Daily Archives: September 10, 2010

DRM Defeats Sony’s Excerpting Feature

This might not be a new feature, but the mention of it in this video of the new Sony Readers caught my attention:

At 1:30 in:

If I plug this into my computer, all of that is exported into a Word document.

He demonstrates highlighting text. This is a feature touted by the new Kindle too, with the most-highlighted excerpts publicly shared in the Cloud (if sharing is turned on) or just put in a personal Kindle web page for an owner’s reference.

What I wondered was, Would DRM actually allow this?

I asked @artistikem, who has a Sony Reader 600 Touch Edition (the prior model) to update her Sony Library and try this feature.

She did, and highlighted two sample texts: one DRMed, one DRM-free.

See the results in screensnaps after the break.

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Why The Sony Reader Pocket Edition Just Might Save Sony

Kindle 3 vs Sony 350 Photos

See the photos there comparing it to a Kindle 3. Be sure to click on the photos too. They’re ginormous.

I haven’t fondled one yet. If — and it’s a Very Big IF — Sony did the right thing and the new Pocket and new Touch contain the same CPU at the same clock speed, the Pocket could keep them in the game, despite the lack of wireless. The portability factor could do that.

I’d like to see them do a limited edition range of colors for the holiday season. At least one being — hint! hint! — RED.

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I Smell Connections, Bribes, And Kickbacks

Suddenly, their house is taken over

A Long Beach couple struggling with mortgage payments find out their home’s been auctioned off by Wells Fargo when the new owner’s representative shows up on their doorstep.

Go read the story. I’ll wait.

This stinks. I mean worse than an uncleaned cat box.

I smell friends of friends here, connections, bribes, kickbacks, outright corruption.

A legitimate business just doesn’t do this.

Well Fargo has shown itself to be operating like a gangster.

If the Feds can’t smell this, they’re in on this corrupt game too. This has RICO all over it in big bright letters with an HTML BLINK tag.

How many of the record number of “foreclosures” have really been no more than this?

Keep feeding The Overthrow.

If you’re on Twitter, Follow @Future_shock who is chroncicling the downfall in tweets.

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Filed under Collapse, Pottersville

A Librarian Speaks. You Will Listen.

Listen. You don’t burn books. Ever. Anyone who suggests it should be kicked in the kneecap and ignored.Fri Sep 10 17:55:05 via web

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Filed under Books: General

The Kittens Of Doom: Then And Now

June 8, 2010:

September 10, 2010:


Filed under Personal

The fallen status of books makes it hard times for hardcovers. – By Jack Shafer – Slate Magazine

By making books commodities, the modern market has stripped them of much of their romantic charm. I like the smell of a moldy book as much as the next bibliophile, but not as much as I once did. And while I’ve yet to purchase a Kindle or iPad, which make buying books in a store or online seem like hard work, I keep some titles on my netbook and iPod and can see myself making a fuller transition to e-books. And as I do, I’ll become even less romantic about books—just as I became progressively less romantic about music as my collection has shifted from vinyl to CDs to mp3s. Holding an LP cover or even a CD jacket used to anchor the listener to a something corporeal. But not anymore. The same is happening to books. The ancient ceremony of reading by turning its pages is being disrupted by the e-books clicks and swipes. In the process it distances us from the old magic conjured by books. Books are being replaced by reading.

via The fallen status of books makes it hard times for hardcovers. – By Jack Shafer – Slate Magazine.

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Filed under Books: General, Quoted

The trouble with Google Books – Laura Miller – Salon.com

I thought it was a machine error, too, but Google assured me that they had people doing this by hand. In some cases, they got their metadata from a provider in Armenia. They say that they want to have a diversity of sources to get a more complete classification for every book, but that’s just silly. The metadata at the Harvard Library was done by hand by smart people who know how to catalog.

People at Google are also saying, “Let’s crowdsource this,” but that is a stupid idea. You and I are both smart, knowledgeable people, but I wouldn’t trust either of us to do the skilled work of cataloging a 1890 edition of “Madame Bovary.” It’s very difficult. It has to be coordinated by uniform standards. An example of the kind of mess you get when you don’t use uniform standards is Wiktionary (the lexical counterpart of Wikipedia). Unlike an encyclopedia, a dictionary isn’t useful unless it’s consistent in style. And metadata is hard to fix if you don’t get it right in the first place. Someone has to spend a lot of money to properly catalog a research library, and I don’t know if Google understood that going into it.

via The trouble with Google Books – Laura Miller – Salon.com

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Filed under Google, Quoted, Reference

The Kittens Of Doom On September 10, 2010

They’re becoming catlets instead of kittens.

See after the break.

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Passion and Pleasure – Grasping for the Wind

Today, even contemplating rereading those massive books gives me the willies. I mean, I have a ton of books sitting on my night stand waiting to be read for the first time, so committing the time to reread stuff to prep for the new book coming out? Isn’t that what WikiPedia is for now?

via Passion and Pleasure – Grasping for the Wind.

Oh I know this feeling.  Series books tend to devolve into that — re-reading all the books before the new one arrives.  It becomes work!

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Filed under Books: General, Quoted

The Post-Book Review Age

Stieg Larsson: Swedish Narcissus

That’s a broad stabbing-filled review of the Millennium trilogy. Not just stabbing, but shredding the dead bodies and spitting on their dismembered bits too.

But guess what?

Even though her complaints are more of everything I’ve overheard from others — especially from @fakebaldur on Twitter — I still want to and intend to read those books!

So what purpose did it serve other than to let the reviewer stomp on the corpse of Stieg Larsson?

Yesterday at the Dear Author review site, there was a fracas over a line in a book review. The reviewer said a character made her want to “throw up.” The writer of the book jumped in with what was intended to be a humorous comment that backfired and created a mini-firestorm (the Dear Author site is great for providing such sideshows in its Comments).

Despite the review — and the behavior of the writer — there were Comments from people who said they would still read the book. Their minds weren’t swayed.

So what good do book reviews do? What purpose do they really serve?

I can understand a review if it’s dissecting a non-fiction book, pointing out flaws a writer made — and the reviewer is an expert in the field the book tackles.

But for fiction?

Here, by the way, was my reaction to a book just about universally praised, The Time Traveler’s Wife. My post title says it all, really: This Manuscript Should Have Never Been Published. It Should Have Been Shot To Death.

Writer Cliff Burns swears that Cormac McCarthy has talent. I couldn’t find any in McCarthy’s books if you held a gun to my head. So which of us is “right” or “correct” — me or Cliff Burns?

As for the Larsson books, if they’re that bad, I’ll find out on my own. But there might be aspects of them I wind up liking that would make me recommend them to others. So who would be “correct” here — me or the detractors?

I think beyond briefly recommending a book one way or the other, reviews are pretty much a waste of time to write and for people to read. People will like what they want to like.


The Atlantic: A Reader’s Manifesto

Previously at Mike Cane 2008:

Meta: Review Of A Book Review
Does The Internet Make Reviews Obsolete?
Discussion About Book Reviews


Filed under Books: General