Dec 11, 2012
commented on Now Closed
You've got: "PAU HANA on Capitol Hill: In that weird space where nothing lasts behind Skelly and the Bean."
Skelly and the Bean is also closing.
Jun 20, 2012
commented on Star Trek Characters In Search of an Author
I had a very different experience with this book. It played the TV riffs with accuracy but no real feeling, as if it was working from a Wikipedia page on Star Trek cliches. Scalzi is breezy but never really funny; for example, the recurring joke about the science lab characters disappearing never gets absurd enough to work.
And maybe the metafictional twists are supposed to protect him from this criticism, but there's nothing to the characters. They all speak with the same cadences, they have wisps of backgrounds, they appear and disappear as the plot demands. I read the book a week ago, and I couldn't tell you anything about them.
The writing is better in the codas, but the tonal shift is jarring, and he hasn't built up enough emotional collateral to borrow against.
"Redshirts" has a lot in common with Ryan Boudinot's "Blueprints of the Afterlife," which I'd recommend instead.
Apr 24, 2012
commented on Tor E-Books Go DRM-Free
Charlie - they do. Both the Amazon and Barnes & Noble sites have e-book lending programs. They are subject to significant publisher restrictions.
Jan 13, 2012
commented on The Mathematical Case Against Nancy Pearl's New Amazon Line
Paul, ebooks cost less to make. They cost very little to duplicate, cost almost nothing to distribute, cost fractional pennies to warehouse. Amazon sells ebooks for less because it can make money for less.
The publishers who've forced ebook prices above hardcover prices, and the bookstores who have benefited by this artificial price inflation, are happy because it protects their business model. But it is not competitive for ebooks to cost more than physical books.
If physical books win out, they will win out because their advantages (freely transferable, low power requirements, look & feel) justify the difference in price. Arguing that physical books should cost what ebooks cost is anticompetitive BS of the same sort you're complaining about.
Aug 22, 2011
commented on Why the Media Is Ignoring Lyndon LaRouche
Another fun fact about LaRouche: he thinks that all proofs of the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra except Gauss' famous one are fraudulent, and he encourages his cult members to get in a room and study it until they can replicate it. He's convinced that there's a conspiracy to spread Newtonian lies about mathematics, and that the Cauchy-Argand proof is the root of this evil.
Well, that's a fun fact if you're interested in mathematics, I suppose.
May 25, 2011
commented on What She Said
When the board overseeing the finances of the theater screws up and causes a season to be canceled, it's important to take the opportunity to blame some newly arrived out-of-towner for her lack of commitment.
Dec 22, 2009
commented on Will Amazon Buy Netflix?
#2: Amazon no longer operates video rental service in the UK; they sold it.
The independent video store is, of course, dying, because consumers are opting for digital delivery, just as they did with music. It's Netflix's on-demand service (nothing spectacular technically, but well-integrated into multiple players) that would be the most valuable acquisition for Amazon. There's almost no growth in the discs-in-the-mail business.
It's hard to see how this would be considered monopolistic, though. Netflix has competitors in the physical and in the digital realm, and occupies a strong-but-not-commanding presence in both.