Monday various

Fire fire

So I probably won’t be buying a Kindle Fire anytime soon:

If you’ve used an iPad, using the Kindle Fire will most likely remind you how much attention Apple does pay to design, user experience, deep detail. Apple thought long and hard not just about the features almost everybody will want all the time, but which some people will want sometimes. The iPad is a pleasure, sometimes even a mystery, to hold, explore and use. The Kindle Fire is a black rectangle with a screen that let’s you basically do seven things.

That said, it’s about to become “the rest” of the tablet market, everything but the iPad. For users who don’t want a sexy category-defying mini computer, this device will be great.

Finally, despite its seeming passion for books, Amazon is not a device company; it’s a company that has irrevocable changed, and innovated retail, and that’s what it’s doing again with the Kindle Fire. Bezos has gotten customers to pay him (although the FIre is a loss leader) for the privilege of owning their own portable comprehensive Amazon shopping experience. What he is probably most excited to sell a lot of are Amazon Prime subscriptions, which come with, of course, the free video content and the lending library, but, most importantly, with free two-day shipping, meaning if you’re feeling two lazy to walk over to the store to buy your toothbrush (or toaster, or boxer shorts or whatever), you’ll just order it from Amazon. This device is all about buying stuff, and lots and lots of people are going to buy it, and the Amazon content and hard goods it sells, this holiday season.

Thursday various

Tuesday various

  • Abercrombie & Fitch will pay Jersey Shore cast to stop wearing its clothes. How have I gone this far without ever directly encountering either? (And how can I continue this pattern of unexpected grace?)
  • Now you can watch The Big Lebowski with a bunch of random people on Facebook. I am intrigued by this…but not at all interested in participating. I’ve watched — and riffed on — movies with friends online, and enjoyed that experience. But Facebook’s system seems designed mostly to send money to Facebook, which is something I’m considerably less interested in doing.
  • Angry Robot’s WorldBuilder, on the other hand, seems like a much more intriguing communal experience. It’s, again, not one I’m likely to participate in myself, just because I don’t tend to seek out secondary worlds like this — fan fiction, role-playing games, etc. — but there’s something potentially very cool (and profitable, obviously) about a publisher embracing and facilitating this kind of thing right out of the gate. [via]
  • Aled Lewis’s mashups of historical paintings with ’80s adventure games. There’s only a few of these here, but they’re really quite amusing. [via]
  • And finally, Whiny Tea Partiers feel threatened by Jane Yolen:

    Why all the fuss? I believe it’s because Jane explained what was wrong in clear, straightforward language — a knack that way too many liberal pundits have lost. If exposing children to books and literacy is good, then what Ron Johnson is doing to schools and libraries is bad. If children being cared for in a public health clinic is good, then what Ron Johnson is doing to healthcare funding is bad. Johnson tacitly admits that these things are good, and that the general public sees them as good, by using them as props for his photo session. He wants the benefit of being associated with them. Then, in real life, he does his best to trash them. Simple.

    What venues like Moe Lane and WTAQ News Talk are really saying is that Jane Yolen made them feel bad. She got through to them. They can’t really argue with her, so they throw sh*t in her general direction, but still: she got through to them.

That’s one way of putting it (round-up edition)

Nathan Rabin on Father’s Day:

[Ivan] Reitman without Bill Murray is like Superman at a Kryptonite convention: His powers are useless and the results (My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Evolution, Legal Eagles) often dire.

The AV Club on the Netflix price hikes:

It’s sort of like the movie Sophie’s Choice, which you won’t be able to watch if you pick the streaming-only plan.

Keith Phipps on Larry Crowne:

To be any flimsier, Larry Crowne would have to be projected on Kleenex.

John Scalzi on the continually changing (or not) face of the Internet:

Knowing that Angelfire and Lycos still exist in some form is like hearing that somewhere out there Matthew Perry and Lisa Kudrow are still putting on new “episodes” of Friends for anniversary parties and bar mitzvahs.

Roger Ebert on Transformers: Dark of the Moon:

I have a quaint notion that one of the purposes of editing is to make it clear why one shot follows another, or why several shots occur in the order that they do.

Jessa Crispin on X-Men: First Class:

Me: “Why are there only white people in this movie?”
Friend: “The white people are metaphors for black people.”