Three years ago, I was really excited. Though the magic of serendipity, I had purchased an original iPhone while driving from L.A. to Seattle, and I was just beginning to discover the seemingly limitless possibilities of having a web-connected personal computer in my pocket.
Sure, there were problems here and there, but, at first, the iPhone was new, it was transformative, and most of all, it was a helluva lot of fun to own. Apple had done amazing stuff in the past, but this felt like the pinnacle of their work. The iPhone combined everything great about Apple into a single beautiful device.
Fast-forward three years, and all that joy is gone. Kaput. My iPhone 3G is used as an iPod at work, to check traffic while driving, and (occasionally) make phone calls. It’s gone from being a fun device to something that is kind of a drag to own. And I blame Apple.
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
On Twitter, there is a hashtag for complaints like this: #21stcenturyproblems, which adds a level of irony to the tweet by acknowledging that a few years ago, noone could have complained about this, and — by the way — most people probably don’t give a shit in the first place. Fair enough, and yet because the iPhone permanently established the smart phone as a must-have device, it’s weird that we’ve gotten to this point in such a short period of time.
For novelist Seth Harwood the path from the Iowa Writers Workshop to the New York Times Book Review runs straight through the world of digital media.
While honing his writing skills in more traditional literary venues, Seth struggled to find success. It was only after he began serializing his novel as a podcast that Seth found an audience.
Seth is part of a new breed of authors who have embraced new media as a tool to reinvigorate the novel in an era when consumers are awash in a sea of digital entertainment options. Others, including Scott Sigler and J.C. Hutchins have taken a similar routes, proving that Seth’s podcasting success is no fluke.
Seth’s debut novel Jack Wakes Up is released today. Seth took time out from his book launch schedule to answer a few questions about Jack Wakes Up, podcasting, and the impact that new media has had on his approach to writing. (more…)
A lot of the time, it feels like I’m driving in a coma. That’s not to say that I’m unaware of what’s going on around me — I am, I swear! — but my mental processes are preoccupied with my own issues, leaving the radio (and it is radio because I haven’t gotten around to getting a decent CD changer or MP3 player for my car) as white noise. I joke that I absorb news and information by osmosis, but given how many current events I am conversant about, maybe learning-by-osmosis isn’t so far-fetched after all.
This is a long way of explaining how I spent over a week listening the KPCC (89.3, Pasadena, California) pledge drive. And at first, said drive was so much white noise, but then…osmosis did its thing. I realized that people were giving money, lots of it, to the radio station. While this is the desire outcome of a pledge drive, it struck me rather forcefully that listeners local and distant were willing paying money to become members of the station.
For the first time ever, I actually listened to the pledge drive. Guess what? In an era where (presumably) we expect information to be free and where (presumably) news can’t make money, KPCC was raking in some serious cash. The KPCC website doesn’t say whether or not this year’s goal was achieved, but I do know that quite a few challenges — where someone offers a plum contribution if certain events, a set number of new members or dollars, happen in a specific time period — were met. I spend a lot of time in the car, so this is practically a scientific study.
This month, in honor of St.
Hallmark’s Valentine’s day, it’s a special theme version of Musical Moments To Die For.
Love songs! Nothing but love songs!
Well, that’s not exactly right: not so much love songs, but songs about love, which is a totally different head. Totally.
However, just because I’ve applied a theme to this month’s post, it isn’t meant to be a definitive list of greatest songs about love or anything like that. It just happens that all of the songs this month are about it, that’s all. Which means, not uncoincidentally, a lot of these songs were huge hit singles or are incredibly familiar or obvious. Which, of course, doesn’t make them any less to die for.
This is the seventh in a series: The first one had 25, the second one had 24, the third one had 23, the fourth one had 22, the fifth one had 21, and the sixth had 20.
Well, all I can say is that it’s about godsdammed time. Today’s big news out of Macworld — that the iTunes Music Store is going DRM-free AND adding a tiered pricing structure — is good news for everyone involved.
It’s good news for consumers because — from the consumer standpoint — DRM sucks fully, totally and utterly. No matter how it was spun as one of those “for your protection” things, or as “protection for the artist,” it’s been proven time and time again to be a big pain in the ass for consumers. Anytime you purchase an artifact — including a digital file — with eithervsome kind of purely arbitrary use restriction and/or dependency on the large corporation that sold you the artifact to keep it working, that’s potential trouble. Period.