Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Geeks and their Devices

Today: After work, I went to a presentation by a member of an organisation that monitors/fights human (sex) trafficking. This inspired in me the first sustained genuine anger that I've felt for years (apart from the persistent low-grade anger at the Tea Party, Republicans, and Obama for negotiating everything valuable we have over to them - maybe I should be more angry about that, but I just don't have a lot of anger in me). Apparently there is a fair amount of sex trafficking that happens in Pittsburgh, that many of the Asian Massage Parlours around are tied to it, and that for a variety of reasons (some political), not much is done about it. I suggested direct action (hanging around such places to picket them and take photos of all their customers); the response is that in the past when people did that they typically were shot or knifed. In the end we (the secular student group I occasionally drop by on) wrote some letters to local politicians asking for stronger laws to make prosecution easier/"regulate certain classes of massage parlours out of existence". In the end, this just made me feel helpless and angry. I still need to review the evidence her organisation is gathering, but if it is, there's got to be something that can be done. I hope.

After that, still fuming, I calmed down with a nice dinner at Taza 21, where I met (in the sense of talked briefly but no names were exchanged) a young woman with a Kindle. It seems the third generation Kindle is much improved over earlier editions. Version 3:

  • Very light (well under 1 pound)
  • Smaller with the same screen size
  • Much better display
  • 4G storage (USB copyable)
  • Insane battery life (many weeks)
  • Unicode!
  • Annotation (YES YES YES)
  • PDF Support
  • About $140
Good enough. I ordered one a few hours ago.

How will I use it?

  • I don't expect buying a single Amazon e-book for it. I don't want to pay money for media in a DRM format I don't control. If my device dies in 20 years, Amazon might not be interested or able to let me move any library of works I have over to it. Unless cracks for their format become widely available, I'll eschew it
  • I do expect to use it for PDFs and textfiles
  • It's not a tablet; its long battery life and limited flexibility make it more of a single purpose device. (Anything more sophisticated will either go to my Android or my laptop). Battery performance makes a big difference between how I treat devices.
  • I fairly often read scientific papers as PDFs, and sometimes I save webpages (or blog entries of people I know) as PDFs. I have a LOT of PDFs; maybe having some subset of these on-hand all the time will be handy. Certainly this will be great for future PDFs
Tags: politics, tech

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