Latest Posts

AT&T's "problem" customers get the blame

Fortune Magazine swallows the AT&T pitch hook, line and sinker in a story titled "Bandwidth hogs — iPhones and other smartphones." Writer Jon Fortt dishes up a steaming dish of bull shoveled straight out of AT&T PR:Now the wireless providers hawking those Internet-enabled mobile devices are experiencing the digital equivalent of being proprietors of an all-you-can-eat buffet: It seems like the perfect business until the sumo wrestlers show up.

September 2, 2009 by Mitch Ratcliffe


Why is Facebook whoring me out?

I've been pondering this note, sent to me by a friend on Facebook last week:Facebook needs to recode their ads... It's one thing when the ad for singles waiting for me is accompanied by a picture of my lovely wife...

July 14, 2009 by Mitch Ratcliffe


Amazon on the record: Device limits set by publishers

I queried Russ Grandinetti, vice president, Books, at Amazon about the lack of clarity about how many devices can access a Kindle book or how many times a buyer can expect to download a title from the Kindle Store. He referred me to Drew Herdener, director of communication at Amazon, who replied with the following: Russ forwarded me your note.

June 24, 2009 by Mitch Ratcliffe


The future of the book, expanding

I've posted a couple excerpts from the book I am working on, about the future of books and reading. It's a different topic than Rational Rants' mandate, and with so much news and opinion every day to comment on, deserving of its own place and community.

June 15, 2009 by Mitch Ratcliffe


Google begins its rumble with Amazon

Amazon has some new competition for the hearts and minds of book publishers and readers, which is a very good thing. But the news that Google is poised to enter the downloadable bookselling market is of mixed value to readers and publishers, because we're headed into a format/delivery model war that will wipe out the value of many millions of books people purchase over the next year.

June 2, 2009 by Mitch Ratcliffe


Books: Entering the Age of Glosses

Here's the key to thinking about the future of writing, something straight out of the manuscript era: the humble gloss or "scholia," for those who prefer the Latin. They are the notes, in margins, footnotes at the bottom of a page (the standard starting around 1700) and later in the history of books endnotes at the back of the volume or in a separate appendix, that add interpretations, background information, commentary and definitions.

April 27, 2009 by Mitch Ratcliffe


It's all downhill for Twitter, politics from here

This week, "tax protesters" gathered across America to dump bagged tea into symbolic bodies of non-potable water and Ashton Kutcher challenged CNN to a Twitter follower showdown. I admire anyone who takes to the streets for their ideas and recognize the power of media, even when it is lowered to the level of counting masses of followers.

April 17, 2009 by Mitch Ratcliffe


Guttenberg's wake

Doc Searls points to what strikes me as a shallow exercise in self-congratulation by Vanity Fair, How the Web was Won, an "oral history" of the Web told by a select few, whom VF considers winners or power brokers. As Doc says, its "far from Compleat History," but the real vacuum in the story is the total lack of the ordinary person contributing to the Web, except for the acknowledgment given to "people" by the VF-anointed masters of this universe.

April 13, 2009 by Mitch Ratcliffe