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You say that ebooks are far cheaper to produce and sell. Did you do any research into the costs of creating an ebook vs a physical book? If you did you'd find that the cost of the physical book is only about 10% of final price. The rest goes to the author, agent, editor, graphic designer, layout (which as you've noticed doesn't come for free), marketing, publisher, retailer etc. Self-publishing is one way to eliminate a bunch of those costs but good luck finding something you actually want to read from that slush pile. If anything having lots of self-published books on the market will only strengthen traditional publishing houses as their brands will become synonymous with quality.
Toggle Commented Apr 11, 2012 on Books: Bits vs. Atoms at Coding Horror
Sophia Coppola absolutely nailed what it's like to be a parent when she wrote that scene in Lost in Translation. A lot of people focus on the line you bolded but there's an equal amount, if not more, insight in Bob's first statement as well.
Toggle Commented Oct 24, 2011 on On Parenthood at Coding Horror
It's surprising how few people realize that the speakers are dominant factor in sound quality. I've seen engineers proudly buy a $1000 amplifier and push the sound out of some no-name $10 speakers. A rough rule of thumb to get the best bang for your buck is that you should aim to spend about 5 times as much on your speakers as you do on an amplifier so your $30 sound card going into $200 cans is about right. Of course as with anything audio the only real test is whether you think it sounds good.
Toggle Commented May 5, 2011 on Who Needs a Sound Card, Anyway? at Coding Horror
Ejector seats make a fascinating UI design case study. On surface ejector seat activation has two contradictory UI requirements: (a) it needs to avoid unintentional activation and (b) the pilot needs to be able to activate it in a hurry and while under a large amount of stress. The way this UI problem is usually solved in fighters is that a large ejector handle is placed somewhere pilots would never normally put their hands when flying the airplane. Typically the handle is placed under the seat or behind the pilot's head. The action on the handle is also usually very stiff with an intermediate detent (kind of like the half-press on a camera shutter button) to act as a further warning. The upshot is that a pilot can find and activate the ejection handle in a hurry and while under huge stress but is very unlikely to do so while operating the plane normally.
Toggle Commented Mar 24, 2010 on The Opposite of Fitts' Law at Coding Horror
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Mar 24, 2010