Science fiction writer Cory Doctorow turns the conventional wisdom that pirated SF novels are bad for the industry in his Locus Magazine column "Science Fiction is the Only Literature People Care Enough About to Steal on the Internet".
He raises two major points: 1) that the economy, as it has in the past, is changing and that the publishing industry must adjust to those changes and 2) that giving books away for free can actually help sales.
In early to mid-May, Berin Kinsman posted a series of thoughtful essays on the nature of geekdom to Uncle Bear. Called "The Karaoke Transcripts" (Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Denouement) the essays inspired plenty of intelligent debate, and I contributed my fair share of comments. Since things have been slow at Nuketown (but insanely busy with family and work), I'm posting my response to The Karaoke Transcripts, Part 1 here.
In 2002, a great science fiction series named Firefly debuted on Fox, won some critical acclaim despite the boneheaded re-scheduling efforts by network bigwigs, and was promptly pulled after 11 episodes.
Comparing and contrasting the way that the Associated Press and CNN report the salaries of Bush and Kerry.
The other day I got into something of a debate with a liberal-minded individual and I got a healthy reminder of just how much folks on the left dislike and distrust business. No, those words are too weak -- "hate" is a much better descriptor.
The debate arose with in the context the X-Files -- the question was asked why the series focused on government collaboration with aliens, when government collaboration with Big Business was the real threat.
Earlier this week, John Kerry was caught on camera saying Republicans were "crooked" and "liars". Almost immediately Republicans fired back with indignation, demanding that Kerry apologize for the slight. Kerry didn't and instead tap-danced around his comments, saying that they were directed at the Republican "attack dogs" nipping at his heels.
A new government study declares that "poor diet and lack of exercises" are killing more and more Americans and the Centers for Disease Control is alarmed.
The Associated Press story "CDC: Obesity gains on tobacco as top death factor" (read it) talks about how in 1990, 14% of Americans died from poor diet and inactivity and 19% died from tobacco. As of 2000 though, 16% of Americans had croaked because of their slothful ways, while 18% had passed on because of death sticks.
The story quotes CDC officials who breathlessly gush about the coming apocalypse, but I find it hard to muster much surprise.
Right now estimates are that 1 out of every 12 pieces of e-mail flying around the net is infected with the MyDoom worm, a statistic that puts the worm on track to out pace earlier infections by a wide margin.
I bet the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is making a heck of a lot of school administrators very, very nervous. And if they're not nervous now ... they should be.
I've been gaming for a hell of a long time. For the last few years ago, most of the stuff I've been doing is d20 based. There are a lot of reasons for it, the biggest being that we converted our Greyhawk campaign to D&D 3E in 2000.
It's worked well for us (none of those concerns about game mechanics overwhelming role-playing for us). And because it has, at lot of the other games we play are also now d20 based. Fading Suns? d20. Delta Green? d20. Stagate? d20.