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Ask Slashdot: Does Europe Have Better Magazines Than the US? 562

An anonymous reader writes "Now that all the large chain book stores have disappeared from the landscape, I visited my local independent book store. In the basement I found a dazzling array of amazing magazines from the UK and Germany. Not only were the magazines impressive, they included CDs and DVDs of material. Nearly every subject was there: Knitting, Photography, Music, Linux, and Fitness. I snapped up a magazine called 'Computer Music,' which had a whole issue dedicated to making house music, including a disc of extra content. I subscribe to U.S. magazines like Wired, 2600, & Make, but their quality seems to ebb and flow from issue to issue and I don't ever recall a bonus disc. Are the UK magazines really better? If yes, why and which of them do you subscribe to? The other interesting thing about them is they weren't filled with tons of those annoying subscription cards. What is the best way to subscribe?"
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Ask Slashdot: Does Europe Have Better Magazines Than the US?

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  • EU Linux Mags Rock (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:14AM (#38855035)

    EU Linux mags rock, especially the UK versions.

  • "All"? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Endo13 ( 1000782 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:18AM (#38855055)

    Now that all the large chain book stores have disappeared from the landscape

    You live in the US, don't you? Aren't you forgetting something?

    • Re:"All"? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:32AM (#38855131) Homepage Journal

      Ah, I'm glad that we could get the redundant "what? the US isn't the ENTIRE WORLD, YOU KNOW" post out of the way. I bet you're eagerly awaiting your first "yeah but slashdot is a US-centric site" so you can counter with your well-planned "sure, but the internet spans the WHOLE WORLD so we deserve equal treatment" comment.
      -Eleventy Billion, Redundant

      • Re:"All"? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:40AM (#38855177)
        Oh god, it's like you're inside our heads!

        No really, that's so dead-on it's creepy.
      • by Endo13 ( 1000782 )

        Good guess, but that wasn't what I was hinting at.

        http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/for_investors/for_investors.html [barnesandnobleinc.com]

        705 retail stores and 636 college stores. I think that qualifies as a large chain.

    • Re:"All"? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rhook ( 943951 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @04:21AM (#38855339)

      Barnes & Noble is still alive and well here in the US. I think subby doesn't get out of the basement too often.

    • I've never seen magazines sold in book stores, such as Waterstones in the UK. Most people in the UK buy from news agents, as the name suggests, they are shops that mainly sell newspapers and magazines (plus milk, perhaps stationary and sweets (candy)).

      • I've never seen magazines sold in book stores, such as Waterstones in the UK. Most people in the UK buy from news agents, as the name suggests, they are shops that mainly sell newspapers and magazines (plus milk, perhaps stationary and sweets (candy)).

        Borders used to sell them before they closed down. WHSmiths sells a lot of magazines, but only about half the stuff they sell are books (the rest being stationary and other items), so I don't know how much one would classify them as a "book shop". Even the tiny WHSmiths in Kings Cross sells a variety of magazines (Linux and photography ones), and only a few books (the rest selling sweets and drinks to commuters, but I think that is more based on a newsagents type shop)

    • Re:"All"? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Swampash ( 1131503 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:16AM (#38856665)

      yes, but the important point here is that those Euro-socialist school systems have produced societies where people can read. Thus there is a market for products that involve reading.

      • Thus there is a market for products that involve reading.

        Especially thousands of pages of silly regulations and laws. <grin>

  • UK mags rock (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lyran74 ( 685550 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:20AM (#38855067)
    Twenty years ago I was amazed at the quality of the UK magazines, in my case, Amiga computing & gaming rags, that came with floppy disks chocked full of stuff--barely a sector free. The value was far greater than what's available this side of the pond, and nothing has changed.
    • Re:UK mags rock (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jools33 ( 252092 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @05:04AM (#38855533)

      I used to be an overseas subscriber to PCZONE (RIP) [wikipedia.org] back when I lived in the US just because there was no US pc gaming mag that I could find with anything like a similar sense of humour. I always found that the CD / DVD was an almost complete waste of space - serving only for the publisher to ask an extra few $ on the price - as all material could be downloaded from the web - with the exception perhaps of some of the PCZONEs team videos (some of which were worth the asking price). The US based equivalent publications always seemed to be more about advertisements than the articles.
      I bought the mag for the article writing not for the bunf.

      • The word is bumf short for bum fodder

        I think it's a term originating from the military. Long time back I once upset a German developer by using that term about some documentation he construed it as an insult to the quality of his documentation. Took a number of people of various nationalities to calm the guy down, I think that was on Usenet, on my Amiga.

      • by Nick Ives ( 317 )

        CD Zone was worth it just for Culky [youtube.com].

    • Re:UK mags rock (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Sunday January 29, 2012 @05:43AM (#38855689) Homepage Journal

      I feel the same way about Japanese magazines right now. They have vast numbers of them on every subject from how to choose what type of cat to have as a pet to FPGA programming. In fact there is probably one about teaching your cat to program FPGAs. The selection really is amazing.

      The content seems better too. I'll admit my Japanese reading skills are not that brilliant but they give you masses of detail and lots of photos to detail every step. I am building a model train layout from one at the moment. There really is nothing at all like it in the UK.

      I feel really bad for you guys in the US if you think our magazines are good, because to me they are pretty poor.

    • by hitmark ( 640295 )

      Dunno, i found myself preferring the US version of PCGamer back when i followed those (only real way i had of getting demos and mods at the time). The UK humor did not sit well with me for some reason.

    • Re:UK mags rock (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mapkinase ( 958129 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @07:53AM (#38856293) Homepage Journal

      It's about variety of products in all aspects of consumption. US has less variety, because it's population is more oriented to economizing than to enjoying life. Of all the products Americans tend to choose the cheapest and the competition is heavily shifted to the lowering the price, instead of other qualities.

      Take myself. I have a decent salary, yet I shop for clothes exclusively at Walmart. Walmart has 3 types of shirts, 2 types of pants of which I would choose the cheapest if only they had different prices.

      At the same time Americans paradoxically have much more consumerism in their culture than their fellow first-worlders in, for the lack of better synonym, old world.

      So, in short, Americans buy more cheap crap. And that could explain the absence of variety.

      • Re:UK mags rock (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hexagonc ( 1986422 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:46AM (#38856835)

        I think you've just proven the geographic diversity of the US. If you live in a small town or do your shopping at Wallmart then of course it's going to seem like Americans don't like variety. There's only so much variety you can fit in a single superstore that's trying to meet everyone's basic needs. Wallmart stocks a modest selection of electronics, toys, foods, clothes, home appliances and that's about it.

        However, you'll find all kinds of variety if you go to cities on the coasts or larger (perhaps, ironically) more international cities like Boston or New York. For example, I've seen little clothes stores and specialty shops from all over the world in these cities. I'm not even sure how some of these places stay in business because there's almost never anybody in them.

        So, in short, Americans buy more cheap crap. And that could explain the absence of variety.

        I would say that Apple's rising pc marketshare in the US says otherwise.

      • I do not know where you live or what your experiences may be, but they differ significantly from mine.

        When I first came to the U.S. (consulting back in early 1998), I was amazed at how many different types of cereal there were on the supermarket shelf. I hadn't known that many existed. Same with soft drinks. Pastas. Bread. Everything. The amount of choice overwhelmed me, and it continues to do so.

        T.V. - hundreds of channels on cable.

        Go to a cooking store and have your breath taken away by the prices of high

    • I was a bit of an Amiga Format fan at the time - they had some terrifice coverdisks. When they sadly ended, with the demise of the Amiga, I joined the hoards of miserable people and moved over to Windows. If only I'd known at the time that most of these guys then went on to new ground - Linux. Nick Veitch, the editor at the time at Amiga Format went on to start Linux Format (another terrific magazine going strong), and much of the current writers were Amiga stalwarts...

      Thankfully I found my way again alm

  • by Dutchmaan ( 442553 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:20AM (#38855071) Homepage
    I do design work and find that most magazines especially if they pertain to computers are very nice. The paper is usually a very heavy stock glossy with a larger format. Also, there are a lot of detailed 'how to' articles with examples. The only real downside is that they seem at least 2 to 3 times as expensive and US counterparts, always on par price wise with a good paperback novel. I used to sit in the bookstore and drink coffee while reading those magazines but never buying. They were a good source of information, but they were IMHO too expensive to buy.
    • Subscription price? (Score:4, Informative)

      by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @04:15AM (#38855307) Homepage

      What about if you have a subscription?

      Most US magazines are 1/4 of the price if you subscribe. Is it any cheaper to read these expensive UK magazines if you subscribe?

      • by julesh ( 229690 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @06:27AM (#38855871)

        Yes, but nowhere near as much as that. To pick a random example, "Digital SLR Photography [digitalslrphoto.com]" has a cover price of £4, whereas a subscription gives you 12 issues for £43.

        OTOH, GP was perhaps exaggerating in saying price was on par with a paperback book, as these seem to typically be about £7. Yes, I am aware that they're cheaper in the US -- publishing is one of the few markets where there seems to be a real price disparity between the two countries. Importers typically charge £1 per dollar cover price of US editions, which probably leaves quite a bit of space for profit, especially as they're almost certainly getting >50% discount from the publishers. I suspect the reason for the difference is economy of scale -- the UK is a market only about a fifth the size of the US, and the cost of printing stuff like this is almost entirely in the per-issue set-up costs.

      • by JSombra ( 1849858 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @07:41AM (#38856227)

        It can be a bit cheaper if you subscribe but not much. Simple fact is unlike with the US the subscription model for magazines never really took off in the UK no matter how hard they tried. UK consumer did not like making the commitment when they could walk down the street and buy the magazine when it suited them

        Which could explain the difference in quality in the magazines between counties, in many ways magazines in the US are trying compete at a brand subscription level (it's where the bulk of their sales are done) , aka give you good enough "deal" to to entice you to subscribe and then do just enough to make sure you are not motivated enough to cancel the subscription (considerably easier that trying to motivate you to actively renew, hence why they all automatically renew) where as magazines in the UK have not only compete with their competitors mag right next to theirs every day but also convince the consumer it's worth buying....with every single issue

        Couple of bad issues (uninteresting cover/main articles) would cause barely a blip on US magazines revenues as majority of their customers are subscriptions where as for UK mag it could mean closure

    • by evanism ( 600676 )

      If its just for a read, then they might by expensive, but I like to keep mine. I read them to shreds and refer to them constantly.

      Perhaps this is the difference with the US mags? They are short term entertainment, whereas the other come close to a book (light version) or knowledge transfer system (I like woodworking)

  • Troll Submission? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tagno25 ( 1518033 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:21AM (#38855075)

    Now that all the large chain book stores have disappeared from the landscape

    What did Barnes & Noble close?

    If you go to a Tech store that sells books, like MicroCenter, there are plenty of magazines covering a wide variety of subjects. Some of them have disks and others may have downloads.

  • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:21AM (#38855077)

    Europeans live on an infrastructure that supports pedestrian life. So, there's more likelihood for walking past magazine stands and making those impulse buys. The only time I ever see magazines is if I happen to pass by that aisle in the grocery store. And, some mags I admit I *would* buy on an impulse if I were exposed to them more often even though they're not topical enough for me to google for. For example, tonight was was in the grocery store and passed an aisle while waiting for my GF. I was thumbing through the guns and hunting mags and given a few more minutes I might have picked one up.

    • by MartinSGill ( 704185 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:32AM (#38855135)

      I suspect you are correct at last in part. The more pedestrian lifestyle also extends to commutes. If you don't drive everywhere in your car but instead use public transport your hands and mind are free and magazines are a great way to keep yourself occupied and learn stuff. Also includes, books, audio books, education, newspapers etc.

      I did most of an Open University course while commuting to work by train, and also read my monthly Linux Format subscription. When I changed jobs and had to drive I never had time to read the magazine any more (or indeed do courses) and cancelled the subscription.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 29, 2012 @05:01AM (#38855517)

      "Europeans live on an infrastructure that supports pedestrian life."

      And you don't even get mugged on it.
      They have also highways and bridges that don't crumble to dust, cars that people actually buy throughout the world, high-speed trains, a couple of thousand different cheeses, and also science fiction stuff like global health insurance and powerful unions that actually help people.

      • by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @06:10AM (#38855813) Homepage

        The UK has long since done away with powerful unions. They still go on strike from time to time to howls of 'damn commies' but don't seem to achieve a great deal except annoying the general public and giving ammunition to the right wing press.

      • by hitmark ( 640295 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @07:14AM (#38856095) Journal

        Sadly there is no data to back me up, but i wonder if mugging and other random crime is reduced by a functioning welfare system. This in that it removes the desperation for many people, leaving mostly addicts and the mentally ill as performers of such crimes.

      • by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @08:57AM (#38856565)

        "Europeans live on an infrastructure that supports pedestrian life."

        And you don't even get mugged on it.

        Unfortunately that is changing. It may be that it was a lot rarer and no is more noticeable, but many of my UK friends complain about the rid win crime in cities such as London (especially pickpockets) which they attribute to the EU. Portuguese friends complain about muggings on the subway - a system that used to be so safe you could ride it anytime.

        They have also highways and bridges that don't crumble to dust, cars that people actually buy throughout the world, high-speed trains, a couple of thousand different cheeses, and also science fiction stuff like global health insurance and powerful unions that actually help people.

        Speaking as a European and American, yes Europe has much to offer; but it has its problems as well. Most of my friends complain about the cost of living, such as why does a Mac cost more in Pounds or Euros than in Dollars, taxes (just as we do in the US), health care systems while there is no fee at the point of service navigating them can be a mess, etc. They also find the US much more open to entrepreneurs and risk taking; and more of a meritocracy (if somewhat brutally so).

        OTOH, I find the pace of life more enjoyable in Europe and the idea that everyone takes August off a brilliant idea. As for transportation, I'd say the Germans build cars everyone wants to drive, the rail / metro systems are great, and I love walking around the major cities.

        In the end, as a relative of mine was fond of saying: "Not better, not worse, just different."

    • Magazine printing (not publishing) is an extremely competitive business in Europe and costs have been driven right down. There is lots of high speed web offset capacity available even for short runs. We also have other factors like advertisers who aren't run by dysfunctional billionaires who expect to dictate the science and politics of magazines in which they advertise.

      The result is that you can still make good money running magazines. This is perhaps a factor in why Scientific American and National Geogra

  • by kale77in ( 703316 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:22AM (#38855079) Homepage
    Here in Australia, we get American and English magazines equally. I hardly ever burn ISO's for Linux, but rather buy a magazine every few months and so have good-quality boot/install/recover disks around all the time. The articles aren't bad -- I've learned about some cool apps there -- but I buy the mags for the disks mainly. And they're all UK magazines, now that I think about it. This presumably goes back to when Amigas and C64s were hip; there were always gaming magazines with playable demo disks.
    • by Tim99 ( 984437 )

      I hardly ever burn ISO's for Linux, but rather buy a magazine every few months and so have good-quality boot/install/recover disks around all the time.

      They are certainly useful, but, as they are shipped by sea/economy air, I find that the 4-6 week delay on top of the publishers delay means that many tools (and even distributions) are several versions behind.

      I agree that imported UK publications are usually better than those from the US. About the only local computer magazine that seems to be reasonably current, and of fair quality, is Macworld Australia.

  • Yes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gangien ( 151940 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:23AM (#38855085) Homepage

    Everything is better in europe.

    Their healthcare, their food, their government, their women, their cars, their tv, their bathrooms, their internet.

    I heard they all have supercomputers for their desktops but aren't allowed to tell us americans cus we'll be too embarrassed.

    • Re:Yes (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Pieroxy ( 222434 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:29AM (#38855117) Homepage

      Well, I live in the EU and I must say that apart from healthcare and government (which are linked), you're pretty much right.

      I'll leave women outside the debate for now out of fear that it may degenerate. Flame wars are just so interesting.

    • Re:Yes (Score:5, Funny)

      by Teun ( 17872 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:48AM (#38855213) Homepage
      You have to make a decision, either leave food and especially bathrooms out of the comparison or exclude the UK from Europe.
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I hear women's bathrooms are not too bad, it is just men that seem to think pissing on the floor is fine.

      • Re:Yes (Score:5, Informative)

        by l-ascorbic ( 200822 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @07:11AM (#38856073)

        I know it's funny to joke that British food is bad, but that's a totally outdated view It's based on what happened to British food when the country went bust after WW2. It's easy to forget that while the 50s were a time of rising prosperity and living standards in the US, the UK still had rationing, and living standards barely above what they were at the end of the war. Nowadays the UK has some of the world's best restaurants. (e.g. see The World's Best Restaurants [theworlds50best.com], and compare the number of UK and US restaurants, adjusting for population). The British are obsessed with home cooking too: just look at the number of TV cooking shows that it exports. This may not always translate to great home cooking, but it does illustrate that the terrible food of the 70s is a thing of the past. Except in Scotland, that is, unless you consider deep-fried pizza to be good food. Actually, on second thoughts..

        • It's based on what happened to British food when the country went bust after WW2

          It started before that. When rationing came in in the second world war, most people didn't know how to cook anything with their ration allowance so the government launched a 'meat and two veg' campaign, telling you how to cook simple things in this formula that could be made with the ration allowance and telling you to substitute things (e.g. margarine for butter, even when totally inappropriate). Meanwhile, other countries in Europe just went back to their peasant recipes that had spent a thousand years

        • by jrumney ( 197329 )

          (e.g. see The World's Best Restaurants, and compare the number of UK and US restaurants

          1. Comparing your food with that of the US is not setting a very challenging target.
          2. The vast majority of British restaurants are not in the list of the Worlds 50 best restaurants.

    • Re:Yes (Score:5, Funny)

      by snowgirl ( 978879 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @04:29AM (#38855373) Journal

      Everything is better in europe.

      Their healthcare, their food, their government, their women, their cars, their tv, their bathrooms, their internet.

      Even their fascism! .... what? too early?

  • Future Publishing (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:28AM (#38855109)

    A lot of the UK special interest magazines are by Future Publishing. A company with roots back to 8-bit magazines like Zzap64 and Crash. I think they're partly responsible for raising the game in the UK market.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Let's remember that in recent years there's a veritable cross-Atlantic shuttle of magazine staffers. After all, Time Out New York is an offshoot of a London company and was first built with staff from the European offices. Tina Brown continues to be a powerhouse on both sides and, of course, the Murdoch people get swapped back and forth like third string baseball players. And within the large production complexes, the editions of magazines like Time for dozens of different markets are mostly repackaged vers

  • by oheso ( 898435 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:36AM (#38855157)

    I've typically found the CDs/DVDs to be full of trialware -- usually older versions than what's available from the usual download sources. And the editorial content is quite amateurish.

    This is for hobbyist magazines (PCs, cars, etc.). Can't vouch for whatever might pass for the equivalent of Atlantic Monthly, etc.

  • New Scientist (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gadfium ( 318941 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:55AM (#38855239)

    New Scientist is possibly the best popular science magazine available. Scientific American is pretty good too, but doesn't have the same coverage because it's monthly, while NS is weekly.

  • The Economist (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pnot ( 96038 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @04:02AM (#38855261)

    If you have any interest in politics or world affairs: The Economist. Most news these days is like candyfloss; by comparison, the Economist is like a huge, succulent steak. Don't be fooled by its thinness: it's the only magazine I've ever come across where I actually want to read 90% or more of the articles in each and every issue. There's just a lot less of the fluff, filler, and advertising which pads out many thicker magazines.

    • Re:The Economist (Score:5, Informative)

      by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @04:38AM (#38855409)

      +5 Insightful, Informative. I'll add that it is also quite funny, if you enjoy that dry, British, Monty Python style. The English level may be intimidating for non-native speakers at first, but if you want to learn top-notch English, here is your benchmark. After reading this, everything else seems written at a Dr. Suess level.

      Oh, and take a look at Viz as well, a satirical adult comic. Low humor for high brows.

    • Better than most? True. But The Economist is known for horrible pro-city hack jobs. There's plenty of topics where reading the Economist without three teaspoons of salt will leave you with a very skewed view of issues.

  • c't (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NoZart ( 961808 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @04:04AM (#38855265)

    I once read somewhere "c't is a magazine worth learning german for".

    c't is a technology magazine somewhere between casual and pro, and deals with gadgets, computers and their peripherals, mobile phones and more. It reviews the quality of service of hardware vendors, ISPs and such, reports on wage situations in the IT-field and the occasional game. Being very broad in content, they still manage to go indepth (?) if questions arise via reader feedback. I have yet to find a publication in that field that matches the quality of research, writing and running this fine line of easy consumable content without being shallow.
    Also they used to have the most hilarious April fools articles.

    They have a sister magazine called IX, which focuses on linux and security. It's outside my competence field, so i can't say much about it, but it seems it's quite good, regarding to my linux-loving peers.

    • by koinu ( 472851 )

      There is an electronic version called "Heise.de" (in form of a website with forums) that you can use, if you want. It is different from the paper version, because no one would buy it anymore, of course. It's the publishing company that brings c't and iX.

      I visit the German version (classic view) [heise.de] quite regularly, because the forum discussions are fun and it is my number 1 bookmark. This is comparable to Slashdot in my opinion and has funny troll threads. ;) There is also an version in English [h-online.com] that is probab

      • You find the forum discussions on heise to be fun? My brain starts to ache when I read their forum, never ever have I seen such a childish forum (I'm serious; and I'm online for 17 years now). When they started to link to the latest 5 forum topics for each article I was in agony and despair and wrote them about that, boy was I relieved when they abandoned that "feature". But if you're into trolling and "Fremdschämen" then this really is the forum of choice.
        • Nobody in his right mind goes into Heise or Spiegel forums. But I thought Heise was quite well known outside of Germany? They make /. front page at least twice per year...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by johansch ( 9784 )

      I think c'T is the closest thing resembling Byte magazine at its peak.

      Used to subscribe to it when I lived in Sweden (both to keep my german language reading skills fresh and to enjoy the articles that tended to go into fascinating depth). Nowadays I tend to pick the latest copy whenever I pass through a german airport.

      It's also a steal at 3.90 EUR for 200+ pages. And it's bi-weekly, not monthly. :)

    • For Technology people. Really good. From programming to hardware. What was the death of it were two things: 1. More Focus on the average user 2. The migration from computers to Phones, TV, Entertainment. They just tried to cover too much and too much just on the surface. I had a subscription since I was 17. Long time ago. But now? Also let's face it; The time of magazines is dead. Today you follow blogs or you google if you have a problem. What was even better were the, now long defunct magazines "Pascal"
    • Yes, c't wins any time.

      I love how thorough their tests are.
      And their test metrics are pure art.
      To test CPU performance, they would include a metric of Linux-src-lines-compiled per second.
      But because energy usage gets more relevant with CPUs, they also list a metric Linux-src-lines-compiled per watt.

      Now what us mag would be so thorough to do this? None.
      Another test they would do for printers is expose the printed page to 5 yrs of simulated sun ray exposure, to see effect on colors.

  • by bit trollent ( 824666 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @04:19AM (#38855323) Homepage

    The best thing about European newspaper stands is that they often display magazines which feature topless women on the cover.

    It's really nice to be able to look to your right as you walk down the street and see multiple nice pairs of tits on display like tennis shoes.

    Of course that's got nothing on the red light district in Amsterdam, but I can see I'm getting off topic...

  • (Except biscuit flour.)


  • by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @04:32AM (#38855389)
    Well, in Europe, most people can read and write. Consequently books and magazines are more popular and can cater to a more advanced demographic.
  • by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @04:33AM (#38855395)

    EU has many more languages with a printing tradition than the US. Essentially USA is English with some influx from the myriad of minorities. EU has more than 30+ languages, each with a long and unique printing tradition. Because of the cultural diversity, and the slower pace with which ideas transfer cross the language barrier there is a greater diversity than in the printed monoculture of the US. Spanish Latin America is somewhat similar, yet more diverse than the US due to the fact that these are sovereign nations.

    Still, this doesn't mean that UK magazines more readily borrows from the rest of Europe than American magazines do. So, I believe the number of EU languages has little to do with this, thinking of it again... :) [I didn't want to delete what I had just written, it _sounded_ nice...]

    In fact, it has been my impression that American magazines have way more ads (sorry, way way more ads) but more readable content because the larger number of subscribers. Some monthly magazines have like 200+ pages, with perhaps 50% ads, which very few EU magazines have.

    The reason is probably that the number of pan-US publishers has gone down, because of market forces. Dog-eat-dog. The headline "Because of the cultural diversity?" probably is misleading in one sense, but the governments in the EU tend to defend the small publishers using e.g. tax reductions, just to retain that headline cultural diversity, after all.

    • Living in America, with the internet, I can't think of a reason to buy a magazine anymore. The internet replaces any need I had for print stuff.
  • by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @04:41AM (#38855421)

    They not only have better magazines, they have better weapons in general.
    For example the FN P90 has 50 rounds in its magazine, and its out of the way on the stock.

    Say is Israel included in this definition of Europe? The Tavor is a very nice assault rifle.

  • by upuv ( 1201447 )


  • Bonus discs (Score:5, Informative)

    by DarkDust ( 239124 ) <marc@darkdust.net> on Sunday January 29, 2012 @05:11AM (#38855561) Homepage

    Well, I'm from Germany and can only describe the situation here, but "bonus" discs really are pretty standard for a long time now. Especially with computer and gaming magazines, although some have abandoned them for online content.

    For example, Linux magazines often provide a disc with the software that is reported about in the magazine, and often they're also bootable (rescue systems, latest Debian, whatever) which comes in very handy in case you're system broke down and thus can't get online (happened to me once a few years ago). Other computer magazines' discs have demos, free software and drivers but I've also seen them provide movies (I have no idea why). Luckily the notorious AOL discs have vanished ;-) A noteworthy example of a really useful bonus disc is from the popular computer magazine c't: about once a year it provides Knoppicilin, now called Desinfec't which is a Linux Live-CD with content to fix your Windows system: it comes with a few virus scanners (latest version: the commercial scanners Avira, BitDefender, Kaspersky and the free ClamAV) and always support reading and writing NTFS partitions.

    Gaming magazines also put these discs to good use as some of them put video reviews of games on their discs and that really is useful additional content as often two or three screenshots printed in a magazine just can't transport the experience of a game. Of course the PC targeted magazines also have game demos.

  • by b4upoo ( 166390 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @04:06PM (#38859181)

    These days magazines are challenged to exist regardless of quality. There has been an inability to hold price levels and the readership has gone eslewhere. When the better, more specialized mags were a dollar or two they had an audience. But now we see publications of the better type fro six to sixteen dollars per issue and as a consequence they do not sell enough copies to justify shelf space in a store.
                        In 1982 when you went into a convenience store the item directly in front of you before all else was the magazine rack. Now those smae stores don't even have a magazine rack.
                        This is actually a repeat from another era. In 1915 the big item on the front racks of stores was sheet music. As Tin Pan Alley died and people turned to the radio instead of the family to make music sheet music faded into oblivion as a mass merchandise product.
                        I susuepct we are progressing to the rear.

  • by LostMyBeaver ( 1226054 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @03:48AM (#38862615)
    The reason Europe (not specifically the EU, hell Norway has tons of magazines, I joke sometimes they have one for each person in the country) has so many magazines has to do with the car vs. public transportation mentality. If you visit cities in the U.S. with excellent public transportation and a culture where news stands are at nearly every station, you'll find that magazine selection is much more substantial than elsewhere.

    With the exception of bridal and teen magazines, people don't drag their asses to the store to actually buy magazines anymore. Magazines in Europe are also very much a impulse purchase. Like,"I need a ticket for a train... oooh a magazine that comes with some new makeup!". The more educated (and generally wealthier) people are using iPads or at least phones on the trains these days, but most people still pop into the news stand at the train station and find something to fill their time with. It's also very useful for people who don't like looking at the other people on the trains. I often find myself driving behind trolleys and there will be someone with their head aimed out the back window so they don't have to look at other people on the trolley. When I'm on the train, bus or trolley, many people (better than 15%) will be reading something on paper.

    There's no really good reason to buy magazines in the states anymore... well except the picture ones where the images are much higher resolution like National Geographic. But in Europe, they serve a function. So, it's like this in all the cities, but in most countries out here, the companies who are located at the train station also have a presence elsewhere, and since they fill the stores all around the country with the same items, the magazine selection is pretty good everywhere.

    When you're in the city centers though, if you are multi-lingual (I'm a New Yorker in Norway and I can read 9 languages... don't be impressed, I barely speak two) so you can go to the major magazine stands and have access to magazines in lots of different languages which increases your selection substantially.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.