Yes, I saw JK Rowling is coming out with another book. No, I haven't looked at the stories enough to have an opinion. At first blush I'm struck with, "Well, yeah, she's a writer. Of course she's publishing another book with another publisher (sounds like her choice in this case)." And the alternate thought of "Those who obtain great fame sometimes wonder if they're a one trick pony. Note the number of superb rock bands who reform only to have mediocre second careers (wither Van Halen?)."
Amazon abuses its market position in ebooks? Shocked, shocked I am to find out… No, not really. Remember, it's Google's motto to "Do No Evil." Amazon's has always been, "To crush your enemies. See them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women." (Grokked from Jay Lake) Also, here's a Authors Guild article on Amazon. I haven't fully read it (it's kinda long and I'm still bustin' a groove at work), but they don't seem too kindly to Amazon bringing out the 800lb gorilla tactics. (Grokked from Jim Hines)
If you're scratching your head about why the commerce department is releasing new online privacy guidelines, you need to listen to last night's Terry Gross' interview with Joseph Turow. I have a lot to say about it, but for the sake of brevity I'll just say I sometimes like to screw with companies following me. Heck, after the Patriot Act was passed I spent a year selecting what items to check out the library in an order to embed coded message to anybody who may check. Also, lots of stuff I surf to online, I do for research (yeah, that's what the kids call it these days) and because I'm looking up info for other people. What I love is that because I buy gifts for my wife, but don't request "gift wrapping" or anything like that, I get very strange recommendations and targeted ads. I'd really hate to see how they silo me. (Noted on some mailing lists I'm "Mrs. Stephen Buchheit", yeah, not so much in real life)
For your world building pleasure, the Tibetan treat of sha momos. "Though most Tibetans are Buddhists… they are also great lovers of meat, and sha momos are the unofficial national dish." That's because Tibetan Buddhism is not only considered the "parent" branch (adopted from neighboring India), but it is also a practical branch of Buddhism. And there are several stories in Tibetan tradition where the Buddha ate meat (mostly because it was already prepared, and to refuse would dishonor the sacrifice of the animal). (Grokked from Jay Lake)
Remember when I said that the difference between conservatives and liberals is that conservatives never give up until they have it all their way? Yeah, I wasn't kidding. That the Mississippi legislature saying, "Okay, if we specifically address all those issues the opposition pointed out that sunk our personhood bill last year, will you pass it this year?"
Stochastic computing? Why am I thinking, "OMG, we have the Finite Improbability Engine." I kept waiting to see where you plugged the hot tea in. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
In case you didn't see Jon Stewart's take down of the Virginia Vaginal Ultra-Sound before Abortion Bill, there's a link to it. Why do conservatives worry that Obamacare will get between you and your doctor, because that's how they would do things. And let us not forget, the conservatives are the party of Chicken Little.
Hey, here's a NYTimes article on that comment I made the other day about conservatives being all against government handouts, but always make sure they're first in line to get theirs. Much of which wouldn't be necessary if we had actual income parity for the past 3 decades, or say a real minimum wage, instead of seeing incomes for all but the top 15% stagnate and a minimum wage that is guaranteed to keep you in poverty. "Many people say they are angry because the government is wasting money and giving money to people who do not deserve it. But more than that, they say they want to reduce the role of government in their own lives. They are frustrated that they need help, feel guilty for taking it and resent the government for providing it. They say they want less help for themselves; less help in caring for relatives; less assistance when they reach old age." Hey, here's the thing, you have to apply for government aid (even Social Security). If you don't want it, don't apply for it. Of course, it much more about "those undeserving people" getting it than it is about the "good people" getting help. The word they're having problems with is "hypocrisy" and the major conflict is reality banging hard against their preconceived notions. To correct for this problem requires a reality test and a world view adjustment. And that is much more than most people can bear.