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Slashback Communications GNU is Not Unix

Slashback: Cameos, Sculpture, Brimstone 62

Slashback this evening provides updates on recent Slashdot stories about BBC podcasting, the impact of GPL'd fonts on documents and programs which make use of them, Moore's Law, the much-anticipated "Hitchhiker's" movie, and more -- read on below for the details.

What if my ship is under the GPL, and it crosses the International Dateline? innocent_white_lamb writes "A participant on the Scribus mailing list has posted a reply that he received from the FSF regarding the recent GPL font-licensing discussion, i.e. when does your document become subject to the GPL if you use GPL licensed fonts."

In short, it's less of a worry than some people made it out to be in the earlier Slashdot discussion, but it's not a merely imaginary issue.

They should offer MP3 players shaped like tiny fish. ProsperoDGC writes "The BBC is offering more shows as podcasts. While only non-music programs will be available (due to potential copyright problems with music-based shows), the variety of content is representative of BBC radio's output, including news, interviews, documentaries, and sport."

Every year, the artist has to double the bottom-most layer. Qbertino writes "The online version of the German news-magazine Der Spiegel has a short photo-bulletin on a sculpture in the Heinz-Nixdorf-Museumsforum of Paderborn. The sculpture represents Moores Law, formulated 40 years ago by Intel co-founder Gorden Moore. It states that the amount of transistors on a chip doubles every 24 months while at the same time the size of the chip halves. The law still applies to this very day. Bulletin and thumbnail here (text in German) and a larger picture here. An impressive visualization."

Look very carefully for that fellow from 'The Office.' jangobongo writes "In an interview with SciFi Wire, Garth Jennings, director of 'Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy', reveals some hidden in-jokes and homages in the movie. Among them: Simon Jones, who played Arthur Dent in the original TV series, can be seen and heard briefly as a Magrathean announcer - in 3D (get out your red & green 3D glasses!); the original Marvin robot can be seen in a queue of volunteers lining up to save Trillian; and in several places, head shots of Douglas Adams can be seen. Look for one, as the characters are flying through the planet factory, where Douglas' whole head is a giant planet. "It's quite lovely," says Jennings."

Popping trial balloons as they slink up the flagpole. bonch writes "Sony is now backpedaling on a recent CEO's slip of the tongue about a recently reported iTunes-like movie-download service. Steve Banfield, vice president of Sony Connect, says Sony is digitizing its movies and will allow some video clips to be used royalty-free for video 'mash' projects, but that Sony is not planning to to create an 'iTunes for Hollywood.'"

Dino alive, kicking, and annoying. Last May, we posted a story about the dino-shaped cam surviving under harsh conditions on New Zealand's volcanic White Island.

fraygos writes "Counting on the sulphur and high acid environment to deal to the creature has yielded little as Dino refuses to die. It's been almost a year and our darling dinosaur shows little erosion."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Cameos, Sculpture, Brimstone

Comments Filter:
  • GPL Fonts Reply. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 21, 2005 @08:02PM (#12308760)
    [Scribus] Response from the FSF about GPL fonts
    Louis Desjardins louis_desjardins at
    Wed Apr 20 18:58:31 CEST 2005

    * Previous message: [Scribus] question about superscripts
    * Next message: [Scribus] URGENT
    * Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]


    I have contacted the Free Software Foundation, responsible for the GPL,
    and asked them to clarify their position. Please find here my post with
    the answers in between.

    I post this with the consent of the author. Again, I understand this is
    not an issue exclusively related to Scribus but I think the thread has
    nonetheless drawn enough attention and interest so I would at least put
    this reply on the list for all to read.


    On Tue, 2005-04-19 at 13:28 -0400, Louis Desjardins via RT wrote:

    >> A recent discussion about font management on the Scribus list
    brought up
    >> the following thread from one of the participant:
    >> "[...] it is note worthy to point out that using gpl licensed fonts
    >> in a document makes the document a derived work of the font and
    >> therefore, subject to the gpl."
    >> This assertion immediately raised questions. One of which being what
    >> the source of that information. It became clear this issue is to be
    >> considered as serious, as it is established on your website.
    >> The main concern is how a font can contamitate a publication, or to
    >> extent exactly? In other words, what does that mean, exactly, for
    >> someone using GPL fonts to create a document with a DTP app such as
    >> Scribus? Are there different issues when the work is intended to be
    >> printed and distributed in its paper form or when the same work will be
    >> sent out or made available as a PDF, and whether this PDF has some
    >> interactive functionnality or not (such as a form to be filled, or
    >> external web links, internal links and the like), and whether the fonts
    >> are embedded or not?

    The situation we were considering is one where a font "program" is
    embedded in a document (rather than merely referenced). This would
    allow a document to be viewed as the author intended it even on machines
    that didn't have the font.

    So, the document file (a work) would be derived from the font file
    (another work). The text of the document, of course, would be
    unrestricted when distributed without the font.

    We were unhappy with even this amount of influence for fonts, because
    (a) it's rarely what font authors intend and (b) it's possible that some
    applications do embedding behind the user's back. The situation seemed
    to me to be similar to the case of the runtime libraries which GCC
    automatically includes in its output (and which are licensed to permit
    inclusion in proprietary software). So, I wrote the font exception you
    see on our web site. It's experimental; we're sure it's not perfect,
    and we welcome comments.

    In the US, as I understand it, font faces -- that is, the look of a
    font, are not copyrightable. But font "programs" (truetype fonts, for
    example) are. I don't know how font copyright works in other countries.
    So, printed documents should not be affected in the US.

    >> As a user, do we have to worry about using fonts release under the GPL?
    >> Can this cause a client's work (provided we use Scribus to layout his
    >> job with GPL fonts and possibly along with commercial fonts, all this
    >> work being done as a living and thus we get paid to do it) to be
    >> to be released under the GPL? If so, why then use GPL fonts?

    We wrote the exception you see on our web site explicitly to handle this
    case. Note that you need to always check the license on your fonts in
    • I'm using a GPLed font (Antykwa Poltawskiego []) thoroughly in a proprietary program I'm doing at work. I assumed this is ok, as the font is not linked in in any way -- the lack of it in the operating system's fonts directory will just make the program's appearance different.

      The program in question is developed for a single customer, and doesn't even come with an installer at all -- so, I don't have any issues at the moment. I install everything by hand, so the font isn't even explicitely distributed.

    • In my, not so legal, opinion, embedding a font is a typical *use* of that font. Since the GPL, by its terms, does not cover use, embedding a font is not an act of distribution as contemplated by the GPL. Additional evidence supporting this view is that the font designer has ticked the "may embed" bit in the font descriptor explicitly allowing embedding and the fact that fonts can not, in ordinary operation, be extracted from documents in which they have been enbedded. Additional assistance may be obtained f
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 21, 2005 @08:04PM (#12308779)

    In short, it's less of a worry than some people made it out to be in the earlier Slashdot discussion

    Don't you mean:

    In short, it's less of a worry than the Slashdot writeup, that I personally approved, made it out to be.

  • Obviously! (Score:5, Funny)

    by stinerman ( 812158 ) <> on Thursday April 21, 2005 @08:04PM (#12308780) Homepage
    Sony is now backpedaling on a recent CEO's slip of the tongue about a recently reported iTunes-like movie-download service.

    Really ... why would Sony want to be the first big player in a market that has massive demand?
  • dino (Score:5, Funny)

    by rd4tech ( 711615 ) * on Thursday April 21, 2005 @08:05PM (#12308787)
    Counting on the sulphur and high acid environment to deal to the creature has yielded little as Dino refuses to die

    It would probably take a meteor.
    • This bodes ill (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Stephen Samuel ( 106962 ) <samuel@bc g r e> on Thursday April 21, 2005 @08:58PM (#12309134) Homepage Journal
      Just imagine how long that pink piece of plastic would last in a friggin landfill.
      • Re:This bodes ill (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Just imagine how long that pink piece of plastic would last in a friggin landfill.

        No - this is a good thing!
        After the conservative religious movement in America and elsewhere helps plunge the world into another Dark Ages, in another thousand years or so, the new human societies will be able to get a very accurate representation of our disposable, plastic-ridden society!

        They certainly won't get that information from any present day records. Those will all be non-recoverable since our beloved corporate ma

        • After soiety collapses we'll be mining the dumps, as all of the natural resources available to early industrial tools are long gone. The longer stuff lasts in landfills, the better for our post-apocalyptic offspring. ;)
  • What If... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Xeroc ( 877174 )
    What if Microsoft uses a GPL'd font? Is Microsoft now under the GPL? What if a document of international law uses a GPL'd font, then is all of the world under the GPL? Personally, I think either would be hilarious. :)

    Also, thanks, I'll definitely be looking for those in-jokes when I go to see the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!
    • Re:What If... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by barawn ( 25691 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @08:53PM (#12309105) Homepage
      What if Microsoft uses a GPL'd font? Is Microsoft now under the GPL?


      What if a document of international law uses a GPL'd font, then is all of the world under the GPL?


      You can't "accidentally" put yourself under the GPL. It's not like "whoops, I accidentally released this under a license I didn't intend to!" If some international organization releases a document using a GPL font, and they retain copyright ("this document cannot be reproduced, etc., blah blah blah") the document isn't under the GPL. It's under the license they put it under.

      Now, assume that the document is, in fact, a program (like, PostScript) and contains "font programs" (like, TrueType, or whatever). Then the document may be a derivative work. But guess what? It still doesn't fall under the GPL. It is just no longer distributable at all (under the license that they want, or no license whatsoever).

      I know you were probably being facetious, but poor wording from the FSF and from a lot of GPL advocates has really confused the issue. The question isn't whether or not the document is under the GPL or not. That's the author's decision. It's always the author's decision. The question is whether or not it's releasable under a non-GPL license.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        You can't "accidentally" put yourself under the GPL. It's not like "whoops, I accidentally released this under a license I didn't intend to!"

        Try telling that to SCO : p
      • You can't "accidentally" put yourself under the GPL.

        In just about the same way you can't "accidentally" break an EULA.

    • then is all of the world under the GPL?

      Man, that would be tough. Would we still have to distribute copies of the GPL with all products sold? And if I use a GPL toilet, do I need to save "samples" for people who want to make derivative works?
  • by GillBates0 ( 664202 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @08:10PM (#12308831) Homepage Journal
    ...destined to wander about the fiery chasm in eternal search of his beloved masters Fred and Wilma.

    If only he hadn't eaten them for dinner all those years ago...

  • The annotation on the webcam picture [] intrigued me. What are those Kiwi's up to down under? Are they getting into tectonic engineering? Is that pink dinosaur a radiation-mutated tuatara []? I can only hope that have no WMDs.
  • ...or rather ear it.

    I am from Portugal and defending that the media market is rather changing then loosing clients has been a dificult task near the national radios and music industrie in general.

    The long hours to go to work and back are more and more a problem to everyone, leaving radio as the medicine,

    But radio is so much like a can of spam all the time that users choose zapping through stations rather then listening to one station only,

    Our national radio stations, wich look up to BBC, maybe now will
  • I've got to say (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bhsx ( 458600 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @08:39PM (#12309022)
    As someone who bought HHGTTG and eventually put it down without finishing, I've become enthralled with the radio broadcasts. I've recently downloaded them and have been listenning to two episodes per day.
    Brilliant! I guess when I was in high school I just didn't get it.
    I am looking forward to the movie, expecting to be less than impressed; but we'll see.
    • I've recently downloaded them and have been listenning to two episodes per day.

      OK, I give up. From where? Nothing on the HHGTTG Audio show homepage [] except for a "buy episodes online" link. Isohunt returned a fat goose-egg for torrents...

  • "The original Marvin robot that was used in the TV series, we managed to track down at the BBC studios. It was all in pieces, like this dismembered body. It was really grim. And they got him out and polished him up and made all his lights work and everything, and it was great. We put him on set in the queuing group,..."
    "He had cyberscanned his head for a computer game," Jennings said. "We had access to his data, so when we built the Temple of Deep Thought, which is this giant nose and nostrils, etc., it's actually Douglas' nose, perfectly rebuilt 30 feet [high]. Not that anyone is going to go, 'Hey, that's Douglas' nose,' but it just felt like quite a fun thing to do."
    "At the end, the final improbability effect is Douglas' face."

    Translation: They were more focused on making cute in-jokes and references to Douglas Adams than making good decisions about the movie. "Improbability effect? Perfect! Go with it!"

  • by option8 ( 16509 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @09:44PM (#12309417) Homepage
    if you look closer - pay attention in the second reel - you can see Douglas Adams actually spinning in his grave.
  • by option8 ( 16509 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @09:54PM (#12309475) Homepage
    what the BBC is saying here:

    for non-fans, it's a fun romp with some gags and plenty of fun effect to look at. ooh! a cute, crazy little robot! buy the plushie!

    for those that are already fans of the books (and whatnot) you're going to hate it with a passion! but come back twice - there's more in jokes that you missed the first time because you were crying in your popcorn over the sheer bloody stupidity of it all. and look! there's douglas adams' nose! again!

    (from TFA: "There are tons of things crammed in there. Basically if we needed a prop or a name for something we just used the original material as a reference.")

    it seems to me that, in reality, when they needed a prop or something to fill in the space, they used bits of the author's corpse, and the money-grubbing whores that are his surviving family [].

  • It may not be an mp3 player, but it is a storage device which is shaped like a fish: ml
    • "It may not be an mp3 player, but it is a storage device which is shaped like a fish:"

      Err.. Um. Why do I have a feeling that the target audience of these things is people that like to cause bitter-beer-faces at the office?
  • BBC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @11:13PM (#12309946) Homepage
    I really wish they WOULD find some way to release the music. As an avid listener of the Essential Selection and the Essential Mix, I am forced to download the shows I want through various P2P services. Thankfully, Freshly-Mixed has all of the Essential Mixes I need, but I need to rip the Essential Selection streams and convert them myself, which is a major time sink and a PITA.

    There's huge demand for that, and I think the labels are nuts. They could even charge for those downloaded shows and the labels could split the proceeds.

  • Well, this observation is dead. The computing power and processor's bandwidth can continue to increase for a while, especially when the quantum computer does more than 3*5, but the chip cannot get a lot smaller. There is such a thing as Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle [] and unlike Star Trek, there is no Heisenberg Compensators [] for it!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      There is such a thing as Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and unlike Star Trek, there is no Heisenberg Compensators for it!

      Actually, the latest research has shown that we know that Heisenberg Compensators exist, we just can't tell where they are...

    • Re:Moore's Law (Score:2, Interesting)

      by modemboy ( 233342 )
      Well, both you and the submitter are way off base as to the definition of Moore's law. Try a quick google and read intel's page or maybe even Moore's original paper.
      He observed that the number of transistors or "components" per i.c. would double every 2 years. That's it. So technically it could keep going forever. But you'll end up with a big i.c. eventually. He said nothing of the size afaik.

      Source: m
      • Re:Moore's Law (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gnuman99 ( 746007 )
        Moore's law will probably not survive this decade, yet alone "forever"!

        You can't grow # of components per IC indefinately due to power consuption costs and production costs. At current rate, the number of components will need to grow past a billion soon, and then it has to go though a trillion in next two decades! And then a 10E15 components in 40 years!! This is unrealistic.

        Sorry, this will not happen. There will be no trillion component IC, yet alone 10E15. And how big would the processor need to be in
    • "Every year, the artist has to double the bottom-most layer."

      Shouldn't it be every other year?
  • From the looks of the latest images [] it looks like that volcano is just about to go off :)

    What a shame the picture only updates once an hour.
  • by pm_agapow ( 878103 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @08:24AM (#12311884) Homepage
    Upset about the Lord of the Rings? Angry about Hitchhikers? Sassy about about Sahara or exercised by X-men? To save time in future, please fill out this form first:


    I've just come back from seeing the long-awaited adaptation of the classic _____. It was terrible! It was full of glaring errors and unnecessary changes like
    o _____ has the wrong [accent / hair colour / facial expression]
    o _____ says _____, but in the original he actually says _____
    o I always imagined the city of ____ would look like _____ and not _____
    o the relationship between _____ and _____ just wasn't right
    o leaving out all the [poems / songs / bestiality]

    I'm also mad that they omitted the vital character of
    o _____'s [brother / sister / father / mentor / sidekick/ turtle]
    o the [barkeep / general / wizard] at the [inn / base / mystic Elven village of Elrohéremélossëhelin na Telperiën]
    o second trooper to the left

    and the entire backstory concerning
    o _____'s rivalry with _____
    o ____'s fear of [spiders / snakes/ heights/ death]
    o the childhood of ______
    o the entire lineage of ______, including births, deaths, marriages, divorces, illegitimacies, pets, and house renovations

    This is a betrayal of _____'s vision. Why, the author must
    o be spinning in their grave
    o laughing all the way to the bank

    Did the producers even bother to
    o read the book?
    o read the manga?
    o watch the original?
    o consult the fans?
    o kill a goat and read its entrails?

    I remember when I first encountered _____ at school. I
    o laughed non-stop for days
    o collapsed and wept
    o immediately bought the rest of the series
    o went through puberty

    And it looked so cheap too! You could totally tell it was filmed in
    o New Zealand
    o Sydney
    o Vancouver
    o Toronto
    o an Eastern European country with low wages and minimal labour laws

    _____ was completely wrong as the character of _____. They should have cast
    o Orlando Bloom
    o Arnold Schwarzenegger
    o Samuel L Jackson
    o Jessica Alba
    o Keanu Reeves
    o Brad Pitt
    o Kofi Annan

    Sure it might be alright if you're
    o not a fan
    o didn't read the special small press issue with a limited run of 12 that came out in the early 80s and is OMGWTFBBQ totally brilliant
    o an oxygen-breather
    o have a life

    but Hollywood totally failed to do justice to it! Why didn't they
    o make a 17 hour version, so they could fit everything in
    o make a trilogy, so they could fit everything in
    o make a television series, so they could fit everything in
    o film absolutely all of it and release it on the DVD as extras, so they could fit everything in

    I'm sure thousands if not millions of fans would pay for that! In fact, we should
    o write a petition
    o start a campaign to raise money

    I'm so angry that I'm going to
    o post my opnion on a dozen forums, complaining bitterly to anyone who will listen
    o see the film another 10 times, complaining bitterly to anyone who will listen
    o queue up for the sequel, complaining bitterly to anyone who will listen
    o buy the DVDs when they come out, first release and special edition, complaining bitterly to anyone who will listen
    o announce loudly that I'm going to transfer my allegiance to a fandom that deserves me, like
    o Battlestar Galactica
    o The A-Team
    o Bubblestar Robot Whore Battalion Miyozuki
  • Sony is a Movie Studio. They compete with other studios. The other studios won't license their films to Sony. It's like when Pepsi bought Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC - the fast food competition ran to Coke.

    Sony can't do a Music Store for the same reason.

    It's nice when mega-mergers come back to bite you in the ass once in a while.

    Apple does well because they're neutral and Steve Jobs is in the entertainment industry so he can talk the talk.

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