Providing Predictable Targets

Three principles form a foundation to the graphical user interface: Discoverability, Stability, and Visibility.

via Providing Predictable Targets | askTog.

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Book Publishers Scramble to Rewrite Their Future

While working in a bookstore in Boone, North Carolina, back in 2011, a 36-year-old college dropout named Hugh Howey started writing a series of sci-fi novellas called Wool. His stories were set in a postapocalyptic world where all human survivors live in an underground silo, a microsociety where resources are so scarce that one person has to die before another can be born. Howey had already published a book with a small press, but he wanted to retain creative control, and he didn’t want to go through the arduous process of finding an agent. So he decided to put out the new books himself, selling digital downloads and print editions through Amazon. In the first six months he sold 14,000 copies. Each new installment met with immediate enthusiasm. Within hours he’d receive emails from readers hungry for more.

via Book Publishers Scramble to Rewrite Their Future | Underwire | Wired.com.

Human hearing beats sound’s uncertainty limit

Modern audio compression algorithms rely on observations about auditory perceptions. For instance, we know that a low-frequency tone can render a higher tone inaudible. This perception is used to save space by removing the tones we expect will be inaudible. But our expectations are complicated by the physics of waves and our models of how human audio perception works.

via Human hearing beats sound’s uncertainty limit, makes MP3s sound worse | Ars Technica.

Features we'd want in an Amazon used ebooks marketplace

All ebooks should retain their marginalia

via Three features we’d want in an Amazon used ebooks marketplace | Macworld.

Hmmm. I am not at all sure that I want my notes kept with the book. One of the really good features is “my notes are mine”. I can get them even if I no longer have the book (think a library book that is annotated and returned).

I like unlimited lending.

I am not at all sure about the sale of “used bits”.

I vote for unlimited lending, but not sale of used.