Deal of the Day : ANOMALY


DEAL OF THE DAY:
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Anomaly-Buy
The ANOMALY Hardcover is touted as something new under the graphic novel sun, in terms of scale and scope.

At over 7lbs,and nearly 17″ wide by 12″ tall and 370pages… this tale by co-creators Skipp Brittenham and Brian Haberlin that is equal parts STARSHIP TROOPERS meets BLADE RUNNER meets AVATAR lives up to its impressiveness and hype.

In a world racing toward digital, it shows in its tactile art object glory, why print will always have its audience. There is a wow factor with interacting and touching, and even smelling a well designed art book, that can not be replaced or replicated by a tablet or laptop. Don’t get me wrong, digital has is strengths, and ANOMALY using built in AR codes in the book, and a website, makes digital and tablets and phones part of the conversation if you so choose.

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But ANOMALY, the book, remains a wonderful experience whether or not you have a signal, or your device has power, which is the strength of the ancient technology of books. It is self sufficient, and does not suffer the obsolescence most technology falls victim to.

I have books from the 1950s and you can hand those books to anyone who can read… and the magic in those books can be consumed with no problem nor external player needed. That cannot be said of most technologies since. Most people can no longer play 8track tapes or laser-discs or records or video tapes or even cds. All of which are mediums far newer than my book of the 1950s however far more temporary based on their dependence on a player to translate the storage medium. A book in that way remains superior technology, being both a storage medium and a player.

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And the rate of technological obsolescence is speeding up, as companies hurriedly race to produce the next thing to get you to re-buy what you just bought, but in a new format. More than likely in less than 10years, your huge collection of mp3s will be as useful (and as used) as real audio files. And no doubt your Blu-rays and certainly your DVDs will (as the players break, and the market stops producing new content and new players) go the way of the Laser-disc, as a format that time, for good or ill, has passed by.

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However, books such as ANOMALY, the ancient technology, will remain accessible and valued. Indeed ever more valued as tangible items, and physical quality, become ever more a cost, publishers and manufacturers are unwilling to undergo.

At $75 retail, it is not cheap by any definition, but neither is it overpriced. And to paraphrase Shakespeare’s Henry the Vth, “if you wear it, it will only wear better and better over time’. Add to that Amazon has it at a substantial discount, and you have today’s DEAL OF THE DAY. Details here:

Anomaly : Price your copy here!

If you appreciate this post, and agree this installment’s DEAL OF THE DAY is for you please use the link above to purchase it. You’ll get a great item and this blog will earn a couple pennies to keep the proverbial doors open, and keep bringing you more DEALS OF THE DAY posts. It’s a win/win! πŸ™‚

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Ruminations on Micheaux’s BODY AND SOUL (1925) & Murnau’s FAUST (1926)

Ruminations on Micheaux’s BODY AND SOUL (1925) & Murnau’s FAUST (1926)

I find both of these films very odd, and both very daring and challenging for the times, but neither particularly satisfying.

Of the two Murnau’s FAUST is by far the better known, well… as well known as silent films get, with numerous re-masterings and expensive restorations done, and new scores routinely crafted for it, and volumes of critical analysis written, and the darling of film courses everywhere.

And while I’m a huge fan of F.W. Murnau’s SUNRISE (Sunrise along with Erich Von Stroheim’s GREED, and a handful of others, is considered, rightly I believe, one of the greatest silent films ever made); I’m not as enamored of his FAUST. The technical wizardry for the day was ground breaking, but FAUST, for me suffers a couple of flaws we’ll get into in a moment.

Because flaws aside FAUST has maintained a level of attention, accolades, and restoration to be envied, while Oscar Micheaux’s BODY AND SOUL, has pretty much become an invisible film. No restorations, no re-masterings, and fairly unseen and unknown.

Which is a shame because the two films make an interesting diptych on religion and carnality and the suffering of women; the almost crucifixion of women at the hands of a dismissive, patriarchal society. And they both offer intriguing performances by their respective female leads.

BODY AND SOUL, is one of the few surviving silent ‘RACE’ pictures (Pictures created by and for Black audiences and the thriving Black movie theater circuit that comprised 600 black owned theaters [as opposed to the half dozen in existence today], popular in the years from 1915 to 1928) and as such, is an intriguing and historically important part of both cinema and highlighting the cultural fabric and concerns of the day.


Well kids, read the entire article(14 pages approximately) in the excellent EPUB format (the beautiful defacto digital book standard, perfect for your E-reader, Ipad, Nook, Archos, or just about any other decent tablet or ereader device). or I can also provide it to you in PDF format (readable on your PC, Laptop and kindle).

Go here!!

I’m doing this for my more lengthy and popular articles, because one it’s a far better presentation, than a web-browser, I like the look and smooth browsing capabilities of the Epub format, and providing you with a higher quality reading experience helps me generate income for this blog, so I can keep producing some nifty content. Take a gander I think when you see what is being offered, and the ridiculous cheap pennies it’s being offered for, you’ll want to go ahead and get one for your Ipad or Kindle or Archos or other Ereader.

Thanks again for looking and thank you in advance for supporting. It really does make all the difference.

In The News: Facebook, Rating Attorneys, Rogue Planets and Feb 25th Look up in the Sky!

ALL THE NEWS, YOU CAN USE:

Ohio man given choice of Facebook apology or jailIt would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Nope… it’s still funny. πŸ™‚

Cyber-security expert finds new flaw in smartphonesEven as a tech guy, I’m a Luddite at heart. Which means, there’s a point where I think you give up too much for ‘ease of use’. There’s a point where I think you need to draw a line between what is your data and what is not. Increasingly smart-phones, and tablets, and I-tunes, and cloud computing, not challenged, not held to a standard… will erase any such line.

Scorned Attorney Threatens to Take Down Lawyer-Review SiteYeah that’s really going to change people’s opinion of him. More to the point I didn’t know there was a review site for Lawyers! Cool! I have some reviews I need to leave. πŸ™‚

Rogue Planets are Rambling through GalaxyWhat??!!! You mean SPACE 1999 had it right?!!!! Doh!!

Five Sports You Can Start Today and Play ForeverWell these are usually bs, but these guys are right on. Tennis anyone?! πŸ™‚

Planets Align February 25: Venus, Jupiter, Moon To ConvergeOohhhh! I Knew it was coming! I knew it! I’m going up to my roof tomorrow at sunset and scream… SHAZAM!!! Goshdarn it! We’ll see who becomes Captain Marvel! πŸ™‚

Well that’s all the news for now. Go out and hug somebody. πŸ™‚

Google’s Android Tablets vs Apple’s IPAD2, Microsoft, Oracle, British Telecom, Ebay!

Who would have thought that I would be on Google’s side on anything, much less feeling sorry for them.

But true to the axiom the enemy of my enemy is my friend, that’s exactly where I am at with Google, at this point in time.

The Android platform came onto 2011 like a breath of fresh air, and its meteoric rise gave the mobile market something it hasn’t had in many a year… choice, and true competition, relief from the Apple Juggernaut.

But that choice came at a price… Namely a feeding frenzy of the most powerful companies in the world all deciding to destroy the Android Platform, Google, itself no lightweight, finds itself having to deal with no less than 6 Mega-Massive Lawsuits, from companies with revenues in excess of billions of dollars each.

The companies lined up to protect their entrenched, monopolistic and consumer enslaving business models and technologies are Oracle, Apple, Microsoft, Ebay, GeMalto and as of today British Telecom. And that’s just counting the ones suing that are valued over a billion dollars.

You add them all together and you have as stated… a bloody feeding frenzy.

With companies using flawed to the point of destructive Software Patents, to stifle innovation and destroy competition.

These Goliath’s don’t want to win customers through creating better products, heaven forbid, they want to sue, and legislate and license and otherwise utilize “Al Capone style” Protection racket schemes, to sell the American people and the world… only their product. Typically overpriced, often severely crippled products. Take the Ipad that is lacking basic design features such as USB and HDMI and SD ports, and it’s only the competition of Android (which does offer these ports) that is making Apple have to address these glaring omissions on their tablet in each successive new model.

So again I’ve had, and had my share of problems with Google, their search engine and email and pretty staggering abuses of privacy and personal freedoms, from digitizing and uploading massive amounts of books, to the detriment of authors and publishers, to extreme methods of uncovering and mapping public and private networks/wi-fi hotspots, to generally being one of the privacy problems on the Internet rather than one of the solutions.

So imagine my surprise that it is Google, for self serving needs to be sure, that through the android platform, offers us, the consumer, the best chance at real choice and real innovation to hit the technology scene in decades. Android isn’t perfect, it’s in its infancy, and as Carrier IQ and malwaqre scare show, it has growing yet to do. I’d like it to get the chance to grow.

And further, Google’s Android platform, in an economic environment that has been going from depression to depression, has actually been allowing businesses to flourish in a way we have never seen in the mobile market. That competition thing again, that is the first excitement, and first upswing in terms of substantial new products, and new players we’ve seen in the market, the first good sign in the economy.

And the Goliaths rather than wanting to compete, and win or lose based on product merit in a flourishing everybody makes money environment, seek instead to sue the Android Platform into a coma, and all the watershed business, and economies of scale, and diversity, and yes choice… that has built up around it… sue them out of business. And continue an economic outlook and policy, that further disenfranchises the bulk of people and companies, in favor of a very few companies and a very few people. Moving ever quicker to an unsupportable age of masters and slaves. And I tell you now, in that age… when the poor man has nothing left to lose… the fall for the rich…. shall be steep.

Apple particularly has been blatant and disgusting in their global attempt to monopolize the mobile market. To allow this monopolization and indeed chilling of innovation and competition is to sign the death warrant of liberties both subtle and gross in America and in the world. It is to Grandfather these six companies in… not as providers of services and technologies to customers, but as imposed entities, protection rackets, selling their products to the American people and the world at the barrel of a lawsuit.

It cannot stand.

And not only is Google the sole large capital company to defend open source, but they are also one of the few big cap companies to battle the media provider rape of the American people that is this horrendous SOPA Bill now, brokered by the same companies suing Google, winding it’s way into law in our congress. Which once done will make freedom of speech on the Internet, like competition, an endangered species.

Find out where your representative stands on this ‘Patriot Act level of wrong’ bill.

Tell them today to oppose the SOPA bill.

So as odd as this is for me to say, I’m rooting for Google, not just to win all six court cases and get to maintain a non-crippled Android, but further to deal a death blow to this horrible ‘its time is passed’ concept of Software Patents.

The enemy of my enemy being in this case… my friend.

All I had to say.

For more on all this go to Eff.

Now go… Defend something. While you’re able.

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: Looking for a tablet, ereader, Kindle, Ipad? Read this first!

15 April 2012: This is today’s CLASSIC POST!!

A tablet is a form factor/hybrid still very much in search of a purpose.

The IPAD has inexplicably become all the rage, but recent studies show the number one thing people do with the IPAD is play a game called Angry Birds, followed by email, followed by web browsing.

At $500 that’s a lot to pay for what amounts to a crippled laptop. I mean, you spend your money how you want to spend your money, but for me $500 for a tablet, with the limitations current tablets have, doesn’t make sense. Tablet’s currently being something that is neither quite as portable as a phone or as useful and powerful as a laptop, but some bastardized form in search of a function.

The form factor of a tablet lends itself to one attractive purpose, wherein it does something better than either a phone or a laptop, as an ebook reader. With the dimensions generally of a book, the tablet format lends itself to easy reading on the couch or in coach or business class while traveling.

The ability to easily read books or magazines or comics, when carrying multiple real books would not be as convenient is a real selling point. As a traveler I can appreciate this purpose, and niche, that the tablet format can fill better than squinting at a tiny phone screen, or lugging around a laptop.

So at its heart the central selling feature of the tablet format, 7″-10″ screen, is easy, book like reading. That said a tablet is not an ebook. A true ebook uses eink, and while monochrome is supposedly easier reading than the LCD format (The eye strain argument. I’ve worked on both, and for myself find the difference negligible. I’m used to LCD screens, and just adjust the brightness to a comfortable range, and for me what you gain in color, offsets whatever you may lose in sharpness with eink), and is far better on power usage, lasting weeks on a single charge as opposed to hours for a LCD screen.

So if you just want an Ebook reader, you can get decent ones between $80 to $250. Generally speaking the big thing to look for regarding ebooks is does it play epub files (which is the standard and pretty awesome format used by libraries and bookstores, as well as free online repositories etc), pdfs (which we’re all familiar with, and many magazines come as), and text (which again is supported by many free sites).

So when looking at Ebooks such as the Kindle, Nook, Kobo, the Kindle by virtue of being the defacto standard of the world’s largest book and shopping site, gives it a massive edge just in terms of prevalence and ease of adopt-ability. Add to that Amazon having the lowest price, and all things being equal why would you not buy the Kindle?

Well here’s the problem, and here is where Amazon for me, shoots themselves in the foot. All things are not equal. Amazon did not trust themselves to create a quality ereader, and didn’t trust you the consumer enough to give you choice. A common problem with business in the 21st century, they don’t want to earn your business, they want to own your business, they want to enslave you. What do I mean by this? Amazon decides to not support on their Kindle Ereader the defacto standard of Epub, and instead creates a new proprietary format, AZW.

You’re already inclined to buy the effing electronic book from Amazon, that should have been win enough for them, but no, they basically want you to buy the book and read it on their device. It’s like me buying a book from a physical store, and then the cashier telling me you can only read the book in the store.

If I have a hundred ebook readers, consider them different rooms in my house, I should be able to read my ebook I bought from Amazon in any damn room I feel like. The purpose of a locked down AZW ebook format is to keep you from having digitally, the same rights you have in the real, physical world.

That’s the problem corporations have in the 21st century, they want a certainty on your actions, that they never had previously, and to do this they are willing to criminalize anything they cannot control, and for me I don’t respond well to you trying to own me. You don’t get to be sure, you get to make a product, you get to sell a product, and you get paid for a product, and you get to deal with wrong doing if it happens, but you don’t get to treat me like a criminal before a crime, which is what all these companies, movies, music, media conglomerates are doing.

You have customers you treat em with respect. And if it turns out a customer bought your book and is running off a printing press in his basement and is selling copies, you prosecute him. What you don’t do is treat all your customers like criminals, because of the one criminal you may have to deal with.

That’s the 21st century mindset between devices like the Kindle, that I was all for buying, $90 Ereader?? Cool? Wait, I can’t read Epubs on it? Wait I can’t transfer easily AZW files to other devices? Wait so I’m paying you $90 for a reader, that is basically a jail cell for books I buy from you but don’t really own, and that are locked down with DRM? I’m paying you like $90 to treat me like a criminal in other words? And Kindle Fire is just as crappy and locked down.

Well to that I say, eff you very much Amazon. I’ll stick to just getting real books from you, get my ebooks somewhere else, and look for an Ereader that will let me play my purchased or free ebooks as I see fit. So to the Amazon VP who brainstormed their Kindle/lock-down/AZW/slap customers in the face policy…

You’re making money, but you could have made more, if you feared less.

or in other words…

Shove the Kindle where the sun don’t shine and set it on fire.

Why don’t I tell you how I really feel? πŸ™‚

And this comes from someone who does business with Amazon and likes buying print books from them. But ebooks? No I’m not doing their DRM nonsense.

Anyhow, so once that decision was made regarding the cheap Kindle not being for me, I decided if I was going to pay anywhere near $200 for something to read ebooks, then I should get something that would handle all my reading needs. Including comics, magazines.

So that meant color, and that meant LCD screens, and that meant Tablets.

Now I knew looking at tablets, specifically the Ipad, that there was no way on earth this was something I was going to pay anywhere near $500 for. $500 for what amounted to a stopgap technology, a glorified ereader, or a crippled laptop if you will. And researching Tablets I saw Apple Ipad was infected with the same disease/mentality as Amazon’s Kindle in essence it’s designed to treat you like a criminal before crime.

What do I mean? No USB ports. No HDMI ports, No SD support. Things have to be transferred to and from the Ipad via the Matrix GateKeepers of Itunes. Cloud Computing in other words. Cloud Computing is the 21st century re-purposing of the 20th century thin client/server model, but pushed from corporate America to the masses.

In a word… Cloud Computing sucks! Cloud Computing is you trusting your information to companies that don’t trust you.

How on earth does that make sense to you?

Cloud Computing is the move to eradicate the hard-drive for the individual, the idea of private storage. Eff that! I’ll hold onto my hard-drive.

It’s that level of utter control of everything you do with the device, this Draconian iron fist, that I’m just not effing having. I’m just not going to 1/ to be treated that way and 2/for what amounts to a severely crippled device. And I’m definitely not paying anything over $250 for a bloody tablet.

And at $250, at $200, at $150, at $100, I still wouldn’t pay for the effing Ipad. No USB, no HDMI, no SD support, beautiful screen or no, it’s a paper weight to me without those ports.

And Apple’s tendency to treat customers either like children or criminals extends to their corporate mentality. Morally the company is doing some really immoral stuff in regards to software patents and stifling innovation. If Apple has its way there will be no alternative to Apple’s high-priced crippled devices. So people should really think twice before supporting them, because they definitely don’t have supporting you… in mind.

So what would I buy in tablets? I’m liking the Android tablets, and I think the Toshiba Thrive and Asus Transformer, are great Ipad killers. Offering all the useful things the Ipad doesn’t.

Unfortunately while not as expensive as the over-priced crap that is the Ipad, they are still expensive and above my $250 Tablet limit. However going used I can get an Ipad Killer, that meets all my needs and then some, chief among them, bringing it all home, ebook reading.

So my choice for the recommended Tablet this holiday season?

From France the feature rich ARCHOS 101 10.1″ Tablet. And while the latest version is generation 9, and generation 10 is on the horizon, generation 8 which you can get used blows away any Ipad in terms of versatility and usability. Now, it doesn’t offer 3G, but Wi-fi is all I need. Plus if you do need anywhere support you can always tether to your smartphone or use your USB aircard with a cradlepoint. All cheap, easy alternatives to spending hundreds more just to get a built in 3G/4G connection.

All in all, by the time I’ve done the learning curve, and outgrown (if I do) this Archos 101 G8. the used Thrive or the used Achos G10 will be available in my price range of $250. A lot of people buy above what they’ll use, and by the time they master it the next new thing is out, that’s why it saves to not be an early adopter.

If more people did this, ignoring or waiting for prices to drop, manufacturers would be forced to stop this overpricing of tablets.

So that’s it kids, a month or so of research distilled to my choice of the best buy for a tablet this holiday season.

Here’s one link:

Archos 101 16GB

With a little searching you can pick up an Archos 101 16GB G8 for under $200. And out the box it comes with the Alkido Ereader installed. One of the selling points for me, along with tons of other reasons, including the built in stand.

Well that’s it folks.

Good shopping!