May 20, 2011

The Full Oxford Dictionary in Nine and a Half Millimetres


Its now possible. Think, less than 10 years ago, the full 20 book Oxford dictionary would take up nearly 1 metre on your shelf, now we have the internet, our mobiles, tablets, and [pause here for effect] eBook readers.

To start, let me tell you the amusing story about how I came to write this post. It was Thursday morning in an ICT lesson, and the issue on discussion was eBooks. The homework was to work together in pairs and blog about an assigned topic, such as publishers or libraries. As my teacher was going around the class, assigning the topics and pairs, he came to me, being last in the register. He said, “and Nic, you’re on your own and your writing about [dramatic pause] everything!” So, in my customary way, I am sitting here on a Friday evening, typing whatever comes into my head. I always like a challenge! There was another post planned, but that will have to wait until next week.

eBooks, what are they [was one of the questions asked]? They are electronic books, capable of being read where a device supports it. The most popular examples, the Amazon Kindle and the Sony eReader. The latter kinda failed, being a Sony product, but the Kindle took off like the Saturn V rocket. I personally own one. I choose a book, pay for it using the “family” Amazon account, of which I only know the password, and am reading within seconds. To be honest, I only take my kindle on holiday; most of the time it is underneath my bed, hidden from the annoying, little, devious troll that is my sister. I always, however, have 3 things with me: my MacBook, iPhone and iPad, on all of which I can read the book I downloaded on the kindle. Huge benefit for me, considering I always loose the physical book. I am also a lazy person and I do not like going out to buy things. My philosophy: “Buy it on Amazon”. Unfortunately, up until now, I was unable to implement that philosophy if I needed a book urgently. Now, instead of lugging myself to the bookshop, I buy it from Amazon! Oh, and its cheaper as well, considering we need to pay for parking at the shopping center. Also, out of copyright books are available for free, such as the Iliad and Odyssey. One more final thing, I can sync bookmarks and notes! Yay!

May 13, 2011

Agreed or Disagreed?


To quote from one of my many informative friends: “The biggest lie ever? I Agree”.

Oh yes, I agree. Admit to it. Everyone at least once has encountered a piece of software, which prompts you to “read” the privacy policy and terms & conditions, then agree to it. Apple requires you to agree to one of them every time they make a small change. Only the paranoid lawyers will read 60 pages of legal crap, which no one understands, to download an app. Apple is just the start, there are websites, email services, twitter, Facebook and every other possible online and offline service ever created in the history of mankind, who do the exact same thing. I will guarantee that even the ancient Greeks had some form of long legal contract to sign, which no one read.

Why do all these companies make them so long? Why do they make them incomprehensible? Why, why, why? The simple, blatant answer is,

They know you will never read it.

May 7, 2011

Sony and Microsoft: What I forgot (Plus a Bit Extra)

If you read my Microsoft and Sony posts, or if you are a regular reader, you will know that I hold a “slight” grudge against these two companies. Well, “slight” is a bit of an understatement: I hold an unbelievably huge grudge against them, and for good reason, apparent in the two posts. However, there were a few things I missed out in them, partly because they would have exceeded 1500 words and partly because I had forgotten about them. Anyway, I plan to include a few more stories of deceit, amusement and interest.

Let’s start with Sony. Crappy Sony. Unfaithful Sony. Insecure Sony.

That sparked some interest, didn’t it? Insecure Sony? We all know what has happened with the PlayStation Network (PSN) and the Sony Entertainment Network (SEN), who make those useless Facebook games. If not, let m fill you in: Once upon a time, there were a few million users on the PSN and the SEN. One day, an evil (or in my opinion, appreciated) group of witches (hackers) who broke into the house of the PSN/SEN and stole everything (yes, everything, including credit cards). PSN/SEN were very sad and told no one for 3 days, until guests started to complain. And the story goes on and on, but its becoming weird typing in a Disney fairytale way.