bookmark_borderOwning, using and liking

Originally uploaded by chotda

I’m a bit annoyed by book-cataloguing sites like LibraryThing and Facebook’s Bookshare, and bookstores like Amazon.

They all seem to confuse the concepts of owning a book, having read it, and liking it. Not totally, but enough to make the sites less usable than I’d like.

Let’s face it: We all (at least those of us that work for publishers) have plenty of books we’ve never got around to reading. We all have read books we didn’t own (whether borrowing them from a library or a friend). We all have read books that we definitely don’t want to read again, and that definitely shouldn’t be used for recommendations.

As I see it, the three concepts are different, and should be treated differently. I might want to catalogue the books I own so that people don’t buy me them for Christmas, or so that people can offer to buy one of them. I might want to list what I’ve read recently so that people can chat with me about them. And I might want to list the books I love so that people can recommend me other books or decide whether we share tastes.

Actually, these three concepts could be extended to many products other than books, such as music, food, clothes, etc. Perhaps somebody should make an “I like this” website?

bookmark_borderSony α700

It seems the Sony ?700 is about to be released!

Phyllis and I love our ?100 (although we wish we had the money for a good wide-angle lens) so when we finally sell the flat, this will be a big temptation.

It seems to be sufficiently similar to the ?100 to make it easy to upgrade, but also with lots of nice additions, such as a bigger screen, an autumn leaves colour mode, and an ability to store specific settings for three different users.

The price looks a bit high ($1400 for the body, equating to £800 incl. VAT and DKK 9100 incl. Danish VAT), but I’m sure it’ll fall soon enough, and as Phyllis says, it might be a reason for a trip to New York. 😉

bookmark_borderLille hjælper (igen)

Léon helps (?) us
Originally uploaded by PhylB

Som jeg før har nævnt, elsker Léon at hjælpe til.

Da vi for et par dage siden samlede en Ivar-reol fra Ikea, gennemskuede han hurtigt princippet og gav sig til at sætte hyldeholdere i for os. Lidt for mange, måske, og ikke dybt nok i, men han gjorde sig stor umage og følte sig meget dygtig!

(OBS: Det er et vaterpas, han holder i venstre hånd. Spørg mig ikke hvorfor – han havde vel set mig bruge det nogle minutter før.)


Originally uploaded by mckenzee

I noticed that the BBC on their website called one of the Georgian goal-scorers against Scotland McHedlidze. He is, of course, called ???????? /mt?’edlidze/, so the ch is a digraph, like in China.

It reminds me of a web page I once saw that was selling a book by McHiavelli.

What will be next? Will people start calling certain types of parrots McAws? And will we all start eating McAroni Cheese?

bookmark_borderOne blog to rule them all

Isn’t it astonishing how I seem to run the world from this very blog?

It started innocently enough with a posting about Danish bridges which now seem to have become big politics in Denmark.

I then blogged a bit about Belgium falling apart, and again mainstream media followed up on it later. The same happened about some stuff I wrote about the euro, and so on.

But the last 24 hours really beats the lot: I blogged about the need for Sir Ming to resign at 11pm. I then had blog visitors from Houses of Parliament, London, London, City of, United Kingdom at 9.52, 9.53 and 12.24 today, and at 6.30pm he resigned.

I can just imagine what happened today in Westminster. At 9.52, one of his aides was reading my blog, immediately telling a colleague to check it out. They then went to Sir Ming, who read my blog a couple of hours later, and he then immediately sat down to write his resignation statement.

I guess I need to be more careful about what I write in the future! 😉

bookmark_borderTime to go

Sir Menzies Cardboard
Originally uploaded by Badger Swan

All the newspapers (e.g., tomorrow’s Herald) are now publishing similar articles reporting that most of the LibDem party seem to be begging Sir Ming to step down.

I must admit I agree. I’m sure he has good intentions, but he’s just not effective.

Back in the leadership election to replace Charles Kennedy, I gave my first vote to Chris Huhne after listening to all three candidates in Edinburgh. I still remember that it worried me that Sir Ming seemed to get slightly confused at questions, a quality that I thought would prove disastrous in Parliament (as it did).

Since then, I’ve been worried by his apparent closeness to Gordon Brown, and especially by the party’s total lack of grasp of proportional representation politics in Scotland and Wales (which he might not be ultimately responsible for, but which I also find it unimaginable that he wasn’t involved in).

So it’s time for him to go. Who the best replacement is, I don’t know. It needs to be somebody who has the personality to do well in Westminster and on TV, and it has to be somebody who has the friendliness and ruthlessness to do well when there’s more than one way to form a majority. Chris Huhne did impress me, but other candidates might be even more promising.


Waiting, just waiting (118/365)
Originally uploaded by Cellach

In an article today I read the following:

The defence of the Liberal Democrat leader came as bookmaker Ladbrokes put him as the clear favourite at 1/7 to be the first party chief to leave his post. David Cameron was placed at 6/1 and Gordon Brown 8/1.

“Young Turk” Nick Clegg was the 4/5 favourite to replace Sir Menzies while a rush of money over the weekend trimmed the odds of another possible contender, Chris Huhne, from 7/2 out to 3/1.

I know (thanks to my beloved Phyllis) that “x/y” means “if you bet y, you get x+y back”, but why this arcane system?!?

Why don’t they just do something decimal, such as stating the above odds as 1.14, 7.00, 9.00, 1.80, 4.50 and 4.00 (each number being what you’d get back from betting 1)? Is it just for historical reasons, or does it really work better if you bet a lot?