Posts Tagged ‘apple’

Book links! nanananananananana

March 26, 2014

Buzzfeed has a list of all 339 books mentioned in Gilmore Girls. It wasn’t a show I was ever interested in, but it’s an impressive list. I’m curious how many shows could match it.

Amazon customers got some refunds from publishers.  I think the whole lawsuit is ridiculous, and I still want to see the publishers just not sell their books through Amazon. If they really worry about Amazon becoming too powerful,  cut off the supply and begin creating a new ecosystem centered around their own websites selling their books. They could also hook up with Apple in the future, or MS, or throw more weight behind Barnes & Noble, and create their own website similar to the itunes store.  In the end, I don’t trust Wal-Mazon.

Writers, go (mid-) West. Alright, I did have a long blurb here but wordpress hiccuped and lost it. Good post, a lot of good links to further readings from recent writers of the midwest. I’m searching for Rust Belt Chic from my local library right now.

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Book Links 8-16-13

August 16, 2013

To visit a much posted topic here, yet more stuff about the Apple vs Government case. Anyone remember how way back at the beginning of the trial the judge commented that Apple was essentially boned? Well, she has a reputation for pre-judging her cases.  If you’ve read pretty much any of my other book links from the past few months, you know where I fall in this argument. I think Apple was entirely in the right, and it’s a joke that Amazon, the company that legitimately worked (works) to corner and monopolize the ebook market was hit with nothing.  I’m looking forward to Apple’s appeal.

Publisher’s Weekly has a blog post about bundling digital copies with damn near everything and wondering why the publishing industry doesn’t do it. My take is that it’s too foreign. Movies and music have always had a certain malleable aspect to their delivery the moment it became possible to be pulled into the home.  Each have went through a variety of formats (8mm, video cassette, DVD, reel-to-reel, audio cassette, CD, etc.) and have been open to being copied, swapped, and manipulated by their consumers in ways that publishing just hasn’t.  Aside from sitting down and either transcribing or xeroxing something, there wasn’t a convenient way of copying something for someone else to read.  You also couldn’t easily manipulate a text outside of a pair of scissors and some scotch tape.  The idea that your product not only can, but needs to, be creatively packaged and sold doesn’t have any real traction for publishing.  Their idea of a bonus feature has been an author interview in the back of the book, or perhaps a chapter or two of the author’s next book. If you wanted something with annotations, something that provided a weighty bonus feature, you were likely looking to pay a few extra books and having to special order a special edition.  What usually happened was that any sort of bonus usually became another book, or a magazine article, something that could be published entirely separately and monetized over again.

Which is awesome for writers and publishers. It’s just not something that has prepared them very well for what they should, and need, to be doing now.

Also, have to say, there are always exceptions to the rule. I don’t have the title off the top of my head, but I know at least one book I have had a music CD packaged with it featuring music created by the writer to go along with the book.  I think I bought it at a Border’s Closing Clearance Sale, and I still haven’t read it, or listened to the CD. So maybe there is also a lack of interest in readers for extra material, though I’m fairly certain that if I got a CD of some bizarre music with a Stephen King novel, I’d have probably listened to it in the car on the way home.

Anyway. The kid just brought me the mail, and it’s sort of thrown my entire thought process out of whack. I have no idea how anyone is productive at all when there is a kid in the house.

Book Links 5-20-15

May 20, 2013

Apple is still fighting.  I think the government going after Apple and publishers for the agency pricing model is ridiculous considering how  Amazon was allowed to develop a strangehold on the ebook market before that. It might have forced people to spend a few more bucks in the short term, but I think it was providing for a more robust publishing industry in the long term.  While the publishers have caved, Apple continues to fight, and I applaud them and wish them luck. Also, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this bit about their tax haven practices is coming out now. Considering the big banks were allowed to skate after tanking our economy, politicians complaining about Apple gaming the tax system (legally, as they admit) rings hollow.

On the flip size, Amazon wants to profit by the government going after Apple/publishers, but they don’t want to lose any blood over it. They are fighting to keep their data/info out of the public eye, and out of the courts. I think they are wrong. they are clearly a major player in this, and they deserve  to be pulled into the fight.  They are the only major interest that will greatly benefit by the government winning their case.

Stephen King’s next book, Joyland, won’t be released as an ebook. I like this, except it’s not really his next book. It’s his next book published by the small, independent press Hard Case Crime. I still applaud the move, but it’s not like it’s his next, big publisher release. And you can still buy the physical book off of Amazon.

Not book related, but David Carr’s new article about telecom giants giving us crappy, overpriced cable is a must read.

Book Links 10-23-12

October 23, 2012

Peter Osnos has a  short article up at The Atlantic saying to ignore the doomsayers. In many ways I agree with him. While tech is throwing a major disruption at the publishing industry, it is also throwing gobs of opportunities at it. Unfortunately, publishing houses seem to be barely more adept at change as the recording industry and have allowed the tech, and tech companies, to get out ahead and threaten to lap them. This is where I think the real worry is with publishing – that the business will not only be disrupted, but that they won’t adapt quickly enough to stay relevant, and will be wedged into a position by other, more adaptable companies (like Amazon).

For you poetry lovers out there, Melville House has an article up about the return of the villanelle. I’m not really into the whole poetry scene, and I won’t be able to remember what a villanelle is for the life of me, but it’s something I don’t see much talk about, and I figure someone else might like seeing it. I like the idea that some sort of form is finding popularity again. Free verse is nice and all, but every time I pick up a lit mag and try reading the poetry, it’s stuffed with free verse and it rarely grabs me.  It’s just everywhere, and a lot of it isn’t done well. instead, it reads more like someone took the first lines from every paragraph in a story and just strung them together. Which actually might not be a bad idea. It’s mine! Don’t steal it! (though I’m guessing there’s been at least twenty people who have done it already any way).

Finally, Apple hauled out the ipad mini today. I don’t have a link for it because I’m sure you can find links everywhere if you want a peek at it. It’s definitely a big deal, though, if for no other reason than that it is Apple. Oddly, this is the first time I’ve seen some obvious brushback against an Apple product in quite awhile. The cost plus the lack of any truly special hardware plus the small storage size and inability to upgrade seem to have hit some people in a very much wrong way. I think it’ll be a well designed and durable piece of tech, but a bit on the expensive side for me.

Book Links 10-4-12

October 4, 2012

EContent has a good article about YA publishing and its ability to cross barriers to bigger audiences.  I’ve tried, but I just can’t find YA lit overly interesting. I know this is going to sound disparaging, but I’ve tried Hunger Games, I’ve tried Potter, etc. and I just don’t feel engaged by it. Still, if you’re looking for a place to write and make money in, YA definitely seems like the destination to be.
Over at BookRiot there is an article about the Musashino University Library in Tokyo. Not much to say, just a neat library to look at. They need to fill more of those shelves, though!

On a similar note, here’s a collection of home libraries from dornob. I thought my wife and I had a lot of books, but these folks put us to shame. Check it out, be envious.

Microsoft and B&N complete Nook Media. I will admit that I’m not entirely sure where this is going to go, but I find it interesting none the less. while Amazon and Apple have an all-in-one thing going with their own devices and stores, B&N and Microsoft have teamed up to (apparently) provide a similar service. Considering my distaste for Amazon, and my too thin wallet for Apple, I’m probably on MS/B&N’s side here. I prefer the Nook ereaders to the Kindles, and I really like the idea behind the surface tablets (though the possible price tags for the “pro” edition are a bit of a stumble for me).

Book Links 8-19-12 Early (?) Edition

August 19, 2012

Alright, I had these links to put up on the 18th, but I got sidetracked screwing around and being generally unproductive and didn’t get them posted before the clock turned over.  So I guess I’m just going to get a big jump on tomorrow (today’s) links.
First is this digital essay by Will Self called Kafka’s Wound. I’m still not entirely sure what to make of it, but I really appreciate the attempt. At the very least, it’s worth checking out.

Remember that bit about the government buying a crap ton (technical term) of Kindles from Amazon while simultaneously pressing a major lawsuit against their major competitors and publishers? Remember how that kinda sounded like a bullshit move? Well, apparently the government has agreed. Now, it seems the government is saying that they want to now explore other possibilities, but a few months back they seemed pretty positive that the Kindle was the best bet for whatever it is they wanted it to do (something I’m still highly doubtful of considering things like the iPad are out there that do everything the Kindle does and then some-oh, and Microsoft has Surface coming out that seems even further along the path of actually being more than a media box). I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple’s aggressively countering the DoJ’s attempts to hurriedly push through some sort of agreement about the whole ebook price fixing thing  didn’t play into this a bit. I hate to say it, but I’m hugely in Apple’s corner over this.

Because beer steins are awesome, and I’ve ended up being a fan of Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim novels, I love these Sandman themed steins.  If you’re not interested in looking at merchandise, don’t click the link, but it’s something I’ve really liked and considered throwing $20 down for. Not a huge fan of the shirts, though, which is a shame.

Don’t cry for me Argentina, just give me a decent pension plan. They are giving pensions to writers. It’s awesome. While I live in a nation where a presidential candidate is for cutting the meager funding for the NEA and the NEH (who, combined, are given less money than we give our military just to manage their bands), other countries who are far less economically robust are finding new ways to spend more money on the arts.  One of the few (many) places I don’t want to take this blog is into the world of politics and everything it entails, but lately I’ve realized how my stances are pretty much a polar opposite from what appears to be a pretty fair share of my country. They want to spend more money on making better guns to kill more Arabs, I want more money thrown at space exploration and artists.

Finally, because I’m horribly ignorant of massive exhibitions by national institutions, here’s a much belated link to the Library of Congress and their Books that shaped America. Like any list, it’ll probably generate more discussion for what’s not on it as much for what is. For some info on what went into slim pickings, here’s an interview with someone who was involved in the process.

Alright, that’s all for today, maybe more later today. 🙂

Men Don’t Read! (but they do!)(but boys don’t!)(and what about that Ipad?)

May 5, 2010

well, I guess when you essentially disappear from the blogosphere for a week you tend to miss things like the dust-up caused by Jason Pinter’s article about men not reading any more (except they do!) and Laura Miller saying  not to blame the feminine editors, men just don’t want to work low paying jobs while Will Weaver sneaks a little article in about how young men don’t have many options in the library (except for his own book, of course, geared towards boys, which he mentions repeatedly).

I can’t say I buy Pinter’s argument at all. For one, he seems to be calling for more crappy writing geared towards men. I don’t really care who is lining up for Tucker Max. He is not a good writer. He’s entertaining for guys the same way Kathleen Woodiwiss is entertaining for women. And while I’m sure Jericho has led an interesting life, getting more guys to read celebrity bios doesn’t seem like a great goal.

I also don’t buy Miller’s argument, what there is of one. It’s more of a plea not to blame women for being editors while slamming guys for taking jobs that pay better.

Weaver is the one I would put money on for being on the right track. And I know from experience. I have a six year old boy who is a voracious reader who is running out of material to read. There isn’t any. And not just because the majority of it is geared towards girls (though it is) but because there literally just isn’t a lot out there for his reading stage where he’s getting past needing pictures and what is out there is crap. Or geared almost exclusively for girls. Going to the library is grueling. Thank god for Bunnicula lately. And, apparently, Carl Sandburg (who knew the kid would be a fan of rutabegas?).

By the time guys get old enough to buy books the publishing world has already lost them. Their reading experience has likely sucked and they haven’t even taken the necessary courses in high school to be prepared to read serious fiction. And Miller is wondering why more guys aren’t becoming editors? Not surprising considering their test scores on reading/writing when they were younger and how fewer of them are going to college in general.

And, no, it won’t matter if the Kindle is marketed differently. Apple markets the Ipad as an Apple product, occasionally mentioning the few things it does (and here’s a review of the keyboard dock so it can be at least a marginally functional piece of tech). throw the Apple logo on Kindle’s and they’ll sell like crazy. Well, even more crazy than they were selling before.

You want guys to read? Take a lesson from Big Tobacco and Alcohol: Get Them While They Are Young.

Apple IPad – hands-on

April 25, 2010

I finally got my grubby little mitts on an IPad yesterday. It’s a cute little thing. Very light, pretty comfortable. Found some of the controls awkward. Tried typing, which was alright but only comfortable when done one-handed. My complain with it is pretty much the same, though: a lack of use/functionality.

Give it a stylus and I think it would excel as a notepad. It’s size is perfect for even tiny desks and it weighs next to nothing. Instead of having the ruffled pages of a couple of notebooks crammed into a backpack, this thing could be a wonderful substitute.

But beyond notetaking, it seems pretty limited. It’s not overly powerful, it doesn’t have even a USB connector and to set it up with an actual keyboard and what not you have to go out and buy a bunch of accessories.

What it seems to be targeted at is stuff like Kindle and the Nook, devices which have also drawn my ire. As a media viewer, it’s nearly ideal. The screen is a good size for personal viewing, very bright and, after a fwe minutes of acclimation, the system was easy to navigate. I didn’t have a problem with text, though I think Kindle still has a better screen, but I’ve also never had much of a problem reading off a computer screen for long periods of time so I might not be the best judge for that.

So I guess my question comes down to do you want to spend that kind of money just to watch/read downloaded content? I’ve already made taht decision regarding the Kindle and other e-readers – it’s just not worth it to me.

The device I’m still curious about is the Lenovo U1 Hybrid. Significantly more expensive base price than the Ipad (though similar prices when all of the accessories for IPad are bought) but with more function built into it.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want (but this might be what you need)

April 8, 2010

A former Rolling Stones roadie has become the first to simultaneously release a book and iphone app for said book. With talk of where publishing is going, have to think that this has to be a sign of what we can expect for at least the near future as paper books still hold the center stage but digital media garners more followers.

What I’m st ill not sold on is this idea of applications vs a specific document format.  Granted, this is iphone specific but this is something that I’ve seen crop up in conversations regarding ebooks/eliterature and how it will eventually be created/packaged/distributed/sold/experienced. The iphone has caught a wave with this app business, though people creating free (or not so free) apps for download on the web has been around for as long as I can remember.

Personally, I don’t think having everything sold as a separate application will prove viable in the long term, especially as other computer makers get in on it and the demand for widespread use becomes greater. Instead of having a relatively small group vying for the dollars of a similarly small group, eventually we will see a larger buying public demanding greater competition, lower prices and more ease of use.

I have to believe that we will end up where we have essentially went with music. A dominant file type that can be accessed and played by a variety of different competing apps that can be installed on a variety of computers. The idea of being restricted  to particular authors because you own a Samsung rather than an Apple will not be appealing to users while having to create not just one document file but numerous app files will prove less than popular for publishers.

Amazon Upping EBook Prices and Babs in New York

April 1, 2010

Quick blog, noticed a couple of news stories about Amazon upping prices on their ebooks. It’s clearly in response to people going (undeservedly) gaga over the ipad and the various deals publishers have been cutting with Apple. I’m still not a fan over the overly expensive dedicated ereaders but I’m also not a fan of the very underwhelming ipad. Also, the ebook thing is still pretty boring. Just the equivilant of .doc files that have been around forever. Until we start seeing more texts taking advantage of the opportunities the format can really give you (think the equivalent of footnotes or author commentary taken to bizarre extremes with embedded links, pics, etc. Still, for everyone who is into the ebook thing right now, strike while you can because the prices are going up. Thanks to Apple and their mediocre attempt at a tablet.

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I’ve never been a big Barbara STreisand fan but I’ve also never had anything against her. What I don’t understand, though, is why she’s headlining  reception at this year’s book expo america.  Never really followed the Book Expo America before but it just seems like maybe they could have picked someone more literary.