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Radio Prototypen: 0.4b Feuilletonistisches Symposium für angewandte Nerdkultur (german)

Soooo. da isses wieder. Nachdem wir fast 90 Zuhörer hatten letztes Mal sind wir jetzt noch nervöser, zumal diesmal wirklich nicht so viel Inhalt zur Verfügung stand - aber wir sind ja immer noch beta und werden das auch noch ein weilchen bleiben versuchen uns schrittweise zu verbessern...

Themen heute: viel gefährliches Halbwissen und teure Kultur. Anti Aggro Anti Flash Anti GreenCardSoldier - Pro Mummifizierte Mönche und Coole Dubselectoren.

und ein neuer Untertitel:

Feuilletonistisches Symposium für angewandte Nerdkultur

Abbonieren im iTunes o.ä. hier:http://www.prototypen.com/radio/index.xml

(Im iTunes auf "Podcast abbonieren" im Menue "Erweitert (Advanced)" gehen und den link einfügen)

Ansonsten hier der direkte Link (speichern unter):

irgendwann auch mal als embedded media mit eigener seite.....

Viel Spass....
Anregungen und wünsche und Kritik bitte per mail an:

radio (at) prototypen.com


Fight of immigrants in France - fight of generations in Germany?

Our lovely interior minister Herr Wolfgang Schäuble is on it again. While condemning the violence in France he warns that something similar can happen anytime anywhere in Germany. So much for the usual fear mongering that we got used to already and most intelligent people just overlook. Instead of leaving it like that he basically started a war of generation in a "dilomatic" side sentence. He said that people do not get adjusted fast enough to the new societal reality and that this does not only involve immigrants but youth everywhere. Uhm...
First of all what is he talking about when he talks about the transformation of society? All I can see is stagnation, because mostly old over-conservative power-hungry people without a sense for this planet running us into the ground - Mr. Schaeuble on the forefront. Rreasons for the young ones to fight are plenty especially with the little media attention they are getting if they have something to say. But its not only the young ones Mr. Schaeuble its a LOT of dissatisfied people who do not want to be searched by the police, who do not want to be watched all day long, who think that the wealth pyramid should be reshuffled.
Yet there is not even any reason to have any fear that the couch potatoes in germany go to a mass riot just yet. So dear Mr. Schaeuble sleep well during you daydream of every german citizen becoming a terrorist.



Retro Russian Space Exploration Pictures

retrorussianbatmobile.jpgOh I love them. I have some sets as well that I should scan and share... They are so rich and colorfull and optimistic Mr. Lem would be in delight.
Get them all at darkroastedblend

User Interfaces Of the NowFuture

bumptop.jpgUI is one of my favorite topics - as I am pretty fed up with the user interface experience on personal computers these days. The days of the mouse keyboard combo are counted without a doubt - at least after a certain multitouch product that hit the market big this year.
I have been seeing a lot of research into modern unkonventional user interface studies that work with multitouch or 3d desktop representations or photogrammetry exploration over the last year and so I am quite happy that I don´t have to do the roundup of them but another side did that already :) As far as I can see this is the top of the crop of modern interface ideas that have the ability to make it to the mass market - so I think there could be even more radical departures - its cyperspace after all...

My personal favorite - after the awesome multitouch stuff (that is not from microsoft) is the 3d desktop - pair the 3d desktop with multitouch and you have a pretty working novel interface. Now they just need to invent an fingerprintproof glass surface...

read all about the interfaces of the future over at smashingmazin.com

PS: I am very happy that UserInterfaceDesign has become a darling of the techreporters lately - that means this is coming big time and it could not come soon enough..


Radio Prototypen: Version 0.3b (german)

So hier ist es. Zwar nen tag spät weil ich gestern bei nem schlechtne 3d event war aber da es eh kaum aktuelle ausgehtips gibt ist dies nicht ganz so schlimm. Viel schlimmer ist unser Brummen was wir auf einmal haben obwohl sich am setup zum letzten mal nix geändert hat. Der whitenoiseteufel hat sich da wohl irgendwo eingeschlichen. Ausserdem hats geregnet und unsere allgemeine Stimmung betrübt - auch waren die beiden Raucher ein wenig nervös weil kein Tabak aufzutreiben war im Studio.

Mit dabei diesmal der Bastai (dessen myspace seite ich nicht verlinke) der uns was übers Jamaikanische Copyright system erklärt. Und noch ne ganze menge Laberei - glücklicherweise noch beta wa ;)

Kurze Übersicht:

Politik Kommentar Bangladesh, Kongo, Daten Weg und Sicherheit statt Freiheit ansonsten noch interessantes über Musik und VJing, 2,5 Ausgehtips für 200 und cool Gadgets of the week.

Tolle Musik von jahtari.org und viel hintergrund noise....

Kritik Anregungen etc weiterhin extrem willkommen einfach hier in den comments oder bei stephan oder per mail.

am besten den RSS Feed ins iTunes als Podcast importieren...


oder direkt link (Save As im Browser):


Update: Browsercode doesn´t work.


360 degree camera and projection system....

olympus_360.jpgOlympus is kind of ahead of the whole immersion curve it seems by surprising the world with the first HD (as in 1080iiiii (why fucking interlace?)) camera AND projection system that records and projects a 360 degree round view. No word on pricing or availability yet but I do have a feeling that soon the editors of this world sit in odd round rooms - obviously before hollywood will get wind of this the vjs are on the forefront and have done various diy solutions making projection domes and stuff for - like - ever. Anyway immersion is good - a standard would be even better, yet I don´t think this will be a hit with the couch potato who's average room probably does not fit a 360 degree projection surface. And 1080iiii is a bit rough if you have to stretch it out by so much, but its progress after all and big companies pushing the boundaries can not be such a bad thing in the end - which is sadly far far away for the poor video souls trying to get a true immersive environment.

Via TechOn

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Radio Prototypen: Version 0.2b (german)

DSC00062.JPGWe did it. It took us weeks and weeks on end (not really but it took us a while). Its our first podcast so bear with us. Es ist in deutsch - sorry englisch speaking audience.
Es heisst nicht umsonst 0.2beta - sprich das ganze Konzept muss noch reifen und generell ist noch einiges im Argen, trotzdem wollen wir Feedback von Euch da draussen. Was sollen wir machen, welche Richtung soll Radio Prototypen einschlagen? Welche Gäste wünscht ihr Euch, wollt ihr auch mal Gast sein? Musik, Politik, Lokal-Stuff?
Auf jeden Fall wird es wachsen und immer Freitags zu hören sein. Erstmal auf Stephans und diesem Blog so bis Version 1.0 oder 2.0 wo es dann endlich auch ein eigenes Heim bekommt.

Now enjoy!
am besten den RSS Feed ins iTunes als Podcast importieren...


oder die erste Folge direkt runterladen:

Radio Prototypen NullPunktZweiBeta


Photoshop to get new UI - Gimp too!

Yay..... The news could not come at a better point - just when I was about to ramble about the interface clutter that programs produce - now that my OS of choice does not produce so much clutter anymore (hey I do have the feeling I am in control of my computers again :) the next problem is the programs themself. As I consider myself pretty much a poweruser (anyone seen my open programs can acknowledge that I guess) there is a HUGE problem - program UI and keyboard shortcut consistency.
But it seems the days - at least - the program User Interface has been living a live of a neglected child are counted. Senior Adobe product manager John Nack himselfs believes they have raised a bloated monster ready to drown any second - and I give him right in every sentence. The solution for Adobe would be to make the interface more customizable - he says. I would say make the freaking program itself more modular - let me make snapshots of modules that I like to work in my workflows and let me save those snapshots to carry around with me (on my nonexisting iPod f.e.) and make the snapshots FUTURE PROOF - I don´t want to sit and reconfigure something as fundamental as a pixel editor everytime they release a new version (in other words - do it right from the beginning and future proof).
Modularity is the key as Apple already figured out when they made Opendoc (the best teck ever to come out of apple in the last 20 years I would say - toooo bad they killed it with OSX but their "services" are a step in this direction - think of opendoc as Everything is a module and can be reused by everything else - say use the photoshop paintbrush in maya by actually loading in the photoshop paintbrush into the maya interface!)
The problem with a photoshop interface redesign - they need to make a "compatibility" configuration that looks just like photoshop 1.0 because everything else the older designer generation will just not buy (the biggest problem in modern interface design today is that "old school" user bitch about every small UI change and its really time to rethink the interface itself from the ground up)

A bit easier this is for gimp as its only users to date are people who otherwise use the command line (flame me please - but its a fact) so every interface must look like heaven to those poor souls. While I have bitched about poor Gimps interface for years there seems to be finally a growing consensus to do something about it - other then just badly copying Adobes already not so great interface.

The Gimp User Interface Group tries to find the godly ingedients to make an working interface that is actually used by graphic peeps rather then programmers. The sad thing: While they have the opertunity to make some (r)evolutionary that departs from every modern day UI, because a graphic program has the all the option imaginable to make it work better then anything there is or has been out there - the interface on their website looks like - oh wait no - photoshop. While talking about details is great ITS NOT GREAT IF THE OVERLAYING CONCEPT IS INCREDIBLY FLAWED! Layers are soooo 90is. One dimensional interfaces are so 80s!

To all people who are designing interfaces out there: TRY SOMETHING NEW or at least LOOK WHATS OUT THERE ON A BROAD SCALE (not only image manipulation f.e. but database handling, node editing etc).
The programs and workflows have become so endlessly complex that a complex interface is NOT the way to go!

simplyfy make it multidimensional context sensitive and modular and future proof and interoperable and standard conform and build in possibilities to easily hack it down to the core. And try to get rid of the fucking windows! I spend more time trying to find the right window burried in a stack then I am designing (at points that is of course).


Slug Love


summer of slug love
klm 2007
photo by fALk


Fonts for Science - stiX

stixprev.pngIf you ever tried to layout a scientific paper (once I had to) you noticed that just when you choosed a nice font you had to put in two dizillion of other fonts just to get all the special characters that this specific scientific project needs. That is if you find them at all. No more of that says STI - publisher of lots of scientific journals - and opened the open source free Scientific Font package.
What you get is 30 different opentype fonts - mostly wit a "Times" appearance but also in Fraktur (!) monotype and sansserif - with about all and every scientific symbol on the planet all free for your download pleasure. Still at an "open beta" stage at the moment but already available for download here:


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3D models from Flickrphotos

notredam3dflickr.jpgOne of these "why haven´t I thought of it" moments occurred to me today (so even if I would have I probably would have not been able to pull it off but thats beside the point). Take A LOT of photos from one and the same object/building possibly from different angles and generate a 3D polygon model out of it.
Now where do you find tons of photos of the same thing - Flickr the pixel rubbish tip.
So thats what researchers from the TU-Darmstadt and the University of Washington with the help from the usual suspects (Mircrosoft, Adobe and other "we want to own the world" types) have done. Take 200+ photos of highly varying quality of any one building and let some pattern recognition magic be performed to figure out the point of view of each photographer automatically. Then interpolate the edges of the patterns and put it in a 3D grid, shake it all fix the polygons and out comes - a 3d model representation of the building.
Now I thought this is enormously cool until I saw the actual output. I think to get that quality of polygonal modeling it takes less then the 2h for a human with only very bad knowledge of ZBrush to make a shitty model like this. I mean these are architectural marbles that have fine details and sharp edges - to present a 3D model that looks like a bad cast of souvenir soap does not speak for your research. So as cool as the concept sounds this is WAYS of to be used for anything productive other then - maybe - having a proxy object with roughly the exact measures (of by 2 inches for Pisa tower they say), but this I could also by just having a background photo.
It does however seem to work quite nice for organic object (one would have to see the mesh cloud of one of these objects to actually get a real good observatory comment on this - something they (deliberately?) have not made public.) as can be seen on the fabric of the statue of liberty. So rather then taking 200+ photos of building in flickr they should maybe focus more on making 50+ instant photos from a person and get rid of laser scanners for ones and all? Or maybe they will use this tech to make a 3d representation of humans with 200+ surveillance camera photos of one and the same person and then clone them?


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Watch the watchers.

cofee.jpg We have a big struggle in Germany at the moment that goes by most mainstream media. Its a fight that drew a huge crowd on to the streets of berlin two month ago. Its a fight that the people are fighting against their government. Its a fight for freedom in the pure sense of just wanting to be left alone.
Our interior minister Schaeuble and our justice department Zypris are doing together everything they can to make the biggest cut in personal freedoms in Germany happen since 1933. Not only is it about RFID, Fingerprints on passports its also about logging of all and every information every and all citizens have electronically - including cellphone, IRC chat, websurfing, emailing. The so called "onlinedurchsuchung" is supposed to pass the Bundestag next week - after that life in Germany is watched - intensely and recorded and datamined and no company no individual - nobody is safe. The media is saying nothing about the topic - the forementioned demonstration in Berlin with 15.000 people had two small news blurbs in only two mainstream print publications - no tv, no radio nothing.
Now besides doing a demonstration again next week on thuesday in most major cities in germany there will be lawsuit against the law - on the grounds that a similar law was already struck down as unconstitutional 1984 for the big "Volkszählung" or people count.
Since I believe that corruption in this country goes so deep I expect the law not helping this time but I do believe that only one thing can save us from this madness - WATCH THE WATCHERS.
ow since I am blogging some critical politically charged leftist articles here from time to times - wouldn´t it be fun to know if there is any awenforcement or government entity reading this blog and post that information with IP adress, time and date onto a public blog for everyone to see? I think it is - for own sanity and for showing how rediculus watching normal citizens is.
So from now on there is a "Überwacht" icon on the right hand side of the page. If it is RED then you are a german government entity on a blacklist and everything you do on these pages will be watched and recorded. If it is GREEN then you are a normal citizen and the watching does NOT take place.
Next up: Realtime tracking data of each and all secret police cars, government cars. Puplic accessible sureillance cameras in elected persons offices, cars and homes and tough questioning of every police officer and government official when they are out of there house after 20.00 oclock.

More information on watching the watchers:


Postsingular - mindbending nanofuture galore

postsingularcover.jpgI have read a fiction book again. I have so little time that I am afraid to even start a nonfiction book normally because then I just loose days after days to get through it spinning out of this world into the one of the book trying to visualize it and make it a mind film. But this time was more an accident. I stumbled across the book two days ago as it was advertised as a new creative commons book somewhere on some website when I was searching for CC music. I have never heard of Rudy Rucker before nor of this book, but I thought as the november days are getting long and dark and grey and the watery goo creeps inside you it might be a good thing to have scifi book laying around to peek at at time of despair. Well yesterday when trying to sort it away into the filedungeon next door I made the "mistake" to open it and started reading the first page. - well I never put it aside except for the 6 hours sleep last night and I am through the 216 pages already.
The topic resonated with me as the whole postsingular world resonates with me as this is the wider topic of the one (vjlivecinemathingy) project that never got finished but might one day ;)

Here is my lowdown of the vibby book:

The book is grabbing and detailed yet the explanations are easy enough to understood by a nontechy person (I guess). The characters are great and its one of the few books that I read where I can somehow identify with more then one character at the time - you can become attached to some of the villains quite easily (and then eaten by inter-dimensional plants ;)
The books is not too long with its 218 pages so you not get the full out picture at points - I thought that this is better in todays world where I struggled a month to get through Neuromancer a second time.
I didn´t like the reference to a US president - note to US writers, mentioning a US president gets your international readers out of the loop(imagination) as some of them don´t think that the US will have such a leader role in a future where nanobots and singularity rules.
The ending for two of the main characters could have been a half page longer - the poor souls worked so hard the whole book through and then get chopped of with one sentence.
I didn´t personally like the metaphysical things - the worldly things and how the normal world changed into a singular world where grabbing and detailed enough to carry me much more uninterruptedly through the book but thats a very personal standpoint - I guess another person in this house will have a different take on this. Also I understand that at a point of singularity real and imaginative and spiritual all merge so yeah spirituality is a great thing - but a mirror world I personally never believed in and thought this made this book a tiny bit more unconvincing to me.

BUT in general this book is great - suspense to the end and more and more nitty gritty details of an unimaginable world unfolding before your eyes. If you like science fiction and a short two day mind trip that is better then sudocoke you might want to wish for this book to be under you christmas tree.

Amazon Hardover: Rudy Rucker "Postsingular"

CC Download (PDF, Text, and many more formats): http://www.rudyrucker.com/postsingular/

Update:> Rudy the author wrote an answer to some of my small nitpickies on his blog:

As for fALk’s remark that it might have been more interesting to stay on Earth than to gallavant off to the Hibrane—that’s a criticism that’s often leveled at me; there’s a similar pattern in FREK AND THE ELIXIR and in MATHEMATICIANS IN LOVE. I set up an amazing new world, then move off to another one.

Partly this stylistic quirk of mine is a product of the zeitgeist. We’re very distractable now, very prone to web-surfing to some thing new.

And I simply enjoy cramming a lot of stuff into each novel. It’s kind of like the heavy metal “turn it up to eleven” aesthetic. More!

Also, I’m a mature writer now, POSTSINGULAR is my 18th novel and 30th book overall. I’ve learned a lot of craft. So I can’t resist elaborating on the book by dovetailing in more than one world.

Yet another reasons why I hop worlds is that for me, each novel is transreally “about” my actually writing the novel. My getting into the novel is mirrored by having one of my characters get into a higher world. (In POSTSINGULAR I mirror this even more directly by having Thuy write WHEENK.)

As for Thuy and Jayjay’s love story, fALk—well, they DO get to have sex in the last chapter and IMHO, it’ s a fairly hot scene. And they’re still gonna be together in the second volume in this series, HYLOZOIC, which is “still a-building at Rucker Labs” (as Paul DiFilippo put it in his scifi.com review.).


jamendo - music how it should be

: free easy fast open :

I am not really the music freak - in fact I have only ONE Mp3 on my computer (yes one). Searching for music never appealed to me (lost time) and I am not so much into big bands to justify any "stealing" or such. Mostly I hear some webradio here and there or just enjoy the silence.
But occasionally I have been craving for that special music - that music that would make a bad mood better or bring back old memories or would set me up for a specific task. So where would you go for that?
I stumbled across last.fm. There you can specify what you wanna listen to and they make a playlist for you. Sadly the "smart" playlist thing that I was really interested is only available to subscribers who pay money and there desktop app sucks bad enough (crashes, kernel panic and stuff) to make me not endorse this.
Today I looked for Creative Commons Punk Music and through some obscure spanish websites I ended up on jamendo. So the name sounds like a bad dot com memory (wasn´t there something called jumundo ones?) the website ROCKS. So the design is not the most beautiful of all it does actually work and is quite simple enough. EVERY music on there is under Creative Commons. You can listen to tracks and albums, put together playlists without downloading a single song (thats cutting it for me!) or download whole albums through bittorrent (direct download would be better but at least ALL the albums I downloaded worked out of the box). It has the whole w3b.two.point.x integration with making friends publish you playlist to blogs (thats actually quite cool!) clouds of tags and all teh other stuff that you would expect in a community site - at least all this is very unobtrusive and the main thing of listening to music in the first place is middlecenter so you are not getting too distracted. Also you do not have to create an account to use the service! Also there seems to be LOT of music on there! Not just one genre but everything you can imagine.
I think this will be a site you will hear much more about in the short future - best one so far in my opinion from a non musiclover perspective that is.



SVG, the sorry state of vectors on the Web

Everyone knowing me knows I am a Flashhater since day one. I saw flash as a dying species when it first came out as the arcane nonstandard scripting language (why not use javascript or python?) never appealed to me, neither did the "plug in to the web" approach instead of an "open standard" open code open everything approach. Also I did not like the interface mentality of macromedia (and a recent look at firework cs3 has gotten me those flashbacks) so I never felt good working in Director or Flash or any other macromedia app - except for freehand (which I used before it was a macromedia product - Aldus anyone?).
But I do like vectors and especially do I like fonts - especially crazy nonstandard fraktur fonts. So the ability to include fonts into Flash files and make a layout that playes exactly as the author intended on all computers is an appealing one. My hatred for Flash has trumped the need for alternate fonts and true vectors to this day and will likely into the long long future.
Then about a couple of years ago (1999) Adobe System proposed a standard to the W3C - so did Microsoft to break the Flash supriority on the web with an open standard - both standards fused in t one and became SVG. SVG sounded good back then and still does - true open documented XML document format, truly open source of the generated files, and backed by the W3C - easy to generate with just a text editor if you are so inclined. I was dancing on my chair back then when I remember correctly.

There was two major problems - no easy way to generate content (other then a text editor) and no browser compatibility.

Adobe themselves tried to eliminate the first problem by putting out the ill fated program "flame" or whatever it was called. It sucked - it sucked hard - and it wasn´t for the mac. Then there was years and years of silence until there was an obscure "export to svg" menue point in illustrator in CS1 (I think)

On the browser side it didn´t look better - Adobe did offer an SVG plugin - but this eliminated one of the biggest superiorities over flash. Neither first incarnation of Firefox could play SVGs neither did Safari do a good job using SVGs (so it did at least recognized it in some sort or form without putting out horrendous errors all over the place) - Internetz Exploder I have no idea but my guess that it does not even know what an SVG is to this date without the adobe plugin.

Then Adobe bought Macromedia and one of the biggest reason for the takeover was Flash. Adobe must have seen that not being able to deliver platform/client independent interactive vector graphics with embedded fonts would sooner or later give them a big disadvantage and that making such a technology from scratch is not as easy as it sounds - especially with the browser developers trying to get the basic W3C standards to work first before implementing something flashy as SVG.

As my heart jumped at the introduction of SVG my heart plummeted when I heard about the Adobe takeover. I thought that thats it and flash is taking on the world without anyone stopping it. Flickr and PooTube just have aggravated these fears - I was waiting for adobe trying to make Flash a W3C standard or something along the line - yet something else and surprising was happening all of the sudden. Firefox and Safari started to add build in SVG support - unusable at first but nevertheless progress. Also Illustrators SVG Export became more and more sophisticated and - CLEAN.

Then we entered the post AppleIntel Adobe CS3 Microsoft Silverlight (why they did not choose SVG I can not figure out) world. A world where Safari has full SVG 1.1 support Firefox claims it has 1.0 support and Adobe Illustrator CS3 outputs clean sufficient SVGs.

Thats the day I jumped into it to see the true power of it unfolding before my eyes. I stumbled into it accidently. All I wanted to do is making a form that I use very often in Indesign more "interactive". The form in question is a template to fold you DVD cover out of a single piece of paper without glue and be able to print on the front and back side. Its one of these great origami secrets :)
Well that form has one big problem - all text and graphics are printed out at an roughly 35.3 degree angle.
First obvious choice was to make it a PDF form. After trying it out with Acrobat 8 and whatnot of small utilities I gave up because - you can can only rotate form fields in a PDF 90, 180, 270 degrees - no 35.3.
Ok I was about to give it up but I really want this form that I use so often with an easy interface without opening Indesign everytime I burn a DVD.
Next I was thinking about a database solution - Filemaker in special. Obviously I tried to angle a field there right in the beginning just to find out that there as well you can not do so either.
I did not have a solution in my head anymore. CSS? hmmmm no. CSS3- hmmm is supposed to have a rotation value but the support is rather sketchy even if you are developing for just one browser (which would be sufficient for this form as only I wanted to use it and I use Safari all day all night).
I tried to get the idea out of my head - unsuccesfully. Then I remembered SVG and briefly looked into the documentation of Illustrator CS3 and found lots of good things about - I thought that is worth a try.
I layouted the piece and exported through the "Save for Web and devices" dialog. The first thing I saw made me smile "Include Font - for used Glyphs only - or for all Glyphs or none or commenly used Glyphs". YEY fonts!!!!
Then I looked at the code - XHTML :) I was feeling all home right from the beginning.
But how do I make it interactive? I decided to go a PHP, Javascript route.
Then is when it became apparent that even all looks rosy it isn´t. There is virtually no documentional howtos on SVG on the net. The W3C documentation is so geeky that its over my head and the few howtos available where either extremely old and didn´t work or just didn´t work. I delved into it.
Four long days later I figured it out - scrapped the Javascript route and went a pure PHP route - after I found out how to integrate PHP into SVGs and after I figured out how to manipulate the DOM tree in an SVG with Javascript that sits outside the embedded SVG. In short: it was a pain!
The coordinate system in SVG is not easely understood and I had to print out 40 pages to make the resulting SVG print out correctly (only on Safari3final I might add - it does not work on any other browser) because safari scales stuff so it fits on a page - which was counterintuitive with this document. The code is intermangled and inside to outside javascript integration is not robust in Safari. Dom updates are not as straight forward as in plain vanilla XHTML. Deleting parts of the dom tree and reintroducing it also did work only after extensive fiddling (the main reason I went with pure PHP).
But the biggest biggest problem was the handling of text - how can any standard that displays text in any sort or form NOT support a line break! Yes you heard right - for having multiline text you can NOT use something of the < br > sort - you have to calculate the linespacing yourself and make new lines through < tspans > with a "y" value that specifies where you next line of text is! HOW INSANE!
In the end though I am impressed at the output because I could include a font in the document and now have a nicely working form to print out my DVD labels. And changing Layouted text on the fly through a webinterface is something novel and great.

I surely hope SVG is making progress now that its at last almost usable - but I do not expect it to gain widespread adoption until the linebreak issue is resolved - its a HUGE showstopper.

One big question that came to my mind was a copyright issue. Fonts are to design what RIAAsongs are to the ear - its a copyright regime fighting hard against the users since day one.
So if I use my owned copy of Solex and embedd it into an SVG do I break the licensing?

Why? - you might ask - Flash has done this for years - Yes, - I reply - but in Flash you do not have the easy option to extract the font from the files - in SVG every vector of the font is being readable in plain text - you can even change vectores around if you want to - its just a matter of time until someone writes an easy to use "font translator" plugin that can read the SVG and generate a TrueType font out of it. Fontshops galore will have want to have a say in this I am sure!

Overall the future for open vectors with embedded fonts on the web does look brighter after this year and death to flash and all :P

Next project regarding SVG for me will be to try to embed video in it.

JOOST vs. miro -> Streaming vs. RSS

There has been a lengthy "commercial" entry at boingboing about InternetTV called "miro kicks JOOSTs butt". Miro is the newly named "democracy player" (or interfaced video RSS bittorrent client) implying that miro will dethrone JOOST and is generally just soo much better. While I am all for open everything I can not follow this thought as I see one major shortcoming with miro.

no real streaming.

But until we get to that lets have a first short look at where TV on the internet is now and where it has come from.

I have been looking for a viable video publishing solution on the internets since I have been using the internets. I soon figured to give a real competition to TV over the air you have to have a medium that is similarly spontaneous instant, easy, unobtrusive and "lazy". With the advent of blogging and RSS feeds the "easy" part and partially the "lazy" part could be solved but what was always missing i this approach is the instant gratification of switching on a TV and get some programming - I did say instant right?
As some RSS feeds are near instant I still believe that "realtime" TV programming has its merrit and that can not be accomplished with RSS also the buffer time between programming can get long with slower connections (read majority of world population has less then 1Mbit connections) and interrupt from this seamless TV experience most people are used to.

Now you can do streaming since about 100 million internet years but for the small "videopodcast" producer this is a horrendous expensive proposition as it either means setting up shop with your own server and paying not only housing rental but also the bandwidth cost of a streaming solution where each and every person uses bandwidth for each and every time they are watching your feed or getting into a contract with one of the few good streaming video providers - you figure out their prices by you own.

That leaves as the only alternative distributed streaming - an area I have been tracking for a few years and have gotten frustrated with to say the least. There was peercast - a solution that was about to take off when it lost steam with the only supported formats beeing ogg and wmv. No mpg4 support and no easy install process and the two remaining formats beeing rather "shaky" to say the least disqualified this product. I wrote about Peercast before.

The other solution that was beeing trumpeted was the bittorrent streaming protocol - since bittorrent got bought up by the MPAA associates talk about this has completely died down - and if you are a conspiracy theorist you might want to believe that the bittorrent streaming protocol was the big fish in the bundle - even to just never have it released onto the market. In the end an open source open internet uncontrollable P2P streaming protocol would skew the power-pyramid in this world heavily toward the base. Now Bittorrent.Inc is asking for producers of TV programs to apply to get on their IPTV service when it launches "later this year". I get into that below.

This year came Project Venice - now better known as JOOST and I got a very early invite to be part of their beta testing. I was cheering at first because what I saw was the day of light of bringing true internet TV to the masses - I was blinded. Yes even early incarnations of JOOST worked flawelessly streaming distributed. The technology seemed great. Wikipedia writes the following:

The current version of the software is based on XULRunner and the audio management re-uses the ZAP Media Kit. The peer to peer layer comes from the Joltid company, which also provided the peer to peer layer of Skype. The video playback utilizes the CoreCodec, CoreAVC H.264 video decoder.

XULRunner - great open source .
ZAP Media Kit - great also open source

but what the freaking dang is JoltID? Well its the company that generates great code to license (skype protocol anyone) it to big companies - and this is where it all broke down for me. Because with a "commercial" layer underneath this whole thing had a big weak point - it can be controlled by an outside party - and as we see in the current incarnation it is FULLY controlled by an outside party. What do I mean? Well there is someone controlling the content - a censor so to say - that means this technology - while great – is in no good spirit and even so you can "apply" to become a joost channel the normal democratic internet rules where EVERYONE is a publisher does not apply. As a business model this is understandable but it has serious consequences when you look at it from the eyes of an open internet without barriers. Oh and to make matters worse they DRMed the shit out of those TV shows and track what you watch - great just what the big content producers want - but neither the free internet loving peeps nor the small independent programmers - and why do I need InternetTV if its the same old junk that I can watch over their airwaves?

The same problem applies to the forthcoming Bittorrent streaming protocol - as this company is ruled bye the MPAA now you will see only "quality" DRMed closed "old school" TV programming.

All this is different with miro of course as it is based on open protocols (as open as the normal bittorrent protocol is now I guess) and everyone can publish anything - hence the name "demcracy player". Its basically a fancy video RSS reader with bittorrent functionality - while this is great to save bandwidth for small publishers - it also tends that small publishers have not that much bandwidth need to absolutely dive into it too deeply and its NOT STREAMING heck its not even "play as you download" also it leaves to much "work" to the lazy couch potatos wanting an easy "just watch a sitcom/nature/techshow now" button.
Streaming is absolutely necessary to make internetTV have any chance fighting the 98% traditional TV penetration in this society. People want it ->all<- ->instant<- ->now<- even me and I am a computer geek who hasn´t watched tv for the last eight years. I never leave my computer on over night except if I have to render something for work so the "download over night" approach doesnt appeal to me - also if I see something interesting I want to know about it right then - the next day I probably have been moving on and lost interest or don´t have the time or whatever.

So I would say neither program wins - the one is closed and defies the spirit of the open internet - the other one is just not close enough to TV to gain the ciritical mass needed to make it succesfull on a grand scale.

What is really needed - and in the next 6 month that is otherwise JOOST will have an impenetrable market power - is the following:

1.) Fully open P2P decentralized (no tracker no server please) streaming protocol.
2.) a way to integrate the programming into webpages
3.) a way to "download while you watch" so you can later give movies to friends or watch it on an iPod or whatever
4.) Make an RSS API that lets other users (not only the publisher) make Programming feeds. This got to be the best Web2.100 application I can think of! Have people produce content and other people comb through the content to make nice TVstreams about certain topics - maybe even with custom "TV presenters" in between.
5.) make it encrypted from the beginning. If you are truly a "democracy" player you need to let people broadcast encrypted secure untraceable programming from their home.
5.) wrap it all into an open source nicely code documented framework that can easely be wrapped into gui applications - do not try to make the gui application yourself as it likely sucks if you are a team of programmers without interface building knowledge and just "get a friend graphic designer" on board to to make that eyecandy flashy everything moves interface for you.

Until that has happened we - the people on the indy publisher side and on the consumer/watcher side - will have to do with classic RSS streams and try to ignore the easiness and instantaneousness (that is really a word :) of JOOST for the moment.

Good thing JOOST is having such a hungry sucking bigbangeyecandyflashy obstrusive interface that it probably fail just because of that ;) oh and it has commercials which are starting to be annoying as well.

So to get back to the boingboing article - I do not like the boingboing stuff for praising applications because they "sit in the board of advisers". They should have a critical view on everything and miro is not set to deliver any kind of InternetTV revolution. Both solutions are in no way satisfying - sorry.

more links:

P2P Streaming overview (tribler.org)
An Experimental Analysis of Joost Peer-to-Peer VoD Service (uni-goettingen.de)
Get democracy - ahm - miro player (getmiro.com).