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My ratings (R) are from 1 to 9. My Dates are also permalinks. Click on the column headers to sort Jots. Feel free to use the address bar like a command line interface by setting the optional query string parameters: Dtm1 (10, 20, 30, YYYYMMDDhhmmss), Dtm2 (YYYYMMDDhhmmss), IsJot (Jot or Not), Tag (zero+ times), NotTag (zero+ times), OrderBy (PostForDate, PostTitle, PostLink, PostText, PostSource, PostRating, PostSize) & Desc(Desc), and Limit(integer).
|20090518 212959 Z||They Write the Right Stuff||www.fastcomp … ode/28121/print?||Programming, Space, Standards, TECH||A bit about the programming at NASA. I talked with a former NASA programmer years ago. He said it was the work and job that he was the most proud of.|
|20090611 123109 Z||The First Few Milliseconds of an HTTPS Connection||www.moserwar … ds-of-https.html||www.reddit.c … ttps_connection/||Browser, Cyber Tech, Programming, Security, Standards, TECH||File away.|
|20090725 151409 Z||Bed size||en.wikipedia … rg/wiki/Bed_size||Standards||Beds come in a standard size of 2 m (79") --except for the US, UK, and Australia! It's idiotic! Don't get me started on paper sizes or date formats.|
|20090730 184222 Z||A few HTML 5 goodies||Cyber Tech, HTML, Programming, Standards||HTML 5: A vocabulary and associated APIs for HTML and XHTML [http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/]
HTML 5 Reference: A Web Developer’s Guide to HTML 5 [http://dev.w3.org/html5/html-author/]
HTML 5: The Markup Language [http://dev.w3.org/html5/markup/] HTML 5 [W]
HTML5 Quick Reference Guide [http://www.veign.com/reference/html5-guide.php]
Misunderstanding Markup: XHTML 2/HTML 5 Comic Strip [http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/07/29/misunderstanding-markup-xhtml-2-comic-strip/] When can I use... [http://a.deveria.com/caniuse/]
|20090922 180426 Z||A Stick Figure Guide to the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES||www.moserwar … to-advanced.html||www.reddit.c … nced_encryption/||Comics, Images, Programming, Security, Standards, TECH||This reddit comment had it right: "Worst XKCD ever!"|
|20091207 194503 Z||Coding Practices||www.omninerd … Coding_Practices||ask.slashdot … tices?art_pos=24||Programming, Standards, TECH||I love articles on coding practices and conventions.|
|20091231 145630 Z||10 things you should know about USB 2.0 and 3.0||blogs.techre … 10things/?p=1265||digg.com/har … _USB_2_0_and_3_0||Hardware, Software, Standards, TECH||Good news: USB 3 is almost here! Bad news: It may not catch on until 2011.|
|20100125 193248 Z||Flash is coming to the iPhone, thanks to Gordon||s coming to … thanks to Gordon||tech.slashdo … 5SVG?art_pos=146||Flash, Standards, TECH||SVG is your friend!|
|20100125 203119 Z||How to use CSS @font-face||nicewebtype. … e-css-font-face/||CSS, Programming, Standards, TECH||So near --and yet so far. Firefox 3.6 supports Web Open Font Format (WOFF), but we still have to wade through OpenType Font (OTF), TrueType Font (TTF), Embedded OpenType (EOT), and SVG fonts.|
|20100309 202316 Z||Web Standards for E-books||www.alistapa … /ebookstandards/||Books, CSS, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, HTML, Standards, Text||epub is XHTML and is read on every e-book reader except for the Amazon Kindle.|
|20110429 204705 Z||JSONx||publib.bould … onandjsonx05.htm||www.reddit.c … ng_jsonx_an_ibm/||Funny, Programming, Quirky, Sad, Standards, TECH||"JSONx is an IBM® standard format to represent JSON as XML". Madness!|
|20110713 162038 Z||html href tel||Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, HTML, Standards, TECH||I've noticed that more places are making links like this:
|20111018 150014 Z||The Search for a More Perfect Kilogram||www.wired.co … /09/ff_kilogram/||www.crossfit … ive2/007939.html||Beauty, Cool, Math, Physics, Science, Standards, TECH||A fun read. I wanna be a metrologist when I grow up!|
|20130408 175602 Z||Mozilla takes a fresh look at Google's WebP image format||news.cnet.co … bp-image-format/||Animation, Firefox, Google, Images, Standards, TECH||.webp has lossy, lossless, EXIF, color profiles, alpha channel, and animation! This could beat out JPG, PNG, and GIF!|
A fairly big change.
At its meeting in Paris, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a not-for-profit organization that oversees the naming scheme for web sites, voted to accept a proposal that will allow companies to purchase new top-level domain names ending in almost whatever suffix they choose. So, for example, instead of being restricted to sites ending in .com or .org., eBay could have a site that ends in .ebay, or New York City could end its website address with .nyc.
To deter name cybersquatters, the new TLDs will be more expensive, possibly 50-100+ KUSD. It also explains why .xxx wasn't approved earlier.
I love watching technical standards wars. While it's fairly easily to compare the sides on a "objective" technical basis, the wars are often muddied by a goofy factors like politics, patents, proprietary issues, legacy issues, momentum issues, etc. For example the metric system is far superior to others systems of measurement and yet three countries on the planet persist on not using SI: The US, Myanmar, and Liberia. Ridiculous!
Anyhow right now there is a tech standards war going on over "office" documents like word processing, spreadsheets, graphics, presentations, and mathematical representations. The two sides are roughly Microsoft with its Office Open XML (OOXML or OpenXML) [W] and Sun with its OpenDocument Format (ODF) [W]. OOXML is standardized with Ecma International as Ecma-376 and is in the process of standardization with the ISO/IEC as ISO/IEC DIS 29500. ODF is not standarized with the Ecma but it is an official ISO/IEC standard as ISO/IEC 26300:2006.
Whether OOXML is better or worse than ODF should involve a deeper look but given that the OOXML standard is over 6,000 pages long while the ODF standard is under 900 pages, I'm leaning towards ODF. My concern is that there should be a single standard for greater inter-operability. Microsoft is, of course, the biggest player in Office documents, but I think Sun's drive has helped push Microsoft towards an open and universal format regardless of how the details settle in the end.
This is a new link to include in HTML headers for the purpose of URL normalization [W]. It's supported by big players such as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft.
Here are a few other related links:
It's so easy to implement, that I just tweaked my site to have it on almost all pages in just a few minutes.
Just a quickie tech review:
In my post Head in the clouds, I stated the following:
I'd like to Amazon (or Barnes and Noble) to sell and store digital media like ebooks, videos, and music. There are some books that are so beautiful or big or both that I'd prefer a print copy, but for most books, an ebook would do. I don't want physical media disks at my house getting scratched and broken. I don't mind them using some consumer-mindful form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) to ensure that I'm not stealing. I'd like to supplement the DRM digital media with DRM-free media from other sources like Google Books and the Gutenberg Project, PDFs, MP3s, etc. Perhaps I'd store it at GDrive. In any case, I should be able to stream digital media (if I'm online) or download them (at least temporarily) for access either on or offline.
The whole topic of digital media is a big topic. These days I'm focused on digital books but they're all related.
Before I continue, let me just quickly jot down the sub-topics:
- Media types.
- Physical size.
- Device features.
- Content and Money: Creator, seller, and buyer.
- Social media.
Media types is a seemingly easy sub-topic. The media types are essentially text, pictures, audio, video, and apps. Simple enough. That's the media that the user receives (and the device outputs). The user however also sends "media" (and the device inputs). This includes text, voice, movements, and selections. There are other nuances such as the streaming aspect (EG: radio), the asynchronous aspect (EG: email), and combinations (EG: comics). A lot of sight, sound, motion, and time sensing, but not much in the way taste, touch, or smell. Things like the Wii do some motion and momentum input/output too.
This is actually seemingly simple too.
Device features will vary greatly between makers and models initially, but as the technology matures, the differences between makers and models of the same class will become more subtle.
This is the real heart of the issue. The users/buyers are most concerned about the content, but these days the content is tied to the money.
Users have three kinds of content:
There have been three stages of content:
How do the creators and sellers control the copying of the media? And how can they ensure that they get their fair share of the buyer's money? In the digital media industry, the first medium to face this problem head on has been the music industry. Pirating (or illegal copying) of music still occurs. For a while it seemed that the answer was digital rights managment (DRM), but this seemed to hamper on the buyers right to legally copy media for which they had paid for. So far it seems that the answer is not DRM, but to trust that people will honor copyright laws and pay the seller (and hence the creator) their money. A comparison of online music stores [W] shows that the most successful don't use DRM. The available formats (such as mp3, aac, m4a, aiff, wav, ogg) are trivial given all the available converters.
Copyrighted digital text is in the news lately because e-book readers started becoming good enough and popular enough that major books are being sold in digital format. The different e-book readers are using DRM and different files.
Here's a quick review of different e-book formats. See also Comparison of e-book formats [W]. Some of them can implement DRM.
- .txt. Simple text. Preferably UTF-8, but Unicode, windows-1252, iso-latin-1, or even ASCII will do.
- .htm. Simple HTML. Variants include .chm, .lit, and plucker.
- .pdf. Portable Document Format. Practically universal. Many things can be exported or printed to PDF.
- .rtf. Rich Text Format.
- XML based:
- .opf. Open eBook
- .epub. Supercedes .opf
- .mobi, .prc. Mobipocket. Based on .opf. Available to the iRex/Philips iLiad e-book reader.
- .azw. Amazon Kindle e-book. Based on .mobi.
- .arg. Arghos Diffusion.
- Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY)
- .fb2. FictionBook.
- Text Encoding Initiative.
- .tr2, .tr3. TomeRaider.
- .ps. PostScript.
- .djvu. DjVu. Especially for images.
- .pdb. eReader (formerly Palm Digital Media/Peanut Press). For ereader.com. Also used by the Barnes & Noble Plastic Logic e-reader.
- .lrf, .lrx. Broadband eBooks. For the Sony Reader.
Here are the major e-book readers (see more at List of e-book readers [W] and their primary formats:
Just to make it explicit, one of the issues is that with DRM and no standard format, if you buy stuff from one store, then you have to use their reader. If you want to buy stuff from two stores, then you need two readers, and so on. In contrast, you can buy a CD from any store and play it on any CD player.
The digital music industry went through this DRM issue, i.e. it was a real world experiment done with real creators, sellers, and buyers. The result is that overwhelming majority of buyers are honest folk who will respect copyright laws and will pay the sellers and the creators their money. DRM tried to control illegal copying, but actually it was a stumbling block for buying and fair buyer use of media that they legally paid for. I guess that the print media has a years of physical media experience that it has to over come in this digital media world. Copyright laws still apply. Just because it is easier to copy, doesn't make it legal, and the numbers show that the greater sales without DRM are worth the losses due to piracy. The print media probably also has a psychological issue of going without DRM because digital songs are $0.99 while digital books are $9.99. In any case, print media will experiment with using digital print, and, like digital music, may drop DRM after they run through the same experiment but with text instead of audio, and with different prices and different uses.
Let me gripe a bit about some of the hoops I, as a buyer, have to go through:
My wife bought a Kindle 2 and then the price dropped. Learning from her experience, I want to get a Kindle DX --as soon as the price drops. We each have our own accounts at Amazon. A DRM protected Kindle book must be associated with an Amazon account and can be accessed on up to 6 Kindle-compatible devices, where each device is registered to the same Amazon account. A Kindle-compatible account can only be registered with one Amazon account at a time. This gives us several options:
- Buy Kindle books via both of our separate Amazon accounts. If I wanted to share a Kindle book with her (or any one else), then I'd have to lend someone my Kindle DX, or have an extra Kindle registered to my account that I could lend. Neither option sounds very good. She could also just buy the same book on her own account but that's not sharing something I own --it's buying it again. Separate accounts does have the advantage of privacy in that we could each purchase Kindle books that we don't want the other to know about.
- Buy Kindle books via just her Amazon account. My Kindle DX would be registered to her account. We would be able to share books, but we would have the same Kindle book list, plus I would also be able to see her non-Kindle book purchases and info at Amazon.If we got a 3rd Kindle for the family in general, then we could put particular books on that Kindle, but they could also connect to Amazon with the Kindle and see all our other books.
- Create a new family Amazon account and use that for buying Kindle books. Our Kindles would then be registered to the family Amazon account. This scenario is exactly the same as the previous scenario except that we could continue to use our separate Amazon accounts for non-Kindle purchases and thus have privacy for that stuff from each other.
FYI: The scenario is roughly the same for Barnes & Noble, where the e-books are tied to an account. There is the added difference that Barnes & Noble uses .pdb, whose DRM scheme is also tied to a credit card.
In actuality, my wife, my kids, and I are pretty open and we don't care who sees whose books or Amazon purchases so we're going with option #2. With non-DRM e-books the scenario becomes much easier. We can share copies of e-books that we bought within our family. We know that it would be illegal to copy it and give it to others. Perhaps we should be allowed to lend copies to friends that expire in a week. That should whet their appetites so they might buy the book for themselves. On the other hand wouldn't all those broke college students find some way to get free copies of the books they need? People have to realize that if the sellers and creators don't make money, then how can they continue to give us good content?
In one sense digital print has been around for a while: The Web has lots of text! Social digital print has also been around for a while: Email! Blogs! Groups! Facebook! The "social" aspect of digital media as in songs and books however, is only just starting. It's not just a matter of finding out what's hot as in Pandora, Spotify, etc., but of discussing, note taking, excerpting. Of the e-book readers, only the iRex/Philips iLiad has serious note taking features. Each e-book should have at least one site that's a jumping point for discussions centered around the book.
Anyhow this post is getting a little long. What I do with books is find them, buy them, read them, bookmark my place, take notes, look things up, share them with folks, and reference the books. I'd like to be able to do the same thing with e-books, but with the advantage of portability, some connectivity, and digital notes. I'm tempted by the Apple tablet because it has color, video, and can take notes, but it would also need a big book store, free connectivity, and better battery life. Amazon and Barnes & Noble should continue to compete against each other for a cheaper e-book reader that can take better notes and can read e-books from more sources. The big thing is that more and more books should be digitized. The World Wide Web is amazing, Google is amazing, Wikipedia is amazing. The ability to access all the books, old or new, from anywhere would be amazing too!
Sony is releasing two new Readers today. Their old models were the PRS-500, PRS-505, and the PRS-700. The new models are the PRS 300 ($199 "Pocket" with 5" screen) and the PRS 600 ($299 "Touch" with 5" touch screen), both can access Google Books but don't have free Internet. In contrast the Amazon Kindle 2 ($299, 6" screen) and Kindle DX ($489, 9.7" screen) have free wireless but no touch screen. Another big contrast is that the Sony will be sold just about everywhere (Target, Borders, Wal-Mart, etc.), while the Kindle will only be sold at Amazon.
The upmanship in features and price is to be expected. The "standard" price for e-books is now $9.99 at Sony, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. For me the real battle is in the books: Do they sell the ones I want at a decent price? Can they read books from different sources?
Sort of funny to see Amazon trying to grip the e-book market tightly just to have the market slip between its fingers. Sony may have a reader but their book selection is limited --readers want to buy from an Amazon or a Barnes & Noble. Why set up barriers to people buying e-books? Why make us hesitate? Sell the readers everywhere. Let the readers read just about everything. Get rid of DRM.
The rest of the video looks at 5 aspects of HTML 5 and shows simple example code implementing those aspects. The 5 aspects he covers are:
It's annoying and vexing that although Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) [W] has been around for 10 years now, it's not implemented in browsers in a standard fashion, especially Internet Explorer. See:
Until properly implemented, we have to use cheats like embed, object, and iframe in non-IE browsers. IE can show SVG by using stuff like svgweb [http://code.google.com/p/svgweb/] which converts the SVG into Flash. I love Inkscape for SVG images, and there should be more tools for SVG videos, charts, etc.
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