PDA Fiction

Monday, November 28, 2005

By A Spider's Thread

eReader.com lists Laura Lippman's latest Tess Monaghan mystery, By A Spider's Thread as "recently reduced."

The Newsletter Price is $6.83 (which sounds like what full price should be...) The Promo Code, valid until 11/29/05, is SEEKER.

If you buy it, don't forget eReader's $250 Give Away Promotion. Enter "GIFTCARD" at check out and you'll be entered in the drawing.

At Fictionwise

Is it just me or are there no new ebooks anyone would pay to read?

Thank god, Fictionwise is offering a 50% MicroPay rebate on The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. It's not new, but you won't be disappointed (unless you don't like Raymond Chandler...)

If you want something quirkier - there is Darkly Dreaming Dexter and Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay I hate paying over $10.00 for a DRM'ed ebook - but Dexter might be worth it.

Fictionwise also has a 50% rebate on The Killing Dance by Laurel K Hamilton. It's one of the Anita Blakes from back in the quaint old days when she used to kill monsters. In other words: less sex, more violence.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

It Was Somebody Else's Country

One thing that gets lost in all this talk of what the Iraq war is doing to America, and what America should do about Iraq, and all that other bloodless blather is... it was someone else's country, not ours. What matters isn't what Iraq is doing to America. What matters is the destruction America has visited upon innocent Iraqis.

That rubble was someone's house, and it wasn't America's house to destroy. Those bodies were someone's mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, daughter, son, nephew, niece, grandmother, granfather, unlce, aunt, cousin, friend, lover -- but they weren't America's mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, daughter, son, nephew, niece, grandmother, granfather, unlce, aunt, cousin, friend, lover to kill.

America had absolutely no right to invade that country.

Iraq was not a threat. America did not launch a "War of Choice." America launched a war of aggression. We are not safer today, but even if we were, it would not matter.

Every day, more and worse details of Bush's war crimes are revealed. We cannot undo what is done. We cannot quell the violence we have unleashed. We can only leave Iraq, immediately. It is what Iraqis want.

Read Riverbend.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

997 and Counting

"In the last 28 years, the U.S. has executed on average one person every 10 days."

"Both houses of the U.S. Congress are considering bills that would lessen the ability of defendants in capital cases to appeal to federal courts."

When, and under what circumstances, do we start to use the word tyranny?

Thanksgiving in the USA

The Chimes of Freedom by Bob Dylan
Copyright © 1964; renewed 1992 Special Rider Music

Far between sundown's finish an' midnight's broken toll
We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing
As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing
Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight
Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
An' for each an' ev'ry underdog soldier in the night
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

In the city's melted furnace, unexpectedly we watched
With faces hidden while the walls were tightening
As the echo of the wedding bells before the blowin' rain
Dissolved into the bells of the lightning
Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned an' forsaked
Tolling for the outcast, burnin' constantly at stake
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail
The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder
That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze
Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder
Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind
An' the unpawned painter behind beyond his rightful time
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Through the wild cathedral evening the rain unraveled tales
For the disrobed faceless forms of no position
Tolling for the tongues with no place to bring their thoughts
All down in taken-for-granted situations
Tolling for the deaf an' blind, tolling for the mute
Tolling for the mistreated, mateless mother, the mistitled prostitute
For the misdemeanor outlaw, chased an' cheated by pursuit
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Even though a cloud's white curtain in a far-off corner flashed
An' the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting
Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones
Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting
Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail
For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale
An' for each unharmful, gentle soul misplaced inside a jail
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Starry-eyed an' laughing as I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time an' we watched with one last look
Spellbound an' swallowed 'til the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an' worse
An' for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.


I am thankful that, despite the endless efforts of the powerful, the chimes of freedom keep flashing

Palm TX For The Holidays

NewEgg makes it harder and harder to resist the TX. It's on sale for Thanksgiving for $259.00. No tax, free shipping.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Please read Genie in a Bottle by Digby.

If you are an American, this is done in your name. If we don't stop it, if we acquiesce - we are complicit.

Torture is not a small thing.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

They Call It "Customer Service"

My one year hosting contract with my old web host expired on Nov 1. In early October, I sent them an email declaring that I did not want the contract automatically renewed. I was willing to go month to month, but I would dispute any other charges.

Because I never heard back, I thought the issue was settled (what a dope!).

On Oct 30, I renewed the contract anyway, because I was lazy.

The web site immediately developed problems.

I contacted customer Priority Support (I was supposed to be at the highest level, because of the service I'd signed up for) by email. No response. Again by email. No response. On the Support Bulletn Board. No response. By phone. They'd call back - they were closed. Again by phone. They were "escalating" the problem (gimme a break - it is a small and easy fix). 5 days had gone by.

Keep in mind, this was 24/7 Priority Support.

I used some of the steam coming out of my ears to get the wrinkles out of my shirts, and then, when I calmed down, I called to cancel. I was transferred twice.

Remember this is Priority Support.

Finally, I got Brian (or Steve?) in Billing, who kindly explained that since I never gave them a chance to resolve this issue (!!!!) (more steam) (@#$!!!), I would be charged for the entire month of November, but they would waive the cancellation policy.

I said that it was precisely because I had given them a chance to resolve the issue that we had run into November.

Brian sadly pointed that he just worked there and if I didn't like the policy ... I could cancel.

Since that was what I was calling to do, I swallowed back all the naughty words I wanted to scream, and canceled.

Yesterday, I a reply from the old web host to my initial early October email about going month-to-month after the contract expired . It said that if I had any questions about billing, I'd need to take them up with the billing department, not Support.

Well ... and only a month after my initial email and two weeks after I cancelled the contract.

Truly, this is unparalleled service.

Palm Tungsten TX at NewEgg

If I didn't already own a Palm Tungsten T3 and a Sony Clie TH-55, I'd buy one of these.

With the Tungsten TX, Palm seems to have finally gotten it right - including the price. ($267.00 at NewEgg)

Pop in a 1 GB SD card and you'd be hard pressed to need anything else on the road.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Free eBook from Scott Adams

Through his blog, Scott Adams (yes - that Scott Adams: the Dilbert guy) is offering a free PDF version of his book God's Debris.

Why Is It Free?

"It’s free because it’s designed to be discussed with people who have also read it. I’m confident that some percentage of the free e-book readers will be inspired to buy a physical book for friends or for their own collection. And if you like it, you might want to try the sequel, The Religion War, available only in hardcover. At the end of the e-book you’ll find some links to Amazon.com for your impulse-buying pleasure."

What's It About?

"Imagine that you meet a very old man who—you eventually realize—knows literally everything. Imagine that he explains for you the great mysteries of life—quantum physics, evolution, God, gravity, light, psychic phenomenon, and probability—in a way so simple, so novel, and so compelling that it all fits together and makes perfect sense. What does it feel like to suddenly understand everything? God's Debris isn’t the final answer to the Big Questions. But it might be the most compelling vision of reality you will ever read. The thought experiment is this: Try to figure out what’s wrong with the old man’s explanation of reality. Share the book with your smart friends then discuss it later while enjoying a beverage."

Even if that sounds as boring to you as it does to me - what's to lose? It's free.

Good Question

I've seen this around several places, most recently at TBogg I'm not sure where I first saw it, but it has a Norbizness look to it.

Well, won't someone...?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Carnival Pricing from SoftMaker

As they do every Nov 11, SoftMaker is offering their PocketPC software are seriously reduced prices.

These special offers are only good on Nov 11 - German time

Check here for the countdown clock.

This year, they are offering:

MegaFont XXL and Suetterlin fonts for $11.11 each
PlanMaker for $22.22 each (your choice of PlanMaker for Windows, Linux, Pocket PCs, or Handheld PCs.)
Nydiot Virtual Display for $11.11

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Collector

Ah look! A contemporary review of The Collector, from the NY Times archives.

How foolish I was - I had no idea that we needn't have read Miranda's diary. Silly girls.

John Fowles Died on Saturday

John Fowles, the author of The Collector and The French Lieutenant's Woman, died last Saturday.

I practically memorized The Collector when I was a weird teenager.

None of his books are available as ebooks, as far as I can tell.

iSilo v4.29 Released

The latest update to the iSilo reader, v4.29, is now available for download.

Of course, an update to the reader also means an update to iSiloX. Get it here.