Wednesday, November 2, 2011

No picture today...

I don't have a picture (because I'm still waiting for my camera) however, maybe I can describe it for you...

Anyway, I have been waking up just before the sun rises to the point it would be visible if the clouds weren't hanging around.  In fact, the clouds are right on top of me most mornings, and even below me as I walk my lap around the river.  Along Riverside Drive, across the bridge at Wells, backtrack through Jones Park, and cross the river again at Bronson.  It's a short walk, maybe a quarter mile at best, but it is just enough to help wake me up and make sure Jaani can do his morning business.

I fill up Jaani's dish with food, and then I dump out, rinse, and refill his water dish with nice cool water from my filtered pitcher in the fridge.  This time of day, my phone keeps my rhythm for me... Cock-a-doodle-doo marks the time to wake up.  I need to get up for my morning eat and clean... Beep-beep, Beep-beep and it's time to take the dog for his walk.  Usually I get the early 1900's phone noise before making it back to the apartment, which means I need to check his food and water.  Honk honk means the bus is about 15 minutes out.  However, the bus alarm isn't just based on a specific time.  Sometimes it comes earlier than I expect... This alarm is from an App on my phone (other than the default clock app).  It updates the bus schedule in real time. I can pick up my phone and see how many minutes I have until the bus gets there.  It is handy.  (One Bus Away is the name of the app FYI.)

My phone is my master of scheduling.  Something that makes me very nervous to tinker with now that I use it for more than just fun and games.  A feeling that makes me a little nervous about the idea of getting the latest and greatest new gadget on release day; however, I suspect it still won't stop me.

So, this marks the time when I start heading toward the bus.  I need to allow about 10 minutes to walk to the bus stop in order to get there in time.  Sometimes I can wait a couple minutes because I time the lights just right, but usually the bus is pulling up just after I arrive at the terminal.  I usually manage to get a seat toward the back, but today I actually had to sit near the front (in the sideways seats that are reserved for elderly and handicap people (usually that just means I need to sit sideways and can't lean my head back.

Although I wouldn't lean back if I could.  I break out my tablet, plug in my headphones, and watch a video lecture.  I have about 30 minutes to watch lectures before I arrive at Overlake Transit Center.  I am excited about this bus ride in the summer.  The view of Mt Rainier from 520 East while leaving Bellevue is an excellent way to start your day off.  The fog is usually below the horizon.  The sun is behind the Cascade range to the East... Rainier to the South.  The left side of the mountain glows, the glacier on top can even blind you on a sunny morning when the sun hits it just right.  The right side of the mountain is dark and takes on a blue tint from the shade.  Sometimes the mountain wears a white fedora, almost as if it was lifting it's hat to say good morning.  For this, and only this, reason I almost always sit on the right side of the bus in the morning.

Once I arrive at Overlake, I am just across the street from the Studios West Campus. Well, across 520, which is a six lane road with two additional exit lanes on each side... So the bridge is like a small city block.  Then I cut between Studio A and the Commons... across to the far side of the campus, where I get to Studio C.  Once in the building, I take the stairs to the fourth floor and get my coffee before heading into the lab.

Things are a little different in the lab.  The teams have become adjusted to the new space.  Every part and tool has found it's home.  It's time for new developments; this is the story in the tech industry.  Stay competitive... be adaptable... do what the lab needs you to do.  This sometimes forces me to step slightly outside my Test Engineer role, but doubling as a part time Network Engineer... Software Architect... or miscellaneous grunt is something that just needs to be done from time to time.  You just read a few articles about what you are trying to get done... find someone who can give you practical advice... get-r-done!

I came back at a time where several teams need a little help.  All the new products that were put out this past year have created some interesting challenges, and new tests need to be run... test results from the summer need to be analyzed to make sure we learn from our failures and successes.  My boss likes it when I can point out things we could have done better, and how to ensure it really gets done better next time.  Even though that sometimes means making a plan for something we will never do again.  That's just the nature of being on the bleeding edge.  If one and three ideas pans out, we are making progress;  However, if one and six pan out... well, it's epic... whether win or fail.

By the end of the day I'm usually beat.  Half the time I can hardly make it through more than five or six minutes of lecture before I need to close my eyes and lean back.  I open my eyes to find I'm back at the Renton Transit Center... I walk home... get Jaani... walk him for a mile or two... then get dinner and relax for another couple hours.

I spend from 07:30 to 18:30 away from the house.  Which makes me feel really bad for Jaani.  All alone for 11 hours a day... although, I need to go to work.  Plus, I try to make it up to him on the weekends by not leaving him alone at all.

Anyway... That's the story with my work life right now.  It's not bad.  I get a sense of fulfillment form my work... a sense of greater being than just fending for myself in the wilderness... a sense of belonging somewhere that only comes from working with a great team of people.

So, that's all for now.  It's my story, and I'm sticking to it.



Thursday, September 1, 2011

Yooperland Vacation!

So, I have been neglecting my blog again... I guess I have been up to a lot of stuff.

Jaani has been enjoying 3 walks a day in his own private 1.5 acre dog park... sometimes when the neighbors are around, I'll put him on a leash because I don't think they would like it if he went running up to them...

I have been spending a lot of time entertaining my nieces and nephews.  They are all at the point where they want lots and lots of attention, so it's a good thing I'm here to give it to them.

I went to the renaissance festival where I enjoyed a turkey leg, a pickle, lots of beer, and a show at the smoker.  Then we went to a near by bar for more beer and pizza.  It was good to see my cousin the Amazing Flec perform his fire show at the smoker, although it was weird that there is no smoking in the smoker... at least not sense they passed that non-smoking law...

Next, I went around visiting old friends from high school... just dropping in and getting a beer at the local bars, but this past weekend, we went out for a Yooperland Adventure of sorts.  (Jaani stayed with my parents...)

We went to Craig Lake which is just north of Michigamme, Michigan (which is in Michigan's upper peninsula SW of Marquette.)  The way to the lake is to drive into Michigamme, where you will find a small one lane dirt road (craig lake rd)... take that road about 6 or 7 miles in (following the signs to craig lake)... then you will find a small parking lot... from there, you will have to carry your boat about 1/2 a mile down a dirt road to the water.  From there, we traveled across the water for about 1.5 miles by boat (1 canoe, 1 kayak, 1 row boat)...

While there, we polished off about 168 beers, 5 fifths of liquor, and a half gallon of 5 o'clock vodka... we didn't bring much booze back with us... it was a good time.

Speaking of drinking... it seems that after spending a few weeks in Michigan, I find that I have greatly increased my capacity for alcohol.  Funny how that works...

Anyway, now, I think I will spend the weekend going to East Lansing, Royal Oak, and possibly Duck Lake for another relaxing vacation.

Maybe I'll write more later, but that's all for now.



Thursday, August 4, 2011

So, I've made it about 1,420 miles, and that puts me at over half way.

I drove through Sturgis, but most of the bikers were out on the Interstate... but you can really tell that nearly everyone here has come for the festival.

Anyway, I'm pretty tired.  I got on the road at about 7:30 this morning.  I Filed an insurance claim for my camera, and they are sending return addressed box for me to return the camera in.  It really is too bad that I have to deal with my phone camera.  I have just been letting my phone upload new photos as I take them, then I move the photos over to the album when I am sitting around.

I have mixed feelings about using my phone camera.  For the first leg of my trip, I had a tripod that I was using to take pictures, but with my phone, it already has a dashboard mount.  That means I can just hit the button every once and a while to snap a photo.

Anyway, I still have a camera to use, but I don't think I'll take any more picture with Jaani and I in them... oh well.

So, once arriving in Wall, I still had some sunlight to take advantage of.  I didn't realize how much earlier the sky gets black in the mountains.  Here on the plains, I feel like I get an extra couple hours of sunlight.  Anyway, I decided to walk over to the giant dinosaur. I have seen it several time from the road, but I wanted to stand next to it.  So, Jaani and I walked over there from the motel room, and looked around for a while before I realized how hungry I was.  I guess when you drive all day...  anyway, I left Jaani in the room while I went over to Wall Drug to take a peek and got something to eat.  I might go back over there again, but I am feeling pretty tired.  I might just lay down and go to bed then start going early in the morning.

I might start before the sun... that way I can make some progress before it starts to really heat up outside...

I guess tomorrow will come soon enough.


A quick update this morning.  I did a lot of driving yesterday, and I made it to Bozeman Montana.  Although, as was meant to be... because I was on a trip where one of my main focuses was to take a ton of pictures... I dropped my camera.

It was crazy... on the Hotel room, I was going to take a picture and say goodnight, and it slipped out of my hand. It landed on the lens, and now it gets a lens error.  I guess the good news is that I purchased accidental damage insurance, but the bad part is I lost my super awesome camera.

I'll post a picture later, but it's a little bit of a bummer to loose the camera.  Hopefully, SquareTrade will make the warranty claims process really easy.



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I think it's Day 2? I'm calling it two.

So, It's day two of my journey... or lack there of.  I've traveled 119.8 miles, and I'm right back where I started.  Today I (and by I... I mean Anthony...) changed my break pads, and then I got an oil change.  I stopped by Eric's storage unit to leave his key there and drop something off... I also went to my storage unit to leave a couple things there and to pick up a couple little items that I put away by mistake.

After all that, I tried to go to the Mac and Jack Brewery, but they had closed 20 minutes early today, so I just missed them.  So, because it's just next door, I went over to take Jaani for a last run over at Marymoor Off-Leash dog park (as seen in the photo...).

I did stop by one last time at Jet City earlier in the day for some coffee, and then I was going to meet up with a few guys from work earlier today, but that didn't quite work out... or at least it seems that way.  I will either hear back in the next 20 minutes from someone, or I will start driving (because rush-hour traffic will be over...)

Anyway.  That's all for today.  I don't think I will be going south to Portland anymore.  My timing is just off, and I guess it would be neat to see Wall Drug during the peak season. On that note, my thought is that it would be nice to make it over the mountains today.

The outcome from that will be revealed tomorrow... so, until then.



Monday, August 1, 2011

So, my trip begins with a frantic rush to empty my apartment.  It's down to the wire... I've been cleaning for two and a half days, and in four hours I have my move out inspection.  I am scrubbing everything... If it is off white, rub it a few times with a cloth...

The few remaining signs that I lived in this apartment are gathered near the door.  My car is packed, and my instruments are ready to be taken away for storage.  However, the instruments are too delicate for a storage unit, I am taking those to my friends Anthony and Brandy, who will watch over them while I'm traveling.

I have a half hour left until my move out inspection, and my top-down cleaning process has left me with some dirty floors to clean up.  I scrub and scrub... and then finally 30 some of square feet of floor later, I declare that if it aint clean, then I aint cleaning it.  I toss all of my cleaning supplies into a cardboard box that I have left over, and I cram it into the remaining space left in the car.

The moment of truth is here at last.  I finally open up the door to take out my last bag of trash, and there is the guy coming up the stairs to inspect my apartment.  Perfect timing!  We spent about 20 minutes looking at the apartment and making small talk; in the end, he tells me it will cost me $5 for a small hole that my couch made in the wall.

I'm happy.  All that effort, and now he tells me that the apartment is just how they want it, and the worrying about nightmarish stories people have written about $2,000 move out fees, ridiculous inspections, and all that seem unwarranted.  Who would have known you can't believe everything you read on the Internet...

Anyway, that was yesterday.  Rush rush rush rush rush.  Then, after the whole move out thing, I had a relaxing cup of coffee at Jet City... and now I'm down in Spanaway.  Where I have the above shown view of Mt Rainier, and I don't really have much of a care in the world.

This morning, I washed the car, and then we went to a diner for breakfast... at some point today, I plan on replacing my front breaks; however, for now I have a beer.  Jaani and I have found a cool shady spot to hang out and relax.  Tomorrow I keep moving, so I'll probably write something about that in a bit.

Until then, Later,


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Saturday, July 2, 2011

New Blog theme... with less clutter...

Hi everybody!  No picture today... just pointing out that I trimmed a little of the "fat" on my blog...  I dumped the whole 1990's themed bazillion pictures and ads along the sidebar thing I had before.  I also chose a different color theme (that I'm sure nobody will notice the different)... plus the main page logo moved about 12 pixels to the left... the page is 24 pixels narrower the sidebar is 20 pixels narrower...  and... umm... oh yea, I added these cool social network sharing buttons to all the posts... actually those were always there, but one of the HTML changes I made screwed it up... it also screwed up the mobile site... so.  I fixed it.

Funny how I do stuff like this when I don't have any work...

Actually, every day I get reminded of one of my favorite Primus/Les Claypool quotes: "...No dreads about the working day effort though... funny thing about weekends when you're unemployed... they don't mean so much, 'cept you get to hang out with your workin' friends."

In the grand scheme of things, I really just wanted to add a Google +1 button to my posts.  I have been going around and clicking on +1 every time I like a search result... or a blog post... little +1 buttons are popping up everywhere, and I for one love it.  You see, one problem I always had with the Facebook Share buttons is that I'm not always logged into Facebook.  I'm always logged into my Google account.  That's just the way I roll.

So, anyway...  I guess that's enough rambling for tonight.  I'll write a real post soon.



Monday, June 20, 2011

So long, and thanks for... something

     So, that's it.  Another contract done... another year gone by.  It was a good year though.  I really got a chance to own an operation, and help keep the world going round... so to speak.

    I think one of the biggest lessons I learned about this is to keep an eye on every team that your team depends on.  We had a few sketchy situations that I think I have learned how to spot early, and getting to coordinate moving the lab from one location to another was a really good experience.  Seeing the circus of PMs, GMs, electricians, laborers, movers, technicians, Managers, and then us... the customers all working with and against each other opened my eyes to aspects of large projects like this that I never had exposure to before.

     So now... it could be another blogging season (let's see how long this one lasts shall we?)... I could have a lot to write about... I've been reading some neat books that I bet everyone would love to hear me regurgitate and give my two cents on... or perhaps I'll get around to writing an Android app or two... who knows, if I can sell a million copies of something, I might not need to go back to work :P.

Anyway, for now, I'm going to start going through all my stuff... probably start posting some stuff on craigslist... and then perhaps I'll start packing my stuff into storage or a new home (depending on if I get a new job or not.)

So, more to come.



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Update on the Jaani Basket mounting mechanism...

So, I have a little update on the mounting mechanism for the Jaani basket project.  Because I have waged a war on zip ties (those who I work with would understand this ...  I decided I didn't like the zip tie solution.

Also, that solution was a little too permanently attached.  To remedy the solution, I went down to Home Depot (it made me think of dad...)  and I got 2 U bolts, 6 compression screws, a couple of washers, and my father was kind enough to donate a handful of little L-brackets to my tool set when I left Michigan...  Thanks Dad!

So, the entire thing hold the basket on to the back of the bike pretty well.  I think I will get some of that rubber grippy stuff just to prevent it from sliding and to eliminate a rattling sound that it makes when I ride around, but I think it will make the basket much more practical...

also, wicker baskets are not that aerodynamic, and the entire way home from Renton, I thought the basket was going to rip off of the bike...

So, now I can take it off and put it in my car.

So, that's my latest story, and I'm stickin to it for now.



Sunday, June 12, 2011

There... I Fixed It.

So, after a little bit of work I finalized Jaani's Basket... I guess because I haven't written about this on the blog yet, I might want to explain...  You see, I haven't been riding my bike around much because I don't like leaving Jaani all alone inside on nice sunny day... so, a while ago, I got a trailer for him, but I hated having to set it up and then I had to make turns really wide, so I couldn't ride around town... anyway... the solution was to get a bike rack, and put a basket on it.  However, my old bike (which is a really nice fancy racing bike) does not have a way to mount a bike rack... so, I went looking for a solution, and I found one.

     My friend Paul down at Jet City has a hobby of selling old bikes, and he found an old Sears Roebuck and Co 3 speed cruiser with a bike rack on it.  When I saw it, I knew it was a pretty cool bike.  Also, Debbie had a basket that she was kind enough to let Jaani use.  At first, I just used the rat-trap on the bike rack to hold the basket in place, but I wanted something a little more permanent.  So, I took a stroll down to the Ikea as-is section, and I found a chair seat that was just about the rite size for the basket...  I drilled four holes in it to screw the basket down, and then drilled six more holes to fasten the seat to the back rack.  For now, I'm using Zip ties, but I will eventually move to something that is easier to remove and replace.

Another think that I had to do was make sure that Jaani was properly secured in his basket.  Truth be told, he jumped out once (luckily in a grassy field), and I didn't want to find out if he would try and do it again.  So, I cut the end off of an old leash and screwed that into the board in a way that would prevent Jaani from being able to jump out of the basket... Actually, he can hardly get 1 leg out.  I have a blanket that I put in the basket around the leash.  That way he has a nice area to lay down and relax.

     So, at this point, I only had one more unresolved issue, and that was the fact that the bicycle would not fit in my car.  So, I had to get a bike rack for my car, and now I can transport my bicycle around without a problem.  I was thinking about it, without a van it is hard to transport bicycles, and it is rare that I would want to go somewhere to ride my mountain bike alone... so, I needed a way to transport multiple bikes at the same time... an issue I have actually run into several times... so, I was easily able to come up with several reasons to get a bike rack other than just the new bike.  So, I am now the proud owner of a 3 speed bicycle that I can carry Jaani on and a bike rack to transport it around with.

It's a great thing.  So, there is an update for the time being.  I should start updating more once my break begins, but I guess only time will tell for sure.



Thursday, March 3, 2011

Shared Items from this Week

Minecraft Creator Says 'No Such Thing As A Lost Sale'

Last year we wrote about how Minecraft developer Notch (Markus Persson) had been quite vocal in saying that worrying about piracy was a waste of time, and it was much more important to focus on giving people a reason to buy.  And has he ever.  The game keeps selling like crazy, and we detailed how he was raking in a ton of money, despite not caring if people were using his software for free.

In a short presentation at the Independent Games Summit he elaborated on those positions and again told people to stop worrying about "piracy" and focus on giving people reasons to buy.  He dismissed the standard party line on these issues:

Piracy is not theft. If you steal a car, the original is lost. If you copy a game, there are simply more of them in the world.

There is no such thing as a 'lost sale'... Is a bad review a lost sale? What about a missed ship date?

The "lost sale" point is one we've raised a bunch in the past, but people have a lot of trouble grasping it.  There is no such thing as a lost sale, because a lost sale just means a failure to get people to buy.  And that's a marketing issue, not a legal one.  If a "lost sale" is illegal, then anyone who gives you a coupon to buy their product instead of a competitors is "causing a lost sale."  But that's ridiculous.  And that's the point Notch is making.  There are all sorts of reasons people might not buy from you -- and most of them may be your fault.  So it's your job to convince people to pay for something -- which he's clearly done.  As he notes:

If you just make your game and keep adding to it, the people who copyright infringed would buy it the next week.

Another report of the talk showed he expanded on the "copying isn't theft" concept:

A lot of big companies try to make piracy like theft; I wouldn't steal a car, but I would 'steal' a good design. If I liked another person's apartment, I would try to make mine look like someone else's... but that's not stealing.

And, of course, he's still making money like crazy.  While it doesn't look like he posts historical data any more, he does show a running tally of the past 24 hours, and as of me writing this, he's sold 10,348 copies in the past 24 hours (out of 36,612 registered).  At 15 euros a pop, that's over 150,000 euros in the last day -- for a small indie game.  And these numbers have been going on for months.  It's not even a situation where there was a big boom and then sales dropped off.  It appears that the game just keeps on selling.

But it's impossible to make money because of "piracy" right?

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demotivational posters - RESISTANCE

it’s futile

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demotivational posters - WALL-E

The original minecrafter.

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Escalator Speed FAIL

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Dog Product Slogan FAIL

epic fail photos - Dog Product Slogan FAIL

Dog harness, slogan fail.

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Shared by  ImTheFrizzleFry

I always love the videos created by The Story of Stuff, and I think this video resonates with me even more than most of the other videos.  This one helps explain the results of the Citizen United V. FEC case, which allows corporations to free speech in the same context that actual human beings have  free speech (which I think is a really bad idea).  Watch it! –– COMING MARCH 1, 2011 -- Season Two launches on March 1st with The Story of Citizens United v. FEC and an exploration of the inordinate power that corporations exercise in our democracy.

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Do E-Book Users Need a Bill of Rights? (Librarians Think So)

Shared by  ImTheFrizzleFry

This isn't the first time a company has tried to use DRM to extend the publisher's rights beyond those granted by the constitution, and it will definitely not be the last.  Copyright is only indented to prevent the commercial duplication of material to "promote the sciences and useful arts", but large media production corporations seem to think it's to ensure they make a profit.

Bluray movies can limit playback resolution if you don't use HDCP capable cables (like HDMI), and HDCP capable cables allow a device to restrict playback to certain devices (like block input to your receiver because it will allow 1080p playback though non-HDCP cables, or not allow you to connect your bluray player to your Home Theater PC).

In the 90s Adobe created an ebook format that was only readable by their proprietary tool; they sold public domain books and then did not allow people who bought the book to copy and paste text from the book.

Before the Itunes and the Zune Marketplace, Microsoft had the Microsoft Media Mall; it was an extension of Windows Media Center.  When Microsoft launched the Zune Marketplace, they closed the Media mall and all the DRM verification services.  Anyone who purchased content from the Microsoft Media mall was unable to burn CDs of the content they purchased, nor could they restore their content if they purchased a new computer.  Those customers lost the content they purchased when they purchased a new computer.

DRM is inherently evil and very bad for the customers.  Avoid purchasing DRM protected content at all costs.  Think about it; what will all the people who purchased DRM protected content from Itunes do when Itunes closes?  (It will happen - maybe not for 20 or 30 years, but it will happen eventually.)

The news that the publisher HarperCollins would be capping the number of times a library could lend a digital copy of a book to 26 has raised concerns - yet again - about the ramifications of our rush to embrace e-books.   As one librarian, John Atzberger writes on his blog, the new model from HarperCollins "eliminates almost all the major advantages of the item's being digital, without restoring the permanence, durability, vendor-independence, technology-neutrality, portability, transferability, and ownership associated with the physical version."

Libraries may be on the front-lines of this latest battle, one that makes it clear that issues like DRM and lending policies can have troubling repercussions.  Although the HarperCollins announcement impacts just lending through libraries, librarians are quick to point out that it isn't simply their institutions that will suffer.

To that end, librarians have started issuing statements, posting an "e-book users bill of rights" to their blogs.  The statement, posted in full below, addresses "the basic freedoms that should be granted to all e-book users."


The Bill of Rights insists that users have access to their e-books - unrestrained by proprietary platforms - and can retain, archive, annotate, share, and resell their e-books.  Many of those actions are forbidden if not restricted by e-books.

Should Libraries Avoid DRM Content?

The librarians' statement challenges the use of Digital Rights Management (DRM) which makes possessing an e-book a lot less like ownership and a lot more like licensing or subscription.  As author Cory Doctorow notes in his story on the HarperCollins e-book lending policy, DRM media is "unsafe at any speed."

I mean it. When HarperCollins backs down and says, "Oh, no, sorry, we didn't mean it, you can have unlimited ebook checkouts," the libraries' answers should be "Not good enough. We want DRM-free or nothing." Stop buying DRM ebooks. Do you think that if you buy twice, or three times, or ten times as many crippled books that you'll get morenegotiating leverage with which to overcome abusive crap like this? Do you think that if more of your patrons come to rely on you for ebooks for their devices, that DRM vendors won't notice that your relevance is tied to their product and tighten the screws?

HarperCollins isn't the first time that access to e-books have been retracted.  Amazon set off an uproar several years ago when it summarily deleted Kindle users' copies of George Orwell books.

Is DRM the price we pay to move to digital content?  Is it a necessary move in order to convince publishers that their products are (relatively) safe from piracy?  Or is this price too high, closing down access to information, art, and literature?

The E-Book User's Bill of Rights

Below is the text of the E-Book User's Bill of Rights:

Every eBook user should have the following rights:

  • the right to use eBooks under guidelines that favor access over proprietary limitations
  • the right to access eBooks on any technological platform, including the hardware and software the user chooses
  • the right to annotate, quote passages, print, and share eBook content within the spirit of fair use and copyright
  • the right of the first-sale doctrine extended to digital content, allowing the eBook owner the right to retain, archive, share, and re-sell purchased eBooks

I believe in the free market of information and ideas.

I believe that authors, writers, and publishers can flourish when their works are readily available on the widest range of media. I believe that authors, writers, and publishers can thrive when readers are given the maximum amount of freedom to access, annotate, and share with other readers, helping this content find new audiences and markets. I believe that eBook purchasers should enjoy the rights of the first-sale doctrine because eBooks are part of the greater cultural cornerstone of literacy, education, and information access.

Digital Rights Management (DRM), like a tariff, acts as a mechanism to inhibit this free exchange of ideas, literature, and information. Likewise, the current licensing arrangements mean that readers never possess ultimate control over their own personal reading material. These are not acceptable conditions for eBooks.

I am a reader. As a customer, I am entitled to be treated with respect and not as a potential criminal. As a consumer, I am entitled to make my own decisions about the eBooks that I buy or borrow.

I am concerned about the future of access to literature and information in eBooks.  I ask readers, authors, publishers, retailers, librarians, software developers, and device manufacturers to support these eBook users' rights.

These rights are yours.  Now it is your turn to take a stand.  To help spread the word, copy this entire post, add your own comments, remix it, and distribute it to others.  Blog it, Tweet it (#ebookrights), Facebook it, email it, and post it on a telephone pole.


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Lions, Tigers, and…

4koma comic strip - Lions, Tigers, and...

Comic by: Mabbus

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M thru F: This Is Just Tacky, Guys

epic fail photos - M thru F: This Is Just Tacky, Guys

Clocking in your job LOLs and work FAILs every M Thru F


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Learn From My Fail: Don’t Worry, She’s Just Going to Turn You On and Then Off

epic fail photos - Learn From My Fail: Don't Worry, She's Just Going to Turn You On and Then Off

Take my word for it and Learn From My Fail!


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demotivational posters - Dead End

in two words

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Submitting 1 LOL

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Anthropomorphized Animal of the Day

Anthropomorphized Animal of the Day

Anthropomorphized Animal of the Day: Pure joy.

[reddit / mattchew03.]

Tagged: Anthropomorphized Animal, Eff Yeah Flowers, Illustrated Happiness

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Burning Chrome

Shared by  ImTheFrizzleFry

Ever sense Google sent me a CR-48 Chrome OS Notebook, I have been gradually starting to feel the same way.  I find it harder and harder to put up with other web browsers like IE and Firefox (but I still have a special place in my heart for opera...), and I have liked Google Docs Spreadsheets better than excel or open office spreadsheet for a few years not too.

    I have had issues with Google Docs sense they removed Google Gears support for offline editing (and never implemented HTML5 offline support); however, I think it's much better to have one place where I can store files and edit documents through a browser, especially because I am a Linux user at home and a Windows user at work.  Chrome is the way to go.

“A good player goes where the puck is. A great player goes where the puck is going to be”—The Great One

Google made a few interesting announcements this week. First, Google Docs Viewer support for a sheaf of new document types, including Excel, Powerpoint, Photoshop and PostScript. Second, Chrome’s new ability to run background apps that run seamlessly and invisibly behind the browser. Third, they released Google Cloud Connect, which lets Windows users sync Office documents to Google Docs. They also announced the Android 3.0 SDK – but despite the ongoing tablet hysteria, in the long run, the first three are more important.

Little by little, iteration by iteration, the Chrome browser is quietly morphing into a full-fledged multitasking operating system in its own right. Oh, sure, technically it’s actually running on another OS, but you increasingly never need to launch anything else. View and edit documents in Google Docs, watch and listen to HTML5 video and audio, communicate via Gmail and its Google Voice plugin, use Google Docs as a file system – and the line between “Chrome OS” and “Chrome on any other OS” suddenly grows very fine.

Google’s long-term strategy seems to be to supplant Microsoft by first building the best browser, then making it easy to move your files to Google Docs … and finally, slowly but inexorably, making Windows and Office irrelevant. Obviously no one will abandon Microsoft products wholesale anytime soon; but as cloud computing grows more ubiquitous, Google steadily iterates feature after feature, and people grow accustomed to working in the browser, then one day, maybe only a couple of years from now, a whole lot of people – and businesses – will begin to think to themselves “Hey, we haven’t actually needed Windows or Office in months. Why do we even have them at all?”

The “network computer” dumb-terminal approach has failed many times before … but so did Six Degrees,, Friendster, and (eventually) MySpace, before Facebook came along. The original iMac was roundly criticized because it didn’t have a floppy drive, criticism that now sounds hilariously stupid. We might look back at the first Chrome OS notebook in much the same way. Of course, Chrome can’t actually compete with Windows until always-on broadband Internet access reaches the same level of reliability and ubiquity as electricity itself; but that’s only a matter of time. In the early days of electricity, every factory had its own power plant, and its managers would have been appalled by the notion of outsourcing that vital engine – but soon enough those inefficient installations were replaced by today’s electrical grid. Computing power is the new electricity, and cloud computing is the new grid.

Unlike most companies, when Google says “cloud”, they mean it. Compare Amazon’s cloud-computing service to Google’s. With the former, you essentially call up and configure one or more servers with the OS and specifications of your choice; but with Google’s App Engine, you don’t know anything about its hardware or operating system, because that no longer matters. It just runs the code you give it, and you don’t much care how. Similarly, Chrome is being built for a future where the ambient, omnipresent wireless Internet connects  everything from clothes to computers to cars (which explains how their self-driving cars fits into their strategy) and it doesn’t much matter what OS any given device is running.

I’ve criticized Google pretty harshly of late, but credit where it’s due: they still think bigger and further than anyone else. The problem is that all these brilliant strategies are predicated on their continued dominance of the search space, whose users are forever just a whim away from jumping ship to an alternative, and they’ve taken their eye off that ball of late. But at least they’ve finally started cracking down on search spam. It’s a start. Maybe they haven’t grown too bureaucratic and sclerotic to make the Chrome future happen after all.


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Choose Your Own Software Update Adventure [Image]

Depending on which platform you use, the experience of downloading and installing updates to your OS can vary. Which one are you? [Sticky Comics] More »

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Snow Reporting FAIL

epic fail photos - Snow Reporting FAIL gif


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