Archive for August, 2014

Barnes and Noble has a new Nook

August 25, 2014

This morning Barnes and Noble debuted their new Nook, which is apparently just a Samsung Galaxy Tab4 with a custom interface. The tech isn’t something that really interests me. How powerful does a tablet need to be to read text? I can’t believe it’s too hardware intensive. Instead, I like that B&N is just pairing up with a company and ditching making their own readers/tablets. I think it’s a losing proposition that dumps money into something that has too many players, and in the case of e-readers a sole function device that is going to go the way of the ipod.

Instead of focusing on hardware, this puts the focus on what Barnes and Noble needs to be focused on- their experience of buying and reading a book. On consuming media.

Which makes a ton of sense. It’s really the purest way of transferring the experience of their store to the digital world because when any of us go to Barnes and Noble we do not walk to something, grab it, and head directly for counter. Instead, we browse. We leaf through some magazines over by the wracks, we dawdle through the clearance racks, we read a handful of pages from a handful of books, as we make our way through the store and eventually into the cafe where we have an overpriced coffee and overly caloric piece of carrot cake.

If Barnes and Noble will agree to occasionally ship me complimentary pieces of cake with my orders, I will be getting in line for my galaxy tab.

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How much more can be said?

August 11, 2014

Amazon had a bit of a blunder this weekend, misrepresenting a quote by George Orwell in their continuing fight to cripple large publishing houses. The NYT has a nice write up about it here.  I’m not sure what to make of Amazon’s continued fight in this. At some point, they will have more to lose than to gain. As the fight drags on, I have to believe it will eventually begin to drag in other publishers as their deals come up for renegotiation, and they are slowly and surely giving competitors time to suck away customers. If they’re not careful, the publishing houses themselves might even wake up and decide to enter the marketplace, opening up their own stores and hawking their own wares. Other than fear of the unknown, the idea of cutting out the online retailers and taking all of the profits would seem a damn appealing idea.

 

 

I’ve fallen and I can’t get up

August 6, 2014

So, I have messed up my back.  Gutting a room, trying to get it ready for a baby in October (should be plenty of time, yeah) and I ran into someone’s crazy idea of an alternative to lath. It’s a weird tongue and groove system with boards  grooved to accept the plaster. The boards are thick, about an inch, and nailed in with 10d nails, which are long, thick, and a thorough pain in the ass. After a few hours of beating, levering, pulling, and cranking on the things, I have about 2/3 of a wall left to be done with the room, and a back that is screaming. Fun.

Working on the house has really left me a bit defeated lately. Aside from my normal pessimism, it’s hard to see a point to it at times. It’ll be nice when it’s done. I hope. Might just be nice to be done.