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Comment: Re:Counting pages (Score 1) 172 172

by west (#49966147) Attached to: Amazon Is Only Going To Pay Authors When Each Page Is Read

It'd be too easy for authors to set up an alternative Kindle store, for one thing.

Sure, and your customers can just walk across the street to that other store if you don't want to sell at Walmart.

Except they don't.

The trouble is not the ease of use. Most authors I know offer their goods at half a dozen e-stores. And for all the money that Apple, et al have poured into their bookstores, the customers aren't interested in anything but Amazon. In fact, Amazon is often used by the book stores as a whole to figure out what's being published.

For the *vast* majority of e-book readers, Amazon pretty much defines the book industry. And unfortunately I don't see that changing any time soon. (And if B&N collapses, I see its dominance extending from e-books to books as a whole.)

Comment: Re:Counting pages (Score 1) 172 172

by west (#49952619) Attached to: Amazon Is Only Going To Pay Authors When Each Page Is Read

Simply don't make your books available through those programs

How long is that going to remain an option? There are very few companies that dominate a market that have any compunction about ordering their suppliers to jump through whatever hoops they feel are required to further their interests.

Given Amazon's status in the e-book world, how many non-best-selling authors will choose to kill 95% of their sales in order to stay out of the Library program is Amazon chose to make it mandatory if you wanted to self-publish on Kindle.

Personally, I'm waiting for listing and advertising fees. My guess is that Amazon can make a *lot* more money from would-be authors than they can make from purchasers of self-publishing books.

Comment: Re:Desktops vs Mobile (Score 1) 250 250

by west (#49941983) Attached to: Is Microsoft's<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Ecosystem On the Decline?

I prefer C# to Java and have written a few hundred KLOC of both, but quite frankly, unless you have a horrible allergy to boilerplate, or are using cutting edge features, the two *are* similar enough not to warrant moving from one's comfort zone.

99.5% of the code I encounter doesn't use above Java 1.4 or .Net 2.0, so all the nifty language features are pretty much theoretical sizzle on roughly the same steak. And even so, the nifty features often have negative value because they while save the programmer 2-3% of his or her time, the maintainers often end up breaking things because they're not all that familiar with the new hotness in language features.

I do worry that the number of people who can competently handle closures and functional programming is small enough that we're in danger of not being able maintain the whiz-bang code we've written.

Comment: *Netflix* is the one doing the stealing... (Score 1) 408 408

by west (#49843989) Attached to: Bell Media President Says Canadians Are 'Stealing' US Netflix Content

For all intents and purposes, Netflix is selling content that they don't have the rights to. They financially benefit in the form of subscriptions, and yet they're not paying for the right to distribute to customers who are consuming the content.

Now, the VPN muddies the legality issue a bit, but it's pretty clear that Netflix's policies are (1) for the present hurting rights purchasers who thought they were buying exclusive rights and (2) in the future will hurt content producers when their foreign rights sell for vastly less than they used to.

It's the sellers to Netflix who should be pressuring Netflix to change their policies or withdrawing their content from Netflix on the basis of devaluing their property.

One other point, the idea that Bell has a financial stake should devalue their opinion seems odd. Bell's obviously taking a financial hit on this, but they paid for rights that have been undermined by Netflix's fairly dubious attitude. However, I'd also expect that the person who's regularly being robbed to be the one shouting most about neighbourhood crime, *because* he has a financial interest in it.

It seems common sense.

Comment: Re:Translation (Score 1) 119 119

It's about sharing the spoils

You are talking about more equitable distribution when you *do* sweat, something I have quite some sympathy for. That is completely different from your original post.

(As an aside, perhaps because I would never risk my time or my money for a sliver-thin chance of success, I have very little difficulty with those entrepreneurs who do make it big being heavily rewarded for their risk.)

Comment: Re:Translation (Score 2) 119 119

I don't know any Google executives in person, but I have to say that all the executives I have met, including the ones who managed in ways I *dramatically* disagreed with, worked very hard indeed.

I am also well aware that not everyone who works hard obtains a corresponding reward. There are many who work harder than I ever will for far more meager returns simply because they never had the educational opportunities that I was blessed with or faced racial/cultural/language challenges that I never will (which is why I *am* a Leftie :-)).

But without exception, all of the successful people I've met over my 50-odd years have worked hard for their success.

Comment: Re:Translation (Score 4, Insightful) 119 119

Basically. It's all about finding the suckers willing to sweat the most for the masters above them.

I'm certain you back up your sentiment by living "off the economic grid", but my, it's amazing how many others followed this sentiment with "and I should still be able to get all the neat stuff that everyone else sweats for..."

Comment: Re:Microtransactions (Score 1) 618 618

by west (#49719191) Attached to: Editor-in-Chief of the Next Web: Adblockers Are Immoral

Tyr07, what I was making fun of was the assumption that your ISP *is* the Internet, or in fact has any relation whatsoever to the web sites you choose to patronize.

The idea that paying Comcast should mean that the rest of the Internet world should be willing to work for free on your behalf so boggled me that I had to make fun of it. It has a sort of solipsistic quality that you don't find in most people over 16. "How could hundreds of thousands of individual parties who have no relation to each other NOT coordinate everything to provide a seamless experience for me!"

Comment: Re: Someone needs to find a new job (Score 1) 618 618

by west (#49714881) Attached to: Editor-in-Chief of the Next Web: Adblockers Are Immoral

Um, you realize that if you are browsing their site and using an ad-blocker, you are a net negative to them. So if you get all offended and stop visiting, he's done the business a favor...

For safety reasons, I mooch as well, but I don't try and pretend that I'm doing them a favor while enjoying their content for nothing and letting them pay for the bandwidth I use.

Comment: Consumers want everything and want it for free. (Score 1) 618 618

by west (#49710841) Attached to: Editor-in-Chief of the Next Web: Adblockers Are Immoral

For all their sins, ads fuel much of the Web. Cut them out and you're strangling the diversity of online voices and publishers – and I don't think consumers really want that.

Actually, consumers want everything, and they want it for free.

Plus a pony.

Consumers are going to go for the absolute cheapest venue right now, and then they're going to complain about the long-term consequences of their behavior. That's just how humans work.

And producers are going to try to maximize the amount they make right now, and then they're going to complain about the long-term consequences of their behavior. That's just how humans work.

Rather than complain about ad-blockers, we're just going to have to accept that much of the content we enjoy nowadays isn't sustainable when your audience is composed of human beings.

The way to make a small fortune in the commodities market is to start with a large fortune.