Archive for August 4, 2008

I Sic Stephen Fry On An ABBA Hater

August 4, 2008

Abba: no thank you for the music

I hate Abba. I hated them first time around, when their cheesy disco pop with its clod-hopping rhythms and banal, repetitive, linguistically challenged choruses made them singalong family favourites. And I hate them even more now, when the flattening effect of nostalgia has lent a spurious retro-credibility to their formulaic Euro drivel.

Grrrr. I don’t like that kind of talk.

Let’s see what a man of accomplishment, a man of distinction, a man who has written books, has to say. I call Stephen Fry to testify:

Stephen Fry talks about ABBA

Right. That’s all settled then.

Now let’s bring back the puppets!

ABBA – Last Song(2004)

eBook Signings: The Postcard Solution?

August 4, 2008

The Life of a Publisher blog — which I’ve added to my Bookmarks — had a post I read this morning that stuck in my mind: The Wonders of Book Promotion

Hopefully there are many authors and writers, perhaps even other publishers reading this. I would be curious to know what your favorite form of book promotion is and how you use it.

I am not fishing for ideas, okay, maybe a little, but to make it fair, I will cough up my own favorite.

I am a fiend for post cards. I get them in groups of 100 from Vista Print using their FREE OFFERs and then I use them to mail to libraries and stores. I have heard tons of people say that post cards are a waste of money, but I disagree.

I always put the cover on the front, as big as it can go, and then the facts on the back. Does this work? For me it does. I almost always see a rise in sales after I’ve done a mailing or two. The key is to make certain you tell the viewer WHERE they can buy the book. And no matter what some say, I always include, because it is one of our best sales venues.

I liked that idea. I’ve often picked up postcards with book covers on them (attention Seth Godin: a book cover postcard is a souvenir!).

I’ve often wondered what a book signing would be like when there is no book to sign, because the book is an ebook on someone’s device (iPhone, iPod Air, Sony Reader, Amazon — god forbid! — Kindle).

This seems to me to be a great solution: A postcard with the book’s cover on it. The author can sign the back of it.

Works for me. What about everyone else?

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #185

August 4, 2008

Meredith Whitney: House Prices To Fall 40%, Bank of America (BAC), et al, Screwed

Meredith Whitney was on CNBC again this morning, predicting more doom for the housing market and the battered banks that are depending on its recovery. Whitney is now calling for a 40% peak-to-trough decline in house prices[.]

Emphasis added by me.

If that figure seems incredible, look back to Alan Greenspan’s opinion: Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #181.

Meredith Whitney is a very interesting person. I’d forgotten about her. As it turns out, she’s been quoted in this blog three times!


The Rise and Rise of Analyst Meredith Whitney: Michael Lewis

Previously here: (Meredith Whitney)

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #020
Depression 2.0: Is It Real Now?
What, You Thought It Was Over?

Quote: Rupert Oulton

August 4, 2008

Researchers Discover “Holy Grail” of Optical Computing

“It’s really a very simple geometry, and I was surprised that no one had come up with it before.”

The simplest things always get overlooked in the heat of discovery.

Sharpen that Occam’s razor!

Give me stem cells. I need to live fifty more years. I want to see how all this plays out.

Setting Twitter Followers Straight

August 4, 2008

EchelonPress Why do people think it is okay to talk like a gutter mouth on Twitter when they know there are kids? This is why kids have so many problems! 10 minutes ago from web

mikecane @EchelonPress Any kid who is getting my feeds should get the hell off now. 7 minutes ago from TwitterFox in reply to EchelonPress

blogbooktours @EchelonPress I don’t follow a gutter mouth anywhere! :) You would think they’d figure that out. Want respect? Act right. 2 minutes ago from web in reply to EchelonPress

mikecane @blogbooktours Feel free to not follow me. Won’t miss you. 10 minutes ago from TwitterFox in reply to blogbooktours

mikecane Attention Twitter Followers: From time to time I will use words like Fuck. If that offends you, Fuck Off Now. Children & Christians: GO! 7 minutes ago from TwitterFox

Give me a break. This blog’s URL is prominent in my Twitter profile. If you come here and see language you don’t like, what makes you think I’ll use other words in Twitter?

Go join Net Nanny and his eejitastic sticker campaign.

And kids aren’t screwed up because of bad words. Try bad parents first.

Dave Winer Has A Damn Good Point Here

August 4, 2008

Twitter will kick themselves for missing this

Now that I’m on Twitter, I keep wondering why I can’t get stuff from the people who are on FriendFeed. I don’t want to move from Twitter because I just got here (and I’m already following over 100!). Plus, there doesn’t seen to be a FriendFeed equivalent for the way I access Twitter: Twitterfox (highly recommended — but if there’s better, let me know!).

Netbooks/ULCPCs: Sylvania And Lenovo Jump In

August 4, 2008

I’m pointing to the LAPTOP magazine blog for the details from Netbook Goddess Joanna Stern:

Sylvania Reveals Mini-Notebook Plans

Lenovo Enters the Mini-Notebook Market with the IdeaPad S10

More entrants with each passing week. But since I’m fed up with Windows XP (thank you again, Microsoft!), the question that hangs over all of these now is: Which one can run Apple’s Mac OS X?

Reference: Creating ePub Files For eBooks

August 4, 2008

Twitter just paid off for me. I’d been looking for something like this.

IDPF Forum

We found this excellent tutorial from someone who gives a clear and simple way to create .epub digital books with free software tools.

I expect this to be thoroughly obsolete if Apple enters ebooks. I haven’t even started my proposed post about that.

Reminder: the Stanza eBook reader for iPhone can use ePub files. So can the Sony Reader.

Writer John Scalzi Gives An E Vs. P Lesson

August 4, 2008

“After the Coup” Numbers

I’ve been asked a few times by curious folks whether I knew how many people have looked at “After the Coup” since it went up on Tor.Com two weeks ago. As it happens I do, but I needed to get permission to share the numbers. Now I’ve gotten that permission, so I can tell you that as of about 6pm this evening, Sunday, August 3, 2008, the “After the Coup” page on Tor.Com has been hit […]

Go to his site for the figure and comparisons to some figures Warren Ellis recently published.

(BTW, put me down as one of those non-buyers of the SF print digests. I always detested the rough skeevy paper they were printed on. I made a few exceptions for issues devoted to writers I liked. I did buy Twilight Zone magazine, but I doubt that’d count in the category, being horror, not SF.)

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #184

August 4, 2008

Citigroup Loses on Credit-Card Securitizations as Payments Lag

Aug. 4 (Bloomberg) — Citigroup Inc. reported its first loss since at least 2005 on credit-card securitizations, signaling that risks may be growing in a business that generated $3.5 billion of revenue in the past three years.

The biggest U.S. credit-card lender lost $176 million in the second quarter packaging card loans into securities, the company said in an Aug. 1 regulatory filing. The New York-based bank completed fewer deals and was forced to mark down its own $9 billion stockpile of the debt instruments and other stakes the company amassed while selling them to investors.

Led by Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit, 51, Citigroup manages about $202 billion of credit-card loans worldwide, about $111 billion of which have been turned into securities and sold, according to the filing. Delinquencies on the securitized portion have jumped by 16 percent since the end of last year to $2.16 billion as of June 30, Citigroup said. The firm’s results may portend similar losses for rivals.

Emphasis added by me.

“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”

A chicken owned by CitiGroup would be sliced and diced down to its toenails and sold off as paper promises. But all those people holding the shares for egg profits? Fucked! Because CitiGroup also sold shares on profits to be made from the full-grown chicken’s corpse!

Welcome to the Bizarro self-defeating suicidal world of ubercapitalism.

And you wonder why the entire corrupt Ponzi scheme is falling apart around you?

Educate yourself
before it’s too late!