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“My only real prediction is that it’s all changing.” Well, ask a stupid question - in this case, about the future of book publishing. The lobotomy-inducingly obvious answer was provided by author Neil Gaiman. If I’d written this prediction here on El Reg, I would have been derided as a time-waster specialising in stating the …

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Re "famous Neil Gaiman"

Who the fuck is Neil Gaiman?

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Trollface

Re: Re "famous Neil Gaiman"

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Neil+Gaiman

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Boffin

Re: Re "famous Neil Gaiman"

If only there was some sort of "engine for searching" out there. Better still, one freely accessible to all, maybe on the internet or somewhere like that.

A ridiculous idea, I know, but one can always dream...

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Re: Re: Re "famous Neil Gaiman"

I think the purpose of a sentence like "Who the fuck is X?" is less to elicit information than to emphasise the obscurity of X. Googling X won't help achieve that.

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Re: Re "famous Neil Gaiman"

Kubla Cant, thank you. For stating the what I thought was obvious :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re "famous Neil Gaiman"

"I think the purpose of a sentence like "Who the fuck is X?" is less to elicit information than to emphasise the obscurity of X."

It is also commonly used to emphasise how well one has separated oneself from from pop culture and various other frivolous trappings of civilisation. "Look how much of a philistine I am! I don't even know who X is!" is a curiously frequent boast on the internet; I'm not at all sure why people take such pride in it.

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Trollface

Re: Re "famous Neil Gaiman"

@Kubla - Yeah, I did consider that...but as there didn't seem to be much to choose between "really not knowing who Neil Gaiman is" and "knowing who Neil Gaiman is but also thinking he's obscure" I when for the first option.

Still, if the OP wants to flaunt feigned ignorance rather and actual ignorance that's their call.

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Re: Re "famous Neil Gaiman"

Point taken but I really did think that El Reg readers would know who he is. In future, I will do as newspapers do and write an accreditation before the name - such as "Harry Potter star Richard Griffiths" or "Transformers The Movie voice actor Orson Wells".

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Happy

Re: Re "famous Neil Gaiman"

I actually have no idea who he is. I'm going to look him up though.

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I know who the fuck Neil Gaiman is...

"Point taken but I really did think that El Reg readers would know who he is..."

I know who the fuck Neil Gaiman is. He's the creep who's worth $20 million, and still goes to raise $20,000 on Kickstarted to finance a poetry tour with his wife, Amanda Snout (nee Palmer). Snout, if you recall, when trying to raise $300,000 on Kickstarter for a new album raised $1.2 million and then tried to enlist pickup musicians to play live with her for "hugs, high fives, and beer" (or some such insulting shite.)

Yes indeed. I could go on. Because I know who Neil Gaiman is.

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Facepalm

Re: Re "famous Neil Gaiman"

"...less to elicit information than to emphasise the obscurity of X."

Which, as it adds yet another reference to X to the world's search engines, has exactly the opposite effect.

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Re: I know who the fuck Neil Gaiman is...

> when trying to raise $300,000 on Kickstarter for a new album raised $1.2 million and then tried to enlist pickup musicians to play live with her for "hugs, high fives, and beer" (or some such insulting shite.)

Everyone loves a trier... More fool those who handed over the $1.2m...

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Devil

Re: Re "famous Neil Gaiman"

I believe the issue is'nt not knowing how to find out,

it's not wanting to know at all, as in:

"I'd be ashamed to know that".

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Linux

Re: Re "famous Neil Gaiman"

> If only there was some sort of "engine for searching" out there.

Isn't there a Thatcher quote about having power and being a lady? If you have to say you so, then it isn't true.

Well, you can apply that same logic to Google.

If you need Google, then he's probably a nobody or a has-been.

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@Phil O'Sophical Re: I know who the fuck Neil Gaiman is...

"Everyone loves a trier... More fool those who handed over the $1.2m..."

I don't really have a problem with people giving her money to finance the album - although the fact that either her wealthy husband didn't want to invest in it himself, or that Snout herself preferred to put out a tin cup and go begging, is telling. I do think that the people who contributed even after the original monetary goal was reached were kind of foolish, considering how many more worthwhile things could have been done with their money.

What I have a problem with, is that Snout, after having gotten what is by *any* standard a large sum of money, was still looking for donations in the form of free labor. I don't know about anyone else, but I would expect someone who has just been the recipient of such generosity (whether merited or not is immaterial) to show some generosity to others, but that didn't happen in Snout's case. Really, it would have been no kind of financial burden for her to have paid these "volunteers" something. But she didn't want too; she seemed to have thought that she had better things to do with the money that she panhandled than to pay the musicians...

And there's another interesting point. Evidently Snout wanted these charity musicians not for *all* the gigs that were going to support the album, but for some gigs; which if I recall were venues in smaller places, less likely to be reviewed by critics. So if you were in one of these smaller markets, you could have given her money to do the album (and incidentally paid off her personal debts) and then paid money to see the show supporting the album, and gotten to see her play with charity musicians who were donating their time and labor - because Snout was only going to pay the *real* musicians for the big gigs.

Nice.

I understand your point that "everyone loves a trier" but I don't agree with it. I think that certain situations (and maybe most situations) impose moral obligations on people, and this was one of them.

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@Evil Auditor

"Who the fuck is Neil Gaiman?"

I don't know why people seem to be having trouble understanding this. To me it obviously meant "Who the fuck is Neil Gaiman that I should care about his opinion?"

Kind of like if someone said to me, "You need a haircut" and then I would rebut such a statement with the very simple question "Who the fuck are you?" - or, with the suppressed clause being made explicit: "Who the fuck are you that makes you think that you opinion is worth fuck-all, and who the fuck are you that makes you think that *I* should think that your opinion is worth fuck-all?"

It's got nothing to do with obscurity; it's a pretty common way of expressing contempt for a statement and the person who made it. Well, a pretty common way around where *I* live, anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Evil Auditor

Who the fuck is Turtle?

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Re: Re "famous Neil Gaiman"

In future, I will do as newspapers do and write an accreditation before the name - such as "Harry Potter star Richard Griffiths" or "Transformers The Movie voice actor Orson Wells".

A bold move by noted accreditationist Alistair Dabbs!

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Re: @Evil Auditor

"Who the fuck is Turtle?"

You'll never know!

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Devil

Re: Re "famous Neil Gaiman"

Fucking priceless....

"If I might be permitted to make my own suggestions, I think bookshops should also install sofas and coffee machines, and invent a process for ordering out-of-stock titles that doesn’t involve queueing for half an hour to speak to a 17-year-old fuckwit who can’t spell or use a mouse. I have spent less time waiting at a DIY store Customer Services counter."

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Anonymous Coward

What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

Would they buy a car that only accepted petrol from a specific filling station?

Anyone with even the smallest amount of common sense that wanted an e-reader would look to see how many sources of content were available to them, and they would all come to the same conclusion: EPUB. You can use readers and content providers interchangeably, It can use Kobo as either a reader OR a content source for my non-Kobo reader. I can also borrow EPUB ebooks from my library for free with Overdrive.

When I see people with Kindles, I really wonder how much the human race has devolved. I also think the same thing with iDevice owners.

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Black Helicopters

Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

World-wide, free of charge 3G access, for one? That's a rather handy feature if you ask me.

But I'm sorry, you were talking about iDevices, didn't want to interrupt you there...

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

non techies. i actually recomended a kindle to my wifes great uncle. But then he went and got a 2nd hand kobo, as it was cheaper. Ive had nothing but problems since then. It dosent help he dosent actually have any net connection at home, or a computer for that matter, but the plan was to use the libruarys wifi, and buy all books from amazon thro the device. Nice and easy. Now i have the hassle of trying get books on this device that ideally needs a computer and a net connection, when he has none. He actually enquired about getting newspapers on it!! What would be the point? He only goes to the libruary once a week, and because he is the wifes family i cant tell him to stop being a moron. Now if it was my dad.....

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

id forgotten about the 3g!! This makes his rash kobo purchase even more annoying.

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Happy

Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

Oh I see what you did there. How... clever... of you.

I've got a Kindle and I'm perfectly comfortable with the decision to purchase it, thank you. I'm considering trading up to a 'paperwhite' or Fire HD model too. Much like the iDevice (yep, own them too), I'm far too busy enjoying the fact that it works very well for its intended purpose to even notice the spluttering about "lock in" from people like yourself.

You and I are both happy with our choices, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, your need to characterise people who disagree with you as having "devolved" in some way says a lot more about you than it does about 'us'...

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

Someone who knows they'll accept mobi files and uses Calibre for library management?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

"and because he is the wifes family i cant tell him to stop being a moron..."

Yeah, you can.

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

> EPUB. You can use readers and content providers interchangeably

Funny, I can use my Kindle just like that, too. Only perhaps 10% of the stuff on it was bought from Amazon, and that was because it was the cheapest/most convenient place to buy at the time.

The Kindle is probably the easiest device to use with Amazon, but not at all difficult to use with other sources. Maybe you need to broaden the material you're reading on your non-KoboKindle?

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

@Rob Moir

Could you possibly pop back and post a variation of that every time there's an Apple/Sony/Microsoft/Amazon/Android/Windows/iOS/Linux/Kindle/iPad/Nexus/whatever discussion on here?

Well said sir.

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

I bet you're a joy at family get togethers.

"Oh God, Sweaty Neckbeard Came, ugh"...

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

I am that "cretin". I have an old Kindle that, given the amount I read, has paid for itself several times over in terms of the money saved over buying paper books.

However, given your insightful comments, I can see that in fact my Kindle must in fact be defective in some way, since I have never had any problems downloading material from non- Amazon sources. Yes, I have to download them to a PC first and then swap them to the Kindle, but that's not a lot of effort. A quick Google (who, by the way, provide for all my internet search needs - I must just love those walled gardens!) suggests that EPUB books can be converted so as to be readable on a Kindle in several ways.

Thank you for pointing this out. I wonder if Amazon will give me a refund? Or are they just too evil?

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

The quality of the books available to borrow from Birmingham Central Library is pitiful. I can't speak of other regions as in this global interconnected world I cannot borrow from them apparently. The ability to email books and web articles to the kindle however is a god send.

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

Well, this was my point. Ordinary people do not sit around considering the pros and cons of ePub vs Mobi file formats. What they do is buy the slimmest, lightest, most convenient and least hideous e-reader on the market, which is an Amazon Kindle... THEN they discover they've bought into proprietary DRM-saturated Hell.

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

"THEN they discover they've bought into proprietary DRM-saturated Hell."

How do they discover this? When all the books they buy from amazon automagically appear on the device? When the books they buy elsewhere can be fairly easily converted and transferred to the device by plugging it in to the computer, or by sending an email?

If Amazon prevented you from loading your own books onto the kindle and made it so that every book on their had to be purchased from them, I'd agree with you. But they don't.

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Stop

Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

Amazon offers a free Kindle app for Android and Apple which I make full use of thus alleviating the need for a stand alone device.

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

THEN they discover they've bought into proprietary DRM-saturated Hell.

Oh no, my device is working exactly as described. What kind of hell is this I find myself in.

-- said by no one, ever.

I can't help thinking that the majority of people who buy into a [closed / walled garden / DRM-saturated hell] type device will be perfectly happy with it. It's only us techies who expect to root our devices who might be unhappy, or those who are miss-sold devices on a false basis who will be unhappy.

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Mushroom

Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

"and because he is the wifes family i cant tell him to stop being a moron..."

Yeah, you can.

The Soviets could have nuked American during the Cold War. It was an option that was entirely possible, at the push of a button in fact, and totally within their capabilities.

However, the retaliation would have been too awful to contemplate. With appalling long term consequences. I put it to you that the same situation would apply in this case...

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

Weeelll, they'll be perfectly happy with it until it falls off the table once too often, causing a need for replacement, and they unwittingly buy this other reader that's a bit cheaper and has colour, and then having got it home, they start wondering how they get their books onto their new shiny.

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

I can't help thinking that the majority of people who buy into a [closed / walled garden / DRM-saturated hell] type device will be perfectly happy with it. It's only us techies who expect to root our devices who might be unhappy, or those who are miss-sold devices on a false basis who will be unhappy.

I have to agree with this. I recommended a Kindle to some very non-techies a while back. Just because I'd heard such awful things about Adobe's DRM. So my suggestion was that Amazon lock-in, and paying for books, was better than the alternative of wrestling Adobes Digital Editions into submission sufficiently to be able to take advantage of free library books.

I turned out to be correct. Since they ignored me, and took someone else's advice at Christmas they have read zero library books. And given the hassle it took me to get one downloaded for them to show them how, I am entirely unsurprised.

Adobe Digital Editions is an enormous pile of shit by the way. I enjoy incomprehensible user interfaces as much as the next man, but that was just silly. Also, I could find no way to authorise the actual device you're running it on, and its built-in reading interface is also shit, especially if you're trying to get large print for someone who's visually impaired. But it doesn't want any other (competently written) reader program on said laptop to be allowed a look-in.

I personally want only DRM free media. And I'm willing to jump through the hoops, and perform the required backups to support my choice. To anyone who isn't, there's iTunes or Amazon. Haven't looked at Google Play recently, but that's obviously got the same potential. This allows you to buy a device that links everything up, and makes it all easy. Sure you're locked in, and your media is at risk. But if you buy your own and don't back it up, it's probably worse. And there's nothing wrong with paying a bit extra for convenience.

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

>> How do they discover this?

When they want to lend a book to someone with a non-Amazon e-reader, or their Kindle breaks and they decide to replace it with a Kobo.

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

>> Adobe Digital Editions is an enormous pile of shit by the way

No arguments from me there.

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

Or... er... their Kobo breaks and they want to replace it with a Kindle.

Kindle DRM is at least - cough, cough - easy to remove - cough.

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Facepalm

Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

"I can't help thinking that the majority of people who buy into a [closed / walled garden / DRM-saturated hell] type device will be perfectly happy with it. It's only us techies who expect to root our devices who might be unhappy, or those who are miss-sold devices on a false basis who will be unhappy."

Absolutely..

Look how delighted the Plays for sure people are.. They got to buy their favourite music all over again.. squeeeeee!!! Lucky them.. They are "supporting artists" even more.. and other PR based reality twisting nonsense.

And the Sim City people must have been positively jumping up and down with glee at the sight of the game they bought not being able to log on to the servers..

To anybody actually paying attention.. DRM works just fine so long as you use it within the confines of what it's owner allows.

The problem comes when you stop using it as you are told, and try to use it as you want.

I can't help thinking that the people who claim DRM is not a big deal, must have a vested interest. Such as a lot of media that is DRM crippled, and if not enough people use it, it will be dropped, and they might lose what they already rented.

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

> "THEN they discover they've bought into proprietary DRM-saturated Hell."

> How do they discover this? When all the books they buy from amazon automagically appear on the device?

Nope, when all the books they buy from amazon automagically disappear from the device.

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

Me. My 200 dollar Kindle Fire was a gift, but a welcome one. I occasionally like to read something that is still within copyright, though and I buy most of my paper books from Amazon anyway.

I don't like DRM any more than the next person but in all honesty the unrealistically high price of most E-Books means I don't buy many of them for that reason alone. 12 dollars for the latest Game of Thrones e-book? Or a copy of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress? Teh Stoopid.

I could get some of those e-books from *my* library WITHOUT farting around with software to do the borrowing of course.

Yes, I can get Kindle DRM'ed books from my local library, a process that requires I enter the library with the kindle and let it connect to their network. But then, I don't want to mess with the tablet just for messing's sake. I want it in my life as an appliance, not a hobby. My hobby time is all spoken for.

I used to think licensing was a rip-off (the library must buy x copy licenses, each of which permits y lendings), but I realized that many library books get sold off for a dollar after a very short time to make space on the shelves, so it sort of follows the philosophy they've always used.

And when I use my Kindle I'm reading, right now the Best of Lucius Shepard, last week A Tale of Two Cities, week before that a James Blaylock collection. I bought them while at work and they were delivered seamlessly to my device when I got home (no wifi here). The screen is best for novels, not well suited to technical stuff or columnar mark-up, but that is down to the screen footprint. I imagine an iPad or similar device would provide a better experience.

When I look at what people are doing with their iPads and iPhones during my commute I'm seeing mostly games, and not really nifty modern games but stuff like hearts and solitaire. I can't judge the worth of how one uses an electronic reader, but personally I've always thought reading was *not* a mindless waste of time and expensive iKit.

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

I have a kindle keyboard 3G - If it broke though I would replace it with the cheapest. (I definitely do not want a touchscreen if I could have a normal one with a backlight I would get that but I want physical page turn buttons and to never touch the screen.)

I would be more annoyed not having my kindle than my smartphone or tablet.

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

"would look to see how many sources of content were available to them, and they would all come to the same conclusion: EPUB"

http://www.epubtomobi.com/ - EPUB to MOBI converter and free. Lock in problem solved. Next whinging complaint please....

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Happy

Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

What sort of cretin argues with a cretin who calls other cretins a cretin because of that cretins cretinous purchasing decision??

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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

I bought a Sony reader, jailbroke it, then installed the Kindle app. Best of both worlds.

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Unhappy

Kindles are for rentals

A kindle allows you to rent a book. When you die and pass on the books cannot be passed on and disappear into the ether of Amazons dormant accounts.

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