Dear authors/publishers/people who make cash from books
Don’t you LIKE money? Here’s an update for all of you – not everybody lives in LA or New York. Shocking I know. Some of us, me for example, don’t even live in America. I live in Africa.
Africa. Yes, there’s no real need to specify exactly where in Africa (South Africa in case you were wondering) if Hollywood’s to be believed. No Hollywood movie has ever felt the need to specify a specific country in Africa, but rather act as though the entire continent is one place.
But I digress, as usual. In fact, this rant actually requires us to lump Africa into one single territory, as appears to be the case with book publishers.
Long story short – the availability of various eBooks (and I’m looking at you, Mr Amazon Kindle) and audiobooks (and I’m looking at you, Mr Audible.com, which happens to be owned by Amazon) tends to be severely limited to those of us not sitting in either America-f*ck-yeah or Europe.
The number of electronic and audiobooks that I have wanted to buy, but which are listed as not being available to shoppers in Africa, is staggering.
And my frankly rather valiant attempts (if I do say so myself) to send Tweets and emails to the authors or publishers concerned tend to not get a reply. I’m fully aware that these restrictions are set by the publishers, and not by Amazon, so they’re off the hook on this one.
So what’s the solution? I am physically unable to give your publishing house money to purchase your book in electronic or audio format. You don’t reply when I ask that a plan is made, or even just explain the reasoning behind this oversight. That leaves just one option – pirating a copy of it from the web.
You got a better solution?
Side note: And it’s not just us whining here – many Australians seem to have the exact same problem. Way to go guys – you just made it impossible for TWO WHOLE CONTINENTS to give you money.
Timeline is a complete revamp from the previous version of the Profile. Topped by a giant profile picture, your new Timeline page organizes your Wall into chronological order, making it possible to look back over your entire life on Facebook. All new posts appear front and center. As you go back through time, Facebook automatically shows the posts that received the most interaction. Users can then expand certain periods of time to see more posts.
As mentioned in the intro, users of Facebook tend to freak out en masse whenever a redesign occurs, so in an attempt to minimise the anticipated backlash, Facebook has given users a 7 day period from activating Timeline to review it and all items on display, before it publishes as your default profile.
I’ve started reviewing mine, and I must say it’s pretty cool. Although it does make it far easier for friends to see your “not as funny now as it was a few years back” posts and status updates. My 7 day review period ends on Thursday, but I decided to live dangerously and activate it a day early after giving it a review. Coz that’s how I roll. Note that this is because I elected to activate Timeline. I’m not certain when it will become mandatory for all users to adopt. Facebook states that users will soon start to see a notification about activating Timeline at the top of the profile.
Note that the new profile does allow you to view your Facebook profile as it appears to either the public, your subscribers or any of your friends. A snippet from the above-mentioned PC World article explains:
After you’ve edited your Timeline, you may want to check what others will be able to see on your revamped profile. To do this click on the cog icon underneath your cover photo and select “View As…” from the drop down menu. This will automatically show you how your profile looks to the public and your subscribers if you have any. You can also enter the name of any of your Facebook friends at the top of the page to see exactly what they’ll see on your Timeline.
So no dong photos circa 2006, alright? We don’t wanna see that.
First post since my much-lauded return from a blogging black hole, and I’ve already thrown my promise of original content, coupled with no more reposts of stuff from across the web, smartly out the window. Like a boss. Oh well.
Anyhoo, you all know the hipster Mac fanboys that queue for days, nay weeks, for whatever new (read: slightly upgraded) product is about to be released from the Apple stockyard, right? Well, Samsung decided to poke fun at ‘em. Because Samsung and Apple have been getting soooooo well lately if the tech news reports are anything to go by (they are).
Check it: their new ad for the Samsung Galaxy SII smartphone poking fun at the iPhone 4S’s much-reported bugs, lack of a new look and trendoid “creative” fans:
My favourite part?
“I could never get a Samsung, I’m creative.”
“Dude, you’re a barista.”
Symbian schmimbian! It’s all about ummm… Windows Mobile! Really Bill?
The 1% of the world that actually gives a toss about this stuff seems to forget that, for the rest of us, a phone is there for just that: making phone calls. (and if I’m really feeling daring I may just send an SMS). That’s it. Finished.
Sure the GPS is handy, an app for the daily news headlines is pretty cool and checking Facebook and Twitter is pretty convenient too. But guess what? They can now ALL do that. Yup, even that crappy little Honest-Bob’s-Reliable-Phones model you own.
So voetsek with your “oh but the iPhone has 235 000 apps vs Android’s pathetic 68 000 apps” and your “Windows Mobile 7 is going to revolutionise the way we call”. No it’s not. Can they all phone other people? Awesome. Wanna know which type of phone I prefer?
So there I was, quietly minding my own business, about to type up my latest post on this, SA’s finest blog. Alas, all of a sudden I noticed that my blog did not contain one single post. Okay, in the interests of clarity, I did not exclaim anything remotely like the effeminate “Alas” upon noticing the complete destruction of all my work… nay, it was more a case of a rather high-pitched and panicky “AG P*ES!”
536 posts… gone. One and a half years worth of wisecracking… gone. Needless to say I was rather displeased. And by displeased I mean… ummm… not happy? See the snappy catchphrase in the first paragraph.
“Well, that’s that then I suppose.” Coz there was no way in Hell that I was starting out again, from scratch. “Well, blogging was fun. What’s next?”
Sending out a panicky couple of tweets confirmed what I had feared – it was not a local connection problem or anything like that (Hey, don’t judge: I’m not an IT geek. Besides, I was grasping at straws). A reader from London (Hi PJ!) replied that the site was indeed gone. Kaput. Finito. In sy moer in.
Fokit. That’s the best part about the whole internet-thing: if you f@ck something up in the middle of your tiny little nowhere country, you can rest assured that it is f@cked beyond the same level of recognition the entire world over. ”The world on your doorstep. Broken. By you. FAIL.”
Just as I was about to pack it all in, trade the laptop for a bus ticket to Keetmanshoop and become a hermit, I figured I’d try one last time to Google a solution – a solution that did not involve me learning how to reprogramme the space shuttle in 45 minutes flat. Wouldn’t you know it: it turns out this is quite a common blog problem…
If you find that one day your WordPress blog contains no trace of you ever having written a single word, then (i) thank A. Fatih Syuhud, and then (ii) try the following (after your turn screeching “AG P*ES!”):
Login to your CPanel, which is located at yoursite.com/cpanel
Go to MySQL Databases
Select WordPress Database
Click Repair. Done.
Right, if anyone needs me I’m off to do a proper backup of this site. Because every image of Jessica Alba needs to be protected and safeguarded for all eternity. And because we only ever backup after we’ve had a problem, not so?
Right, time to whine. But before I do so, note that this product comes highly recommended, especially seeing as it’s R1000 cheaper than the other versions. It also seems to have the delays/lag reported with the prior models sorted out: definite PRO.
Dear Multichoice: your brand new PVR, the HD-PVR 2P, previously discussed here, is beginning to warrant a run-in with a sledgehammer.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great having access to the HD channels, and the ability to record multiple hours, pause live TV etc. is, as per your advertising, frikkin awesome (not sure you used those exact words, but that’s the gist of it).
I do however seem to have a few issues with it. I realise it was rushed to market just in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and may therefore have a few bugs to work out. Well here’s a thought: work them out already!
News24 – great to read the news at leisure on the telly. Unfortunately, 50% of the time the decoder crashes when exiting News24. It’s gotten to the stage where I will not access the service when something is busy recording as it usually means I need to reboot upon exit, thereby disrupting the recording of said show.
Series recording – not yet available. Fair enough: given the whole rushed-to-market thing I’m sure it’ll be available eventually. But the current alternative, time-based recordings, has the occasional habit of going haywire. Example: Lost. I set up the PVR to record Lost every Monday evening on Series. It records fine. Many times though when I check the next day it gives me a message that all future recordings were cancelled. Ummm… no they weren’t. Not by me, not by my missus, and presumably not by my 4-month old (she’s not exactly au fait with remotes yet).
That seems to have resolved itself lately. Now that error has been replaced by each episode of Lost (and every series set to record), for the next three weeks anyway, being listed individually. Fine, not a problem. But does mean that it’ll only record for the next three weeks? What happens in week four? Hmmm?
Last issue: the remote sucks. It is next to impossible to press ‘Play’ without accidentally causing the PVR to either Rewind or Fast-Forward. Fix the knoppie. I could go and buy a replacement remote (I see there’s a different brand that works perfectly as it has a slightly different button layout), but, quite frankly, if I’ve paid R2000 for a product I’m not forking out for a new remote too. Aight?
Whew! I’m done.
Other than that? It’s awesome. Clearly the above whines are software bugs (well, except for the remote thing), and will presumably be sorted out soon. Just thought I’d use this platform to hurry the process along…
Is Google about to launch a competitor to Facebook? It’s starting to sound like a possibility.
I first became aware of this after seeing the following paragraph from an article on memeburn:
Rumours are flying on the internet that Google is about to go head-to-head with Facebook with a new social network called “Google Me”. If so, then it’s a confrontation that has been a long time coming between the two heavyweights of the modern internet.
Head over and read some of these articles about the rumour (if you care):
Apparently everyone now knows about the new Apple iPhone 4 antenna issues…
Right lads, you’ve got 8 months to sort this kak out – if recent reports that MTN will now also be getting the iPhone 4 (as opposed to the previous iPhone 3 Vodacom exclusive) are to be believed, I will be upgrading to that-cool-new-iPhone-with-the-FAIL-antenna early next year.