HTML e-mail tips

I know, I know … HTML e-mail is evil, and personally I would never subscribe to an HTML newsletter, no matter how interesting the contents. However, if you are going to use HTML e-mail for your newsletters, you might as well do it right (or as least wrong as possible). Mailchimp has got a handy guide on HTML e-mail (PDF, at the bottom under “HTML Email Design Guide”).

Kliper news?

China View reports that the ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency have made a deal about development of future space craft, including the Kliper. However, in the statement by ESA and the statement by the Russian FSA no mention was made of Kliper.


Project Gutenberg has recently revived two beautifully illustrated books about etiquette for children by Gelett Burgess. From “More Goops and How Not to Be Them” (large!):

100 Dutch ebooks in Project Gutenberg

Last week, Project Gutenberg published its 100th book in the Dutch language (“Elsje”, by A.C. Kuipers, a book for girls).

“Elsje” was produced by Jeroen Hellingman and volunteers from Distributed Proofreaders. It is published in an illustrated HTML-version and in a plain vanilla text version and is based on the third edition from 1906.

January 1, 2005, the works of A.C. Kuiper entered the public domain in the Netherlands for the second time in twenty years! The first time this happened on January 1, 1985, but due to insane E.U. copyright law, it was snatched back in 1995. If somehow all copies of this book had perished in those ten years, we would no longer have been able to read it. Nobody profited from this copyright extension (for instance, the book was not republished in the meantime), but the public had to wait until this year to get back what is rightfully theirs. (The only meaningful application of the word “property” to data is when it is used to describe laws that can take away the public’s right to disseminate those data.) publishes in Sony Librie format is a website that converts etexts of Project Gutenberg into formats that ebook devices can read. Project Gutenberg uses what it calls “plain vanilla ASCII” as a base format, and produces most of its works also in HTML format. However, ebook devices usually require some sort of specialised format. publishes texts in Plucker, Doc, Isilo, Rocket Ebook, Ztxt, PDF, Palm Reader/Ereader, and TCR formats. According to Teleread, it has added the Sony Librie .lrf format to that already impressive list, albeit in beta.

The Sony Librie is the first ereader that uses Philips’ e-ink technology. When it came out last year, it was immediately condemned by many for its subscription model; you could only rent books. Recently it has become possible to install books onto the device without paying a subscription fee, making it a viable ebook reader.

(BTW, we of the Campaign for Decent Capitalizing refuse to spell names as eBook, zTxt, iSilo, E·Ink et cetera. To the marketeers of the world who come up with these inane spellings: grow up!)

Playmobil Tsunami

re: Wereldraadsel (World Riddle) reports a Playmobil Tsunami set. We may have to take this with a grain of salt.

DRM code of conduct discusses a DRM code of conduct (through Teleread). I like it!

However, if—as Cory Doctorow predicts—market-forces won’t correct DRM, some nifty law making may be in order too. After all, the law already protects DRM—why not protect the consumer too?

At any rate copyright law must be adapted so that DRM cannot trump copyright terms, as it does now.