Some years I'll plan April Fools items for weeks. Other times, the material falls in place by itself, thanks to our readers. That's what happened this year. Here are the stories that made (or should have made) readers scratch their heads last week.
A 1636x700 Image Digitized in 2016
The Same Image Today
Kavan Ratnatunga writes:
"I suspect you got that QUERY: THE FADING OF DIGITAL IMAGES on April 1st.
To state the obvious there is no way that a saved digital image will change with time.
The computer screen on which it is viewed can degrade with time.
I scanned some of the images on my website
25 years ago in 1998 May, and are still saved on my current server with that date."
Jon Radel writes:
"It is irrefutable that all of these images are fading with time. If this problem is not specific to me, then the issue is absolutely huge.
"Yes, it is indeed an absolutely huge problem when your computer security is so lax that every April some fool can sneak in and run all your files through a Photoshop fading filter to trim just a little bit more saturation off every image. And when you don't even have a properly controlled document management system that allows you to detect the changes! Disastrous!
"That said, the description of what the files are stored on makes me cringe. And Doug Mudd's response has some useful thoughts in it. "
Bob Van Arsdell writes:
"I was most alarmed to read that Peter Huntoon is having stability problems with his digital images.
"Please inform him that the problem is easily solved by using PNG format files. You see, PNG format supports transparency, enabling users to see through the image and detect the April Fool's prank underneath."
But as Jon noted, Doug Mudd's portion was true and spot-on - one does have to be careful when SAVING image files, because the different formats have varying properties in terms of compression and data loss. Great advice to always keep a master copy at the highest level of resolution.
Pete Smith writes:
"I had been looking forward to your April 2 issue to see what April Fools items are snuck into The E-Sylum.
"I don't believe the Romans encapsulated their coins in cement slabs. The LXX point grading system was developed for Byzantine coinage.
"Gerry Fortin may have announced his Payroll Protection Plan, but I don't believe it is real.
"I had doubts about Phaleristics but apparently that is a real word.
"I suspect the Prince Harry / Van Gogh biopic is a hoax. There are news reports that confirm it is real. I still think it is a hoax.
"Looking forward to next year."
Yes, the International Phaleristics Association is real.
But don't forget the Vermeer dog paintings.
Thanks to David Pickup and everyone for playing along. Len Augsburger alerted me to Gerry's Fortin's post.
More on SPQR
Jim Contursi writes:
"I think David Pickup, in his article "Ancient Roman Coin Slabs", is mistaken about the meaning of SPQR. Most in Italy know that it really stands for Sono Pazzi, Questi Romani (They're crazy, these Romans!)."
To read the complete articles, see:
QUERY: THE FADING OF DIGITAL IMAGES
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: APRIL 2, 2023 : Ancient Roman Coin Slabs
GERRY FORTIN BUSINESS MODEL CHANGES
LOOSE CHANGE: APRIL 2, 2023 : Newly Discovered Vermeer Works
LOOSE CHANGE: APRIL 2, 2023 : A New Van Gogh Biopic
Wayne Homren, Editor
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