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Tuesday News: Cellphone unlocking now legal, the wonders of 3-D printing, 54-year overdue book returned, and library partnerships with Smashwords

Tuesday News: Cellphone unlocking now legal, the wonders of 3-D printing,...

The passing of S.517 is great news for consumers in the United States, but it’s just a small reminder of a much larger problem. The only way for the phone lock issue to be resolved permanently is for Congress to make changes to the DMCA, which is much easier said than done because of the influence of special interest groups and lobbyists. There’s a glimmer of hope, however: The Washington Post reported yesterday that lawmakers plan to take a closer look at those aspects of copyright law that made phone unlocking an issue from the beginning. That’s supposed to happen sometime this fall, but given how long it’s taken for the government to get to this point, this is likely just the beginning of a lengthy fight. –Engadget

According to Rozi Miko?ajczak, a spokesperson for the Poznan-based firm, this is the first time in Europe (and only the second time in the world) that a bird’s beak has been reconstructed using 3-D technology. Unsure which material would be best for the penguin, they created three for the zoo to find a match. Modeling the beaks was time consuming: it took two weeks to complete them. As luck would have it, the penguin’s beak started to grow back so there was no need for the manufactured one, but this inspirational exercise illustrates how 3-D printing is crossing frontiers all the time, opening up new possibilities. –Wall Street Journal

“We found this book amongst my late brother-in-law’s things. Funny thing is the book didn’t support his efforts with his first (and only) marriage… it failed! No wonder he hid the book! So sorry!!,” read the note, signed, “A shocked in-law.”  –ABC News

The fine print is hardly daunting. Have an SPL library card. Be 18 or older. Publish your eBook (for free) with Smashwords on its website. Enter the contest.

Oh. And write the eBook.

At least it can be any genre (even a short-story collection or poetry) and any length. But it must be original and unpublished. –Geek Wire

Friday News: James Bond’s got a drinking problem; Americans value public libraries; Fifty Shades of Grey and sex talk in Romance; Harper Collins digs ebooks; and successful women still fight double standards

Friday News: James Bond’s got a drinking problem; Americans value public...

“Excluding the 36 days Bond was in prison, hospital or rehab, the spy downed 1,150 units of alcohol in 88 days.

It works out at 92 units a week – about five vodka martinis a day and four times the recommended maximum intake for men in the UK.

The doctors’ report in the festive edition of the British Medical Journal concluded: “Although we appreciate the societal pressures to consume alcohol when working with international terrorists and high stakes gamblers, we would advise Bond to be referred for further assessment of his alcohol intake.”” BBC News

“Americans strongly value library services such as access to books and media; having a quiet, safe place to spend time, read, or study; and having librarians to help people find information. Other services, such as assistance finding and applying for jobs, are more important to particular groups, including those with lower levels of education or household income.” Pew Internet

“In the Olden Days of Georgette Heyer, writers alluded to a gentleman’s [barnyard fowl] only in the most oblique terms. Feron says, “Years later when I worked in category romance, there was a lot of substituting of words. Euphemisms like ‘globes’ instead of ‘breast.’ It always sounded a little odd to me, but that was a while ago. Time moves on. I think it’s really hard to shock readers these days, especially after ‘Fifty Shades’ — which is not a romance — has become so mainstream.”” The Washington Post

“Murray emphasized blooming growth of digital titles. Ebook sales have grown from $100 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 to $375 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2013, a 275% growth rate, according to the American Assn. of Publishers. A PriceWaterhouseCoopers study shows ebooks commanding 14% of the market in 2013, rising to 18% next year and 23% in 2015. Overall, the global market for books is projected to remain ‘steady.’” Variety