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ZDNet | ratcliffe RSS

ZDNet | ratcliffe RSS

Published: Fri, 23 Mar 2018 03:25:41 +0000

Last Build Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2018 03:25:41 +0000

Copyright: 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved

Happy New Year and Adieu, dear readers

Sun, 27 Dec 2009 19:47:42 +0000

I've been writing for Ziff-Davis, ZD Net and their many facets for almost two decades. It is just a few months short of 19th anniversary of the first time my byline appeared in MacWEEK, in fact, as I write this last posting at Rational Rants.

Updating Kindles sold estimate: 1.49 million

Sat, 26 Dec 2009 21:02:39 +0000

Based on the ever-vague guidance provided by in the form of obscure comments from CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos and fluffy PR releases, such as today's holiday sales update, I'm continuing to update my educated guesswork on the number of Kindles sold.

When customers love the product, but hate your mission, it's time to change publishing

Tue, 08 Dec 2009 11:48:18 +0000

I recently had the pleasure of presenting a vision for the future of publishing to a group of publishing professionals in New York. Can't say where it was, yet, but suffice to say it was worth saying and that the message was well received by the thoughtful, albeit skeptical, audience.

Zombie Alert: CrunchPad rises from grave

Mon, 07 Dec 2009 17:20:59 +0000

Last week, Mike Arrington announced the death of CrunchPad, his mythical $250 tablet for surfing the Web. This week, Arrington's former partner in the project, Fusion Garage, announced it will sell the device starting this Friday for $499, calling the product "JooJoo.

CrunchPad illusion after all

Mon, 30 Nov 2009 21:15:04 +0000

Mike Arrington has announced his CrunchPad web tablet, covered here, is "dead", blaming his manufacturing partner for cutting him out of the deal. In the frothy market that is media tablets, just as in other frothy markets Arrington has stirred up, this is a story suspiciously full of holes that make CrunchPad sound like a stunt all along rather than a real project.

Headline 2010: e-Reader device failure

Mon, 02 Nov 2009 16:31:36 +0000

The market knows best, right? Markets are bloody paths to progress.

Updating Kindles-sold estimates: 1.072 million

Fri, 23 Oct 2009 14:17:49 +0000

Based on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' comments on the third quarter results for the company, Kindle sales are accelerating. Bezos is quoted: “Kindle has become the #1 bestselling item by both unit sales and dollars – not just in our electronics store but across all product categories on Amazon.

Kindle books come to the PC -- a Nook counterpunch

Thu, 22 Oct 2009 12:50:47 +0000

Platform expansion is the logical counter to new competition at the device level. Amazon, facing the introduction of BN.

Nook Clarified: Really solid progress for e-readers

Wed, 21 Oct 2009 15:29:54 +0000

Yesterday, I posted a long analysis of what I thought was right and strangely wrong about the Barnes & Noble Nook. Matt Miller today got a clarification about my main concern, which was that Barnes & Noble seemed to have said, according to several published reports, that Wi-Fi would work only in its stores at launch and be "opened up.

B&N's Nook e-reader: Weirdly unrevolutionary

Tue, 20 Oct 2009 15:05:39 +0000

In addition to this posting, please visit this clarifications posting to get the whole picture. It would be nice to say, as Matt Miller has, that the e-book and e-reader market was revolutionized today.

AT&T's "problem" customers get the blame

Wed, 02 Sep 2009 14:12:30 +0000

Fortune Magazine swallows the AT&T pitch hook, line and sinker in a story titled "Bandwidth hogs — iPhones and other smartphones." Writer Jon Fortt dishes up a steaming dish of bull shoveled straight out of AT&T PR:Now the wireless providers hawking those Internet-enabled mobile devices are experiencing the digital equivalent of being proprietors of an all-you-can-eat buffet: It seems like the perfect business until the sumo wrestlers show up.

Don't take my Moleskine notebook and Rotring pen

Fri, 24 Jul 2009 15:23:10 +0000

What's the technology I'd least like to lose, the thing you'd have to pry from my cold dead fingers? Well, you will have to pry a Moleskine notebook and pen from my hands when I am dead.

Why is Facebook whoring me out?

Tue, 14 Jul 2009 17:24:35 +0000

I've been pondering this note, sent to me by a friend on Facebook last week:Facebook needs to recode their ads... It's one thing when the ad for singles waiting for me is accompanied by a picture of my lovely wife...

Amazon on the record: Device limits set by publishers

Wed, 24 Jun 2009 17:30:36 +0000

I queried Russ Grandinetti, vice president, Books, at Amazon about the lack of clarity about how many devices can access a Kindle book or how many times a buyer can expect to download a title from the Kindle Store. He referred me to Drew Herdener, director of communication at Amazon, who replied with the following: Russ forwarded me your note.

The future of the book, expanding

Mon, 15 Jun 2009 15:38:05 +0000

I've posted a couple excerpts from the book I am working on, about the future of books and reading. It's a different topic than Rational Rants' mandate, and with so much news and opinion every day to comment on, deserving of its own place and community.

Bad Idea Dept.: AT&T's Ed Whitacre to run General Motors

Tue, 09 Jun 2009 22:46:59 +0000

Ed Whitacre, who built SBC, one of the babies Bell, back into "The New AT&T" has been tapped by the Obama Administration's auto task force to be chairman of the "reinvented General Motors."Seriously.

Google begins its rumble with Amazon

Tue, 02 Jun 2009 11:57:32 +0000

Amazon has some new competition for the hearts and minds of book publishers and readers, which is a very good thing. But the news that Google is poised to enter the downloadable bookselling market is of mixed value to readers and publishers, because we're headed into a format/delivery model war that will wipe out the value of many millions of books people purchase over the next year.

Books: Entering the Age of Glosses

Mon, 27 Apr 2009 19:20:23 +0000

Here's the key to thinking about the future of writing, something straight out of the manuscript era: the humble gloss or "scholia," for those who prefer the Latin. They are the notes, in margins, footnotes at the bottom of a page (the standard starting around 1700) and later in the history of books endnotes at the back of the volume or in a separate appendix, that add interpretations, background information, commentary and definitions.

It's all downhill for Twitter, politics from here

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 15:15:07 +0000

This week, "tax protesters" gathered across America to dump bagged tea into symbolic bodies of non-potable water and Ashton Kutcher challenged CNN to a Twitter follower showdown. I admire anyone who takes to the streets for their ideas and recognize the power of media, even when it is lowered to the level of counting masses of followers.

Guttenberg's wake

Mon, 13 Apr 2009 11:58:53 +0000

Doc Searls points to what strikes me as a shallow exercise in self-congratulation by Vanity Fair, How the Web was Won, an "oral history" of the Web told by a select few, whom VF considers winners or power brokers. As Doc says, its "far from Compleat History," but the real vacuum in the story is the total lack of the ordinary person contributing to the Web, except for the acknowledgment given to "people" by the VF-anointed masters of this universe.