Monday, August 31, 2009

Font Snobs

Some connoisseurs of all things font are "outraged" over Ikea's decision to use Verdana as their new official font. Verdana of course was invented by Microsoft and is freely available.

It's interesting that some critics call Ikea "cheap" for choosing a free font. Undoubtedly others are just hating on all things Microsoft.

A question: Would anybody accuse Idea of being "cheap" if they used open source software? What exactly is the difference?

Also, isn't Ikea's cheapness part of its corporate image?

Anyway, this reminded me of this article from the Wall Street Journal about another infamous font: Comic Sans.

I think as an information publisher, your goal should be to avoid these debates entirely. In response to the Ikea flap, Fast Company has published a list of six fonts that people love to hate. Perhaps you should have a "banned font" list in your organization?

You never know who may be looking down their nose, stroking their chin, tut-tutting you for your choice of font.

If you were a publisher of sheet music. . .

Do you think this would have any effect on your business?

By the way, our API was just released today and the example application uses a PDF of sheet music. Why did I use sheet music? I needed some content in the public domain and it seemed like a classical composer would fit the bill.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sony Steps up with Wireless E-Reader to Rival the Kindle

I think it's a sure thing that e-books are going to change the high-value newsletters and reports industry in a big way. It's important to pay attention to these developments. With that in mind. . .

From cnet:
Sony on Tuesday announced its first e-book reader with built-in wireless capability. The new Reader Daily Edition offers an integrated 3G wireless connection, allowing it to access Sony's online bookstore as well as yet-to-be-announced newspaper and magazine subscriptions. The unit--which boasts a 7-inch touch screen (displayable in portrait or landscape mode)--will sell for $399 when it debuts in December. Wireless service is provided by AT&T with no direct charge to the customer.

It looks like Sony has learned a lot from the Kindle, which was a big hit mostly because the built-in wireless capability made it much more user-friendly.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Internal AP Document Describing their Online Content Strategy Leaked

As I wrote a few weeks ago, the Associated Press is planning to launch a new online licensing scheme designed to make sure they get paid when their content gets posted online on blogs and other sites.

The document describes AP's effort to store and track all of their content internally, track its use online through their own licensing technology, and look for unauthorized uses using web robot crawlers. It also has some analysis of the roles sites like Wikipedia, Google News and Twitter are playing in the current news environment.

If you're a puppy-dog content-provider wondering what the big dogs are thinking vis-a-vis intellectual property, it might be worth a read.

Of course, if the AP used DocMonk to distribute their confidential memos, they'd probably have better luck keeping their secrets secret. Just sayin.

Monday, August 17, 2009

SitePoint, Publisher of Information Products for Web Professionals, Eliminates Passwords on their PDF Books

An eloquent and forward-thinking rationale for unprotected PDFs here.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

"View in HTML" Feature in Gmail Stripping out PDF DRM

Yet another way that DRM for PDF can be defeated.

Also, check the comments of the link above. Everybody is sharing their favorite way to defeat protected PDFs. That's the "copyright arms race."