Amazon Published Books… Aren’t Really Books?

Amazon has been stepping into publishing with their self-published books for Kindle and the fancy tools to do it – but what happens when accomplished writers start publishing with Amazon? Sadly, it looks as if their books won’t be printed and they won’t get carried by other eBook retailers such as Apple or Google. Apple and the brick-and-mortar stores I understand, but Google?

The impact is somewhat chilling (see bold):

As Amazon attempts to sign big-name authors in the future, it will have to convince them that print distribution isn’t important. The 4-Hour Chef may be sold at few places other than Amazon. Barnes & Noble, the largest bookstore chain in the U.S., won’t stock Amazon titles in its stores, and many independent bookstores refuse to do so as well. And while Amazon is making its New York titles available as ebooks to other retailers through distributor Ingram, few rivals are biting. The ebook edition of My Mother Was Nuts, for example, is for sale at Kobo but not at Google, Barnes & Noble’s Nook store or Apple’s iBookstore.

Via: “Ferriss: Even if I sell a million Kindle books, some people will call it a failure

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Posted in Computers, FAIL, Internet, Lame, News, Shopping

New Favorite Rainmeter Skin & Layout: Encoded

Rainmeter Logo

I switched my Rainmeter skin, theme and layouts around a few hundred times last week and dumped my Enigma skin and theme in favor of the smaller and simpler Encoded (by lilshizzy). It started out as just looking at options, and then actually setting up Encoded the way I liked and then it just kind of stuck.

I only used six of the blocks or boxes available along with the date, time & weather:

  1. CPU Usage
  2. Ram Usage
  3. Swap Usage
  4. Network Usage
  5. Drive Space Usage
  6. Computer Uptime

The only thing I’m kind of missing or would want back, would be the RSS reader widget-type skin. Though I could regain that with any number of Rainmeter skins, I’m going to go without it for a while. I’m noticing instead that I am seeking out news and finding a lot more interesting and up-to-date information than reading the RSS feeds alone. The feeds I was using were not updated as often as I’d like – and I know their sources – so I can visit those sites when desired.

Here is a screenshot of my latest Rainmeter layout – cropped to only the relevant part as this is in the top left part of the screen – with no other portions used.

New Favorite Rainmeter Skin: Encoded

My Rainmeter Theme Layout - Encoded by lilshizzy With Custom Aero Blur Box

Your screen resolution will almost definitely differ from my own, but here is a (rough) guide for setting this up after installing Rainmeter and/or the Encoded skin from DeviantArt:

  • Select any six white info boxes under Encoded -> Squares 
  • Select the white_blur from Encoded -> Headers -> Backgrounds -> AeroBlur
  • Edit the white_blur.ini file (right-click, Edit Skin) as follows:
    • SolidColor=255,255,255,150
    • W=371
    • H=300
  • Select the following headers from Encoded -> Headers
    • Date -> Date_black-left
    • Time -> Time_black
    • Weather -> Weather_black-small (right-click, edit, give this your local weather code!)
  • Select the blur box and then right-click, select Manage Skin:
    • Edit the coordinates, giving the first number (X coordinate) a value to indent from the left of the screen. I’ve used “30”. (You’ll want to repeat this or reuse this on the first box to make sure the pixels are aligned as in the screenshot above.)
    • Once in position: Deselect the “Draggable” property and change position to “Desktop” from the provided drop down
  • Now just place the boxes, date, time and weather over the blur background as desired.
  • ???
  • Profit.

Again, you can download the latest version of Encoded from devaintart here.

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Posted in Computers, Howto, Kinda Lame, Rainmeter, Review, Screenshot, Software, Themes, UI / UX

My Modified Enigma Rainmeter .rmskin File Ready For Download

Rainmeter Enigma Theme Skin Preview - Customized by / KLP

I posted earlier on how happy I was with the Rainmeter Enigma skin – and instead of going on at length about it again (and how I love it) I’m offering you the Rainmeter .rmskin package file to download and install. The credit still goes to Kaelri and his wonderful Rainmeter skin Enigma – however if you want a jump-start into having your desktop look as mine does you can download the .rmskin package file I created from my own install here;

  • Download the edited Enigma Rainmeter .rmskin package file (temporarily removed)

I am offering it as a great jumping off point in creating something that you’ll not only find ascetically appealing but also quite useful on your desktop. No doubt, you’ll tweak it – especially as a Rainmeter users – and even more if you don’t need a SWTOR launcher icon. This is all easily changed in the Enigma options skin (once loaded).

Rainmeter Enigma Theme Skin .rmskin Download

However, if you are interested in the multitude of desktop wallpapers I use in rotation with Windows 7, rotating every 10 seconds – please use the following link/galleries;

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Posted in Clip, Howto, Not Lame, Photo, Rainmeter, Review, Screenshot, Software, Star Wars The Old Republic, Themes, UI / UX

LPT: Improve Android GPS Accuracy By Having The Accurate Time

How To Improve Android GPS Accuracy By Keeping Time

Especially Helpful Tip For Turn-By-Turn Navigation App Users

The Global Positioning System is a highly sophisticated, and yet taken for granted, navigation system based on data you receive from satellites. This, most people know. For the uninitiated you turn on your iPhone, Android phone, handheld GPS receiver or your car’s navigation system and the satellite tells you where you are on the Earth. The United States invented and launched (satellite pun!) the system as a military application to guide aircraft, missiles, track foreign objects in space and help US Naval captains know where their ships were at sea without using a compass, a map and so forth (let the computer do the work so you can focus on shooting stuff).

Though, the above is not an accurate description of how GPS actually works. The satellite doesn’t send you a signal and say “Oh, I see you at 37.2350° N, 115.8111° W“.

In fact GPS works on a few principles. The first is that a GPS receiver, like the one in mobile phones such as the iPhone and Android phones, receive signals from the satellites (though do not transmit as this would be a more costly chip) and by combining the data received from multiple satellites the receiver can deduce where on Earth the receiver is. This is known as trilateration – not the more common term, triangulation. The receiver only is told where the satellites are – as explained by the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in a very simple manner;

A GPS receiver “knows” the location of the satellites, because that information is included in satellite transmissions. By estimating how far away a satellite is, the receiver also “knows” it is located somewhere on the surface of an imaginary sphere centered at the satellite. It then determines the sizes of several spheres, one for each satellite. The receiver is located where these spheres intersect.

The Air & Space museum has a page, with diagrams, that explain in much greater detail how GPS receivers determine where on Earth they happen to be – with this notable gem;

Continue Reading This Article

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Posted in Advice, Android, Computers, Educational, Howto, Internet, iPhone, Mobile, Not Lame, Review, Screenshot, Software

Awesome Sauce: “The Golden Age of Video Ricardo Autobahn”

This has to be the best thing I’m going to see all day. A video mash up of all your favorite films and television shows – forming one continuous song – and from too many sources to list. You just have to watch it yourself. Found it totally randomly on YouTube – The Zod gives this a score of 97 out of 100.

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Posted in Clip, Comedy, Funny, Internet, Music, Not Lame, Youtube