Content-Security-Policy: frame-ancestors 'self' X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN Steve Larsen: January 2010


O'Reilly Drops eBook DRM, Sees 95% DECREASE in Sales

The world's largest book publisher of tech books, O'Reilly, stopped using DRM on its books 18 months ago. Since then it's seen it's own sales of eBooks increase by 104%. When you think of DRM and tech books you might think "Wouldn't these types of people be copying these books and not be paying? They all seem to crack every other bit of software out there."

Seems like that theory is true.

If you look at US wholesale eBook sales from Q1-Q3 of 2009 you'll see that sales have increased nearly 200% compared to Q1 - Q3 of 2008 according to IDPF. O'Reilly is well behind the industry trend here.

It looks like DRM vendors will now have some useful information at their hands to show that without DRM you'll likely lose out on sales due to copied books.


Now, I'd just like to point out how even though all these figures by themselves are true, it is all how you put them together to tell the story that then creates mis-information. Someone else may look at these figures and say that O'Reilly eBook Revenue is up 104% if you compare their numbers from the year prior. Well that's what O'Reilly did. And then Boing Boing decided to write about what they said and before you know it people start believing what is told without questioning it.

If you have enough figures, you can tell any story you want.


A Day in the Life of a Beta Application

Since finally upgrading from Windows 7 build 7100 to a full fledged version of Windows 7 Ultimate, I've started searching out quite a few beta applications to install on the new system. Below is a list of the one's I've come across so far and installed. I've also included some that are just trial versions rather than Beta. The main link is as close as you can get to the download before actually downloading it and you can always navigate back from there to find more info on the product.

Are there any other great beta applications out there worth a look at? Let me know

Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 Beta

I just installed this a few hours ago so I haven't had a chance to start using the programs to get an idea for what's new in the software. But with 2010 the addition of MS Office Web Apps is probably one of the most unique differences. This of course coming about all because of the rise of Google Apps, something of which I use very often now. Microsoft has quite a bit of catching up to do in this area.

To see all the other benefits of the 2010 offering head over to the Microsoft site.

Mozilla Firefox 3.6 RC 1

This new release is built on Mozilla's Gecko 1.9.2 web rendering platform and adds quite a few new features over previous versions. One of the noteable benefits that isn't mentioned in the standard release notes is the improvement for those of you running Firebug. Previously when Firebug was installed the high-performance Javascript JIT compiler that speeds things up was disabled even if you weren't running Firebug on that page. This is now fixed on 3.6 and you can read more about it here.

Some of the release notes to make note of include:

  • Changes to how third party software to integrate with Firefox in order to prevent crashes
  • The ability to run scripts asynchronously to speed up page load times.
  • Users can now change their browser's appearance with a single click, with built in support for Personas.
  • Open, native video can now be displayed full screen, and supports poster frames.
  • Improved JavaScript performance, overall browser responsiveness and startup time.
  • Support for new CSS, DOM and HTML5 web technologies.

Google Chrome

The latest and greatest Google Chrome version can be found by downloading the dev version as found on the early access release channels page. You can also follow all the updates on their blog entitled Google Chrome Releases

Adobe Lightroom 3

I picked up this one the other week after reading through through the HDR tutorial over at Stuck in Customs. Along with Photoshop this seems to be one of the must haves for photo management.

Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Beta 2

One of the first problems I saw with this was that when going to TweekDeck to download the software, I was told to update my Flash player. I had to find the download elsewhere and then just install it as an Air application. I'm not going to list all the Adobe Beta applications but you can find the rest of them by going to their Labs download page.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008
Microsoft SQL Server Express 2008

I've had to get SQL Server for a trial install of AspDotNetStorefront that I'm working with from time to time on projects. The full version is available on a 180-day trial whereas the Express version is its own product available for free.

Microsoft .Net Framework 4 and Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2

Whilst I was downloading the above products I stumbled over here to get the newest .Net framework and the new Visual Studio Suite to go along with it. To read about 6 things that might surprise you about what .Net 4 has to offer head over here for a read.

Skype 4.2 Beta 3

One thing about Skype for me, I hate it as an application for chat. The main problem I have with it as a use for this is the lack of integration of a chat history. This is why I prefer using Google Chat for all means of instant messaging. I do however use Skype for calls and even have a dedicated Skype phone on 3 mobile bundled with an unlimited calling plan to the States for under £2 a month.