Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-06-05

Samantha Power’s commencement address at Pitzer College

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I recently discovered and immensely enjoyed the above commencement address that Samantha Power gave to Pitzer’s graduating class last year. Two topics it covers that I think are wildly overlooked by not just college graduates but by high-achieving people in general are a) the importance of whom you choose as your friends to your future success (above where you go to school or where you choose to work) and b) the importance of resilience and following your nose rather than your head. Confused about what that means? Well, turn up the volume on your computer and watch the speech.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-05-29

  • This week’s New Yorker cover was made with an iPhone: http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/ippaint #
  • NYT iPhone app: You can’t tell what kind of a story something is–news, column, news analysis. You can’t tell how long it is either. #
  • Checked Twitter this morning, hoping for reactions to Obama’s SC pick, but there are none in my feed. Maybe Twitter is for frivolity. Hmm. #
  • “…justice doesn’t threaten society and fairness doesn’t make us weaker.” -Tom Wilner #
  • “If something happened to me, I would definitely monetize it.” –@colsonwhitehead #
  • Just asked @colsonwhitehead if he had fired @assistantjarvis. Dude was not happy about the question, but the answer is Not Yet. #
  • I vow to leave #BEA09 with no more than 5 books, one of which will be the new Lorrie Moore. Suggestions for the others? #
  • Before dropping an F-Bomb at #d7 today, Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz told it like it was during last quarter’s earnings call: http://bit.ly/XrMtP #
  • Why you should never buy AppleCare from the Apple Store: http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/acare #mac #apple #
  • Free trial from the Foundation Center. Awesome directory of grants: http://tr.im/mHVP (via @pndblog) #
  • How about the opposing managers and catchers all getting tossed in the Red Sox game today?! #
  • Steven Johnson: Make individual landing pages and AdWords campaigns for each of the different topics in your book. #BEA09 #pubkeys #

Carlos Zambrano goes nuts

Carlos Zambrano got tossed from a game for the fourth time in his career yesterday, and it was quite a doozy. The play at the plate was extremely close and Carlos should have at least questioned it. And the umpire actually bumps ‘los before he pushes him away, so Zambrano has a reason to be upset over being tossed. However, what he does after the ejection is completely bonkers but what fun for us to watch.

How to get AppleCare cheap? The answer is eBay.

Like many but not enough people, I understand that extended warranties are, statistically, a rip-off. The odds are that I’ll pay extra for the warranty and then never use it. Best Buy, among others, makes a killing from selling its customers on extended warranties. However, I have one weak spot when it comes to extended warranties—well, two actually when you count that for car warranties—AppleCare. Ever since my PowerBook G3’s motherboard failed and left me high and dry back in the fall of 2001, I’ve consistently bought AppleCare for my subsequent Mac laptops. Sometimes I’ve needed it, and sometimes I haven’t.

And despite that mixed record, I just purchased AppleCare for my MacBook Pro, whose standard one-year warranty expires in a couple weeks. (Apple gives you one year from the original date of purchase to add AppleCare to its products.) AppleCare for the MacBook Pro and formerly the PowerBook is most expensive extended warranty that Apple sells at $349 for an additional two years of coverage. However, no one should pay full price for any Apple Care package. But how do you avoid paying full price? Well, that’s easy: buy AppleCare on eBay. I just got AppleCare for my MacBook Pro for $127. If you are patient and willing to following the auctions for a couple weeks, you should be able to find a similar deal. If you’re not, most Buy It Now prices for the package hover around $160-$170. That’s still a savings of over 50% off the normal retail price. How is this possible? The answer I’ve heard is that Apple requires its resellers to meet quotas for AppleCare sales and many of them end up dumping the warranties at low prices to meet those quotas. You can even find AppleCare for the iPhone, which normally sells for $69, for around $40 on eBay. So, if you feel compelled to buy an extended warranty for your Apple product, eBay is certainly the way to go.

*Update* Consumer Reports has found that buying AppleCare actually is worth its cost. Nonetheless, why pay full price when you don’t have to?

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-05-08

  • Read David Lipsky’s Rolling Stone profile of DFW, looking forward to Zadie Smith’s essay about Wallace. http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/rs #
  • PEN World Voices Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio in conversation with Adam Gopnik http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/lc #
  • A new, larger Kindle is coming soon? Seriously? http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/04/technology/companies/04reader.html #
  • A phrase that should be banned: “top of mind.” #
  • “…the Web is like an endless novel populated with characters who reveal way too much about themselves…” http://gen-o.com/shorturl/gg #
  • People don’t understand attention is a finite resource, like money. Do you want to invest your cognitive cash on Twittering? -W. Gallagher #
  • RT @yodiwan: Amazon’s Kindle DX page is now live: http://bit.ly/t0cpe. [$489 for this thing+sub fees+obsolete in a year? Sticking w/ print!] #
  • Amazon’s Kindle DX page doesn’t mention anything about textbooks, pilot program only for now. What will be NYT sub rate for this device? #
  • Is the new #Amazon #Kindle DX worth it? Not on the back of my envelope: http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/kdx #
  • On Kindle subscriptions for newspapers/magazines, Amazon gets 70% of subscription revenue, provider 30%. http://gen-o.com/shorturl/sennews #
  • And Amazon gets rights for All mobile devices. That’s the split the Dallas Morning News is getting. Wonder how NYT, others compare…. #
  • Anyone know of iPhone apps that do the following: a) automatically scroll when you’re reading at a pre-set pace or b) read PDF books well? #
  • Just voted for the all-star game. Choices include Griffey, Manny, and my old neighbor in Berkeley, Conor Jackson. #

The Kindle DX is great, except that it’s a rip-off

Amazon Kindle DX

I eagerly read the news this morning about Amazon’s new, larger Kindle DX. The larger screen and the PDF capability seem to make it an ideal reader for not only newspapers and magazines, but also for books and and Word files and, well, nearly everything. The thought of 200-page books becoming 500-page books on the Kindle 2 never sat well with me, but it looks like the Kindle DX could preserve the original page dimensions for most books, which is great news. 

However, the problem I have with the Kindle is that it simply doesn’t make economic sense as a replacement for the publications I read. I subscribe to two magazines that are available on the Kindle—the New Yorker and the Atlantic—and sometimes subscribe to several others that aren’t, including the New York Review of Books, Elysian Fields Quarterly, the Believer, McSweeney’s, n+1, the Paris Review, I.D., and Open City. I also read the New York Times on a daily basis and am often a print subscriber. 

So, let’s see how switching to reading my subscriptions on the Kindle DX would work out. The initial cost of the Kindle is $489. I would also probably purchase the extended two-year warranty for an additional $109 because I’m a sucker for those things. I would probably purchase some sort of case for the device, but won’t include that cost here. Throw in sales tax of 8.25%, and you have an initial Kindle cost of $647.33. That’s a lot of money for a reader, but is it worth it? 

Well, let’s see. Subscribing to the New Yorker on the Kindle costs $2.99/month, the Atlantic $1.25/month, and the New York Times $13.99/month. I currently pay $29.99/year for the New Yorker, so I’ll just assume that there’s no cost savings at all for that magazine. I pay $24.90/year for the Atlantic, which works out to a savings of $0.79/month. Now, I’m aware that it’s not entirely fair to compare cash flows for a yearly magazine subscription paid all at once and the monthly Kindle costs, but it doesn’t make much difference in this example. Finally, let’s assume a print subscription cost of $30/month for the New York Times. Given the Times’ frequent promotional offers and my tendency to alternate between seven-day, Sunday-only, and weekend-only subscriptions, I think that value is fair enough for these purposes. Switching to the Kindle edition of the Times produces a monthly savings of $16.

Now, let’s assume an annual discount rate of 6% in better economic times. With a monthly savings of $16.79, it would take nearly four years before you broke even on the original cost of the Kindle. Four years from now, your extended warranty will be expired and your battery shot. It doesn’t seem like a very good deal.

Let’s include books in the mix and say that I purchase one new Kindle book each month, saving $6/book over Amazon’s existing hardcover prices. Even then it’ll take me two years to break even on the purchase price, by which time my Kindle DX will be obsolete. So, the Kindle never really generates any sort of sustained savings over its traditional media equivalents, at least for me. 

I’m aware that I’m not considering the value that users might put on the Kindle’s convenience and other features. Likewise, I’m not considering the premium that readers might put on traditional books—and the ownership rights, longevity, portability, and tangibility that come with them—either. Are any of those enough to make up for the shortfall? Or do they only swing the pendulum further against the Kindle? 

I have no problem with paying for digital content and the convenience that comes with it. In fact, I would probably prefer a less expensive device and more expensive content. At its current price-point, the Kindle DX is only going to attract early adopters and is far from becoming a product for the masses.

They might not know it’s dog food, but they know it doesn’t taste good

A recent study from the American Association of Wine Economists has been receiving online attention for its claim that people can’t tell the difference between paté and dog food. However, in the study, subjects still consistently identify the dog food as the worst tasting of the bunch. Then why don’t they go on to pick it as the dog food from the paté samples they taste? The problem is that asking subjects to identify the dog food is asking them to think too much about a question that doesn’t really require any deep thinking. If it tastes bad, it tastes bad, and thinking about it only allows you to convince yourself that it’s not that bad (or that your idea of dog food isn’t that bad). 

This tendency was best exemplified by a study performed by Timothy Wilson at the University of Virginia. He asked college students to rank a series of different strawberry jams. The students’ rankings were accurate when they only had to consider which one they like best. However, when Wilson asked them to consider more specific aspects, such as each jam’s texture, their rankings no longer reflected their own (or experts’) jam preferences. Thinking about these other, irrelevant factors prevented them from making accurate calls about the jams. The point: if you know something tastes bad, it doesn’t really matter what it is or how consistent its texture and color. It still tastes bad, even though they might fool you into thinking otherwise.

Jonathan Lethem’s Fortress of Solitude mix CD

Apparently, Jonathan Lethem handed out CDs containing his own personal soundtrack to The Fortress of Solitude after the novel came out back in 2003. The Millions was able to unearth the track listings on the Internet Archive, but the Archive’s page is now down. So, I’m posting the track listings here in the hope of preserving them a while longer.

    Disc One

    1. David Ruffin — No Matter Where
    2. Four Tops — Ain’t No Woman
    3. Bill Withers — World Keeps Goin Round (live)
    4. Randy Newman — Short People
    5. Syl Johnson — Anyone But You
    6. The Spinners — One of a Kind Love Affair
    7. Marvin Gaye — I’m Goin’ Home
    8. The Prisonaires — Just Walkin’ in the Rain
    9. Hot Chocolate — Brother Louie
    10. Manhattans — Shining Star
    11. Gillian Welch — My First Lover
    12. Marvin Gaye — Time to Get it Together
    13. Phil Ochs — City Boy
    14. Billy Paul — Let Em In
    15. Howard Tate — Get it While You Can
    16. The Spinners — Sadie
    17. Pete Wingfield — 18 With A Bullet
    18. Marvin Gaye — You The Man
    19. The Last Poets — Two Little Boys
    20. Maxine Nightingale — Right Back Where We Started From
    More

Neuroenhancers and the key to productivity

Margaret Talbot published an excellent piece about neuroenhancers in last week’s New Yorker. One of the drugs that Talbot cites and whose use has spread this decade is Modafinil, which I wrote about back in 2002. I said, “The existence of a wonder drug that could abolish a person’s need for sleep … should be just as impossible as it sounds.” As I feared, off-label use of the drug has only increased since I wrote that. And even neuroethicists have moved towards endorsing cognitive enhancement.

Talbot writes:

Every era, it seems, has its own defining drug. Neuroenhancers are perfectly suited for the anxiety of white-collar competition in a floundering economy. And they have a synergistic relationship with our multiplying digital technologies: the more gadgets we own, the more distracted we become, and the more we need help in order to focus. The experience that neuroenhancement offers is not, for the most part, about opening the doors of perception, or about breaking the bonds of the self, or about experiencing a surge of genius. It’s about squeezing out an extra few hours to finish those sales figures when you’d really rather collapse into bed; getting a B instead of a B-minus on the final exam in a lecture class where you spent half your time texting; cramming for the G.R.E.s at night, because the information-industry job you got after college turned out to be deadening. Neuroenhancers don’t offer freedom. Rather, they facilitate a pinched, unromantic, grindingly efficient form of productivity.

There’s a much cheaper way to achieve productivity that we inexplicably gave up in the name of progress. It may be painful, but it’s worth a shot: Turn off your cell phone, unplug your wireless router—I know it feels strange, but vaguely familiar like how things used to be—sit down at your desk, and get to work.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-05-01

Zadie Smith: The Internet is an absolute disaster for writers

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I first met Zadie Smith in the summer of 2001 at a book signing in San Francisco. I waited in line with a friend for her to sign my first (American) edition of White Teeth. After she did, my friend, who didn’t have a book, approached her, and she signed his right arm. She also drew a dotted line around it and wrote “Cut Here.” I love her work for that very sensibility and humor.

Last night Jonathan Safran Foer interviewed Smith at NYU. (She has a collection of essays, Changing My Mind, coming out later this year.) I’ve read several polemical essays and books written in opposition to Internet culture. And I read them because I have the sense that life used to be different ten years ago, and, in many ways, it was better. Even four years ago, I was better able to concentrate on long projects than I am able to now; in short, the current iteration of the Internet has killed productivity—productivity at the things that actually matter. I think Malcolm Gladwell was right, in many ways, when he called Google “the answer to a problem we didn’t have.” But I don’t think I’ve heard anyone convey the problem as powerfully as Smith does in the snippet of last night’s interview that you can watch above. She calls the Internet “an absolute disaster for writers” because she spends too much time on Facebook and Google, and she imagines a generation of children who won’t know how to concentrate because they grew up with this Internet. And what will you get when everyone grows up with the web? Rebels who reject it! It’s powerful because Smith critiques with a seriousness that is funny rather than earnest, engaging rather than alienating. “Cut here,” she seems to say, “I dare you.”

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-04-24

  • If you think Twitter needs a value proposition, well, here it is: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2009/3/31kennedy.html #
  • If web content and services are free, doesn’t that, uh, mean they’re worthless? #
  • Old favorite:”…he suddenly realized the meaning of the word ‘dissipate’—to dissipate into thin air; to make nothing out of something.”-FSF #
  • If the IndieBound iPhone app could check local stores’ inventory, it would be awesome http://bit.ly/pN11f #
  • Dowd’s interview with the Clutter founders in today’s NYT is hilarious but trite. #
  • Memories of DFW from Modernism/modernity: http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/dfw #
  • Hoping to check our Partners & Spade sometime soon: http://partnersandspade.com/ #
  • MacBook Pro battery % going crazy. Tried calibrating it yesterday, but still isn’t working well. Might be time for new battery. Suggestions? #
  • Someday the obsession with metrics will fall out of favor? #
  • My MBP battery only has 60% of original capacity. 🙁 Use coconutBattery to check your Mac’s battery: http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/btry #
  • Anyone going to see Philip Roth on Tuesday? http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/roth #
  • Listening to marketing directors from major credit cards. No mention of the millions of CC holders and shareholders they ruined. #
  • Fri. regression: RPS (but not exact %), tax rate, retail electricity price all matter in predicting state’s renew engy prod/capita. Others? #

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-04-17

  • Lost my Nike+ sensor in Chinatown. No wonder pace slowed! Time to stop tucking it under my laces and get a shoe wallet for the replacement. #
  • When the conditions are bad, Joba is on the mound. Yanks down 1-3 in KC. Ugh. #
  • Google bombing “Amazon rank” http://is.gd/s3Qn #amazonfail How long will my link last on Wikipedia? http://bit.ly/4uMoTD #
  • First game of the season in Central Park this morning! Shoulder = sore. #
  • Um, yeah, it works. See the Google search results: http://tinyurl.com/dmk3kn #amazonfail #AndYouWantMeToBuyAKindle?! #
  • Perry’s tee shot on 16 at Augusta: Wow! #
  • Fun event with @fredwilson I attended last Monday now posted on his blog://bit.ly/3mQAB4 #
  • This would get me to the farmers market: http://bit.ly/LsdhQ #
  • Fun event with @fredwilson I attended last Monday now posted on his blog: http://bit.ly/3mQAB4 #
  • I can’t believe Spike Lee is copying the concept for “Zidane” with his Kobe movie: http://bit.ly/2B0s8 #
  • Can’t believe how quickly TriBeCa Film Fest tickets went online. Looking to see Racing Dreams, CBGB, and Kobe, if anyone has extras. #
  • Should apply critique to own blog. RT @amyoleary: RT @palafo: A critique of NYT article-level pages, via @NiemanLab. http://bit.ly/4dIIDe #
  • Just got back from #teaparty at City Hall. For the first time, felt utterly ashamed to be a New Yorker. http://twitpic.com/3dsit #
  • Pitchers batting ninth and other bad baseball ideas from today’s WSJ: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123985205744324009.html #
  • So much for opening day at the new Stadium. This game is over. Yankee down 9-1. #
  • Went to an excellent show with @rhettmiller at Le Poisson Rouge last night. Pictures are here: http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/rm/ #
  • A great day at the new Yankee Stadium. Jeter homer puts us up in the 8th, Mo saves in the 9th, cue Sinatra. #

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-04-10

  • At Yale Field for the second of two against Columbia, cold. #
  • Whom do I want to lose more: the team that knocked out Duke or UNC? That’s easy–beat NC! #
  • Thursday 4/30 at 7 pm: Jonathan Safran Foer interviewing Zadie Smith at #NYU, 40 Washington Square South. Should be awesome! #
  • I can’t stand it when people speak as though they don’t know the difference between e.g. and i.e. #
  • NYTM editor on the future of long-form narrative journalism: http://www.rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/nm/ #
  • CoolOSXApps.net for sale: http://www.coolosxapps.net/2009/03/30/cool-osx-apps-is-for-sale/ #
  • Where is lit crit for the Kindle? #
  • We need more stories about current tech that focus on how it makes people feel like Hefferman on iPhone in NYT & NYMag cover story on FB. #
  • Off to see Leanne Shapton and Patricia Marx in conversation at the Strand. #
  • Got vertical gray lines on my MacBook Pro’s screen this morning. Here’s the solution: http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/ln #
  • The killer Kindle feature: anti-shake. #
  • NYPD, don’t you have better things to do? You, not protesters, blocked me from the library http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/nypd #newschool #

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-04-03

  • Is there an easy way to get a web article from Safari on my Mac onto a Kindle for reading (like what I do with Instapaper on iPod/iPhone)? in reply to wordbrooklyn #
  • How to add a Streampad playlist to your website: http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/sp #
  • My MacBook Pro won’t open. The Apple Store either slightly bent the case or incorrectly reassembled it when they replaced my speaker. Boo. #
  • Not interested in Gmail Autopilot, but I would pay $50/year for Gmail Paper, 12pt Garamond: http://mail.google.com/mail/help/paper/more.html #
  • Anyone know if it’s possible to make Tumblr order your posts randomly, not chronologically? #
  • Your use of bullet points implies an inability to form paragraphs. Perhaps, you should work on that. #
  • Unfollowing all the Twittereans who just repost what I would read on their blogs, anyway. Your posts aren’t that urgent. #
  • Focusing mechanism on my Canon EF 35mm f2 lens broke. Is it worth getting it fixed or should I buy a new one? If fix, where in NYC? #

Using Streampad to add a music playlist to your website

Inspired by Fred Wilson’s FredWilson.fm, I decided to see if I could add a playlist to my website using Streampad. As you can see, I now have Streampad’s player running at the bottom of this page. Here are the steps you’ll need to take to add it to your own site:

  1. Set up a Tumblr blog and start posting music to your blog in MP3 format. Tumblr allows you to upload one MP3 file a day or you could link to MP3s hosted elsewhere. This will become your playlist for Streampad.
  2. Insert Streampad’s code in your page template’s header between the <head> and </head> tags.
  3. Here’s the code to insert. Make sure that you change the Tumblr URL to your own URL: <script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://static.streampad.com/streampad-tumblr.js?api=YOURNAME.tumblr.com&autoplay=true”></script>
  4. You can delete the autoplay parameter if you don’t want Streampad to start playing automatically when a user loads your page. There are several other parameters you can add to the JS URL to alter the appearance of the player.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-03-27

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-03-20

  • At Housing Works, waiting to see if Bjork will perform. #
  • I should have bought more Citigroup last week! #
  • n+1 looking for a photo editor, but won’t pay: http://tinyurl.com/c5xo7q #
  • Hoping to read Daniel Mendelsohn’s review of The Kindly Ones tonight: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22452 First, “She Said, She Said.” #
  • What if online branding will never take off because the Internet solves the problem–information asymmetry–that makes branding valuable? #
  • Caitlin Macy reading from “Spoiled” @bookculture on April 23 at 7 pm! Loved Fundamentals of Play, looking forward to this. #
  • Saw “She Said, She Said” by Kathy Chetkovich–wonderful w/ all complexity of real life http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/shesaid #theater #
  • Anyone going to the Updike tribute at the NYPL on Thursday? http://bit.ly/10kPh #
  • Twitter for book publicity! RT @FSG_Books: Coming this April: Live Twitter Q & A with Wells Tower. #
  • RT @TechCrunch: [News] Major Book Publishers Start Turning To Scribd http://twurl.nl/kmyduf #
  • RT @pandora_radio Pandora on the BlackBerry! http://pandora.com/blackberry #
  • Another case for the publishing bailout: http://tinyurl.com/c5asgj #
  • “[Twitter] is not the wave of the future.” -John Wray, author of Lowboy, at McNally Jackson tonight #
  • I want a hard copy archive of my email boxes. Anyone know how I can print all sent and received in chronological order w/out page breaks? #
  • Reminded by Roger Angell’s reading last night at the NYPL of one of the best sports pieces ever: http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/hubfans #

The wrong side of history

President Obama recently called out Republicans, who opposed his economic stimulus package, as being on “the wrong side of history.” The phrase is rhetorically potent, and at first, as a supporter of the stimulus and Obama, I found his usage of it powerful. He employed it before in his campaign and his inaugural address to describe repressive regimes. But now I just find it sort of frightening. It’s as if he’s equating opposition to the stimulus package with southern slave-owners and Nazi appeasers and Islamic terrorists. And how the heck do you defend yourself against those sorts of implied accusations, especially coming from the President?

History is, by definition, a thing of the past, and Obama’s use of this phrase suggests that he already knows how the future is going to turn out. That, to me, is a terribly dangerous proposition, and one that is surprising in its source. President Obama’s campaign was based largely on its giving citizens the power to rewrite the future and on the idea that history doesn’t exert an inescapable and inexorable pull forward that we must accept or else reject at our peril. It’s a reiteration of Bush’s you’re either with us or against us simplified worldview. 

Out of resistance is borne hope—that’s the message that Obama sold so well. And now to suggest that resistance is futile is just wrongheaded. The President is smart and prescient enough to avoid using such pretentious language to silence his critics. Reason, not rhetoric, is why we elected him, after all.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-03-13

  • Anyone else notice the shared line between U2’s new “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” and “Ultraviolet” from Achtung? #
  • Anyone interested in going to the NBCC finalists reading at the New School tonight at 6? #
  • Tried to go to Freebird today, but they were closed. Ended up at BookCourt and picked up NYRB’s “A Meaningful Life.” Loving it so far. #
  • RT @TechCrunch: [News] Google Ad Chief Tim Armstrong Replaces Randy Falco As Chairman And CEO Of AOL http://snipurl.com/dowdu #
  • RT @PublishersLunch: Critics Love Bolano’s 2666; Takes NBCC http://tinyurl.com/b5t4na #
  • In case you missed Stewart vs. Cramer: http://tinyurl.com/cgzhkv #

Why independent bookstores lose to Barnes & Noble

One reason why independently owned bookstores have a tough time competing with BN is that they have a higher cost of equity. In this lecture, Aswath Damodaran of NYU estimates the cost of equity for a New York indie bookstore to be around 14%, while it’s only 8% for BN. This analysis makes the manner in which Kepler’s raised money from 20+ investors in 2005 look smart. The investors provide the diversification that Kepler’s can’t get from the public market like BN does. If you want more reading on the subject, click here, though I recommend the watching the lecture over reading the linked chapter.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-03-06

  • #fnfw Edmund White: “…the challenge of teaching purpose-driven people the value of laziness.” #
  • If you read one article published this weekend, it should be Josh in the WSJ on Raoul Wallenberg: http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/prager/ #
  • RT @R_Nash: David Silverman’s short list of the most pompous business words http://is.gd/k9YA #
  • “You gotta feed animals; otherwise, they die.” –Dr. Juan Ramos, Harvard ’05 #
  • Roger Angell in the New Yorker–always an event to celebrate or, at least, Tweet: http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/torrebio/ #
  • We will be the Taxed Generation. #
  • Congrats, Conor: http://tinyurl.com/dyv9nl #
  • Zen Palate Union Square may have closed but there’s one in the Financial and they deliver with Seamless + discount code! #
  • Updike and Cheever on the Dick Cavett Show: http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/jujc/ #
  • RT @TechCrunch: [News] Amazon launches Kindle application for the iPhone http://twurl.nl/uzgmhi #
  • NYTimes iPhone app just updated to include nearly all the features I wanted! Woo hoo! #
  • NYTimes iPhone app just updated to include nearly all the features I wanted! Woo hoo! Now NYT needs to start charging for this thing. #