TECHNOLOGY: Push back against Apple, IBOOKS2, and IBOOKS2_AUTHOR

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Here’s the strike back against Apple’s IBOOKS2.

Apple had the opportunity to break the marketplace open and whiffed.

(1) It’s IOS only and doesn’t support EPUB. In fact Apple’s format is reportedly a broken form of EPUB. Like what Microsoft does, take an open format and break it by extension.

(2) It crony capitalism as Apple enlists the Big Textbooks in locking things up by DRM.

(3) The restrictions on IBOOKS2_AUTHOR are onerous and expensive for authors.

(4) I’m no fan of Gooferment diktats, but this sure looks like an illegal tie in and restraint of trade.

What it does do is to popularize the questioning of expensive text books!

With Open Courseware and Open Text Books?

Look at all the classics in the public domain. Despite bookstores, Apple, and Amazon trying to sell them. Project Guttenberg for me.

And, with the ability to “publish” ebooks and print books cheaply, it will encourage folks to “roll their own”. Lulu print volumes under 25$ a copy and the ebook versions are basically free with no restrictions. Amazon’s Create Space is cheap; although I just saw a hint they were “revising” their offering.

It’s going to collapse the market, imho.

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LIBERTY: Has the driver’s license become the de facto national id?

The Case Against Driver’s Licenses
by Eric Peters

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That little plastic laminated card you’ve got in your wallet or purse – you know, the state’s permission slip for operating a motor vehicle? Ever stop to reflect how peripheral the driving part of a driver’s license is?

Because, of course, a driver’s license is in fact our national ID card.

It’s impossible to function in modern society without this national ID card – even if you never get behind the wheel of an automobile. You can’t open a bank account, cash a check, visit the doctor, vote, board an airplane or even get a job without one.

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Remember the opening scene in the original Rambo? It all begins when Stallone’s character is accosted by a bully cop who demands to see his ID. That was 1982 – when for the most part only “drifters” such as Rambo got racked up for not having ID. Today, we must all have our IDs. Or else.

This is the reality of 2012 Homeland America.

You must have permission to move. You certainly do not move freely.

Even if you are walking.

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OK, I get the point.

You’re going to be amazed at how “forgetful” I’ve become.

Unless I am driving, I forgot it.

What my id? Sure, I’ve got my American Legion card right here!

Call my Post Commander, he knows me.

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Why should the state license drivers?
by Jeff Jacoby The Boston Globe
January 29, 2012

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Why should keeping an ordinary driver’s license up to date oblige anyone to deal with a government agency, in person or online? I hadn’t even realized that my license was about to expire until an airport security agent pointed it out to me the last time I flew out of Logan. The Registry no longer sends renewal notices; and woe betide the motorist who gets pulled over with an expired license, an infraction that can trigger a fine of up to $1,000, not to mention a potential arrest.

Try to imagine Visa or Discover requiring you to remember when your credit card is about to expire, and making you get in line at a branch office or go online to renew it. On the contrary: They do the remembering and renew your card automatically. Before the old one expires, you get a new one in the mail. And if there is an anomaly in your account, they typically flag it and alert you right away.

In the private economy, automatic renewals are routine. From Netflix subscriptions to homeowner’s insurance to newspaper delivery, vendors and service providers of every description make it simple to keep your account up-to-date. Your antivirus software and 401(k) investments can be put on autopilot, refreshing at regular intervals unless you choose to opt out. Why shouldn’t your driver’s license work the same way?

Maybe the real question is why the state should license drivers in the first place.

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I always thought that the Insurance Company should be registering cars and testing drivers. They have the most to lose when the driver screws up or an accident occurs. They seem to be able to manage getting me my insurance ids cards well before they expire.

So why not have a combined vehicle registration and insurace card?

That’s easy. No Gooferment jobs to give to relatives!

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