aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Ever attend a gay marriage ceremony?
Think you’d remember if you did?
Andrew Sullivan’s ”Whopper of the Week:”
“Q: Let me change gears here for a moment, if you don’t mind. I’m curious if you, Governor Schwarzenegger or private citizen Arnold Schwarzenegger, if you’ve have ever attended a gay marriage or a gay commitment ceremony—a gay or lesbian marriage or commitment ceremony?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: I can’t remember.”
Authors sue Google
They say the program to create searchable digital copies of the contents of several university libraries violates copyright. Google says it’s Fair Use. I’ve read good arguments against Google’s stand (links will come as I find them), but I’m squarely on Google’s side.
Let’s be clear: Google doesn’t show even a single page to users who find copyrighted books through this program (unless the copyright holder gives us permission to show more). At most we show only a brief snippet of text where their search term appears, along with basic bibliographic information and several links to online booksellers and libraries.
Make money giving away your books
It’s not that I have no sympathy for authors; it’s just that I see the suit against Google as not in their interest.
[My transcription beginning @ 51:15] The important thing for me isn’t whether or not I lose some sales. The important thing for me is whether I gain more sales than I’ve lost… The thing that’s important to me isn’t to get 100% of a very small pie, it’s to make sure that the piece of pie that I get is as large as possible.
And so I think that by giving books away I make a much larger pie. I gave away half a million copies of my first novel through my website and God knows how many more copies have been given away through other people’s websites. It’s just gone into its fifth printing!…
You can think about this as dramatically lowering my cost of customer acquisition while simultaneously lowering my per customer revenue. So I was able to acquire 500,000 customers for free, but most of them never bought the book, so the other ones are paying for the free ride…
I think that’s pretty typical of any kind of entertainment economics, that you have, you know, with music. How many people listen to a song on the radio without buying the CD?
The emphasis is mine. Originally posted verbatim here on July 13.
Book is (again)
[My transcription beginning @ 43:20] Book is what you do when you’re reading. Book is not a literary form, because obviously we have literary forms that we’ve called books that weren’t published in book form starting with the Bible… That book was a scroll. You know, it wasn’t in book form at all. And then we have books like Charles Dickens books which were in fact published in newspapers as serials.
So clearly it’s not a literary form and it’s not a physical object, it’s a practice. It’s the thing that you do when you are reading things that are book-like… Book is not a thing, it’s a verb, it’s not a noun. So I think that when you consider that more people read more words off of more screens every day, and fewer people read fewer words off of fewer pages every day, then we have to conclude that what people are doing with screens is book.
GMA just had a report on a possible Schwarzenegger Beatty matchup in California. I cant find anything to link to, except of course DraftWarren.com (where the “a better actor and a better governor” tagline has been replaced by the more serious “a real progressive candidate for California governor"). So here’s another oldie but goodie…
Michael Moore on the Today Show in January:
Where’s our Arnold? Why aren’t we running our Arnold? Why do we continue to run these wonks? The American people--see the Republicans, as much as they berate Hollywood, actually they love Hollywood. In fact, they know that Americans love Hollywood, too, and that’s why Republicans run people from Hollywood. Reagan, Arnold, Gopher from “The Love Boat.” He was in Congress...Sonny Bono...Fred Thompson. They know that Americans love Hollywood. That’s why they run people from Hollywood. And--and when the Democrats run stars: Bill Clinton, the rock star; John Kennedy, the movie star, they win. And when they run wonks, they lose. And they’ve got to start thinking about the people who connect to the average American out there, and who are really--you know, people who move the American public in--in a very visceral way...when we start running people that are beloved by the American public, we’re going to win.
I have an impression of Beatty as serious, smart and politically savvy. I’d like to see that borne out.
Where’s the Mac versions?
Google’s products are great, but as Scott Rosenberg asked a few weeks back, what about the Mac?
For some reason, each time Google releases any software that is not browser-based—whether it’s Google Desktop, or Picasa, or the new Google Talk—it has offered only a Windows version of the product. No Mac versions, no Linux versions.
Maybe Google feels that the Mac already offers a rich software environment for geeks (with good desktop search already built into the latest OSX) and Linux isn’t a big enough desktop market. Maybe they just target Windows because, to paraphrase the old bank-robber line, “that’s where the users are.” Or maybe they’re targeting Windows users precisely because they want to woo Microsoft addicts on their own turf.
No doubt, it would take a lot of extra work to release editions of Google software for non-Windows platforms. Cross-platform development is enormously difficult: that’s a fact of software life. (Browser-based software is so attractive because you don’t have to worry about writing different versions for different operating systems; the browser makers have already done that heavy lifting for you.) I always understood this intellectually, but now, after several years of following the work over at OSAF for my book, I feel it in my bones.
But Google has assembled a vast reserve of computer-science horsepower. It is, if Rivlin’s story is to be believed, sucking Silicon Valley’s software brains dry. Surely, with all that coding prowess, Google could set aside some cycles to offer non-Windows users equal access to the cool toys it is providing. If the Googleplexniks are serious about that phrase “the world’s information,” they need to look beyond the realm of Windows. The world doesn’t stop where the “Start” menu ends.