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Apple

Monday News: German authors v. Amazon, retailers v. Apple, Apple shareholders v. Apple, and Downton Abbey v. plastic water bottles

Monday News: German authors v. Amazon, retailers v. Apple, Apple shareholders...

The literary culture in Germany and Austria differs profoundly from that in the United States or Britain, in that pricing is protected by laws that forbid deep discounting, or other purely commercial practices. Many authors fear Amazon will use its dominant position to seek to overturn these laws. –New York Times

I distinctly remember the moment (not really) Agency Pricing hit BoB, because I was in the process of buying some trad published books and could not complete the transaction because of the pricing change. That was the beginning of the end in my relationship with BoB, and, I suspect, many other readers had similar experiences.

In a conference in her Manhattan courtroom, Judge Cote conferred with the parties on discovery issues, and outlined a schedule that could have the case ready for trial by late 2015. Although a final schedule was not set, the judge said she would order the parties to enter mediation in December. –Publishers Weekly

This suit stems from some of the other lawsuits Apple has found itself embroiled in, particularly the 2010 price-fixing suit and the class action suit over employment issues. Among other things, plaintiffs assert that Apple’s reputation and “innovation” have suffered over the past few years. This may turn out to be the most interesting suit of all filed against Apple, seeing as it’s been filed on behalf of the company’s own shareholders.

Filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California this week, the derivative shareholder complaint prepared by attorneys for plaintiff R. Andre Klein accuses Apple senior directors and officers of “breach of fiduciary duty, gross mismanagement, corporate waste, and breach of the duty of honest services.”

Individual defendants, including Jobs and Cook, allegedly caused the company to violate antitrust laws, issue false and misleading financial proxy statements and stifle worker wages, according to the argument. As a result, Apple, which must be included alongside Klein and shareholders as a nominal defendant, was harmed by being forced into a time and asset consuming settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2010, as well as an ongoing class action lawsuit leveled by a group of employees. Further, the company’s reputation suffered, as did innovation. –Apple Insider

The cast teamed up with WaterAid, a UK-based non-profit organization dedicated to bringing clean water to the world, for a funny photo that makes sure everyone knows that they are in on the joke, well hydrated and willing to use their media ruckus-raising powers for good. –Vanity Fair

Wednesday News: Silicon Valley’s lack of diversity, Technology and the future of education, social media and group mourning, and ebook subscription services

Wednesday News: Silicon Valley’s lack of diversity, Technology and the future...

At first glance, Apple has better workplace diversity statistics than many peers. But look at the numbers for technology employees and management—the people who have the most influence and the highest salaries within the companies—and consider the gender gap in each of these groups, and things start to get much more homogenous. Apple only slightly raises what’s a very low bar—which is something not lost on CEO Tim Cook. –Quartz

Yes, historically, technology has killed certain types of jobs while creating others. But what we’re seeing happen right now isn’t merely a redistribution of unskilled jobs to other sectors over the course of a couple decades, or the outsourcing of factory workers to other countries or cities with better tax breaks.

Instead, it’s wiping out entire industries, entire swaths of the economy, in years, not decades. And it’s killing white collar jobs as frequently as it’s killing blue collar ones. –Vice

What I get from the network during such events is something similar to what happens when we hear about a friend who has passed away: a sense of shock and regret, but also funny stories about that person, snapshots in time that remind you of them and how they made you feel. Byers says in his post: “As for what I thought about — what movie, what stand-up routine, what quote — do you really care?” And my response would be yes, I do. Seeing people share their favorite movies and lines from Williams’ standup routines reminded me of what I loved about his comedy, and of the moments I remember watching his movies with others. –Gigaom

But there is a hitch, and it is a big one: While the services each offer hundreds of thousands of books, many newer books are not yet available through these subscriptions. That is because the services haven’t been able to reach deals with many of the major publishers, especially for new books. So unless you’re a truly voracious reader who doesn’t mind older books, you probably want to avoid adding this monthly charge. –New York Times