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Some ruminations on eBooks [May. 24th, 2011|07:35 am]
I hate eBooks.

Scratch that. I love the idea of eBooks. The ability to have a huge catalog of books at my fingertips and still easily read in bed or on the go, love it. The implementation of eBooks on the other hand, I have massive problems with.

What I gain with eBooks:

  • Portability

  • Searchability



What I lose with eBooks:

  • Ability to sell

  • Ability to freely share

  • Ability to keep

  • Have to worry about machine and reader upgrades

  • Have to use proprietary software (I have a Sony reader as a handmedown from jenbooks. Do you really think I am voluntarily going to install Sony software?)



Given near price parity with physical books, these tradeoffs are nowhere near worth it. That is why I use Calibre, get my books from places like Project Gutenberg, Baen Free Library, and nice people like Cthulhu Chick.

In my mind, a lot of the issues can be traced back to two things: The concept of ownership, and the concept of scarcity. Both of these are obvious in the real world, and the current business model tries to extends these, at least partially, into the digital realm. Don't do that.

Want to get me fully on board with eBooks? Eliminate the attempts to force real world analogues into digital. Don't even pretend I own these eBooks, it's just insulting. Bits have a marginal cost of near zero, don't pretend otherwise.

There's one business model that doesn't aspire to these, but that would have me aboard in a heartbeat. Give me the equivalent to Netflix Instant Streaming at a reasonable cost, say $15-$25 a month. Instant access to a large back catalog from anywhere? That is a tradeoff worth making. No expectation of keeping it past subscription period, no desire to loan it out, no pretensions of scarcity. With enough of a catalog, it becomes its own advertising. I've frequently lent DVDs to people, but now I usually just say "It's on Netflix".
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Cupertino, Start your copiers! [Apr. 22nd, 2009|08:09 am]
More than a year ago, I reported a bug to Apple.. In that post, I used Firefox as an example of possible exploits.

I have a Vista 64 box for other purposes (yeah, I feel dirty), and this morning something tried to modify Firefox. It was the updater, so nothing malicious. Vista actually wanted confirmation of the change.
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The more things change... [Mar. 13th, 2009|08:12 am]
[mood |annoyedannoyed]

Copyright treaty is a national security secret
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Looks like China isn't the only problem [Jan. 28th, 2009|10:22 am]
From here:

The Georgia peanut plant linked to a salmonella outbreak that has killed eight people and sickened 500 more across the country knowingly shipped out contaminated peanut butter 12 times in the past two years, federal officials said yesterday.
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For Daze [Jan. 15th, 2009|10:45 am]
Director of Faith Based Initiatives has interesting side job
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Game Review - Sam & Max [Dec. 15th, 2008|09:46 am]
[Tags|, ]

Game: Sam and Max, Season 1
Genre: Point and Click Adventure
Platform: Wii
Media: Disk
Price Paid: $29.99
Would Pay: $24.99

A comedy point and click, so naturally, it was a first day purchase for me. I played the original LucasArts Sam and Max many years ago, and had to try this out. The humor is still there, and you have to love the subtle Zork humor that you'd have had to play Zork to even notice. Some cheap pop culture Honeymooner references as well, I'm probably just an old fart to have noticed it.

Nothing really innovative about the game itself, it's a plain point and click. Nothing special, but nothing really bad like Syberia. My main complaint was that the number of locations was severely limited. There was the main street your office is on, as well as one other location with a few rooms for each episode of the game. It just felt too small to me, hence the $5 ding on the price. Regardless, I will probably get Season 2 when it's finally published on the Wii.
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(no subject) [Sep. 15th, 2008|08:15 am]
Sarah Palin, mother, Mayor, Governor, spammer
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Game Review - Crackdown [Sep. 11th, 2008|11:49 pm]
[Tags|, ]

Time to play catch up on some reviews I've missed. I'm probably going to miss a few, but at least it's a start.

Title: Crackdown
Platform: 360
Media: Disk
Genre: Action Adventure Sandbox
Complete: Yes
Achievements: 420/1250
Price Paid: $16.99 - 10% (Used)
Would Pay: $29.99

My first finished 360 game. I expected it to be Assassin's Creed, but I just kind of drifted away from that, and into this instead.

The phrase that best describes this game is "Grand Theft SuperCop". You play a genetically engineered member of the Agency, and your goal is to clean up the city. There's little structure to the game, and the goals are very repetitive. There's three sections in the city, and in each you're supposed to kill lower level gang members to work your way up to the king pin. There's very little AI improvement as you progress, they just get stronger and more guards, better weapons, and more hit points.

The real star of the game isn't the missions, but the environment and the powers. On days I didn't feel like stressing out trying to get to the next boss, I just explored the city, trying to find the various hidden experience and agility globes, or simply trying to increase my levels by throwing cars around and/or blowing them up. Skills improved as you use them, and by the end of the game you can jump a good 30 feet and outrun cars.

I called this "Grand Theft SuperCop" above, and, much as in GTA, you can jack any car and drive it around. There are various races and stunts to do with those cars, and you can play "bowling" with the gang members. But to be honest, driving was the weakest part of this game. It was much more fun, never mind faster, to jump between buildings than to drive a car around. They were squirrely to handle, and would explode too easily. Driving was the one skill I never bothered maxing out. I became expert in Agility, Strength, Guns, and Explosives, but never bothered getting past the early driving levels. It just never really felt useful
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SimSchadenfreude [Sep. 5th, 2008|10:13 am]
[mood |amusedamused]

Spore is one of those highly anticipated games that I completely gave up on because it had DRM from hell.

That DRM was cracked the day before release. Meanwhile, legitimate users are having problems activating the software. When will the companies learn that they're driving people to piracy, not stopping it.
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(no subject) [Aug. 7th, 2008|09:01 am]
[mood |amusedamused]

Found today on Kotaku

I am a Gamer.

Hath not a Gamer eyes? hath not a Gamer hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a non-Gamer is?

If you frag us, do we not bleed? if you critically miss us, do we not laugh? if you camp us, do we not cry? and if you grief us, shall we not revenge?
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