Nuisance calls



[29/35] Robot phone man
Originally uploaded by B. Tse

We had started getting an increasing number of nuisance calls, mainly recordings being played to us several times a day.

So on the 30th of November, I signed up for a free service to avoid nuisance calls, the Telephone Preference Service.

The website wrote that it could take up to 28 days to become effective, but we’ve hardly had any such calls for the past fortnight.

I strongly recommend signing up!

Nordic Horizons



noctilucent clouds
Originally uploaded by kanelstrand

The newspapers have recently been full of stories about how an independent Scotland will try to move closer to Scandinavia.

I think it started with this article in The Independent, which was their mostly commented article for days.

Then a journalist called Lesley Riddoch wrote this article in The Guardian, saying many of the same things but also drawing attention to her think tank and Facebook group, Nordic Horizons.

A few days later, the story appeared in Danish and Norwegian newspapers.

As a consequence of this, the Facebook group I mentioned above has grown considerably, so now a meeting has been arranged for the 19th of January in the Counting House. Will I see you there?

Lending others your ebook

Many people tend to lend their friends and family their (paper) books – in this house we have many books that have been read by at least four different people.

However, ebooks are sadly not as flexible. If we look at the Kindle, the situation is as follows:

Firstly, you can register multiple Kindles to the same account: “Practically speaking you’re only going to want to share books with your family (or friends your trust completely). This is because you’ll be sharing an Amazon account, or giving them access to your own, with the ability to buy books. To share books you have to register multiple Kindles to the same Amazon account, up to six devices can be paired to an account at once. You can only pair a Kindle to one account at a time, so it’s probably too much hassle to run multiple accounts and switch back and forth.” In other words, it might be fine for Phyllis and me, but you wouldn’t necessarily want to add on kids who might start ordering books without checking the price, and you definitely wouldn’t want to share your account with your neighbour’s aunt (who might be fairly likely to borrow your paperback crime novel).

Secondly, you can sometimes lend it out once: “Eligible Kindle books can be loaned once for a period of 14 days. The borrower does not need to own a Kindle – Kindle books can also be read using our free Kindle reading applications for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices. Not all books are lendable – it is up to the publisher or rights holder to determine which titles are eligible for lending. The lender will not be able to read the book during the loan period.” If only this applied to all books, and if you could do it five or six times rather than just once, this would be great, but as it stands, it’s a big step backwards compared to paper books.

Also, you can sell your paper book if you don’t want to keep it, but as far as I know, you cannot sell used ebooks on Amazon.

If the average ebook is going to be read by 1.5 reader on average rather than, say, 3.5 for paper books, the price is far too high. The price for a paperback book is perhaps £6, but you can sell it for £1 and share it with 2 friends, so the actual price per reader is only £1.67. If we assume that the ebook will only be read by one other person and cannot be sold afterwards, it should cost about £3.33 to make the cost of reading the same, but most ebooks are much dearer than that.

While we’re on this topic, Danish public libraries have now started lending ebooks. As far as I can tell, it’s free for the library users, while it’ll cost the libraries DKK 18.50 (£2.18) every time somebody borrows a book. I’m not quite sure how it works in practice – will the ebook be automatically deleted from your Kindle after a fortnight?

Deep Space 9

I blogged back in May 2009 that I had finished watching Enterprise and that I would move on to Deep Space 9.

I finally finished watching DS9 last night, and I must say I really enjoyed it, although it took me a wee while to get into.

I’m now going to proceed to Star Trek Voyager, which will presumable last until Christmas 2013.

However, after Voyager I will have watched everything Star Trek (apart from the Animated Series), so I really hope they’ll get their act together and start producing a new Star Trek series before too long.

I guess the relative failure of Enterprise (it was cancelled because of low ratings) gave the producers cold feet, but it was a relatively non-trekkie series – it lacked some of the optimism of the other series, probably because it was mainly produced post-9/11.

However, times are changing again. I’m not saying that people are feeling any more optimistic now, but whereas Americans after 9/11 felt they were under attack, it’s now the recession that is on top of people’s minds. Perhaps a new series could deal with the economic collapse of the Federation a century after TNG and DS9?

Two Philadelphias



Two Philadelphias
Originally uploaded by viralbus

The centre of Glasgow has been transformed into a copy of Philadelphia for the purpose of shooting a Hollywood movie called “World War Z” (starring Brad Pitt).

Phyllis and I went down there last Sunday to take a few photos of it.

However, when we got home, I tried to compare it to photos of the same places in real Philly, and I must say I find it hard to see the similarity.

I guess the film’s producers must be counting on very few people actually knowing what Philadelphia looks like!

Tintin

I min barndom elskede jeg Tintin, og som lingvistikstuderende købte jeg ofte Tintin på underlige sprog, når jeg var på ferie.

Jeg glæder mig derfor til at se Tintin-filmen, der snart er på trapperne.

Denne trailer ser i hvert fald lovende ud: