Archive for April, 2012

I just might

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

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A boy and his bug

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

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Sundown over Santa Cruz

Friday, April 20th, 2012

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Beach day #1, 2012

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Last day of Spring Break = first day of Summer, right?

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Somebody that I used to parody

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

First, watch the original (if you’re not sick of it yet):

Then watch this amazing cover:

And then watch the parody of the amazing cover:

The man was a prophet

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Image of the projected Tupac Shukar from the 2012 Coachella, superimposed with text saying, 'Holographic Tupac says: I don't have no fear of death. My only fear is coming back reincarnated. Also can any of you explain this twitter thing to me?

This technology is amazing, but I’m not sure most dead celebrities would want to be brought back to life this way.

Welcome to Lego City

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Sammy holding up a Lego creation (Sophie in background); Sunnyvale, CA, Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Photo of Sammy and Sophie's Lego creations; Sunnyvale, CA, Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another photo of Sammy with Lego; Sunnyvale, CA, Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Both Sophie and Sammy love building. The fun begins after the sets are broken up and they start getting creative.

I have to give Lego credit: The new “Friends” set aimed at girls has worked well for my daughter. She loves the fiddly pink accessories.

Draw Something was fun until I mastered it

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Draw Something screenshot of Blondie's Parallel Lines album

Draw Something screenshot of Catwoman

Draw Something screenshot of YouTube

Actually, though, the truth is I’m terrible at drawing in Draw Something.

And the real reason I’m boycotting Draw Something is both because I dislike Zynga’s business practices and I found the CEO’s behavior after his company OMGPop’s acquisition by Zynga to be reprehensible.

While it was fun to play, I’m trying to eliminate some of my life’s time wasters, so I’ll use the above as my excuse for quitting Draw Something… at the top of my game.

(If you want to see some genuinely good Draw Something drawings, check out Rachel Fox’s gallery.)

White people can’t eat spicy food?

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

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At a Korean restaurant in Santa Clara with Matt and Marli, Matt pointed this out on the menu. We ordered one normal and two spicy dishes, and they were delicious, but all three were not spicy. Perhaps they didn’t believe us? It reminds me of this SNL skit with Christian Slater.

Paper books vs. e-books: I still can’t decide

Friday, April 6th, 2012

I’m late to e-readers compared to some of my friends, but over the last couple of years I’ve been slowly increasing the quantity of books that I’ve read electronically. However, I’m nowhere near giving up on paper books.

The 2010 data from the Association of American Publishers shows that we’re still far from the tipping point. Despite impressive growth in e-book sales, the data shows that paper book sales aren’t yet decreasing, and that as of 2010 e-books hold a 7% share of total sales and a 5% share of units sold. It’s clear to me paper books are still going to be produced and sold for many years. However, in twenty years, I suspect paper books will no longer hold the majority of the market.

2010 data from American Association of Publishers for paper sales vs ebooks (graph by Stephen Mack)(click to enlarge)

It’s clear that e-books are growing fast; the same AAP data shows that e-book growth is over 1,000% a year, and a Harris poll released in September 2011 showed that e-reader ownership increased from 8% to 15% in one year. (Smart phone growth is helping a lot with that.)

Here’s my dilemma.

Paper Books Digital Books
Advantages Advantages
  1. I’m used to this format
  2. You can read them in the bath
  3. Loan them to a friend or sell when done
  4. Can buy ‘em cheap at used bookstores
  5. Easier on my eyes
  6. Much easier to be given as a gift
  7. That new book smell
  1. Can read them anywhere, as long as I have my phone with me
  2. Ability to carry dozens/hundreds of books in my pocket
  3. Instant gratification when buying a new book
  4. Always remembers my place
  5. Ability to search
  6. Easy definitions of unfamiliar words
  7. On smart phone, built-in nightlight for reading in darkness
  8. Many free titles that are in the public domain
  9. Can enlarge the font if my eyes are tired
Drawbacks Drawbacks
  1. I lose them sometimes
  2. Gotta have bookshelves to store ‘em
  3. Heavy when moving, adds to “stuff”
  4. They came from trees; have to be printed & shipped, using energy & fuel
  1. More expensive than paperbacks typically (but often cheaper than hardbacks)
  2. Repulsive licensing arrangements
  3. Restrictive DRM
  4. Unclear if I will lose access to purchased works in the future or not (what if Amazon or Apple go out of business?)
  5. Format wars
  6. Remote editing or removal from the mothership (e.g., the Orwellian nightmare)
  7. Often no universal page number reference
  8. Uses up my battery
  9. Can’t read during on a plane during take-off and landing

I’ve never had a paper book crash on me and require me to reboot my brain to continue reading. So there’s that.

For now, I’ll continue to experiment with both, and usually pick whatever format is cheapest for the titles I want to read.

Blogging again? Maybe.

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Hi.

It’s been a while.

I might try this blogging thing more regularly again.

A lot of big changes in the past half year or so that I haven’t talked about at all, and haven’t felt right talking about.

And I still don’t feel right talking about them.

Not yet.

Not today.

Soon, maybe.

Anyway, um… Sorry to be so quiet. Please drop me a line (estephen@zeigen.com), please say hi.