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Tuesday News: Amazon buys Twitch, Superman sells for $3.2 million, hilarious author satire, and a chocolate bathroom

Tuesday News: Amazon buys Twitch, Superman sells for $3.2 million, hilarious...

Amazon is clearly very keen to get into gaming. It created its in-house gaming studio back in 2012 and has made a few lightweight Facebook and mobile games since then. It signaled it was getting more serious with the acquisition of Killer Instinct developer Double Helix Games and hiring of Kim Swift, the designer behind the classic Portal game. The company’s new Fire TV offered a selection of games created by Amazon’s in-house team and even has a Amazon joystick you can buy separately, hinting at aspirations to compete with consoles like the Xbox and PlayStation. The company already sells everything under the sun, so it only makes sense for them to add games to the books, films, and TV shows they offer, but getting the love and respect of that community is tough. Twitch has gamer support in spades. According to a source familiar with the deal, Amazon is the biggest digital distributor of games after Valve’s Steam store, and it believes Twitch could help it to capture even more of that market. –The Verge

“This was a record auction for eBay as it was the most expensive comic book ever sold on our marketplace,” Gene Cook, general manager of emerging verticals for eBay Marketplaces, said in a statement. “The sale of Action Comics No. 1 is a prime example of how eBay plays a role in popular culture by connecting shoppers to must-have merchandise, including rare and valuable collectibles. This was an extraordinary opportunity to bring a comic — one that has captured the attention of passionate collectors and casual fans alike.” –CNET

You could unfollow Todd Manly-Krauss, and perhaps you really should. It would be better for your mental health and your blood pressure. But somewhere along the way (and this is what kills you) his posts have convinced you that he’s areally important writer. That this is someone you want and need to be friends with, because he’s a powerful taste-maker, one of the great minds of our generation. You know it isn’t true—his work is good but not your favorite—and yet it’s like he’s brainwashed you. –Ploughshares Literary Magazine

Because who hasn’t dreamed of dropping off some of their own fudge bars in a melting chocolate crapper, UK chocolatiers Choccywoccydoodah and Bathrooms.com teamed up to make a toilet, bidet, sink and bathtub entirely out of Belgian chocolate. All the fixtures together contain about 9.4-million calories and cost $133,000. For reference, that’s $133,000 outside of my chocolate bathroom budget. –Geekologie

Monday News: Hachette V. Amazon plus a dash of plagiarism

Monday News: Hachette V. Amazon plus a dash of plagiarism

So how is Amazon making the ebook business not worth pursuing? They are doing it by discounting so aggressively that the value of the book business for ebook retailers is so miniscule that it doesn’t even raise the eyebrows of the major tech companies. While the book business is big, why even bother with it if the profit margins are so small as to not even move the needle? Your time is better spent focusing on video games with in-app purchases, among many other things. –Jake Kerr via Medium

But Orwell then went on to undermine Amazon’s argument much more effectively than Hachette ever has. “It is of course a great mistake to imagine that cheap books are good for the book trade,” he wrote. “Actually it is just the other way about … The cheaper books become, the less money is spent on books.”

Instead of buying two expensive books, he says, the consumer will buy two cheap books and then use the rest of his money to go to the movies. “This is an advantage from the reader’s point of view and doesn’t hurt trade as a whole, but for the publisher, the compositor, the author and the bookseller, it is a disaster,” Orwell wrote. –New York Times

Pietsch insists that Hachette is “negotiating in good faith”, a point that Amazon has disputed in the past (in the leaked letter), and then he goes on to make the bogus historical claim that paperbacks were originally “not intended to replace hardbacks but to create a new format available later, at a lower price”. That’s not at all true, but to be fair Amazon also played fast and loose with the early history of the paperback book. –The Digital Reader

I will start by saying that nothing we do or say is 100% original. Even some exact combination of some of the words I write here have probably been written somewhere, by someone, in the vastness of history and time. –Shey Stahl