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Submission + - So where are my technology e-books? 1

darkeye writes: With e-ink and e-books coming of age, it would be kind of obvious, that the first adopters of this technology would be tech enthusiasts themselves — who, for the most part, will be reading thick technology books, and also using them as reference. Anyone who has tried to travel with his tech books knows the weight of dead trees in their backpack, and would appreciate all that info in a single e-book, to be read on an e-book reader or on a laptop.

But — where are these e-books? Why is the paper edition still the default? Looking at major online book stores, either you're being forced into proprietary hardware & software like the Amazon Kindle http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Wireless-Reading-Display-Generation/dp/B0015T963C/ref=amb_link_86172951_2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=1PQRCJAZ1HS0S6YHSB0G&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=502000191&pf_rd_i=507846 , or you're not offered an e-book at all (Barns & Nobles, http://search.barnesandnoble.com/ , despite having their own e-book reader, the Nook, http://www.barnesandnoble.com/nook/ ), or you're stuck with viewing online and downloading a limited number of inconvenient watermarked chapters for a subscription fee (Safari online, http://www.safaribooksonline.com/ ). Publishers direct online stores usually don't offer e-books at all. It's only InformIT (http://www.informit.com/) that offers you e-books, at about a 20% discount when compared to the paper version.

So where are the e-books? When is it, that the default is going to be the environmentally friendly and convenient way of sharing written information? When are the reduced costs of this form of dissemination shared with the readers themselves?

Comment Re:here's where we get to hear someone spew (Score 1) 932

I did this for an older relative, got her a Mac Mini. It was relatively cheap, as she could keep using her old monitor, keyboard, mouse and printer.

Yes, her incidence of problems has gone way, way down, and her experience of "things are fine" has gone way, way up.

But the best part?

When she does have a problem and calls me? I can say, "Sorry, I don't know anything about Macs. Can't help."

Priceless.

Sci-Fi

Submission + - SPAM: Is the movie 2012 denigrating Mayan science ?

destinyland writes: As the science fiction movie 2012 opens Friday, one science writer challenges the idea that it's harmless "disaster porn". The film's writers are arguing that millions of people believe the final day of the Mayan calendar — December 21, 2012 — will bring "some kind of shift in society, or a shift in spirit," which this article calls "blithe cultural arrogance and staggering anthropological ignorance." It quotes BoingBoing's Xeni Jardin who knows Mayans through her work with a Guatemalan nonprofit, who calls it a parody of Mayan culture, and describes explaining to a laughing Mayan priest what the Hollywood version had cost to film. (The priest's response? "Well, that's gringos for you.")
Link to Original Source
Technology

Submission + - Telco sues city for plan to roll out own broadband (maximumpc.com)

Syngularity writes: MaximumPC is featuring an article about one broadband provider's decision to sue the city of Monticello, Minnesota after residents passed a referendum to roll out their own fiber optic system. TDS Telecommunications had earlier denied the city's request for the company to provide fiber optic service. During the ensuring legal battle, which prevented the citizens from following through with their plans, TDS Telecommunications took the opportunity to roll out a fiber system.
Space

Submission + - Intergalactic Race Shows that Einstein Still Rules

Ponca City, We love you writes: "The NY Times reports that after a journey of 7.3 billion light-years, a race between gamma rays ranging from 31 billion electron volts to 10,000 electron volts, a factor of more than a million, in a burst from an exploding star have arrived within nine-tenths of a second of each other in a detector on NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope confirming Einstein’s proclamation in his 1905 theory of relativity that the speed of light is constant and independent of its color, energy, direction or how you yourself are moving. Some theorists had suggested that space on very small scales has a granular structure that would speed some light waves faster than others — in short, that relativity could break down on the smallest scales. Until now such quantum gravity theories have been untestable because ordinarily you would have to see details as small as the so-called Planck length, which is vastly smaller than an atom — to test these theories in order to discern the bumpiness of space. The spread in travel time of 0.9 second, if attributed to quantum effects rather than the dynamics of the explosion itself, suggested that any quantum effects in which the slowing of light is proportional to its energy do not show up until you get down to sizes about eight-tenths of the Planck length. "This measurement eliminates any approach to a new theory of gravity that predicts a strong energy dependent change in the speed of light," says Peter Michelson of Stanford. “"To one part in 100 million billion, these two photons traveled at the same speed. Einstein still rules.""

Comment Re:In Tune... (Score 1) 338

It's hardly a "myth". Hunter-gathers obviously depend on being in tune with nature, though over-predation is also quite natural. In industrial societies humans are adapted to an artificial environment which is itself dependent on nature, and is certainly in most respects worse than the natural world which is formed by much larger forces on a much longer timescale.

Comment Re:you can get that today (Score 1) 216

The point being people buy the iPhone by choice, and get Symbian because it is cheaper- but never actually use the device.

Sorry, but that's a ridiculous interpretation. If that were the case, people would only buy the most basic Nokia phones. But phones like the N95 and E71 have been big successes despite their high prices.

(You're seriously trapped in Apple's reality distortion field.)

Comment Re:Attention bearded folk: (Score 1) 706

All your arguments are actually making his point. Rather than line by line I'll just pick on one of your replies:

"There are entire franchises that run on Unix-based systems"
- Go back and read his post again for some perspective. He is not talking about Bank of America. He is talking about small business users who need an invoicing/accounting solution (hence his reference to Intuit). Feel free to understand his post before commenting on it.

Linux may be powerful but it's not ready for the masses or small business yet. Hopefully it will be some day because I'd love to see MS gone, but it isn't ready yet.

Comment Re:To be expected (Score 1) 419

BC's health plan will cover a portable word processor or cheap laptop, if you have some sort of fine motor problem that prevents you from writing legibly. A friend of mine "tried it" as you say, and was successful. Got a nice cheap thinkpad, since he has a nerve disorder prevents him from writing. I don't know if it would be covered by other provinces, but BC does. BC also charges premiums if you want their health plan though. (Universal != Free)

Comment Re:mice? (Score 1) 224

I've also been berated for leaving the toilet seat in the wrong configuration.

I've never understood why women want the seat left down. If you think about it, it's in their best interest to put the seat down when they go into the toilet and put it back up when they're done. That way, they don't run the risk of falling in due to sitting while the seat is up and they don't have to worry about us guys getting the seat wet since it won't get wet in the raised position.

Unfortunately, I've found that even the most logical female will refuse to follow this logic...

Comment Re:Almost competing (Score 4, Insightful) 706

Upgrading Windows is just asking for trouble.

The OS on my MBP, 10.6 is upgraded from 10.5 which was transferred over from an installation on a different notebook, which was upgraded from 10.4, which was cloned over from yet another notebook, which was upgraded from 10.3. I think that was the last clean install, although it could have actually been 10.2. So this OS has been upgraded through at least four major versions, run on three different machines, with two different major processor architectures (PowerPC and x86).

And it works just fine. I'm sure there are people running Linux with even more impressive provenances.

Comment Re:It's fairly obvious why they are so successful. (Score 1) 416

I don't know if i'd call it a niche, when it's more of a gaping hole. most people out there aren't hardcore gamers, and netbooks allow for these people to access the internet, write email, listen to music, and watch videos on the cheap. Netbooks are doing well because companies have realized that computers are no longer a toy for the elite.

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