Tag Archives | eBooks

Lifelike Sex Robots and Human Immortality Right Around the Corner, Says Novelist

“Sexbot” by Patrick Quinlan imagines dark, high-tech world “very soon.”

sexbot coverBreakthroughs in the areas of sex dolls, robotics and artificial intelligence will lead to super-realistic sex toys in the near future, claims novelist Patrick Quinlan. Quinlan’s latest book is Sexbot a thriller about the inventor of a sex robot who is trapped inside her own creation.

“People want this,” Quinlan says. “There are men, in particular, that want women who are beautiful, agreeable, forever young, ever eager for sex, and who don’t have a lot to say. Imagine all the sex you want with none of the interpersonal mess. Companies out there are racing to bring it to you.”

Quinlan imagines that lifelike but largely motionless sex dolls like the Real Doll (made in the US) and the Honey Doll (made in Japan), will soon be wed to advanced robot technologies like the geminoid. Throw in artificial intelligence that is already mimicking the way human eyes see and how people make decisions, along with voice technology that’s widely available, and you’ve got the ingredients for a very, very realistic sexbot.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Lilith Returns: Party At The World’s End

Party At The World's End“We are on the side of man, of life and of the individual. Therefore we are against religion, morality and government. Therefore our name is Lucifer.

We are on the side of freedom, of love, of joy and laughter and divine drunkenness. Therefore our name is Babalon.

Sometimes we move openly, sometimes in silence and in secret. Night and day are one to us, calm and storm, seasons and the cycles of man, all these things are one, for we are at the roots. Supplicant we stand before the Powers of Life and Death, and are heard of these powers and avail. Our way is the secret way, the unknown direction. Ours is the way of the serpent in the underbrush, our knowledge is in the eyes of goats and of women.” -Jack Parsons

Ten years in the making, “Party At The World’s End,” is a counter-cultural urban fantasy is coming in September from Disinfo alum James Curcio.Read the rest

Continue Reading

Occupy Consciousness: Essays on the Global Insurrection

Occupy ConsciousnessThe Evolver Social Movement presents OCCUPY CONSCIOUSNESS: Essays on the Global Insurrection, a free eBook anthology (edited by me and Reality Sandwich Associate Editor Mitch Mignano) that offers a variety of viewpoints on the nascent rebellion from writers such as Doug Rushkoff, David Graeber, Starhawk, and Russell Brand. Together these pieces provide an essential perspective on the true significance of Occupy—not a protest movement essentially, but a harbinger of a new way of being.

Is this movement’s implicit goal to re-engage our humanity? To reach beyond the political, the national and other illusory, temporary concepts and into our true, spiritual nature?—Russell Brand

Direct action is, ultimately, the defiant insistence on acting as if one is already free.—David Graeber

Despite being subject to ridicule from the mainstream and intense suppression from police and government forces in the US and abroad, Occupy has shifted the discourse around critical social, political, and economic issues, breaking the silence around the collusion between government, corporate, and financial interests.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Conservative eBooks To Indoctrinate Your Children

How do you instill the next generation with pro-America values in the digital age? One of the hottest items from last month’s CPAC conference was the line of eBooks from Cherry Tree Media (ironically named for the famous story concerning George Washington, which is itself a falsehood designed to instill patriotic pride). Available for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, the cartoon-based series teaches kids the merits of capitalism, military interventions, et cetera. Via Politico:


Read the rest

Continue Reading

eBook Readers Live in a Different Universe of Books

Bezos Kindle TouchAmazon’s released their list of 2011’s best-selling books, revealing that 40% of the best-selling ebooks didn’t even make it onto their list of the best-selling print books!

The #1 and #2 best-selling ebooks of the year weren’t even available in print editions, while four of the top 10 best-selling print books didn’t make it into the top 100 best-selling ebooks. “It couldn’t be more clear that Kindle owners are choosing their material from an entirely different universe of books,” notes one Kindle site, which points out that five of the best-selling ebooks came from two million-selling ebook authors — Amanda Hocking and John Locke — who are still awaiting the release of their books in print. And five of Amazon’s best-selling ebooks were Kindle-only “Singles,” including a Stephen King short story which actually outsold another King novel that he’d released in both ebook and print formats. And Neal Stephenson’s “Reamde” was Amazon’s #99 best-selling print book of 2011, though it didn’t even make it onto their list of the 100 best-selling ebooks of the year.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Will Librarians Revolt Over Amazon’s Kindle Lending Program?

Amazon Kindle FamilyA California librarian is urging librarians to complain to Amazon over issues with privacy and advertising in Amazon’s new Kindle ebook lending program for libraries. “In our greedy attempt to get content into our users’ hands, we have failed to uphold the highest principle of our profession, which is intellectual freedom,” she argues in a 10-minute video. (Read the transcript here):

Kindle has allowed Amazon to harvest all of this borrowing data, so it’s an instant violation of all of our privacy policies … [I]f they’re using a Kindle, Amazon’s keeping friggin’ everything. And we haven’t told people that, and we need to tell people that.

She argues Amazon’s retention of your reading history may violate, for example, California’s Reader Privacy Act, and she also complains that the check-out and renewal process include unacceptable promotional content about Amazon’s for-sale ebooks. Though she owns a Kindle and loves ebooks, she’s urging librarians to speak up.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Selling Wikipedia Pages As Kindle eBooks

WikiFocus BooksThis article identifies a supposed ebook “author” whose 887 different ebooks were all apparently cut-and-pasted directly from Wikipedia entries!

The “WikiFocus” series targets obscure niches with few competing ebooks, like Hello Kitty, Aquaman, or the comic strip Archie.

“Of the 887 ebooks, all but 10 earned terrible reviews, averaging one star or less,” this article notes, “or received no reviews at all.”

A typical review? “This ‘book’ is just a word for word copy of the Wikipedia page.”

(And a least one other “author” has attempt the same trick, trying to pass off a Wikipedia page about Charlie Sheen as an $18.95 biography!)

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Ebooks Are Almost Outselling Printed Books‏

Kindle 2. Photo: Jon 'ShakataGaNai' Davis (CC)

Kindle 2. Photo: Jon 'ShakataGaNai' Davis (CC)

Score one for technology. Amazon’s sales of ebooks have apparently almost doubled since this summer. Amazon just announced that they’re now selling more ebooks than paperback books — and three times as many ebooks as hardcovers!

In July, Amazon had said they were selling 180 ebooks for every 100 hardcovers — though paperbacks traditionally outsell hardcovers by about a 3-to-1 ratio. But if you combine Amazon’s latest statistics into a pie chart, it reveals that 45% of all the books Amazon sells are now ebooks. And Amazon’s statistic doesn’t even include all the free ebooks people are downloading to their Kindles.

If just one user downloads a free ebook for every nine paid ebook purchases — then Amazon is already delivering more digital ebooks than they are print editions!

Read the rest

Continue Reading

States Plan Taxes To Comprise Up To 21% Of E-Book Price

Kindle 2. Photo: Jon 'ShakataGaNai' Davis (CC)

Kindle 2. Photo: Jon 'ShakataGaNai' Davis (CC)

Those of us hooked on $9.99 ebooks had better get used to the idea of paying more in 2011. Not only are publishers and authors realizing that they are not making enough money to stay in business at that price point, but now state governments want in on the fast-growing sales. SmartMoney reports:

Taxes on e-book downloads to an e-reader, like the iPad, Kindle or Nook, could add up to 21% of the total price, assuming multiple states apply taxes to the same transaction, according to MyWireless.org , a nonprofit consumer advocacy group.

Roughly 9 million e-reader users download books. (On average, that’s three e-books a month at an average of $9 per book, according to Marketing and Research Resources and CEA, respectively.) These consumers are increasingly at risk of being taxed on those purchases by their home state and by the state where the book is published, says a CTIA spokeswoman.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Patti Smith: ‘Don’t Let Technology Kill Books’

Just KidsRespect to rocker Patti Smith for crossing over from music into literature and winning “the Oscar of the book world.” She’s a massive fan of books, but apparently not ebooks. From BBC News:

Veteran rock singer Patti Smith has won a prestigious US book award for her memoir, Just Kids.

The 63-year-old received the National Book Award for non-fiction for her work, which chronicles her youth in 1960s New York.

As she collected her $10,000 (£6,254) prize, Smith urged publishers not to let technology kill traditional books.

“There is nothing more beautiful than the book, the paper, the font, the cloth,” she said at the New York event.

I’m with Patti in terms of loving books as objects, but my shelves are full and some books I don’t really want to keep anyway, so ebooks are a good solution for me when I can’t get to a lending library.… Read the rest

Continue Reading