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Comment: I'm actually grateful to Apple for Agency (Score 2) 171

by ottdmk (#43936495) Attached to: Amazon: Publishers Strong-Armed Us On E-Books
Don't get me wrong... Agency has downsides. Lots of them. It's tremendously annoying that there are no sales on Agency books. Kobo (my preferred store) gives out lots of discount codes, but they're of limited use because they don't apply to Agency books. And those publishers that choose to price their ebooks above the paperback price are extremely frustrating (although a few of them seem to be getting a clue. Tor, for example, prices Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time books at a decent discount from paperback. DRM free too.)

But without Agency, it's entirely possible we'd be living in a Kindle-only world.

Amazon was using ebooks as loss-leaders to sell Kindles. $9.99 for the latest bestseller. The publishers hated it because it cannibalized their hardcover sales. But the danger went a lot further then that.

One of the boards I read (I think it might be mobileread.com) introduced me to the concept of a monopsony. Call it the flip side to a monopoly. There existed a very real possibility that Amazon would become the only practical retailer for ebooks, thanks to their willingness to take a loss to build market share (and the deep pockets to enable taking that loss.)

I much prefer the current, varied ecosystem in ebook retailing. I like owning a Kobo Touch, which lets me read ebooks from anybody selling epubs (as long as they don't use customized DRM, but hey, it's a pain getting Barnes & Noble to sell to a Canadian anyways, so who cares.) Amazon wouldn't work nearly as well for me. Canada is an afterthought market for Amazon.

The trial is proving interesting. CNN/Fortune has really good coverage on their Apple blog.

+ - Kobo introduces new HD e-ink reader

Submitted by ottdmk
ottdmk (1376807) writes "Having already gone after the economy e-reader market with the Kobo Mini, Kobo has now decided to put out an e-reader for the luxury market: the Kobo Aura HD. Double the default storage of a Kobo Glo at 4GB (expandable via SD card), it has a 6.8" e-ink infrared touchscreen boasting a resolution of 1440x1080 for 265dpi.

Announced in Britain on Monday with partner WHSmith, the Aura is available for pre-order and the web has a good amount of coverage. Good e-reader has a hands-on review already."
Security

+ - Joe Biden, Kim Kardashian, Hillary Clinton among victims of high-profile hack->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "Kim Kardashian, Hillary Clinton, Jay-Z, Beyonce Knowles, Joe Biden, Eric Holder, Mel Gibson, Ashton Kutcher, Paris Hilton, Robert Mueller, and Charlie Beck. Those are the targets of what appears to be a successful leak of personally identifiable information, made public on a very amateur-looking website.

The site, adorned with a goofy attempt at a scary photo and an ominous Satanic quote — in red font over a black background, no less — lists and hyperlinks the names of the high-profile victims of the data leak. The links lead directly to individual pages on the same site, which list each person's social security numbers, home addresses, previous addresses, and a link to PDF documents purporting to contain their credit reports.

The site, first brought to light by Hollywood gossip site TMZ, doesn't specify who was responsible for the attack. The motivation for the attack is unclear, as well. Aside from publicity, which this oddly assembled group of famous, SEO-rich targets was sure to achieve, the hack accomplishes very little beyond proving that they can do it and potentially driving massive amounts of traffic to the website."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:BSD loses support from Open Source (Score 5, Informative) 149

by ottdmk (#42429195) Attached to: New Releases From FreeBSD and NetBSD
I have to respectfully disagree. While it takes some getting used to, the FreeBSD ports system is, imo, absolutely awesome. Running into conflicts is extremely rare. I ran into a software conflict two months ago. It was the first time in probably five years. (I've been using FreeBSD as my main home system since 2002.)

Yes, if you install a desktop, X is not automatically a dependency. This situation works rather well for those who want to remotely log into the machine and use a GUI. Until recently FreeBSD supported FreeNX quite well (I've had trouble with the port recently. In my spare time I'm hacking away at it.). If you're remote administering a headless system, having X pulled in as a dependency is not what you want.

I'm sorry you ran into difficulties with X. The thing with X is that you have to remember to use the x11/xorg meta-port. You can install all the X components one at a time through the other ports and I imagine that if you're building a desktop it would be an exercise in extreme frustration.

If you ever decide to try FreeBSD again you might want to try PC-BSD. It's a full FreeBSD system (they just released 9.1 as well) but the installer installs a desktop by default and the PBI system is less arcane then ports can be. (Bear in mind that PBI is built from the FreeBSD ports system and ports remain available to users in PC-BSD.)
Patents

+ - Judge overturns patent suit, rules RIM did not infringe->

Submitted by ottdmk
ottdmk (1376807) writes "You may recall this recent Slashdot story about Mformation being awarded 147.2 million dollars in a patent suit agains RIM. Well, it appears a California appeals judge has disagreed with that verdict. As part of the ruling if Mformation successfully appeals, the matter will go to a new trial instead of the jury award being restored."
Link to Original Source
Piracy

Sony Joins the Offensive Against Pre-Owned Games 461

Posted by Soulskill
from the saddle-up dept.
BanjoTed writes "In a move to counter sales of pre-owned games, EA recently revealed DLC perks for those who buy new copies of Mass Effect 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Now, PlayStation platform holder Sony has jumped on the bandwagon with similar plans for the PSP's SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 3. '[Players] will need to register their game online before they are able to access the multiplayer component of the title. UMD copies will use a redeemable code while the digital version will authenticate automatically in the background. Furthermore ... anyone buying a pre-owned copy of the game will be forced to cough up $20 to obtain a code to play online."

Comment: Difference with FreeBSD? (Score 2, Interesting) 815

by ottdmk (#29797387) Attached to: PulseAudio Creator Responds To Critics
Hi all... FreeBSD user, not really a Linux guy. What's the difference between our sound system and Linux, anyways? IIRC we're based on Open Sound System, but I could be mistaken. Sound still isn't configured by default in FreeBSD, but it seems to work quite nicely once the right kernal module is loaded. I can have any number of sound-using apps open. They all open /dev/dsp and get their own sound channel. Anyways, just curious is someone who's familiar with both OS's can fill me in. This conversation has been really interesting.
Image

Inventor Builds Robot Wife 469 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-lonely-lonely-man dept.
Inventor Le Trung must really like the book "The Stepford Wives," because he has built the dream of every lonely man without hope, a robot wife. Le's wife, Aiko, starts the day by reading him the newspaper headlines and they go for a drives in the countryside. Le says his relationship with Aiko hasn't strayed into the bedroom, but a few tweaks could turn her into a sexual partner, even redesigning her to have a simulated orgasm. *Shudder*
Role Playing (Games)

Otherland MMO Announced 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the will-it-have-another-MMO-inside-it? dept.
Eurogamer breaks news that German games publisher DTP Entertainment will be making an MMORPG based on Tad Williams' Otherland series of books. As anyone who has read the books will know, this could be an interesting new spin on virtual worlds. Quoting: "For want of a better soundbite, let's call it the first cyberpunk MMO: a virtual world about virtual worlds, in which your avatar is an avatar, the NPCs play NPCs, and you explore a multiverse in which you might be in realistic historical surroundings one minute, and cartoon fantasy ones the next. Everything changes, even your own appearance, and nothing is even pretending to be real. ... You start the game as one of those consciousnesses in a place called the Land of the Lost, a nightmare scenario which you're trying to escape. You'll run, be killed, and reborn in a 'baby' state as a simple, low-rent sim (though we suspect the game won't be using that term, for obvious reasons) - a blank, featureless avatar that can be male, female or even neither."

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