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I know! And the amazing thing is just to think about how relevant this is to Hacker News! Because when I think, gee, I wonder what technology Mega Corp is raking in the billions, this it the very first site that comes to mind!

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Fair enough, however, $9.99 is no longer the common price point. Most new releases are $12.99 now, which many people think is too high, and the problem is the retailers can't do anything about it because of this "agency pricing".

I had no problem paying $9.99 for books on my kindle, but most of them are $12.99 now and I just feel like that's too much. In some cases, buying the physical hardcover is actually cheaper than $12.99 too, and that's what REALLY pisses some people off. The physical nature of the product surely is at least $1 - $2 of the actual cost of the the book, so buying it digitally gets rid of this cost.

Also, many books are destroyed if they're not sold (hence the "if you bought this book without a cover" warning in the front of many books). By moving to digital, the publishers no longer have to eat these costs.

So basically, eBook pricing is complete bullshit.

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How is it more bullshit than any other pricing? Does it really cost github anywhere near $7/month to allow me to set five of my repos as private?

Just like private repositories are a service that brings value that people are willing to pay for, so is having an entire book in a small and portable format.

Ignore the costs related to making and distributing the physical objects when it comes to pricing them; if that's accepted wisdom for start-ups, why wouldn't it be for established companies?

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It's bullshit because the biggest part in the price of a paper book is for printing and distribution. and VAT too in some countries, 20% instead of 5%, but it's going to change.

So the Agency pricing scheme is only changing the pocket where money goes.

And keep in mind that in countries like China, the same books cost usually $3, after translating rights, printing, distribution and publishers costs. And publishers still live on this, in a country where people buy much less books.

So what is fucked up is that someone is making money, and it doesn't even benefit the authors.

It's more or less the same problem as in music.

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>It's bullshit because the biggest part in the price of a paper book is for printing and distribution.

Irrelevant. Pricing is based on value provided, not cost to create.

>and it doesn't even benefit the authors.

This is indeed an issue, but it is then up to authors to find better representation the way that athletes have so they can get a larger share in the value they create.

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It's bullshit when the ebook is more expensive than the paperback book.

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If an ebook deliver more perceived value than a paperback to its target audience, why is it bullshit to charge more for it? As has been pointed out time and time again, charge based on value, not cost.

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But eBooks are really convenient, so customers willingly pay more for this extra value.

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On of the quirks of pricing is that eBooks are VATable. That's 20% right there.

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I was going to buy a Kindle this week but this article is making me think twice. I thought it'd definitely be cheaper to buy books. What about PDFs? There are thousands of PDFs on the internet which you can get for free, is the quality of PDFs worse than books in kindle format? Do you have to scroll sideways or something? Or is the font smaller?

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Yes, The Kindle can read PDFs. (I recently got a Kindle 3). However it's a second class reading experience. You can't change the font size (you can zoom in/out) etc. It's easy to convert a normal 'text pdf' to an ebook format suitable for Kindle (cf. http://www.technomancy.org/kindle/convert-books-to-kindle-fo...). If it's a PDF of scanned images from a book, then you'll need some OCR stuff.

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Okay thanks, so I can assume that hypothetically if I were to download text PDF books from certain places, then convert it to Kindle format, I would then be able to get first class reading experience? Are you happy with your Kindle 3 overall? I'm considering whether to get the one with 3G, but I don't know how good the webkit browser is, what do you think of it?

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I've found that PDFs kinda of stink (definitely much better on an iPad). However, txt files, and a few other ebooks formats work wonderfully. My Kindle is stocked with tons of Project Gutenberg books (that you can even download with the experimental web browser) and have found the reading experience really quite good.

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> Incoming calls will interrupt data activity.

I don't see why people make a big deal out of this. How often do you really need to talk AND use data at the same time? I've never, ever, ever, ever, ever had to or even had the inclination that I wished I could. I think it's one of those features that sounds cool, but in reality no one really uses.

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I use it all the time. I'll often be on the phone (using a headset) and pull up information online, or send out an e-mail to someone on the con-call, or pull up a new document in DropBox, or.....

Add in using it a Wifi hotspot, and getting your VPN connection/download/SSH session/whatever interrupted every time your phone rings would be REALLY annoying.

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it doesn't drop internet when it rings, it drops when you answer. right?

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I've often gone through the steps of saying "hold on" while on a call and launching Safari, Mail or some other app to check something that was being discussed (e.g. "Did you get my email?" "Not yet, I'll check now").

It'd be worse if you're using it as a hotspot and you're sharing the hotspot with other people.

It's not essential, but it's not useless either.

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Actually it's one limitation about CDMA that I hate. I would love to use one of the reverse lookup apps to get details about unknown callers but I can't because the operation of receiving the call means it can't simultaneously do the lookup.

I also hate having some sync operation get stopped because I get a call.

It's more annoying than you think but not a total deal breaker.

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I routinely send my wife pictures* (via MMS or e-mail) while we're talking on the phone.

*Not what you think... usually pictures of the cat or what I'm cooking.

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um... I do this too!

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I work out of coffeeshops occasionally and use my Nexus One as a wifi hotspot to avoid unencrypted public networks (which is free for me on T-Mobile by the way). Its awfully nice to be able to take a phone call and hold on to the data connection so that I can continue working while on the call if need be.

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I needed it recently--I was driving around downtown LA while talking to a friend and trying to use Google Maps (he was trying to guide me somewhere and I was having trouble finding it). In that case I happened to have spotty coverage and my phone switched to edge and so I couldn't do it and that was adding to my frustration.

Also talking on the phone and needing to look up a reference happens surprisingly often. It's really nice to have data available while talking.

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For myself quite often. My boss calls me and lets me know that 'x' server is having 'y' issue. I'm on my phone's wifi hotspot so I'll log into the server and answer questions while we talk over what is going on.

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Maybe you're using the hotspot (downloading something, streaming, skype) and you get a call.

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Let's say you have 5 people connected to your phone's wireless hotspot and a call comes, everyone lose their connectivity

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I know of no such bank offering interest rates even close to that. You're talking 2.5% - 5%. That's unheard of these days. At my current bank, $1M in a money market account would generate about $2,500/year, which is nothing short of insulting. Who are these fabled banks offering 10x the interest rate?

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I think your mistake is in assuming that he meant a standard, FDIC-insured savings account by "in the bank." It's not terribly hard to find ~5% dividend yields in the stock market, particularly if you look outside the United States.

Further, in the US, once you have a net worth of a million dollars, you qualify as an accredited investor, opening up a plethora of new investment opportunities to you.[1]

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accredited_investor

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Just a quick search shows me 2.39% for 100k in a 5 year cd. (I can think of any number of reasons you might not want to do this.)

I'm guessing for a million you could do better.

Perhaps you'd only be at the lower bound of the numbers I gave but the point still stands that compound interest is what is making the rich richer.

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ING Direct gives you 110bps, 125bps fixed rate if you are willing to tie up your money for at least 2 years. Several other internet-only banks will do the same. As for 250-500bps, I have no clue where to get that. Maybe he meant you can get 5% with a S&P ETF?

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Before the subprime crash in 2007, interest rates were well in that range. I had an ING savings account(regular savings account, not a CD) with a rate that was earning me $7 per day, as opposed to now in which I get maybe $2 per month.

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Yeah, I know, interest rate used to be good. I used to get 5% on my emigrant direct savings account. Now it's 1%, and I don't know of anything higher (for a money market account anywys)

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> Who are these fabled banks offering 10x the interest rate?

As usual it depends on country. In Australia the standard savings rate is around 4% at the moment. I can go to my bank and get 6.2% PA term deposits on a 7 month term.

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Indeed, (relatively) risk-free interest rates available for modest amounts of money currently do not exceed the rate of inflation; money in the bank is money declining in value.

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California state bonds are in this vicinity. Rates of return vary. Tax-exempt.

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a close friend just put away ~$2.5M for a year and is only getting 1.25%. They're more concerned with stability/low risk than growth.

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Especially considering these are almost all jQuery 101 tips, e.g. things people learn within the first month of using jQuery. It's not like these are crazy secrets. I was also quite put off by the "check out my book" reference in the very first sentence.

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I'll just chime in here and say "I agree 100%", since all replies to so far (excluding the OP's) are basically calling you a moron. :)

Yes, the test had some serious flaws, but I imagine that removing the free plan was by far the biggest factor in the results - especially because there's no demo and no trial. I can't imagine signing up for a pay-only service if I can't even try out a demo of it before entering in my credit card.

I found value from the post, even though, yes, it is flawed.

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The second I learned this trick, many years ago, I've used it in everything. The argument that it's "slow" is ridiculous. It's like using while(i--) instead of a for() to shave 0.0000001 milliseconds off your javascript loops. Just admit you have OCD and move on ;)

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I'm fairly disinclined to trust web designers on browser rendering performance issues anyway. If it were that big a deal it would be in CSS optimization code somewhere, but it clearly isn't.

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Nice call. Not sure if I could call it my "favorite" of the year, but it's definitely a damn nice product. I used it to purchase tickets for all of the flights I took this year and was very happy with the experience.

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Wasn't my favorite either. But I definitely learned a thing or two from their launch.

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Facebook is not a startup.

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Yeah, because everything Apple does is 100% original. For example, they don't notice someone has written a nice app for organizing your books and copy it to the point where it's almost cut and paste for their own iBooks software. Nope, Apple would never do such a thing like that.

http://techcrunch.com/2010/01/27/think-ibooks-looks-familiar...

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