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?
It’s not just Mexican cement giant Cemex that’s refusing to bid on the Great Wall of Trump; many of the firms in the super-concentrated large-scale construction sector are signalling their unwillingness to participate in the wall’s construction.
In 2012, Google rolled out Certificate Transparency, a clever system to spot corrupt “Certificate Authorities,” the entities who hand out the cryptographic certificates that secure the web. If Certificate Authorities fail to do their jobs, they put the entire electronic realm in danger — bad certificates could allow anything from eavesdropping on financial transactions to […]
With the shambolic FARC peace deal finally in place, the Colombian government is hoping to shift the country’s farmers from Colombia’s major cash crop: the coca leaves that are refined into the world’s cocaine supply. Perhaps with the guerrillas no longer defending the crops they relied on for operating capital, Colombia can put coca behind […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]