Saturday, June 2, 2012

Lisa Ekdahl - "vem vet"

(I am so distracted lately! I meant to post this on my main blog. But ah well, the top one I posted there already, long ago, and heck, this blog won't be hurt by a little nice music.)

The Flame has been Nook'd

A publisher by mistake replaced every instance in the Nook version of War And Peace of "Kindle" with "Nook". That is hilarious.

As I was reading, I came across this sentence: "It was as if a light had been Nookd in a carved and painted lantern...." Thinking this was simply a glitch in the software, I ignored the intrusive word and continued reading. Some pages later I encountered the rogue word again. With my third encounter I decided to retrieve my hard cover book and find the original (well, the translated) text. 
For the sentence above I discovered this genuine translation: "It was as if a light had been kindled in a carved and painted lantern...." 

People who mess with peace and war this way should be nook'd. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Office for iPad?

Office for iPad coming?

Isn't it funny how we want things we don't need? I almost never use Office, and I don't see what I'd do with it on the iPad, and yet a little voice says "yeah, I want that!" I guess the fame and all the features are like shining chrome on an impractical car, it just attracts you on a cellular level.

And I think it's real. The other day I was just walking through my place, and out of the corner of my eye I saw the chrome base of my office "boss" chair, and I just noticed this little feeling in my gut: "oooh, shiny, me want!" Odd. And we think we are sooo rational, haha.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Read your phone on your TV

Ah, this is an excellent idea for weak, old, or just tired eyes.
Apple TV enables AirPlay on the iPad and iPhone 4s.  This allows you to mirror the screen of these devices on your television.  In practice, this means that you can take the screen of your iPhone/iPad and blow it up to fill a 50 inch screen. 

Normally, Airplay only works in video apps, but you can also set it to Mirroring:
while in an app, you double-click the home button, and swipe to the right, twice, and you'll get a volume control, and a button for Airplay! Just hit it and switch Mirroring to On.
(A bit hidden, I must say, I had to go to Apple's support pages to find it. But maybe this tells us how used we have become to usually being able to find out anything just intuitively on iOS devices.)

Below is my own photo of the phenomenon, iPhone in front. I can tell you that the text size set here is two steps less than I can easily read on the phone, but two steps more than I can read on the TV. And the text is really sharp, nothing blurry or pixelated here, it's fantastic.

By the way, it seems that if the iPhone/iPad has gone to sleep, it switches off, and you have to do the little procedure again to get it back. I guess that's a reasonable protection feature.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kindle Dx

The Kindle Dx (the large one) still costs $379!
And you can get a brand new iPad 2 for $399. A twenty dollar difference. If we disregard those who really can't stand backlit screens for some reason, this is like getting a Rolls-Royce for a hundred dollars more than a Yugo. I mean really, the iPad beats the living spit out of the Dx in everything, speed, color screen, flexibility, thousands of apps, ease of use... There's just no comparison. Except the price.

(Note: this is no attack on the Kindle generally. If one likes the screen, the small Kindle is an amazing book-reading tool, and highly economical.)

iPad for toddlers/babies

Thanks to reader Alex, who took this photo of the Fisher-Price "Apptivity Case" for iPad. (They also have one for iPhone/iPod Touch.)

Your device locks securely inside case to protect against: 
Baby’s dribbles & drool
Unwanted pressing of home button

Again, the amazing range of this device! To think some people were disappointedly yelling "aww, it's just a big iPod Touch" when it was announced. No, this is a whole new interaction platform, and may also well be one of the most important ones in the future.

BTW, I'm reminded of the Big Grip iPad case. Even though I don't have any children, I was so charmed by it that I got one (a grey, admittedly, not one of the neon colors!), and it is lovely. It's bulky, but nothing protects the iPad better, and it's the most easy and confortable hold on the iPad I have tried, and I have tried many.

iPad helps chicken lay eggs again

Why did the chicken start laying eggs again? Because he had an iPad full of his farmyard friends, article.

Hen Maia was left distraught and stopped producing eggs after her pen pal Baba was eaten when a fox snuck into their hut in the middle of the night last month.
[...] 'I decided to try playing chicken videos to her on my iPad when I was in my garden - and to my astonishment it started to work.
'She is now back producing around five eggs a week and seems a lot happier. I still get the videos out, as it helps her when she thinks she has company.' 

Isn't it amazing so many great new uses people find for the iPad?

... By the way, I take no responsibility for the use of "he" in the headline, that belongs to Daily Mail. I'm sometimes amused/distraught by the gender blindness some people show for the animal kingdom. For example there is a big computer-graphics animated movie about cows (I forget the title), and it's an okay movie, but it bothered me to tears that, wait for it... all the bulls had udders! What the frig? You wouldn't give a cow male genitalia, would you? So how does it happen that in a big commercial movie which took years and many scores of people to make, bulls have udders?

Uhm, but I digress. I love my iPad, especially for reading. And many animals do too, but mostly for other uses.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ebook advantage: discretion!

One-third of e-book readers admit to using gadgets to hide that they're reading erotic novels, article.

In a poll of 1,863 people conducted in Britain this week, 34% admitted to having read erotic novels on the devices.
Another 57% said that they used their e-reader to hide the fact that they were reading children’s books, such as Harry Potter, whilst 26% said they used theirs to disguise their sci-fi books habit.

"Dungeon of Sin vol 8", okay. But Harry Potter?! and science fiction?! Harry Potter is great, and I have always loved SF, and I have never had any reason to be ashamed of it. I think if these people should be ashamed of anything, it should be being ashamed.

OK, I grew up in Denmark, a more laid-back country. Is the UK really so intellectually and emotionally backwards that people in the the train will point and laugh at you and yell: "Hey, he's reading a rocket ship book, what an idiot! Hahaha!" Or what?

Miniot iPhone pouch in wood

I gotta say, this is a very classy case. Made from a single piece of wood. Fits friction-lessly with some kind of lock inside.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Direct ebooks to customers?

Publishers selling directly to customers?
What if publishers were to sell e-books and print books direct, straight to consumers—and consumers were to get used to the idea of buying direct? Suddenly one can imagine Amazon becoming an anachronism, joining the lengthy list of publishing’s dying or extinct species.
Well, there are some "ifs" there. And if you look close, they are big ones.
On the one hand it can be done, a few specialized publishers, like tech-book publisher O'Reilly, are quite successful at it. But they are specialized. Their customers know them, and they cover the field of computing. But if I want to buy the latest teenage/vampire romance saccharine fest, I have no idea where to get it, like most readers I have no idea of who is the publisher of what.

Then people would have to google it. People would have to get used to that, instead of "just using Amazon". And there'd be big competition about how to get to the top places at google. If some site got to be the search engine for books (like, then you'll bet they would like to get some piece of the pie. Granted, probably a smaller piece than Amazon.

I dunno. I like the idea of cutting out middlemen. But there are many thousands of publishers. How do the customers find them, particularly the small ones? Especially if the customer doesn't know they exist, or that they have a book you may want.

Also, and this is no small matter, it is much more difficult to set up a good web store than one would think. Really difficult. This is probably why Amazon rules the world, they have been genius at making an efficient web store. The first affiliate program. One-click buying (which they patented!) Customer reviews. Recommended products. Real ease of use, and great service. If you go to a different web store, particularly one with many products, odds are that your experience is much inferior. Sometimes I've even had to simply give up.

Oh, for ebooks there's also the small matter of: which ereader can the costumer use? If he is to have a choice in the matter (the only real solution for anybody smaller than B&N), then you can't use DRM (Digital Rights Management, copy protection). And most publishers are still terrified of the idea of not using DRM, they get nocturnal nightmares of Johnny Depp with a peg leg and a parrot, slicing them to pieces with a sword. Never mind all the studies show that DRM is more of an irritation than any block to real piracy.