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Comment: Re:There won't be any space warfare (Score 1) 892

by FrankN (#39106987) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Would Real Space Combat Look Like?

As an avid sci-fi reader for 40+ years, and wanna be writer, I've wasted many hours thinking about space battles. My conclusion is, massive fleets doing battle is unlikely because it will just be too damn expensive. I Iove stories about fleets of ships, from the biggest capital ships down to swarms of fighters, but now I'm starting to think, when yet another battleship explodes like the Death Star, damn that was a lot of money.

I read one story where a planet was wiped out using sand. Granted it was a LOT of sand accelerated to nearly the speed of light but it points out that something very small, going very fast, is a potent weapon. Just look at today's headlines where a few dollars of diesel and fertilizer are destroying much more expensive things. Could any economy support the construction and destruction of such expensive toys? Personally I think such massive fleet actions will remain the stuff of science fiction.

Putting the economic arguments against such things aside, I'm an advocate of the right tool for the job school of thinking. Which just means there will be all kinds of weapons in play. Someone building mirror coated ships means someone else will invent a hammer throwing gun. Either way, someone is in for some bad luck.


Comment: Print vs Screen (Score 2) 470

by FrankN (#38655326) Attached to: Are Programmers Ruining the Design of eBooks?

I remember the same type of discussion here on /. regarding print vs web. People were complaining about websites that looked like they had scanned in their brochures, and for some that was literally true. It seems that the more things change the more they stay the same. The old school still wants to treat the screen as if it were a piece of paper. God forbid that the person doing the reading might want, or need, a different font size. That might disrupt the carefully chosen 1.2345 microsnick paragraph spacing.

I recently downloaded my first iBook to my iPad: The Yellow Submarine. (I'm a long time kindle guy.) First impression was: wow this is gorgeous and shows what an ebook can be. My 2nd impression was: holy crap I can't read this small font, let me bump up the... oh wait it's hard coded. I can see where it really would have messed up the flow of that book if I had been able to change the font. I think the ebook industry needs to have that spark where a new approach to layout is discovered that, right now, no one seems to have.

I will admit that I don't understand much about typography and layout. Most of my reading doesn't require anything more complicated than what can be produced on a typewriter. What I do see, is that we are at a point in time where the screen is taking over, and the print industry is struggling with a change that threatens to leave it behind.


Comment: Re:Big Ado About Nothing (Score 1) 409

by FrankN (#27183297) Attached to: Amazon Uses DMCA To Restrict Ebook Purchases

It's amusing to see the outrage from the Kindle's target market of /. readers.

The first 2 books I purchased for my Kindle 2 were from They were downloaded to my PC in .mobi format; drag and dropped via USB to my K2; and both have already been read. The folks at Webscription even have a page on their site explaining how to read their books on the Kindle.

I'm on my 3rd book now. This one I got from Amazon via the wireless link. I paid $0 for it.

What I'd love to see is for Google, and others, to recognize the Kindle browser. Google knows the Wii browser, so why not the Kindle? That would make it so much easier to find stuff to download to the Kindle.


It is better to live rich than to die rich. -- Samuel Johnson