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slavery

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

Tuesday News: Reddit’s dilemma, Adobe Digital Edition 4, Baptist responds to The Economist, and authors buying reviews

Tuesday News: Reddit’s dilemma, Adobe Digital Edition 4, Baptist responds to...

It is pretty much impossible to be a free speech absolutist without having to defend the right to publicize some really skeevy stuff. And for absolutist First Amendment attorneys and scholars, the principle might be enough. But for the corporate entity Reddit (which is largely owned by Conde Nast’s parent company), the “ideal” of unfettered free speech is unlikely to remain uncompromised – for good and bad.

The challenge for Reddit now is: How does it retain its commitment to such free-speech principles while it is trying to raise money from a group of what could be nervous or conservative venture funds? Twitter has also wrestled with its early commitment to being the “free-speech wing of the free-speech party,” and its desire to grow and generate revenue for its public shareholders has led to a form of quasi-censorship in which certain tweets and accounts are banned or hidden from users at the request of governments. But Twitter’s challenges are like a day at the beach compared with Reddit’s.

Remaining committed to free speech is hard enough when the speech you are trying to protect is violent or homophobic or repulsive in a number of other ways, but it becomes exponentially more difficult when you have investors with hundreds of millions of dollars on the line breathing down your neck. Will Reddit start to water down its commitment, in the hope that it can bridge those two divides without losing its soul? Or will it be forced to mimic Facebook, which routinely removes photos of women breast-feeding and never says why? –Gigaom

For example, Adobe DE 4.0 does not support embedded audio or video, and it is also lacking support for basics like right to left languages (Arabic, Hebrew, etc) . The search function is incomplete, and the app is also lacking advanced rendering features (such as knockout, overprint, and non-separable blend modes). And last but not least, mouse wheel scrolling is officially not supported for Epub3 ebooks. –The Digital Reader

But the Economist didn’t apologize for dismissing what slaves said about slavery. That kind of arrogance remains part of a wider, more subtle pattern in how black testimony often gets treated – sometimes unknowingly – as less reliable than white. The Economist reviewer was saying that the key sources of my book, African Americans – black people – cannot be believed.

As the historian Jelani Cobb pointed out to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Friday night, the reviewer’s ideas about slavery’s history are not actually as uncommon as many of us would like to believe. He’s right: All across the American south, you can go to historic plantation sites still pushing the idea that slaves who had a “good” master were happy, and “faithful.” –The Guardian

To date — it’s currently Sunday, 7 September 2014 — no Goodreads author has lost her or his account due to buying of fiverr reviews. Even though Patrick, Director of Author Marketing (or whatever his official title is) hinted that authors could be deleted if they were buying fiverr reviews, not one has been so terminated.
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Frustration with Goodreads’ lack of action on this issue prompted me to announce publicly that I would no longer spend my limited free time doing their job for them. I would not track down the information, collect the screen shots, do the leg work to clean up their site of fraudulent — and illegal — “ads” masquerading as customer reviews. I didn’t say I’d stop doing it; I just wasn’t going to give the information to Goodreads any more. I was, shall we say, moving house. –Linda Hilton