Jaynes Your Way

Here are my thoughts about films, life, and what not. If you don't like them I'll give your money back.

What happens. . .

30 October, 2009


Order in the next 10 mins and get two digital copies free

28 October, 2009

Digital books, or not real to some, are talked about a lot with the proliferation, well supposed abundance, of ereaders, but like many people bemoan, print will never really die. As much as I like convenience of having all my literature with me there is something even more satisfying with a well organized bookshelf. It just screams look at me I can read, and well. Arguing with a guest at a dinner party? Make sure it is in front of your bookshelf so your knowledge can physically intimidate him, unless you don't have a full bookshelf, in which case you should keep your mouth shut.

With the Kindle I have purchase a few books, but as previous posts state I have a lot of pdfs from school and novels from manybooks.net. So amazon has made a little more money off me, but most of my content is derived from elsewhere.

They are really missing a great product collaboration. I would like to see an option when you buy a hardback a digital copy is bundled with it. The Times and WSJ have been commenting on how digital copies are already being pirated. Did you really gave to investigate that? Well yea, but, and you can argue with me on this, I really think that it is a form of sharing. I'm forever loaning my books to people, which is why I tend to still purchase physical copies. Sharing digital copies hasn't really been embraced with any meaningful effort.

Amazon, I still want to buy the physical copy, but want access on my Kindle too. And no, I will not purchase each. Is that too much to ask?

Ebooks are not like CDs because you can't rip a book. (Well you can, and I have, but it is time consuming. Well, no that isn't true either. 20 mins tops, but you have to cut the spine) Why can't I just purchase a Hardback at full price and get the digital copy for free? DVDs have half heartedly embraced this business model. Disney has included a digital copy with a purchase of a slightly more expensive DVD set. Or purchase a paperback with a two dollar price hike that covers the digital copy? Of course digital copies will still make it on to the nets, but this way you keep print relevant and profitable.

What the. . .

27 October, 2009


How much?!?

I have an idea for a project that involves a lot of Legos. Since I no longer own any of mine, I thought it would be fairly easy to order them in bulk because I only need white/black/grey bricks. Luckily, Lego sells them on their website so you don't have to buy a bunch of sets and plunder them. You can literally pick which block you need out of the 4,000 or so different sizes, shapes, and colors. Lego's Pick a Brick site would be any grown kid's dream. When I first got on the site my imagination immediately began running wild with the possibility of creating anything I wanted. Lego desk? I guess that would make writing hard, but still.

I started clicking away, adding what I needed to my cyber-cart, but once I had all my blocks I adjusted the quantity, which is when things got crazy.

I didn't think much of it when one 2X4 brick cost 26 cents, until I needed five thousand of them--$1,300. No discount for ordering that many? No sliding scale for the more I purchase? Buy one get one free? No by the pound option? Times are tough, Lego.

I didn't even have the heart to calculate shipping.

My inner child officially died last night. Thanks Lego.

I have two options. Search through ebay auctions and get used Legos or (this was Carla's idea) start babysitting and pinch a few blocks every time I am there.


26 October, 2009

I had been toying with the idea of not allowing comments, Facebook has devalued the use of comments and "likes," but I'm going to give them a shot so it doesn't seem like I am just yelling at you.

Kindle DX issue #1

25 October, 2009

I was in that first wave of people to get a Kindle DX. My main reason for hoppin' on the digital reader bandwagon was the ability to display pdfs. Professors, at least at Clemson and NYU,  like to be nice and give students select chapters and readings in pdf format so they don't have to purchase the entire book, but this can quickly get out of hand, making you print several hundred pages a week.

Environmental debates aside ,this is just too much paper to keep track with over the course of the semester. Packets are usually too large to staple and you can't just stack them on your desk. Even though I would try and print double sided it would just take up too much space in my backpack (where they would more than likely be bent). If we are constantly referencing old material I can't keep bringing it back to class along with all the new hundreds of pages. . . if only there was some magical device that could display all these and wasn't cumbersome like a laptop.

The Kindle DX's only selling point for me was being able to consolidate all my pdfs into one very easy to carry device. I have well over 200 pdfs on my DX and they hardly take up any room. I use Acrobat professional to scale them and shrink the file size, which is relatively easy. Adding meta-data also helps me find things quicker, and they are always with me! Literally thousands of pages of reading from various graduate and undergraduate courses at my fingertips! ( I also have all seven Harry Potters, which is reason enough. . . and Braudy and Cohen for those of you that had to lug that around)

Gushing over.

Amazon has seen fit to make pdf viewing a little difficult especially for those who aren't tech savvy or have the time, but trust me, it's still worth getting the DX. You've probably heard about the inability to add notes, but this is the least of my worries. It comes down to navigation. This goes for the azw files as well.

It would be great to
  • Have keyboard shortcuts to goto next bookmark
  • Have keyboard shortcuts to goto page _____
  • Be able to highlight words in pdf and get dictionary definitions
  • Support hyperlinks built into pdfs (Would do wonders for table of contents)
  • Skip through pages very quickly, or a few at a time, similar to flipping through a book 
I get some of these draw backs from Amazon's perspective. I've basically just listed features that would make my pdfs more like Kindle Books, but Amazon would see no revenue from these features. I'm basically turning my personal content into something Amazon would rather me buy from them.

Hopefully software updates will start coming up since the Kindle has competition now in the Nook, Sony Reader, and all the other soon to come out ereaders. 

Some numbers for this semester:

# of pdf handouts from class: 42 . . . haven't added pages up, but it is probably depressing
# of full length electronic books: 8 or 3,072 pages of text
# personal research articles: 28 or 487 pages of text

And they are always with me! They just need to be more convenient to use to be truly revolutionary! More issues/findings to follow


Thank you for not. . .

16 October, 2009


Opening the floodgates

15 October, 2009

Since "Subway Squeeze" and the gaming class I have been feeling really creative, or maybe I am just tired of reading hundreds of pages of books on other books. Anyways, I busted out the ole charcoal and sketching pencils. While it probably won't amount to more than doodling I've started sketching again, but I have my eye on some digital projects and, maybe, even some installations pieces. (MFA anyone?)

I am going to start post more than just movies, so this blog could get kind of random, but I'd rather use this as an outlet than Facebook or Twitter. I am interested in search engine art. If you use Google, or one of the other search engines out there (I hear there are some. . .) you will notice that it tries to predict what you will type in based on what text is already entered. It does this based on an algorithm that has many factors, one being popularity of the search. So if you type in "I wish," Google will try and predict what you will wish for, which is where the fun comes in.

John Frazer's Motto

14 October, 2009

"I see computer not as an army of tedious clerks who will thwart all creativity with their demands for precise information, but as slaves of infinite power and patience."

#10 Must we live for the dead?

11 October, 2009

Queen Christina (1933)

In the midst of having four guest stay with us this weekend, I somehow managed to find time to watch the film Queen Christina (1933).

A Pre-code film and not too far removed from the first sound film, Queen Christina is surprisingly technical, at least with camera movement and tracking shots. Pretty standard plot by today's standards, but something original in its day. Queen Christina takes the thrown at a very young age (man is she is a cute kid), but grows up to be a thinking ladies Queen, which doesn't sit too well with her Swedish Subjects. I don't know much about Swedes, but I imagine they don't like enlightened women, and are more than likely grumpy from living in such a frozen country.

Anyways, Christina has an ambiguous sexual appearance. . . read she didn't have long flowing hair and sometimes wears pants. Scandalous at the time. Anyways I won't give away a lot of the plot because it is an enjoyable narrative, though get ready to be kicked in the end. Bah.

Christina is confused for a male by the ambassador from Spain. Of course he falls in love with her when her true sexuality is discovers, but he still doesn't know that she is the Queen. The Queen he is sent to with a proposal from the King of Spain. See the problem.

Despite the great narrative flow, the real draw to this film is Gretta Garbo whose commanding performance is shown through her command of the peasants. I do believe she could stop a mob with her cold gaze. I wouldn't want to cross her. The script and the sharp writing makes me sad for the lost art of witty banter. There is an actual sword fight in the film, but words do most of the fighting.

Ultimately the film is about Happiness. Christina is in search of a happiness she has never know, though as Royalty she has always had whatever she wants. What are you willing to give up to be happy?

(Getting back into the swing of things. More to follow)