Anyone expecting me to reference that book (Ghost in the Machine) in a productive way should move along now.

Stinky Trackpads

First, I'm going to complain that my new MacBook's [yes, MacBook. Don't buy one. They're evil] trackpad is no longer capable of clicking and dragging. If I turn off "tap to click", it doesn't click at all. Nor does right clicking work. I now carry around a $10 Office Max mouse with me wherever I go with my MacBook. That's awesome. Um, not.

Machine Ghosts

So I was pausing iTunes today with F8 on my fancy broken MacBook today. The Crowes stopped, but all of a sudden I heard a young girl laughing from my headphones. It was a poltergeist moment that scared the crud out of me for a second. Then a motherly voice says something like, "You've broken it." Had this been going on the whole time I listened to the Crowes? Is there a YouTube page open somewhere? Is my machine infected? Is my mother mad at me and my MacBook is channeling the thought? What the heck? (Not that I'm paranoid)

Well, turns out VLC likes to listen to F8 as much as iTunes does, so as I paused one, I started another. Still, a freakish coincidence for [show whose name I won't divulge] to be cued up where it was.

Enhanced Ebooks

My only other news is that this Enchanced Ebook stuff looks really cool. The NYT bestselling (though I'm not sure exactly what that entails, honestly) writer who lives in my old hometown (!) goes into some detail about why Kindle, Fictionwise, etc can't carry her new book, released today, for several months. I'm still not exactly sure why one can't market the eBook at a hardcover price, but this is all the info I've seen.

From what I’ve been told, the delayed release of the Black Magic Sanction e-book is affecting Kindles, Fictionwise, Nooks, Soney e-readers, along with a handful of others. (April 6th Go ahead, groan. Amazon priced them as a mass market, so that’s where they are sliding.)

Personally, I think it makes some sense. Your real fans will be shelling out top dollar for a hardback (something I've regretting doing with Anne Rice for Lasher and Taltos, but she still got my money). You can't offer the eBook for a price that undercuts the hardback, as that will cannibalize sales at a time where books are really bagging money. In fact, I could even see a publisher, for whatever reason, making the most money on a hardback after the Amazon Kindle cut, even if Amazon was selling at the price of a hardback.

But the workaround her publisher is using is awfully cool by me, since I already own an iPod touch, as it's to release the book as an Enchanced Ebook. This thing apparently has the full text of the book (so it has a traditional eBook) and the full audio, which floored me since the concurrently released audiobook on iTunes is currently selling for $30.95 compared to the enhanced ebook's $14.99. (It appears not all en. ebooks have the audio track.)

Not only that, but the enhanced ebook apparently, at least in this case, also follows the text along when it's "reading aloud". So you could read a few pages, take your iPod into the car and listen on the way into work, and have your place marked in the text for when you stop. That's neat.

More on the enchanced ebook jive from the programmers here. Apparently it has other stuff, like videos with the author and other DVD bonus feature kinds of jive. An interesting step up from the cassette version of Dune Messiah I'm finishing up in the car now. ;^)

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