Author: Adamson Rust

Amazon backs down and settles antitrust case

Mighty bookseller Amazon has backed down from its demand that print on demand (POD) publishers have to start paying it money to print books.

Amazon said that if the POD people didn’t pay to print the books, it would remove the buy it now buttons from its website.

That caused an online revolt among some publishers, although others bit the Amazon bullet and signed on the Amazon/Booksurge bottom line.

The case went to court and while Amazon failed to dismiss the litigation, Amazon has finally settled.

The final settlement is here – Amazon has buckled under. It’s a big victory for independent publishers.

Amazon will pay Boocklocker’s costs of $300,000. There’s comment on the case, here.

Let your jeans juice up your phone

Boffins have come up with a cunning plan to allow you to charge your mobile phone by just wearing your clothes.

That’s according to a report in TG Daily, which says that cotton and polyester can be made into conductive energy textiles. It’s scientists at Stanford that have come up with the brainwave.

But, as the story points out, there’s a serious snagette. First you have to take your clothes off when you go to bed and re-charge your clothes rather than your phone overnight.

Carbon nanotubes are apparently the key to this not-so-amazing breakthrough – the material is soaked with a solution which has the ability to store electricity.

Perhaps what is amazing is that once the nanotubes are part of the fabric, they can be washed, dried and perhaps even ironed.

The TG Daily story is here.

Celebrities say silicon and bikes are key to civilisation

The BBC is very ambitious because right now it’s presenting the History of the World in 100 objects. Very ambitious indeed. And all very cosy.

We had a lass at the British Museum on the TV telling us that the statue of Tara that somehow ended up in Bloomsbury versus Sri Lanka was still iconic because Asian religions didn’t create a difference between sex and religion. Er, how come the beautiful statue of Tara ended up in Bloomsbury? Any chance the Marbles will go back to Greece?

But right at the end of the BBC teaser came some wonderful quotes from modern “personalities”.

An emblem of our modern civilisation, according to clapped out Labour politician Tony Benn, was the mini-computer called the Crackberry, sorry Blackberry.

David Attenborough was a bit more acute – he said the microprocessor was a huge element of 21st century civilisation.

James Dyson, inventor of modern hoovers, reckoned it was the photovoltaic cell.

Darcus Howe chose CCTV, because he said, quite wittily, that it marks the end of civilisation. Chinese State TV?

Journalist John Humphreys says it was the bicycle because it allowed people to travel some distance and get into bed with their lovers.

IT online journalism can't stop begatting

SEFER HA ZOHAR: 12, 1 And lo, Mike Magee and John Lettice begat the Register. And it was good as an email newsletter started in 1994 for some years, although racks of coins did not fall on their heads. And then a Drew Cullen also became a begat, and before we knew where we were, Linus Birtles in 1998 begatted a rack of coins and made it so.

Then there was a parting of the seas and Mike was cast out into the infernal darkness and went and begatted the Inquirer.

And lo,  it was good in the land of milk and honey for five years.

Then Castle Despair put Mike into Black Jail for a full two years and he despaired, not having a multi-coloured cloak to wear. And he left the Castle, laughing all the way to the Bank and not looking back in case he was turned into a veritable Pillar of Salt (POS).  Begorrah. Sod em.

Then Metaplume begatted the IT Examiner and Instant News and Mike was in the Land of Pearls for a year, verily a year, before he was cast back into the veritable Sodom called Oxford, a Vale of Tears for a while.

And then the begatting really really started at Castle Despair. First Fuad Abazovic begatted fudzilla.com and the begatting continued apace. Lo, before you knew where you were, Charlie Demerjian begatted semiaccurate.com and then Theo Valich did a begatting all by himself called the Bright Side of News.

Then Castle Despair begatted Paul Hales onto the street and he thought he’d do a bit of begatting himself. And before Paul Hales begats thinq.co.uk in a few days time, Mike Magee begatted techeye.net.

And lo. The fragmented journalists went a weeping and wailing in their Despair to the advertisers and vendors and a dark cast was put upon them by the Agencies and by the agents.  Now there was much gnashing of teeth but the Vendors, laughing out loud said: “The ball is now in our court.com”. [That’s surely enough begatting? Ed.]