Saturday, August 20, 2005

Cleaning up the dirty file formats

A couple of days ago I was discussing with a friend the problems of closed file formats like MP3. Now the awareness of these problems is increasing and most of the free alternatives exist, it is time to actively encourage the use of free file formats like PNG, OGG and OGM.

So how can we do this? Most of us get their content through file sharing programs. In return we distribute these files again to other people. If there was an easy tool with which one could select directories and free all the content in these directories, then we could participate in cleaning up the file sharing network of dirty file formats and spend practically no time at this. Maybe this program should be scheduled to run on a daily basis? By the nature of closed formats such a program would ofcourse be non-free (or maybe even illegal) itself, but I guess that can't be helped. Maybe it is a good idea to write a plugin for programs like Amule, Kazaa etc. to automatically convert dirty file formats into free formats?

And while we're at it, maybe file sharing clients can play a more active role in restoring meta data of the downloaded files. This will become especially important when desktops abandon the hierarchical tree structure for a searchable web of context (something that is done on a large scale already by multimedia applications).

Comments anyone?

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Why wireless will end `piracy' and doom DRM and TCPA

I read an interesting article about why wireless will end `piracy' and doom DRM and TCPA. If you're interested in the future of content, it is worth reading.

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ICPS 2005

Friday morning I came back from the International Conference for Physics Students, which took place in Coimbra. This was even more entertaining than Wikimania! In my case this meant eight days of meeting interesting people, hot weather, too little sleep, a lot of Portuguese beer, and long nights of partying. Oh wait, ofcourse I saw also some interesting physics. :) But most important of all, I met a very special girl...

The following picture gives an indication of our daily activities:


(Photo taken by Maarten Inklaar, released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

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Monday, August 08, 2005

Wikimania 2005

Today I returned from Wikimania 2005 in Frankfurt am Main. What a great congres! This has absolutely been the most entertaining and interesting conference I ever attended. If you're interested, you can find some photos at Flickr, for example the following photo at the Wikimania party of Wikipedians on the dance floor:

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