Re: Some dodgy facts in there
Or by flying into a volcano
53 posts • joined 21 Apr 2011
The Toot 'n' Come In Motel, or some such. I remember reading it in a Readers Digest 25+ years ago. I must look it up...
Ok, I went & looked it up - It was an extract from David Macaulay's 'Motel of the Mysteries' (1979). Macaulay's book begins by noting that America was destroyed in 1985 when it was suddenly covered by a huge flood of junk mail, unleashed by an accidental reduction in postal rates, followed by the sudden fall of solid pollutants from the atmosphere, placing another layer over the buried country. Found it mentioned in a Locus magazine article about the Archaeology of the Future. Now to find the book - and some of the other stories mentioned in the article.
"Its a joke that calculator is pretty much unchanged since windows 95"
It emulates a handheld calculator. How much does it need to change? Though Win7 has added programmer and statistics skins as well as standard and scientific, meaning it is as useful as a Casio fx-82.
Large Gov't department upgrading from, XP to 7 earlier this year. Very locked down desktops in both cases. The upgrade experience was:
95% of staff: This is the new desktop. Click on 'all programs' to see your available programs. All your bookmarks in IE are still there.
4% of staff: This is the new desktop, Please note that some of your Citrix programs are in different folders and you can use Firefox instead of IE if you want. All your bookmarks in IE are still there.
1% of staff: not relevent for the purpose of this example - they're the non-outsourced IT staff.
"It is often quoted that the whole World's human population could be fitted onto the Isle of White if standing shoulder to shoulder."
Only when the world's population was less than a couple of billion. John Brunner got the current scale right when he said 'Stand on Zanzibar' (7+ billion, ~1500 sq km). With a more generous 3 people per sq m we might be able to stand on Réunion (2500 sq km)
That description fits me to a T, although nowadays my hearing cuts out at about 16kHz, so I probably couldn't hear the CRTs even if there were any about the office. Refresh rates that co-workers were happy with bugged me. In a a job I once had that had hot desking I used to go around the computers after work and reset the refresh rates to 80/85Hz.
I went to the netmarketshare site and looked at the trend for Aug '11 to July '13. This is the fifth occasion that XP has shown an increase in any given month over that period of time, set against a general decline in its market share from 52% to 37%. From this I conclude that even though the sample population is large - 160m unique IPs? - there is still going to be month-to-month variation, possibly up to 1 percentage point.
"I know what my preference would be, even if I could only afford a public defender"
Yeah, I know what mine would be too - Aussie, Canada and New Zealand all have better legal aid systems than the US. The NZ judges seem to be doing a pretty good job in keeping the prosecution honest in the Dotcom case too.
Since most editing takes place within the paras etc, does it really make a difference? No knowledge of mark-up language was needed for that. It will probably even out to the current level. Probably. Over a sufficiently large sample. On average. I guess.
Oh, OK, it will be a bl**dy disaster!
It isn't the retailer, its the publisher that is the problem here. It would be great to have a bundled deal available.
For a number of years SF publisher Baen Books have included a CD with some hardcover releases with DRM-free e-editions of the book, previous books in the series, other works by the author and other bonus material.
Of course Baen were also the first publisher to encourage their authors to make one or more of their books available online for free as a 'taster'.
JDX @ 18:52 wrote:
"Weren't there some stats in the news recently suggesting sales HAD increased due to strict anti-piracy laws? I forget the details, maybe someone can recall..."
It was to do with the closure of Megaupload last year. Allegedly sales & rentals rose 4-10%.
I seem to recall reports before Megaupload closed to the effect that internet traffic to/from file lockers exceeded torrent traffic. If so, then shutting down all the torrent sites - not just the flag carrier TBP - will likely increase sales by no more than 10% again.
What is also interesting is that not one single notice has been issued by the film bodies because they refuse to pay the NZ$25 (US$20/£13) per time processing fee.
Perhaps that shows more clearly how much damage the film/TV industry *really* thinks that torrenting is doing in NZ?
Your arguments are more applicable against the Amazon model than ebooks generally: When you buy an ebook from Amazon you don't own it. What you have is a license to use it for a while. Per their conditions of use Amazon reserves the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, remove or edit content, or cancel orders at their sole discretion. And, as you say, they are encrypted. Can you imagine if every physical book you owned had its own different lock and key, like church bibles in the days before the printing press? How long before you lost some of the keys, or forgot which belonged to which?
Still, physical books are subject to loss by fire, earthquake, flood, tornado, theft, silverfish, pulp degrading, etc. Insurance might replace your books after a disaster, but they won't be the same editions, and some may not be available at all, even after a long hunt through the online & physical second hand stores. How many copies from a print run of, say, 50,000 are left after 40 or 100 years? It isn't quite in the "yesterday's news, tomorrow's chip paper" category, but not a great percentage.
With other publishers and retailers (e.g. Baen Books and the recently departed Fictionwise.com) you get the book in a choice of formats and *no* DRM. Epub is an open format - basically an xml file in a zip wrapper. A backup of your ebooks can be kept in many locations - on your home PC, on a usb stick at your office, on some cloud service, whatever you want.
Being dropped in a hot bath won't necessarily destroy a book, but it won't do it much good and will show permanent damage even after drying. I have found that a ziplock bag solves the ereader-in-bath problem.
I like my tablet, and keep many books and magazines on it, with the selection changing every few months as the mood takes me. I also still spend far too much money on physical books, both new and second hand. Both have their place.
And as for the paperless office? I've been hearing businesses talk about it for the past 25 years and am still waiting. At least most books published and paper made in Europe, North America and Australasia comes from renewable resources - forest plantations rather than old growth forest.
That extra inch apparently means a width of 5.3 inches - about a third to half an inch wider than the various 7" Android tablets.
The 7" Androids fit snugly in the inside pocket of all of my jackets - be they casual, leather, suit or even tails. The extra centimeter makes the the mini-iPad too wide to fit in most of them, and therefore of no use to me, even if I was going to consider it otherwise.
"...a detailed model of the network of roads and waterways that could have spread the disease from village to village..."
"...a computer simulation of the telephone calls that could have occurred during the terrorist attacks..."
Not a model of all the roads, paths & waterways that exist in the area, just the ones they think the disease could have travelled along? And not a record of calls etc that really happened, but ones that they've made up that they think might be like the ones that might have happened?
I liked George O Smith's "Venus Equilateral" series, and reread it earlier this year. It is a great example of a SF writer extrapolating from the best knowledge of the time. It is also an example of how unforseen and perhaps unforseeable discoveries and advances invalidate the basic assumptions that the story is built on.
I must see if there are any interviews with Smith, who died in 1981, comparing VE with how space communication actually played out.
"Seven-inch models represented just 2 per cent of volume tablet sales"
Unless you factor the Nook Color's sales into the numbers.
Why was it the NC counted as an e-reader, so was excluded from any 'tablet' sales figures, but the Kindle Fire is deemed a tablet? Both are crippled and restricted to the insides of their walled gardens in much the same way unless rooted/hacked. Personally, I think excluding the NC has skewed both reports and perceptions of the market over the past 12 months.
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