Did yo know that the genetic code contains quotations and email addresses ?
Yeah, I though so...
Orginal article at MedGadget
There are very few podcast that I listen regularly; most of them have to do with games, programming or languages. The exception is professor Russell Roberts' brilliant econtalk weekly program.
An incredible achievement.
You can see it live at:
Futurismic has a very good post on the future of Space exploration ...
(* actually I think this is a pop song )
Anyway hare are the speedtest.net results for the new connection:
The connection inside UY is as advertised 4.0/512, and the connection to other countries : Argentina, Brazil and Europe is worst than to the U.S. ( usually around 2Mb down 300k Up).
So it looks that the international link is at top capacity, and the link to Buenos Aires in particular it's very poor.
Also these are average numbes, I could get slightly better or much worse speed depending on the time and day.
Both of my sons prefer playing Settlers over TV and somedays even over Videogames, which is quite an achievement. Plus the game is also entertainig for older kids and adults , so , unlike most board games I can actually play with them. (via Wired.com)
It had to happen sooner or later, it´s surprising but not unexpected if that makes any sense...Amazon has acquired the rights to the first of possible many novels and cut yet another link in the publisher chain...Could potentially be a big year for the book industry and not in a good way for some folks.
In a post "Why Ebooks must fail" Evan Schnittman explains the effect on the industry:
And therein lies the dilemma… how does the publishing industry fund the creation, editing, design, production, marketing, e-warehousing, and sales of ebooks, if the income isn’t there? How do ebooks cover the huge advances needed to buy books if we cannot generate the cash, especially at their extremely low, discounted prices, cover the advances that an entire industry has come to require? The answer is that ebooks, alone, cannot.
It's a very special point of view, of course, to me the answer is , you don't : As in you don't fund creation and editing, you do marketing at your own risk (not only when you have a bestseller), you don't do the huge advances "the industry expects", because they are unrealistic.
There are also cost savings: No printing, no distribution, No warehouses ( e-warehousing ? seriously ? ) . . and you can pre-sell an ebook, with extra content same thing that DVDs does today with special editions.
The model must cahange, and Amazon is doing that for them.
But at nearly 500 dollars for a 9.7 inch display is a lot of money for reading newspapers...
Sony sells two models one "regular" at 299, and one touchscreen with annotations and led lights at 349. And is rumored to be launching a big screen model soon.
I actually prefer the smaller size, I use blogs for news, I'm ok with the PRS 505 or Kindle2 Size for books ( maybe an inch bigger, but the kidleDX , is too big) .
The problem, and the reason for this is the newspaper business, it is in big trouble, so much in fact that they are getting Amazon take a 70% cut on the subscriptions for the Kindle. That's a lot.
Major newspapers are losing more and more readers, with the biggest loss this past year, even they are saying this,
The music industry fought against digitalization & digital distribution: first Napster, then Gnutella, Emule, Bittorrent, finally they are kind of seeing the light and selling no-DRMd MP3 all over iTunes, Amazon, and other places.
Movies went next, fought much less and decided to do the same. Finally TV took the matter into it's own hands and started services like Hulu , FoxOnDemand, and also selling old series on iTunes.
The Book business is going to do Ok with Ebooks, still people doubt that it will completely replace books. But I think long therm they will as I said in previous posts
But for newspapers this really different, they don't actually have content worth paying anymore: There business models are gone: classified ads model is on Craiglist, an Ebay, Advertising has gon to Blogs and Google, and the journalists can do better in a blog where high specialized content is better than anything you can read in a general newspaper. And the ditribution model is from the 19th century.
So, I agree with those who say that this is too late, and they can't save the business. This is desperation.
They are desperate, and right to be so, so unless they can get com GM style rescue plan, they will be gone.
The Night Angel Trilogy (Brent Weeks), these are actualy three separate books: The Way of the Shadows, Shadow's Edge, and Beyond the Shadows but #2 and #3 pretty much require reading #1. Teh best Fantasy novels I read in many years.
Singularty Sky By Charles Stross. A technological singularity hits a cold war totalitarian state. Excellent , Stross and Cory Doctorow are becoming my fave SF writers .
Matter ( Ian M. Banks) . I'm a fan of The Culture series, and this was very good , not the best though. The Player of Games still rocks.
Here comes everybody , An optimistic take on the future of media consumers and producers; and the inner works of different organizations, by Clay Shirky. Very provocative ideas. It gets repetitive, but worth a look.
The Stuff of Thought ( Steven Pinker) Classic Pinker, entertainment , funny and full of wisdom about human nature, expect no less.
A Stroke of Insight ( Jill B. Taylor ) The story of a stroke , told from the point of view of the patient who happens to be a world class neuroscientist. Easily the best nonfiction book of the lot. highly recommended. The best of the pack.
This is my third year of "reading electronically" and I found myself addicted to it, so much in fact that I roll my eyes at the prospect of having to read an actual paper book, so heavy and impractical. I does not make me read or buy more books, but it allows me to read more than one at a time, anywhere, and I appreciate that
The downside of electronics books, is mainly two things:
Cost : Everybody thinks in terms of costs , but if you read a lot ( and I read a good amount) you'll offset the cost in 2 years ( unless you lose it or break it , then is another device and another $300/$400 or so) that's because electronics content is cheaper than paper books, doesn't have shipping costs, and there are tons of free electronic books on google or project gutemberg and in the end you actually can save the cost of the device.
I really think that with the kindle2 , the PRS-700 (Sony), and the number cof books available now, electronic books will have finally a critical mass to take off. The tipping point for me is eInk technollogy, is really something else, you have to see it for yourself in action before dismissing it as yet another display technology.
Availability of content : The entry of Amazon in the game of electronic books is a really important thing, the number of electronic books have multiplied several times in the past two years. And others stores have started to show a better catalog and lower prices. The format also matters, Amazon has it's own format, but readers are increasingly adopting open formats ( .epub) or more established ones (pdfs) .
Tool maturity: There are so many twitter tools, and devices to Tweet from; that is really impressive, (fowr Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, Blackberry, even for the Nintendo DS) , , ( a very messy news feed, but a news feed nonetheless ) . Two of the more interesting ones : Twitt Deck (AIR) and Tweetie ( iPhone and soon Mac OS X) which I highly reccommend.
Each tool has very good features to help navigate the twitter stream ( search, current themes or 'Trends') what makes getting news and events updates from twitter like following a news feed as Andres points out you just could swith to tweet for news.., but I'm kind of old fashioned and will stay getting news from RSS feed agregators :-)
Going Mainstream: Long before the Ashton challenge Twitter began filltering into the News media ( all news programs and major shows provide updates via Twitter), Twitter has a big following ( over 6 million users now), and Is probably the larges social network after FaceBook and MySpace, still a long way to go to match facebook in traffic, but the real number of visits is hard to measure , precisely because of the many tools out there and the SMS interaction than I'm sure many stats don't count.
Incidentally Facebook has redesigned havily focused on presenting more updates and I just don't like the way it ended, even after the toning down. Seems like I am getting update from a lot more people I wasn't and I hardly know...
Celebrities: Ashton Kutcher challenging CNN over who gets first to 1 million followers on twitter, then @ev and @aplusk appeared on Oprah's show to talk about ... yep.. Twitter , Ashton talked about the state of media and even mentioned digg.com. Bonus: Shaq tells Oprah that She was wwriting in ALL CAPS... How is that not surreal...!
The main focus of Twitter now has to be regaining stability with millions of users instead of hundreths of thousands, and finding a way to get the money back... without making the mistakes Facebokk made of forcing news or updates on people. Some possible models for this is a paid-for API for the tool makers, a flickr style paid for premium ( where the big folowwed or the big followers would pay for mumber of users over any big number), or a revenue model for celebrity followers. Any of those would potentially alienate the still new growing userbase...maybe they could be a open source "foundation model"... who knows. I have a theory about why this startups with no business model grow and live so long, but that's for another time.
Right now twitter is down, again, probably as a result of the "Oprah surge"(1) and its aftermath. But I got a feeling they are getting a recovery soon. And they are in for a big growth.......
(1) from @ryanblock " The Oprah Effect: Twitter's added over 1.5m new users between Friday and today. Damn." so are we talking 25% more in userbase in a weekend ?
Via Cafe Hayek, a long ´85 interview with F.A. Hayek about his philosophy , "extended order" and the thre spheres of human principles. Worth watching....
Coincidentally Steven Berlin Johnson has put up a long but comprehensive piece on how the information distribution has evolved in the last decades for his SXSW intereactive.
What strikes me as strange is that still there isn't a much better phone out there, several companies , throwing millions of R&D to fight Apple, and all I see is poor interfaces, lame copy attempts and slow response.
Just check the last World Mobile Congress (WMC) in beautiful Barcelona, a lot of new android phones , some proprietary interfaces and a glimpse of WinMo 6.5 . Not much what I was expecting, nothing exactly new or revolutionary.
For example one Samsung touch interface:
How Not To Do Touch Technology from Gizmodo on Vimeo.
To be fair Microsoft is not doing so much better.... it should kill the Zune and start focusing, and learn from Nokia a couple of things.
Nokia and Sony Ericsson are trying different directions ( Better cameras, a different approach to design ) , I like the new Nokia 8 megapixel N86, the N97 interface and store, great GPS interface, and the Sony "Idou" 12 megapixel in a phone, but these are the exceptions... it's a sharp contrast to the HTC, Hyundai, Asus, Acer, etc, and other dozens of Android or Windows mobile devices ( by the way none of this are for sale yet, by the time they came to market , Apple should have the next-gen iPhone on stores... ). LG and others also have some sort of touch interface but having tried the Samsung omnia , and looking at the video above , I am not holding my breath about them.
The Palm Pre looks promising, and the android Phones should be worthy of looking into after a couple of OS revisions, but right now , there is not much to choose from.
I Just hope someboy gave Apple a real reason to put some more on the iPhone ..
or at least to lower the price :-(
Update 2/19 : Engadget has a nice analysis of what is wrong with Winmo.
Update 3/10 : From MS Watch
Apparently MS version of the Appstore will charge $99 per application . Yeah , great.
Many people will learn Objective C now...
"Microsoft should hire Bozo the clown to run Windows Mobile. At least the antics would be funny." After a pause: "He's dead, by the way."