The amazon vs Macmillan thing below really deserves its own entry.
- I don’t check kuro5hin all that often anymore, but every once in a while I do. And I find neat stuff like this story about Building Houses–One Bullet at a Time in New Orleans. No wonder the place is still screwed up.
- Hmm. Not a happy thing: Amazon and Macmillan go to war: readers and writers are the civilian casualties. Also, from John Scalzi, A Quick Note On eBook Pricing and Amazon Hijinx. In It’s All About Timing, Scalzi goes into it a little more, with an explanation of why Amazon would do this on a Friday. Unfortunately, the weekend is when some of us spend more time online, so I’ve been watching this quite a bit, and have had time to get fairly steamed with Amazon. Finally, in a note To: All Macmillan authors/illustrators and the literary agent community from John Sargent, head honcho at MacMillan, he explains that this was Amazon’s decision. [boing boing and scalzi]
- A long article from the New Yorker on The rise of the Tea Party movement. Interesting!
So everyone’s been all abuzz about the iPad. Some have even been squeeing in most unseemly ways about how it, in combination with iBooks are going to change the future of publishing. Me, I’m just not all that thrilled.
As I’ve stated before, I don’t really enjoy reading long-form things on a battery-powered device, so that part doesn’t wind me up (and no matter what SJ says, ten hours is not enough battery life for an eBook reader). The form-factor is too big to fit in my pockets, and I don’t carry a man-purse around most of the time, so that’s another strike. And while it might be handy for showing off photos, I don’t do very much of that, preferring to show folks paper, or show the photos on my iPad nano (aka iPhone) in a pinch. And finally, I don’t see any easy way of getting data like photos from my CF and SD cards when I am out shooting into it. Or for that matter even syncing with it without connecting a cable, which is one of my biggest complaints about the iPhone.
Of course my thoughts on it don’t really matter all that much. I wasn’t that excited about the iPhone when it came out, and that seems to be doing okay. Is it a game-changer? I don’t know. And I also don’t know if it matters to me today or not. For the next few months, I need to be squarely focused on the old world of computing. It’s where I make my living, and like it or not, that’s where my focus has to be.
Anyway, it’s interesting, if for no other reason that in watching people’s reactions to it. And there’s more in the last set of links below. Enjoy.
- Want to know about The Secret History of Typography in the Oxford English Dictionary? I had fun reading about it. [metafilter]
- Also from The Bygone Bureau, The Benevolent Sun, a two part story about a westerner’s visit to North Korea.
- Here’s a weird twist: Human bed-warmers at Holiday Inn in the UK because of the cold weather they’ve been having.
- Okay, these are just cool: Egg Watchers: the egg timer that entertains you. Hard-boiled or soft? In the fridge or room-temp? Large or small egg? You get a video that’ll run just how long your egg will take. Now if they’d just add a way to time the “start with the egg in cold water” version I use when making hard-boiled eggs… [metafilter]
- Have we reached a Tinkerer’s Sunset? How will the aspiring programmers of today screw around with their systems the way we did using BASIC, or ResEdit and MacsBug, or Hypercard? Meanwhile, jr’s got some similar thoughts in which he talks about the walled gardens of iDisney and Bill found a photo titled Entering Apple Restriction Zone. On the other hand, maybe it’s just Future Shock. See also I need to talk to you about computers.
Weighty stuff below. Less here. So it goes some days.
- Clay Shirky had A Rant About Women that got me thinking. He talks about one of the big differences between men and women, and how it affects their job success. Is it fair? Nope. But then I also stumbled into Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced, by way of Personal Space and Being a Lady, which touch on the same lack of assertive behavior in most women, and the surplus of same in most men. The timing was good, because recently I got asked by a woman I know,
Why didn’t we ever connect back then?Well, she sent signals that she wasn’t interested in me (or I read such signals), so I didn’t make an approach. And when she did send signals of interest, I’d already called it a day. So like Clay, I don’t have an answer to the problem. [metafilter]
- Based on Dan’s review of Avatar, I’m pretty sure I’m glad I still haven’t gone to see it. It sounds bad enough that not even naked blue boobies would salvage the movie for me, which is pretty sad, but I’ve come to realize I’m more sensitive to the uncanny valley than most, and “awesome CGI” won’t rescue a movie for me if the plot sucks. So I’ll be staying away. [flutterby]
- Heard about ATM skimmers? Would You Have Spotted the Fraud? This is an example of how good-looking they’re getting. Spooky. [flutterby]
- Over at The Luminous Landscape, there’s an article on Flying With Camera Gear Post 25 Dec, 2009. As Michael says,
But the plain truth (or plane truth, if you will) is that flying simply isn’t a very enjoyable process any more, and it’s my intention to do as little of it in future as I can. Cars, boats and trains are slower, but hey – I can and should learn to slow-down a bit more.Yeah. I expect I’ll only fly when I absolutely have to. [luminous]
- And here’s more information from Stephen Haynes about Controlling Photography in public places, which gives a very clear rundown of what security guards often try to do to stop photography, and what actually is legal. [shaynes]
Not a whole lot to report. This is a slow time of the year, with lots of staying inside and waiting for the weather outside to get nicer.
- The list of Ultimate Top 10 Lists–Listverse offers some good reading. [metafilter]
- Interested in your privacy? On Facebook? Then Conversations About The Internet #5: Anonymous Facebook Employee is probably something you should read. [boing boing]
- Want to avoid the mandatory insurance of ObamaCare? Here’s a loophole: Amish families exempt from insurance mandate. Others with religious objections to insurance should be exempted too. Might be time to start a new religion… [fark!]
- Mark J. Rebilas’ 50 favorite photos of the Decade has some darned cool photography. Well worth a few minutes of your time.
And another new decade. Third decade of running this silly blog, for what that’s worth. I don’t think it proves much except that I don’t know when to quit.
On the home front, just another year, I think. The bathroom got completed yesterday, and I’ll post photos once I get a chance to finish the cleanup and get everything where it belongs. One day of work in the new year, and I’m already back in the regular work pattern.
I alluded to it last time, but the one major change that came out of the holidays is that my DirecTiVo finally died. So I called up DirecTV, asked if they had an HD TiVo yet, and shut off the account when the answer was still
No. Since I don’t have an antenna connected to the TV, the only source of video amusement now are DVDs / Blu-Ray and things retrieved from online. I’ve got a PS3 and an AppleTV, and I think between the two I’ll be covered, except for some way to watch NASCAR races when that season starts. Might end up using the radio for that. But it’ll be an interesting experiment.
- Cooking and sex in one simple post: HOWTO make the perfect fudge and get laid. All sounds good, and funny, too. Though I might substitute the Chocolate Chip Cheesecake I’ve made a couple times now (with tasty results). Any takers?
- Here’s How to use Facebook with a feed reader from jwz. Way more convoluted than it should be. [flutterby]
- It’s not every economist who’ll ask Who Cares About Unsexy Men? It’s interesting to see what sorts of answers a question like that will bring.
- Stephen Haynes has a very disturbing Conversation with an American Cop. If you’re a photographer who can get past the (NSFW) photo of the nekkid lady at the top of the article, you should probably go read it. Just make sure to not have too many breakables around. [shaynes]
- A friend wrote a note for the new year titled Have Fun, Be Free. Sounds like pretty good advice, but which also meshes with an article titled Class War in this month’s Reason (not available online yet) which pointed out that with government employees (all levels combined) being nearly half of the voting-age population in the US, there may be no way to turn back big government. It’d be cause for despair normally, but heck, even my state senator counseled me, back when Minnesota had banned buying more than 10 days worth of sudafed every two weeks, that sometimes the best thing to do was just ignore the law and avoid getting caught.