Friday Midday Links: Book Scanning for $1 and Brand Loyalty
Limecello has been hosting a charity drive on her blog and it ends this Sunday. Various authors have committed to donating money to the famine relief effort in exchange for comments. You can read more about it here.
Sarah and I are conducting a reader panel at RT in 2012. It’s very cool because the readers are the panelists. We’ll be choosing the panelists from those readers who sign up for the workshop. I’m pretty excited about this and hope it is as awesome as we have envisioned it in our minds. The time and day hasn’t been confirmed but it will be Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Registration will be open by September 15.
Have a bunch of books that you would like to make into ebooks but don’t have the time or equipment? 1dollarscan will accept shipment of your books and send you a PDF in return for $1. This PDF isn’t a reflowable text that you can use on your smart phone or ereader. It is merely a scanned image of each page in one big PDF. Depending on the quality, you could take that PDF and turn it into a ePub or Mobi using an OCR engine, but that would be very time consuming. Still, if you have a bunch of books you bought from 10 cents at goodwill and are tired of them clogging up your closet, this might be a good option for you.
In the Phoenix Sullivan thread and in the comments to Sarah at Smart Bitches review of Grand Sophy, some commenters appeared unable to separate their love for the book and their love for the author from the text itself. When I read this article at Wired about the brand attachment that some tech owners have, it all made sense.
The paper notes that its conclusions challenge some assumptions from previous literature on brand connections. It had been assumed that brands are treated more like an interpersonal relationship and that brand loyalty is indicative of relationship strength. Instead, the Illinois researchers believe people treat brands as they treat themselves, leading users to feel more affected by brand failure instead of less.
A site called Bad Reputation has a great article about the representation of women in fantasy. Juliet E. McKenna writes that fiction is important because many people will never sit down and watch a documentary or read a lengthy newspaper analysis of the perfidy of sexism. She points out that Young Adult fiction is doing a much better job of presenting texts that challenge kids to think about the existing worldviews and adult fiction writers should not undo all that good work:
So it’s vital that epic fantasies on the ‘adult’ shelves don’t undo all that good work. I really do not want my teenage sons unconsciously absorbing notions of male privilege and entitlement in stories where a woman’s importance is always defined by who she might choose to sleep with, or better yet, save her precious virginity for. Where women who transgress male authority are invariably punished by supposedly indifferent twists of fate. I don’t want my niece and god-daughters reading stories which imply that true happiness lies in meekness, submission and doing the cooking and mending to facilitate so much more valuable male heroics.
I have been reading Bruce Lanksy’s collection of retold fairy tales and fables beginning with Girls to the Rescue Book #1 with my daughter. It’s a wonderfully female empowering series as it shows the girls as wise, brave, and clever.
There have been a couple of seismic events in technology this past week. (Yes, I am not overstating this). The first was Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobile. Motorola has always been a preferred device manufacturer of Google’s but most every one says that this acquisition is about the thousands of patents Motorola owns. This places other Android devices in jeopardy although Google promises it won’t preference any of its own devices over those manufactured by other corporations. Amazon tablet is rumored to be an Android based device so it will be interesting to watch and see what happens.
The other huge event is that Hewlett Packard is going to be moving away from hardware manufacturing. Everything I’ve read suggests that HP is killing the hardware and focusing solely on software. It purchased Autonomy for $10.3 billion to shore up its software division. HP came out with a tablet device called the HP Touchpad that ran WebOS. HP will no longer be producing products with WebOS.
By discontinuing WebOS products, Apotheker is backtracking on a strategy he announced just five months ago to put WebOS software on every Hewlett-Packard computer. The operating system runs the company’s TouchPad tablet and a range of smartphones.
I would be careful about buying one of those.