Daily Archives: September 14, 2010

Movie: Layer Cake

I had to keep walking around, doing the shark maneuver — keep moving or die — for my back on Sunday, so I put on TV to occupy me and came across this movie called Layer Cake.

This is a must-see for anyone who likes to read crime fiction.

Trailer after the break.

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Filed under Video, Writing

David Thompson Email Exchange

Ah, how the brain works. I recalled an exchange I had with someone from Busted Flush Press a while ago.

I dug into my YahooMail. It was David Thompson himself emailing me.

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Barnes & Noble To Intel’s New AppUp Store?

Intel unveiled a weird thing today — an app store for netbooks(!), called AppUp.

Are netbooks even still being made?

At any rate, Chippy from Carrypad/UMPC Portal is attending the Intel Developer Forum and tweeted this tidbit:

Barnes and Noble coming to AppuP store. (Currys, Dixons, BestBuy are supporting AppUp too) #idf10Tue Sep 14 16:48:36 via TweetDeck

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Filed under eBooks: General

Gangster Banks

Big Bank Backs Down — For Now; Halts Foreclosure on Cancer Patient’s Home as Congressman Leads Vigil

Evictions of people like Naa-Anoror Okai and James Tillory. “I have proof that my bank changed my income, my marital status, and my ethnicity,” said Okai, who came out to show solidarity with Villanueva. After a Housing Commission worker found that the bank had falsified Fannie Mae documents before initiating foreclosure proceedings, Okai filed a lawsuit and sought help from Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego).

But when the Congresswoman contacted the bank, Okai said, “They wouldn’t return her calls…Instead of working with me, they sold our loan to another lender.” Okai wants to save her home, but also hopes to see her bank prosecuted by the federal government for fraud.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

There has been a strain of savage Internet writing where bankers were called “banksters.” I never joined in that.

But it seems they have been right all this time. For what is falsifying documents and committing blatant and systematic fraud for gain nothing other than gangsterism?

President Obama had better wake the hell up to what’s happening on the ground in this country.

Once the explosion begins, it won’t end until there’s been a coast to coast purge.

Previously here:

I Smell Connections, Bribes, And Kickbacks

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Filed under Collapse, Pottersville

A Trio Of Weird Kindle eBooks

Reading can’t be Serious all the time. Even the most grim writer will watch a B-movie for pleasure. And so it is with reading books too.

Here are three very, very strange books at The Kindle Store …

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Filed under Books To Check

R.I.P. David Thompson

Murder by the Book bookstore:

It is with deep sadness that we must share the news that David Thompson passed away suddenly on September 13th, 2010. David worked at Murder By The Book for 21 years, and he made an indelible impression on the store and everyone who met him. There will be a memorial service, and we will share the details as soon as they are available. In the meantime, David’s wife, McKenna Jordan, asks that no tributes be sent to the bookstore for now. We appreciate the loving support that customers have always given the store, and in the difficult days to come we will need it more than ever.

David Thompson was the founder of Busted Flush press.

Less than three weeks ago: Busted Flush Press joins forces with Tyrus Books!

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Kobo Reader With WiFi Is Leaked

Nate the Great has the details over at The Digital Reader: Kobo Wifi revealed

Putting aside the fact that it turns out the Kobo Reader is the same hardware as the fall-part junk that was the Cool-er, a WiFi Kobo Reader brings up one very important question: Will it be able to check out ePubs from a public library wirelessly?

This would require having both a browser and Adobe’s DRM scheme on-board.

I think both of those things are highly unlikely, however.

1) Kobo’s current scheme allows them to bypass Adobe DRM royalties.

2) Including Adobe DRM could raise the Kobo Reader’s price.

3) I’m not sure if Kobo is up the task of including a Webkit-based browser (which is what all the Cool Kids are using).

Aside from the public library question, the other one is: What will the price of this be? $139 to match Kindle 3? $149 to match Nook WiFi?

The wired Kobo Reader is US$129 and that’s probably squeezing its margins, so the pricing of this will be very interesting.

Update: Hm, a Commenter requires me to clarify something. Yes, underneath the Kobo Reader is the same hardware as the crappy Cool-er, but I haven’t seen the complaints about the Kobo as I did for the Cool-er. So, I don’t consider the Kobo Reader to be crap like the Cool-er. I still recommend the Kobo Reader.

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Book Design with Microsoft Word: The Art of Moriah Jovan — The Book Designer

To me, one thing Moriah’s work proves is that the books we see that look bad, only look that way because the author couldn’t work out how to make it look the way it ought to, or wasn’t as persistent as Moriah Jovan, or didn’t know any better. It isn’t because of the tool that was used the create them.

via Book Design with Microsoft Word: The Art of Moriah Jovan — The Book Designer

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Filed under Book Creation, Quoted

More Evidence That eBook = Kindle, Period

New Kindle Exclusive: David Morrell, New York Times Bestselling Author, Makes Electronic Editions of 10 Books, Including a New Thriller, “The Naked Edge,” and the Classic “First Blood”Available Exclusively in the Kindle Store

Amazon.com today announced that internationally bestselling author David Morrell is releasing a new, never-before-published, full-length thriller, “The Naked Edge,” along with nine of his previously published books, in electronic book format exclusively in the Kindle Store. This is the first time any of these titles have been available electronically. These Kindle editions will offer additional content for many of the books, including new introductions and photographs that reveal insights into the making of these modern classics.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

I don’t know how this was done, if this is Morrell doing it independently or if it was negotiated through his agent. But those mechanics really don’t matter; that’s the source code. What matters is that the Kindle is winding up with all of these books.

And why not?

When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton said:

Because that’s where the money is.

The same logic applies with eBooks.

The Kindle Store is where the money is.

Additional:

The Present and Future of Publishing by David Morrell

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Filed under Amazon Kindle, Digital Overthrow, Writer

Test The Brats Until They Drop!

Testing, the Chinese Way

Other educators recoil at the thought of more tests. “The Obama administration is using the power of the purse to compel states to add more destructive testing,” said Alfie Kohn, author of “The Case Against Standardized Testing” and many other books on education. “With Race to the Top the bad news has gotten worse, with a relentless regimen that turns schools into test prep courses.”

He said genuine learning in young children was a global process, while tests look at narrow and specific skills, and good teachers don’t need tests to know if a child is learning. He added that for young children, good test results were more a function of whether children can sit still or hold a pencil. “These tests are being added in the name of accountability despite the objections of early-childhood educators who say they have no place in the classrooms,” he said.

You idiot.

Test the hell out of the kids.

I once got 35% on a math test. That’s right — 65% of it wrong. It was probably the lowest test score that teacher ever gave in her career to that point.

I’m just about genetically wired to fail at math. I still make stupid errors with basic math (see prior blog posts elsewhere that attest to this; I will not point them out, let that be your test). If teachers had just said, “Oh, he just can’t do math, let’s leave him alone,” I’d have wound up as a stupid adult with zero appreciation for the beauty of math.

I sure as hell can’t do math, but I can at least understand its universality and how it’s used in quantum physics and how it underpins all of existence. I wouldn’t have had that at all if I hadn’t been tormented to do math for twelve consecutive grades (college was for art; there was no hard math there, except for proportions, a part of math I had learned and understood).

Self-esteem arises from accomplishment. It isn’t engendered by cooing over failure.

Those who say testing doesn’t matter should be ignored. They’re up to something that’s evil at the heart of it.

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Filed under Collapse, Personal