I love hanging out with authors

Four authors at one small party. Just got back from it. Mighty weird. Of course the cell phone came out.

The highlight was meeting Christine Comaford-Lynch who wrote “Rules for Renegades.” She’s in the video I shot on my cell phone. Drat that it ran out of memory cause I didn’t delete the videos from BugLabs yet. I also give Tim Ferriss heck for “working six hours a week.” (His book is titled the Four Hour Workweek).

She worked at Microsoft back in the 1980s. They wouldn’t hire her because she’s “a chick who didn’t graduate from high school.” But she could code and she could run companies (she’s run five now so far).

The party was hosted by Teresa Rodriguez Williamson, founder of Tango Diva and author of “Fly Solo” which is a book for women who want to travel the world. She also is the founder of Tango Diva and lives about a block away from us. She always has the most amazing people over her house — and I’m not talking about me.

Hope your weekend was as interesting and as fun as ours was.

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Comparing real books to Kindle

Last night I met Cathy Brooks. She’s helping plan the LeWeb3 conference. I trust her opinion and she’s whip smart.

I showed her the Amazon Kindle device and asked her which book should be my first book I read on it. She recommended “Basic Black” by Cathie Black. She has been on the executive teams for a lot of publishing efforts from USA Today to Oprah’s new, and highly successful, “O” magazine.

I did something that I’ve never been able to do before. I bought the book right in front of her.

When I got home I started reading — I got about halfway through the book. I can see why Cathy recommended this book. Lots of great lessons about business and stories about the publishing industry, something I’m interested in.

Anyway, this morning I did a little video comparison to “real” books. I compared it to Blue Planet Run, a photo book that Rick Smolan just sent me (he’s a famous photographer who we’ll have on Photowalking someday if we can match our schedules up).

Hopefully this will be the last of my Kindle posts. Onto other things.

Amazon does yet another thing Microsoft wanted to do (my April Fools turns out to be true)

Newsweek has the scoop. I’m held by NDA until tomorrow.

But, I know that the Sony Reader was an object of Bill Gates’ attention. He wanted to do one of his own. It’s maddening to me that Microsoft hasn’t been able to turn its Tablet PC team into a team that can build a world-class device like this.

All I’ll say until tomorrow is you gotta try this device. It’s not perfect, but for long-form reading it is a wonderful device. I am going to buy one of my own. It’d really be great to have on our trip to Europe for the plane ride next month cause my Mac’s batteries only last two hours each (I have two of them) and the flight is 10 hours.

Oh, and you should go back and read my April Fool’s joke on April 1 of this year. In that joke I predicted a device that almost matches Amazon’s new reader almost word-for-word.

The comments there are HILLARIOUS to read in comparison to today’s news. Here’s some of the funnier ones:

JR writes: “This is so implausible that you should have waited a few hours to post it. That way you could at least claim it as an April Fool’s joke.”

Adrian writes: “Took me a while though, maybe halfway down the post. You should have stopped at “Much easier than going to Borders and picking up a physical copy.” Um, it IS easier to use than going down to Borders and picking up a physical copy.

Mike writes: “Nice story, Robert, but no one takes a product to Half Moon Bay to use it in sunlight.” Um, this device is the first screen I’ve used (Sony Reader uses a similar screen) that works BETTER in sunlight than in low light. And it’s sunny out in Half Moon Bay right now. It’s not ALWAYS foggy here!

Evan writes: “Man, you clearly have no idea how to tell a proper lie.” Well, that’s true cause now it’s a lot closer to reality than a made-up story.

Tom writes: “Not being an Apple fan I did not catch the little clues. But I was about to become one. If Apple is smart they’ll make this product. After all, you’ve created the demand at no cost to them.” My April Fools joke was actually a prediction that Apple would do this. Turned out that Amazon did it first and did a kick-ass job on it.

Dave writes: “I was right with you up until the “tiny balls” part.” Um, you do realize that that’s EXACTLY how the Sony and Amazon Reader’s screen works, right?

Michael writes: “Critique: I prefer a post of this genre to to hew closer to the line of plausability. This one piled the doo doo higher and higher till it collapsed of its own weight.” Heheh, well, now Michael, what do you think? Nearly everything in my April Fools’ joke came true, albeit from Amazon.

polyGeek writes: “Since Amazon almost always screws up and releases product information prematurely I’m sure they will have a purchase page for this April Fools iReader by noon today. :-)” Amazon actually was amazingly able to keep Apple-like secrecy on this project. Yeah, some pictures leaked, but not much else. There’s still some details to come tomorrow too.

Lena writes: “Chris Carfi just told me it was an April Fool’s joke. But, seriously, I want this product. I’m bummed.” Now you can have it!

Anyway, talk to you tomorrow.

Off to first of Naked launch parties

Let’s all get naked!


No, this isn’t a porn site.

I just am excited about seeing Naked Conversations on Technorati’s book list (it’s currently at #5). How is this list generated? From all the links made on all the blogs.

But, if you don’t think that’s cool, here’s a very cool Honda ad that had my brother and I quite astonished (you need to click the “Watch the Civic ad” link once it gets through the Flash preview).

Where will we be tonight? At John and Alison Dillow’s house (by invite only, sorry). It’s the only historic house in Medina. The law firm he works for, Perkins Coie, has graciously sponsored tonight’s party. Watch the flickr feed for pictures.

Tim reads Naked…

Naked Conversations, that is. Heheh. Thanks to Tim Bray of Sun Microsystems for the nice review. He’s the co-inventor of XML and I admire him a lot. His speech last year at Northern Voice was wonderful (can’t wait to see what he says this year).

He’s the first person to pick up on the tone of the writing. He could tell it wasn’t in my voice. Very astute. I did write quite a bit, but then Shel would take what I wrote and rewrote it in his own voice. This bothered me at the beginning, but I realized that a book would need a common voice throughout otherwise it’d be weird. Second, he always improved my writing so who was I to argue? Third, I didn’t have enough time to write the book in my own style.

I’m taking the rest of the day off to hang out with Maryam and Patrick. Hope your weekend is going well!