Tobias Buckell and the nuts and bolts of ebook pricing

•February 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Tobias Buckell, SF writer and all around nice guy, explains the nuts and bolts of ebook pricing in a post on his site today (link below). I like Toby a lot, and find his up front explanations about the publishing world quite refreshing. He has no qualms about sharing his own financial numbers and detailed experiences.

Why am I post this here instead of on my writing blog? Well, I’ll likely cross-post there too. However, the whole pricing argument between Amazon and Macmillan (and soon others–if not already) affects business on the Cloud. It is just a reflection of the fact that we are on the cusp, if not beyond, of a sea change in many industries as the Internet and the Cloud in general change the way things have been.

I’ll state up front, as a technologist and author, I believe in free markets. I’ll comment later on Toby’s comments in this blog post.

For now, go read Why do people want more expensive backlist books?

“Your Wishlist” in the Cloud — think again.

•January 30, 2010 • 1 Comment

This weekend, in apparent [put your own word here: retribution, protest, ninny-fit] removed all Macmillan published books from their site, apparently in response to Macmillan’s desire to re-negotiate pricing and their signing on with Apple’s iBook store. There’s lots of opinions flying about, and will continue being an interesting read. I’m still getting up to speed, but I do have three comments.

First, a lot of Amazon users were surprised when Macmillan books (which includes all Tor science fiction and fantasy lines) disappeared from “their” Amazon wishlists. This is an excellent opportunity to make the point I regularly remind my kids of. Data that we put up on sites like Amazon, and Facebook, MySpace, etc. for that matter, do not really “belong” to us. Oh, it’s our thoughts, text, photos, etc. but most of the service agreements we agree to, implicitly or explicitly do not grant the user much in terms of rights. Your data in the cloud is a subjective thing, and subject to the whim of the cloud service. I put data in the cloud, but I also make sure I keep my own copies of it.

Second, this whole thing with Amazon began about a week back when they announced new Kindle APIs, and payment arrangements. It’s all pretty obvious they are responding to the coming iPad. To Jeff Bezos, Apple’s/Job’s interest in this market must feel like the Eye of Sauron turning in his direction (No, I’m not saying Jobs is Sauron. It’s just a metaphor). Ultimately, I think the competition will mean the consumer will be better off.

Last, Amazon’s hi-jinks, if indeed they aren’t a technical burp as has happened in the past, won’t really hurt Amazon as John Scalzi pointed out. Really, it probably won’t hurt Macmillan on the whole. What it does hurt are the authors who create the content to start with, and whose drop in sales over this weekend (or longer) cut much closer to the bottom line. Of course, you can always hit Barnes and Nobles instead.

We live in interesting times. The whole media landscape is shifting before our eyes. Will our grandkids look back and say we blew it or got it?

New post series on Appistry Peer2Peer

•January 29, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Over at my day job at Appistry, I’m starting a “Managing the Cloud” post series on the Peer2Peer forums. Here’s a snippet from the first article:

Unlike the traditional “silo” of dedicated servers that host specific applications and services, the cloud promises the easy availability of server resources. Instead of running on one or two statically configured servers, we suddenly have many servers available to us. However, all that flexibility comes at a manageability cost. Way back in July of 2008, I wrote a blog post titled “Will You Manage the Cloud or Will the Cloud Manage You?” In that blog post, I argued that the Cloud required new ways of managing our applications and services, and listed a series of cloud administration requirements. In this article we’ll revisit those requirements, and in the series do hands-on work with CloudIQ Platform to see them in action.

Jump on over and give it a read.

Pardon the sawdust

•August 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Welcome to the new home of self.organize(), my software development-oriented blog. I’ve gotten my posts imported, but am still making changes and tweaks. The style may change as of yet too, but hey, that’s all part of the fun in moving! I’m looking forward to posting more regularly, so we’ll see you on the feeds….

“Is Your Code Cloud-ready…” series now a JavaWorld Article

•March 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

My blog series “Is your code cloud-ready….” has been updated and developed into an article on JavaWorld. There’s new  JavaWorld material, code samples, and diagrams covering the design principles discussed. Part 1 is available now as “Building Cloud-ready, Multicore-friendly Applications, Part 1: Design Principles.”  Part 2 follows soon, and includes more discussion about leveraging cloud platforms (not just cloud infrastructure!) for your applications.

Thanks to the good folks at JavaWorld for inviting me to do this, and working with me on the article!

Edit: Part 2, Building cloud-ready, multicore-friendly applications, Part 2: Mechanics of the cloud is also available.

Reaping the Benefits: Is your code cloud-ready and multi-core friendly? (part 6)

•December 18, 2008 • Leave a Comment

As part of an ongoing series, we have been discussing design principles that influence how ready our code is for distributed computing in the cloud, as well as for multi-core utilization. Today, we conclude the series with discussion about…

How to Reap the Benefits 1058108337_46491e437c_o

Today we shift our discussion to how atomicity, statelessness, idempotence, and parallelism in our code help us gain the  benefits of cloud application platforms. Cloud application platforms allow our code to “inherit” capabilities like scaling out horizontally, scaling up across multiple cores, availability, reliability, manageability, load balancing, and command and control. Throughout this blog series, we have touched on these benefits, but now in our conclusion, we will discuss how cloud platforms deliver these benefits to our code.

First, we need to define what we mean by a cloud platform, and why we as architects and developers should care in the first place.

Continue reading ‘Reaping the Benefits: Is your code cloud-ready and multi-core friendly? (part 6)’

Parallelism : Is your code cloud-ready and multi-core friendly? (part 5)

•November 10, 2008 • Leave a Comment

As part of an ongoing series, we are discussing design principles that influence how ready our code is for distributed  computing in the cloud, as well as for multi-core utilization. Today, we talk about…


“Parallel code?” you ask, “I don’t need no stinkin’ parallel code!” In the past, writing parallel code was an area of specialization, and most of us did not have a parallel processing computer with specialized hardware in our basements.

However, most new workstations, servers and laptops today have multi-core CPUs. However, even If you do have a dual core, quad core (or more) setup and your software doesn’t utilize it, then you are leaving computing power lying, literally, on your desk, your rack, or your lap.

Continue reading ‘Parallelism : Is your code cloud-ready and multi-core friendly? (part 5)’


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