Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Increase in Typos in Today's Books

If over the past few years you've noticed an increase in typos in published books, you're not alone. And we're not talking small presses here, either. Big New York publishing houses have released their full share of glaring, embarrassing errors.

Well, prepare to be enlightened. These quotes are from an article by The New York Times' Virginia Heffernan on the subject:
Before digital technology unsettled both the economics and the routines of book publishing, they explained, most publishers employed battalions of full-time copy editors and proofreaders to filter out an author’s mistakes. Now, they are gone.

There is also “pressure to publish more books more quickly than ever,” an editor at a major publishing house explained. Many publishers now skip steps.
There ya go. Precisely what you suspected, right?
Then came this quote:
But on the Web, typos sometimes come with a price. “Spelling mistakes ‘cost millions’ in lost online sales,” said a BBC headline last week. The article cited an analysis of British Web figures that suggested that a single spelling mistake on an e-commerce site can hurt credibility so much that online revenues fall by half.
So that got me wondering... which leads to today's question for you ebook readers:

Do you apply this sentiment to ebooks? Do you find you judge ebooks more harshly than print books when it comes to typos?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Schrodinger the Cat

I stand corrected - there IS a named cat in Bioshock 2.

I was scavenging in the frozen Imago gallery, melting things - as you will when you're scavenging, and I melted a pile of ice to discover another Bioshock cat.

This one was upright, not tipped over. Like a living cat would be, except he's frozen. I moved my reticle to see if any word would come up for this kitty.
And laughed. I found Schrodinger the cat
He's an Easter egg I'd heard about and forgotten, so I was very pleased to have stumbled upon him. (Being frozen, he is both alive and dead at the same time = Schrodinger's cat.)
If the upcoming Bioshock Infinite doesn't have this cat in it, I shall be highly disappointed. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cats in Minerva’s Den

The mystery of Bioshock’s cats deepens….

Okay, if you follow this blog, you know that there is one specific dead cat populating both the original Bioshock and Bioshock 2.

No dogs, no other cats. Just one black & white kitty who can be discovered in corners all over Rapture. And who wears solely the designation “corpse” – if anything at all.


I was playing the Bioshock 2 DLC Minerva’s Den and I found the cat again.

Babbage Minerva Den web
His name is Babbage!

Much later in the adventure, I found another cat.

I had already jumped through this hole in the floor before I noticed him, so you don't have a good view of the cat's body. But you can see that he, too, has a name.


This cat is named Turing!

Now, I immediately recognized that as a reference to famous British codebreaker, computer scientist, mathematician, and father of artificial intelligence Alan Turing.
So I looked up Babbage and - as you may already know - Charles Babbage was a British "mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer who originated the concept of a programmable computer," according to Wikipedia.
So now we know the theme of the cat names in Minerva's Den. But...


If you have spotted a named cat in Bioshock, please comment here with the name. It would be interesting to collect them all.

And we still don't know whose idea these cats were.

Yes, the Bioshock cat mystery deepens….

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bioshock Cats UPDATE

For all of you who have wondered about the prevalence of dead cats – or rather, one dead cat in particular – in Bioshock, the mystery continues….

Remember my blog post about this cat in original Bioshock? Well, the same cat appears in Bioshock 2. And this time, I have photos. (It’s like the Loch Ness Monster! Pictorial proof!)

Okay, here is your typical Bioshock cat:
Bioshock 2 Cat web

See how it looks like it just tipped over? Not like the icky corpses of people.

That circle you see over its front paws is my PS3 reticle. You’ll notice no descriptive word has come up to identify the being.

Now here is a Bioshock cat you can uncover if you melt a specific pile of ice. This cat appears to have been frozen with some fish and a fisherman (perhaps its owner?).

Frozen with fish web

This time, when the reticle is placed on the kitty, it is labeled “Corpse.” Same as the person.

And here is a kitty in a baby buggy. It is also merely labeled "Corpse."

In case you’re wondering, there are some models of dogs in Bioshock 2. They’re statues (possibly broken animatronics) located on this museum/ride thing that teaches children why Rapture was necessary. But no real dog bodies. Only real cats.

So the cat mystery continues.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

We all live in a … underwater city that’s not actually yellow

Welcome to Rapture, the underwater city where Bioshock and Bioshock 2 are set.

Although this is one of those Utopias Gone Very, Very Wrong, let’s pretend for a moment that Rapture actually turned out okay.

It’s beautiful, little bathyspheres float you around to different areas, there’s lots of lights and glass – lots of views of the sea life.

Of course, you’re always inside/enclosed (otherwise you’d drown) and there is no sunlight this deep.

So my question for you is this:

Could you live in an underwater city?