Josh Mack blogging at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts, and occasionally on; bicycles, politics, Brooklyn, parenting, crafts, and good reading. Currently helping to build a new NYC neighborhood news site - nearsay.com, that celebrates the voices that make our city. Subscribe to the daily newsletter it gives you what you need to know.
To be fair everyone who is an Optimum Cable gets free access and that is 75% of Long Island according to the article. Their pvs have dropped to 1.5 from 2.2 million in Oct. One could ask why they spent 4 million dollars building out the site in the first place.
Dictionaries have been removed from classrooms in southern California schools after a parent complained about a child reading the definition for "oral sex".
Merriam Webster's 10th edition, which has been used for the past few years in fourth and fifth grade classrooms (for children aged nine to 10) in Menifee Union school district, has been pulled from shelves over fears that the "sexually graphic" entry is "just not age appropriate", according to the area's local paper.
The dictionary's online definition of the term is "oral stimulation of the genitals". "It's hard to sit and read the dictionary, but we'll be looking to find other things of a graphic nature," district spokeswoman Betti Cadmus told the paper.
...But there’s another, more profound question about e-readers that gets very little attention from the army of journalists scrutinizing every bell and whistle on the devices. E-book sales will disrupt not just the publishing industry and the act of reading – it will dramatically alter the availability to knowledge in our society. Will this disruption be for better or worse?
The printing press and public libraries did more to democratize knowledge than arguably anything else in history. Ideas and arts once only accessible to the wealthy and privileged became available to everyone. The e-book movement could be a force to democratize knowledge even further – or not.
There are plenty of scorecards to compare the myriad technical specifications of e-readers. Now we need one to help evaluate whether a particular set of e-book rules would be a net positive or negative for society at large.
Today, e-books are such a small percentage of the book market that they really have no impact at all. But just for kicks, and because the Kindle is the dominant e-reader (with an estimated six out of every 10 devices sold), let’s tally how the hit Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) device fares using this scorecard.
1. Books are cheaper. Only if you are a bookworm and buy enough books to defray the cost of the Kindle. For the average reader, FAIL
2. There is a better secondary market. Not only not cheaper, but actually nonexistent. Amazon’s terms of service explicitly doesn’t allow you to “sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, sublicense or otherwise assign any rights” to your e-books. FAIL
3. Books are easier to share. Not unless you’re willing to part with your Kindle for a few days. FAIL
4. There are more books. Given trivial reproduction costs and infinite shelf space, it’s safe to assume more books will be available. WIN
5. Free options are more widely available. There are a few libraries experimenting with lending Kindles, but this is a violation of Amazon’s Terms of Service. FAIL
6. Books are harder to censor. Amazon answered that one when it magically caused 1984 to disappear from customers’ Kindles. When the Chinese government asked Google (NSDQ: GOOG) to get rid of all references to the Falun Gong and Tiananmen Square massacre, Google complied. FAIL
7. Books last longer. Digital books can last forever. (Provided Amazon doesn’t choose to follow the music industry and work hard to make your old media obsolete.) WIN
Really nice post by Uphendra Shardanand of Daylife. It ties into a conversation I was having with my wife this morning about a great book, Big Machine, that I'm reading on my Kindle.She hates the Kindle and really hates the inability to share books. I thought she would enjoy it and offered to give her my Kindle when I was finished. Yesterday Amazon dramatically raised royalties to publishers who dropped e-book prices to levels significantly below the print prices. While I know publishers don't think of it this way, that makes the price of a printed book almost account for pass along value. So it really becomes 3 dollars for e-book or 12 dollars for 2 readers.
But the bulk of the exhibition takes place in the palm of your hand, on a specially programmed iPod Touch, the nonphone (but wireless-enabled) version of the iPhone. Apple has lent the museum a hundred of the devices in what is either a brilliant promotional move or — given the Cooper-Hewitt’s design-minded demographic — a case of pushing to the converted. They provide access to a wealth of interviews, slide shows and snippets of performances, all related to the 78 architects and designers represented in the show. Available free, this device sends the traditional audio guide the way of the one-horse buggy....But back to the iPod guide. Don’t even think about not using it because then you won’t truly see the show.
It is already a tough proposition for us German speakers to describe Sehnsucht. Tender longing goes hand in hand with the painful knowledge that the thing longed for will never quite be attained.
Indeed, you even get the feeling that the granting of an eagerly awaited wish could immediately bring about the destruction of the desired object. The English writer Oscar Wilde described the dilemma aptly when he said: “In this world there are only two tragedies: one is not getting what you want, the other is getting it.” The word Sehnsucht itself expresses this conflict.
“I didn’t want to be a part of this world anymore; I didn’t want to be a figure skater anymore,” Weir said. “Then my mom called me one day and I was really upset, crying. I had woken up with Champagne that morning. It was a bad day, and I was like: Mom, I can’t handle this anymore. I don’t want it. I don’t love it"
The difference between success and failure is almost never just one factor. It’s the balance between many factors. The tradeoffs. Palm made much smarter tradeoffs with the Pilot than Apple did with the Newton.
My friend and colleague is reading The Hobbit and blogging about it. I'm following along since I've started it multiple time but never finished it. I prefer her reports. The only sad thing is that she doesn't know who Leonard Nimoy is so I'm feeling old.