Pragmatic 42A: Hopefully They Don't Burn It Follow-up 1

10 November, 2014


Follow up (Part A) to Hopefully They Don’t Burn It where Vic and John touch briefly on DRM, looking at kill switches and when it’s right/wrong to use them confirm that Chapters is still open, touch on libraries already lending books via Kindles and more.

Transcript available
This is pragmatic follow-up part a four episode 42 hopefully they don't burn it I'm John Geagea and joining me is Vic Hudson has gone back a good yarn aria very good pragmatic follow-up for this month are sponsored by harvest hubs that you stance at the time of any task you might be doing anyway might be doing mobile devices desktop web browser and so on seeking track of your time if you doing client work attending to know what projects and tasks are taking your time but even better you can use and information to create invoices directly through harvest which integrates easily with PayPal and striped checkout harvest and get harvest or one and sign up for a free 30 day trial and start tracking your time and invoicing others simply and painlessly once your 30 day trial is over and you realise how great harvest is to use then used the coupon code pragmatic at the checkout and you also say 50% off your first month and that also applies any of their plants hurry though because of the offer expires on 15 January 2015 so the quick we actually got 14 individual items of feedback which is now read wail I know so the rear topic which of course was our first Ahsan voted our listener voted topic and die while BC tended to be quite popular so without further ado call without further ado via Twitter from living Markov are limited back-and-forth I conversation with are with them on Twitter and they noted that I was that it raised some good points during episode thank you are the suggestion was that we missed arm and its ability that is to say annotations and marginalia which is essentially no annotations in the margin and I guess my response that is that I was specifically focusing on our paperback novels and on about you bad some I know you don't like any other seamount not dog tanned dogeared tag on pages I can only imagine what you must feel like if I start scrolling on your favourite paperback novel in my right ear and pretty gets rating in the book to year I figured you might beat and frankly so my because nothing else, sacrilege or blasphemy or something less textbook yet and I I have a lot of allowances for that surely if you're sitting in lecture theatre and you own the textbook and to keeping you own the textbook you will make similar headlines then find go right ahead that's okay I suppose but it really wasn't the use case that I was comparing and besides which a lot of people hi there textbook specially if you're at school are most schools ago textbook hi schemes these days and honestly if you scrawl anywhere on the book you can get your bond back ideas all deposit that you paid beginning of the semester and if you would you damage your book you will not get it back or all of it back by lease at a way that used to work in either high school anyway so anyway arm #discussion about whether riding with her fountain pen was more efficient than typing arm but anyway he is a link to guide me to an interesting podcast called sources and methods there is a link in the show notes it's interesting so one Minneapolis know if you want it's it is it is interesting I'll leave that one there though so were our easting suicide discussion has next one comes from Craig Reynolds are by the feedback form Nice from Perth and his long-time listener of the show he might mostly agreed with what we were talking about about some book technology are sorry e-book technology being superior and are so looking forward to a time when the e-reader is more like a looseleaf of the maybe thick PayPal cardboard and I don't obviously want to make sure it's durable but beyond that young and and that eventually I can see that eventually happening but it's gonna be a while yet are also agree about sharing e-readers but a lot of people get personally attached to it and I guess I kinda see that that young people if they are already prepared to lend out a book if the cost comes down enough I can't see that being an issue with an e-reader if they become so cheap and ubiquitous that you didn't knew there's multiple ones in the house I don't don't necessarily see that is a big issue and that with respect to physical bookstores Craig saying that he he feels mostly that nostalgia when he goes into the bookstores and as I was saying in the episodes it's more about the the the fact that it's a memory of something and if you were to go again as I said I just reiterate if you were a child growing up and all you had were e-books and then they they brought our bookstores in walking the bookstore and think it was the weirdest thing in the world so are nostalgia yeah that's fine what won't last for many generations but anyway are a sort of are added to that that he really any visits once or twice a year to a bookstore and only ever browser not to buy and that's a very becoming far more common thing not just with books you across the board pretty much in because you have to people walking the bricks and mortar store is the becoming known arm which I was fine, if you O'Connor hilarious because while you know it is weird that now this is that the shops that we been using our entire lives are now referred to as they are bricks and mortar are anything but old it is the shops anyway gate yet as we are to be there as okay so that you are bricks and was we have a look around you feel you feel pick up the item that you looking at physically put back on the shelf and then combine zonal IOU in North America anyway but and daily much you exactly so it's funny I do wonder how Amazon will do longer term when what if they end up killing all the bricks and mortar stores get several to buy Reading from an Apple Store there are two things left in the world Apple Store's and Amazon and is interesting that's a weird world will be a very strange world paranoia sliders, parallel world they make sense of it was that TV show sci-fi/absolute shelf well the first few seasons of yeah, Mistry went off the rails there at the end yeah I know Cro-Magnon when a star wants to leave it in and you trade replace it with yet Mike doesn't have an idea to common thread again in my back on topic only Doctor Who can pull that off yes that's true and that is very true and we are not at all about Dr your attempt to derail me further will not succeed okay maybe later excited about the Kindle voyage and is available 1 December lease in North America it is and is our anyway so were what what so he did or Craig also mentioned was that he will make RDN for a DRM free copies of every e-book he gets distilled an insurance policy against Amazon case it is something stupid you know and decide to exert the oil they have been known to remove them yet exactly Amber will get about a minute because we have small feedback about exactly that there was a lady somewhere in Europe they they removed every single book she had goodness me as terrible I didn't see that particular one but I know that Amazon are benign to do it was a couple years back I think she had technically violated the EU agreement because she was in one European nation and she was using the story from a different European nation and I don't remember the respective nations was too long ago but the bottom line is that they should they said she committed fraud by buying from a different story because they want for sale in her store lovely and alright well if you have gentle into that dumb since Ronald and the show notes game so thank you crank the following much appreciated our long-time fans show rust newcomer sent in a full-page email so year wow are his preferences are essentially going beyond is the weight of the select all the Kindle versus the iPad are about preferred the Kindle because it was more a dedicated device over the iPad so from a from a lack of distraction or you know the alternative of the opposite of that of course the focus point of view are single dedicated devices better to read on then iPad which has dozens of apps and presumably on Twitter and Xi message and other stuff so I can understand that sentiment and Ian that's fine but I'd say that the Kindle sorted does is is more than just a dedicated device just reading books because you can it does have a web browser it's terrible yes but an expense is so bad I guess motor would news a bit yes mortar echo device not because it can't be a more multipurpose device but business because of its design doesn't lend itself to be much other than what it is which is mainly an e-reader and let multipurpose liquor tablet so I think that's more of a design consequence than a design intention if that makes sense and so Ross also noted are that's a different printed e-books can have different typefaces that add character and personality are which I completely agree with and that's that's that's true and it that different dimensions of the reading experience you know it sort of more difficult to get I Kindle because there is a limited number of fonts available to you and some would argue that all that great some of the discussion that some go recently are a few people like Marco and Jason is now that post about the over different fonts available in new Kindle voyage is about to come out shortly and is the aids that the selection is really not that impressive but you it is possible jailbreaking Kindle and the EU can make it compatible a TrueType font that you might like but you if that's a big issue but then again because you have to jailbreak and to hold onto staff and avoid warranties and probably so you not sure really well to say about that is is is an interesting point I personally don't get hung up on fonts very much but then you know I also didn't get hung up on coffee to a few months ago so he said in a never say never things change dealer do they do only it's good that that that the people change and evolve because otherwise be really boring alright so arm other points that he be brought up that Ross probably was a very good points about books not going away anytime soon another example of why many countries don't have access to reliable electricity dog is an e-reader needs to be charged when a book does need charging and to I did mention the episode at absolutely completely fair point are real he also points out that there could be our benefits and handing out areas with solar charging points and limited Wi-Fi access for remote villages to improve education for a countries I found that other that was an interesting idea and I think that is the price of e-readers drops down the Maccabean option in there is that the whole acts are I will PC one laptop per child is our thing which an ongoing thing well you know why not start with. As you know because of analogy to make but anyway your arm you rather than going full go for laptop and I also pronouncing what had considered regarding certain religious texts that you because of their beliefs once they printed they can't be destroyed in any in any respectful way are hence the creation and copying destruction overriding of digital versions rages steel raises theological concerns for some people which I will confess is an angle that I'm never considered but it's an interesting interesting idea and something that I thought was worth mentioning KE he also starred mentors to little bit about our lending e-books cross modifiable and I will get to a minute and are in Nebraska apparently arm you can check out books using Adobe Digital editions apparently but it's a terrible terrible experience so in order do it here are the steps he describes download the Adobe software on Windows and let it root keep your PC underlying goody and is reading what he said he Ivan done as having verified this feel free to do so if you choose anyway maybe things he does note that maybe things of changes in a few years and she looked at it and that's fine for them for the minutes as what he what he described an owner time to go and check out all the details myself doesn't involve the W word and that was Windows and I create Adobe counselling at the library account then you download a book and it's only for a short amount of time and the reason he stated forcibly as a library I can only purchase one-time licenses for books so to maximise access to get a checkable gap of seven days after that it would timebomb and not literally explode of course just fit figuratively and after seven days you then lose access to your book it would be gone and kaput so read it while you can which I guess from anon returns policy solves the nonreturn problem for their problem from the library's point of view right yet there is this a library theory that are doing per our program similar to that yet and it's an enforcing of of DRM you know so and and this is this is our the bigger a big chunk of far follow-up I got from our long-time fans show are Nick Radcliffe and arm I'm really terrible pronouncing the name of his company but it's our artists stow chat associates such as stick solutions I think are mangled anyway to the owners in Edinburgh now he should point out that I did not mention DRM at all and I didn't during outside the reason I didn't see is because I see DRM as a enormous issue and one other issue you it's a multifaceted issue it's not just about e-readers and not all books you download will have DRM in them so that you know it's like trying to compare the physical and convenience benefits boats in any case that I think there is problem enough interest to do an episode solely dedicated DRM bites I also think in fairness to Nick that he provided so much feedback we back and forth an email for about four or five times arm on the specific issue during the week the during the last few weeks and I think it's only fair that day that I cover some of the issues that he raised so I guess fundamentally not denying DRM is a big deal I die I do think it's a huge deal and are honestly at some point I will I will look at that separately is a topic I think arm anyway so I'll be owner to the topic less than people environment not to get a bigger target yes Y so I think we will do that at some point just not not now but anyway so beyond DRM are Nick also mention some of Amazon's questionable business practices with an purchasing of content and removing it from other people's kindles post purchase like you are talking about are very different variety of reasons and any I completely agree yes that lets not forget arm you know it it's like honestly and I put this what you buy paper book unless you break in that person's house you can't really remotely remove it and I guess that's the point isn't so you it just because you have that leverage like a kill switch of of sorts or remote remove switch just because you have that doesn't mean that you you can use it or that you should use it so the and as far as Amazon being the bad guys yellow to be honest Google did the same thing into that has had with with that with a few apps if I'm in correctly using their remote kill switch you and this is this is not just their money could only Adobe's data I would be surprised I didn't look into every single possible individual or anything like that the company sorry I should say to figure out who had who hadn't done it let suffice to say you people other companies have done it out to now justify it by using that licence process purchase and buy a known yet and I've always my big issue with that is just that the button doesn't say licence rent it says by when you click it so our affiliates are misrepresenting the storefront there I think that there's probably legitimate reasons arm for doing what they've done in some cases the problem is once you have access to the button it becomes a responsibility not to use it only use it when it is truly justified and that's where everything gets all grey there ultimately though it comes back to offer me anyway comes back to the fact that when you actually sign up to buy an e-book on a platform in their terms and conditions is usually several saying that you can't do things like you can't legally backed up we can't strip the DRM of the Knights of the thing you and yes that's true and some platforms are more open than others so it's it's not a universal truth but anyway Mabel Lessing will cover more in the DRM episode but anyway say also raise the issue that's our Amazon Apple contractor purchases and they know what you're reading when you're reading it whilst it is yes they put they could and maybe they do but yup visible a wise at such a big deal I mean I don't get why that matters if it all that target advertising in area against that and stop using Google completely there you know about and in any case most people I think don't care about that and if they do they not be reading e-books be sticking with physical books and I guess may made at this point but in any case the other issue I guess I said I was in ADB is that some you if they're really keen I can only do that when young biophysical book you can't tell when you open the pages and flip them sure that's true but what they can do as I can tell what books you buy if you something anything anything other than cash they can trade out in no and because they give you the loyalty cards and the loyalty cards are even easier way of tracking a game at negotiate with credit card gum is raining I don't know no doubt know store cards are still cards for tracking purchases in and as always drag everything regardless of payment method exactly aneroid is really our terms and conditions inside these cards and its is no mystery there so read note should be a revelation anybody but anyway sizes (of a sort of thing you stick with harvesting with paper books because in it and pay with cash I guess Bernie now so right that as I was thinking that you know are so I decided guesses on arrival next feedback there was quite a lot of it but arm there is a great quote arm from his fourth email that I read verbatim are I think not even to discuss DRM is like endorsing some despotic state in a is a great holiday destination without mentioning human rights abuses or risk of incarceration or whatever so I see Woody saying ultimately yes DRM is an issue that affects e-books the issues that Nick raised are more about the companies supplying e-books on the platform and locking you into them when the information is in platform -dependent text like a wave file an MP3 file is an open standard of sorts is easily pliable and readable knee platform a device you want to mention the problem is that DRM is used to protect the author or the content creator if you are talking about like that since we are bidding on its use it's being used unfairly by the intermediary company is leveraged where previously they never had such that sort of leverage so and again I come back to this thing just because the coming has the power to exercise that leverage doesn't mean they should exercise that is an issue yes is a big issue by suggested isn't and the reason I say this is most people only readable once you maybe the reader favourable to 3 times but that's the exception rather than the rule and you companies do go out of business yes yes they do devices also dye rechargeable batteries die after a long enough period of time passes none of those very mechanisms affected written books so if your intention is to bind keep control of all your books are the longest possible time with a minimal risk of interference by intermediary publisher why Amazon Apple Barnes & Noble whoever it might be then yes stick with paper but I think that the vast majority of people don't see these things as big issues and that's the truth and if it's an issue for you certainly take that into consideration and I think that's really what Nick was getting so are Nick really do appreciate your feedback thank you so much for that arm and are I promise that we will look at DRM in future on the show okay is more Geoff hats via Twitter sent through a link to an article in the New York Times called the weight of memory now this I have I mean I cannot buy crumbly miserliness in thank you so much Geoff referred for sending this through is brilliant so in this article Prof John D and her home and this is really so funny could combine the two weeks in the Lincolnshire night from the USC our Berkely point announce that the charge held by memory would have a physical mass is in flash memory this was to review my statement that e-readers would always weigh the same amount irrespective of how much a stall at all how long the e-books were well the professor points out that when you travel electrons in flash memory which I took a flash previously on dye pages plane dye vice of cognition out there anyway things episode 12 are of the show anyway the trapped electrons will actually have a physical mass which I did realise and that's fine but we're talking about 10 to the power of -18 g so that's like an Atto gram or whatever heck that is it's like not even pico seen femto where it's even as it's less femto than femto so yellow anyway goodness yet but technically it is measurable maybe accurate enough scales so yes thank you Geoff arm so many scales are there that could measure that I don't know but even of it is a positive actually measure that accurately I think anyway now my goodness Michael Fessler via the feedback form are sent through some interesting our links as well regarding real written books are sorry paper books versus our e-books in terms of learning and suggested that the kinetic feedback and visual memory of your position in a book is very valuable information for your memory in terms of pacing of a storyline or information so the placement of passengers and images on every page in a book isn't always replicated in the e-book version note it should be but often they're lazy and others translate the text and just write an essay Treasury book giving money right there now people like our for example like John Syracuse when he does his arm unbelievably long reviews awesome and I believe we can review his alcohol is 10 year when he does that he takes great care and attention to get them just right in terms of the open images and as image positions in an so-and-so for not everyone is so careful so is an interesting point as there are plenty of e-books out there that does that lose some of that in the translation but also affects the pacing and an hour memory of the pacing recollection of the pacing soap anyway arm are Michael La sent through a link to a study by Norway Czar signing its asked avenger University are there was actually are done this year and 50 readers they were given the same short story and then half of them read that it was a 28 page your story so half of the red Anna Kindle the other half on a paperback now after they had read the book readers were then tested on all the aspects of the story including objects characters settings and of course you're a sequence of events in the book now the Kindle readers perform significantly worse on plot reconstruction in other words interest that year using a when asked to place 14 events in the correct sequence of events that occurred in the book all the other measures more or less comparable statistically insignificant if you well but this that that the pacing was all off so tends to suggest that when people recently digitally they lose some of the dimension of the pages in the left and the right hand to gauge their position in the narrative as you they progress through the book and that makes sequencing events after the fact more difficult I found at absolute fascinating so thank you so much for drawing my attention that there is a link in a show that is absolute fascinating now ultimately though and go because the title of the show is what it is I'm not sure how compelling that is is an argument in order to stick with printed books are given all the other advantages of e-readers but it's still very interesting so you because if I'm reading a con if I'm reading a book and I get almost the facts correct but maybe not stint in the correct sequence somewhat argue that that's still good enough especially if you're using it for the learning or tutoring purposes yet the content is what matters more so than the sequence necessarily but any case especially learning a subjects like science or mathematics on whatever ogre so are Michael goes on to say that I use the Kindle paperwhite and he has a couple hundred books on it but the evening is very sluggish and a touch interface is very slow and browsing through an e-book collection or search of something is very very tedious and easy find it very tedious and he knows that a number of our once a number of e-books got very large sensei three dozen or so wasn't specific but about three dozen or so based on my reading between the lines of what he wrote are the Kindle software becomes very slow and can take anywhere between 30 and 45 seconds to add or remove an e-book from this collection which is now quite significant and when he's on iPad it was so much faster in terms of speed with changing pages navigate through e-books, e-book collections and modify the collection so on that that was far more preferable bottom line no ultimately I guess my take on that comment what is that you hope how often do you add and remove an e-book how often do you even change the page relative to the ease of reading and the battery life savings and the weight savings of using a Kindle there and frankly it's only really a matter of time before the technology improves on the Kindle is to the point at which they do they are much faster may have more memory fast CPUs you know page refresh times are reduced all of those things is already starting to happen yet Everett came a long way since the first candles came out absolutely remember you for now though and in those aspects at least I do get the point and it is an interesting point arm yet on the iPad or tablet like the Kindle fire you would be faster in those respects yes but I think the most the more important metric to consider yellow again pragmatically is that it's really not are a dealbreaker for the majority of people still interesting again Andrei should check I think it is via Twitter he's from Edmonton Alberta Canada that's my home away from home well is close enough anyway to Calgary close enough 343 a bit hours for a drive north was not any other corrections you Vic get our chapters I said eyes chapter still open well panning chapters is alive and well it's a Canadian bookstore and that's when I go silly me with my brain just lashed on the first bookstore that I went into when I live in North America and of course I live most my time in Calgary and then I went to a chapters and I thought it was a North American wide store are clearly I was mistaken and is our when I was living in the US for a few months and a visitor bookstore mono shame on me but still that's the truth I should have said Barnes & Noble something like that there was that those yet exactly so few of them so I do scope shrug warps and Andre thank you very much for the correction again Karen R Paradis Pyro parodies I do know and you are Karen via Twitter sent through a link to overdrive which is a series of apps/service are for the Kindle and then allows users to borrow books from various libraries in the US so yes it seems like the whole borrowing thing is is is happening I sort of took that as previously a Nebraska arm our previous previously a follow-up but are the truth is that it's our then there is there is an increasing movements are for that and are visiting the chance that you are going check that out so looked interesting but obvious I couldn't do much testing of absence among the US but are many listeners are so that could be worth looking into if not already aware of it is obvious I wasn't and again are found show are Tristen Gloster has pointed out that libraries are still thing and so on Twitter we point out that yes in his hometown are Toowoomba hometown relives anyway out of Toowoomba which is a stop in the rain show out west of Brisbane and there are limits to building a brand-new library so I never said they were building a library that is that they'd be consolidating the older ones as time went on our dummy could take decades I guess maybe I wasn't specific about my anticipated timeframe bites you know I honestly think that it's going to be arm it's gonna be a while but I still think it's inevitable but in the meantime enjoy the new library and frankly Caboolture had a new library built three years ago are so not just not just thanks to everybody's own follow-up much appreciated�
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Vic Hudson

Vic Hudson

Vic is the host of the App Story Podcast and is the developer behind Money Pilot for iOS.

John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.