More on media piracy and the Oatmeal’s comic by Marco Arment. He’s making the case that while the studios are right, they’re not being pragmatic, which isn’t helping them, and hurting their customers who are willing to pay.
A newly discovered document, written by one of Europe’s most famous philosophers, Thomas Hobbes, reveals a plan that, if successful, could have turned the tide of one of England’s bloodiest wars.
In the words of Hobbes, the plan would prevent the “ruine of the English nation.” The document was written during the height of the English civil war, a series of conflicts between 1642 and 1651 that saw King Charles I (and later his son Charles II), pitted against his country’s parliament.
Hobbes, whose work encompassed politics, history, law, physics and mathematics, was a strong supporter of the king. And in the newfound document, discovered among papers of English writer John Evelyn in the British Library, Hobbes proposes a plan to win the war by getting the head of the parliamentary navy, Earl of Warwick Robert Rich, to defect.
So SQ Chips is right now my favorite album I’m listening to. What is SQ Chips you ask? Well, it’s a set of chiptune arrangements of Square (see?) songs in modernized chiptune form. I found it after it was added to Rainwave.cc. I’m really loving the Chrono Triggers songs, but also the Xenogear and SaGa songs as well. There’s plenty of other game’s music thrown in as well. I’d highly recommend it.
“Today is the anniversary of the flag-raising, made famous in photographic history. One sometimes reads that the iconic raising was “staged for the cameras” as a publicity stunt. The hipster generation is so hip and and so knowingly cynical that it cannot imagine anything else. But in fact, the second flag was raised because the commanding general wanted a flag that could be seen all over the island. At lunch today, my dad recalled that moment when the flag went up. He was forward in the 5th Division zone and it was an electric moment, followed an instant later by the horns of all the ships in the task force blaring at once.”—
Just how cynical are people today when it comes to history? I run into this type of cynicism all the time. Every fact is suspect and nothing written should be taken as true to some people. It’s true that history is written by people with motivations of their own, but to me that doesn’t mean that we can discount or attribute by default negative or cynical reasons to every act taken or recorded.
“LAUGH as the security forces of an oppressive fascist dictatorship try to crush your cards with a 1.6-ton (3,200-pound) vehicle. CHUCKLE at their pathetic attempts to zap the pictures from the card with anything less than a 10,000 gauss magnet. And TAKE IT EASY as these government stooges lamely try to soak the card in water for up to 24 hours. The ignorant fools.”—
This description of ruggedized SD cards from Samsung amused me to no end.
Amazon.com yanked the buy button on its site from thousands of e-books this week after failing to extract better terms from their distributor, the Independent Publishers Group.
I.P.G., one of the country’s largest distributors, said Amazon sought new discounts that it could not afford.
“There’s only so far we can go,” said Mark Suchomel, president of the Chicago-based outfit.
The dispute underlines the escalating struggle between Amazon and publishers and distributors over how to sell e-books. Amazon wants the price for the consumer to be as low as possible so it can sell more Kindle devices. But it also needs to improve its margins, which are vanishingly thin for a Wall Street darling. The patience of investors is not infinite.
One of minds that worked on games like Glow Artisan has launched a new twist on rock, paper, scissors called Hexagonal Rochambeau. While the name sounds complicated, the game play as not. I spent the weekend playing my girlfriend with lovely results and only a couple odd looks from by-standers on the L train.
Why should you listen to this tech geek lecture you on what you’re doing wrong with your pasta? Well, mostly because he’s dedicated to making sure that the minutia of life all mesh properly. That’s why you should listen to a tech geek about pasta. Also, because it works. I’ve been trying most of his suggestions over the past week, and my pasta does taste better after following his advice. If there’s one thing to try, it’s cooking the pasta less in the pot. That really helps.
I like pasta. I’d like to help people make better pasta. It pains me to think about all the poorly prepared pasta being served and eaten in America. My advice will focus on plain old store-bought dried pasta. Nothing fancy. You’ve probably made some yourself.
While his mother is cooing “Does baybee want his bahbah?” that 6- to 9-month-old infant may just be thinking something along the lines of “Yes, I do want my bottle!” New research indicates that infants as young as 6 months can understand the meaning of many spoken words.
“Kids at this age aren’t saying anything, they’re not pointing, they’re not walking,” study researcher Erika Bergelson, of the University of Pennsylvania, said in a statement. “But actually, under the surface, they’re trying to put together the things in the world with the words that go with them.”
“Most people who use the Internet seem take its nature and characteristics for granted, like we take air and water for granted. Your relationship with air and water — what you can do with it or within it — is for all practical purposes an unchanging fact of nature. What you can or cannot do with or on the Internet, however, is the result of specific decisions and actions by individual human beings who hold different motivations — be they political, cultural, social, academic, economic, or business motives. The actions themselves take different forms: programming, engineering, design, business, or legislative. These decisions and actions determine things like how much privacy you have, how easily your digital activities can be tracked and by whom, how your online identity relates to your offline identity, and to what extent you can have more than one online persona.”—The Fight for a Fair and Free Internet - Rebecca J. Rosen - Technology - The Atlantic (via infoneer-pulse)
A quick look by the Daily Beast on urban homeschooling. I’ll admit that it’s not a sphere of homeschooling I’ve had much contact with, I would mostly agree with the characterization of things in the post.
Gunnerkrigg Court, a particularly popular comic, is one of those genre-defying megabeasts that makes first-time comic readers quake with fear. The story is vast and complex when you try to explain it, and yet despite this enigma wrapped in a conundrum, we keep coming back for more.
The reason for this is that despite all the mystery and suspense that enshrouds Gunnerkrigg, the heart of the plot is very simple. A lonely girl attends a strange school and in the process makes and loses friends, learns about the fantastical world around her, learns about herself, and in doing so begins the difficult transition that is growing up.
Don’t be frightened by its magnitude! Gunnerkrigg is truly a wondrous story, and very accessible to the casual reader! Still need convincing? Well I’ll do my best!
A stark look at tech journalism. However, I think that there are a number of options available to help stem this tide. I’ve read about a couple Mac sites that are cutting back on the number of their stories to focus on quality. I’ve also seen Macstories start publishing a “Reading List” of what their reading for the week (which might be construed as more linkbait, but I’d disagree with that). It allows for some perspective to persist. There’s also shawnblanc.net as another counter-example.
The other thing I’ve seen is more sponsoring of specific writers and their sites. Things like Splat-F and Ribbonfarm are functioning with a pseudo NPR model of free content backed up with voluntary sponsorships backed by bigger donors. I know there’s at least one other large blogger who has a sponsor-only podcast, but I’ve forgotten his name right now, which also highlights the ways that this could work out. But in general, I would agree with this article, and I’ve been a bit sheltered in a handpicked neighborhood of the Apple blogosphere.
This morning, I woke up and read Nick Bilton’s weekly New York Times’ column. Nick is a friend and one of the best bloggers/writers/journalists out there. But with today’s column, he was way off base.
Having already said what I wanted to say about the Path situation, I debated if I should weigh in again. Then I read Nick’s column again. There’s a way to say what he wants to say, but he goes about it the complete wrong way. I felt like I had to respond.
So here I am, checking out some new anime, and like always, a couple opening sequence songs (OP) have caught my ear. So I’ve been listening to these four songs on loop, and I’m really loving it. It’s an upbeat/uplifting set of four, so here’s some links to youtube that will let you grab a taste of what I listened to for an entire commute rather than listening to 5by5’s podcasts.
Yes it’s still in production. No, no one knows why. But now Adam Sandler has signed on to the project, and it’s left Universal and been picked up by Columbia. It’s got a few decent names attached to it (Kevin Lima of Enchanted is directing, and Robert Smigel and Etan Cohen have given the script…
“What if there was a similar system that let us, the community of readers, buy books out of indentured copyright? Or, from the publishers perspective, what if there was a system that paid you to allow a digital edition of your work enter free into the wild? Let’s say you get a book published, it has a good run and is popular, but is now only making you a very small trickle of income. The book goes out of print, and ebook sales are way down. If you own the rights to the work, and someone offered you a significant one-time payment in exchange for making a single edition of that book available under a Creative Commons license while letting you retain the copyright on the work and the right to continue selling the work alongside the free digital version, what would you do? What if you could set the price that would make it worth doing, as one might do for a project on Kickstarter?”—
This is an awesome idea. I have no idea if this will take off, but it is a great attempt. I know from reading some of Eric Flint’s thoughts on copyright that the effort and cost to bring an out of print book back into print isn’t actually that much (a couple thousand dollars for an entire estate) so this might actually have a chance. We’ll just need to see how rights holders respond to this idea.
It is as inevitable a part of growing up as broccoli or homework, and has been for years in our social circles. Psychologists call it “socioemotional selectivity theory.” Today, we call it “defriending.” While the pruning of our social branches has always gone on, the recent explosion of social…
If you’re thinking that Facebook’s IPO has no bearing on your life, read this. Facebook needs to up the revenue per user it generates every year, or it’s share price will more likely than not collapse. That means more ads, as there’s a hard population limit that can use Facebook.
And to go along with the news about Penguin Books, here’s a couple scripts that you can use yourself, or can share to help express your displeasure with this decision to prevent libraries from lending books.
“What is crucial to understand is that academic publishing is not a free market. Researchers send papers to journals for free, because their jobs depend on it. Senior scientists don’t charge journals to review potential articles, thereby helping the editors to identify the best work, because that is a part of being an academic. Libraries have to subscribe, because the researchers they serve cannot work without access to the scholarly record. Academic publishers thus have a captive work force and a captive audience.”—From the same amazing Boston Globe piece, the quickest and clearest summary of academic publishing’s dysfunction I’ve ever seen. It is VITALLY IMPORTANT that everyone in the ecosystem understand these basic facts. (via arlpolicynotes)
Now then, this is not a good thing. These libraries cannot offer up the books they paid for, because the supplier to their supplier has pulled out of the deal. And there are no monetary penalties on Penguin for backing out?
In a stunning development, Penguin Group has extricated itself from its contract with OverDrive, the primary supplier of ebooks to public libraries.
Starting February 10, Penguin, which had recently instituted limitations on library lending for ebooks and audiobooks, will now no longer offer any ebooks or audiobooks through OverDrive.
“Looking ahead, we are continuing to talk about our future plans for ebook and digital audiobook availability for library lending with a number of partners providing these services,” said Erica Glass, in a prepared statement.
A survey published today in Science shows that journal editors often ask prospective authors to add superfluous citations of the journal to articles, and authors feel they can’t refuse. (The Science paper is for subscribers only, but you can read a summary here.) The extra citations artificially inflate a journal’s impact and prestige.
Stanford researchers may have solved the problem of range anxiety by wireless charging technology that could one day create an electric highway.
Wireless recharging already is used by some electric vehicle charging stations to fill up batteries without cords or plugging into an outlet. MIT helped pioneer this technology and spun it off into a wireless charging startup, WiTricity. However, Stanford researchers improved on this concept and devised a way to transmit 10 kilowatts of electric power across a 6.5-foot distance with minimal energy loss. By overcoming transmitting electricity across a significant distance, researchers will make it possible to pave a highway with wireless conduits that can provide addition power to EVs and let them operate indefinitely.