June 15, 2015

Archaic Word of the Day, Kindle Feature of the Day

I encountered this gem in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations:

The amercement, besides, of the person complained of, might frequently suggest a very strong reason for finding him in the wrong, even when he had not really been so.

I looked up "amercement" and think the term ripe for linguistic revival:
An amercement is a financial penalty in English law, common during the Middle Ages, imposed either by the court or by peers. The noun "amercement" lately derives from the verb to amerce, thus: the King amerces his subject, who offended some law. The term is of Anglo-Norman origin, , and literally means "being at the mercy of"

The context of our 18th Century Scottish philosopher would describe Ferguson, Missouri today or any legal jurisdiction which finances itself predominantly from fines.

Wanting to remember this cool word and share it with ThreeSourcers, I highlighted it on Kindle. But I have highlighted 100 things in Smith's tome. I tried the feature to tweet it -- and that is pretty cool. It tweets a truncated version to be sub-140 and a link to the user's Knidle page on Amazon which contains the entire quote, links to the book, other highlights and comments. Very very cool.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2013

Thinking of South Park...

I don't hate Apple. But I don't love Apple.


There was some mirth to seeing this as I recalled the South Park episode "HUMANCENTiPAD". Kyle was subjected to pornographically monstrous indignities that it turns out he accepted by clicking OK on the iTunes "Terms and Conditions." It was one of the South Parks that was a little over-the-top even for me. But the great comedic moment was when he talks to Stan, Eric, Kenny, and Butters -- all of whom are astonished that he clicked okay without reading the entire agreement: "Else, how could you know what you were agreeing to?" asks eight-year-old Cartman. Comedy gold.

Haha. But there is a property rights issue underneath that disturbs me. I had that decision thrust upon me today for a bunch of stuff that I purchased a long time ago. My Amazon collection is mine. It is delivered on MP3s that I can play anywhere. No DRM, no licensing, no sewing of your mouth on the butthole of another iTunes user...

I celebrate Steve Jobs's saving the music industry by figuring out a digital model which eluded the labels. But I don't buy anything from Apple unless it is not available from Amazon. Even then, I think pretty seriously whether I really want it.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:35 PM | Comments (1)
But AndyN thinks:

Every time I'm asked to agree to a questionable terms of service agreement, I'm reminded of this...


"By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from gamesation.co.uk or one of its duly authorised minions."

Posted by: AndyN at September 24, 2013 7:35 AM

November 3, 2011

I, for one, welcome our new cloud overlords.

Last week, I suggested that Amazon was poised to eat Netflix's lunch and leave a few unwanted baby carrots in their rival's ear. Or words to that effect.

I now think they are going to rule the world. I have seen the future, and have pre-ordered it.

The Amazon Prime® Membership seems inexplicable from an accounting perspective. I pay $89 or whatever it is and get free two-day shipping and $3.99 overnight shipping on all products that ship from Amazon (not necessarily their partners). I signed up when my lovely bride was in the hospital and found it so convenient, I have suggested it as a gift to caregivers everywhere. Always scarce time is at an extra premium when a loved one is hospitalized. Not going to Walgreen's for toothpaste is another 15 minutes at bedside. Precious.

It's been six years and I would not let that subscription lapse if Bezos appeared at Zuccotti Park and gave lessons on Marx and Engels.

They included FREE access to an extensive streaming video library a few months ago. I bought a Blue-Ray player that supports it (from Amazon, natch) and my Netflix account expires 11/21. My wife and I have both pre-ordered the Kindle Fire® It will let us watch our free and purchased Amazon videos, listen to Amazon MP3s (and others I upload to my cloud player) and read all our kindle books, blog and magazine subscriptions.

Today, they announce a library of free books. I guess you can borrow one a month -- if you have a Kindle and Prime.

Who is going to hold out for long? I get 200% ROI just on shipping. It seems like they might be giving too much away. But -- contra Netflix -- their business plan allows this customer captivity to pay off. Shipping is free, you might as well start buying your coffee from Amazon. And, if you buy that movie or MP3 it will be on all your devices. And I can no longer counsel agnosticism on eReaders. Buy the damn Kindle people.

Today, Netflix, tomorrow a Jobs-less Apple.

UPDATE: If you buy the Fire, use the ProfGlennGetsPaidFerIt link.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:43 PM | Comments (0)