Speaking of maps - Ooops, from Google. (Der Spiegel)
The New Statesman's culture editor takes a look forward at the books set to dominate the year.
In the movies, no one knows anything (still). Also true of trade books. The Economist
Three decades on, following such big-budget turkeys as “The Lone Ranger” (pictured), the situation in Hollywood is much the same. Only more so. These days the studios assume that to get people into the cinemas, films must be splashier, so production budgets can run in excess of $300m and cost an additional $100m-150m to market. When Disney’s “John Carter”, an adventure flick, bombed last year, the entertainment giant suffered a $160m write-off. Its studio boss, Rich Ross, was told: so long, and let’s do lunch some time.I've spent half my life in hotels like these (no exaggeration): A short history of hotels. The Economist.
As the studios spend ever more on lavish prequels, sequels and “franchise” films, supposedly as a way to reduce risk by backing proven formulas, there is a growing danger that these movies will be nixed by jaded punters. Steven Spielberg, no introduction necessary, reckons that the studios could face “meltdown” if several big films flop at once. Studios are increasingly putting out just two types of film: mega-budget ones that can move the needle for the conglomerates that own them, and tiddlers for under $25m that can do nicely when they work. “Hollywood is like America,” says Kevin Misher, a producer. “The middle class has been squeezed.”
Traditionally hotels were glorious illusions. In the 1930s George Orwell worked as a plongeur, or kitchen dogsbody, at Hotel X in Paris. In “Down and Out in Paris and London” he described how French grandeur existed a double-door away from kitchens in which filth ran “like the intestines through a man’s body”. Prolonged exposure to hotels’ artifice could induce madness. The billionaire Howard Hughes lived for years in suites, growing claw-like nails and peeing in jars. But for short-term guests, the theatre was fun.Interesting post from Scholarly Kitchen on the role of CCC (SK)
The uniformity and ubiquity of today’s hotel chains may owe more to “1984”. Employees speak from memorised scripts. Rooms are identical, their windows sealed. The poor are excluded unless they work there. Little wonder that hotels attract rage. There have been 18 big terrorist attacks against them since 2002; from Kabul to Jakarta angry young men have bombed five-star establishments and machine-gunned their guests.
So next time you fix your wake-up call and slip beneath sheets that are folded according to a manual, ask yourself what you are getting into. Are you are a robot in a corporate dystopia? The pampered exploiter of a global underclass? Or, these days, you might be participating in a bold, worldwide social experiment.
The future for CCC takes them a step further with this philosophy. In a digital age, we see more technology, more ways to atomize content, and more content that may be licensed. The role of an intermediary such as CCC is further cemented in this more complex environment that ironically leads all stakeholders to crave more simplicity in handling licenses. In addition to this, as Roy says, “People will comply with copyright if it is easy to do so, and they are less likely to comply if it is hard.” So, CCC sees its role as enabling the use of copyright. Another view of CCC’s role here is to look at its evolution into developing workflow tools. Dow Jones kicked this off, requesting a product that allowed for external customers to re-use its information content. Essentially this is a workflow tool, which extended into the development of RightsLink as a tool for managing color charges, page charges, and now article processing charges (APCs).