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Pottermore ShopI mentioned last week that Pottermore is set to open to the public on April 1st, unless it is a cruel April Fools day joke to potter fans.  It seems the Pottermore team is hoping to dispel the fears that it might be a joke by releasing part of the site (a part that wasn’t previously even available to beta users) today!  The Pottermore Shop, where we can finally purchase Harry Potter e-books, is now available in the US and Britain (with other regions and languages coming soon).

I do almost all of my reading these days on a Kindle or Kindle related app because I love the portability of it.  It has been extremely annoying for years that my favorite book series isn’t available on Kindle, because they are the books I’d most like to have with me at all times.

When I travel, I tend to need to bring several books with me because with all the extra reading time I tend to plow through a few books, and I just can’t carry the entire Harry Potter series in my carryon, so you can be sure I will be picking up the Complete Harry Potter Collection (for $57.54) very soon. Continue reading →

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Sold Out in less than 30 minutes

Google I/O sold out in Less than 30 minutes

Even though Google doubled the price (paid $450 last year, this year $900), Google I/O sold out even faster than last year.  Last year it took about 45 minutes for Google’s Developer conference to sell out, this year it was all over in just over 20 minutes according to a post on Google+ by Google VP Vic Gundotra.

I’m glad to say I will be at I/O this year once again, but all but one of my colleagues who tried to buy tickets were unable to acquire them.  Will I see you at Google I/O?

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Back in January, my wife and I went to see Beauty and the Beast in 3D, part of a trend of older movies getting the 3D treatment we’ve been treated to this year.  While I enjoyed the experience, I think I mostly just enjoyed seeing Beauty and the Beast in theaters again, the 3D was just so-so.  It reminded me a lot of pop up books, each layer was flat and it was just a bunch of layers stacked on top of each other to give the 3D effect.

The Saturday before last however, I went to the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts to see the travelling company of the Broadway Beauty and the Beast Play.  The play was good overall.  I like what they did to explain the characters appearing more “human.”  In order to excuse the fact that the characters are played by humans instead of animated candlesticks and teapots, is changed the story slightly so that the change from human to inanimate object is a gradual one.  A short time into the play the winder appeared on the back of Cogsworth, where previously he didn’t have it.

Not only did this excuse the human appearances, but it also had the advantage of increasing the urgency of the situation in the story.  The implication is that eventually they will be completely inanimate, unable to move or speak, making the breaking of the spell that much more important to the characters.

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When will the Beta END?!

I’ve talked before about Pottermore, the website by J.K. Rowling and TH_NK.  Well according to the Pottermore Insider blog, the site will go live on April 1st, it isn’t clear if this means that the ebooks will finally be available on that date too, although I hope so.  Of course, April 1st is well known to be April Fools Day.  And Rowling herself has been known to acknowledge the fun of an April Fools Joke (Fred and George Weasley were “of course” born on April Fools Day), so announcing an April 1st release date could be a very cruel joke.  Here’s hoping it’s true!

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I’ve been fighting with the PubSubHubbub protocol over the last few days.  I apologize for the test posts which have been causing annoyances to what few readers I actually have.  For those of you who have no idea what PubSubHubbub is, it is a method of allowing people to get updates about new blog posts in real time (or near real time).

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I’m all registered to go to Google I/O 2012 on June 27, 2012.  I’ve been to every Google I/O so far (and Google Developer Day) before hand and am really looking forward to going again.  The price was really hiked up this year ($900 as opposed to $450 last year), but they have done away with the Early Registration discount, and they have extended the conference from 2 to 3 days this year.

The “real” price last year was $550 with an early-bird discount of $450, so when you consider there are no early birds this year, the increase is 38.9% for 50% more conference, so perhaps the increase isn’t so bad.