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DRM

Friday News: Adobe supposedly fixes ADE 4, Joan Didion Kickstarter campaign, corporate commentary on Gamergate, and a former slave bests his “master”

Friday News: Adobe supposedly fixes ADE 4, Joan Didion Kickstarter campaign,...

Update: I’ve heard from another tester who identified that Adobe was using SSL, and that it didn’t appear to be sending any data at all (for DRM-free ebooks). But if you activate a DRMed ebook Adobe does send a lot of encrypted information. Removing that DRMed ebook stopped the app from sending info. Thanks, Michael!

Second Update: I have an independent confirmation that Adobe only uploads data after a DRMed ebook has been activated. –The Digital Reader

I don’t know – how is this any worse than auctioning off Queen Elizabeth’s knickers on eBay?

Didion is one of the greatest living writers, but her legacy at times seems at risk of being subsumed by her lifestyle brand—thin, chic, Californian. “They were my aunt and uncle but they were also probably the hippest people on earth,” Griffin Dunne says about Didion and her husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, in a video about the project. It’s hard to imagine that Dunne, with all his connections (he’s been producing/directing/acting for over two decades, and his father was the Vanity Fair writer Dominick Dunne) had no other way to get this film made than by hawking his aunt’s fingernail clippings. –New Republic

I was originally going to post the story about Felicia Day, but when I was Googling to see what else was going on around that story, this Breitbart link came up, and while it contains a lot of extreme rhetoric, I think it’s also important to see the kinds of opinions Breitbart has allegedly solicited from some corporate executives, like the Intel VP who insisted that Gamergate is “‘doing great work.’” I’m definitely starting to agree with the arguments being made that this is part of the new culture wars, but I think we also need to recognize that it’s all of a piece with anti-choice initiatives, persistent discrimination against women and minorities in the workplace, and other mainstream expressions of misogyny and fear of women and gender (and racial) equality.

How do I know? Because I’ve spent the last fortnight quietly soliciting the opinions not only of senior executives at AAA video game publishers, but also at some of the companies linked to GamerGate’s boycotts and activism, such as Intel, Mercedes and BMW.

Perhaps it won’t surprise you to learn that microchip manufacturers and car companies are pretty sympathetic to the concerns of male consumers. But some of the things said to me–all, sadly, on condition of anonymity–have been nothing short of remarkable. . . .

Then consider the product manager, who was happy to be identified as “senior management at a German car manufacturer”, who told me that, “the violence against women is unacceptable and we cannot support it, but we will not financially support people who insult our customers either”. –Breitbart

You wish to be remembered to King and Jack. I am pleased, sir, to inform you that they are both here, well, and doing well. They are both living in Canada West. They are now the owners of better farms than the men are who once owned them.

You may perhaps think hard of us for running away from slavery, but as to myself, I have but one apology to make for it, which is this: I have only to regret that I did not start at an earlier period. I might have been free long before I was. But you had it in your power to have kept me there much longer than you did. I think it is very probable that I should have been a toiling slave on your plantation today, if you had treated me differently. –Futility Closet

Monday New: S&S DRM-free imprint; Nobel Lit Prize awarded; British free speech case; and the possible future of print magazines

Monday New: S&S DRM-free imprint; Nobel Lit Prize awarded; British free...

“The science fiction and fantasy community were early adopters of electronic formats, and have enthusiastically embraced DRM-free content while showing great respect for authors’ works under copyright,” said Joe Monti, executive editor of Saga. –Publishers Weekly

Much of his work is concerned with the aftermath of the German occupation of France during World War II, and since Modiano was born right after the end of the War, his own sense of identity is entwined with the cultural and political impact of occupation on France.

In a rare interview accorded to France Today in 2011, Modiano says he never considered becoming anything but a writer. “I had no diploma, no definite goal to achieve. But it is tough for a young writer to begin so early. Really, I prefer not to read my early books. Not that I don’t like them, but I don’t recognize myself anymore, like an old actor watching himself as a young leading man.” –NPR

The artist, who is well known in his field, says his right to freedom of speech is particularly acute because he was a victim of such serious abuse, and because his book is intended to encourage other victims to come forward. . . .

However, his ex-wife’s lawyers dispute claims that the case could set a precedent undermining the rights of other authors, arguing that it is concerned only with the rights of one child, who has a number of health problems, who they say would suffer catastrophic psychological distress were he to read parts of his father’s work.

What is not in dispute is that the case hinges on an obscure piece of Victorian case law, known as Wilkinson v Downton, in which a man who played a practical joke on an east London pub landlady in 1897 was found to be guilty of the “intentional infliction of mental distress”. –The Guardian

The joy we get from throwing magazines away seems like a bad sign for their future. On the one hand, there is something nice about reading something you know is finite. Unlike the endless internet that you will never conquer, once you’ve read a magazine you’ve read it, and you get a nice feeling of accomplishment at least until the next issue arrives. On the other hand, it’s a reminder of what a curious position magazines hold — they are so much more disposable than books that you almost wonder why they should be in print form at all, and yet once they go online you tend to lose your incentive to read them, since there’s so much other stuff to read online. –Gigaom