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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Springtime

I built this composter late last year but didn't really get a chance take advantage of it. The planting was already done and the compost wasn't ready. Truth is, I suck at composting.
Before I built this composter, I used to heap all my compostables behind the shed and let it just rot. I'd turn it, sure, but not regularly. After a couple of years of doing that, I had some pretty fertile dirt...but compost? Actual black gold compost?

Don't think so.

What I really need is a couple of these composters, maybe three of them. That way, the compost cycle can actually complete as opposed to restart all over again when I add new material. (And I have a LOT of material.)

Oh, and tulips.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Collusion

The Justice Department has been probing various anti-competitive price-fixing practices in the publishing world.

Take it Reuters:
The Justice Department could reach a settlement in the next few weeks with Apple Inc and some of the major publishers suspected of colluding to push up electronic book prices, according to two people close to the negotiations.

While negotiations are still fluid, the settlement is expected to eliminate Apple's so-called "most favored nation" status, which had prevented the publishers from selling lower-priced e-books through rival retailers such as Amazon.com Inc or Barnes & Noble Inc, the people said.
When I got to this part of the article, I laughed out loud:
The tactic worried publishers who felt readers might get used to cheaper books and that Amazon would gain more market power, putting downward pressure on sales and prices of physical books.
God forbid readers get used to cheaper books! They might actually, you know, buy more books.

The last thing publishers want to do is to sell more books. Back in the dead tree days, that just meant they had to buy more paper. Not only that, but because of their weird return policy, they had to devote not-insignificant resources to processing pallets of unsold books.

In the e-book world, all of that's changed. It's possible to publish a book and spend not a dime on paper, glue, or ink. And returns? No such thing in the e-world.

But cheaper books? Ha! Nah, let's collude with Apple to keep prices high. After all, Salman Rushdie has to earn a living, don't he?

Speaking of Rushdie, check this story out:
The New York Times recently chronicled the surprising transformation of famed author Salman Rushdie, as he evolves from man-in-exile to something of a socialite, surfacing at various events and getting chummy with celebs that include everyone from Diane von Furstenberg to Shepard Fairey.
Brings to mind that Temple of the Dog song.
I don't mind stealing bread from the mouths of decadence