634 – White Smoke Mountain • 03

The Wednesday Video

People have been predicting the death of the printed word ever since the radio. (Radio was also supposed to destroy the American family, much as were voting rights for women and blacks, and most recently homosexual marriage. I think someone keeps losing the scorecard.) After radio, television was to have killed print, then VCRs, videogames, and computers. My own personal opinion is that print isn’t going anywhere fast, but there is finally an item that is taking print on in it’s home turf… and stomps all over it. (After a little initial investment, that is…)

Now I’m not a sports guy, but I do dig magazines for the depth of information that is often not available from other sources. I also like to read a lot of books, and I think that in the long run, a person like me is likely to end up at least breaking even. But this is much less about me justifying myself than it is LOOK HOW COOL!

Let the naysaying commence…

25 Responses to 634 – White Smoke Mountain • 03

  1. Same processed hack reported crap though. Just with a bigger price tag.

    Bonuses: no need to store old files, easy to deliver new material, no need to realise the crap you’re missing out on (unlike a weekly paper, when you realise you’re just reading the comic section…)

    But: Books are great because they’re always around and easy to carry/give to a friend and their format never goes out of date and they don’t get deleted and time expiration is in the years/decades. DRM (or prodgeny of DRM) will kill all file portability and make sure you can’t transfer from your old tablet (medium) a new one. Disney likes well taught drones.

    And TV didn’t kill books, because many of the people plonked in front of TV’s didn’t bother with books anyway. Those who do like books so much often have to much brain/self-respect for most of todays’ content.

  2. Not a sports fan, so SI is not even on my radar. But what a cool thing to do with a magazine!

      • Even guys who like sports probably wouldn’t interrupt the bikini video to actually watch a game….esp. if the TV is already on. That being said, I like the interactivity that’s coming with these types of devices.

        But, how is this any different than sophisticated web pages? It isn’t. It’s just a new form factor so that they can hide/charge for premium content. That’s been the hang-up that current media companies have had with the Internet is that we don’t like to pay for stuff, esp when someone else is giving it away. The only reason I get the magazines I get now is because I got them for free (Golf Digest, Baseball Weekly) or cheap (Time, Forbes, Entertainment Weekly, Oprah) or my wife buys it (US Weekly). Of those, the only one we will renew is possibly US Weekly……unless they offer them for free. The reason that those deals exist is because the media companies are struggling even with print magazines. With our short attention spans, the premium content has to be so much better than the free content but it only takes one other site offering something close to what you offer to errode your subscription base.

        Classic example – Fantasy Football
        * At first, FF was a paid extra feature
        * Then Yahoo offered free FF but no live scoring (well, live scoring was an upgrade)
        * That led to more sites offering free FF (still with a premium pay level)
        * Then one of them offered free live scoring.
        * Now they all offer free live scoring. (all still have premium pay levels)

        It will be hard pressed for the digital magazines to keep a competetive edge against sites that rely less on a subscription model and more on page views.

        • I don’t really have a problem with more venues moving to some type of revenue generating model. Realistically, the option is that they go away and we’re left with nothing. Or at best we’re left with whatever content people can afford to provide for free.

          Reading HOLE may be fine and fun, but would it be a good replacement for TV, or movies, or any other entertainment you actually pay for? (Fair warning, if the answer is “yes” I’m charging you for Friday’s comic.

  3. Untill I can roll it up and stuff it into my backpack it will never take the place of real paper. I can afford to lose a magazine in the Metro, have my dog eat it, squash a fly, and even engage in a vicious paper ball fight untill someone gets a paper-cut.

    Paper is just so much more versatile!

    Only reason to buy this thing would be for the Swimsuit edition.

    • The kind you can roll up is only in black and white, and of course it doesn’t have any touch sensitivity, games, video playback, email, or really any more functionality than a newspaper. It’s still pretty neat though.

  4. Regarding the comic:

    I approve of the new Fleece. She’s a sexy beast (and I say that as a biological female). And she makes Martin her bitch.

    In real life I’d hate her pretentious, evil ass, but hey… fictional sociopaths can be fun.
    Unless they also have narcissistic personality disorder. Like John Galt. Or George W. Bush.
    What d’you mean that guy wasn’t fictional?
    Oh crap.

      • How cute, Martin still (mistakenly) thinks he can find the solutions to his life’s problems in a book about min-maxing. 😆

        Other men his age buy big expensive cars or techwiz upgrades for their iPod to combat a midlife-crisis. Martin buys more feats to upgrade his Eldritch Blast.

        It’ so sad when you’re mid-level and realize you cannot compete with the epic kids you see on those high-gloss glamour magazines, parading around on their epic mounts…

        Now I have this mental image of Martin’s e-mail in-tray… it’s full of spam with subjects lines like “Wonder enhancement for ur Eldritch Blast!!” and “100 mind control tricks to get chicks!”

    • I too think that the new Fleece personality makes a change. The others were just a little bit too subservient, whereas this one has more of a sense of her own destiny. I can’t help but think that she is going to end up on the wrong end of an Eldrich blast when she sticks up for herself too much on some issue.

      In other news, I am still looking for a cheerleader version of this strip (Only one more person required… hint, hint):


      Re: the video, I found amusing how non-enthusiastic the person speking was, and how the hands which were doing the demonstation seemed as if one was drawn, then flipped. They had no real animation whatsoever.

      So, in my verdict, this will never become a substitute for emergency toliet paper.


      • This is the first 4.0 Fleece, and is therefore the first Fleece run by the DM and not Martin. (No Leadership feat in 4.0.) She’s much less Barbie-doll and much more Mack the Knife. If Martin was going to attack her he might want to lead with something better than an Eldritch Blast.

  5. My only problem with digital media is that they can delete my content remotely. with or without my consent…
    My grandfather had a subscription to People Magazine for years and years. They, back in the 70’s, did an expose on the Pope that was, well less than flattering. Within 2 days, it was pulled from stores and they moved on like it never existed releasing a different version of that months edition. I know the other one existed only because I have a physical copy sitting somewhere in my mom’s house. They can’t take back a physical copy…
    … Sorry for kicking off the Conspiracy Theorist and Big Brother comments.
    P.S. Hail DM.

    • No problem.

      Thus far all the content that is purchasable in the iTunes Store can also be backed up, and if fact automatically is backed up with Time Machine. Even if something were deleted from my iTunes folder, it would still exist on my back up disk. (All the content I download remotely to my handhelds gets copied for safekeeping to the computer every time I recharge the batteries. Thus it too is backed up. There is also a wireless hard drive back up solution, though I’m not that paranoid.)

    • DRM is the issue not so much digital media as a format, which brings up hundreds of arguments about licensing, privacy, and consumer rights. I actually really enjoy media as a digital medium because it is easier to store, categorize, and view in a timely manner.

      I only buy Computer Games as hard copies because DRM is rampant in the PC gaming industry. However most games now have an online launcher that enables a player to play without requiring the Disk, which is extremely convenient, despite needing to be ‘online’ I can also play with the Disk if I am ‘offline’, but this saves my disk from abuse and if the servers ever were to stop existing I would always be able to play my games.

      This is abit harder to do with paper copies because who in their right mind has time to copy all those pages? The simplest solution to protecting your digital media is to make a backup, and turn your online antenna off.

      As such this is all entertainment and anything serious should be documented physically or illustrated immortally across user forums.

  6. Naysay, naysay, naysay. It’s just a website being presented on someone’s tablet PC. The cost of publishing a website is content creation, plus overhead, plus bandwidth, so it ought to be significantly cheaper than the dead tree version but that won’t happen since the price charged on these things is whatever the sucker will shill out.
    Of course I think that professional sports is a cynically established circus created for the express intent of making people too preoccupied to notice the usurpations of corrupt government and private excesses against their property and liberty, but that’s a side point.