Daily Archives: September 8, 2010

The Suit Credo

Telephones, hotels, insurance—its all the same. If you know the numbers inside out, you know the company inside out.

via Harold Geneen – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Now you know why the world is dying. That!

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Filed under Pottersville, Quoted, Reference

Suits Destroy, Period!

The Commodification of Publishing & Media

It Takes Decades To Build a Brand, Moments to Destroy It
Today, many companies talk about their valuable “content assets” and the “communities” built over the course of decades. Media and publishing companies change hands constantly, often based on the value of their content and reputation. Like the MGM sale – one result of this is that the most valuable aspects of these brands are slowly dissipated over the years. Yes, some gems are cherished forever, but many others are lost into the ether, a shadow of what they once were – a hollow brand, existing in name only. For instance, we all know that the Gourmet brand will resurface again and again in the future as its brand name is “leveraged.” But will that name represent the expert content and authority it once did? Or is it just a label on a can?

This post really gets up my nose.

Look, what do you think Suits do? They buy and bleed. To expect them to care about anything other than the last penny they can wring dry from something is like asking for the impossible (metaphor otherwise escapes me).

The MGM travesty isn’t unique. Every film studio let its libraries rot. I was disgusted years ago when cable channel AMC (when it was still airing classics) held fundraisers to restore movies. Asking the general public to contribute to the restoration of private corporate assets.

We still permit history to slip through our fingers. Harlan Ellison once pointed out how much history we lost at SF conventions from panels never being filmed or taped. This continues to this day! And conventions are held by the people who allegedly care!

Caring costs money. And Suits can’t see the sense in “wasting” money like that. No. Instead it has to go for their fat expense accounts right now, for their exorbitant rents right now, for their monomaniacal delusional aspirations of being the next corporate worldbuilder, another mediocre bottom-line bean-counter like Harold Geneen.


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A Rare iPad Post Here

VLC Submits iPad App to App Store

Now, my calm, rational, personal suggestion to Apple:


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Filed under Apple: The Company

If Your Startup Can’t Get Money In New York Right Now, There’s Something Wrong With It

One plugged in digital media exec told us, “If you can’t get money for your startup right now, then there’s something wrong with you.” Other people in the scene basically confirmed this, but added a few caveats.

via If Your Startup Can’t Get Money In New York Right Now, There’s Something Wrong With It

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Filed under Quoted, Reference

HTML5 Microdata: Why isn’t anyone talking about it?

Microdata adoption by web developers
Web browsers and Google have little reason to support Microdata if us web developers aren’t marking up our webpages with it. Plain and simple. Take a few moments to learn the Microdata API a little, and the semantic web will be right at our doorstep.

via HTML5 Microdata: Why isn’t anyone talking about it?

See my previous post at The eBook Test: Dumb eBooks Must Die, Smart eBooks Must Live

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Why Tumblr Sucks. | Zach Inglis

Why Tumblr Sucks. | Zach Inglis

He has different reasons than I had.  I’m not sorry I left, although I do miss the template for Quote Posts.  That’s not the same here at WordPress.

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They’ll Be The First To Whine Too

Ultra-Rich in Finance Are Meaner Than Rest of Us: Matthew Lynn


There is an increasing amount of evidence that the rich are a vicious tribe of people. One study last year from the University of California, Berkeley, found that the rich are ruder than others. Another piece of research, conducted at the same institution, concluded they were less likely to give to charity than poorer people were. A third study, carried out at the Humboldt University in Berlin, concluded they were “nastier,” in the sense of being keener to punish others.


In the past, most fortunes were built in association with ordinary people. Factory owners were aware of the shop-floor workers on whom their wealth depended, and that shaped the view of themselves. Carmaker Henry Ford doubled his workers’ average pay to $5 a day in 1913 and shortened their working hours. The Cadbury family of chocolate makers in the U.K. built a small town for many of the company’s workers in Bournville, near Birmingham, in the 19th century. That made them more human.

I’m always suspicious of “company towns” (Carnegie’s henchman, Henry Clay Frick, was notorious for squeezing the workers and his practice was continued by others, leading eventually to the song, “Sixteen Tons”), so I hit Wikipedia:

The Cadbury brothers were concerned with the quality of life of their employees and provided an alternative to grimy city life. As more land was acquired and the brothers moved the factory to a new country location, they decided to build a factory town (designed by architect William Alexander Harvey), which would provide houses at low cost for the employees and their families. This village became known as Bournville after the nearby river and French word for “town”. The houses were never privately owned, and their value stayed low and affordable. Bournville was a marked change from the poor living conditions of the urban environment. Here, families had houses with yards, gardens, and fresh air. To the present, the town offers affordable housing.

However, there’s an ominous note there: “Citation Needed.” YMMV.

Bottom line: When you’re in a crowd of starving, scared people, the ones who open their mouths the most with complaints about how things are being handled are the ones with the cancerous sense of entitlement. You know how cancer is handled.

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Kobo: Desktop View Vs. ePub Formatting

Today has turned a bit into Kobo Day, as I try to make sense of their system.

What I believe is going on is this:

1) Kobo is its own system, apart from everything else. It stores eBooks in an SQLite database as records and does not use separate files for each book. This would normally be very bad, because we don’t need Yet Another Thing to fragment eBooks even more. However …

2) Since Kobo knows it can’t stand alone and survive, not long after its launch, it also added the ability for customers to download ePub files too.

So, despite Kobo doing things rather strangely with its desktop software, client software, and Kobo Reader, there’s nothing anyone should fear about buying eBooks from Kobo. I downloaded a free sample ePub myself and it opened fine in Adobe Digital Editions — and could also be read in the desktop Sony Reader Library software.

Still, let me illustrate with two screensnaps how the weirdness manifests.

Continue reading


Filed under Kobo Reader

Know Thy Shelf » Blog Archive » Why Publishers Fear Metadata

That being said, metadata can be the key to making publishing a highly profitable and thriving industry.  Quality metadata linked with sales data provides high quality in prediction of sales.

via Know Thy Shelf » Blog Archive » Why Publishers Fear Metadata

Previously here:

Self-Publishing Review | Blog | My Day on Kindle Nation

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Filed under eBooks: General, Marketing, Quoted

Busted Flush Press: Busted Flush Press joins forces with Tyrus Books!

Busted Flush Press: Busted Flush Press joins forces with Tyrus Books!

I’m late to this news! I hope they’ll all be put out in e too.  There goes even more of my money (if I have any left over after the damn kittens!).


Filed under Books: General, eBooks: General