Citizendium’s reply to Charles Darwin

My dear Darwin,

Having considered your application for becoming a Citizendium editor, we regret to inform you that we must reject your request, since you did not send it through a non-free email address that bears your name or a portion thereof. We understand that for a gentleman of your social standing, it would be unseemly to accept a paid position that would furnish you with such credentials, but I am afraid to tell you that we must insist on proper procedures.

Yours sincerely,

A Founder of Wikipedia

DRM-free: Why now?

Nobody could have missed the news that yesterday, the rules of the digital age were beginning to change for the better. EMI and Apple announced that a new option would be introduced to the Apple Music Store, of allowing the purchase of higher-quality, AAC encoded songs without copy protection. Norway has, of course, been rightfully praised for making a stand in the matter of digital lock-in that caused Jobs to write an open letter to the music industry and the world at large. One may suspect that the .30 USD surcharge is incurred by suspicions that some people will share files with their friends and family. The “analogue gap” seems to no longer be a concern, perhaps never was. But the music industry has been working hard for several years to make the traditional file-sharing networks unusable bittorrent arrived with great promise, but has become respectable with Bittorrent.com and Zudeo having developed distribution models for copyrighted content. I would therefore argue that a DRM-free deal at this time is as much favoured by the successes of counter-copyvio activities funded by the music industry as it is by Norway’s pressure or Jobs’ taking a stand. As a final comment, I fail to see how Microsoft is a loser in this deal any more than they have been ever since failing to establish compatibility between their own frameworks and with third party devices. It has been said that AAC is an industry standard, which I presume means it can be used without royalty payments to Apple. So Microsoft could be flexible for once and adopt AAC. Like that time they built Vista on top of a Linux or BSD kernel. What do you mean, that never happened? 😉

Stippled lines in PowerPoint 2007

After posting about PowerPoint’s difficulties with circles and straight lines, I’ve now found it also has a problem with patterns and zoom. See the first image, where the stippling of the two lines is exactly parallel, viewed at 400% zoom. Also note that the arrow is pointing from one “stipple” to another, which is more aesthetically pleasing than having the arrow stuck between stipples, or half on one stipple.

stippled400.gif

Then see the next figure, where the same scene is viewed at 200% magnification:

stippled200.gif

Now, the base of the arrow is only half on one stipple. Not what I was seeing before. Why would I bother to look at a higher magnification if what I’m seeing at that magnification is not representative of the final image? Absolute shambles.