Sunday, May 22, 2011

MediaWeek (V4, N21): End of World Edition - An Essay on Privacy, Books & Marketing, Libraries + More

From the Chronicle of Higher Ed an essay on privacy from law educator Daniel J. Solove: Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have 'Nothing to Hide' (Chronicle):
Most attempts to understand privacy do so by attempting to locate its essence—its core characteristics or the common denominator that links together the various things we classify under the rubric of "privacy." Privacy, however, is too complex a concept to be reduced to a singular essence. It is a plurality of different things that do not share any one element but nevertheless bear a resemblance to one another. For example, privacy can be invaded by the disclosure of your deepest secrets. It might also be invaded if you're watched by a peeping Tom, even if no secrets are ever revealed. With the disclosure of secrets, the harm is that your concealed information is spread to others. With the peeping Tom, the harm is that you're being watched. You'd probably find that creepy regardless of whether the peeper finds out anything sensitive or discloses any information to others. There are many other forms of invasion of privacy, such as blackmail and the improper use of your personal data. Your privacy can also be invaded if the government compiles an extensive dossier about you.

Privacy, in other words, involves so many things that it is impossible to reduce them all to one simple idea. And we need not do so.
Matthew Ingram looks for the lessons in the success of Go the Fuck to Sleep (GigaOm):
What some call “piracy” can actually be free marketing, as noted by some prominent authors. Neil Gaiman, for example, has said he was initially outraged by unauthorized sharing of his books, and tried to help his publisher stop it, but eventually he came to the conclusion that what piracy really amounts to is “people lending books.” As he put it in a video interview earlier this year:
[U]nderstanding that gave me a whole new idea of the shape of copyright and what the web was doing. Because the biggest thing the web was doing is allowing people to hear things, allowing people to read things, allowing people to see things they might never have otherwise seen. And I think, basically, that’s an incredibly good thing.
Another prominent example of this is Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. The well-known fantasy author doesn’t just take piracy in stride — he has actually assisted people in pirating his own books, by uploading copies of them to file-sharing networks (as has Gaiman). In the case of one book, doing this with a Russian translation helped build awareness of his other books in that country, where Coelho now sells millions of copies. He pirated his own works over the protests of his publisher, but the outcome was spectacularly successful.
From PaidContent's Laura Hazard Owen: How Libraries Are Bypassing Big Publishers To Build Their E-Book Offerings (PaidContent):
As a result of these restrictions by big publishers, McCormack says librarians are turning to smaller presses, which are generally less restrictive about offering access to their ebooks. Library Journal‘s arrangement with NetGalley will introduce librarians to new titles from many of these smaller e-book-only romance publishers. Angela James, Executive Editor of Harlequin’s Carina Press, estimates that over half of digital-first content is in the romance genre.
James predicts that romance e-book originals will be a hit for libraries. “Romance readers are such voracious readers and they can’t afford to buy all that content,” she says. They also tend to be very loyal to specific authors, so checking out e-books in libraries gives them a chance to try out authors they’re unfamiliar with, she says.
The (NY) Observer profiles Bonnie Fuller while also rehashing the nastiness and doesn't provide a punch-line (Observer):
After walking away from Us Weekly at her peak, surprising colleagues and inviting still more biting press attention, it was on to American Media Inc., where she'd been hired as editorial director overseeing a number of titles, including Star. Ms. Fuller's fall was sudden and would have seemed almost random had it not made for such delicious wish-fulfillment among those who'd long rooted for her demise.
When she left American Media in May 2008, with plans to start a new company, Bonnie Fuller Media, few were heartbroken by the reversal of fortune. Ms. Fuller planned, vaguely, to take on cyberspace with a web startup that promised, as this paper put it, to "approach Ms. Fuller as a brand" and "feature her blogging about topics such as gossip, fashion, and romance."
Real life 'Dad’s Army' revealed in secret diary Life in the Home Guard was often as hapless and farcical as the antics depicted in Dad’s Army, a newly-discovered diary suggests. "Yes, Captain Mainwaring, Sir" (Telegraph)
The diary shows that, like Captain Mainwaring, Mr Foster is constantly frustrated at the actions of his platoon, with both the young and old members proving unreliable.
In one incident, he describes sending a pair of young volunteers off to guard a remote waterworks overnight. He is not confident that they will stay awake, so he walks to the spot to check. Sure enough, when he arrives all is quiet, as he makes his presence heard, he can hear the guards waking up.
In another incident, a rifle target practice session ends in farce because, having split the platoon into competing teams of old and young members, Mr Foster finds the more elderly volunteers cannot hit the target because of their poor eyesight.
Another exercise involved stacking two lots of chairs up opposite each other in the parade hall to create makeshift trenches. Members of the unit then had to attack them using “dummy grenades”. Again, the age of the volunteers showed, so while the “old men” did well, they were forced to “give in from fatigue”.
The unit also take part in a mock invasion exercise at night time, but a number of elderly members decline, because they are scared of going out in the dark.

No doubt lost on many....Whenever we are at home and Dad's Army comes on Mrs PND has been known to wail "Oh no, not Dad's Army again".

From the twitter:

Librarians fight for a role in a digital world: Globe&Mail

Waterstone's future looks positively Daunting

Re-winding A Clockwork Orange with Malcolm McDowell - video

Frederick Forsyth: 'I had expected women to hate him. But no...’

Philip Roth: "I'm not caged in by reality"

Sterling Partners With HarperCollins UK On Reprints Of Classic Thrillers
- Len Deigton and Alistair MacLean

Houghton Mifflin launches $250K education challenge

Pearl Jam to release new book, documentary & album to mark anniversary

Google ditches newspaper archive plan

Hargreaves report recommends overhaul of copyright laws

And in Sport: Champions of England for a record 19th time (MEN)

No comments: