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Submission + - The Individual Midnight Thread 40

unitron writes: Trying to figure out time zones is starting to make my brain hurt, but apparently in a bit over 6 hours somewhere on the other side of globe from Greenwich the Week of Slashcott will begin, as Midnight arrives for anyone in that zone, and then it travels west, where I will encounter it in about 23 hours.

So if we can get this thread out of the Firehose, I was thinking that, as the 10th arrives for us in our respective locations, we could leave here what may be our final farewells to Slashdot.

Until Midnight, this is our meeting place, our City Hall, our town square.

(and yes, our playground)

After that I'm not sure where we can congregate to discuss how the Slashcott's going and whether it's time to move on.

I'm going to jump the gun and lay claim to "So long and thanks for all the Karma", and perhaps someone could do a Bob Hope and re-write the lyrics to "Thanks for the Memories".

In the meantime, a bit of housekeeping.

An AC beat me to the week-long boycott idea by a couple of hours, and suggested the date range of the 10th through the 17th.

As part of a group of people familiar with the concept of beginning a count with 0 instead of 1, I really should have spotted the mistake of putting 8 days into that particular week.

So, should Slashcott Week end as the 17th begins, or do we give Dice a bonus day?

Comment Re:Here's a brief list (Score 1) 796

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Second this (and pretty much all of the books listed by redmid17). Lila, the sequel to Zen, is also a pretty good read.

I'd add the following to the fiction list: The Name of the Rose, A Game of Thrones (heck, the whole A Song of Ice and Fire series), Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Illusions, Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass, Starship Troopers, Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson, Gulliver's Travels, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (and anything else by Jules Verne), Sandman (especially Season of Mists), Neverwhere, American Gods (and anything else by Neil Gaiman).

Non-fiction: The Road Less Travelled (this, like Zen, you read over and over and learn something new every time), Meditations (Descartes), Critique of Pure Reason, The Prince (Machiavelli), Thus Spake Zarathustra (and Nietzsche's other works), The Art of War, The Book of Five Rings, anything by Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell.

Fiction/non-fiction, depending on the reader: Mythology (I read Edith Hamilton's when I was very young and Bullfinch's much later, either will do), Tao Te Ching, Divine Comedy.

Many of these I recommend not because I categorically agree with them, but because they broaden perspectives and make you think.

Comment Re: Silly to assume (Score 1) 37

Time runs at different speeds at different points in space. The poster has a point. When astronauts return to earth their watches are slightly out of synch with clocks on earth


The emphasized bit is correct, and another AC claimed "relativity does not work that way", which is incorrect, because relativity does work that way. Astronauts on the ISS experience a net dilation of 21 or so microseconds per day -- dilation of about 25 microseconds due to velocity relative to ground and compression of about 4 microseconds due to being higher up the gravity well. Over a 6-month stay, that would be about 4 milliseconds.

While that's probably well within the margin of error of any mechanical watch, GPS devices are a different story. They have rather accurate internal clocks, and relativistic errors are large enough that GPS satellites have to compensate for the discrepancy.

Comment Re:Not until Anti-Aliasing isn't a thing (Score 1) 414

The topic was anti-aliased font, in printed books. You'll be hard-pressed finding one of those that didn't go through a RIP, hence digital.

The analog workflow (be it manual typesetting or direct carving of master plates) is only used in limited artisitic endeavor. The goalposts have been moved off-topic.

I wasn't trying to move the goalposts on you. The last print job (black and white book with some diagrams) I worked on used film-to-plate transfers with manual layouts, but that was well over a decade ago, in a third-world country. Looks like technology has moved forward a lot from that. I'd heard about newer print processes using direct computer-to-plate transfers (which is probably what you're referring to). I didn't know how prevalent that was for predominantly monochrome text printing nowadays until your comments got me reading. I'm happy to be corrected. Thanks :)

Comment Re:Not until Anti-Aliasing isn't a thing (Score 1) 414

The analog I was referring to are, in this case, letter shapes. They don't need to be approximated with discrete pixels when you're using movable type, for example, or carved woodblocks; and even etched plates can use analog curves if the master image does, hence, no anti-aliasing. As to color mixing, I'm familiar with the dithering and registration required to render them because of the inks. It can be a real pain to get right.

I don't remember the details of the 2-bit grayscale printer, i read about it was some time back. I'm not even sure now if it was an experimental technology or if it was commercially available. It might even have been vaporware... :p

Comment Re:Not until Anti-Aliasing isn't a thing (Score 1) 414

Generally, books are printed with a press. Whether it uses movable type or etched plates, the printing technology is analog, even if digital technology is used to lay out the plate or type. That's why I made the distinction between analog vs. digital... analog type don't need to be anti-aliased, since their "pixels" are effectively molecules.

My statement about digital print was a hasty generalization. In retrospect, it's probably only a handful of digital printers that are capable of anti-aliasing, like one with 2-bit grayscale pixels that I read about somewhere.

Comment Re:already passing it (Score 2) 414

> 2x2 for lowercase. Right. That's 16 possible "characters" Correct. > with one of those being empty space and 4 of them being single pixels. Wow you figured out not every possible combination is -> useful <- all on your own? Here is your sticker.

Condescending sarcasm only works if you're actually making an intelligent point, otherwise you just end up sounding like a jackass. The point of my statement, in case it went over your head, was that there are 26 characters in the English alphabet, and 9 pixel patterns are insufficient to portray them all. Nice try anyway.

It should also be pointed out that the 2x2 lowercase font you're bragging about isn't 2x2. The h is 2x3; n, m, u and v are 3x2, s, t and y are 3x3... and those are just the ones I spotted in the first line. So yes, BS for a 2x2 font was correct.

As you can see the uppercase is perfectly readable ...
* http://peopleofhonoronly.com/michael/dev/fonts/font_uppercase.bmp

The lowercase is "mostly" readable ... it is a great test to see what DPI is good, poor, and fail. (The lower the better for readability, but poorer for sharpness.)
* http://peopleofhonoronly.com/michael/dev/fonts/font_lowercase.bmp

Those fonts are readable in the same way grass is edible. Just because it's possible doesn't mean it's useful as a reading font. It can be used to convey information and the reader can with some adjustment get used to it. That is far from "perfectly readable." Reading anything longer than a paragraph becomes an exercise in masochism. They might be useful as a small machine readable font that needs to remain decipherable by humans, similar to OCR-A.

And just to demonstrate one can bold any font ...

Simply changing the color of text from grey to white doesn't make it boldface. What if the text is white to begin with? Boldface refers to using heavier weight strokes, which you can't do with your 3x3 font without making it unreadable.

people like you who know absolutely nothing about fonts.

So now you're passing judgement on the knowledge or lack thereof of complete strangers on the Internet, when your own demonstrated credentials are the presentation of the work of another person?

I'd normally refrain from this, but you did bring it up. I worked with 8-bit machines running CRT displays in the early 80s. Those displays are pretty low res and the built-in text patterns tended to use an 8x8 grid. To fit more information on the screen, I designed 7x5 and 5x5 pixel character sets. I also made one for 3x5 but I thought it was terribly ugly. I was 12 at the time. In high school, I was a writer and later editor of my schools' papers. In later years, I did a lot of desktop publishing work -- editing, layout and graphic design. I've also run an in-house press for one company.

None of that really matters, because the original point, which others have also raised, is that your friend's 3x3 font isn't very readable. Not unreadable, but definitely far from anything any reasonable person would describe as readable. Anyway, you have a nice day, Mr. Has-a-friend-who's-an-expert-on-fonts.

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