Sorry to hear that.

Two unfortunate bits of new today:

Several years ago, I heard that the authenticity of Jackson Pollack’s paintings could be determined empirically through a fractal dimension. I really wanted this to be true. Sadly, this paper makes the original and subsequent work on this topic look sloppy at best. Science News has an article on it as well, most specifically that the test can be fooled, and comes up negative on Pollacks paintings that analyzed later. Oh well.

Now art and empiricism do go hand in hand in book authorship determination, which can’t irrefutably distinguish Bacon from Shakespeare, but could probably differentiate either from me. Read this pdf for an over view and this one for a technical comparison between methods.

In other mildly disappointing news, Trent Reznor has forayed into alternative methods of selling imaginary property, and failed miserably. The story goes: 27/36 tracks are free at low bitrate. All tracks at high bitrate cost $5US. That’s like a 4-CD set for $5. Too bad Piratebay is a-buzz with imaginary losses of sales. The reader may have previously heard of NIN releasing music Open-Source-stiley. This was a success. Good job Trent, clever adaptation to new tech. Why did this new experiment fail? The Reg blames crappy webhosting. This is part true. If you assume the fee is for the providing service, like CD sales, it only takes 15 minutes to download the file from Pirate bay, the ease of download from the source should be proportional to the cost, which it aint. They estimate $2million a week loss, but this presumes that every downloader is a lost customer, which is stupid. Sorry Trent, right bus-line, wrong bus-stop. The economic ice-caps are melting. The recording industry might not have gills, but they’re growing flippers.

BTW, I hate to nit-pick, but why did the arXiv start accepting papers in M$word format? It looks so unprofessional. If you can’t use LaTeX or some other real typesetter, you shouldn’t be working in predictive science.

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2 responses to “Sorry to hear that.

  1. yeah, word looks crappy, but i have to say that pure latex also sucks, in a way. too much to consider, too much too learn. i am not a typesetter, so i want a program which handles that for me. i am trying out lynx at the moment. looks nice, but the usage is still not perfect. maybe even worse than latex, i haven’t tried to include a picture yet;)

  2. pure latex? Once upon a time people had that complaint about pure tex, and latex came about. ;-) But seriously, I’ve had some luck using LyX (esp. for tabulars. I #*&$@! hate tabulars in latex, they just drain the soul.)

    GNU TeXmacs looks more powerful than LyX and more pure-tex-y, but it’s also dog slow and more annoying to use.

    And yes, usage is far from perfect for either one. A few days ago I gave up on LyX mid-class and started taking notes in emacs/latex.

    As far as Trent goes, I plan on putting down $10 for the CD pre-order once the website stabilizes. (seriously, until the static front page loads within 5 seconds, I am NOT going to do e-commerce with you, no matter who you are.) I have listened to the first 9 tracks from the legitimate piratebay torrent; the awesomeness of a legit piratebay torrent is eclipsed by the music itself. So the $10 is partly for the continuation of my years-long appreciation of Reznor & partly to vote approval of his endeavor.

    I don’t know why Reznor is so pessimistic about downloads. Actually, I do. He likes making money and he’s good at what he does, and he hates the labels with a passion and craves an alternative. His vestiture is much greater than mine. I would be easily annoyed if I were in his place, indeed I’d likely not bother.

    I have a feeling though, that once all is said and done, he’ll hate himself for what he’s become. No. Wait. I meant to say that I think that it’ll work out for him, once all of the sales come in. Ghosts I-IV isn’t really the same stuff as he’s been selling through the labels, and I think he knows that.

    Word docs? I know… half the people here use Word. Especially/even in computer science, it’s like they got a grant from Microsoft to use PowerPoint. Except it’s not even that rational. I don’t get it…

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