Archive for January 11, 2008

DIY Book Marketing

January 11, 2008

Five-part series on Crime Fiction Dossier blog:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

— thanks to Barry Eisler for the tip!

Empty Minds Filled By Advertising, Movies, TV

January 11, 2008


One in four adults admits: ‘I haven’t read a book for a year’

The lead sentence:

A quarter of Britons say they have not read a book in the past year and nearly half admit to lying about their reading to appear more intelligent.


[Reading is] probably one of the best anti-poverty, antideprivation, anti-crime, anti-vandalism policies you can think of.”

Let’s cue Jimmy Durante, who thought it was all so funny.

But it’s not.

The True King Of All Bloggers

January 11, 2008

Fake Steve Jobs: Sometime I Make Things Up

Remember all the way back in December 2007, when Real Dan Lyons/Fake Steve Jobs announced that Apple was offering to buy his silence, a la its settlement with Think Secret? Webheads ate the story up — in part because the scandal broke in the news dead zone that precedes Christmas, so there was nothing else to write about, and in part because some of them didn’t quite get it. For those who still fall in the second category, this Wallstrip interview ought to clear things up: Fake Steve Jobs is a parody website.


That sad ex-Microserf thinks he is. Don’t upset his little illusion.

The true King is this guy. The amount of traffic a link from just one of my Comments there is astonishing.

Click on the link, go watch the vid.

Today’s Oprah Is Worth Watching

January 11, 2008

Shut up. The TV was in the background on that channel and her show came up. Usually a prompt to shut it off, but today was mesmerizing:


Part of it highlighted a documentary I really want to see now: Reversal of Fortune.

What would happen to you with sudden success or sudden wealth?

Think about it

Now go watch the show online.

Does Apple Want To Be King Of Ebooks?

January 11, 2008

End Game: Why Apple Will Buy Adobe

What I DO see happening is Apple buying Adobe, which would give it effective dominance of digital content creation and distribution on a global scale. Bruce Chizen suddenly stepped down as Adobe’s CEO without warning: why? A caretaker CEO (my characterization — no slight intended) is in place. Steve has always viewed Adobe co-founder and co-chair John Warnock like a father. Warnock and co-chair Chuck Geschke are losing interest in Adobe day-to-day as they move on with their lives. Acquiring Adobe would make Apple much more of a cross-platform company. The combined professional applications could be placed in the Adobe division of Apple where they could go up in price for some markets, becoming VASTLY more profitable. But most important — keeping in mind the whole purpose here is driving content distribution — merging Flash and QuickTime would make any other video standards (like Windows Media) simply immaterial.

Apple would suddenly be King of Ebooks.

Adobe is, I think, the lead participant in the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), which is working on a universal file format for ebooks called .epub.


Adobe also has Adobe Digital Editions, which can read .epub files. It’s also being ported to the Sony Reader.


And we just had a tech demo from Sony this week of improved PDF support on their Reader. PDF belongs to Adobe and is a universal file format for electronic publishing.

Cringely has focused solely on the moving media aspect of an Apple acquisition of Adobe. Any such merger would also remap the world of static media — ebooks — dramatically.

iPhone library in your pocket with wireless e-purchasing?

Giving A New Meaning To “Cloud” Computing

January 11, 2008

The Big Switch Is a Good Thing

While Carr spends most of the book describing the move to utility computing and comparing that transition to the earlier switch to utility-based electrical power, he makes an important social argument as well: He suggests that the switch to utility computing — also sometimes known as grid-based or cloud computing — will shrink the workforce, lead to increasing income inequality, and destroy the middle class.

But Carr’s arguments left me unconvinced that the big switch is a bad thing. Instead of considering the job market as a whole, he focuses narrowly on the publishing and broadcasting industry. And he doesn’t offer backup to the assertion that income inequality is always and obviously bad.

Emphasis added by me.

To which I replied in a post:

Obviously you travel everywhere in a car. Walk the streets. You’ll learn quickly.

I’ve seen people complain about iPod users “being in their own little world.”

At least they’re walking in the world. The ones who are really in their own little world drive everywhere.

People who don’t think it’s bad out there don’t walk around out there.

The New School: Saul Williams Vs. Trent Reznor

January 11, 2008

Following up on yesterday’s post, Trent Reznor Meets Real Life And Weeps:

Unlike Trent Reznor, Saul Williams isn’t disheartened


I think it’s early in the game. I’m not disappointed at all. I think Trent’s disappointment probably stems from being in the music business for over 20 years and remembering a time that was very different, when sales reflected something different, when there was no such thing as downloads. Trent is from another school. Even acts that prospered in the ’90s, you look at people like the Fugees or Lauren Hill selling 18 million copies. That sort of thing is unheard of today. But Trent comes from that world. So I think his disappointed stems from being heavily invested in the past. For modern times, for modern numbers we’re looking great, especially for being just two months into a project.

This is must-reading for everyone interested in selling their work on the Internet.


The lifespan of an album can be as long as two years or more. You look at something like The Beastie Boys’ first album, which sells a million copies every year. It’s nothing like a movie, so I think we’re doing great. We’re off to a running start. We still have a physical release date to look forward to. We still have touring to look forward to. We still have marketing and promotion that all starts this year, so I don’t regret anything. Not yet.

Williams has a great grasp on the long view — which is the only view worth having.


And to me that’s the role of technology. Technology is here to free us from the grip of history. That’s why I’m thankful to the Internet. That’s why I’m thankful to this form of (music) release. Because in many ways it set me free.

Judie Lipsett Says It Best

January 11, 2008

Total and Utter Crap: Gizmodo’s Stupid CES Prank on Motorola and Us Bloggers

I had no idea what Owen Thomas, the post author, was talking about, so I went to Gizmodo and took a look…which turned into a moment of wide-eyed horror.

Well, I think their days of covering CES are over. Maybe their entire operation too.

Update: One of them has been specifically banned.

The Future: Thin Money, Fat Americans

January 11, 2008

US’s triple-A credit rating ‘under threat’

The US is at risk of losing its top-notch triple-A credit rating within a decade unless it takes radical action to curb soaring healthcare and social security spending, Moody’s, the credit rating agency, said yesterday.

The warning over the future of the triple-A rating – granted to US government debt since it was first assessed in 1917 – reflects growing concerns over the country’s ability to retain its financial and economic supremacy.

It could also put further pressure on candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties to sharpen their focus on healthcare and pensions in the run-up to November’s presidential election.

“…radical action to curb soaring healthcare […] spending.”

Right. Good luck with that:

Obesity now a ‘lifestyle’ choice for Americans, expert says

WASHINGTON (AFP) – As adult obesity balloons in the United States, being overweight has become less of a health hazard and more of a lifestyle choice, the author of a new book argues.

“Obesity is a natural extension of an advancing economy. As you become a First World economy and you get all these labor-saving devices and low-cost, easily accessible foods, people are going to eat more and exercise less,” health economist Eric Finkelstein told AFP.

In “The Fattening of America”, published this month, Finkelstein says that adult obesity more than doubled in the United States between 1960 and 2004, rising from 13 percent to around 33 percent.

Ancient Animation

January 11, 2008

Origins of American Animation

One small part of the massive collection of public domain films at the Library of Congress site.

Tax dollars well-spent!