Sex in books: Give ’em what they want


shocked readerWhen I was a boy, I would often pick up novels wherein I didn’t actually read characters’ swear words; instead, I read the author’s account of the characters’ swearing, to wit: “He swore,” “he gave his opinion in language not fit for polite society,” “her language, as crude as any sailor’s, caused her companions to blush furiously,” etc.  And I was introduced to the familiar scene known as “kiss kiss, cut to morning,” in which something significant happened in-between, but was apparently not appropriate enough for me to be privy to. Continue reading

Matching metaphors: Ebooks and cable television


A recent thesis by Stefan Larsson, entitled “Metaphors and Norms – Understanding Copyright Law in a Digital Society,” received a lot of attention for examining the metaphors being used to quantify digital products like ebooks, MP3 files, etc. The thesis asserts that the many problems holding the ebook industry from a stable, sustainable state have been the result of applying the wrong metaphors to ebooks, for instance, comparing it to physical goods like printed books, to limited data like an email, or public presentations like a website.

In the arena of ebooks, that discussion has predictably covered a lot of apropos and inapropos territory, effectively providing plenty of evidence in Larsson’s assertion; but thanks to his well-informed attack of the problem of recognizing digital products, quite a bit of the discussion about and following the thesis has been exceedingly intelligent and well-considered. Continue reading

When will showing off get us practical electrics?


Peugeot's EX-1 electric carPeugeot recently showed off its EX-1 concept electric car for its 200th birthday.  A 100% electric car, its main claim to fame—besides that Batmannish shell—is its 340 horsepower engines and its breaking of six world records.  (I understand it may have also taken the record for the Kessel Run from the Millennium Falcon, but that hasn’t been confirmed.)

The EX-1 is a vehicle to stand beside the Tesla Roadster, which does 0-60 in 3.7 seconds.  Maybe that’ll be fast enough to save you from the authorities, or your wife, when they find out you paid over $100,000 for it. Continue reading