Some good commentary on the Amazon Kindle “wireless reading device”:
Not considering whether they’ve created a good solution for reading eBooks and other online material, it sounds like it’s the same old digital rights management harassment. I’m amazed that no one has tried to come up with a good solution that allows casual sharing (close friends or family), while preventing wholesale pirating. Companies are still approaching it from the viewpoint of complete lockdown to the single customer who bought the product.
When I worked at Palm, we worked with ebook publisher Peanut Press (now eReader). They created a clever solution that allowed casual sharing: your credit card number unlocked the book after you installed it on your handheld. Using a credit card meant you’d probably share it with your spouse, family, or close friend, but certainly wouldn’t publish it beyond that.
Hopefully somewhere along the line, someone can come up with something that makes the publishers happy from a piracy viewpoint, but let’s their customers have a bit of freedom with the product.
I just finished reading Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug. This is a frequently-recommended book on web usability and overall I found it a good (quick) read with many common-sense approaches to improving web usability. The author’s writing style makes it an enjoyable read (if there is such a thing for technical books). My only complaint was that the book is relatively short (less than 200 pages) and I found myself wanting more.
I just finished another good story from World War II: In Harm’s Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis….
I had heard of this book at some point and had added it to my Amazon “wish list”. There was the reference from Jaws that always interested me, so finally we bought the paperback and my wife and I both read it.
I came away from the book with a couple of distinct thoughts: 1) there were a lot of people in the US military at fault for the incident; and 2) those boys really went through hell after the ship was sunk. I was expecting the physical degradation after the ship sunk and they waited many days for rescue, but I was surprised to learn about the psychological damage as well.
Well, it’s not quite like book reports I used to do for school, but I decided to start tracking books I’ve read. It also gives me a chance to play with Amazon’s new interface to their data. For now, I’m simply linking to the titles on Amazon’s page, but will expand on this later.
Books I’ve Read
I just finished Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley and really enjoyed it. This book was released in May of 2000 (just before Father’s Day) and I’m sure it was very popular at the time. That doesn’t explain why it took me two years to get around to reading it, but I finally did over the July 4th holiday this year.
Overall I really enjoyed the book. My knowledge of Iwo Jima was limited to “the picture” and the fact that we fought the Japanese on some island in the Pacific. Along with learning a lot about the men in the picture, this book gives a good overview of the fight, often in graphic detail.
The book left me wanting to learn more about the war in the Pacific, but in the appendix the author lists numerous sources for further reading.