Are You Safe on the Internet? 06/04/2010
Having been a user on Twitter for over a year now, I’ve seen much of what goes on between people and how people act. Recently, there was a small scandal within a portion of Twitter-users: it was found out that a 45-year-old woman had been posing as a 17-year-old girl for a very long amount of time, and had thousands of people who both looked up to her, had spent much time conversing with her, and many of them cared for her. This one person fooled thousands of people, and hurt them by what she did. You might wonder how it’s possible for her to have done this. The answer? The Internet. Anyone can become anyone they want to become, and obviously it can last for a very long time. There were people who got close enough to her that they texted her and talked with her on the phone. These people were hurt, simply by her pretending to be someone she wasn’t. The reason for me bringing this up is simple: you, and your family and friends, are never safe on the Internet.
I was pretty excited when I first heard about the Amazon Kindle, although my excitement has since lowered a bit. Basically, it is a decent-sized handheld electronic device onto which you can upload books for a lowered price than their price if you purchase them physically. It’s actually a pretty nifty idea, and appealing to anyone who enjoys reading a good book. Though the initial price for the device is rather hefty- $259 for the 6 inch and free two-day shipping for Valentine’s Day- but prices for books are priced significantly lower. If you’re someone who is constantly buying books brand new, it’s a good investment.
Books are delivered wirelessly, directly to your Kindle, and are stored online at Amazon in case you ever need to download them again. For just under $500, you could instead purchase the 9.7 inch Kindle DX which allows the storage of 3,500 books, while the original only holds 1,500. Only.
I’ve become less interested in the Kindle because of the price, and also because I like picking up a good ‘ol book. It seems like with the Kindle I would always be afraid of messing it up or breaking it, and after spending so much money on it, wouldn’t want to just be tossing it around my room when I get angry at something that happens in the book.
Another pro for the Kindle, though, as well as Barnes & Noble’s e-bookstore, is carrying bite-sized books. A division of the company Pearson (I know their company through textbooks), known as FT Press, has created “Elements and Shorts”. Cheaply priced, Elements are 1-2 thousand word pieces of books, and Shorts are approximately 5,000 word essays. Elements are being priced by FT Press at $1.99, and Shorts at $2.99. Amazon has already jumped at the opportunity to offer the lowest price- Elements at $1.59 and Shorts at $2.39.
Timothy C. Moore, the publisher of FT Press, has stated that there are currently 242 titles available, with an estimated 500 by the end of the year. While these books aren’t NY Times Best Sellers in fiction, they are major books in the Business genre, as well as others that are appealing to professionals who don’t have time to sit and read through a book for some fast advice.
While it seems like a good idea at first, I’m not quite sure how I feel about this. It seems quite reasonable to provide books for professionals that don’t need an entire book to learn what they’re looking for. However, if this program continues to expand, there is a very good chance it will soon include fiction books, which, in my opinion, isn’t a good idea. Plenty of nonfiction books, like those already released for this program do not need to necessarily be read in their entirety, but fiction books, on the other hand…well, they do.