Electronic Publications – Update.

One day, a few months ago now, I was just firing up my Firefox EPUB Reader extension to do a bit of serious reading, when the program suddenly disappeared – never to be seen again!

Strange, I thought! Have I done something wrong?

I went through the usual sequence of opening up first Firefox, then the extension, but never got as far as selecting a book, for the extension was no longer working.

Google had an answer for the problem, of course. The author of the extension had apparently not realised that a section of code he had used had a timeout limitation, and the time limit had been reached. The Firefox extension simply would not work any more – ever!

One solution to the problem was to write a new program for the EPUB reader, which they did, and provided a new version of the extension. Unfortunately, the new version was a real dog in comparison to the old one, and I soon realised that I would not be able to live with the quirks and foibles that were quickly apparent. For example, the presentation was no longer full screen, but any attempt to enlarge it usually involved a crash and having to start again.

No, a better alternative was needed, so I started to look around. I found a program called Azardi which seemed interesting, but it was written some time ago, and for an earlier version of Windows. So with Windows 10 there would be no guarantees! By this time, however, I had a fair collection of EPUB documents, and definitely needed a means of reading them. It was worth a try, at least.

With Azardi installed, I gave it a whirl. The first thing I noticed is that as the program is associated with EPUB files, it is only necessary to double click on the document you wish to read, and it appears on the screen before you. This was never possible with the Firefox extension, and opening a document with it was somewhat tedious.

The next thing I noticed is that there are choices available in the setup; a 2-page display, or a 3-page display, for example. There were no hiccups when I expanded the display to fill the screen, and in fact the program is behaving beautifully.

So for those of you who are sold on the EPUB form of publication, like myself, I heartily recommend that you try Azard for yourself!


The Incentive Economy

With our planet getting warmer to an unacceptable degree, we really must review our current business concepts, to see which are causing the most disruption to our climate.

With air travel being one of the biggest sources of pollution, – even bigger now that we have discovered the problem with contrails -, we are devoting a lot of effort to stop airport expansion, reduce pollution by using more efficient engines, and in general encourage people to avoid flying wherever possible.

What do “Air Miles” do? Exactly the opposite!

By providing free air transport at the rate of about 10% of the flights you do pay for, the airlines encourage you to fly more. When you have saved sufficient air miles, you can use them to pay for a flight of your choice. This enables you to participate in polluting the atmosphere at no financial cost to yourself.

The ultimate stupidity!

Airlines should find another way of rewarding their customers that does not involve increased pollution.

In many other cases we have “Special Offer – 20% Discount – Limited time only”. This also applies to WordPress! The time limit is a trick to encourage people to take the offer. (If you wait long enough, the offer will surely come round again!) The objective is to encourage people to spend more, to buy more stuff, although they may well be able to manage perfectly well without it.

My counter to that is:- “Save 100% – Don’t Buy Anything You Don’t Need”!

In general, we should make purchases for the long term. Evaluate carefully what you want to buy, select an item that will meet the requirement and will give you 5 years or more of reliable service.

In fact, we have to evaluate incentives carefully now to see if they are causing additional pollution or problems. If they are – ignore them completely.

Avoid flying wherever possible!