Talk:Philip M. Parker

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Deleted misleading cost figure[edit]

This article formerly said, "Parker estimates that production of a book costs him 12 pence." In support of that statement, it cited a Guardian article. The relevant sentence in the Guardian reads, "Parker estimates that it costs him about 12p to write a book" (note "write", not "produce"). A New York Times article says, "he [Parker] points out that once he has trained the computer to take data about past sales and make complex calculations to project future sales, each new book costs him about 12 cents in electricity." Since Parker lives in the U.S., he would be much more likely to express his expenses in U.S. currency than in British pence.

The actual cost of producing a physical book by the print-on-demand method falls roughly in the $1-to-$5 range. A reasonable estimate of the electricity rates where Parker lives is $0.25 per kilowatt-hour. A desktop computer and monitor together might consume somewhere around 200 watts. So for 12 cents, he could run his computer for about two and a half hours.

Going on this evidence, I think Parker's actual quote probably meant that it costs him 12 cents (U.S.) to run his computer long enough to create the content of a new book.

Additional comment on Parker's production costs can be found in his interview on the O'Reilly Tools of Change site. The tacit understanding there is that the 12 cents is the cost of writing a new book in a genre that has already been programmed (at much greater expense).

Gwil (talk) 19:46, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Connection to Webster's?[edit]

Does he have any connection to or recognition from Merriam–Webster or Webster's Dictionary? It seems not. --Apoc2400 (talk) 21:29, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Icon books cannot be cited?[edit]

An editor removed one of my citations saying the Icon books often use Wikipedia as source material and therefore cannot be used. I don't doubt that this is true, but if it is, it's not mentioned in the article. Can anyone shed any more light on this? BashBrannigan (talk) 17:50, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

This would probably have been a book from the series called Webster's Quotations, Facts and Phrases. (I've added a couple of relevant sentences to the article.) One might cite a conventionally edited quotation collection (like The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations) to show that a particular saying is well known, but the quotations themselves shouldn't be used as a source of factual information. The Icon books are worse because they aren't even human-edited: they're automated compilations of isolated sentences from online sources which happen to feature an arbitrary English word (including synonyms), so they're about as cite-worthy as a Google search results page. Unfortunately, Icon books turn up often in Google Books searches, which makes them attractive to editors in a hurry to find sources. EALacey (talk) 14:59, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Especially to newbies like me that never heard of this guy before. :)
I just saw the mistake I did when you removed my references on a couple of articles. I had no idea who this guy was before but I'll keep his name in the back of my mind now. I didn't even think it was possible to create books in such an industrial way like this. NeoGenPT (talk) 23:44, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

"107,000 books on Amazon" number source?[edit]

There's no source listed for the number of listed books on Amazon. Currently, if you search his name without quotes, 110,000 results are returned, but most have nothing to do with him. If you search his name with quotes, only 26 results appear. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Atkinson 291 (talkcontribs) 13:45, 26 September 2011 (UTC)