Wednesday News: Apple appeals the anti-trust verdict, SilkWords offers interactive romance & erotica, the @GSELevator operator is unmasked, and women who passed as men during the US Civil War

Wednesday News: Apple appeals the anti-trust verdict, SilkWords offers interactive romance...

Apple files appeal in e-book antitrust case – And here’s another surprise. Not. Apple has filed an appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (in New York), arguing that Judge Cote’s verdict “‘is a radical departure’ from modern antitrust law that will ‘chill competition and harm consumers’ if allowed to stand.” That’s right, kids; Apple is actually arguing that what they did HELPED make the market more competitive. Oh, and of course the company had no idea that publishers were conspiring to set prices.

Apple’s papers filed Tuesday refuted the antitrust finding, and said its entrance into the e-book market “kick-started competition in a highly concentrated market, delivering higher output, lower price levels, and accelerated innovation.” –Yahoo News

SilkWords offers short interactive romance and erotica – Founded in 2013, SilkWords is a subscription service that merges fiction and gaming environments that allows readers to choose the way in which the story unfolds and develops. With a third of gamers being women, the company’s founders felt that the immersive environment of gaming would pair well with a stronger story telling element:

So we came up with the idea of merging elements of romantic fiction (the most popular fiction genre) with elements of gaming, and SilkWords was born — a “choose your own” type of short story venue aimed at adult women. A place for smart, busy, adventurous women to unwind and have fun. –SilkWords

@GSElevator Tattletale Exposed (He Was Not in the Goldman Elevator) – After three years — practically a lifetime in Internet years — the creator of the @GSElevator Twitter account has been unmasked, and he’s neither en employee of Goldman Sachs or a resident of the Wall Street elevator in which he supposedly overheard any number of private, humorous, and scandalous conversations. A former Citigroup bond executive, he still has a book deal with Simon & Schuster, which apparently knew his real identity, or at least that he wasn’t a Goldman Sachs employee. Definitely not James Frey level misrepresentation, but it’s going to be interesting to see how much backlash the revelations unleash.

The ability of people like Mr. Lefevre to create anonymous Twitter accounts underscores concerns about the veracity of what is published and the identity of authors. It also raises questions about whether publishers are blurring the line between real life and the made-up kind. . . . 

He said his intent was neither to mock nor glamorize Wall Street. “I do not have an agenda to paint the people or this culture one way or the other,” he said, adding that he was “always a cynical banker” when he worked on Wall Street but “I loved it. We did a lot of crazy stuff. It’s not like I had a great epiphany along the way.”

Still, he said that working on Wall Street was an eye-opener. “I went into investment banking and I saw a group of people that aren’t as impressive as I thought they were — or as impressive as they thought they were. They defined themselves as human beings by their jobs.” –New York Times

Oppression by Omission: Women Soldiers Who Dressed and Fought as Men in the Civil War – Although this piece is a year old, I found the link in a recent Atlantic article about the treatment of women during the U.S. Civil War, and it reminded me of how many stories haven’t yet been told in the Romance genre. Here were women who passed as men under some of the most violent and extreme conditions possible, and in doing so “they gained access to social opportunities and privileges previously unavailable to them.” Some of these women were pregnant during their service, hiding their pregnant bodies under ill-fitting uniforms and giving birth to the surprise of their male peers. Not all went back to dressing as women after the war. There are so many possibilities here, for both m/f and f/f Romance, all potentially grounded in historical fact.

So why did women do this? For some, like their male counterparts, the motivation was purely patriotic. Others did if for love, taking to the battlefields in order to remain close to a husband, lover, fiancé, father, or brother. But for many, the reason was economic — an army private made $13 a month, roughly double what a seamstress, laundress, or maid would make. –Brain Pickings