Four short links: 11 January 2018
Data from PDFs, Unencumbered Media, Unintended Consequences, and AMP Protested
- Using pdftabextract to Liberate Tabular Data from PDFs — amazing how much effort is spent chiseling data out of PDFs.
- The Fight For Patent-Unencumbered Media Codecs Is Nearly Won — Apple joining the Alliance for Open Media is a really big deal. Now all the most powerful tech companies—Google, Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, Facebook, Amazon, Intel, AMD, ARM, Nvidia—plus content providers like Netflix and Hulu are on board. Supporting AOM AV1 codec.
- Legends of the Ancient Web (Maciej Ceglowski) — Radio was a force of persuasion different in kind from anything the world had seen before. Those who learned to use it first for political ends had a tremendous advantage. In less than four decades, radio had completed the journey from fledgeling technology, to nerdy hobby, to big business, to potent political weapon. […] It is hard to accept that good people, working on technology that benefits so many, with nothing but good intentions, could end up building a powerful tool for the wicked. But we can’t afford to re-learn this lesson every time.
- A Letter About Google AMP — AMP keeps users within Google’s domain and diverts traffic away from other websites for the benefit of Google. At a scale of billions of users, this has the effect of further reinforcing Google’s dominance of the Web.