the truth behind half-truth of rapidlasso's April Fools' Day joke

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Martin Isenburg

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Apr 2, 2014, 7:19:42 AM4/2/14
to LAStools - efficient command line tools for LIDAR processing, The LAS room - a friendly place to discuss specifications of the LAS format, PulseWaves - no pulse left behind
Hello,

congrats to Mike Gleason who was first to see through the "too-good-to-be-true" news of our April Fools' Day press release. But we have not fooled you without reason. Most of the press release was actually true and some of the lies might become true before long. Maybe rapidlasso was just a little ahead of our times ... just like the LAStools software. (-;


The intention of our half-truth press release (besides being funny) was to show ESRI the wonderful positive reaction that such a decision would have in the LiDAR community. Just check the cheerful and happy comments here:

http://groups.google.com/d/topic/lastools/jSpPWFeMfK8/discussion
http://www.facebook.com/LAStools/posts/685615841500863
http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Esri-rapidlasso-develop-joint-LiDAR-4408378.S.5856764764557950976
http://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=1369257&type=member&item=5856763406203240452

Here are the truth:
* rapidlasso integrated *.laz files into *.lax files
* rapidlasso created laseasy.exe
* rapidlasso added an option to rearrange points into space-filling curves
* rapidlasso created an image visualizing the new functionality
* rapidlasso assured full compatiblity of new features through the LAS 1.4 trick 
* rapidlasso tried to get ESRI to express their needs for the LAS 1.4 compressor
* rapidlasso had some hard feelings when first hearing about the leaked "LAZ clone"
* rapidlasso contacted ESRI with the very ideas outlined in the PR
* rapidlasso did so on MLK weekend
* rapidlasso quoted "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope"
* rapidlasso had promising email exchanges with ESRI management
* rapidlasso had an hour long phone call with ESRI management while in Manila
* rapidlasso disclosed technical details on the realization of this joint compressor
* rapidlasso waits to hear back from ESRI management on their final decision

Here are the lies:
* ESRI has not (yet) agreed to develop this joint LAS 1.4 compressor
* ESRI has not (yet) said what LASzip was missing to prompt their LAZ clone development
* ESRI has not (yet) disclose what imporant feature they need in the cloud 
* ESRI has not (yet) admitted to have done something 'evil-by-accident'
* ESRI has not (yet) lauded Martin for poking fun at them

Cross your fingers! We will let you know when ESRI's verdict is final.

Martin @rapidlasso

http://rapidlasso.com - honest tools for putting the lie in LiDAR

Martin Isenburg

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Apr 2, 2014, 5:50:43 PM4/2/14
to last...@googlegroups.com, The LAS room - a friendly place to discuss specifications of the LAS format, PulseWaves - no pulse left behind
Hello,

in one forum I was critizised that: "I get the fun to be had on April fools but I find fake press releases like this seldom end up being funny when the media picks them up as 'news' and it goes too far.....". I want to take as an opportunity to ponder about who is "the media" for us and what do we consider a "news report". Does our sector - like a national public radio - have independent journalists who receive salaries that do not depend on anyone's commercial or political interest that do investigative research and then publish unbiased articles?

The intention of our "fake press release" was not to be funny but to put a controversial topic into the "news" feeds that I felt was being ignored by our media. Why? In our industry sector there does not seem to be any truly independent journalism. Our media are mainly vendor-sponsored and therefore hesitant to report on issues critical to their sponsors. And please, a "press release" should never be confused with a "news report". Press releases are written by some companies' public relation officers with specific agendas and not by objective journalists.

And even if one were to insist that "press releases" are proper "news reports" then our "half-true press release" certainly fits that bill. It was written by rapidlasso's public relation officer (i.e. me) and has a certain agenda (i.e. inform you about our discussions with ESRI). Of course we did bend the truth a little bit (before we came clean). But do you think that "press releases" of other companies stick 100% to the truth ... (-;

Regards,

Martin @rapidlasso

--
http://rapidlasso.com - fast tools to find the lie in LiDAR

On Wednesday, April 2, 2014 1:19:42 PM UTC+2, Martin Isenburg wrote:
Hello,

congrats to Mike Lackner who was first to see through the "too-good-to-be-true" news of our April Fools' Day press release. But we have not fooled you without reason. Most of the press release was actually true and some of the lies might become true before long. Maybe rapidlasso was just a little ahead of our times ... just like the LAStools software. (-;

Ian Madin

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Apr 2, 2014, 5:56:12 PM4/2/14
to <lastools@googlegroups.com>, last...@googlegroups.com, The LAS room - a friendly place to discuss specifications of the LAS format, PulseWaves - no pulse left behind
Even NPR does bogus stories on April Fools, lighten up.

Ian Madin
Chief Scientist
Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries

Werner Macho

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Apr 3, 2014, 6:51:02 AM4/3/14
to last...@googlegroups.com, The LAS room - a friendly place to discuss specifications of the LAS format, PulseWaves - no pulse left behind
I know that in some parts of the world there is no 1st April fools day ..
For me I decided not to believe everything I see in the press on 1st of April.
If somebody picks something up (especially journalists) on the 1st of
April they should (and isn't it their duty?) ask themself if the news
is reliable.
Personally I find every 1st april joke funny (even more if there is
some bit of truth wrapped in it).
So congratulations on your joke and good luck with ESRI!
We need OPEN Formats!

regards
Werner
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