Is the book better than the movie?

Is the book better than the movie?
Is the book better than the movie?

It is no secret that I’m a fan of the Chronicles of Narnia series of books and movies, and as a loyal fan, I follow news related to Narnia, and one of my favorite news sources for Narnia related news is NarniaFans.com.  I don’t normally bother to post Narnia related news here, because I feel that I would never be able to do the justice that a dedicated site such as NarniaFans can do, however today my Google Reader showed me an article relating to Narnia that caught my attention for more reasons then The Lion.

In New Zealand, the New Zealand Book Council’s agency (Colenso BBDO) in Auckland, New Zealand, has come up with a rather ingenious way to try and get more young people to read.  When people in New Zealand rent Prince Caspian on DVD from video rental stores in Auckland and the surrounding areas, they see the DVD on the left, and on the right a number of pages, in fact, they see the first 2 chapters of Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis, with a title page that contains the question “Is the book better than the movie?”

I felt like posting about this story here because I love anything that encourages young people to read.  When I was growing up, the Chronicles of Narnia were some of my personal favorite books to read, and I read them over and over again, today sadly a lot of young people who go to see these movies (which are fantastic), don’t even realize that these wonderful books exist.  By putting the first couple of chapters of a book in with the DVD Rental, perhaps children who enjoy the movie will decide to read the accompanying beginning of the book, and when they get hooked, will head to their local library to grab the rest of it.

This could obviously work for series other then Narnia, imagine if the Harry Potter DVDs included the first two chapters of their accompanying books. I know by chapter 2 of Philosopher’s Stone, I was hooked on J.K. Rowling’s style.

And why limit it to the DVD release, have movie theaters hand out pamphlets of the first chapter of Inkheart after children go to see that imaginative tale this month.

I applaud the New Zealand Book Council for trying out this imaginative campaign to bring more young people to literature.  It is my belief that with more children reading books, we will have a much brighter tomorrow.

Lupus Awareness Month – October

Throughout the year there are a number of “Awareness Months” for various diseases and disorders, and while I sympathize with people with these disorders, and have a tendency to donate to their various goals, most awareness months have little personal effect on me. October however is different, in that I have a personal reason to support Lupus Awareness Month

I have not posted here in my blog about this before, but most of you who know me personally are aware that my Wife has battled with the horrible auto-immune disease known as Lupus. When she was 12, it nearly killed her, and I would never have known the woman who is the Love of my Life.

M-OLupus is an auto-immune disease, which in layman’s terms is like the opposite of AIDS, instead of having no immune system, people like my wife have an over-active immune system. Their immune system is so vigilant in it’s destruction of things that it determines is a “foreign contaminant”, that it gets confused, and starts attacking tissues in the body as well. The end result is that the white blood cells literally destroy the body from the inside out.

There is no cure for Lupus, and it kills, and funds for research are desperately needed in the search for a cure. So please, check out The Lupus Foundation of America or the Alliance for Lupus Research and learn how you can make a difference in the research of this deadly disease.

If you want to know more about Lupus, I recommend you check out the Living with Lupus Blog, written by my wife, Barbara Moline, or visit lupus.org or lupusresearch.org

Amazon Kindle Reader for the iPhone

I wish I was posting this as a follow up to an announcement, but actually it’s a suggestion to Amazon on how they can make more money, sell more Kindle books, and make more people happy.

Amazon KindleFor those of you who don’t already know, the Amazon Kindle is an ebook reader that uses E-Ink technology to display content on a screen. What’s cook about e-ink is that once it has rendered the screen’s contents, it takes no power to keep the content on the screen. The result is that battery life of the kindle is measured in “page turns” instead of hours. The Kindle is also cool because it has WhisperNet, provided by Sprint, which lets you have books you purchase from Amazon’s kindle store be sent straight to the Kindle, without the need to plug the kindle into your computer. The Kindle also gets a special email address where you can email documents to this address and have them appear on your Kindle for a nominal fee for reading. All in all, it’s a fantastic product, it only has one little problem, the price. The Kindle is $349 (previously $399), available only from Amazon, which is still a bit steep for an up-front cost before you start buying books from the Kindle store to put on it.

Amazon, I know you want to sell Kindles, but your bread and butter will always be the books themselves. My suggestion is that you write an iPhone app that can read the Kindle book format and will validate like a Kindle to your own DRM. You could sell this app in Apple’s app store to make even more money, I’m thinking something along the lines of $20 to $40. This way people with an iPod Touch or iPhone (which is quite a lot of people, including yours truely) can start buying Kindle books without a Kindle, and get the enjoyment of having instant access to literature the way only the elite Kindle owners do. The iPhone already has access to the internet, so it could support all of the functionality of Whispernet without any difficulty from you the developer. The iPod Touch has WiFi, so even it can download books directly when it’s on a hotspot.

Amazon can even take this one step further. Amazon already partners with Apple’s iTunes Music Store as a place to purchase content from it’s own Audible.com, once someone has purchased your iPhone app, partner with iTunes again and have people able to shop for books right through the iTunes music store, making it even easier for iPhone owners to purchase your Kindle books.

What I think Amazon may find surprising if they did this, is that it probably would bolster sails of the Kindle devices itself, not only the Kindle books.

See I’m a bit leery of buying a Kindle, and buying Kindle books, knowing that those books are locked to the Kindle. If I could start buying those books now, and reading them on another device, I’d probably later buy a Kindle knowing it’s a better platform for reading them on.

It’s also not exactly outside of Amazon’s business model to offer their digital products to other platforms either. In March, 2007, I blogged about Amazon and TiVo teaming up to make Amazon Unbox Videos (now known as Amazon Video on Demand) available on TiVo boxes. I immediately started buying Unbox videos when I never had before. Incidentally, I’d love it if Amazon Video-on-demand Videos were playable on the iPhone as well, and I’d probably buy a lot more videos from Amazon if they did, but I think that might be a bit of wishful thinking.

So come on Amazon, release an iPhone app that can read Kindle documents and you’ll have even more of my money then you do now, and I’d bet a whole lot of other people’s money as well.

Keeping in Step, how to Sync your iPhone’s Calendar with Google Calendar

I love Google Apps for Domains, I use it for all of my domains, I’ve even setup holodeck3.com with the Partner edition so that my users can get @holodeck3.com email accounts and services through them. Google does a lot, for free, and they do it well. I’m also a Mac an an iPhone user. I am never without my iPhone, and only rarely without my laptop.

Google has, over time gotten a lot better at providing me with services I need in order to keep my world more in sync. I was glad to be in the early adoption crowd of users for IMAP on GMail, and the first person among my group of friends to get IMAP support on my Google Apps for Domains accounts. This has helped a lot as my iPhone is now what I use for email when I’m away from my laptop, and in fact I find myself not going to the computer quite as often when I’m “off duty” because of it.

I love Google Calendar and prefer to have my calendar events in Google as opposed to simply a local Calendar on my computer or phone, however when I am at my computer, using iCal is so much easier then using Google Calendar (and having to keep yet another browser window open), and then of course there’s the little matter of keeping my calendar on the iPhone so I have my events easily at hand. Google has long allowed you to subscribe to a Google Calendar using iCal’s ics format, but this was one way, only allowing you to read your Google calendar in iCal, not make changes to it. Until very recently the best way to keep iCal in sync with Google Calendar is to use Spanning Sync, a $25 program (use this link and you can get $5 off!), that keeps your calendar in iCal in sync both ways with your calendar on Google.
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Google I/O – Part II – The Opening Keynote

Google is following it’s trend from last year’s Google Developer Day by posting up videos of all of the sessions on YouTube, but so far I can only find the Opening Keynote. They promised that they would upload them all within a week, so expect more parts of my reviews of Google I/O as they become available. Continue reading “Google I/O – Part II – The Opening Keynote”

The infamous Carl Sandberg, not the famous.

Coworkers have recently encouraged me to get onto facebook. As people who know me well know, I’ve never been a big fan of Social Networking sites, so I resisted facebook for a long time, just as I resisted MySpace and Linkedin. Actually I resisted facebook longer, as I just got my profile up last week. I have always thought that social networking sites were a waste of time, that anyone who wanted to get ahold of me would easily find me on my blog.
Continue reading “The infamous Carl Sandberg, not the famous.”

I prefer “Sir Nicholas” if you don’t mind.

As for me, I'll be a KnightJust a little bit of Google humor today, I decided to do something I do every so often and do a google search for my name, Nicholas Moline. I was pleased to see that 8 out of the first 10 results were indeed about me (a few of which were by me), but I happened across a listing that made me smile.

Google Book Search found my name in a very old book: The Egerton Papers: A Collection of Public and Private Documents, Chiefly Illustrative of the … contains an interesting mention on Page 403

Continue reading “I prefer “Sir Nicholas” if you don’t mind.”

TiVo making a come back? Watch out Apple TV.

I personally have never owned a TiVo box, primarily because I knew there were a number of DVRs on the market that did not require a monthly subscription and I didn’t see the benefit to paying $12/month for something I thought I could get for a one time fee.

TiVo and Amazon have signed a deal recently that actually made me think twice about this policy however. As most people know, Amazon unveiled their Amazon Unbox program earlier this year to not much applause. After all iTunes has had video downloads for a while now, and it just didn’t seem to make sense to buy movies from Amazon when I already had iTunes. Add to that the fact that Amazon Unbox does not work on a mac as their video drm is PC Only and I didn’t give Amazon a second thought when it came to purchasing single episodes of TV shows or directly downloading movies. Similar to the reasons I previously mentioned why I didn’t give TiVo a second thought, why would I get something that would require it’s own monthly service when I could buy a cable box with DVR built in, or better yet, build a MythTV (though that requires lots of effort and is buggy).

But then TiVo and Amazon signed a deal that I believe is mutually smart for both companies. Amazon Unbox now can be linked with your TiVo account, which means that as you are browsing the web from anywhere, (even away from home) you can purchase a movie or episode on Amazon, or even Rent a movie (something you can’t do on iTunes) and then when you come home (or turn on your TV if you already were home) you’ll find that in your Now Playing List on your TiVo, the episode or movie is already there, ready for you to watch on your TV or (in our case) Projector.

I decided to take the plunge and find out. I purchased a TiVo and linked my TiVo account with my Amazon account, and now I’ve learned what I’ve been missing with Both services.
Continue reading “TiVo making a come back? Watch out Apple TV.”

2006 – A Nick Oddity

Every New Years Eve I find myself counting down the seconds until the next year hoping in my heart that the next year is better then the last. This year however I found New Years Eve very odd, because I cannot possibly imagine 2007 being as amazing as 2006 was, and I don’t even want 2007 to be better then 2006, I just want it to be more of the same.

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Nick Moline is on the air

When I first started this blog just over 3 years ago (July, 2003) it was my second jaunt into internet pop culture. My foray into the culture of the web (after years of being a sort of web recluse) was to write a fanfic, then I created a blog, and now, now after these 3 years, I have published my first podcast episode. WizardCast is a Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Role Playing podcast by the staff of Wizards.Pro and the HogwartsLive RPG.

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