Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Joseph Campbell's "Myths to Live By"

This excellent Joseph Campbell book about contemporary myths is currently free on Amazon. Covers everything from the Moon Walk to Schizophrenia.: 'Myths to Live By (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell' 

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Insanity Of Provincialism

Having grown up in Bangalore, I can never see myself calling it Bengaluru. Bangalore is as much Koshy's as it is Majestic.

I don't believe the Bengaluru tag ever caught on, it's still Bangalore, unlike, say, Chennai or Mumbai.

What does Bangalore mean to you?

Amazon Select and Free Books on the Amazon Kindle

With all the new Amazon Kindles being bought and loaded up, everyone's on the lookout for good book bargains. This couldn't have come at a better time, as with the launch of Amazon's new marketing fund, Kindle Select, authors are encouraged to give away their books for free, for up to 5 days each quarter.

 Needless to say, this is both a shot in the arm for independent authors/publishers and at the same time a shot across the bow (apologies for the overwrought metaphor) of the large publishers. The large publishers had it coming, as it were, with their near-cartelization of e-book pricing, for which they are reportedly being investigated by the EU.

Authors have been quick to take advantage of the e-promotions, and a plethora of books is marked down to free every day. There are a couple of websites that specialize in tracking free and discounted Kindle books. Two notable ones are Kinlib and eReaderIQ. I prefer the user interface of eReaderIQ, although kinlib's sparse format leads to lesser clicking and faster scrolling. Both have opted to hide the many erotica titles, although often titles are miscategorized. An Amazon reader/reviewer, Princess "Jingle Bells" Joyce, has long been sharing free books each day through the Kindle Discussion forum, and her job is much simplified by these new sites. The advantage of the daily Free Books thread is that readers chime in with recommendations and opinions, making it easy to sift through the chaff.

Here's the pick of the lot for today:

Dig in! (Remember, you can send the books to the Kindle Cloud Reader until you're ready to download them and save space on your Kindle)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Apple's problem with in-App purchases, refunds and single sign-on

Ken Haas draws attention to problems with getting refunds from developers and the Apple Store. I've had a bad experience like many others with inadvertent in-app purchases made by my kids through stuff like TapZoo, etc and run up $200+ charges. Apple and the developers were kind enough to reverse the charges, but after that, I have explicitly disabled in-app purchases, which should be the default.

Apart from the difficulty in getting refunds, Apple's model of storing your iTunes password for 15 minutes after its entered and indiscriminately passing authentication information between apps for in-app purchases is the nub of the inadvertent in-app purchase problem.

In typical Apple fashion, though these problems have been known and reported for years, its unlikely they will be fixed.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Super 8 - Perfect Blend

Steven Spielberg and J J Abrams' Super 8 is a perfect blend of 80s sci-fi, Spielberg themes and Stephen King-style plot. The children act as if they were unsullied by the 90s and 21st century. The sketchy plot besides, this movie is really about the children. 

Saturday, April 02, 2011

India wins ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

After 28 years, India won the ICC Cricket World Cup in grand style, with captain M S Dhoni finishing off with a six. The team carried the captain off the field as the crowd went wild. Everyone had a part to play, and the match was a rocking great 'un. Sri Lanka's excellent 274 score was surpassed by India.

The match was seen as a proxy for rising Indian confidence and this victory will doubtless be touted as symbolizing a resurgent India.

It's just a game in the end, though, and someone had to win.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Up In the Air

Up In the Air
Originally uploaded by aacool

Frozen Santa

Frozen Santa
Originally uploaded by aacool

Some Fine Books

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Time traveler, world traveler, book reader