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Last update: 2012-06-11

Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman on location for the new...

2012-06-11 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)



Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman on location for the new series, shot two.

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doctorwho: The first image of Matt and Jenna-Louise Coleman on...

2012-06-09 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)



doctorwho:

The first image of Matt and Jenna-Louise Coleman on set!

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Dresden Codak's X-MEN REBOOT

2012-06-07 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)

dresdencodak:

The Premise - I wanted to make an X-Men reboot that plays to the strength of the concepts, namely growing up as a teenager, dealing with those who are different and how to deal with those who hate you.  The primary change in my setting is that the mutations have a clear sci-fi foundation rather than just being random superpowers.  Mutants being “the next stage in human evolution” was biologically dubious in the 60s, and now it’s just corny.  Additionally, I think the X-Men premise only really makes sense in a setting without other superheroes.  With that in mind, here’s my pitch…

Read More

Amazingly well thought out and visually fascinating. Brilliant, brilliant. I kind of wish he’d filed off the serial numbers and just did it.

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There’s something you just won’t see every day.

2012-06-05 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)



There’s something you just won’t see every day.

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All you need to know about Doctor Who, really.

2012-06-04 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)









All you need to know about Doctor Who, really.

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Sturgeon's Law -- The Old Stuff

2012-06-03 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)

So yeah, I’m working on reposting the Sturgeon’s Law show notes and audio podcasts here. It’s got a “by hand" element so it’ll take a bit until/unless I can improve on that process. I do know that the original site seems to not be working, which is one of the reasons I started doing this.

I do also intend to start sharing neat stuff that’s in the “zone" for Sturgeon’s Law here, although I’ll try to show some restraint. I see some neat stuff on Tumblr every day!

Oh, yeah, as far as the podcast feed goes… well, we’ll see. Tumblr doesn’t do it by itself, but if I can recover control of the FeedBurner feed I might be able to actually make it happen. I’m not sure anyone cares as there aren’t any new episodes and haven’t been for years, but it’s aesthetically desirable, so we’ll see. Besides, who knows? I might care someday how to do it. ;)

Feel free to use the ask feature, the submit feature, whatever floats your boat. I know this isn’t the same to a few diehard fans as actually doing the show again, but it’s what I’ve got right now.

-Random

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Sturgeon's Law #098

2009-02-14 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)

Sturgeon's Law #098 14 February, 2009 http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/ RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill Opening Music by The Napolean Blown Aparts Intro Read by Mark Bradford To everything there must come an end.…

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Sturgeon’s Law #098 14 February,...

2009-02-13 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)



Sturgeon’s Law #098
14 February, 2009

http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/
RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw
Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill
Opening Music by The Napolean Blown Aparts
Intro Read by Mark Bradford

To everything there must come an end.

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Sturgeon's Law #097

2009-02-01 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)

Sturgeon's Law #097 1 February, 2009 http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/ RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill Opening Music by The Napolean Blown Aparts Intro Read by Mark Bradford Trailer for Wonder Woman #37 Lord of the Rings Online Left4Dead…

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Sturgeon’s Law #097 1 February,...

2009-01-31 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)



Sturgeon’s Law #097
1 February, 2009

http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/
RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw
Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill
Opening Music by The Napolean Blown Aparts
Intro Read by Mark Bradford

Trailer for Wonder Woman #37 Lord of the Rings Online Left4Dead …

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Sturgeon's Law #096

2009-01-18 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)

Sturgeon's Law #096 18 January, 2009 http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/ RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill Opening Music by The Napolean Blown Aparts Intro Read by Mark Bradford Trailer for Wonder Woman #36 LibraryElf Novels of the Company starting with In the Garden of Iden Voice Mail from Doug Rapson…

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Sturgeon’s Law #096 18 January,...

2009-01-17 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)



Sturgeon’s Law #096
18 January, 2009

http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/
RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw
Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill
Opening Music by The Napolean Blown Aparts
Intro Read by Mark Bradford

Trailer for Wonder Woman #36 LibraryElf Novels of the Company starting with In the Garden of Iden Voice Mail from Doug Rapson …

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Sturgeon's Law #095

2009-01-11 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)

Sturgeon's Law #095 11 January, 2009 http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/ RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill Opening Music by The Napolean Blown Aparts Intro Read by Mark Bradford Trailer for Batman #36 Rockbox foobar2000 Music closer: "Hi Folks I'm Elvis And I'm Still Dead" by The Volume Brothers…

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Sturgeon’s Law #095 11 January,...

2009-01-10 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)



Sturgeon’s Law #095
11 January, 2009

http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/
RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw
Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill
Opening Music by The Napolean Blown Aparts
Intro Read by Mark Bradford

Trailer for Batman #36 Rockbox foobar2000 Music closer: “Hi Folks I’m Elvis And I’m Still Dead" by The Volume Brothers …

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Sturgeon's Law #094

2009-01-04 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)

Sturgeon's Law #094 4 January, 2009 http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/ RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill Opening Music by The Napolean Blown Aparts Intro Read by Mark Bradford Trailer for Wonder Woman #36 Transmetropolitan: Lust for Life Freakangels vol. 1 and website Music closer: "Tuesday's Fine" by The Fire Apes…

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Sturgeon’s Law #094 4 January,...

2009-01-03 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)



Sturgeon’s Law #094
4 January, 2009

http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/
RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw
Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill
Opening Music by The Napolean Blown Aparts
Intro Read by Mark Bradford

Trailer for Wonder Woman #36 Transmetropolitan: Lust for Life Freakangels vol. 1 and website Music closer: “Tuesday’s Fine" by The Fire Apes …

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Sturgeon's Law #093

2008-08-25 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)

Sturgeon's Law #093 25 August, 2008 http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/ RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill Intro Music by Enter the Haggis Bumper featuring Redboy and Absolute Amy Promo for PMC Top 10 I seem to have successfully provoked a bunch of messages in my last episode, although admittedly one of these is just coincidence and wasn't directed at Sturgeon's Law specifically but I wanted to pass it along, anyway. In fact, we'll just start with it. Richard Jenkins, expat Oklahoman comic artist in Boston -- not to be confused with Jeffrey Rowland, expat Oklahoman cartoonist in Boston, but anyway -- dropped a line to say that he's got a new textbook out. You see, when Richard isn't doing wacky stuff like the art on the various Sky Ape books, he teaches art, and it turns out he also puts some effort into teaching teachers to teach art, or in this case, more specifically, how to include comics in their teaching. The name of his new textbook is Comics in Your Curriculum, and it's for sale through http://www.piecesoflearning.com as well as teacher outlet stores, so if you teach or if you know people who do, have a look. I've seen a few preview pages that he attached to his email, and it has a certain McCloud sort of vibe, even making a reference to Understanding Comics in one of the preview pages, but I think is aimed less at philosophy for those already involved, or at least interested, in comics and more towards getting the word out to students. Frankly, mainstream comics are in a bad place right now. I'm not afraid to say it, although it does make me sad. Sort of. Because there's no time like the present for reinventing comics -- as Scott McCloud might say -- and this is the way it happens; not by comic fans talking to each other over and over but by bringing in people without our biases and historical baggage. Moving on, we've got this voicemail from Doug Rapson of Geek Acres. Thanks for the congratulations, Doug, and the kind comments as well. You know, a friend who listens to the show compared the last episode to drunk dialing, and I've decided to take that as meaning that I didn't resist speaking my mind about what was nagging at me, in which case I think you can look forward to plenty more of that. If you want actual drunk dialing, well, just listen to many of your favorite podcasts during the PMEs each year, am I right? Okay, never mind that. Thanks again, Doug. Listener Laura used the Contactify link on the Sturgeon's Law web site to share a list of her favorite web comics, which I'll link in this episode's show notes, but in brief her list includes User Friendly, General Protection Fault, The Devil's Panties, Ctrl Alt Delete, Penny Arcade, Get Medieval, Girl Genius, Sinfest, XKCD and Chasing the Sunset. Some of those have been mentioned here before, some of them I read regularly, some of them you couldn't pay me to read, and at the end of the day I'll just leave you with Laura's list and let you decide what you enjoy and don't enjoy for yourself, although I encourage you not to judge Jennie Breeden's The Devil's Panties too quickly; while she is crown princess of misspellings and sometimes what she finds funny may leave you wondering why, this is all connected to the vibe of the comic, which is goofing on her own experiences as a nerd artist on the road, and if you give it time it will very likely grow on you like it has for me. And, as Laura reminds us, it's not satanic porn, so give it a glance. http://www.userfriendly.org http://www.gpf-comics.com http://www.thedevilspanties.com http://www.cad-comic.com http://www.penny-arcade.com http://get-medieval.livejournal.com http://www.girl-genius.net http://www.sinfest.net http://www.xkcd.com http://www.fantasycomic.com Listener Chris, while recognizing that I'm not an XBOX 360 owner, which indeed I am not, makes sure I'm aware of the game Braid, which, if I wasn't before, I certainly would be since Tycho of Penny Arcade decided to talk about it at some length. However, Chris mentions it for a different reason, and one that I had in fact heard elsewhere -- in fact, from John Buckman, founder of Magnatune, and that reason is that Braid uses Magnatune music as its soundtrack in accordance with Magnatune's reasonable and convenient and, I must add, very fair to the artist licensing plans. Chris also points out that a PC version of Braid is in the works for later this year and I'll be tempted to shell out a few bucks just to support someone who supports the excellent folks at Magnatune.com. First we had Portal with Jonathan Coulton, and now this; looks like a great time for both innovative game designers and independent recording artists. And finally, I had a brief email exchange with listener, and I'm not making this up, Peter Sturgeon, who clarifies that he is not the brother of Theodore Sturgeon, who does indeed have a brother named Peter who founded the American branch of Mensa, thank you Wikipedia, and at any rate, Mr. Sturgeon writes to remind me that "90% of everything is crud" is not, in fact, the original Sturgeon's Law; in fact, that was called Sturgeon's Revelation early on to distinguish it from the original Sturgeon's Law, which read "Nothing is always absolutely so," and indeed, Sturgeon himself -- Theodore, not Peter -- referred to THAT quote as Sturgeon's Law, and, as I say, the 90% quote as Sturgeon's Revelation. So what do I do with this? Well, to answer that I went context diving, specifically into the Sturgeon story "The Claustrophile" where the quote originated, and I'd like to read you some context: "Nothing is always absolutely so," he said again. "Once you know that, know it for sure, you can do things, go places you never thought about before. Everything there is gives you some place to go, something to think about. Everything. Take a -- a brass rivet, say. It's brass; you start with that. And what is brass? An alloy. How much change of what metal would make it not be brass? Given enough time, would radioactive decay in one of the metals transmute it enough so it wouldn't be brass any more? Or take the size. How big is it? Well, doesn't that depend? It's smaller after it's been used than when it was new. What color is it? That depends, too. In other words, if you're going to describe to me exactly what that rivet is, you're going to have to qualify and modify and get up a list of specs half as long as a tide chart and half as wide as Bowditch. And then all I have to do is sweat one drop of sweat on that rivet and wait twenty-four hours and you'll have to revise your specs." One of the things I learned early on about online communication, a topic with which I have some 25 years of familiarity back to electronic BBSes in 1983, is that if you state a viewpoint, a belief, or an opinion, someone will be there to make you feel like an idiot for having said it. What I get from the original Sturgeon's Law is this: there's no reason in the world for you to worry about that, because we're all idiots to one level or another, simplifying a complex universe so we can even begin to talk about it. We describe things in ways that are good enough, whether we're Archimedes or Newton or even Einstein. We approximate. We generalize. We see things filtered through our own world views so that we have any hope at all of making sense of what we are seeing. And these are not character flaws; these are how intelligence works. Sometimes either alone or in concert with diverse others we see things in a new way and that becomes great art, or important science, or maybe nothing that anybody ever cares about but special just the same. And the underlying mechanism was the realization that you don't have to have all the answers to speak. You don't have to be 100% sure to comment. You don't have to fear being wrong or feeling like an idiot because nothing is always absolutely so. You just need to keep your mind open and accept that you don't have all the answers and that's what makes it worth thinking and talking and learning until the day you die. It's a statement of optimism, and by the way, so was Sturgeon's Revelation: no matter what you do, you can aspire to do it and do it well, because while 90% of everything is crud, doesn't that imply that 10% of everything isn't?…

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Sturgeon’s Law #093 25 August,...

2008-08-24 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)



Sturgeon’s Law #093
25 August, 2008

http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/
RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw
Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill
Intro Music by Enter the Haggis
Bumper featuring Redboy and Absolute Amy
Promo for PMC Top 10

I seem to have successfully provoked a bunch of messages in my last episode, although admittedly one of these is just coincidence and wasn’t directed at Sturgeon’s Law specifically but I wanted to pass it along, anyway. In fact, we’ll just start with it. Richard Jenkins, expat Oklahoman comic artist in Boston — not to be confused with Jeffrey Rowland, expat Oklahoman cartoonist in Boston, but anyway — dropped a line to say that he’s got a new textbook out. You see, when Richard isn’t doing wacky stuff like the art on the various Sky Ape books, he teaches art, and it turns out he also puts some effort into teaching teachers to teach art, or in this case, more specifically, how to include comics in their teaching. The name of his new textbook is Comics in Your Curriculum, and it’s for sale through http://www.piecesoflearning.com as well as teacher outlet stores, so if you teach or if you know people who do, have a look. I’ve seen a few preview pages that he attached to his email, and it has a certain McCloud sort of vibe, even making a reference to Understanding Comics in one of the preview pages, but I think is aimed less at philosophy for those already involved, or at least interested, in comics and more towards getting the word out to students. Frankly, mainstream comics are in a bad place right now. I’m not afraid to say it, although it does make me sad. Sort of. Because there’s no time like the present for reinventing comics — as Scott McCloud might say — and this is the way it happens; not by comic fans talking to each other over and over but by bringing in people without our biases and historical baggage.

Moving on, we’ve got this voicemail from Doug Rapson of Geek Acres.

Thanks for the congratulations, Doug, and the kind comments as well. You know, a friend who listens to the show compared the last episode to drunk dialing, and I’ve decided to take that as meaning that I didn’t resist speaking my mind about what was nagging at me, in which case I think you can look forward to plenty more of that. If you want actual drunk dialing, well, just listen to many of your favorite podcasts during the PMEs each year, am I right? Okay, never mind that. Thanks again, Doug.

Listener Laura used the Contactify link on the Sturgeon’s Law web site to share a list of her favorite web comics, which I’ll link in this episode’s show notes, but in brief her list includes User Friendly, General Protection Fault, The Devil’s Panties, Ctrl Alt Delete, Penny Arcade, Get Medieval, Girl Genius, Sinfest, XKCD and Chasing the Sunset. Some of those have been mentioned here before, some of them I read regularly, some of them you couldn’t pay me to read, and at the end of the day I’ll just leave you with Laura’s list and let you decide what you enjoy and don’t enjoy for yourself, although I encourage you not to judge Jennie Breeden’s The Devil’s Panties too quickly; while she is crown princess of misspellings and sometimes what she finds funny may leave you wondering why, this is all connected to the vibe of the comic, which is goofing on her own experiences as a nerd artist on the road, and if you give it time it will very likely grow on you like it has for me. And, as Laura reminds us, it’s not satanic porn, so give it a glance.

http://www.userfriendly.org
http://www.gpf-comics.com
http://www.thedevilspanties.com
http://www.cad-comic.com
http://www.penny-arcade.com
http://get-medieval.livejournal.com
http://www.girl-genius.net
http://www.sinfest.net
http://www.xkcd.com
http://www.fantasycomic.com

Listener Chris, while recognizing that I’m not an XBOX 360 owner, which indeed I am not, makes sure I’m aware of the game Braid, which, if I wasn’t before, I certainly would be since Tycho of Penny Arcade decided to talk about it at some length. However, Chris mentions it for a different reason, and one that I had in fact heard elsewhere — in fact, from John Buckman, founder of Magnatune, and that reason is that Braid uses Magnatune music as its soundtrack in accordance with Magnatune’s reasonable and convenient and, I must add, very fair to the artist licensing plans. Chris also points out that a PC version of Braid is in the works for later this year and I’ll be tempted to shell out a few bucks just to support someone who supports the excellent folks at Magnatune.com. First we had Portal with Jonathan Coulton, and now this; looks like a great time for both innovative game designers and independent recording artists.

And finally, I had a brief email exchange with listener, and I’m not making this up, Peter Sturgeon, who clarifies that he is not the brother of Theodore Sturgeon, who does indeed have a brother named Peter who founded the American branch of Mensa, thank you Wikipedia, and at any rate, Mr. Sturgeon writes to remind me that “90% of everything is crud" is not, in fact, the original Sturgeon’s Law; in fact, that was called Sturgeon’s Revelation early on to distinguish it from the original Sturgeon’s Law, which read “Nothing is always absolutely so," and indeed, Sturgeon himself — Theodore, not Peter — referred to THAT quote as Sturgeon’s Law, and, as I say, the 90% quote as Sturgeon’s Revelation. So what do I do with this? Well, to answer that I went context diving, specifically into the Sturgeon story “The Claustrophile" where the quote originated, and I’d like to read you some context:

"Nothing is always absolutely so," he said again. “Once you know that, know it for sure, you can do things, go places you never thought about before. Everything there is gives you some place to go, something to think about. Everything. Take a — a brass rivet, say. It’s brass; you start with that. And what is brass? An alloy. How much change of what metal would make it not be brass? Given enough time, would radioactive decay in one of the metals transmute it enough so it wouldn’t be brass any more? Or take the size. How big is it? Well, doesn’t that depend? It’s smaller after it’s been used than when it was new. What color is it? That depends, too. In other words, if you’re going to describe to me exactly what that rivet is, you’re going to have to qualify and modify and get up a list of specs half as long as a tide chart and half as wide as Bowditch. And then all I have to do is sweat one drop of sweat on that rivet and wait twenty-four hours and you’ll have to revise your specs."

One of the things I learned early on about online communication, a topic with which I have some 25 years of familiarity back to electronic BBSes in 1983, is that if you state a viewpoint, a belief, or an opinion, someone will be there to make you feel like an idiot for having said it. What I get from the original Sturgeon’s Law is this: there’s no reason in the world for you to worry about that, because we’re all idiots to one level or another, simplifying a complex universe so we can even begin to talk about it. We describe things in ways that are good enough, whether we’re Archimedes or Newton or even Einstein. We approximate. We generalize. We see things filtered through our own world views so that we have any hope at all of making sense of what we are seeing. And these are not character flaws; these are how intelligence works. Sometimes either alone or in concert with diverse others we see things in a new way and that becomes great art, or important science, or maybe nothing that anybody ever cares about but special just the same. And the underlying mechanism was the realization that you don’t have to have all the answers to speak. You don’t have to be 100% sure to comment. You don’t have to fear being wrong or feeling like an idiot because nothing is always absolutely so. You just need to keep your mind open and accept that you don’t have all the answers and that’s what makes it worth thinking and talking and learning until the day you die. It’s a statement of optimism, and by the way, so was Sturgeon’s Revelation: no matter what you do, you can aspire to do it and do it well, because while 90% of everything is crud, doesn’t that imply that 10% of everything isn’t?

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Sturgeon's Law #092

2008-07-30 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)

Sturgeon's Law #092 30 July, 2008 http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/ RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill Intro Music by Enter the Haggis Bumper featuring GrammarGirl Promo for Wonder Woman: Champion of Themyscira July 30, 2008 is the 3rd anniversary of the first episode of Sturgeon's Law. In keeping with my low-key podcasting behavior of late, there's no contest, I didn't go panning for emails and voice comments, but instead, I thought I'd take the opportunity to do an utterly self-involved episode talking about two closely related things: new media and this podcast. Actually, I'm uneasy with the descriptor "new media." Because, in point of fact, from our day to day perspective the whole point is that there isn't any medium, or at least, that the medium is irrelevant. You may be listening to this on your portable player, or your desktop PC, or perhaps your phone. Maybe you burned it to CD and are listening to that. Seems unlikely, but anything's possible. Perhaps you're not listening to the podcast at all, but reading the transcript on the website. Perhaps you're actually listening to a screenreader read that transcript, which seems a bit roundabout, but again, anything's possible. The point is, I don't know and, for reasons we'll get into, I don't actually care, either. What I care about is that I have something to communicate, be it a story or an essay or blatant promotion or a song or whatever, and I've recorded it and written it out and set it loose into the wilds. It's on a website and it's got an RSS feed and the rest is all details I need not concern myself with, hopefully, although iTunes has ever been a counterexample of that. On the other hand, I've never once tried to contact iTunes because I can't be bothered to wrangle with them, so perhaps not. Let's stick to my idealized form, at any rate; what I care about is producing the content and making it available in some sufficiently generic form that you can actually have whatever media you see fit. As a parallel, I have bought music on mp3s from Amazon, because DRM is pure evil and that's the end of that. In my case, after downloading that music, I burn it to CD because I am paranoid, then perhaps I listen to it at my PC, or copy it to my portable player, or indeed, frequently, I stream it to my desktop PC at work. Amazon doesn't, or shouldn't, care about any of that, and they'd better not, since they sold it in mp3, which pretty much guarantees they don't get a further say. As it should be, for the new media, which is either no media or all media. I have now been doing this show for three years and podcasting for several months beyond that. One of the things that has occasionally annoyed me has been various fads that have turned into orthodoxies. I don't care for orthodoxy. It comes from Greek roots meaning, more or less, "true opinion," an oxymoron if ever I heard one. The notion that real podcasters were the ones who wanted to monetize their shows and quit their day jobs was an opinion, but it wasn't stupid any more than it was even sensible. On the flip side, the notion that creative people are obliged to give away their work without restriction is also an opinion; it's just a stupid one. The beauty of living in the future, as I really believe we do, is not that it'll make each and every one of us rich, or load each and every one of us up with free stuff, but that it permits the creator and the consumer -- in the purest sense of that term -- to meet on whatever ground they feel like, full stop. It is my pleasure to express my thoughts periodically this way whether or not anyone contributes to my webhosting, or anyone sponsors the show (old listeners will know I did that once, and it wasn't really much fun, nor did it line my pockets deeply), and as long as it is the pleasure of some to meet me in the middle and accept some free blather, then everyone goes home happy and who cares whether it fits a quote model unquote or whatever? If the quote model unquote I choose is loathsome, then I will find out when nobody meets me halfway. If it is so nearly vile that only three people stick around, and I'm happy creating for three people, then the quote model unquote is viable and shame on you who think otherwise. That's what new media is to me: the chance to say "get stuffed" to How Things Must Be Done. Now, a bit about where I have occasionally gotten turned around and lost my way in regards to that last observation: the final orthodoxy we all must face down is our very own. Putting it another way, when I started the show, I had an idea of what it would be. Over three years, I have wrestled horribly with boredom, with lack of ideas, with confusion over what I should do next, and worry over what people would tolerate. I have fought, and often lost, against my own self-imposed orthodoxy, and it comes in subtle ways, down to the very name of the show. I told someone the other evening I sort of wished I'd never come up with the name Sturgeon's Law, because now I can't talk about whatever the heck I feel like unless it makes some sort of sense within the framework suggested by the name and its complementary tagline about the 10%. But really, who cares? Some of you have tried to tell me that on a number of occasions, and to you I apologize for being so thick. But orthodoxy is an insidious thing, particularly when it's your own, I think. And I am by no means the only podcaster I've heard fret about whether they could do something that seemd appealing and, quote, get away with it, unquote. Why not? In reality, the worst case is that the more forward of your listeners write or call in to tell you that kind of sucked, and then you know. Sure, you can sit around and fret that your entire audience will evaporate in one show, but I doubt it, and frankly, if what you're doing doesn't get you charged up, which is better, to labor joylessly or to lose most of your audience? I'd like to think I'd take the latter. I am grateful to the wonderful PodcastReady.com for increasing the subscription numbers of this show manyfold. According to Feedburner, there are now 7,000 subscribers, which took me for a turn because the last I'd looked it'd been more like 4,000 for some time. Apparently more PodcastReady devices are turning up with us on it, because they're still some 95% of the subscriptions. How many actually listen to Sturgeon's Law? I have no idea. But what I do know is that I cannot be tied up by that number, be it 7,000, or 4,000, or 150 like in the old days, or 30 or 20 or 5, because ultimately, if I don't get into doing the show, either I will stop doing it entirely, which has very nearly happened a number of times, or my lack of interest will become infectious and none of those 7,000 will listen anyway, nor should you. So in conclusion, this is not an announcement of change. This is not a proclamation of new format. Keep subscribed and you'll keep hearing me talk about whatever inspires me to sound off. I'm still the guy who is more interested in telling you about things that strike me as cool -- MOST of the time -- so you'll still get plenty of that. And hopefully, in turn, I'll say something so interesting that you'll want to talk back, because the coolest part of new media is that the conversation can happen between content creator and consumer without some idiots blocking the door. And if you've got something to share, a song or an essay or a play or a story or whatever it may be, share it. Ask for donations of you want them. Charge money if you think that works for you. Give it all away if that suits your style. Sell t-shirts. Use Wowio in a couple of days when they come back. Do whatever make the whole thing worthwhile for you and don't worry about what's internet chic, because the whole point of the internet is not having to be chic. Woody Allen said that 80% of success is showing up. Showing up has never been easier. And whatever you do, wherever you do it, drop me a line, because rumor has it I dig cool stuff.…

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Sturgeon’s Law #092 30 July,...

2008-07-29 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)



Sturgeon’s Law #092
30 July, 2008

http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/
RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw
Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill
Intro Music by Enter the Haggis
Bumper featuring GrammarGirl
Promo for Wonder Woman: Champion of Themyscira

July 30, 2008 is the 3rd anniversary of the first episode of Sturgeon’s Law. In keeping with my low-key podcasting behavior of late, there’s no contest, I didn’t go panning for emails and voice comments, but instead, I thought I’d take the opportunity to do an utterly self-involved episode talking about two closely related things: new media and this podcast.

Actually, I’m uneasy with the descriptor “new media." Because, in point of fact, from our day to day perspective the whole point is that there isn’t any medium, or at least, that the medium is irrelevant. You may be listening to this on your portable player, or your desktop PC, or perhaps your phone. Maybe you burned it to CD and are listening to that. Seems unlikely, but anything’s possible. Perhaps you’re not listening to the podcast at all, but reading the transcript on the website. Perhaps you’re actually listening to a screenreader read that transcript, which seems a bit roundabout, but again, anything’s possible. The point is, I don’t know and, for reasons we’ll get into, I don’t actually care, either. What I care about is that I have something to communicate, be it a story or an essay or blatant promotion or a song or whatever, and I’ve recorded it and written it out and set it loose into the wilds. It’s on a website and it’s got an RSS feed and the rest is all details I need not concern myself with, hopefully, although iTunes has ever been a counterexample of that. On the other hand, I’ve never once tried to contact iTunes because I can’t be bothered to wrangle with them, so perhaps not. Let’s stick to my idealized form, at any rate; what I care about is producing the content and making it available in some sufficiently generic form that you can actually have whatever media you see fit. As a parallel, I have bought music on mp3s from Amazon, because DRM is pure evil and that’s the end of that. In my case, after downloading that music, I burn it to CD because I am paranoid, then perhaps I listen to it at my PC, or copy it to my portable player, or indeed, frequently, I stream it to my desktop PC at work. Amazon doesn’t, or shouldn’t, care about any of that, and they’d better not, since they sold it in mp3, which pretty much guarantees they don’t get a further say. As it should be, for the new media, which is either no media or all media.

I have now been doing this show for three years and podcasting for several months beyond that. One of the things that has occasionally annoyed me has been various fads that have turned into orthodoxies. I don’t care for orthodoxy. It comes from Greek roots meaning, more or less, “true opinion," an oxymoron if ever I heard one. The notion that real podcasters were the ones who wanted to monetize their shows and quit their day jobs was an opinion, but it wasn’t stupid any more than it was even sensible. On the flip side, the notion that creative people are obliged to give away their work without restriction is also an opinion; it’s just a stupid one. The beauty of living in the future, as I really believe we do, is not that it’ll make each and every one of us rich, or load each and every one of us up with free stuff, but that it permits the creator and the consumer — in the purest sense of that term — to meet on whatever ground they feel like, full stop. It is my pleasure to express my thoughts periodically this way whether or not anyone contributes to my webhosting, or anyone sponsors the show (old listeners will know I did that once, and it wasn’t really much fun, nor did it line my pockets deeply), and as long as it is the pleasure of some to meet me in the middle and accept some free blather, then everyone goes home happy and who cares whether it fits a quote model unquote or whatever? If the quote model unquote I choose is loathsome, then I will find out when nobody meets me halfway. If it is so nearly vile that only three people stick around, and I’m happy creating for three people, then the quote model unquote is viable and shame on you who think otherwise. That’s what new media is to me: the chance to say “get stuffed" to How Things Must Be Done.

Now, a bit about where I have occasionally gotten turned around and lost my way in regards to that last observation: the final orthodoxy we all must face down is our very own. Putting it another way, when I started the show, I had an idea of what it would be. Over three years, I have wrestled horribly with boredom, with lack of ideas, with confusion over what I should do next, and worry over what people would tolerate. I have fought, and often lost, against my own self-imposed orthodoxy, and it comes in subtle ways, down to the very name of the show. I told someone the other evening I sort of wished I’d never come up with the name Sturgeon’s Law, because now I can’t talk about whatever the heck I feel like unless it makes some sort of sense within the framework suggested by the name and its complementary tagline about the 10%. But really, who cares? Some of you have tried to tell me that on a number of occasions, and to you I apologize for being so thick. But orthodoxy is an insidious thing, particularly when it’s your own, I think. And I am by no means the only podcaster I’ve heard fret about whether they could do something that seemd appealing and, quote, get away with it, unquote. Why not? In reality, the worst case is that the more forward of your listeners write or call in to tell you that kind of sucked, and then you know. Sure, you can sit around and fret that your entire audience will evaporate in one show, but I doubt it, and frankly, if what you’re doing doesn’t get you charged up, which is better, to labor joylessly or to lose most of your audience? I’d like to think I’d take the latter.

I am grateful to the wonderful PodcastReady.com for increasing the subscription numbers of this show manyfold. According to Feedburner, there are now 7,000 subscribers, which took me for a turn because the last I’d looked it’d been more like 4,000 for some time. Apparently more PodcastReady devices are turning up with us on it, because they’re still some 95% of the subscriptions. How many actually listen to Sturgeon’s Law? I have no idea. But what I do know is that I cannot be tied up by that number, be it 7,000, or 4,000, or 150 like in the old days, or 30 or 20 or 5, because ultimately, if I don’t get into doing the show, either I will stop doing it entirely, which has very nearly happened a number of times, or my lack of interest will become infectious and none of those 7,000 will listen anyway, nor should you.

So in conclusion, this is not an announcement of change. This is not a proclamation of new format. Keep subscribed and you’ll keep hearing me talk about whatever inspires me to sound off. I’m still the guy who is more interested in telling you about things that strike me as cool — MOST of the time — so you’ll still get plenty of that. And hopefully, in turn, I’ll say something so interesting that you’ll want to talk back, because the coolest part of new media is that the conversation can happen between content creator and consumer without some idiots blocking the door. And if you’ve got something to share, a song or an essay or a play or a story or whatever it may be, share it. Ask for donations of you want them. Charge money if you think that works for you. Give it all away if that suits your style. Sell t-shirts. Use Wowio in a couple of days when they come back. Do whatever make the whole thing worthwhile for you and don’t worry about what’s internet chic, because the whole point of the internet is not having to be chic. Woody Allen said that 80% of success is showing up. Showing up has never been easier. And whatever you do, wherever you do it, drop me a line, because rumor has it I dig cool stuff.

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Sturgeon's Law #091

2008-07-10 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)

Sturgeon's Law #091 10 July, 2008 http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/ RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill Music from PMN, Enter the Haggis Last show I told you about how I was checking out Plurk as an alternative or supplement to Twitter. Well, I didn't stick with it, mostly because the interface stymied my attempts to casually keep up. And that's what I want online, to be honest; a way to keep my eye on the river without having to hold my head under it all the time. Glub glub. So I dusted off my http://www.friendfeed.com/ account, and lo and behold, it had grown some awesome new features in my absence. The basic idea of Friendfeed is very good: you make your profile there, then you tell it where to find all sorts of different online instances of yourself, for example Twitter, Flickr, Youtube, Amazon wishlists, blogs, and for that matter anything with an RSS feed. Then, new posts or whatever to any of those show up as part of your feed, and peope who've friended you see it in their friends feed. Very nice; one stop shopping for social networking. But this is not the feature that got me excited about Friendfeed all over again. The feature I'm talking about is amusing called imaginary friends. What this means is that I can create a sort of personal virtual profile for someone else that only I see, and associated their online instances as I said before, and get all the benefits of seeing their stuff appear in my friendsfeed... even if they don't sign up! That's the killer feature, folks -- useful social networking without having to strongarm every friend into trudging over to yet another service. Now, it's even better if they do, since they can add stuff you didn't know about, and follow you, too, although I should note that you can make your feed available via, you guessed it, RSS. Very very nice. Friendsfeed is now exclusively how I follow twitter. And flickr. And so on. However, it's not really useful for posting to services (aside from itself.) It's an aggregator, not a client. Fortunately, some folks up the road from me in Tulsa, Oklahoma are there for you with the fairly new service http://ping.fm, which fills exactly that need. Ping gives you a way to post to blogs, send messages to Twitter and Plurk and all those guys, even set your Facebook status, all from one interface. And not just their web interface! You can send through ping using a bookmarklet to send URLs, you can use your phone, you can even IM, something I used to do on twitter on the rare occasion it worked. Hopefully there will start being ping widgets for all kinds of stuff. You can also set up custom lists with keywords so you can easily send to just select lists of services with one message. So give these two services a try! They've made social networking actually fun to use for me. I'm rfrancis at Friendfeed if you want to catch all my stuff there -- including Sturgeon's Law posts. Which you can listen to with their flash player now. But digress.…

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Sturgeon’s Law #091 10 July,...

2008-07-09 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)



Sturgeon’s Law #091
10 July, 2008

http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/
RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw
Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill
Music from PMN, Enter the Haggis

Last show I told you about how I was checking out Plurk as an alternative or supplement to Twitter. Well, I didn’t stick with it, mostly because the interface stymied my attempts to casually keep up. And that’s what I want online, to be honest; a way to keep my eye on the river without having to hold my head under it all the time. Glub glub. So I dusted off my Friendfeed account, and lo and behold, it had grown some awesome new features in my absence.

The basic idea of Friendfeed is very good: you make your profile there, then you tell it where to find all sorts of different online instances of yourself, for example Twitter, Flickr, Youtube, Amazon wishlists, blogs, and for that matter anything with an RSS feed. Then, new posts or whatever to any of those show up as part of your feed, and peope who’ve friended you see it in their friends feed. Very nice; one stop shopping for social networking. But this is not the feature that got me excited about Friendfeed all over again.

The feature I’m talking about is amusing called imaginary friends. What this means is that I can create a sort of personal virtual profile for someone else that only I see, and associated their online instances as I said before, and get all the benefits of seeing their stuff appear in my friendsfeed… even if they don’t sign up! That’s the killer feature, folks — useful social networking without having to strongarm every friend into trudging over to yet another service. Now, it’s even better if they do, since they can add stuff you didn’t know about, and follow you, too, although I should note that you can make your feed available via, you guessed it, RSS. Very very nice. Friendsfeed is now exclusively how I follow twitter. And flickr. And so on.

However, it’s not really useful for posting to services (aside from itself.) It’s an aggregator, not a client. Fortunately, some folks up the road from me in Tulsa, Oklahoma are there for you with the fairly new service http://ping.fm, which fills exactly that need. Ping gives you a way to post to blogs, send messages to Twitter and Plurk and all those guys, even set your Facebook status, all from one interface. And not just their web interface! You can send through ping using a bookmarklet to send URLs, you can use your phone, you can even IM, something I used to do on twitter on the rare occasion it worked. Hopefully there will start being ping widgets for all kinds of stuff. You can also set up custom lists with keywords so you can easily send to just select lists of services with one message.

So give these two services a try! They’ve made social networking actually fun to use for me. I’m rfrancis at Friendfeed if you want to catch all my stuff there — including Sturgeon’s Law posts. Which you can listen to with their flash player now. But digress.

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Sturgeon's Law #090

2008-06-12 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)

Sturgeon's Law #090 12 June, 2008 http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/ RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill Music from PMN, Enter the Haggis Trailer - Vindicatum episode 2 Segment 1: So I'm a big user of all things Google, right? Gmail, yes. Google Calendar, yes. Google Reader, yes. Google Docs, absolutely. Google Notebook... well, no. Not any more, that is. Not since Steve of the Wicked Good Podcast turned me on to Evernote on a day where I could land an invite code to their beta. Not that Evernote is new, exactly. It's existed as Mac and PC applications, I believe, for some time, but that didn't interest me, as I use several machines and I need to be able to get to my notes from all of them equally well. That's why the version 3 beta got my attention -- it has a web version as well, and if you use the application versions, which I do, they synchronize with the web hosted central version, giving you something that is and is not a web app, but at any rate is synchronized across multiple locations. Compare this to Google Notebook, which is a web app and only a web app, which is fine until you're not on a network and want to dig into your notebook. There are other upsides as well, though. Evernote handles images very nicely, and, even more impressive, can search text in the images through, one assumes, the magic of OCR or somesuch. This turns out to be more than just a gimmick; it's darned useful. You can also encrypt notes, which is pretty cool of course, and of course there's the obligatory tagging, but also saved searches, which I quite like in principle. You can embed checkboxes in your notes to make, well, checklists, and indeed, this is how I do project lists now and it's a real boon. Are there downsides? Yes. I'm very frustrated by the lack of a Linux application, particularly when I'm on my Asus Eee. Yes, I can go to the web-based version, IF I'm on a network, but that kind of defeats the whole portability point of using it on the Eee, plus the web interface is... not so great, in my opinion, and it wastes an enormous amount of screen real estate which is of course a scarce commodity on the Asus. The Windows app has some quirky behavior but nothing you don't get used to... eventually. But it works very solidly and the features are excellent. Worth finding someone with an invite. Final comment: my notes for this show were, of course, typed and stored in Evernote. Among many, many other things. Segment 2: I've discovered plurk.com, and believe me, saying plurk out loud makes it all worthwhile. plurk plurk plurk. Anyway, what is plurk, you may ask? Well, more or less it's a competitor for twitter, I suppose, conveniently rising in prominence about the time twitter's having downtime struggles. Again. But it's not just a clone by any means; plurk has a unique presentation of messages, putting abbreviated forms on a scrolling timeline that to be honest I just can't quite describe. Additionally, it has excellent features twitter lacks, such as a permissions system whereby you can make subgroups of your friends and lock messages to particular groups; for another example, instead of users forming a convention for replying to posts, plurks have comment lists almost like blog posts. One more thing that really sells it for me is the very simple thing of autoupdating the page title with unread message counts, making it easy to just leave plurk open in a tab and glance at the tab title for new messages, instead of pounding reload on a page all day or whatever. Sure, this basically means that plurk was made learning from the lessons twitter got the hard way. So what? It works. Will it survive enormous usage in a way twitter hasn't so much? Time will tell if the question even arises. It's had occasional downtime due to the speed at which they're developing, but it's been brief and seems to be getting less frequent. Random says: check it out. I'm rfrancis there as usual. Segment 3: Nick Mamatas, who's been interviewed on here a time or two and whose books Move Under Ground and Under My Roof I continue to whole-heartedly recommend, has a new -- well, publically new -- service available for writers, aspiring and otherwise. Let me quote you some scanty details from his livejournal post on the subject: "Anyway, here is how it works . if you have a manuscript, I'll read it for mere $2 a page, mark it up with insightful and hysterical marginal comments, write an extensive editorial letter, and have a conversation with you over phone, IM, or email, about revisions and marketing." and from his FAQ: "You email me at nick.mamatas@gmail.com asking for the service -- we talk about your goals and a deadline. I give you my address and you ship to me your ms in standard manuscript format along with half the fee. Then I meet your deadline and send you the ms back, email you the editorial letter, and then we talk about your work some more. Then you send me the rest of the fee." Some of you might know that Nick is also the editor at Clarkesworld online magazine, and having submitted a story there and gotten his critique back, I have to say it's amongst the most useful I've ever gotten, up there with Gordon van Gelder of F&SF at least. And I wasn't paying him for that. Many, many people have reported the same. So I have to think that Nick is offering something really beneficial here. Yes, to send him your 500 page fantasy epic you're going to have to cough up a grand, but cripes, getting extensive editorial input from a professional? That's gold if you're trying to beat the hoi polloi into publication. Anyway, something that might interest some of you, and if I direct some dollars Nick's way, well, we all go home happy. Livejournal link's here. Shout Out: Doug Rapson of Geek Acres…

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Sturgeon’s Law #090 12 June,...

2008-06-11 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)



Sturgeon’s Law #090
12 June, 2008

http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/
RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw
Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill
Music from PMN, Enter the Haggis

Trailer - Vindicatum episode 2

Segment 1:

So I’m a big user of all things Google, right? Gmail, yes. Google Calendar, yes. Google Reader, yes. Google Docs, absolutely. Google Notebook… well, no. Not any more, that is. Not since Steve of the Wicked Good Podcast turned me on to Evernote on a day where I could land an invite code to their beta.

Not that Evernote is new, exactly. It’s existed as Mac and PC applications, I believe, for some time, but that didn’t interest me, as I use several machines and I need to be able to get to my notes from all of them equally well. That’s why the version 3 beta got my attention — it has a web version as well, and if you use the application versions, which I do, they synchronize with the web hosted central version, giving you something that is and is not a web app, but at any rate is synchronized across multiple locations. Compare this to Google Notebook, which is a web app and only a web app, which is fine until you’re not on a network and want to dig into your notebook.

There are other upsides as well, though. Evernote handles images very nicely, and, even more impressive, can search text in the images through, one assumes, the magic of OCR or somesuch. This turns out to be more than just a gimmick; it’s darned useful. You can also encrypt notes, which is pretty cool of course, and of course there’s the obligatory tagging, but also saved searches, which I quite like in principle. You can embed checkboxes in your notes to make, well, checklists, and indeed, this is how I do project lists now and it’s a real boon.

Are there downsides? Yes. I’m very frustrated by the lack of a Linux application, particularly when I’m on my Asus Eee. Yes, I can go to the web-based version, IF I’m on a network, but that kind of defeats the whole portability point of using it on the Eee, plus the web interface is… not so great, in my opinion, and it wastes an enormous amount of screen real estate which is of course a scarce commodity on the Asus. The Windows app has some quirky behavior but nothing you don’t get used to… eventually. But it works very solidly and the features are excellent. Worth finding someone with an invite.

Final comment: my notes for this show were, of course, typed and stored in Evernote. Among many, many other things.

Segment 2:

I’ve discovered plurk.com, and believe me, saying plurk out loud makes it all worthwhile. plurk plurk plurk. Anyway, what is plurk, you may ask? Well, more or less it’s a competitor for twitter, I suppose, conveniently rising in prominence about the time twitter’s having downtime struggles. Again. But it’s not just a clone by any means; plurk has a unique presentation of messages, putting abbreviated forms on a scrolling timeline that to be honest I just can’t quite describe. Additionally, it has excellent features twitter lacks, such as a permissions system whereby you can make subgroups of your friends and lock messages to particular groups; for another example, instead of users forming a convention for replying to posts, plurks have comment lists almost like blog posts.

One more thing that really sells it for me is the very simple thing of autoupdating the page title with unread message counts, making it easy to just leave plurk open in a tab and glance at the tab title for new messages, instead of pounding reload on a page all day or whatever. Sure, this basically means that plurk was made learning from the lessons twitter got the hard way. So what? It works. Will it survive enormous usage in a way twitter hasn’t so much? Time will tell if the question even arises. It’s had occasional downtime due to the speed at which they’re developing, but it’s been brief and seems to be getting less frequent. Random says: check it out. I’m rfrancis there as usual.

Segment 3:

Nick Mamatas, who’s been interviewed on here a time or two and whose books Move Under Ground and Under My Roof I continue to whole-heartedly recommend, has a new — well, publically new — service available for writers, aspiring and otherwise. Let me quote you some scanty details from his livejournal post on the subject:

"Anyway, here is how it works . if you have a manuscript, I’ll read it for mere $2 a page, mark it up with insightful and hysterical marginal comments, write an extensive editorial letter, and have a conversation with you over phone, IM, or email, about revisions and marketing."

and from his FAQ:

"You email me at nick.mamatas@gmail.com asking for the service — we talk about your goals and a deadline. I give you my address and you ship to me your ms in standard manuscript format along with half the fee. Then I meet your deadline and send you the ms back, email you the editorial letter, and then we talk about your work some more. Then you send me the rest of the fee."

Some of you might know that Nick is also the editor at Clarkesworld online magazine, and having submitted a story there and gotten his critique back, I have to say it’s amongst the most useful I’ve ever gotten, up there with Gordon van Gelder of F&SF at least. And I wasn’t paying him for that. Many, many people have reported the same. So I have to think that Nick is offering something really beneficial here. Yes, to send him your 500 page fantasy epic you’re going to have to cough up a grand, but cripes, getting extensive editorial input from a professional? That’s gold if you’re trying to beat the hoi polloi into publication. Anyway, something that might interest some of you, and if I direct some dollars Nick’s way, well, we all go home happy. Livejournal link’s here.

Shout Out: Doug Rapson of Geek Acres

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Sturgeon’s Law #089 3 May,...

2008-05-02 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)



Sturgeon’s Law #089
3 May, 2008

http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/
RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw
Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill
Music from PMN, Jim Fidler

Promo - comedy4cast

Segment 1:

Where I’ve been and what I’m doing, right? I mean, there’s got to be a reason for this phenomenal show output of… once a month and falling. I know, answering this is breaking the rules about not talking about yourself, but I promise, some of it’s actually interesting. The part where I haven’t felt well in quite some time, not so much interesting. I’m headed for the doctor’s office — yet another doctor’s office — on Wednesday. So enough said about that. Otherwise, a lot of it has to do with audio dramas, and in particular, Pendant Audio. Yes, the Pendant Audio I talked about some time back and said that I hoped my comments wouldn’t keep them from ever letting me get involved with their shows. Ha ha. Well, funny story about that.

To make a long story short, the current director of Pendant’s Wonder Woman: Champion of Themyscira show, Fiona Thraille, is stepping down so they asked for volunteers that might wish to replace her. I figured, what the heck, right? I’ve been editing podcasts for a few years now. I took the director’s class, all went very well I think, and I was offered the job, so to speak. Volunteer job. You know. So, there’s three episodes that the two of us both worked or are working on, the first of which will go live in a couple of weeks or so, and then starting with Issue #31 in August it’s all me doing the directing, which means I take the script and the actor-recorded lines and, well, do all the rest. It’s lots of fun! But it does consume some time and some of my precious energy — precious because of scarcity, you understand — and so, yeah, show delays.

Also, I realized that using the podcast for those little news snippets just got in my way and a podcast is no good place for tons of links anyway. So, they’re out. You want news snippets? Follow the tumblelog at sturgeonslaw.tumblr.com. I promise you, I keep it full of awesome these days. Consider it all part of the Sturgeon’s Law franchise. As for the rest, will this show become all about Pendant Audio? No, definitely not. That doesn’t mean I won’t point out Pendant stuff when I feel like it, because it is, after all, my show, and it’s about cool stuff. For example, if you don’t listen to Superman #40, which just came out, you are, my friends, seriously missing out. I had to sit in my car and regain my composure after it ended. Not exaggerating. Go. Listen. Of course, you’ll want to listen to the earlier shows for context. That means back through show #30. Look, just listen to all of it. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Supergirl, too, and you’ll be ready for the big summer crossover, Vindicatum, which starts in June. Be there.

Segment 2:

Have you encountered the Asus Eee, or E E E, or as I like to call it, the Tripoli, yet? I’ve got one from work, and in case you haven’t seen one, I’ll fill you in. It’s sort of a small laptop. Or a really large PDA. Does that clear everything up? No? Okay, let’s go with the small laptop viewpoint. I’ll be talking about the 700 series, which is what I have. The Eee — so named allegedly for the three Es of Easy to learn, Easy to work, Easy to play, which is insipid, but never mind — has a 7 inch LCD screen, which sadly is not a touch screen, capable of 800x480 resolution. It has an underclocked Celeron-M processor and 512M of RAM, and no, repeat, no hard drive. That’s right; its storage is entirely flash; mine has 2GB, most of which is used by the operating system, which, by default, is a special Linux dist. Accordingly you can install XP on it, but I haven’t; another fellow has instructions on installing straight up Debian, which I may yet try. Maybe.

Its keyboard is small, as you might imagine, and sadly a bit arcane. I find it painful to type very much on it, but then, I have fat fingers. It does have three USB ports, as well as audio in and out, so you’re hardly stranded with what you’ve got. It also has an ethernet controller as well as built-in wifi, and this is where it’s really meant to shine. Indeed, it’s an early contender in a developing category that some are calling netbooks — notebook computing stripped down and intended for Internet use primarily, although not so tiny as to be an Internet Tablet like the Nokia 800 series. This job it does quite well; it comes with Firefox and a PDA-like interfaces of tabs and icons that includes direct links to many fine web mail and Google services. I use it primarily for Gmail and, well, to read web comics, but occasionally to view videos which I have stored on my SDHC card, and oh yes, it has a slot for SD and SDHC cards, which is pretty important with the small internal flash storage.

So, is it worth using? Well, before I can answer that, you need to know the cost — the one I’ve been describing ran a smooth 300 bucks. For that, you get a credible tool for some jobs (including, if you work in a job like I do, something for testing network connections and sshing into other machines at need) and notso hotso at other stuff. For me, at work, the selling point was its size and weight — just shy of a mere two pounds! — and it doing the things I really needed, as described above. My personal uses, also described above, are obviously pretty limited so far. We’ve talked about whether it might be a good kid machine and the jury is decidedly out on that one, but it’s an interesting thought. Any listeners an Asus Eee jockey? Give us a shout and let us know what you think of yours.

Mail: Doug Rapson

Podsafe Music: “Tom Cruise Crazy" by Jonathan Coulton off the Podsafe Music Network

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Sturgeon’s Law #088 31 March,...

2008-03-30 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)



Sturgeon’s Law #088
31 March, 2008

http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/
RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw
Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill
Music from Enter the Haggis and Lords of the Rhymes

Transcript of episode including links is available at Google Docs

Promo for this episode was for Doctor Who at Darker Projects

Links:

Blood Sugar 101 book tiered pricing plan on music at Walmart? Speed Racer international trailers Hulk trailer Rock Band on Wii Doctor Who season teaser Doctor Who and Torchwood Hugo noms …

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Sturgeon’s Law #087 10 March,...

2008-03-09 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)



Sturgeon’s Law #087
10 March, 2008

http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/
RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw
Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill
Music from Nine Inch Nails and the Podsafe Music Network

Transcript of episode including links is available at Google Docs

Promos for this episode were for Podictionary and Podcastready.com

If this episode seems chaotic to you, just remind yourself: the guy who did it is called Random after all

Links:

Ghosts Gunnerkrigg Court: Orientation Iron Man trailers 1, 2, 3 Coraline teaser American Gods online A Study in Emerald audio and PDF …

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Sturgeon’s Law #086 15 February,...

2008-02-14 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)



Sturgeon’s Law #086
15 February, 2008

http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/
RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw
Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill
Music from Magnatune, PMN, Jim Fidler, Kevin McLeod

Promo - PodcastReady

News:

my tumblr blog MyHope performed on YouTube Steven Brust’s My Own Kind of Freedom Day Break coming on DVD Spore trailer with release date Pullbox Online Blood Sugar 101

PSA: Rescuing Recess

Random Rant: The WGA Strike, a Post-Mortem

Andrew Boardman’s blog post

Podsafe Music: “Downtown" by Matthew Ebel off the Podsafe Music Network

Bumper - Fresh Media Works

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Sturgeon’s Law #085 25 January,...

2008-01-24 :: sturgeonslaw@gmail.com (Random)



Sturgeon’s Law #085
25 January, 2008

http://www.sturgeonslaw.com/
RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SturgeonsLaw
Email: sturgeonslaw, gmail, you know the drill


Title Music - Merrigan’s Reel by Jim Fidler
Music Beds by Kevin McLeod

Promo - PodcastReady

News:

The Whole Truth Kylie Minogue, OBE CC0 and CC+

Top 10%: Nintendo DS Lite

Bumper - Zach of Geek Survival Guide

Big Idea: Pendant Audio

Podsafe Music: “Ain’t No Reason" by Brett Dennen

Bumper - Fresh Media Works

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Sturgeon's Law

The 90% of everything that isn’t crud. (The pre-2010 version of this blog is still around at http://sturgeonsold.tumblr.com for your history-diving pleasure.)

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