Monday, November 30, 2009

Askar published as ebook

Author Bronwyn Calder has taken the ebook plunge with her novel "Askar" by publishing on "Smashwords".

Big decisions on pricing and policies. Bronwyn has priced at USD 2.99 with a free preview of the first 25% of the work. She has chosen the path of an ebook free from DRM digital rights management in agreement with the Smashwords philosophy that it is best to enable readers to enjoy their books without complex restrictions which may create unfair situations, and that most readers can be trusted with the work.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

CVSEJ-A4402 Low cost high definition Camera - first impressions

I am checking out a CVSEJ-A4402 video camera - low cost currently USD$177.50
Of interest because it is representative of advances in cameras emerging from the Chinese electronics industry. My first test was to point it at line resolution charts EIA1956 and ISO12233. Good results, 700-800 line pairs rating which well qualifies this as "High Definition". I am digging deeper to check out the potential for educational use. There is no manual focus or focus lock but the auto-focus seems to work as well as can be expected for a low-cost optical zoom lens. I am seeing it hunt once for focus then lock in until a major change of view happens. Focus hunting takes longer in dark conditions. I wish it had a mic input port. The LCD view matches well with the framing of the recorded video - IMHO better than most cams which tend to record more than they show to allow for traditional TV cropping. The testing continues.

Update - Test shot now posted on Youtube:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kindle - hey Amazon, share the love!

EDIT - (22 Jan 2010)
NEWS - 15 Jan 2010 - Amazon now effectively does "share the love" by making the simple 30% USA withholding tax method available to international authors. We can now get started more easily and do the paperwork later if sales justify that.

Amazon is going international with its Kindle ebook reader. Tonight I downloaded their Kindle ebook reader for PC. Exciting ebook news but here is a negative. It is too difficult for writers outside of the USA to participate. To sign up you need a USA bank account and US Tax paperwork that is a bureaucratic drama to work through - I know because I am partway through this process. And this is quite unnecessary because Amazon's own Createspace print-on-demand service can invite anyone in by using the available simple 30% withholding tax regime. The Kindle needs to be one of the Createspace platforms and operate in the same way and I see no good reason why not. Hey Amazon, if it is good enough to collect money from all the world for ebooks, it is good enough to let all the world join in the creativity!