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Amazon's eBook Math

DriveDog Nobody has it right (282 comments)

After reading a number of comments, I see that many of them fall into either the "Amazon is evil" or "Publishers are evil" camps. Guess what? Just like politics, it comes down to choosing the lesser evil. Neither one works to serve consumers.

11 hours ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

DriveDog Re:Disengenous (282 comments)

There's a lot of argument for more sellers. Fewer is almost always bad for consumers in the long run. But here's something else. Amazon won't sell some things for fear of attacks from special interest groups. Suppose you want to read something shunned by many. No other outlets but Amazon? Too bad. On the other hand, a small seller based in a garage in L.A. isn't going to give a flip about a special interest group in Texas.

11 hours ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

DriveDog Re:Disengenous (282 comments)

An interesting case is Costco. They push suppliers hard, but they also concentrate on quality. In some areas, this works well. However, their definition of quality isn't everyone's. Quality to me means food with no transfat (not "0%", which is often a lie allowed by the FDA). Their idea is what the majority wants—that which tastes good. With only big box stores, there's no one to sell to the minority with different needs.

11 hours ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

DriveDog Re:Disengenous (282 comments)

Nothing speaks to the few big guys driving out the small guys with variety more than hardware stores. Need a 3/4" to 1/2" barbed brass plumbing adapter? Forget it. It's not used in new construction or renovations, so they don't have it. But they have 50 different kinds of drills. I have two, a cordless and a hammer drill, and may never need another. Also, they tend to carry fewer brands that cover more items, even though the best maker of each item is different. Too bad. The makers that remain profitable are thusly the ones who expand their line until they're no longer very good at any one thing.

11 hours ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

DriveDog Re:I like it. (282 comments)

Some areas, like biology, change quickly enough to justify introducing new editions every few years. Others most certainly do not, and publishers only do that to obsolete the existing copies, creating a demand for new ones and hence supporting a higher price. Teachers can't require a book for which there may not be adequate supply, so anytime publishers change editions, teachers have to go along. What a racket.

12 hours ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

DriveDog Re: I like it. (282 comments)

So have two e-editions with two prices, one that comes out early with the hardbacks and includes something extra... an additional short story, visual media, lack of DRM, whatever, and one that comes out later with just the main text. Or... just drop the price of the ebook when the softback comes out.

Price elasticity of demand curves are just that—curves, so dropping the price below $9.99 doesn't mean revenue will continue to grow. However, I won't buy their claims until I see their curve, and I bet it supports that dropping the price to $8.99 or even $7.99 increases revenue even further.

How many think that paying ten dollars for something for which the marginal cost is nearly zero is rather absurd? Virtually free replication is something for which capitalism is not well suited, hence all the manufactured scarcity we see.

12 hours ago
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3-D Printing Comes To Amazon

DriveDog Beginning? (62 comments)

The Beginning? Absolutely not. Amazon may have a wider market and may play a big part in the popularization of it, but Shapeways has already done "the beginning" of mainstream 3D printing, so Amazon can't do that. Don't think it's the mainstream? Try checking out the types of people using it. Not just engineers, hobbyists, and avant-garde artists.

yesterday
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Bad "Buss Duct" Causes Week-long Closure of 5,000 Employee Federal Complex

DriveDog what works in the heat (124 comments)

It's been my experience with A/C outages that people function better than desktop PCs, many of which apparently assume no more than 80F ambient temperature.

3 days ago
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Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists

DriveDog Radius? (226 comments)

What's this about radius of a black hole? Circumference or surface area makes better sense to us, radius of an object with such intense gravity is difficult to comprehend due to the relativistic effect on distance, so comparing radii is not helpful to most of us.

about a week ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

DriveDog Re:So... (701 comments)

or "1, 2, 5!" ( someone else has to say "Three, sir!" )

about two weeks ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

DriveDog So... (701 comments)

...a creature for my amusement. Prepare for battle!

about two weeks ago
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CCP Games Explains Why Virtual Reality First Person Shooters Still Don't Work

DriveDog AR would avoid the sickness (154 comments)

So don't sit down or run around in a 5x5 space and play. Augment the reality of running around a parking garage, the woods, whatever, with enemies, enhanced surfaces, objects, obstacles you won't be touching, etc., but let the player's motion be real. Then we'll benefit from the exercise, too. From the opposite perspective, that of making exercise less boring, wouldn't you run better if someone was chasing you or you were chasing someone? I know it's going to look hilarious to those around you without the AR gear, but that's a temporary situation. The funny part will be when you see an armed human coming toward you and another person sees you, a different type of dinosaur trying to steal the carcass they're dragging around.

about two weeks ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

DriveDog Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (435 comments)

One problem with auto usage now is the cost of a short trip isn't paid at the beginning or end of it, but rather earlier or later when the tank's filled. Most won't bother to calculate each trip's cost. Cars need to display the approximate cost of each little trip so the owners will easily be able to decide whether sending their car to pick up a froyo is worth the cost. That'll result in a lot more trip consolidation.

about two weeks ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

DriveDog Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (435 comments)

In general I dislike the idea of sending your empty car back home to pick someone else up. However, doing that just occasionally is probably more energy efficient than manufacturing more cars so another one's in the driveway and only slightly adds to congestion. I understand the concern about driverless bombs, but it isn't that difficult to accomplish now. Mules? FBI might be worried there won't be anyone to arrest, but the human mule isn't a decent catch anyhow, and they generally can't lead back to the source any better than a driverless vehicle. Organized crime doesn't have a hard time finding human mules. Driverless mules will be used, no doubt, but won't much affect either the crime rate or the conviction rate.

A huge advantage of everyone having their own auto-valet will be the reduction in nicks and scrapes from the cars parked in adjacent spaces (OK, I'm obsessed with that). Auto-valets will also be able to park much closer together, so parking lots will not eat as much space. One issue I anticipate is a long line of cars waiting to pick up their drivers which have been summoned too far ahead of time. We'll have to have some method of limiting the waiting time at the department store's front curb. If you order your car too soon, after it waits a minute for you it will circle around to the back of the line. Ha!

Another issue will be that some pedestrians already walk in front of cars, assuming they won't be hit. Knowing the driverless cars won't strike them, many more pedestrians will walk in front of them, seriously hampering traffic flow. Somebody's going to have to arrest those jaywalkers. Barney Fife, we need you back!

about two weeks ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

DriveDog Re:Less. (435 comments)

Yeah, I'm thinking that shooting at pursuers from a self-driven vehicle isn't going to work so well when it stops at redlights and won't ram other vehicles that are in the way. But then, catching every criminal will suggest that their budget is too big, so maybe the real goal is to let some get away to justify increased expenditures.

about two weeks ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

DriveDog Re:Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (435 comments)

I also live in NC. I don't observe any random speeding up, only the random slowing and stopping. You've incorrectly assumed those people are otherwise normal just because there are so many of them. Self-driving cars will be wonderful. People will be able to do the same things they already do—eat, drink, apply eyeliner, read, text, etc.—but won't be bothered by occasional collisions.

Construction zones... instead of starting 1,000 projects and completing them in a month, NCDOT starts 100,000 and still doesn't complete them in 10 years. So only 1 of 10 zones actually have anything going on or even any workers present (not necessarily the same thing). Besides, someone has to test those construction zones at highway speeds.

about two weeks ago
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Interviews: Juan Gilbert Answers Your Questions

DriveDog auto interface (18 comments)

I've appointed myself spokesman for all those who don't want to talk to their cars. We still don't want to.

MyDash carried on a phone, however, I can really get behind. I get to keep my interface regardless of the car, and it can look like anything I want. There could be a variety of customizable "themes" available. I like it. Makes driving my car to the store and back while I stay home easier.

about two weeks ago
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DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

DriveDog Re:Runaway! (188 comments)

Yep. I was just thinking of how convincing a villain was Gene Simmons.

about three weeks ago

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