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tunnels and static

Posted by james on May 22, 2004

My life is in a large concrete tunnel right now. This tunnel goes through a large mountain, too big to drive over so the hole had to be dug right through it.

In japan there's lots of these tunnels. They have so many mini-mountains that they can't spend time levelling the whole thing, so they just build tunnels. Long ones. And if you're listening to the radio, it'll start getting staticky and then cut to white noise and then silence. After you make it most of the way through the tunnel, it'll start to pick up little pieces and you'll hear the last bit of the song you're listening to, or they've moved on and you have to try to figure out if you like the new song as much as the old one. But yeah, no radio in that tunnel.

My life goes through ups and downs, like anyone's. Lately it's been a bit hard, what with all the changes recently. Just being here is a challenge that it takes a bit to overcome; it's my tunnel. And I know myself enough that when I reach these tunnels, it gets harder to keep tuned in. I'm illuminated by orange lights, pulsing by and leading the way towards the eventual end of this tunnel and that proverbial light. And I'm a bit out of touch, a bit overwhelmed by static, and sometimes silent.

But I'm still heading forward, so eventually it'll have to lighten up, the orange will fade to natural light, and the static will give way to normal outside contact. But I guess right now I might still be somewhere in the middle. Until you see that light, it's a bit hard to know how far through you are.

But what about the music?

Posted by james on May 14, 2004

This one's for those of you who are deeply interested in RIAA, the music industry, or being a (musical) artist in a commercial world.

In short, the RIAA claims they're experiencing losses due to file sharing. This seems to make sense. Except that it's not (in any obvious way) true at all.

I guess it has to be put this way; if I'm making more money than last year, is that a loss? Or if I'm selling more products, is that a loss?

I guess it's ok for the Recording Industry Artists of <b>America</b> to complain about losses to Americans and demand American legislation, seeing as any real losses are in the international market (ie. selling to non-Americans).

<a href="http://www.kensei-news.com/bizdev/publish/factoids_us/article_23374.shtml">The real deal</a>.

This is why I never went into business. See, I'd consider more money to be the sign of a healthy business. I guess I was completely wrong.

new paper

Posted by james on May 6, 2004

This is for the more technically minded readers. Both of you.

They've just <a href="http://www.eink.com/news/releases/pr70.html">released</a> the first <a href="http://www.dottocomu.com/b/archives/002571.html">electronic paper</a> reading device.

What comes out of your printer is really high resolution. At 600dpi (pretty low estimate for newer printers), a normal sheet of paper is printed at 35 Megapixels. Wow. Your screen on the other hand is 72 dpi, so for a monitor the size of a piece of paper, that would be .46 Megapixels. It's underwhelming.

This is a new thing. Electronic paper, in the making for quite a while, looks like normal paper. Except it can be changed by computers just like a computer screen. But you can unplug it and it'll still show whatever's on it, unlike computer screens. It's the best of both worlds. Plus, the resolution...

Printers are 600 dpi, which means for a piece of paper they're about 35 megapixels. Computer screens are about 72 dpi, which means for the size of a piece of paper it's .46 megapixels. It's underwhelming. The Librie (sony's new electronic paper reader) is 170 DPI, which for a normal paper size would be 2.6 megapixels. So while it's not printer quality, it's incredibly better than a monitor. That's important, since people hate reading stuff on a monitor due to the bad resolution.

Fun new toy. But I think once this technology is well developed (read: made by someone other than Sony with their moronic DRM design and marketing), it'll change everything.

Think of school textbooks. We have to lug these things around all throughout school (high school and college), get blamed when they tear up, and they're always out of date. But instead, we could have entire textbooks downloadable and get instant updates, and bookmark things, put notes right on the page, all that. Amazing. The really cool part is we'd only need one reader for all those books. I'd love to have all my books in one place.

Think of all books. We could download magazines and books and read them on this thing. Great.

Think of printing stuff out... instead of printing, we'd just copy to this reader to show, read, display later.

People will probably think to themselves that they'd rather have normal paper. There will probably be some places where that's appropriate and better. But there are so many other places where electronic paper would just be so much better.

This has to be my most anticipated device of the decade. I think it'll change so many things for the better. Someday I'll lament that I never write on paper anymore and I miss the feel of it. I'll complain by writing email on a wireless electronic paper reader. It'll feel like writing on paper with a pen, except it's all electronic. I'll push send, then can start reading my favorite websites or the newspaper. And if I run off I'll never turn it off, since it turned off seconds after it displayed the first page.

And I'll have a flying car too. So it's now all bad. Except those silver jumpsuits have got to be like a furnace. Anyone know?

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