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Category Archives: The Web

Oh, these videos are so cool!!!!

Thanks to Dubious Quality for linking these.

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Posted by on October 12, 2012 in The Web

 

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Kindle edition Vs Digital access – pricing and content

I am currently a subscriber to the following magazines and newspaper. From the below one can easily ascertain that the model is not yet mature in terms of pricing and content access.

Financial Times

– Digital Subscription EUR299 (1 yr – standard)
– Digital Subscription EUR415.48 (1 yr – premium)
– Kindle USD335.88 (1 yr)

I am a subscriber to the FT Kindle edition and i currently pay USD335.88 which is around EUR270. This is just the actual FT daily newspaper. On the other hand the standard digital access FT subscription costs EUR30 more but allows almost full access to the FT content. Using Calibre one can also get the FT paper on the Kindle using the digital subscription, although with some hassle involved.

Foreign Affairs magazine

– Digital Subscription USD34.95 (1 yr)
– Kindle USD47.88 (1 yr)

I only subscribed to the FA magazine a week ago. The digital subscription gives full access to all the content including the print magazine’s articles. Using Calibre you can also get it on the Kindle and so far as i can tell with no problems whatsoever.

Compare that to the Kindle edition with which you don’t have access to the site’s content and it actually costs USD13 more. How does that make any sense? The Kindle edition does have “extras” such as the number of words an article contains (this is basically the only way to figure out how long an article is, which is one of the Kindle’s limitations) but are these “extras” worth USD13?

The Economist

– Digital Subscription EUR125 (1 yr)
– Kindle GBP119.88 (1 yr)

Finally, there is The Economist (part of the Pearson group which includes the FT). There is a difference here compared to the other two which is that the Kindle edition is not actually available to Cyprus yet. It’s good to look at it however because it does have the same pricing immaturity when it comes to its content. I am currently subscribed to the digital subscription model which again using calibre can provide me with a Kindle version in addition to the site’s content. I am paying EUR125 per year for this  while the Kindle edition would have set me back EUR150 and no access to the site.

Conclusion

It’s obvious that the Kindle editions are not just overpriced but the subscribers are also completely cut off from the sites these magazines and newspapers have. This can change once the Kindle (or any other ebook reader) becomes more capable of browsing the internet and therefore accessing sites. Currently ebooks are basically cut off from internet content. The Kindle Fire is a tablet and lacks the e-ink screen so i don’t see it to be the solution. Of course this will be solved at some stage further into the future when tablets and ebook readers have the technology for some sort of dual screens.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Books, The Web

 

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I talk to Strangers

A few weeks ago, it was a Sunday, i was bored more than my usual amount. For whatever reason i decided to do some online chatting. I had not done this since the first couple of years i came back to Cyprus after my studies. I think it was around 2002.

I googled “best online chat rooms” and clicked on www.omegle.com which requires no registration. In fact the way they depict the conversation is like this,

You:
Stranger:

There was a lot of “garbage” to go through, most of which was M looking for F. There were also many Chinese and Indians. An Indian i spoke with was studying hotel management and his dream is to run a 5 star hotel. I liked this guy, the freshness of youth!

Eventually i settled down with two Strangers.

The first was a F student from Australia, early 20s. This was a slow starter. It was a bit boring in fact. What do you do and this kind of stuff. Then the conversation switched to music and we took turns giving each other songs to listen to. Songs we liked and hoped the other one would too. It turned out to be awesome. F was into R&B whereas i was mostly into rock. She made me feel old at some point though when i mentioned that i liked Dire Straits and she said that they were one of her dad’s favourite bands…….

Stranger number 2 was Victor from Argentina. Early to mid 20s if i remember correctly. Victor and I talked about books. At the time he was reading The Myth of Sisyphus, by Albert Camus whereas i was reading Ender’s Game. He was surprised that we were having this kind of conversation on Omegle. Victor was very much into European writers and he pointed out that i was primarily focused on Anglo/Saxon. He made me very conscious of this and I’d like to make a few adjustments to the books i read now. It was very ironic that we were talking about Camus and we were both talking to Stranger! Although the excitement of conversation seems to have worn off now it was pretty cool and we even ended up exchanging a couple of emails.

Then a week after my first experience,

I logged in again and this time i only talked to a young man who is a filmaker in DC. I lied at first when he asked where i was from. I said Greece and immediately he replied “Giorgos Lanthimos” and after pleading ignorance of the name he told me that he was the director of Dogtooth, a film i have actually watched…. After talking for a while, he actually sent me an invitation to join Letterboxd which is a great site for rating films you’ve watched, adding movies to your watchlist and making lists of your own. The best part if that you find movies you’ve never heard of and movies your friends have rated.

Then finally, there was the 20yr old from Canada who is studying engineering and at the same time writing a sci-fi novel. He has the whole story and characters in his head. It’s based around his life and the people he’s known over the years. At the moment he’s written 50 pages and i can tell he will finish it quite soon. Unfortunately we were cut off and since the conversations are random we never spoke again. Pitty.

When was the last time you had a good conversation with a complete Stranger?

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Lifestyle, The Web

 

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Financial Times Kindle Edition

If you’ve clicked on the Something New page in the past couple of days you would see that i’ve wiritten my first customer review of Amazon. Considering how long i’ve been using that site it really took me a long time to do it.

This is what i wrote on 21 June 2012 regarding the kindle edition of the Financial Times UK under the heading Expensive and no FT Magazine:

“I love the FT.

But two problems i have with the Kindle edition, of which i am still a subscriber:

1. Expensive. At US$27.99 you should also have access to the site, not just the kindle edition. Otherwise it should be a lot cheaper like US$10-US$14 max.

2. No FT Magazine in the weekend Kindle edition which i think is a big omission.”

On 23 June, the first Weekend FT after i wrote the above, the kindle edition included the FT Magazine as the final section. It blew my mind. At first i thought i must have made a mistake and that there was always a section of the FT Magazine and i just had not noticed it. But i confirmed it with another regular FT kindle edition subscriber that it was indeed the first time he had seen it as well.

I went back yesterday, 23 June 2012, and added the below to my review:

“Ok, i don’t know whether this is just a coincidence or an unbelievably fast response from FT, but today’s Weekend FT includes the FT Magazine. Thank you. I have added a star to my original rating.”

I still find it difficult to believe that the FT management was so responsive to a customer review. But i have not  found another explanation yet. I hope that some day they will also respond to the pricing criticism but one thing that i am certain of is that this is not going to be my last customer review.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2012 in Antidote, The Web

 

Firefox extensions

Inspired by James Harris’ blog post, Living in the Cloud: Chrome, I’ve finally taken a closer look at the Firefox extensions. I’ve only been messing around with them for a few days now but I can tell you there are some fantastic ones available. I will be mentioning a few every now and then and give my experience with them.  Maybe you will find some that suit you if you are also using Firefox.

In addition Firefox, much like Chrome, also allows users to synchronise browsers between devices. Therefore any changes you make to your bookmarks, to-do lists and add-ons on the PC at work synchronise to my laptop and home desktop. It actually works brilliantly.

Evernote Clearly

I dislike reading on the PC monitor so I can only manage to read a few short articles a day. It’s a combination of the screen and the upright seating position when using a desktop (yes, I don’t have a tablet!). I do most of my web article reading on the Kindle using applications such as Calibre, Instapaper, Read it Later and Send to Reader.

Evernote’s Clearly however has been a revelation and it has changed the way i do my reading on the web (admittedly it’s only been a few days, but still!). The add-on allows one to eliminate everything but the text of the main article and therefore reduce the distractions while reading. Reminds me of the Kindle App in fact. In addition there are options to choose from with regards to the font size and the background. My writing does not do justice to the difference it makes to reading. It is also connected to the Evernote application if you are using it’s so it very easy to clip articles.

Reader

Reader works in a similar way to Evernote clearly. The advantage it has to Clearly is the integration of emailing the article. However, i use a different add-on for emailing articles that so i don’t use it as much as Clearly. Also i prefer Clearly’s ease of use with regards to adjusting fonts and background to Reader’s, although the latter does offer more customization.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2012 in The Web

 

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