The best ebooks site I’ve found, by far, is the archive at the University of Adelaide in Australia. The selection is outstanding, but the presentation is even better.
Steve Thomas, the curator, takes tremendous care to ensure Adelaide’s e-books display their best on any device. Most e-books, even commercial books, pay little to no attention to formatting, and the result all too often is books that are difficult to read.
I get the occasional query from people who say I should promote my blog more, so that I can get an audience and write a book about this or that, and then I read stuff like this. Basically, writing is getting more and more commoditized, and writers are making less and less, not that they ever made much in the first place. And then I heard on a podcast that the average technical book sells 5,000 copies.
Fifteen years ago, I was in the home stretch of writing a book–my first, and so far only book. All told, I made around $13,000 off that book, between book royalties and publishing derivative articles in magazines, all before taxes, of course. I wrote about 20 hours a week for six months to do it, so, perhaps if I’d made it my full-time gig, I might have been able to make $52,000 a year. But that was when computer books were hot and big-box book stores were booming. I’m not confident I could make $52,000 as an author today. Read more
The print edition of PC World is no more, and its demise marks the end of the general-interest computer magazine. Former editor Harry McCracken wrote this tribute. Read more
Slashdot posted a link to a New York Times piece that asserts that the full extent of Amazon’s existence hasn’t been felt yet, but it asserts that book pricing is becoming whimsical.
My experience disagrees with that. The market will stabilize. I think the cost fluctuations are because the market hasn’t stabilized yet.
I get a few questions about Google Fiber, because I have Kansas City connections, and I work in computers. People who’ve known me long enough know that I upgraded to first-generation DSL about 30 minutes after it became available at the apartment complex I lived in at the time. The question then was the same as the question in Kansas City now: What do you do with an Internet connection that fast?
Well, for starters, there’s this novel idea involving the public library… Read more
Valve is intending to develop for Linux, as an insurance policy against Windows 8. I think that will lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy. If more games are available for Linux, demand for Linux will increase, along with market share.
There’s historical precedence for this. Read more
Google Drive, on its surface, looks useful. They give me a few gigs of storage that I can access from any computer with Internet access. I could use it like a virtual USB drive.
Except I won’t. The terms of service are too problematic for me. Read more
Om Malik shared yesterday what he’s learned in 10 years of blogging.
1. Blogging is communal.
2. Be authentic.
3. When wrong, admit it and listen to those who were right.
4. Be regular.
5. Treat others as you expect yourself to be treated.
6. Respect your readers’ time.
7. Wait 15 minutes before publishing.
8. Write everything as if your mom is reading.
9. It’s not opinion–it’s viewing the world a certain way and sharing that view.
10. A little snark goes a long way.