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U.S. ISBN Monopoly Denies Threat From Digital Self-Publishing

Matthias Wiesmann Re:I = International (127 comments)

It is not really once code per country, ISBN started with a code per language zone, and switched to countries when they realised it could not scale, so codes 978-0 and 978-1 are for english (this includes the mysterious lands of united kingdom and australia), code 978-2 is for french, and so does 979-10, 978-3 is for german, the followin 978- prefixes are assigned to various countries. Note that the code is not assigned to the language of the book, but the dominant language of the country / publisher. So a swiss publisher can have a 978-2 book in english.

If prices of ISBN codes were really a problem, people could just publish in France, where ISBNs are free. Anyways nowadays ISBN are just a particular class of GTIN/EAN so I suspect one could just buy an EAN (UPC) code.

about 2 years ago

Open Source Emoji Project Wants Money For Icons

Matthias Wiesmann Re:Bloat (156 comments)

If we hit the reset button, can we also fix ASCII? it is by no mean the minimal set most english speakers think it is.

Why do we need a character to represent to 'v' one after the other? You could write 'w' with to 'v' and handle the ligature where it should be handled, at display time. There are so few words in English with the sequence vv that it makes no sense to have the special case coded in the encoding.

Also could we handle the dots on the characters 'i' and 'j' like the diacriticals they are? there should be first the the dotless 'i' and 'j' and the some character to add the dots, like all other diacriticals. Also move out the currency symbols ($ and £), they can be represented as text (USD and GBP), no point in have silly symbols in there. Also remove BELL (11), having a symbol for a bell (2407) might be bloated, but having one for the sound of a bell is absurd.

By the way, why do we need different code points for upper and lower case? They are just variants of each other anyways

Unicode is certainly messy, but plain ASCII is not much better: the most precious 127 code points of utf-8 are basically wasted to display 32 characters and a bit of punctuation, that is pretty bloated for me, we are just used to it

about 2 years ago

David Braben Kickstarts an Elite Reboot

Matthias Wiesmann Re:Going to have a hard time topping modern remake (173 comments)

I was a fan of Elite on the C64, I tried Oolite, and it is indeed an excellent port of Elite. I also found it to be no fun at all: requiring time I don't have anymore and lacking the richness I'm used to find in games nowadays. The other game I loved on the C64 was paradroid, there is also an open source port (free Droid), same problem. My expectations and sense of fun have changed in 20 years.

more than 2 years ago

Over 60% of Android Malware Hides In Fake Versions of Popular Apps

Matthias Wiesmann Re:How does an expensive SMS make them money? (111 comments)

You would still have to prove that they are responsible for the hack. The fact that their legitimate (if silly) business benefits from some hacked code does not prove they are responsible for the hack.

Or turn the problem around: if one provider of telecom services is ever condemned without any other proof than the fact they benefit from a hack, the bad guy just change their business model to extortion.

more than 2 years ago

There Oughta Be a Standard: Laptop Power Supplies

Matthias Wiesmann Re:Study Design a Must (482 comments)

I saw similar magnetic connectors in household appliances in Japan before Apple used them for laptops: my rice cooker and the water heater both had them.

more than 3 years ago

Tevatron To Shut Down At End of 2011

Matthias Wiesmann Re:Modern world has its priorities wrong (260 comments)

This is one of the reasons instruments on the LHC are duplicated: Atlas and CMS. Given the difference of energy, if the Higgs is found in one of the LHC experiments, it is doubtful that the experiment could be reproduced at Tevatron.

about 4 years ago

Earliest LHC Restart Slated For Late Summer 2009

Matthias Wiesmann Re:Information policy (229 comments)

While the LHC is indeed not an EU project, most of girlintraining's remain valid. Politics and national pride play an important part in the internal workings of CERN, and could well explain the communication policy.

Calling people full of nonsense because they did not get some details right is not very polite, dear Anonymous Coward. Actually, there are quite a few building in Prévessin. And while CERN is definitely not an EU project, it is different from the WHO, or the UN in the sense that it has a geographic definition, it is called the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Some of the funding for CERN related projects, like the grids efforts, comes directly from the EU.

So please try to be less impolite and arrogant...

more than 6 years ago


Matthias Wiesmann hasn't submitted any stories.



Matthias Wiesmann Matthias Wiesmann writes  |  more than 8 years ago I looked at the traffic of my blog, and some poor soul went from slashdot to my blog. I kind of pity him, as the blog is mostly in French...

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