July 19th, 2009

Epic Fail

Giles Doesn't Have To Worry About Losing His Books

My dad had asked me what a Kindle was, and I explained the basics, it's an electronic book reader with nifty features.  It also violates my sense of fairness regarding digital rights.  You can't lend the books out, you can't share them, you can't back them up.  The books are covered under a license to the data.  So you don't actually buy anything, you are just being allowed to use the data.  Word quickly got around of a "kill switch" in Kindle, but Amazon.com swore up and down it was just a precaution, it wouldn't be used.

Bull.  Fucking.  Shit.

On July 17, word got out that several customers who purchased e-books for the Kindle found titles deleted.  The purchase price was refunded to accounts, but without so much as a by your leave, Amazon.com deleted the books.

The books in question?  "Animal Farm" and "1984" by George Orwell.  As Thom Holwerda put it on OS News, "Amazon has used up the world's irony."  One blogger asked if Amazon.com was going to break into people's houses and burn their hard copies, too.

The issue is that the publisher decided it didn't want the books to be electronic.  It could be the publisher just didn't want it (possible), or it could be they had the rights to the print editions but not the electronic versions, so they had no right to release them (plausible).  Either way, everyone who bought those books found them missing in what is turning out to be an epic PR disaster for Amazon.com's fledgling Kindle reader, just like the server shutdowns for Wal-Mart's DRM music or Major League Baseball's deal with M$' Silverlight.  Sam Diaz on ZDNet summed it up thusly:  "Imagine buying a DVD at Wal-Mart and then, a few days later, someone from the Hollywood studio that produced that movie breaks into your house, takes that DVD out of your collection and leaves a refund on the dresser for you - all because that studio suddenly decided that it didn’t want Wal-Mart selling its DVDs."

Fuck the Kindle, if I can't read a book on my Linux box and back it up so I don't lose it, I'll stick with my trusty hard copies.  Besides, they look nice, and I love books anyway.

Cloudburst Status Report -- Weekend #7

The white flag is out!  This is the final lap!

I'm actually getting this done pretty much ahead of schedule!

The game itself is pretty much done.  I've been making slight changes to the positions of the clouds and tweaking the collision detection.  I've corrected the title screen and the instruction screen.  Reset and everything works fine.

Goals for next weekend are simple -- create the box art.  I want to get this for sale online by next weekend.  I'm also going to create a YouTube channel and upload gameplay footage to it.  This way, when I put it up on Lulu, I can simply point to the YouTube video so people can see the game in action.  The game is too short to make a demo version for free download, and I hate nagware ("You have 39 minutes of playtime remaining!  Click here to buy!").  I understand nagware isn't evil.  What makes it evil in this case is, to unlock it, you would have to let the program fingerprint your machine.  In other words, if you want to put the game on another machine of yours, you have to buy another license.  I don't want to do that.

Nine weekends to create a polished game from start to finish.  Done in six weekends (not counting that lost weekend during #2).  The game is a release candidate, and goes gold next weekend, come Hell or high water.

Silicon Knights?

Ion Storm?

Derek Smart?

3D Realms?


Okay, Where Are We At?

Well, pretty productive weekend.

Here's how things shook out for the week:

1)  Issue #3 of Sound Waves is penciled and inked.  I'll scan it in and letter it soon.  #2 is still in the pipe and awaiting release, I just want the third issue in time for the ChicagoCon in case I show it around.

2)  Work on new Stress Puppy strips starts this week.

3)  Cloudburst is in the can.

So, for the coming week, I will:

1)  Pull the data off those two computers my friends have asked me to do.

2)  Get the box art for Cloudburst done and under wraps.

3)  Start Sound Waves #4.  Thankfully, I'm comfortable with my lead time (originally, I was going to release #1 in August, but I forgot that plan and released #1 in June, so I was scrambling to put some distance into the quarterly schedule), so I can be less obsessive about it.

4)  New Stress Puppy strips.

5)  Sort through what comics I'm going to get signed at the ChicagoCon this year.

6)  Get some more info on Mad Bodies so I can finish the review.  I mean, that can't be ALL there is to the game, right?

7)  As a bonus, I might be able to resume work on Head Above Water.  I haven't lettered the first issue yet, and I only have page 1 and half of page 2 of #2 done.  Admittedly, there was no release schedule (I'm not even going to think about starting it up until I get issue #4 in the can), but it's a 5 issue mini, and I really shouldn't be taking this long.

8)  Lay some groundwork for my next computer game project.  Well, gotta decide what that game is going to be first.

9)  Start working on the new C++ tutorials I have.

Like Kim Jong Il says in Team America: World Police, "YOU KNOW HOW FUCKING BUSY I AM?!?"

You can't say I'm not ambitious.