The Kindle, bootleg movies, etc.

January 31, 2008
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A few technology and the arts stories for you forward-thinking readers:

According to yesterday’s Publishers Weekly, Amazon.com has experienced better-than-expected sales of the temporarily-out-of-stock Kindle, the $399 electronic book gizmo it launched last November.kindle

The Amazonians boast that, with Kindle, you can download a book in a minute—without having to use a PC. And you can sample the beginnings of books for free.

It sounds great. Like many book lovers, though, I’ve been resistant to the idea. But maybe I’m missing something.

If you’ve tried one out, let me know what you think.
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Meanwhile, the play “Alice (Experiments in Wonderland)"  is opening today at the University of Central Florida   … and in Waterloo, Ontario … and in Peoria, Ill.

With the same cast.

According to an article in Canada’s Globe and Mail, this Lewis Carroll adaptation makes use of “multiple high-speed broadband connections, six or seven computers, a dozen camera operators, two different fiber-optics protocols, two-dimensional and three-dimensional sets and ceiling high screens.” And a cast of 30, spread out over the three venues.

Is this the future of theater? Or just a left-field experiment? And would Indy audiences embrace or reject such productions?
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And finally, on Wednesday the Motion Picture Association of American apologized for a statement in which it noted that “44 percent of the motion picture industry’s domestic losses were attributable to piracy by college students.” The organization now says it was approximately 15 percent.

Putting aside the significant difference in those numbers, the numbers still mean that a quarter of a billion dollars worth of content is being stolen annually by U.S. students.

What does this say about a.) the perception of piracy as a crime, b.) the free time of college students, and c.) the ability of the MPAA to deal with the realities presented by technology?

OK, confess: Have bootleg DVDs gotten into your hot little hands? Do you see a problem with such sharing? And are we heading toward a new, very different age when it comes to ownership of movies and music?

Your thoughts?
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  • As a writer, I have an interest in suppressing bootleg anythings. I have nearly a thousand DVDs - if there are any bootleg ones in there, they were purchased from regular commercial outlets. I'll certainly look for the sales and buy from discounters, but presumably the copyright holders are getting their due shares.

    As for music, the kind I buy is not generally thought of as bootleg material. Again, it's all original as far as I know - and so should everyone else's be.

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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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