Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kindle and Video Games

The word online from Amazon is they're intending to release an SDK (software development kit) for the Kindle digital book. That means it'll be able to run games and more instead of just being a fancy book viewer. That's cool... Maybe I'll port my solitaire game to it from the iPhone. The performance (aka speed) of the Kindle isn't great, but hey, I've written games for a long time, including on really low-end and ancient consumer devices. So the slow Kindle with it's weird screen should be no trouble!

I'm on a video games developer mailing list and someone griped about how the Kindle and all digital books are doomed to failure since no one wants them. I disagree and it kind of got me fired up, so I wrote this:

I'm not a big fan of the Kindle -- The biggest issue for me is that the contrast of the screen is too low. With that said, I'm a huge fan of digital content. I like real books, but I don't really want to store the books, waste resources on having them printed, shipped etc. It's nice to be able to buy things digitally, including books. The feature of the Kindle where you can buy a new book from almost anywhere in the world and get it almost instantly is pretty fantastic too, for those users who want that.

It's clear that the way audio, video and video game distribution is going is that it will all shift to digital delivery. Physical media just gets in the way. My expectation is that book publishing will do the same thing. I bet printed books will be around forever, printed books are awesome, but the price of those books will be higher than digital versions and in tangible ways will be less convenient (e.g. No searching, harder to share, harder to do research with, wear out over time, don't get updated dynamically). There are a lot of reasons that digital distribution of books will win over customers, especially younger customers who grow up with digital versions of books their whole lives.

Friday, January 08, 2010

2010 Coffee, contracting, health insurance

Flash forward three months from my sort-of-weird calls from recruiters in India... That all turned out to be legitimate and not a convoluted Nigerian money-making scheme like I was predicting. In fact I'm still working on that project and it's going great. It's an iPhone app, but as is often the case with cool stuff I work on, it's secret.

I'm going to stop drinking coffee. I don't drink that much. Like one cup or less a day. I'm pretty sure caffeine isn't that great for me anyway.

In health insurance news... we still have health insurance. Yay! I got laid off months ago and we have health insurance through COBRA. Thankfully the Obama stimulus somethin'-somethin' pays for 65% of the cost so we pay ~$400 instead of $1200. For a couple days I thought the stimulus money was going to stop so we'd want to switch insurance companies. That's when Kelly found out that no one will insure her where her pregnancy would be covered. Apparently since we have COBRA they don't have to cover pre-existing conditions. Good times. If we didn't have COBRA then I think they're forced by HIPAA to insure pre-existing conditions. So overall we're okay and once again I am super happy about the COBRA stimulus thing. I wish health insurance was easier and cheaper to deal with. We know people who have health problems and who can't afford to have them taken care of. That sucks.