Giving the people what they want


Sava's closed noteI recently came across a news item about a restaurant in Texas that closed due to poor business, in order to relocate to another town.  (The only reason I saw this was that someone at this restaurant posted a note essentially chewing out the residents of that town for being a bunch of tasteless inbred rednecks for not loving the crap out of the place, and that made it news.  Ah, America.)

So, seriously, the owner of the restaurant said that the residents showed no appreciation for his food and wanted something else from him.  He decided that that was something he didn’t want in his restaurant, so he picked up sticks and left.  (He denies leaving the note, and no one’s been fingered for it yet.) 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