Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tell Amazon What's What

Recently, Amazon deleted some George Orwell books from users' Kindles. The reason the company did this was because the books "had been mistakenly published." I saw this in the news, and didn't think much of it until I read this piece by Farhad Manjoo, published today on Slate.com.

Manjoo writes:

The power to delete your books, movies, and music remotely is a power no one should have. Here's one way around this: Don't buy a Kindle until Amazon updates its terms of service to prohibit remote deletions. Even better, the company ought to remove the technical capability to do so, making such a mass evisceration impossible in the event that a government compels it.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, with his company's Kindle e-reader.

If this book-deletion episode bothers you, do this: Write Amazon a quick email, demanding what Manjoo recommends. Here is the link to write Amazon a note. (If you don't have an Amazon account, just click the "Skip sign in" button at the bottom of the form.)

And here is a basic draft of what you should send (feel free to use this verbatim):
To Whom It May Concern:

I was disturbed to hear about Amazon's recent remote deletion of George Orwell books from users' Kindle devices. I understand the reasons why you did so, but I do not believe that any company should have the power to remotely delete books from a computer or other similar devices.

As per Farhad Manjoo's article on Slate.com, I am writing today to request that you update your terms of service to prohibit remote deletions or, better yet, remove the capability to do so. I will not purchase a Kindle until this is done, and I will encourage my friends and family to do the same.

Thank you for your time.


Power to the people right now.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

We Thought You'd Left Us

It's been far too long since I've blogged.

This, too, will not be a full-meal blog, a gallon of water after days in the desert. No, rather it'll just be a quick collection of what's been occupying my headspace of late.

One, I have a new web address, hunterslaton.com. It currently points to this blog, so it's not much of a change, but it's nice to have the domain name.

Two, after being inspired by my brother, I'm currently working on transitioning this blog to WordPress. It's still in progress, so it's yet rough, but go take a look and let me know what you think. It's a little buggy, and when I imported my old posts from this blog, many came through duplicated one, two, or even three times. Anyone else have that problem and know how to fix it?

Third, I made a hot summer jamz 2009 "mixed CD." The reason I call it a mixed CD is because once, an old girlfriend of my brother's gave him a mix CD and called it, on the disc, a "mixed CD"—I guess that was what she thought it was called, and it always cracked us up: a mixed CD. It's all mixed-up.

Anyway, if anybody out there in TV Land who reads this blog wants one (and hasn't already claimed one via Facebook or Twitter), hit me up in the comments (or via email) with your mailing address, and I'd be happy to send one out, in plenty of time for summer listening.

It is highly recommended for cookouts.

Here is the tracklist:

And finally, I got a bike. Haven't owned one for ten years, since Oxford. I bought it used, from B's Bikes on Driggs in Greenpoint. $250, and I talked them into throwing in a bike lock and helmet ($70 value) for $50. I'm loving it. Each of the past four weekends I've ridden down, for various reasons, to Prospect Park and, wow—It really just changes the way in which you interact with the city, expands your radius. And riding up Kent Avenue on a breezy schoolnight, with the Manhattan skyline bright off across the East River, and the wind whipping around you, is a glorious thing.

Here is my bike:

I love it. But now I want one built by these guys.