university can profit from its work, and nor should it in my opinion.

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Joke

but there's an app for for men's stuff coming next

That's easy...

Is Item black, blue or brown?

If=Yes, then go to every clothing shop in UK

If =No GOTO TK Max

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@sooty most undergrads keep their IP at university. Most PhDs too (but smaller proportion), staff don't (these days). There is no universal treatment of IP across Unis though, its depends where you are.

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Good luck to her.

Having unpatented technology at the heart of your business sounds risky to me though.

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Anonymous Coward

It's an algorithm. You can not patent algorithms in the UK (thankfully).

She could patent it in the US but then some patent troll will sue her for infringement because the algorithm uses XOR. It would then cost her at least $100k just to attempt to defend it.

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@need for patent...

Doesn't matter if she has a patent or not, when Apple decides it wants it reality will warp and they would have invented it already!

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Linux

Frock me

I see that the coding guy is using Ubuntu. Nice to see that not all "creatives" must have a Mac.

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Anonymous Coward

Such a simple idea.

Glad it's not being immediately weaponised but looks to actually genuinely be able to help people. Going to be hard on brick-and-mortar stores, though, and since we've still very few options to pay anonymously and electronically both, it'll still be a net loss of privacy. But in this case it's not directly due to the new fob, at least.

And it has an unusually clear and simple business model for a "digital" start-up, for a change.

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Thumb Up

wow...

someone has actually coded something like the App that Penny and Sheldon were trying to create...

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Silver badge

Bah!

Someone actually does something halfway clever and all the comments are negative? Jealous, some?

Thought: Maybe, if the lady is an MSc candidate she's, I dunno, clever enough to think things through, legally?

Another thought: If you had an idea so good you thought might be bought out by one of the e-giants, would you work towards making sure that didn't happen or keep your options open?

As for me: No second-guessing her intentions or methodology, just a "well done that woman" and hope it makes her enough money she'll never have to work on things she doesn't want to. After all, she's got an education that needs paying for, and it obviously works and is worth what it cost.

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WTF?

Re: Bah!

I can't see a single negative comment, unless your definition of negative is "anything but mindless adoration". They all seemed positive to me, people were just discussing the ins & outs of starting a business of the back of a uni project & so on.

If this story was on some other sites, the mere fact of being about a female would've provoked a slew of "Tits or GTFO" comments & maybe some "jokes" about rape.

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Anonymous Coward

Invented AT University

I thought most courses had a clause in the terms that anything invented whilst studying with them became the University Property.............

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Invented AT University

Yeap just saw someone else asked that question...... going to get more coffee

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support vector machine

...could be under the hood?

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Anonymous Coward

The software is geared at women's fashion, but there's an app for for men's stuff coming next.

The software is geared at women's fashion, but there's an app for for men's stuff coming next...

Simple fix... take any search engine, search for phrase; "jeans AND t-shirts"

Job done.

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