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35mm Roll Film Scanner

posted Oct 30, 2020, 3:10 AM by Tomas Svoboda   [ updated Nov 1, 2020, 9:59 AM ]

The world urgently needs a usable affordable scanner for 35mm films stored in rolls that have often been orphaned for decades.
In the past there had been usable though expensive products on the market namely from Nikon that could process the entire roll of 36 or more frames in a single batch. I have worked with those and got some good results from the though the software was far from perfect. These have been discontinued as well as the Kodak Pakon range that had a good reputation too.
It would seem that the commercial market is unable to support a reasonable roll scanner. Therefore the world needs an

Open Source Project to Create a Good Scanner for 35mm Film

This is a different task than scanning movies. Perhaps the same mechanism with different software could be repurposed for processing movies as well but that is a different task.

  • Scan a whole length of film in one batch
  • Allow manual intervention into the partitioning of frames
  • Facilitate cleaning of film on the input side e.g. by antistatic brushes
  • Export as one long raw image (whole roll including side strips with perforation) and/or as multiple frames
  • Output 16bit data
  • Give sturdy mechanical support for heavily curled material
  • Support should be included for scanning in infrared spectrum to reveal dust and scratches (with respect to related patents)
Some thoughts:
It would seems that the scanner should use a linear sensor to scan one row at a time and move to the next row using a stepper motor. This is better that using an area sensor (or a whole camera) because the position and size of frames is not exactly determined (as opposed to movie scanning where frames are positioned exactly in relationship to perforation).

If you have any ideas that could help move this endeavor forward please let me know at  

Obituary for the 21st Century - How To

posted Feb 11, 2020, 12:21 AM by Tomas Svoboda   [ updated Feb 11, 2020, 1:58 AM ]

Momentarily please refer to the Czech version

Copyright Amendments for the 21st Century

posted Oct 18, 2019, 11:20 PM by Tomas Svoboda   [ updated Oct 23, 2019, 6:43 AM ]

Starting points:
The Information and Knowledge based industries have been frustratedf or decades by the fact that within our reach there are millions of books, thousands of movies and other products of human creativity whose contents must not be publicized due to obstacles in outdated copyright legislations.
That is in marked contrast against contemporary technological powers that enable us to immediately access information anywhere in the world.
Copyright laws in their current form forbid most free usage of a work until its author has been dead for 70 years (so called „securely dead“).
That applies even to cases where the identity of the author is unclear or when they were ignoring their own work. That gives rise to desperate situations and works laying forgotten in libraries and archives.
This dismal situation requires substantial improvements of almost a revolutionary nature.
The public frustration from the inadequacies of copyright laws is so immense that it may even create a risk of non-systemic solutions similar to Marxism. It is in everyone's interest to achieve improvement by traditional means and avoid any radical disruptive revolutions.

Solution in One Sentence: 

If the author has not been taking care of their work or  or is unreachable then free distribution of their work should be allowed.


Author resp. The copyright owner has the right to determine how his or her work will be treated
The public has the natural right of easy access to works that have been published in the past
The ease and fidelity of copying in the digital world make it possible to distribute works without much effort from the owner


Information content of a permanent nature (as opposed to current news) including
  • Books
  • Movies
  • Digital photo
  • Music recordings
  • Sheet music
  • Magazines (and similar collections) which have expired from their immediate meaning
  • ...
  • Out of print on Google Books - searchable but not viewable
  • Magazine digitized in library without online access
  • Movie once aired on television but otherwise unavailable

Target Status

From the Consumer's Point of View
When I am interested in a certain work of which I know the title and author, I find it with the usual search engine and get:
A link where the copyright owner permanently sells the work in digital form, such as an Online Bookstore. I'll gladly pay him.
It is easy to arrange permanent digital distribution - for example, as an e-book on Amazon. As well as easy paper distribution, offered by print-on-demand services.
If the owner does not offer the work or is unfindable, I get a link to a library or business that has taken advantage of the owner's inactivity to distribute a digital copy of the work by their own diligence - for money or for free This is the case when the owner ignores their work, for example, because they are dead without heirs or does not want to deal with the work anymore.

From the Author's Point of View

I had written a book. No publisher was interested in it, so I placed it on Amazon as a self-published e-book and print-on-demand.
Anyone in the world can buy it because I have no geographical or other restrictions.
This has ensured that it would be available for a long time if someone showed interest in it.


The publisher has already offered the work for public distribution commercially or free of charge.

If the copyright owner of the work has not taken any action controlling the distribution of his work for a period of N years, anyone is permitted to freely distribute digital copies of the work. This would bring us closer to patent protection, where the owner has to do some - even marginal - actions to continue his ownership.

By digital copy we mean something that can still be freely copied, not a controlled consumption approach. (This is to prevent anyone from making their own walled garden.)
An "action" means:
  • Keeping one's work available with a commercial or free offer
  • Publicly ordered or prohibited by the owner to distribute the work
  • ….
The ideal technical solution would be a compulsory registration with an authority, as is the case with patents, but this is not realistic because of the European principle that a work and its protection arise through creation, not registration.
An owner whose work has been released for free due to a prior reason may return the control of their work by
  • Executing one of the previous actions
  • Adequately informing those who freely distributed the work in good faith

Up to time given by the current regulations, ie 70 years after the author's death.

Digital Immortality

posted Feb 25, 2019, 6:16 AM by Tomas Svoboda   [ updated Feb 25, 2020, 1:50 PM ]

Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg on Authenticity in the Digital World

posted Jun 1, 2018, 12:09 AM by Tomas Svoboda   [ updated Jun 4, 2018, 2:23 AM ]

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

the impulse for writing this letter came to me from watching the confrontations to which you were subjected at the U.S. Congress and the European Parliament. While many of the U.S. congressmen have displayed pitiful cluelessness the Europeans have shown a dangerous blend of arrogance and masked ignorance. I hold no bias in favor of Facebook but I do appreciate your effort of bringing the social interaction to a global scale which has never been done before and cannot be expected to run without quirks and risks. This specifically is what the European MEPs have failed to recognize and have lost my respect in the process. My sympathy goes to you for the offenses you have had to endure. As a European I would like to offer my apology for the attitudes of our elected representatives.

I am writing this to offer you a direction ahead. I do believe that social communication on a global scale is here to stay - if it can find ways to handle certain specific issues which have become threats.

One of the important threats is the abuse of Facebook accounts for spreading fake and manipulative communications. Emitting such undesirable information is almost always tied to accounts without a credible connection to real persons. By that I mean either totally fake identities, kidnapped ones or those abandoned by their original owner. With such lack of authenticity those accounts can easily be abused to overwhelm real persons by their seeming numbers and persistency. I would like to see Facebook - as well as any other online communication environment - free of these malevolent abusers. The way to arrive close to that ideal seems quite simple: Authenticate the users.

Facebook can become the global standard in voluntary user authentication and identification - a most necessary building block of a global digital culture and governance.

This can be done on a purely voluntary basis. The user submits a proof of their real identity and will be tagged online as a real person - for public perusal on multiple independent sites. I for one would be happy to provide my authenticating information (passport number etc.) and opt for not seeing any content from non-authenticated users.

Many will protest against such attempt at global census a.k.a. global registration but I am deeply convinced that it is necessary for making the global online environment a more usable and safer place. I have arrived at this opinion when working on a paper and book on Global Governance which can be found at http://www.svobodat.com/governance to which you are sincerely invited.

I sincerely hope that this letter reaches you. To that end I am both publishing it online (at Medium.com and my blog and sending it by mail as well.

Best Regards

Dr. Tomáš Svoboda https://www.facebook.com/svobodat , www.svobodat.com

Prague, June 1, 2018

Brexit 1.0 Had Already Cost Thousands of Lives

posted Apr 3, 2018, 1:36 AM by Tomas Svoboda   [ updated Apr 6, 2018, 12:53 AM ]

Let's take back control: Henry VIII
“Taking Back Control” is not a new concept in British politics. It has been tried once before with consequent isolation that is in effect until now. I am referring to Henry VIII who around 1530 grew frustrated about the dictate from Brussels - sorry Rome - and took control of his own divorce deal. He had to found an independent Church of England in the process which is almost identical to the Roman Catholic Church except for the leadership and scope of influence.

I wonder whether Henry had used some phrase similar to “Taking Control Back” at the time...

Let us remember some of the context and consequences which include interesting similarities with the current attempt at Brexit 2.0 :

  • The social media of the time spearheaded by Gutenberg’s printing presses had an important influence on propagating the ideology behind the split
  • Tens of thousands judicial murders were committed during the process of taking back control ... https://history.howstuffworks.com/historical-figures/10-henry-viii-executions.htm

    • including Anne Boleyn - the bride for whom the whole divorce adventure had started...
    • including the classic Utopian thinker Thomas More
  • Except for the individual freedom to divorce for Henry VIII the split had little practical effect - even the divorce policy of the Church of England remains almost identical with Rome up to nowadays
  • I have yet to find any advantages the British people have gained from the split


Looking for a New Opportunity as CIO or Similar

posted Jul 19, 2017, 5:16 AM by Tomas Svoboda   [ updated Jul 22, 2017, 2:06 PM ]

My engagement with the Czech National Library is coming to an end. Therefore I am looking for a new challenge and opportunity.
I know how to understand technologies and how to make them work in companies and organizations. I know how to manage projects and programs where technology, people, finance and other factors need to work together. My most usual position is that of a CIO taking care of all digital agenda (or CDO - Chief Digital Officer if you will). I also offer my capacity as manager of projects, programs, transformations consulting etc.
If you have a position or a requirement regarding technology that cannot be described in an ad - that may be the best one.
Feel free to download my CV below this text: 

Can Encryption Be Outlawed? Water Cannot Flow Uphill

posted Apr 2, 2017, 1:16 PM by Tomas Svoboda   [ updated Apr 2, 2017, 1:17 PM ]

After the recent terrorist attack in London it was reported that the criminal has communicated with someone shortly before using the encrypting program WhatsApp on his mobile phone.  The encryption made it impossible for the investigators to inspect the communication. Soon afterwards the British Home Secretary with the unoriginal notion that encryption on the internet should be made illegal.

Yes we all would like the police investigator to know all about what the criminal is doing. However can that be achieved without substantially destroying the worl we live in?

Is it a new idea?

It is not: In the 1990‘s Phil Zimmerman in the U.S. – on his own, without any professional backing – created the magnificent encryption software PGP enabling any PC to encrypt any content in a very strong way – and made the software available to the whole world. A discussion sprang up what is more important: the increase in freedom and privacy of decent people (some of them under oppressive regimes) or the risk of abuse by organised crime. The U.S. government tried to prosecute Phil under some guise for several years but failed. It effectively admitted that encryption and secrecy is a legitimate function and the governments can do nothing about it.

In the meantime several similar cases have transpired where investigators and spies of different sorts longed for the encryption functions used by their suspects to be somehow   penetratable but with no success.

How secure is contemporary encryption?

Today‘s encryption technologies available on most computers or phones are way more powerful that those that decided the outcomes of World War II. Any student of “Information Theory” learns that any cipher can be broken – it is only a question how much it will cost in terms of effort and expense. For good ciphers the cost should be astronomical.

It is not possible to make a cipher permeable for law enforcement and impermeable for others. Any back door prepared for the police investigator would drastically cripple the strength of the cipher as a whole.

An effective encryption is widely available and there are many creative ways of making one’s messages secret on the internet. There are even ways of hiding encrypted content somewhere where no one will be looking for it – like inside an image. And there is a multitude of such possibilities. If some ways are outlawed creative people will find new ones.

The architecture of the Internet is helpful in these efforts by providing users with multiple various methods of free communications and giving governments few ways of controlling that communication.

How widespread and important is encryption nowadays?

A politician has made an infamous remark on TV: “Have you ever used encryption? I have not”  He was certainly unaware that he was using encryption every time he turned on his mobile phone or browsed an article on Wikipedia.

(Hint: If the address field in your web browser begins with https:// where the “s” is of importance then your browsing is encrypted)

Some time ago the Putin’s regime was trying to censor the Russian Wikipedia by blocking access to some articles it considered wrong. However because Wikipedia encrypts the web communication with its readers the “censor” could not determine which article is being transmitted and whether it should be blocked.  And blocking the whole Wikipedia is something that not even Putin had the courage to do.

And the banks are very specific: They depend totally on encryption and in the best interest of their clients they tend to be very strict and picky about technology.

Can encryption be outlawed to prevent abuse by criminals and terrorists?

Should the lawmakers of some state try to forbid the usage of encryption technologies on the internet they would be starting on a path of much destruction: First of all they would have to deal with the workings of banks which are vitally dependent on cryptography and very unwilling to compromise. Next they would find themselves in opposition against the whole digital industry which would have to change the whole staus quo to comply with such a legislation.
And the terrorists? They would probably hitchhike on the work of rebelling creative individuals and soon would find new ways of hiding their communications.

So the answer is: The governments could try to regulate the encryption but will never reach their goals. Just as they could not legislate water to flow uphill.

Written as a Sunday Thought for IKDP.cz  http://new.ikdp.cz/?p=6862

Banks will be more transparent. Thanks to the EU

posted Feb 13, 2017, 12:46 PM by Tomas Svoboda   [ updated Feb 13, 2017, 12:47 PM ]

Have you ever entrusted your money to a bank based on its comfortable way of handling the account from the web? And while making the decision you did not quite manage to understand their fees and interest rates? I did and it is quite normal.

The banks’ business rules are complicated and entangled so a regular person who has other things to do has no chance to fully comprehend them – hidden in plain sight in small font.

On the other hand the banks have a well visible “user interface” – not just the computerized environment but also the elegant offices, tempting commercials, shiny brochures and beuatiful credit cards – maybe even with your dog imprinted. All is done so that (and banks cannot act differently because the market commands them) to attract the customer toward conditions that are somewhat less favorable than they could be.

Against this medialized reality various internet comparison engines engage in combat that do for you the labor of comparing various offerings and lay them out before you objectively and without any glamorous facade (as long as the engine is not paid by one of the banks which might be an entirely different story). These comparisons work well of instance for offers of travel insurance. You just input the parameters of your journey and get a simple answer with the most advantageous insurance policy for you. For banking services the comparing is somewhat more complicated and difficult.

To the rescue comes a new EU directive on payment services (PSD2) due to become effective next year. It will rule for all banks to offer their clients an electronic communication through a standard interface. In plain language all the banks use the same „forms“ with the same fields on the internet. A piece of software on the side of the client will then transform these plain fields into something  more appealing to the user.

This has massive consequences in that the client will be able from their favorite software app to work with several accounts in different banks. They can then easily compare where their money gets the best treatment in terms of fees and interest rates – and naturally give preference to that bank.

They will also be able to select among different software apps the one which gives them the best experience – and perhaps pay for it a little more. With no ties to which bank their money is stored in. So the client will be choosing their app according to its bahavior and choosing their bank according to its business conditions, not vice versa.

We often frown at the EU for regulating some things in excess – and that may sometimes be true. However this regulation makes sense to me.

Written as a Sunday Thought for IKDP.cz


posted Oct 14, 2016, 12:58 AM by Tomas Svoboda

Brexitus - Destruction of the  United Kingdom by  leaving the  European Union

Dictionary addition:
Brexitus: Destruction of the  United Kingdom by  leaving the  European Union

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