Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Casino

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  • Russell Brown,

    Yep, BenWilson, I have a similar library of classics (the actual Greek and Roman ones) plus the stuff of English literature for just that reason and for searchability when I'm trying to nail down a quote. That's where it's most handy, actually.

    You have prompted me to put Plato's The Republic on my iPhone. That'll impress the ladies ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18505 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Heh. Try putting Atlas Shrugged on there and impress a certain class of bitter blonde..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16263 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    You have prompted me to put Plato's The Republic on my iPhone. That'll impress the ladies ...

    My partner and I were disagreeing over whether having an orrery is a good way to pick up chicks. I say yes. That Republic thing would also work on me.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I'd love to see you carrying an orrery around.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16263 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    If you only carry one Plato around, why make it The Republic ? Do you hate Plato that much???

    I'd love to see you carrying an orrery around.

    I actually do carry a digital orrery around on my PDA. 2, in fact. It's the best orrery ever, because it has it's own lighting, which is needed any time you are looking at the stars.

    Try putting Atlas Shrugged on there and impress a certain class of bitter blonde.

    I'm trying to think of what kind of person would like that. Anyone who likes Ayn Rand would be shocked by you stealing her work. Everyone else would be shocked that you read it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I actually do carry a digital orrery around

    Perfect - so does it pull the chicks?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16263 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And who said you'd steal Rand - though that might seem a fair exchange of value.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16263 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    Note, Rob, those 'novels' are all free-to-air/e-dom by amateurs

    I think Rob's point was about the readers, not the writers.

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    I actually do carry a digital orrery around on my PDA. 2, in fact. It's the best orrery ever, because it has it's own lighting, which is needed any time you are looking at the stars.

    Excellent. What sort of PDA and where did you find the orrery?

    I was looking at that new magazine that's been advertised a lot recently, Build a model Solar System but 52 issues @$16.95 is going to be a bit pricey.

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    And my point, Mark H, was that the downloads were free - which is why there were/are so many readers. There almost certainly wouldnt have been if professional writers holding copyright & charging for use had been involved.
    A Japanese friend, who travels many times a year to Tokyo, says the novels were written by young people & about young people. She is in her late 40s and didnt find them at all engaging.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Perfect - so does it pull the chicks?

    I've never even showed a chick my PDA. It's never seemed appropriate.

    Excellent. What sort of PDA and where did you find the orrery?

    HP IPAQ. www.download.com. The neat thing about the digital orrery is that its clockwork is so incredibly accurately rendered that it actually ends up looking like the night sky.

    says the novels were written by young people & about young people. She is in her late 40s and didnt find them at all engaging.

    Now isn't that curious. I find novels by old people that are about old people unengaging. I must be young at heart.

    There almost certainly wouldnt have been if professional writers holding copyright & charging for use had been involved.

    There would certainly be less readers. But managing to draw a massive audience, even with something free, is not something to sneeze at. Personally I'd be fully stoked if millions of people read my ramblings.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    BenWilson, I personally hate novels about old people written by old people *unless* the characters are engaging, the story interests me, and the whole is well-written-likewise, novels about young people written by young people- y'know, the usual criteria for enjoying a novel?

    In her very polite way, I think my Japanese friend was conveying this...

    And

    "Personally I'd be fully stoked if millions of people read my ramblings."

    Yep, that's the driver (as it is for much lesser readership on Twitter etc.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    One of my criteria for enjoying a novel is not having payed much for it :-) But you are right, there are others.

    Yep, that's the driver (as it is for much lesser readership on Twitter etc.)

    etc including 'writing comments on a popular blog'.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Back to the other topic, confirmation that Sky City has not been making more money from gambling:

    Performance of the restaurants and bars is hard to quantify from interim results last week. But non-gaming revenue - including hotels and its conference centre - was the only area to grow in year-on-year figures.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16263 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    And my point, Mark H, was that the downloads were free - which is why there were/are so many readers. There almost certainly wouldnt have been if professional writers holding copyright & charging for use had been involved.

    Oh. Right. That must be why Barnes and Noble just bought Fictionwise. And why Amazon brought out the Kindle in the first place. Because, like, no-one reads e-stuff they have to pay for.

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    US market stats
    Non-free, Japanese cellphone ebooks
    Indie ebook stats

    You may not like them, Islander, but lots of people do AND will pay for them.

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Because, now! in both instances where there is doubt about copyright, rightsholders/*authors & publishers get paid*-
    Because everyone likes to read stuff they *dont* have to pay for - I download articles maybe 100x a week?- because it's already been paid for- and read a rather large number of sites where I dont download.

    Your argument does not apply to the copyright theme.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Those Japanese ones strike me as bearing great resemblance to the fad of Shocking Confessions stories in the 19th century. Which, ironically, I've mostly read in e-book form. They can be amusing, like Fanny Hill, or just curious and strange, like English Opium Eater. The subject matter itself makes up for most of the shortcomings of the author's talent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    O I love this Mark H! (I've downloaded all.)
    Total sales for ebooks * are* increasing - off a tiny base. And as the Smashwords commentator said- "ebooks will account for only a small percentage" of overall sales. For quite some time to come.
    And, I'd love to know where that@ $10 figure comes from - what's paid to the ISP? The author?
    Which'd be really sweet if it went to the 'teenage/20 something' writers...
    I dont have a problem for any of this -I just dont want my books ripped off. And I dont

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    arrgh! Continued response to Mark H-

    -and I dont think any e-format yet devised is helpful to me or my publishers.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Helfpul? I imagine saddle makers thought similarly about horseless carriages.

    I'm sure they came to realise there was still a need for upholstery - just not organised in the same way as it had been, one rider at a time. The change caused disruption and loss of traditional work.

    Ultimately, it was not really their choice any more than the move away from horseshoes was at the behest of blacksmiths or the printing press was the preference of scribes.

    Someone still needs to tell the stories, but the way of sharing them and of funding their creators and couriers changes throughout human history.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16263 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Nah Sacha -* people *go on telling stories whatever (I rather think it is intrinsic to our nature, and it is certainly is what is happening with the Japanese cellphone stuff) - bottom drops out of the world, human animals still tell stories.
    Your last couple of sentences are blindingly obvious: in oral cultures, we had kaipurakau/bards/praise-singers (all of whom earned their speech & their keep.) Their efforts didnt stop Nanas telling stories to the infants, or a gigglesome group round a fire enhancing sexual epics
    (at least one such became a foundation epic.)
    BUT-
    we are rather out of the era of reingning blacksmiths & harness-makers and the analogy is inept. The printing press really quickly became the preference of scribes (if you mean professional letterers - who were also skilled in a lot more.) Horse-shoes have never gone out of fashion
    (nor have harness-makers,farriers, & blacksmiths for that matter.)

    I'm a makyr, a kaipurakau: I earn my living (lowpaid as it is) by telling stories, giving poems. And writing forewords, reviews,columns & anything else that pays.In this time, they are *published* with all the print protections that are available. And I do & will defend my income streams fiercely.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Please do elaborate on why you don't rate the analogy.

    I doubt many would argue that blacksmiths are as prevalent now as before the invention of the car, or that their income streams are protected by the same confluence of culture and technology and economics.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16263 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    (last 3 sentences of your post)True Sacha- but you were rating saddle makers - and tying in a whole group of horse-related specialities - with horseless carriages-

    o, and there hasnt, so far, been a move away from horse-shoes anywhere I know of-

    I think you are throwing up really silly analogies that have nothing to do with writing. Cheers

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    It's a silly analogy because we may be producing fewer horseshoes, but we're hardly publishing or consuming fewer literary works. It's just the technology of publishing that is changing, and why that should be an excuse to limit an author's income streams is unclear.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7320 posts Report Reply

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