A Gaggle of Information on Self Publishing

[Scott on Writing] reports on Brian Bischof and his page on the ins and outs of self-publishing, which Brian calls Self-Publishing Tips.  Along with http://www.fonerbooks.com/pod.htm this makes for very interesting reading.

Although I think my book-writing experience was particularly horrible, anecdotal evidence seems to show that more and more tech authors are realizing that dead-tree publishing companies are rip-offs.

3d sketching on the Tablet PC

This is real cool, Arin pointed us to the work Cornell Computational Synthesis group is doing around freehand sketching. The project is called 3-D Journal and it’s a demonstration of live sketching, written specifically for TablePC in C#.

The site at Cornell is here make sure you check out the movie tutorial, it’s worth the 3 minutes… via [frankgo’s WebLog]

Downloaded…can’t wait to install it tonight. The movie is stunning.


Chris Sells Falls Drinks the Snorkeling Kool-Aid

…snorkeling rocks!… my first snorkeling expedition ever. At first, I was blown away at the clarity of what I could see under the water and the ease with which I could breath (I expected to swallow a lot of water). Then, I was completely freaked out at the shear number of fish under the water (thousands!), even in areas with humans inches away…. I was simultaneously part of and not part of this new world I was floating over…. Via  [Marquee de Sells: Chris’s insight outlet]

If you’ve never been snorkeling on a coral reef, you can’t possibly, possibly imagine how vibrant the life is. And equally, if you’ve only been snorkeling in the Caribbean or Hawaii, you can’t possibly, possibly imagine what a reef wall in Palau or New Guinea is like.

Lego logic

David Pescovitz: This person assembled mechanical logic gates from Lego via [Boing Boing]

Oh man, I love this. One of the Tablet PC games that I’ve imagine is a Boolean logic game. I think it’d be fun, especially if the logic was disguised behind mechanical looking flip-flops.

Tables of Contents on the Cover and Printed Bellybands

Advertising Ridiculum

Does anybody remember when magazines used to put the table of contents just inside the front cover…Is there a limit to how much magazines are willing to annoy their readers to please their advertisers? via Eric.Weblog()

The answer is “No, there is not a limit.” The most egregious development magazine in this sense is JavaWorld. Here’s how they do it: like MSDN, their table of contents is their cover. It’s not exactly newsstand gold, but you can make a case for it. So, a few years ago, they started selling what are called “bellybands” – the magazine is wrapped with a ribbon, the ribbon containing advertising. Bellybands are very popular with advertisers because, well, they allow the advertiser to co-opt the entire magazine. But they cost money to produce and have a tendency to be ripped off in transit and, even in the best of circumstances, the reader rips them off and throws them out the first time they use the magazine. So some genius comes up with the idea of a “printed bellyband” – you buy the back cover as advertisement, pay a premium for your horrific co-opting of the front cover, and ignore the fact that the front cover is supposed to deliver editorial information.

Printed bellybands are whorish and unforgiveable but when you do it on a magazine whose front cover is its table of contents, you’re in a world of disrespect for the reader that is absolutely boggling.

Eddie Would Go

A giant swell has rolled in and the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational is on, with 20-ft. plus waves (that means wave-faces of 30+’) in Waimea Bay! Checkout the action. I’m on deadline, otherwise I would have burned up some Hawaiian Airlines frequent flyer miles to jump over to Oahu… I’d love to see this in person.