Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kindle DRM Sucks

I'm working hard on an important project: coordinating a network of team mates from around the world, and have bought a few books I thought likely to assist in some of the challenges.  One of these challenges is our need for intelligently selecting appropriate management techniques to attack some of the problems.  An expert on the team suggested using assessment tools from Reinventing Project Management: The Diamond Approach to Successful Growth & Innovation by Dov Dvir (Kindle Edition - Aug 14, 2007).

After purchasing and studying the book, I wanted to copy some passages for discussion with members of the team.  Kindle for PC disables your ability to do this.  I wanted to discuss this (zoomed) graph as well:
Notice the blurring?  This is because Kindle translation of the original source (presumably PDFs) is buggy.   Even if I wanted to zoom the original view to overcome the minute, blurry letters on the graph, there is no zoom function on either the portable Kindle or Kindle for PC.

Did I mention that the Amazon's DRM (digital rights management) also prevented me from opening the book on my Kindle?  It gave me a message that the book was registered to another user.  Apparently, I had not used the exact procedure they DEMAND purchasers use for organizing and copying books their customers are supposed to OWN.

Instead of infuriating people with inevitably shortsighted, totalitarian attempts at controlling content,  if corporations put 1% of that effort into creating easy ways for people to make voluntary micro-payments with fair splits to people based on their sacrifice and effort, not only might they make more money, they'd have people working for free to improve their content processing, distribution, and payment systems.  They'd have incredible brand loyalty and broader markets.  I realize that contrary to legal fiction: corporations are not real people and therefore can't appreciate that the world would also be a better, happier place with such openness.  Unfortunately, more freedom, joy, and fulfillment in life don't help financial profit margins - the only kind with which dominant interests are concerned.

Since it isn't and because now (incredibly) Amazon has succeeded in pissing me off so badly - I've followed this advice to strip DRM blocks and restrictions from what I consider using MY (bought & paid for) property, which I believe I'm entitled to use my property as I see fit, absent harming others of course, and without the prior approval of anyone.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Historically Justified Quantum Cosmology Approaches

If we take the relatively uncontroversial position that human organs of perception (sense & cognition) evolved based on their ability to assist survival and reproductive success, it seems extremely unlikely that they would be well suited to perception of fundamental aspects of reality.  For example, our species has no innate ability capable of perceiving that we live on a planet, or even the relative size of the nearest star, our sun.  Only decades (or centuries) of careful observation and investigation revealed basics of our world that lie outside everyday experience.  We may properly conclude our senses and cognition are unlikely in the extreme to be able to directly perceive any relatively significant aspect of reality.

Our lives consist of atoms and molecules within spacetime, interacting with others based on distance, charge, gravity, energy state, relative motion, and so forth.  As we, our instruments, and everything within spacetime interacts similarly, it is quite natural for us to consider our observations to represent reality.  Yet careful observation and investigation reveals anomalies.
When confronted with such problems, we are normally best served by postulating a new factor, such as in geology, where extra floods were added to Noah’s which could accommodate the fossil record.  In astronomy, new epicycles were added to account for observed celestial motions.  In cosmology today, new dimensions are added to account for observations of matter and spacetime.  

Like now, when revolutionary advance is necessary, it has been accomplished by changing the focus of research efforts from adding new factors to imagining the simplest unifying explanation for our observations.  This change gave rise to theories of heliocentrism, quantum mechanics, evolution, blood circulation, plate tectonics, relativity, and many others. 

Physical models now assume dimensions in which atoms, charge, forces, and mass appear are real, and we postulate new dimensions to accommodate observations in physics and astronomy.  These are poor approaches because they are founded on acceptance that time and space perceptions are essentially real, rather than the more conservative and skeptical view that they are merely observations.  Thus, our investigations should focus on processes giving rise to perceptions of spacetime dimensions, matter, charge, and energy.

This is the only approach with which we may enjoy historically justified confidence in our ability to progress adequately.