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Donnerstag, 14. Juli 2011

New Blog

I might as well post it here. I think I'm moving my blog over to Wordpress. Catch me there.

Freitag, 24. Juni 2011

The Power of the Internet

The Internet is a wonderful thing. It brings people together. You can talk to people from all over the world, in an instant, anywhere, anytime. Especially Twitter has brought people as a whole together, I think. Celebrities tweet about their every-day life. You can experience them from a whole new perspective - they seem more down to earth that way. Not as removed from us "normal" people.

Not only do so-called "celebrities" get closer to us that way - the ones that are REALLY down to earth get even closer, by responding to their fans. Answering their questions, responding about criticisms, jokes, or anything else really. I'd like to present one example why I love Twitter, and the general connectivity the "Web 2.0" offers: Ladies and Gentlemen, Jake Adelstein. He's (quoting himself) the "author of Tokyo Vice, investigative journalist, Polaris Project Japan board member [and] semi-paladin". I strongly advice you to visit his blog. Also I'd like to tell a short story about how I learned about him and his book.

It first began last summer (I think), when I read this article about the game Yakuza 3 being reviewed by real Yakuza. Jake sat down with some of his Yakuza friends and convinced them to play it. In the article, his excellent book was also mentioned. So I got it for Christmas and read it cover to cover in a few days - it's that amazing. If you're even slightly interested in either Japan, the Yakuza, criminals or detective and police work, you should get it. It's available in several languages, so there's no excuse really.

Not shortly after reading the book, I followed Jake's Twitter account. He's tweeting regularly about his work, philosophy, or just mundane things going on in his life. Like going to McDonald's at 3AM or wearing Hello Kitty pajamas. He's also regularly responding to Tweets by other users. And that's what I find so miraculous. Nowhere else besides on Twitter can you "meet" a favorite author of yours and casually chat with him, encourage him on writing his newest book or.. anything really.

skuldomg: @jakeadelstein Writing your new one at the moment?

jakeadelstein: @skuldomg Yes. It requires a lot of research. Tokyo Vice took more than three years to write and it was my own life.


skuldomg: Wise words, as always. RT @jakeadelstein: There are no tiny dreams, just tiny bikinis.

jakeadelstein: @skuldomg I thought that was actually pretty funny. Thank you.

Sometimes, I love the Internet.

Montag, 23. Mai 2011


Until now, I've avoided eBooks. It was just too uncomfortable for me reading stories on a big computer screen, compared to good old books. You have to sit in your computer chair, click through the pages, it just doesn't feel right. I've only ever read one eBook on a computer, and that was The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks, on my laptop. In bed, before going to sleep. The book is great, entertaining enough to make up for the absent comfort. But after that, I just haven't found any book interesting enough to read on a computer but not interesting enough to not warrant buying a real copy.

Today, out of the blue, the idea sprang into my mind that I look up eBook reader apps for my newly acquired HTC Wildfire. It doesn't have a big screen, so I wasn't really expecting much, but to my surprise, after downloading the Aldiko eBook reader, I'm really hooked. You can import your own PDFs and ePub format files. I've only tried it out for one train ride now, so I can't really say much but as a first look, it's awesome. I imported some issues of the Hacker Monthly Magazine, which I subscribed to for free approx. 1 year ago for a student programme.

I'm absolutely loving it. Even on my small screen, you can read without any discomfort, scrolling through the pages is fast, and I have nothing bad to say about it. There's also a store, of course, but I'm still a bit reserved about buying eBooks. In my experience, they're almost as expensive as their real live counterparts, which is unjustified in my opinion. If I have the choice of buying a new book for 20€ as a hard copy or as an eBook, my choice will always be the real copy. Here comes the big BUT: A lot of classics are available for free from the store! And, as we all know, classics are the best. I've downloaded The Divine Comedy, since I wanted to read it for years now. There's a lot of other great stuff too, like Dracula, Frankenstein, War & Peace, and so on. Also there's a section for independent authors and a lot of the books on there are free too. I'm looking forward to dig around them!

So, I've arrived in the world of eBooks. I'm thrilled to see what's awaiting me there.
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