Word to the Wise (I.e. Mentally-Challenged DRM-Apologists)

In light of the recent Sim-City fiasco (EA and their built-in crippling for their paying customers, whom they do not respect), I came across this great article linked from this Techdirt article. The economics and accounting principles behind DRM are so backward, ethically dubious, and economically flawed. It’s as if people don’t want to make money. You have to respect your customers. And realize that people are not dumb and stupid, and they will take their money elsewhere to spend if you disrespect them and lie to them.

Besides, many people want to try before they buy.

An excerpt from the article:

I do believe people are less likely to pirate your software if Continue reading

C.S. Lewis on Reading Old Books

Here I quote from this website that has C.S. Lewis’ introduction to Athanasius’ On the Incarnation. This is but an excerpt, and I did decide to cut it off where I did thanks to this website, which linked me to the earlier one. This was something suggested from my Biblical Translations class. Turns out, I had the book already and I have actually read this preface by C.S. Lewis years ago. Anyway, here it is, if you don’t want to click anymore (and I edited the paragraphs to make them much shorter and thus easier to read, hopefully):

There is a strange idea abroad that in every subject the ancient books should be read only by the professionals, and that the amateur should content himself with the modern books. Continue reading

PDF Highlighting & Annotations in GNU/Linux: Xournal (or Okular for KDE)

SUMMARY/Cheat Sheet (2014 Jan 18)

Gnome or other Desktop Environment (DE)? Use Xournal for highlighting, note-taking, etc. For smaller text size comments, use Flpsed, which allows you to adjust size of the text you are superimposing over the PDF background itself (good for filling out non-form PDF permission sheets, applications, etc. Xournal’s text can sometimes be too large and clunky to fit in the space provided in PDF sheets/forms). Update: Ha! Somehow I missed it. You can easily change the font size and font type in Xournal. So no need for Flpsed.

KDE? Consider using Okular. In non-KDE, may not be worth it. Dunno. Not sure how well it saves changes. The only thing that is clearly superior is the fact that if you have a text pdf, its highlighting can be straight/with the line, whereas in Xournal, highlighting is freehand, and so will be less neat visually. [If you must use Okular in GNOME and can’t find it from your Gnome-shell, useĀ Alt+F2 –> “okular” and it will open.]

For saving changes permanently, you might need to EXPORT as PDF, not save as PDF.

For including signature, best to take a picture of your own signature, use GIMP (Photoshop) to make an image (export as .jpg), using contrast and brightness to ensure a pure white background (or else it just looks bad). Then crop and reduce pixels to a small size to fit in “signature” boxes in pdf forms/sheets. Then just copy the image and paste it into your pdf form (opened via GIMP), and export as pdf. Continue reading

The Linguistic Genius of Babies: Or Why TV Doesn’t Work

See this excellent TED talk by Linguist Patricia Kuhl. It is amazing how babies can learn socially during the plastic time of 6-8 months old. But they require real people in order to learn. TV and audio just doesn’t cut it. This has implications for Baby Einstein customers and maybe even distance learning for some people.

View the video here at http://www.ted.com/talks/patricia_kuhl_the_linguistic_genius_of_babies.html