Posted by Dusty in gadgets, gaming, Opinion
on Friday, January 16th, 2015 | 0 comments
CNET asks “Do you really need a dedicated handheld gaming system if you have a smartphone?” Yes. Yes, you do.
Posted by Dusty in Opinion, reading
on Thursday, May 29th, 2014 | 0 comments
The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon My rating: 1 of 5 stars The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon is a book that I have very mixed feelings about. Let us start by imagining a world where our cell phones anticipate what we need before we need it. We begin to wonder what our grandparent’s birthday is and it springs to life with the information we need. All it required was a thought. That word on the tip of our tongue appears on the screen just before we need it so you can complete your thought without missing a beat. If you can imagine that, then you can imagine the power and obvious desirability of the technology in this book. The Word Exchange is an online marketplace where words are bought and sold. Did you forget the definition of a word? Have the definition instantly available for mere change. A quick micro-transaction and viola, the word you intended. But we get pretty familiar with the words we use, don’t we? What if we became so dependent on technology that our brains no longer stored memories as efficiently since we have these nifty devices reading our thoughts and providing the data we seek? The Word Exchange pulls a very clever trick here. The characters in our book write definitions for the NADEL, a dictionary. Their vocabulary is spectacular. I had to use the ‘word lookup’ feature of my Kindle Paperwhite frequently, especially during the first quarter of the book. It provided an incredibly unsettling feeling that maybe this dependence on technology is already happening to us. Maybe we are already forgetting these words that were once a part of our language. This trick, in my opinion, was only clever because I was able to very quickly grab a definition. If I was reading a paper copy, I don’t think I would have spent the time looking up words. Although perhaps it would have been sufficient to drive a different point home. That point being that if we’re not using this language, we lose it. If it isn’t saved somewhere, it could be gone forever. On this premise the book succeeds. Then comes the Word Flu. The Word Flu is an illness that strikes and presents much the way the flu does that we’re familiar with. High fever, nausea, vomiting, etc. However, the Word Flu also presents in such a way that words in your vocabulary are replaced with others. Often times nonsense. Since a condition of my early readers copy is that I not share any text, I will prepare my own example. “Why is everyone oxbowing at me,” she wondered. “I did remember to kaneek my pants, right?” And this example also serves to make one of the points of The Word Exchange. Words are powerful. They are functional. Is everyone looking at her? Is everyone shoving her? Did she remember to wear her pants? Or zip her pants? Words disappearing is problematic for society. It’s also problematic for the reader. At least for this reader. I read to disappear into a story. I was never able to comfortably settle into The Word Exchange. These breaks would snap me back to reality while I considered what was actually trying to be said. This is one of those instances where I think the author was making a point but that it also worked against them. The mechanic is beautiful and works. Unfortunately it works to a fault. I found myself hating to read this book. The books pacing seemed glacial until about the halfway point. From there it seemed to accelerate to a snail’s pace. I think the author or editor...
Posted by Dusty in technology
on Friday, October 4th, 2013 | 0 comments
I guess the whole point of this was to think out loud my decision to buy a new Kindle Paperwhite 2013.
Posted by Dusty in Opinion, reading
on Monday, August 19th, 2013 | 2 comments
Songs from the Phenomenal Nothing is proof positive that Steven Luna is not a one-trick pony. His Joe Vampire books are paranormal (emphasis on the normal) books that mix mundane day to day tasks like office work with the unexpected challenges of life as a vampire. And boy is that Joe Vampire sarcastic. Songs from the Phenomenal Nothing is not. It’s sincere, heartfelt and while ‘Joe’ made you laugh, ‘Songs’ just might make you cry.
Posted by Dusty in Tutorials
on Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 | 0 comments
So, you have some ebooks that aren’t tied to one of the big ebook retailers out there. Maybe you got an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of a book from TheCheapEbook. Or maybe you bought a book from Smashwords. In any case, here is a – hopefully – helpful guide to get those files to your Android or iOS device of choice for eyeball consumption.