Monthly Archives: December 2009
An e-book is not a book
From How to Destroy the Book, by Cory Doctorow
When I buy a book, it’s mine. There’s no mechanism, not even in the face of a court order, whereby a retailer can take a book away from me, and yet Amazon—there’s the most extraordinary thing that they had to do in the United States—you’ve heard of course that someone put a copy of Orwell’s 1984 in the Kindle Store, and it wasn’t licensed for distribution in the U.S.—of course, Orwell is in the public domain outside the U.S., in copyright in the U.S.—and Amazon responded to this intelligence by revoking the book 1984 from its customers’ ebook readers. After they’d bought it, they woke up one morning to discover their book had gone. But Amazon was actually pretty good. After thinking about it for a day, and confronting the media storm, they decided to restore the books—they gave them back to the people, and they made a promise: “We will never ever ever ever ever give your books away again. Unless we have to.”
Now I worked as a bookseller for a number of years in this city, and I never had to make that promise to any of my customers when they bought books.
Via the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Slashdot.
Real data on one of the biggest issues in physics
History notes in review
I finally updated the web version of my “Today in Clann Tartan History” e-mails that I have been writing for colgaffneyis. Continue reading
Progress in Space
The New Horizons probe is Halfway to Pluto. beamjockey gave a good presentation about this mission at Windycon last year
188.6 lbs. Down slightly from 188.8 on December 23 (before Christmas). Also down from 189.2 before and after Thanksgiving. Same scale, same time of day for all measurements.
Happy Newton’s Birthday!
Isaac Newton was born at Woolsthorpe in Lincolnshire, England, on December 25, 1642.
Nollaig shona dhaoibh!
(Merry Christmas to you!)
The year in crime
A very white Christmas
On classical public radio they played Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Snowflakes earlier this morning. The announcer gave the name of the piece, and then said that beginning tonight we get “‘The Invasion of the Snowflakes’, or ‘Revenge of the Snowflakes'”.