A shot of JD

By Jonathan Deamer. Follow me on Twitter/Instagram or take a random shot.

Aug 24
“Maybe 25 year olds will start demanding news from yesterday, delivered in an unshareable format once a day. Perhaps advertisers will decide ‘Click to buy’ is for wimps. Mobile phones: could be a fad. After all, anything could happen with print. Hard to tell, really.” Clay Shirky (via Newspapers are, pretty much, dead. - Boing Boing)

Aug 3


Alex Goldman: Have you thought about bringing in, say, like an ethicist to, to vet your experiments?


Christian Rudder, founder of OkCupid: To wring his hands all day for a hundred thousand dollars a year?


TLDR interviews OkCupid founder Christian Rudder about experimenting on its users without informing them.

I don’t feel quite as condemnatory of OkC’s “experiments” as I did of that particular Facebook one (in a way, they’re part of OkC’s charm), but this is still the worst of tech bro tone deafness.

Jul 30
“When Kindle Unlimited launched I told my 9-year-old son to download and read some books – any books he wanted. Instead of rushing to Harry Potter and what limited ‘long form fiction’ was available, he immediately downloaded a set of Minecraft-related tomes that, to my eye, are little more than Reddit /r/minecraft gags collected in book form. ‘Those aren’t books,’ I told him. But they were.” A Book By Any Other Name | TechCrunch

“Keep in mind that books don’t just compete against books. Books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more. If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive.” Amazon Spells Out Objectives in Hachette Negotiation

Jul 29
“I think it’s much more likely that this Swell acqui-hire has nothing to do with podcasts and will never involve the Apple podcast app. It was probably to bring the staff and recommendation algorithms to strategically important areas in which Apple currently isn’t very successful but needs to be: iTunes Radio and Beats Music.”

Marco Arment on Apple’s acquisition of “Pandora for podcasts”

I feel similarly about Apple’s other recent “Pandora for x” acquisition, Booklamp. Recommendations and discovery in general are important to Apple (erm, App Store), so this may not be just about books or podcasts.

Jul 26
"BookLamp wanted to do for books what Pandora did for music: scanning content for quantifiable similarities to power recommendations. […] BookLamp could also analyze the pacing and density of certain themes, like sexual content." (via TechCrunch)

"BookLamp wanted to do for books what Pandora did for music: scanning content for quantifiable similarities to power recommendations. […] BookLamp could also analyze the pacing and density of certain themes, like sexual content." (via TechCrunch)

Jul 21
“A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly? But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you — even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent — and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself. It is at this point that the special connection between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear.” George Orwell: ‘Politics and the English Language’ (via Daring Fireball)

Jul 20
“The publishing industry has been waiting for two subscription-related shoes to drop, says Michael Shatzkin of publishing consultant Idea Logical. ‘One is the Amazon shoe, and the other is the Penguin Random House shoe,’ he says. ‘Amazon because they have the customers, and Penguin Random House because they have the books.’” Amazon Is Testing Unlimited Kindle Books - Businessweek

Jul 19
“The ideological premise of the Internet of Things is that surveillance and data production equal a kind of preparedness. Any problem might be solved or pre-empted with the proper calculations, so it is prudent to digitize and monitor everything.” The Lights Are On but Nobody’s Home (via iamdanw)

Jul 11
“I strongly believe that the tech community has a responsibility to nudge startups in a benevolent direction. That doesn’t mean you can’t make money, grow aggressively, and outcompete obsolete business models. I just think we can do that without plundering the community like a bunch of Captain Planet villains. So disrupt with care.”

JerkTech Startups Shut Down Or Pivot. Good Riddance. | TechCrunch

Yay for the Captain Planet reference. Also, this sort of piece never would have appeared on Mike Arrington’s TechCrunch.

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