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  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 6:32pm

    (untitled comment)

    Sounds like Kotaku should should have stuck with Dynasty Warriors in their article. Choosing a niche game with (apparently?) player-generated content available for sale from the developer severely muddies the water.

    It's like saying Second Life took third-party content too far, because buying every add-on and mod available would be too expensive. Technically true, but proving... what exactly?

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 6:03pm

    Re: What missing innovation?

    Forgot to add. Read the comments here for a discussion of a bunch of authors wishing Amazon had some competition. Nobody likes a market without competition.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 5:49pm

    What missing innovation?

    I can't really get over this piece, and what it's trying to say. What stagnation has occurred in the ebook space, that is, what features are missing from ebooks that we otherwise should have seen without such stagnation?

    That you can no longer scan your bookshelf at arm's length? (Ignoring the fact that you can search much more easily)

    That layouts aren't as finely tuned as paper? (Ignoring the fact that layout engines ARE improving, and user's have long had the option of choosing their own font and size for most books... perhaps such customisable layout engines are harder than the author suspects?)

    That digital publishing stacks are closed? But the argument makes no sense at all! As a reader, we don't care whether the publisher used InDesign or Illustrator for layout, or which printer in China they contracted as long as the quality meets our expectations. Saying that we can't read a book bought on Amazon except through kindle software, or a book bought on iBooks except through Apple hardware... well, that's the music/DRM debate all over again. We somehow managed to get DRM-free music, I'm quietly optimistic that books will follow.

    That if Amazon stops supporting Kindle, or Apple stops supporting iBooks, that nobody can step in and offer new, more beautiful containers for our legacy libraries? I'd suggest that fixing the DMCA is a better and broader approach here, and that cicumventing DRM after support has been removed (and possibly before) isn't illegal, even (specifically!) for commercial purposes.

    That reference books don't hyperlink well? Well if these guys can do it, then I don't know why anyone else can't.

    That we don't have mystical new mixed-media masterpieces? Well, various people have tried, and the results in book form invariably suck. Written word, spoken word and video are all consumed at a different pace, so mixing them well is insanely hard to do... not to mention increasing the cost of production, hence of purchase, further reducing the market. But there is a market for this kind of work, and it's been healthy for decades.

    In all, I feel like complaining about stagnation or lack of innovation in ebooks is kind of like complaining about stagnation and lack of innovation in cars. Forget about air bags, adaptive cruise control, electronic bucket seats with multiple driver profiles, catalytic converters, electronically assisted braking and stability controls... why don't we have a flying car yet, is everybody just sitting on their hands here? Also, modern cars are still basically a box around a combustion engine - forget about all of the electric cars commercially available that aren't.

    Have fun with your nostalgic puffery, Craig Mod. Take your time, I'll be here enjoying the future-present until you're ready to join us.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 1:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What competition exactly are Amazon locking out with DRM? Any publisher can sell books through Amazon without DRM (although they no longer list the DRM status of books on their website, hmm. See eg though, which lists the DRM status in the book description), and Amazon doesn't prevent the books from being distributed anywhere else simultaneously unless publishing through KDP and opting for Kindle Select/Kindle Unlimited.

    I must admit, I couldn't find any information as to whether you can still publish without DRM if opting for select, but you seem to have made your mind up anyway.

    Do you feel like Google is locking out the competition from the Google Play store, since I can't play run of those apps on an iPhone? Why should Amazon be required to support competitors' devices? (Which in fact they do, if you count the ios and android kindle apps, let alone the web-based reader)

    And for the record, advice is accepted better when it's not prefaced with "No, the proper response is ..."

  • Oct 5th, 2015 @ 11:59pm

    Re: Re: One-sided 'innovation'

    I can't find any such examples now (for hardbacks, at least), but there were certainly some price funniness going on recently.

  • Oct 5th, 2015 @ 11:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Amazon already knows that I prefer the vast swathes of enjoyable ebooks for $5 or less (some of them traditionally published) to the new blockbuster that isn't actually much good, or the literary masterpiece that 80% of people can't even finish.

    For the DRM... I mean, I'm not particularly fond of the idea, but in my experience Amazon's DRM lies alongside Steam - it's unobtrusive and has never prevented me from reading whatever I want. It's also optional, and publishers are free to publish titles without DRM... opt-out, but again I find it hard to get riled up about that. Why would Amazon push to make it easier for competitors?

    I'm not certain that they're not making it unreasonably hard for competitors to effectively compete via their patents, but that's not what anyone seems to be claiming.

  • Oct 5th, 2015 @ 9:15pm

    Re: Re: Open, Shmopen

    I disagree that the open platform is likely to lead to greater innovations. I think that competition is likely to lead to greater innovations.

    I concede that open platforms can make it easier for new competitors to enter the market, without having to start from scratch and play catch-up. Maybe that's the link you see with open leading to greater innovation, because of the increased competition from newcomers?

    In the ebook space specifically, I think lack of innovation is ... misinformed? There have been untold numbers of experiments in terms of custom apps and online offerings involving various types of interaction... that have largely flopped and faded into insignificance. The public just hasn't been interested in the "innovations" on offer.

    "Books under glass" in a light, easy to handle form factor, with customisable font/sizing and instant access to a mind-blowing quantity of books, the ability to look up the definition of a word without leaving the page... isn't enough? It sure seems to be enough for the many thousands* of books bought from the kindle store each day. It's enough for me, and I couldn't really see the appeal to e-books before getting a kindle - I still hate reading long documents on a computer screen.

    Articles like the one linked tend to pop up around the place fairly regularly, but universally they never seem to have anything behind them; they're emotive puff-pieces that people can get behind, either for or against, but just like gun control debates everybody simply airs their piece, nobody changes their minds about anything, then everybody forgets about it until the next puff piece to come along and invite more comment.

    Not that more innovation would be a bad thing, but forget talking about it. If someone has a good idea that the market is lacking, develop it!

    (* I wanted to say millions here, but in the end I couldn't find enough to back it up. is the best I could find, though out of date. It does suggest that the top 35 kindle books sold at least 60,000 copies daily between them; the top 200 adds another 40,000)

  • Oct 4th, 2015 @ 11:01pm

    Re: Anyone can have a change of heart

    I prefer to think he was "working deep", taking time to make himself the sweetheart of the patent trolls, biding his time... slowly losing sleep and sanity as he constantly wondered if he was doing the right thing... until he finally saw his chance to strike, and threw his spear deep into the breast of the worst of the trolls!

    Undercover superhero is way cooler than reformed scrooge.

  • Sep 23rd, 2015 @ 9:11pm

    Re: clock bomb irving


    So everyone on here would have just sat there beside that clock thing on a plane or in an office building with close quarters and never blinked an eye. Whatever.

    I'm not sure what you're suggesting here. We should be wary of anyone carrying a briefcase?

    Schools need to be safe period. That looked nothing like a clock. What a circus.

    Things don't need to look like clocks for schools to be safe. Kids don't need to be forced to sign confessions saying they brought a bomb to school because it doesn't look like a clock for schools to be safe. In fact, I would argue that staff should not overreact and persecute their students in order for that student to be safe at school.

    Why can't people get this upset over real issues like the mentally ill homeless people or the elderly who are living in poverty or the gun violence in our cities.

    Why do you think people (presumably posters on this forum) don't get upset of issues like mental health, support for the homeless, eldery povery or gun violence? Would you feel better if twitter blew up about these topics more often?

    The problems of a privileged kid who should have obeyed the rules is not a worthy cause at all. His family has money, he has a nice home and he will get a great education, that's not a person who should be put into saint hood he didn't obey the school policy that his parents legally signed off on at the beginning of the texas school year. Obey the rules and use common sense.

    He has money, therefore being forced to sign a confession for something he didn't do was okay? What rules are you talking about here, not bringing interesting electronics projects to school? Not succumbing to staff overreactions?

    My common sense says that this kid made something kinda cool that he should be proud of showing off, and further that the school administration vastly overreacted and overreached in their authority. What does yours say?

  • Sep 23rd, 2015 @ 6:34pm

    Re: I may not be a legal expert

    That would be true, but the court didn't rule that the copyright is no longer valid; they ruled that Warner Chappel "do not own a valid copyright in the Happy Birthday lyrics."

    They made no ruling on who (if anyone) does own a valid copyright in the lyrics. I mean, it's ridiculous to believe that anyone does, but that (as discussed in the article) is the fundamental issue with orphan works in copyright. If it's possible, however unlikely, that someone holds the copyright... then using a work without a (unobtainable, because orphan) license is an invitation to a lawsuit.

    See also "the copyright hole".

  • Sep 22nd, 2015 @ 7:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Google is doing it wrong...

    My reading of the article is similar:

    Geographical extensions are only paths giving access to the processing operation. Once delisting is accepted by the search engine, it must be implemented on all extensions, in accordance with the judgment of the ECJ.

    Not that all extensions should redirect to, but that all extensions should act as-if they were if accessed from a french origin.

    Personally, I think mandating that all french original redirect to is less legally messy while achieving the same end... though I suspect that end is sending 97% of that 3% to VPNs or TOR.

    I do agree with Whatever that Google shouldn't be arguing that this is technically infeasible or that it's extra-judicial. The law really is stupid and makes almost no sense, but those seem to be losing arguments. I do wonder what the response would be if Google were to present an accounting of what it would cost to make the tech change so all domains operate as-if if accessed from a French source, and compared that to their income from all French sources... also to the number of people they hire in France, their total French outgoings and tax paid - see who has the most to lose if Google pulls out of France, before and after this ruling.

  • Sep 21st, 2015 @ 10:28pm

    Re: Economic Consequences

    And that's where this whole thing is going to fall down. In the same way that China can't block access to Github, India can't do anything that would kill software development or call centre outsourcing.

  • Sep 16th, 2015 @ 10:00pm

    Re: Thought experiment: Say a fourteen-year-old kid did build a bomb.

    As someone who read the Anarchists' Manifesto in high school, I am relieved beyond belief that am not going through high school today.

  • Sep 16th, 2015 @ 9:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Sadly insightful. It is easy to mistake existence of punishment as a sign of guilt, and hard* to determine that the guilt is in fact illusory.

    * - I mean, it takes effort, right?

  • Sep 16th, 2015 @ 9:51pm

    Re: Nice example there, hot shot

    And get hot on the Author's Guild! Now they're claiming losing income! Weigh in with your fact-less self-styled "authority" against those having mere real data!

    Yeah, can't be arguing against those who have biased, misinterpreted, "mere real data".

  • Sep 15th, 2015 @ 1:11am


    The concept of accepting automated take downs I think is a very valid concept, in many instances. It seems that the courts understand the issues of the sheer volume of potential violations, and that there is no real way to keep up with the tide and not have to resort to some sort of automated system.

    As the other guy suggested, this exact logic applies just as well to DMCA violation as it does to copyright violations...

    The concept of automatically rejecting take downs I think is a very valid concept, in many instances. It seems that the courts understand the issues of the sheer volume of potential DMCA violations, and that there is no real way to keep up with the tide and not have to resort to some sort of automated system.

  • Sep 14th, 2015 @ 11:24pm

    Re: Re:

    The determination of pornographic is determined merely by the content.

    orly? Is the venus de milo sculpture pornographic? What about a photograph of a woman in the same pose? Does it matter if it's in a magazine or a textbook?

    Heck, people argue all the time about what's pornographic (I know it when I see it), why would an algorithm do any better?

  • Sep 9th, 2015 @ 9:51pm

    Getty's version of ContentID on the internet?

    I see a lot of parallels between this story and the various music remixing stories over the years. When you have automatic matching software, you need to be able to determine when two samples match because of provenance rather than directly. Which is unlikely to be possible unless the algorithm is given all provenance details... which is unlikely to be even slightly practical.

  • Sep 3rd, 2015 @ 7:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are all right and wrong.

    All of which are available on Linux, and on most desktop distros would take less effort to install than the Windows version would.

    I completely agree that they are all available on Linux, and I accept the proposition that you would find them easier to install on Linux than on Windows.

    Perhaps try educating yourself before criticising people who have actually used Linux for detailing their experiences.

    Thank you for the judgement, everyone. I *use* Linux on a nearly daily basis, and am comfortable compiling from source to try third party libraries or tools. I have never had any success administering a Linux system, either at home or work, I find the apt-get system completely opaque (in that it is trivial to install something you know about, and impossible to discover what to install if you don't) and yum just marginally better.

    If I were to spend the next five years (one year? two years?) using nothing but Linux cold-turkey style, I'm sure I'd pick up everything I need and never look back. So far, I'd rather use computers that just work (for me, and my family), and spend the extra time with my family, or doing things that I actually enjoy.


  • Sep 3rd, 2015 @ 6:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are all right and wrong.

    Yes, thank you to everyone who pointed out that Linux has the named applications, and completely failed to note that I was responding to the comment that "These days, [the browser] is all that most home users need."

    You obviously don't know much about Linux. And that's OK. But maybe you should just not speak about things you don't understand. justice-our-so-called-justice-system.shtml#c917

    "For me? I use Windows at home, Linux at work. I've tried installing Linux occasionally at home, but it just doesn't work for me. I know how to use and maintain a Windows system, but I only know how to use a Linux system, so for me Windows is actually the more secure route. YMMV."

    Emphasis on the YMMV. I much prefer developing in Linux than Windows, but I'm sure as heck not going to be the guy administering the system. And if I'm not comfortable administering *my own* system, I'm not going to recommend it to anyone in my family. Except my cousin, who *is* comfortable in Linux (and is also a programmer).

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