January 29th, 2010

Odd Lots

  • The iPad's ebook store is evidently US-only, less likely because of copyright laws themselves (as many are claiming) than because a lot of books are licensed to publishers by country, and if an author did not contract a book for distribution in Asia (for example) it can't legally be sold in Asia. Some authors think this will allow them to contract separately by country or language and make more money...when in fact it only means that people outside the US will have yet another reason to steal the damned book. The only way to reduce content piracy is this: Sell it cheap, sell it easy, sell it everywhere. Anything else is wishful thinking.
  • Here's a great short piece by nanotech guru Eric Drexler on why tokamaks won't ever be widely used in commercial power generation. My favorite line in the whole thing: "...[the Sun] puts out less power per unit mass than a good compost pile." Fortunately for us, the Sun is a little bigger than a compost pile. (Thanks to Frank Glover for the link.)
  • When I finally worked up the courage to go to the Meetup Web page for the Paranormal Erotic Romance Book Club of Colorado Springs, I discovered that one of the topics they list for the group is "New in Town." I belonged to the New In Town Meetup for awhile in 2003, and I'm guessing that that's why I got the email mentioned in yesterday's entry. Lesson: Never ascribe to vampires what can be explained by simple spamming.
  • And while we're talking weird emails, I got one the other day thanking me for using Minitab statistical software...which I had never heard of until I opened the message.
  • If you ever had the urge to click on a cloud formation, this is the kite for you. (Thanks to Michael Covington for the link.)