Archive for October 27, 2008

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #358: SAP

October 27, 2008

SAP Scraps Outlook, Cuts Operating Margin Target

Germany’s SAP scrapped its 2008 revenue outlook and cut its forecast for its full-year operating margin amid a global economic crisis that hurt demand for its business software.

“In light of the uncertainties surrounding the current economic and business environment, the company decided to no longer provide a specific outlook for Non-GAAP software and software-related service revenues for the full-year 2008,” SAP said in a statement late on Monday.

OK, this is bad.

When SAP came out several weeks ago and said business had fallen off, it sent a cold chill throughout European stock markets.

Everything is getting worse faster.

I think it’s time to revisit this post: Depression: 2009

Abominable Kindle And The Oprah Effect

October 27, 2008

Kindle fanboi site* says: Oprah Effect on Kindle confirmed by Google Trends – Oprah creates highest Kindle interest since launch.

Which, gee, the uninformed might be very impressed by seeing.

However, let me dispel that malarkey.

This first chart is Google Trends for Kindle vs. Sony Reader for all time periods across the entire world:

Click = big

Notice how the Sony Reader is no laggard and has massive interest outside the United States!

OK, well those scores mean nothing, Kindle fanboiz shout, because the Sony Reader has been out longer.

Fine. Let’s compare around the world for the just the past thirty days:

Click = big

Again, the daily searches for Sony Reader outpace the Kindle!

And finally, let’s just do within the United States for the past thirty days:

Click = big

And there’s the Oprah Effect. Without it, the pace would have favored the Sony Reader.

But has the Sony Reader been trumped by Oprah?

No. I’ll come back to this chart in the days after Dave Farrow emerges from the DataVision window.

Let’s see The Farrow Effect.

I expect the Sony Reader to be higher and the Kindle to have plummeted back to earth.

*(He characterized me as a “Sony Reader fanboy” — but who’s the one with an entire site devoted to one device, hm?)

Update On Sony Reader Sold

October 27, 2008

Blogging about the Sony Reader from 38000 Feet

I’ll quote only a little.

3. The interface is slow and clunky. I said the same thing about the iliad – but the iphone has spoiled everything else. Friends who were with me when I bought it couldn’t get their brains around the lack of a touchscreen and the slow responses of the physical buttons. The PRS-700 seems a lot better.

4. The flash between page turns is pretty annoying. Hard to tell how annoying after only a quick ‘read test’ – and that was going to be what *this* flight was for. Sidetracked by the net instead!!

Once I’ve read a whole book on the Sony, I’ll post more comments. But it seems like a pretty cool toy so far. (And there’s *plenty* at the Borders in Silver Spring if you’re taking this as a recommendation!!)

Go see the rest.

— Via Twitter from sell_ebooks

Previously here:

One More Sony Reader Sold

Quote: Isaac Asimov

October 27, 2008

Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what’s right.

Isaac Asimov

eBooks: Rent Or Own?

October 27, 2008

Are eBooks Wise Dot Com?

An interesting opportunity from the current download ‘buy to own’ is ‘rent to read’. As libraries of works become permanently available why would you want to own digital books, which are hard to share and offer little other than convenience? Why not rent on demand? It doesn’t stop the consumer buying perpetual access, or a physical digital bundle; we merely question why you would buy a download that could be as obsolete as an 8 track in only a short time? The file could be read online with rich functionality, reference linking, multi media materials such as podcasts, videos and even games tied in. Imagine you want a quick read and log on via the mobile, you continue your read in a café via a laptop, then at a friends house via their PC and finally to bed with the physical book itself. The digital access control is not in the device but the centre making it friendlier.

If library can offer digital books for free, why buy them anyway? Now is that wise?

Emphasis added by me.

For me it’s still wise to buy and own.

In another post he slams the Plastic Logic device this way:

Imagine carrying a tablet around with you with a screen 2.5 times larger than the Kindle, weighing two ounces more and a third of the Kindle’s thickness. It will enable you to read your daily news digitally and is the latest ebook eink device to hit the market. Today many of us get our news feeds free direct to our mobiles and PCs, but that obviously is not seen as the answer for these technology people. Some may say that it is technology for the sake of technology.

Emphasis added by me.

I’d say his argument for rental over ownership is “technology for the sake of technology” too.

How many disasters must we witness? New Orleans after Katrina. Houston after Gustav. And even small personal ones: the missed train, the delayed or canceled flight.

In the case of Big Disaster, no electricity. No WiFi. Sometimes not even cellphone service. Oops. There goes the rental model. Whereas, with ownership, advance notice of possible disaster makes a person fully charge their devices. And with eBook ownership, those books are right there to be read on-demand.

In the case of small disaster, there is no guarantee of wireless access. Will the plaint of the future be, “I wish I had downloaded it!”?

And, oh, notice in the first quote he mentions a physical book. What, a rental? (No, I won’t allow you the wiggle room of a library loan. That is premised on “infinite libraries,” having every book a person wants. In New York City, the NYPL doesn’t have every book I want.)

The Coming Obama Landslide

October 27, 2008

And just five days ago, Drudge ran this:

More On Oprah And The Abominable Kindle

October 27, 2008

Oprah’s Favorite New Gadget

He gets it …

The problem with the Amazon ebook model is that it is Amazon format, through an Amazon store, at an Amazon price point, over an Amazon connection to an Amazon device – a truly ‘exclusive’. If Amazon were to dominate the ebook market we would have a monopoly where scarcity should not occur and it is illogical to have a monopoly.

… while others don’t:

However, some would argue that this ‘exclusive world domination’ approach could be the best thing for the market. The likes of Sony would probably disappear as fast as ‘live book search’ and the others settle for the scraps. Importantly the mobile market would seriously take off and that’s one Bezos has got covered and where there are truly giants at work today. The online offer would become increasingly attractive to many. We may finally understand that downloading is not the only solution and hording loads of titles on a device just to own them is crazy in this networked age.

I doubt Sony would disappear. Don’t bet against Steve Haber.

Previously here:

Debrief: Oprah And The Abominable Kindle
Oprah With Kindle In Hand
Sony Reader Items For Oprah Friday
Oprah To Flog Abominable Kindle?!

It Will Make You Breathless

October 27, 2008

This tumblr blog

— via Twitter from top_book

Writer Mitzi Szereto: Second Glasgow Report

October 27, 2008

On the Prowl in Glasgow (Scotland Part 2)

I had no idea what she was holding in that picture. Then I found out. And gasped.

You will too.

Also, it looks like she missed bumping into The Doctor:

She’s got new photos on Flickr too.

UFO: Timelash

October 27, 2008

I don’t often go about posting pirated YouTube clips (other than, you know, the stuff everyone else does … like TV theme music videos!), but this one is special.

It’s from the Gerry Anderson TV series UFO. Perhaps the best episode of the entire series, Timelash.

Veteran watchers of this series will notice some oddities in the theme visuals. Some shots have been reversed and “1980” has been replaced (badly!) with “1986.” I don’t know why. Nor do I understand why it starts with the NBC peacock logo. Plus, the Barry Gray theme music opens with a painfully slow tempo not present in the unmolested original.

Teleplay by Terence Feely, directed by Cyril Frankel.

It’s important for people to understand that this was done decades before CGI. With that perspective in mind, the time-freeze special effects are even more incredible in retrospect.

This is a great piece of writing. The very long pre-UFO logo setup. Then the quick cutting summary to establish the mystery.

UFO was syndicated in the U.S. at the time. Several stations refused to air this episode due to the drug use. True to form, New York City didn’t ban it. For some people who saw UFO at the time, this episode would have been brand new when buying DVD boxed set!

If you have an understanding of physics, this episode might irritate you. At the time, I didn’t know the relevant physics, so I enjoyed it.

Click to watch the entire episode