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Comment Re:An e-book is not a book. (Score 1) 465

Is it? Eink readers only draw power from the battery when the page is being flipped, IIRC. So, if you drop it, wouldn't it be like dropping an electrical device on the water while the power is turned off? Unless you turn it on again while it's still wet, there's no harm done. Drying it may take quite a while, though. Please correct me if I'm wrong, I've never actually soaked any electrical devices (I had an opportunity not long ago, but it didn't seem like a good idea at the time) and I have no idea about how the battery would fare. I guess it would depend on the device.

Having said that, there's the aspect of price. Books in English and Spanish tend to be cheaper, but try looking at prices for books in Portuguese or German. They're quite a bit more expensive (for comparison, I bought Moby Dick for $4, in English, while the Portuguese edition was on sale for $25 - that's at the same store), and you may find that a Kindle only amounts to about three or four paperbacks. It's absurd, but reality often is.

Comment Re:Arsehole (Score 1) 1051

While i throughly agree with you, the kernel dev in this case is talking to Linus. He didn't even write the book on Linux, he wrote the damn thing itself. He's sort of a living legend, and he's also the guy's boss. When you're that sort of authority figure, it's a bit harder to generate back and forth anger. Grudgeful compliance is the norm. That's why powerful people tend to be assholes - it works.

Comment Re:not a valid comparison (Score 1) 375

Well, injected Harleys are also running pretty good, no concerns there. Plenty of Kawas, too. An overwhelming number of Hondas. And all pre-2008 Citroens, Renaults, Mitusbishis, Hondas and Toyotas. Including plenty from the late 90s, early 2000s (the average age of our fleet is about 12 years). I'm telling you, while those concerns are pretty reasonable, they are blown out of proportion. In practice, effects aren't that noticeable.

There are plenty of carbureted bikes with all sorts of emissions control, though (all of them, in fact, since about 2001 or so). At least here and in most of Europe, I don't know about the US.

Comment Re:not "small" "tweaks" (Score 1) 375

While those are real problems, they are nevertheless largely exaggerated. Carbureted Harleys from the 90s have been running for years on E20. Those are imports, mind you, so none of the usual preparations for coping with ethanol have been made. Rubber does last less, and you do have to replace to your seals and jets after about 30k miles or so (depending on how often you ride), but it's not the end of the world, as quite a few Anonymous Cowards here seem to think. By the way, my friend's 1998 gasoline Chevrolet Astra usually ran with pure ethanol. Converting was a piece of cake and extremely cheap. A kit with hoses, an extra small fuel tank (for housing gasoline, to help the vehicle start in cold days) and some extra parts that I can't recall right now ran for around $250. Installation was simple and easy, about $50 but you could do it yourself.

Comment Re:Human hypocrisy (Score 3, Insightful) 59

Not a bad comparison, though there is a difference between sharing and selling. Namely, the exchange of money. If Facebook/Instagram said your photos would be copylefted, I don't think people would object as much. But profiting from other people's work is a little shadier than just giving it away.

Comment Re:Onanism (Score 1) 245

Regarding your first point, it's circumscribed in what I said. Only the truly passionate will spend whatever leisure time they have honing their skills, therefore becoming good writers. That doesn't mean that every writer will be good, but, on the whole, we'll have better literature. Most crappy celebrity novels and biographies would be immediately off the table, since they are merely cash-ins on someone's fame. Half-hearted sequels that do not live up to the original would also not see the light of day. And yes, I would say exactly the same about movies. All Michael Bay movies could vanish from history today and the human race would be better for it.

Software is an entirely different beast, though, and I'm not such why you'd touch on it. It's more akin to language itself than to novels. Companies need custom software like newspapers need custom texts - hence the existence of journalists. New hardware needs new software, too. While it can be used as a purely creative medium, it's in itself a way to command machinery. It's not only a matter of volume, it's a matter of what the works you currently have available do for you. Once you get to a certain point, you see that most stories have been told before - and well told at that. Pretty much all of our so-called creative arts is redundancy. The same old stories, the same old literary devices, the same even older emotions being evoked. Obviously there is an infinite number of combinations and, while that's a weird concept to allude to, I'm not against "evolving" literature. But it should be left for people who are passionate, who want to tell a story or say something because they feel the need for it, because they want to express something, not because it's commercially viable. Those are the only ones stepping on new ground, anyway. The rest is perfectly disposable, even when quite successful.

Comment Re:Onanism (Score 1) 245

In the absence of income from their work, there will be no professional writers. Period.

But would that be a bad thing? If you walk into a bookstore (do they still exist?) and look around you, you'll see plenty of professional writers. Most of them are crap, though (citation, if needed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mO8F1HJjzkA ), and even the good ones are derivative to a degree you wouldn't expect (check tvtropes). Most good writers really want to write. Need to. If you take out profit as a motivation, we'll still have new books. Better books, probably, because then only truly passionate people will write. Even if we banished writing altogether, we'd still have so many great classics that we could spent our whole lives reading only amazing, ageless books that have already been written.

It's good that writers can live off their work (even if I usually don't agree with society as to which ones should), but it was never exactly a requirement, not even before the internet made publishers superfluous.

Comment Re:Onanism (Score 1) 245

Really? Please do show me where it's been so mortally debunked.

http://torrentfreak.com/piracy-is-not-theft-111104/

Of course they don't get it right either. They call it "piracy" when the proper name is "non-commercial copyright infringement". You can make pretty much the same points you have made and the issue sparks lots of different even-sided debates, but calling it "stealing" is simply plain wrong - at best, an incredibly bad metaphor, at worst, a farcical plea for the emotions of disgust the work invoke -, regardless of the concept of "lost sales". There's a name for such activity and that one is simply not it. It's akin to calling smoking "arson" or something equally nonsensical.

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