Have you completely migrated to eBooks?


Related but not directly. I use an iPad mini for ebooks and I usually read in bed before going to sleep. The strange thing is that last year I decided to finish a trilogy where I had read the first book a few years before. I tried to read the paperback I had and found it uncomfortable. So I bought the ebook so I could read with my iPad. I wonder how many others have migrated completely. But that’s a different discussion. Bob

The above was in response to the same article as Kirk’s comment above, but I’m curious as to if you read paper books or eBooks, and why?

True story- I read my first eBook on a Psion 3c in 1996, mainly because it had a backlight, and I have never read a paper book since. I read at least one book a month and always have done. I now use a Kindle Paperwhite because I want to avoid staring at normal screens for too long.

The Upstarts

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Ten years ago, the idea of getting into a stranger’s car, or walking into a stranger’s home, would have seemed bizarre and dangerous, but today it’s as common as ordering a book online. Uber and Airbnb are household names: redefining neighbourhoods, challenging the way governments regulate business and changing the way we travel.

In the spirit of iconic Silicon Valley renegades like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, a new generation of entrepreneurs is sparking yet another cultural upheaval through technology. They are among the Upstarts, idiosyncratic founders with limitless drive and an abundance of self-confidence. Young, hungry and brilliant, they are rewriting the traditional rules of business, changing our day-to-day lives and often sidestepping serious ethical and legal obstacles in the process.

The Upstarts is the definitive account of a dawning age of tenacity, creativity, conflict and wealth. In Brad Stone’s highly anticipated and riveting account of the most radical companies of the new Silicon Valley, we find out how it all started, and how the world is wildly different than it was ten years ago… More at Amazon.

Looks like a ‘very’ good read. via Neil.

The Fortress at the End of Time


The other major theme in The Fortress at the End of Time is the unexpected consequences of technology. Humanity has developed amazing tech: colonies far out in the depths of space, ansibles that teleport people across the stars, and starships that can take down unknown enemy spacecraft. Yet each advancement carries unusual problems. Ansible trips load their passengers with the burden of the past: the duplicates have to contend with their original selves’ memories and experiences, while forging their own futures… More at The Verge.

One for my future reading list.

Future Crimes: Inside The Digital Underground and the Battle For Our Connected World


Technological advances have benefited our world in immeasurable ways, but there is an ominous flipside. Criminals are often the earliest, and most innovative, adopters of technology and modern times have led to modern crimes. Today’s criminals are stealing identities, draining online bank-accounts and wiping out computer servers. It’s disturbingly easy to activate baby cam monitors to spy on families, pacemakers can be hacked to deliver a lethal jolt, and thieves are analyzing your social media in order to determine the best time for a home invasion.

Meanwhile, 3D printers produce AK-47s, terrorists can download the recipe for the Ebola virus, and drug cartels are building drones. This is just the beginning of the tsunami of technological threats coming our way. In Future Crimes, Marc Goodman rips open his database of hundreds of real cases to give us front-row access to these impending perils. Reading like a sci-fi thriller, but based in startling fact, Goodman raises tough questions about the expanding role of technology in our lives. Future Crimes is a call to action for better security measures worldwide, but most importantly, will empower readers to protect themselves against these looming technological threats – before it’s too late… More at Amazon.

Looks like a compelling read.

Beautiful LEGO


Mix hundreds of thousands of LEGO bricks with dozens of artists, and what do you get? Beautiful LEGO, a compendium of LEGO artwork that showcases a stunning array of pieces ranging from incredibly lifelike replicas of everyday objects and famous monuments to imaginative renderings of spaceships, mansions, and mythical creatures.

You’ll also meet the minds behind the art. Interviews with the artists take you inside the creative process that turns simple, plastic bricks into remarkable LEGO masterpieces… More at no starch press.

Some of the creations in this book are remarkable, such as those from Mike Doyle.

10 Outstanding Short Stories


I’ve been doing this for some time now — seeking out short stories from free online resources, and sharing them on Twitter (#fiction #longreads). It’s now a habit: Every night after dinner, before I start writing (screenplays), I look around for a story and read it.

Starting with Upmanyu Chatterji’s “Three Seven Seven and the Blue Gay Gene,” from Open magazine, and ending with Callan Wink’s “Off the Track” from Ecotone, I ended up reading and posting 292 stories in 2016. Here are ten of my favorites, in random order… More at Longreads.

A few of these deserve a quick bookmark.

Is anything better value for money than a book?


I was pondering this recently when I finished a book that had taken me 2 months to read. I am not a prolific reader by any means, but I like to catch a few minutes each day and also have a tendency to read long-form articles that I have sent to my Kindle. The book in question cost £0.99 and was splendid which made me wonder if anything can touch a book for value over time.

Films can be amazing and can of course be watched over and over, but they do not come close when it comes to value. Almost always, you pay your £10 and 2 hours later you are done.

Music is slightly different in that if you find what you consider to be an amazing album, it could live with you forever. There are some albums by the likes of Leonard Cohen, Queen and others that are unbelievable value when I consider how many times I have played them and how much joy they have brought. Still, books are one step ahead for me.

Games can be great fun and offer tons of longevity in the right hands, but with many costing +£50 it is quite possible that a few will prove to be real stinkers and terrible value.

For me, a humble book in paper or digital form still represents amazing value for money and with the ability to randomly take a punt on books that cost almost nothing it will likely remain that way.

I showed the above to the WhatsApp group and got some alternative views-

For me it’s definitely music. I have music that I have had since I was young, and I still enjoy going back to. There are very few books I read over and over. Some films and series I like going back to as well. I’m not the one to talk to about games. But a serious gamer may have a different point of view. My son would probably say he gets his moneys worth if we left him to it. I suppose apps aren’t media as such. I guess because all the above are consumed through my phone, I almost feel that investing in a good app is about as important to me as the media is makes or consumes. I find it incredible when people moan over the price of a decent app you’re likely to use daily, while they’re drinking a beer for the same price which only lasts them a moment. Vincent.

Books for me before music. Sami.

And then Kirk appeared-

you mentioned “value for money” (a U.K.-ism I’ve always been fond of) but as a guy who makes an ok living but always feels pressed for time, for me it’s “value for time”

Movies vs Books is a good example; my current policy is if a respectable movie has been made of a book, go for that instead, because there are SO MANY great books that will never be condensed that way, and so the crux of a 20 hour book can be imbibed in 2 hours – sure something will be lost, but sometimes things will actually also be gained and hey- more time for different books!

(admittedly I’m a little tone deaf to the things some folks get out of a many good hefty reads – sweeping arc and character development. So I sometime judge books on a “cool ideas presented divided by number of pages to get there “)

Similarly with games- as a kid one might be “alright! this game gives me 40 hours” and a time-pressed adult might say “oh no this game takes 40 hours”- the question will be a subjective evaluation of how much of that is quality time

The thing about music- and I have strong opinions here including a “why do people like streaming anyway”- is that so often it’s a complementary activity. I’d guess far fewer people “just” listen to music like they might’ve in the LP era- (come to think of it streaming might be more like having a radio on in the background vs sitting down
and putting on a record…) Instead it provides the backing soundtrack for other activities in their lives.

Re: Vince’s point on the stinginess of people for apps vs say a pint or a cuppa- true, and it’s sad. Don’t know if it’s the race to the bottom for 99 cent Apps that set the tone, or the virtual nature of them?

a lot is the expectation. An AAA console games costs 50 or so. An AAA book, even virtual, costs 10 give or take (my gut feel is dollars or pounds the numbers work either way) Apps cost 1 or 2 and if the app author doesn’t like it there’s a dozen others in the appstore.

Which is why Nintendo swung hard at 10…

but a counterpoint; from the Apple fanboy perspective, maybe Apple has damaged the market by not offering try before you buy. See, a pint or cuppa rarely lets you down, it’s a predictable pleasure, but apps are all over the place for value. Combine that with the LIM point about how many of us have found his or her comfortable set of apps…

(sorry for going on a bit- interesting topic!)

related self link: http://kirk.is/2017/01/02/ is the media i consumed in 2016- don’t know if any of you log this stuff. I used to average ten games a year, last year was 1…

This is what can happen on the LIM WhatsApp group- feel free to join.

The Dark Net: £1.99


Here is another discount worth looking at. Just read the description below and you can see that the current price for this Kindle book looks like a huge bargain.

Beyond the familiar online world that most of us inhabit lies a vast network of sites, communities and cultures where freedom is pushed to its limits. A world that is as creative and complex as it is dangerous and disturbing. A world that is much closer than you think.

The Dark Net is a revelatory examination of the internet today, and of its most innovative and dangerous subcultures, stretching from secret Facebook groups to the encrypted and hidden Tor network. In it, Bartlett goes in search of the people behind the screen, meeting trolls and pornographers, drug dealers and hackers, political extremists and computer scientists, Bitcoin programmers and self-harmers, libertarians and vigilantes.

Based on extensive first-hand experience, exclusive interviews and shocking documentary evidence, The Dark Net offers a startling glimpse of human nature under the conditions of freedom and anonymity, and shines a light on an enigmatic and ever-changing world.

the book of hygge



Hygge is a feeling of belonging and warmth, a moment of comfort and contentment. This beautiful little book will help you to find hygge and embrace it every day. Make a pot of coffee, relax in your favourite chair and discover for yourself how life is better with hygge.

I am the first to laugh at ideas like hygge, but must admit to finding a lot in this book at the moment.