Sylvia Nassar (who sits on the board of the Authors Guild and wrote the bestselling "A Beautiful Mind") has written a stirring defence of Amazon's practice of interlisting used and new books.
Well-organized resale markets have often helped, not hurt, producers of other durable goods. An efficient market for used books may allow publishers ultimately to charge more for new ones — and authors thereby to collect higher royalties — without necessarily sacrificing sales. Amazon's resale service has effectively split the market for new books in two: readers who buy and keep versus readers who buy and resell. They wind up paying different amounts for the same book, just as airline passengers pay different amounts for a seat on the same flight. Take, for example, Michael J. Fox's new memoir, "Lucky Man." The cost to the "business-class" customer who buys and keeps the book is $16. The cost to the "economy-class" customer is roughly $7, assuming the customer resells it for $12 and then pays Amazon's fee and commission. Splitting the market lowers the average cost of owning a book, creating more buyers.
Also, Tim O'Reilly has written a great note from a publisher's PoV:
Anyone who cares about books and authors should be applauding Amazon's expansion into the used book market, which is a real boon for consumers, and frankly, even for authors. As a publisher, I'm willing to take the chance that I'll lose a sale to a used book if that means that books that are otherwise unvailable can be easily found by someone who wants them.
David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]