Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Episode 11 - The Authors Guild Is Mad at the Amazon

Amazon.com that is.

With the release of the Kindle 2, the Authors Guild of the USA came out against the text to speech capability of the new kindle. Their "reasoning" is that this capability violates copyright. Yeah, that's right, a computer type voice will stop the sales of audio books. Odd that Amazon would do such a thing, what with them owning audible.com. There is an alternate hypothesis, and that is that it will help the sale of audio books, and that getting content available to people, say oh like blind people (like me) might actually be a good thing. Oh those crazy authors...

We officially welcomed Robin Isard to the show as our third TCer. Both Robin and Ken went to library school and are librarians here at Algoma University, they actually quite like books. (Note the understatement). They got all excited about handling medieval manuscripts, which I would too if I had ever done it.

We talked about the death of paper, and books, and how on Star Trek the captains always seem to like actual books. That led us into a series of Shakespeare references in Star Trek which Isabelle and Madeleine thought quite funny and (hopefully) cute.

We also talked about self publishing, such as Tom Merrit's Boiling Point (which is a really good book) and my friend Dave's book on getting in to grad school.

Welcome Robin, and we welcome your comments. Oh and thanks to Craig and Christian for the Scotch.

Enjoy episode 11.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Episode 10 - Another CENSORED Episode So Quickly?

Clever title eh?

Ken and I got together before BSG to discuss net censorship and censorship in general. This was originally Isabelle's idea, and you can hear a bit of Isa and a bit of Madeleine during the show.

Censorship is one of those hot button issues. There are times, maybe when it is ok. You know the whole yelling fire in a crowded theatre thing. That said, it is pretty hard to censor the net, as it is distributed, and it is also technically hard, even if you want to stop people from seeing the Scorpions (though that may be a laudable goal...)

We talked about both positive and negative censorship. Negative censorship is when you are told not what to print, whereas positive censorship is when you are told you must print certain things. The positive variety is one of the hallmarks of a totalitarian society. It turns out both Ken and I took the history of totalitarianism with the same prof at Western.

This brought us around to talking about dystopias like 1984 and We. We is probably the first of the dystopia genre. I think it is also the best.

As usual I talked a bit about a Canticle for Liebowitz because, well, because it is a cool book...

Enjoy episode 10.