Nov19/2007

Complain about your schedule. Apparently people like that sort of thing.
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fluffy
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Nov19/2007

Post by fluffy »

The thing I was working on at Amazon has <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... 1">finally shipped</a>. Hooray!

qotd: Do you like to read books?

[edit] FINE I'll make the question a bit more specific. What kinds of books do you like to read? Do you prefer electronic or physical books? What's your favorite recent read?
Last edited by fluffy on Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by jackfrost »

i was somewhat excited until i saw the price.
there is no way i would pay $400 for a glorified book cover.
from the amazon ad, it appears that one of the main functions of this thing is for it to "look cool" in your leather satchel.
seriously, the only way that the masses are going to adopt the e-book format is if they are a cheaper option than paper books.
i would be interested if it were within the realm of being affordable.
and who knows how glitchy the first generation of this thing will be.
you can buy a PS3 for the same price as this thing if you really want something outrageously overpriced.

qotd: yes.
a yes/no question of the day is kind of boring.
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Post by Rabid Garfunkel »

Huh. Interesting.

QOTD: Not often. And when I did, they were usually handrolled from texts at The Gutenberg Project and bent into shape to be accessible on a Newton. Which oughtta give an idea of how long ago that was. :wink:

Wait, did I misread the question? I thought it said ebooks!?!

QOTD: Yes. I don't have a living room, I've got a library. I likes me the paper books more than the electronic ones. Recent read? Just enjoyed "The Watchman" by Jonathan Littman. Guess I'll keep on in the paranoid vein and read "The Total Package" by Thomas Hine over the next coupla days.
Last edited by Rabid Garfunkel on Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by erik »

I hate to read books.
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Post by fluffy »

I originally typed ebooks but I meant books.

jackfrost: You can always expand on it. Most people do. The question is just a framework for people to espouse at length about themselves.

Also, yeah, the price is high, but it's got a lot of expensive stuff in it and Amazon doesn't want to sell it at a loss. The price will definitely come down as production ramps up. There's also a lot of cool technology under the hood (including several inventions of mine) which are cool mostly in how they vastly improve the experience in ways that the user will (hopefully) never even notice.
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Post by jimtyrrell »

Roll Call: Short work week, and it's not real busy today. I'm having a buffalo chicken calzone from 174 Pizza & Subs* for lunch. Mmm.

QotD: Audiobooks are great. I listen to 'em a lot when I'm driving to shows.

*174 Main St., Plymouth NH. (603) 536-3269.
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Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Hey, that's pretty cool, Fluffy - I'm impressed. A digital book makes sense in many ways, but I don't know if I could ditch the paper. So yes, I like to read, although I'm not necessarily well read. Most recent book that impressed me was "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. (Approppriate since he'll be all over the place with that new Coen Bros. movie coming out) I am now poking at "Nixon and Kissenger" by Robert Dallek. Interesting and scary at times, but makes my eyes swim a little bit.

Was that enough espousing? 'Cause I got more where that came from! :)
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Post by fodroy »

qotd: Yes. The best book I've read in the last year was David Griffith's A Good War is Hard to Find. It's a really great creative nonfiction book dealing with the media and violence and it centers around the abu ghraib photos. It's incredibly well written.

http://www.softskull.com/detailedbook.p ... 33368-12-8

Ebooks are only ok if they're short poetry or flash fiction books or something.
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Post by Hoblit »

qotd: I sit in front of a computer for a lot in my life. A lot of reading NEWS in front of it as well. SO, when I do read fiction, I prefer it to be in paper book form. I USED to read A LOT more back in my old life however I've moved away from reading books a little more than I would have ever guessed myself 10 years ago. I think I read MORE NEWS now though.

I'm currently on the last book of The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. (BTW, read The Mist some years ago (was in a book of short stories) and now there is currently a movie coming out)

I mostly read Stephen King. He has so much material out that I haven't gotten to yet that I probably won't need to read much from anybody else.
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Post by HeuristicsInc »

I love to read. The screens get to bothering my eyes, so if I was going to switch away from paper it would have to be easy on the eyes. Paper is the best. But I also love books on tape. Great for in the car, mostly.

Rabid, if you like the Gutenberg books you might enjoy http://librivox.org/ in which volunteers record those books as mp3s. On the way to SFLive this year (and back) I listened to Mark Twain's "Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" which was great fun.

The most recent book I finished was Terry Pratchett's "Going Postal" which was as always awesome and funny. Humorous and serious fantasy.
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Post by fluffy »

eInk looks very nice.
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Post by Paco Del Stinko »

The Mist ...was in a book of short stories
I remember that story, it was a good one. Scary like that raft one he had, too. Don't go in the blank-blank, or else.

Hoblit, if you ever start some weird Stephen King meets Pink Floyd band, gimme a holler for an audition!
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Post by drë »

qotd:
The 2 topics I’ve mostly find myself buying books on and reading are
(Brain stuff eg.. Neurology, cognitive science, and true life outdoor Adventure stories), never been too much into fantasy/fiction stuff.
And like Jim, i also started using audio books for the long drive to and from work. (learn while you drive, what a concept.....eeeegggkk...ChRaSh!!!!)
Quick reviews:

5/5 - Kiss or Kill: Confessions of a Serial Climber
Bad ass, fast pace, adrenalin rushing, cursing, climbing motherfcker.
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4/5 Why Choose This Book?: How We Make Decisions
interesting read, comparing the human brain to PC's and more
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4/5 The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature (audio book)
halfway through it, interesting points on the English language, and how it frames the outside world, inside the mind.
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3/5 Beyond the Limits: The Lessons Learned from a Lifetime's Adventures
Sir Ranulph Fiennes autobiography, and lessons he has learned from 40+ years adventuring around the world.
short book, with many glossy pictures.
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3/5 Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious (audio book)
Author points out why we should count on gut feelings, and how humans have developed heuristics over time.
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Re: Nov19/2007

Post by Caravan Ray »

fluffy wrote:The thing I was working on at Amazon has <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... 1">finally shipped</a>. Hooray!
Let me know when the hardcore porn titles start to ship.

Does that "electronic paper" get sticky, just like the old analog paper?
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Post by roymond »

QotD: I've been on a US history kick, largely around independence. Right now it's "The Postal Age" the development of the modern postal system, written by my sister-in-law's boyfriend. The best book in recent memory was the correspondences between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. One of the worst in recent memory was "Everything is Miscellaneous".

As for electronic readers, eInk is pretty amazing. I read Jurassic Park on a laptop, and vowed never to read another that way. But eInk has the resolution that makes it seem you're reading printed pages, and the contrast is very "normal", thus eye strain doesn't kick in. Built-in dictionaries, censored-pedia, newspapers and blogs make this an amazing compliment with the right set of strengths that are about "reading". It's not a computer at all in function or form. Folks should watch the demo video on Amazon's home page.

Fluffy - kudos, man! Very cool. I look forward to test driving it soon.
Last edited by roymond on Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Reist »

I'm not a big reader, but I like fantasy stuff (no-not Lord of the Rings fantasy - that stuff is so overdone). I read "The Book of Lost Things" by John Connolly a little while ago - kind of dark fairy-tale stuff. I guess my liking of this stuff stemmed from my love of old-school genesis and its epic-tales.
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Post by fluffy »

I wouldn't say eInk is as good as the printed page. It's only around 160dpi (at least in the screens used by Amazon and Sony), and you lose even more to dithering since it's only 2 bits per pixel. Laser printers only start to look good at 300dpi (9x the resolution which more than offsets the 1/2 shading precision, and also laser printers have always had tricks to make the edges a bit sharper than their discrete-pixel resolution).

Where eInk totally wins is the pretty good contrast (which is nowhere near an LCD screen but definitely Good Enough compared to most PDAs or cellphones) and the fact it's reflective rather than emissive, which is much easier on the eye since it's exactly the same brightness as your surroundings (well, ideally, though eInk's background is more of a light gray than a white, like recycled newsprint or a cheap paperback).
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Post by anti-m »

Books are a waste of time.

I read them constantly.

:D

I've never gotten into the ebook thing, but I suppose it might be worth a try.

We have an awfully good library here in Stumptown tho'... so I'm kinda book-biased.

I do like books on tape, when they are read by good readers. Librivox is pretty nifty, although the readers vary wildly in degree of quality.

Congrats on your widget, fluffy! That's so cool to see a thing like that through to production!
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Re: Nov19/2007

Post by fluffy »

©aravan®ay wrote:
fluffy wrote:The thing I was working on at Amazon has <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... 1">finally shipped</a>. Hooray!
Let me know when the hardcore porn titles start to ship.

Does that "electronic paper" get sticky, just like the old analog paper?
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For the longest time I had these three Achewood comics on my office wall, because for quite some time we kept on getting this sort of thing in our randomly-selected test-content pile. (The most memorable of these books being <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Into-Prairie-Pion ... =8-1">Into The Prairie</a> which became a running joke in my group. I find it a bit ironic that the Kindle edition isn't even available after all the grief that piece of shit put us through.)

There was also a romance novel entitled "The Ties That Bind" which gave us a lot of trouble, which had something to do with donated kidneys and "his throbbing meat." (The trouble had nothing to do with the subject matter, except that the troubles were caused specifically by aspects of cheap pulp novels which make automated conversion difficult.)
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Post by fluffy »

Oh, but keep in mind that the Kindle's design doesn't really lend itself to reading one-handed.
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Post by fluffy »

Oh, and specifically because of that first Achewood, for a while we were all referring to that subject matter as "'angels slapping pudding' books."
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Post by roymond »

fluffy wrote:Oh, but keep in mind that the Kindle's design doesn't really lend itself to reading one-handed.
And so yet another piece of technological wizardry fails due to short-sighted marketing, whose adoption rate will soon be surpassed by an inferior, but one-handed device. Preloaded with "The Ties That Bind".
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