After more than a decade of disagreements about how to let Web designers use real typefaces, the impasse was broken last year, and it's coming to fruition now. Instead of DRM, font foundries have agreed to something like "font streaming." No locks, compatibility across all browsers, and embedded text that explains the legitimate use of the font. Microsoft, Mozilla, and Opera brought the spec to the W3C, for crying out loud; Safari, WebKit, and Chrome are all signed on. The W3C accepted the WOFF spec in July; in September at the annual international type conference, there was much rejoicing. I explain more in the Economist's Babbage blog today.
The success here is that foundries, protective of a market that doesn't have monopoly properties (there is plenty of competition), and makers of something that's easily copied even over low-bandwidth connections, have accepted that DRM doesn't work. Instead of relying on encryption and creating incompatible standards that require ridiculous infrastructure, type houses have opted to build a market in which they can make money by making it easy for designers to use their fonts. Who would have thought?
Warner Bros has sued talent agency Innovative Artists for running an internal-use Google Drive folder that let its clients and staff review movies in the course of their duties. They say the company ripped “screeners” (DVDs sent for review purposes) and put them on the server, whence they leaked onto torrent sites.
AT&T’s secret “Hemisphere” product is a database of calls and call-records on all its customers, tracking their location, movements, and interactions — this data was then sold in secret to American police forces for investigating crimes big and small (even Medicare fraud), on the condition that they never reveal the program’s existence.
I still love Twitter and hope it finds a way forward. But it looks like all the potential suitors have passed on buying it, and job cuts are in the offing. Twitter Inc., having failed to sell itself, is planning to fire about 8 percent of its workforce as the struggling social-media company prepares to […]
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]