Archive | Books RSS for this section

Naked Conversations / TechCrunch Party

I’ll be at the Naked Conversations Party tonight (hosted by Michael Arrington at his house). It should be a blast!

Shel and Robert really did a great job on the book. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable when it comes to blogging, so I was surprised to find so many examples in the book that were new to me. And the examples I was familiar with were given strong, in-depth treatment, showing me the rest of the story. I finished it last night, so I plan to put together a review this weekend.

At home, I haven’t had a lot of time to sit down, so I read half of the hardcover and had Microsoft Mary read the other half to me (using the Digital Edition). I used my laptop (booted to XP) and Adobe’s PDF Reader (with DRM) [Menu->View->Read Out Loud or CTRL-SHIFT-B]. Microsoft Mary is from the Microsoft Speech SDK. There were a few quirks (Read Out Loud doesn’t skip over urls in the footnotes and it mispronounces ‘Scoble’), but it was a pretty positive experience for my first time using text to speech so extensively.

Bruce Schneier is reading “How to Survive a Robot Uprising”

At least two of my coworkers own this book already. It’s a funny look at the techniques used in hundreds of scifi movies. Good stuff. That’s not why I’m posting about it, though. I skimmed Bruce’s comment section and found a reference to the Daleks in Doctor Who. No context, no explanation. Very few people(in the US) are going to get it – which makes the comment even more funny to me.

“Run up a flight of stairs. Oh, hang on…”

I’ll leave it to Wikipedia to fill you in:

Due to their gliding motion Daleks were notoriously unable to tackle stairs, which made them easy to overcome under the right circumstances. An oft-copied cartoon from Punch pictured a group of Daleks at the foot of a flight of stairs with the caption, “This certainly buggers our plan to conquer the Universe”. In a scene from the serial Destiny of the Daleks, the Doctor and companions escape from Dalek pursuers by climbing into a ceiling duct. The Doctor (Tom Baker) calls down, “If you’re supposed to be the superior race of the universe, why don’t you try climbing after us? Bye bye!” The Daleks generally make up for their lack of mobility with overwhelming firepower. A joke around science fiction conventions went, “Real Daleks don’t climb stairs; they level the building.”

In The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964) a Dalek emerges from the waters of the River Thames, indicating that they are amphibious to a degree. Remembrance of the Daleks (1988) showed that they can hover using a sort of limited antigravity — first implied in earlier serials such as The Chase (1965) and Revelation of the Daleks (1985) — but their awkward forms still limit their mobility in tight quarters. Despite this, the Daleks’ supposed inability to climb stairs is still frequently referred to for humorous effect by journalists covering the series.

The 2005 series episodes Dalek and The Parting of the Ways featured Daleks hovering and flying, the latter also showing them flying through the vacuum of space. In the Dalek episode, the Dalek said “Elevate” before hovering, in the same way it would say “Exterminate” before exterminating.

Naked Conversations – available now in Redwood City, CA

I’ve been pestering the brick and mortar book stores around town, asking for Shel Israel’s and Robert Scoble’s book, Naked Conversations — I’m not a patient man and I don’t want to wait until the 26th for my pre-ordered Amazon copy to arrive. Today, I stopped at the Barnes and Noble in Redwood City, CA and found out they had several copies waiting to be displayed. Snagged one.

If you are also looking for a copy tonight or tomorrow, head over there.

I’m looking forward to really digging in. One really nice ‘feature’ of this book is the online appendix – a clickable list of sites that were mentioned in the book, organized by chapter. Does anyone have an xml reading list for it?

[FYI, I started reading it as a digital e-book(pdf drm) on my Palm TX. It was slow going because the official Adobe Reader for Palm takes a few seconds to go back a page and it won’t do wide-screen mode – 2 issues that really hamper comfortable reading. There is a freeware PalmOS PDF reader-PalmPDF- which is vastly superior to the official app, but it can’t open DRM files.]

Adobe Acrobat Reader for the Palm OS – DRM

OK, so my digital download at Amazon finally went through.  Then, I had to figure out how to get the pdf processed, my palm ‘authorized’, and how to get the file transferred during hotsync.  This was not user friendly.  I almost gave up before I figured out how the process is supposed to work.

Here’s how it works:

  • Download and install Adobe Reader 7.0.5 (you must use the latest version of Reader)
  • Download and install Adobe Reader for PalmOS (or Pocket PC or whatever)
  • Start Adobe Reader for PalmOS and choose to authorize your PDA – a hotsync will be required.
  • Download your PDF.
  • Run Adobe Reader 7.0.5(it should open automatically during the download).
  • Reader 7 will unlock the document for your computer.
  • In Reader 7, choose send to mobile device.
  • Reader for PalmOS will start and will install the document on your PDA.

Now, if only the PalmOS version of Reader would use the full screen 480 x 320 screen, not just 320 x 320.  Ugh.

How many DAYS does it take to receive a DIGITAL E-BOOK from Amazon?

I purchased an ebook last night(pdf) from Amazon. Here I am 24 hours later and the ebook is still not ready for download. My order info says “Open Order — Being Processed”. I used their click-to-call help service twice today to find out why I should have to wait ANY amount of time for a digital download. So far, no luck.