Re: Alternatives to icky polluted snailmail, was Re: fighting Anthrax w/ Dr. Strangelove

From: Michael M. Butler (
Date: Sat Oct 20 2001 - 20:10:49 MDT

Dan Clemmensen wrote:

<A bunch of "suspicions" and optimistic claims elided>

This ought to be a Ferengi Rule of Acquisition, but I don't believe it is,
yet--My old line "You can sell anything to the right sucker." :)

I consider the general engineering problems to be underestimated by you.
Feel free to prove me wrong.

> You are correct that reading scanned text or Fax on the screen is slower
> for some people,

Nearly everyone who speed-reads, AFAICT. Also, with "landscape" format and
current screen sizes, one can't take in an entire page at a glance.

> and you are correct that the problem is the display,
> not the scanner.

The problem is the system. 200 dpi is actually below the measured threshold,
but the knee starts around there. 300 dpi is adequate, as many laser printer
sales appear to confirm. Paper carries more information than a scanner can
transmit. The value of that information is not calculable by Shannon methods.

> Since the images are static, a display optimized for
> resolution at the expense of frame rate would be ideal. Is anybody
> doing this?

Yes. Xerox PARC and MIT Media Lab, both already named in this thread.
For a survey, check out
from the reviled SciAm. Building a single double-buffered full page (rather than a
journal of pages) with either of the technologies mentioned is eminently doable.

Whether I'll like the result is another matter. But see my old saying above.


My moronic mnemonic for smart behavior: "DICKS" == 
diplomacy, integrity, courage, kindness, skepticism.

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