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Tuesday News: PayPal separates from eBay, legal challenge to revenge porn laws, Kirkus books prize finalists, and history of a marriage advice column

Tuesday News: PayPal separates from eBay, legal challenge to revenge porn...

eBay’s leadership acknowledged this morning that PayPal has to be more aggressive and agile as it digs in for the battle ahead. “The pace of change accelerated in the past six months,” eBay CEO John Donahoe told the New York Times, citing the emergence of Apple Pay and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba as new competitive threats. Spinning off as a newly public company will likely give PayPal extra financial firepower in the form of stock that is expected to trade at a much higher price-to-earnings ratio than eBay’s current shares. PayPal will need that equity to make aggressive moves, including acquisitions and hires. –The Verge

The plaintiffs-in-suit are several bookstores, as well as the American Association of Publishers and the National Press Photographers Association. Bamberger, a First Amendment specialist who’s working together with the American Civil Liberties Union in this case, added that librarians are concerned they could be held liable simply for providing Internet access. –Ars Technica

On Tuesday, Kirkus announced the finalists for its first prizes — 18 books in fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature. The winner in each of the three categories will receive $50,000, making it one of the largest literary awards in the world. (The Pulitzer Prize for fiction — perhaps the only literary prize that attracts significant reader interest — is a mere $10,000.)  –Washington Post

When I heard about the demise of the Journal, I decided to look at the history of ‘Can This Marriage Be Saved?’. What I found, dipping into the columns published across decades, was the archive of unhappiness that I remembered, full of thrown dishes, turned backs and late-night screaming matches. But I also read a starkly misogynist vision of proper wifeliness that shocked me in its matter-of-factness. We’re used to thinking of the 1950s ‘housewife’ as a vague, happy caricature on gift-shop mugs and postcards – vacuuming in pearls, offering a post-work martini to the returning husband. In its intimate individual details, this advice column resurrects a sharper history, showing the array of cruelties that this kind of marriage could entail, the number of wives who resisted their roles, and the way that mainstream culture tried to put them in their place. –Aeon Magazine

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Monday News: Social media pre-nups, ebooks in Amazon v. Hachette?, cover contest results, and antique book bound in human skin

Monday News: Social media pre-nups, ebooks in Amazon v. Hachette?, cover...

People Are Getting Social Media Prenups – The title of the article says it all. Psychotherapist Karen Ruskin insists that the desire for such a pre-nup is indicative of deeper relationship problems. She also notes that sometimes people can get frustrated if their partner fails to mention something relationship-oriented on social media.

I can see how this would be an issue for celebrities who negotiate for strict confidentiality clauses when it comes to relationship issues (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, anyone?), and I know the article deems it sad that people need to feel protected from social media disclosures in relationships. However, after the infamous Auto Admit incident, and the popularity of revenge porn, I’m not so sure it’s needless paranoia that makes people, especially women, feel vulnerable. Not to mention the fact that perfectly good people can do some pretty heinous things in the midst of a bad breakup.

ABC says that 80% of divorce attorneys say discussion of social networking is increasingly common in divorce proceedings for a range of reasons, which means we’ll probably be hearing more about prenups like this. But it’s not a safety measure– it’s a red flag. –Time

Getting Things Straight: eBooks May Indeed be an Influence in the Amazon-Hachette Dispute – So depending on how you read the DOJ settlement terms — and that seems to be a major issues in and of itself — it’s possible that Amazon and Hachette are battling over ebook prices in their current contract dispute (e.g. is the two-year ban on publishers pursuing agency pricing over?). Of course, part of the problem here is that no one really knows what’s going on, but this is kind of interesting speculation. There seems to be some evidence to support the argument and some against. I suggest you read Hoffelder’s entire piece for all the details.

To recap, in January 2010 5 US publishers conspired with Apple to bring about retail price maintenance in the ebook market and to force Amazon to submit to the pricing changes. The DOJ and state’s attorneys general started investigating in mid-2010, and in April 2012 the DOJ brought an antitrust lawsuit against the 5 publishers and Apple.

Three of the publishers (S&S, HarperCollins, and Hachette) settled the day the lawsuit was filed. Penguin and Macmillan settled later (late 2012 and early 2013), and Apple fought the lawsuit in court and lost (repeatedly). –The Digital Reader

And the Winners Are… Cover Contest 2013 – So here are the results for the 2013 Cover Cafe contest, along with a link to make nominations for the 2014 contest. With more and more books being self-published, it’s going to be interesting to see how and if that affects the nominations. –Cover Cafe

Harvard confirms antique book is bound in human skin – I think the title to this article contains its own content alert, so if you’re not comfortable with this concept, stop reading now.

My first thought reading this piece was of the Victorian practice of photographing the dead and making hair jewelry. On one level, the idea of a book bound in human skin freaked me the hell out, but maybe that’s hypocritical, considering I think nothing of wearing (cow) leather shoes and carrying purses made from various animal hides.

Harvard said that “Des destinees de l’ame” was the only book in its collection bound in human flesh.
However, the practice, called anthropodermic bibliopegy, was once somewhat common, the university said.
“There are many accounts of similar occurrences in the 19th century, in which the bodies of executed criminals were donated to science, and the skins given to tanners and bookbinders,” the library’s blog entry said. –Phys.org