Daily Archives: April 20, 2010

Writer’s Digest Magazine On iPad!

Click = big

Ah! The future!

I’d get Writer’s Digest every month — properly, from a newsstand — during several years in the 1970s. It was a like a (one-way) correspondence course for writing (two-way, when I bothered to write a letter — which was only one time, and it wasn’t published, because it was sarcastic about a stupid article about creativity which I still recall because the article was just so damned stupid, “artistic coma,” my ass!). (Now the WD staff will go look that one up. And will have to finally agree with me! See how these things work?)

In every issue there was at least one thing that made it worth the price of admission: one of the regular columnists, or a guide to writing an effective (or even proper) query letter, how to get an agent, or a wonderful interview with a writer, editor, or even publisher.

It’s been ages since I’ve read it and I really didn’t think I’d ever want to again — because it was on print. (I will no longer buy print.)

But now they’re going electronic, with a PDF-based version.

There are some more peeks after the break.

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Will The iPad Save Comic Book Publishing?

Checker Addresses Diamond Cancellations

In the comic book industry there is one company which dominates distribution. That company is a privately held firm. The owner is a gentleman named Steven Geppi. Despite protests to the contrary for business purposes Geppi is Diamond Comics, and Diamond Comics is Geppi…period. Checker BPG became aware of extensive legal actions against Mr. Geppi in the Spring of 2009 to our extreme dismay. The frequency and number of the lawsuits is staggering and I list them simply for factual underlying basis for our separation from Diamond Comics, Inc. of Timonium, Maryland:

Mr. Geppi had ongoing legal suits which he has since lost with PNC Bank and Harbor Trust Bank of Maryland for 16.4 million and 3.5 million dollars respectively. Mr. Geppi has also had legal actions against him filed by Creditors Trade Association, Westview Center Associates, LLC., The Heirs of artist Bob Montana, and the Maryland Stadium Authority which has been settled amidst controversy. All clearly shown in public court filings researched by Checker BPG last year. Our legal counsel briefly reviewed several these suits last spring and advised us to leave. We lost count and interest in the legal train wreck which is Steven Geppi after four or five lawsuits.

This is a very long post. But the bottom line is that it’s very difficult to see how the one company that has a stranglehold on the majority of comic book distribution can remain viable.

And now that this news is out, how many other publishers will pull out?

With that void in the world of print comic book publishing, it seems to me this is one industry that has to go electronic fast.

It will be interesting to see if the iPad winds up being the savior of comic book publishing.

I won’t buy print — and I especially won’t buy print from one of those ghastly stores that sell comics. Yet I’m very interested in reading comics again on the iPad. Iversemedia tweeted the other day that all of Kick-Ass is now available. I’d buy that. And I think many other people who wouldn’t seek them out in a store would too. Those are sales that the publisher wouldn’t otherwise get.

So, can the iPad save comic book publishing?

Book publishers better pay attention to this. Especially with Borders continually on the lip of the abyss.

Steve Jobs: Keep Saying No!

Supreme Court voids law aimed at banning animal cruelty videos

The Supreme Court struck down a federal law Tuesday aimed at banning videos depicting graphic violence against animals, saying that it violates the constitutional right to free speech.

Chief Justice John J. Roberts Jr., writing for an eight-member majority, said the law was overly broad and not allowed by the First Amendment. He rejected the government’s argument that whether certain categories of speech deserve constitutional protection depends on balancing the value of the speech against its societal costs.


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Twitepad Looks Good!

I’d seen a demo video of this early on but somehow lost the link.

Today @jane_l on Twitter told me she’s been using it.

I use TwitterFox (now EchoFon) with Firefox. I like how I can use a browser and Twitter at the same time. I don’t want a Twitter client on the iPad to run by itself and force me to jump to Safari.

So Twitepad looks like it will do what I want.

Jane provided some screensnaps, after the break.

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Exhibit 3,567 Of How Steve Jobs Wins

Yes, a fourth post from The Race For Perfect: Inside the Quest to Design the Ultimate Portable Computer by Steve Hamm.

This one aptly illustrates once again How Steve Jobs Wins.

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Book: The Race For Perfect

I’m not finished with it yet, but I can already recommend The Race For Perfect: Inside the Quest to Design the Ultimate Portable Computer by Steve Hamm.

It’s already generated two posts [here and here], and now this third one.

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When Will Lenovo And Asus Learn?

The Race For Perfect: Inside the Quest to Design the Ultimate Portable Computer by Steve Hamm is really a great read.

What struck me was the emphasis placed on design.

So how is a company like Lenovo to differentiate itself from its rivals?

Its answer is design and engineering excellence. When Lenovo bought the IBM PC division, it inherited two valuable assets, the ThinkPad design tradition and an engineering group in Yamato, Japan, that is arguably the best team of computer engineers in the world. The company’s goal is to outengineer and outdesign the competition — producing machines that will command a premium because of their durability, reliability, rich set of features, and good looks.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

And after the success of completing the ThinkPad X300:

As word spread throughout the company that design and engineering would be of paramount importance, morale among engineers and designers soared.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

And yet, when I consider something Lenovo released, it makes me ask: Hey, Lenovo! What went wrong?

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The Cancer Of Microsoft’s Tastelessness

I’m reading The Race For Perfect: Inside the Quest to Design the Ultimate Portable Computer by Steve Hamm.

Steve Jobs famously stated:

It’s in this book that the full extent of that statement was brought home to me.

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