Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

social media

Wednesday News: Harper Collins doubles down on DRM, Canada may tax Netflix and iTunes, Microsoft buys Minecraft, and the habits of high tech parents

Wednesday News: Harper Collins doubles down on DRM, Canada may tax...

Although the system is capable of identifying consumers who download e-books illegally, HC is using it to make sure that its e-tailers “are using the highest degree of security possible,”Restivo-Alessi said. If the Guardian Watermarking finds e-books that are being downloaded illegally, they will ask that e-tailer to either upgrade their security efforts or risk being dropped as an account, Restivo-Alessi added. –Publishers Weekly

At the “Let’s Talk TV” hearings now underway before Canada’s broadcast regulator, provincial governments like Ontario and Quebec have argued that Netflix should be subject to the levy. The country’s powerful cable industry and the national broadcaster, the CBC, have made the same arguments, arguing that companies like Netflix and iTunes should not get a free pass when their own services must pay for Canadian content.

Canada’s Prime Minister, however, has been denouncing the idea of a “Netflix tax” and some, including internet law professor Michael Geist, have suggested the idea is too politically toxic for the broadcast regulator to implement. –Gigaom

“We are going to maintain ‘Minecraft’ and its community in all the ways people love today, with a commitment to nurture and grow it long into the future,” he said in a statement.

In announcing the deal, Microsoft pledged that Minecraft could tap into its expertise in cloud and soft development, which, it promised, would bring “richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect across the “Minecraft” community.” –Silicon Beat

Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired and now chief executive of 3D Robotics, a drone maker, has instituted time limits and parental controls on every device in his home. “My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists and overly concerned about tech, and they say that none of their friends have the same rules,” he said of his five children, 6 to 17. “That’s because we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand. I’ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.”

The dangers he is referring to include exposure to harmful content like pornography, bullying from other kids, and perhaps worse of all, becoming addicted to their devices, just like their parents. –New York Times

Monday News: California protects negative reviews, Twitter installs “buy” buttons, how books do or don’t affect us, and Ancillary Justice teas

Monday News: California protects negative reviews, Twitter installs “buy” buttons, how...

“Manipulating or attempting to silence authentic feedback impedes other consumers who use that content to make more informed purchase decisions,” Matt Krebsbach, Director of Global Public and Analyst Relations, tells the Daily Dot. “Just as important: Businesses that don’t acknowledge both positive and negative reviews create an environment consumers can’t wholly trust—and curtail the very opinions that could help them deliver the products and services their customers want.” –Daily Dot

Let’s step back and take a look at what we have here, from the consumer perspective. The sudden appearance of a social media “Buy” button gives the consumer a feeling of exclusivity—of somehow being selected and singled out as special. There will be pressure to act quickly or miss out on the deal at hand; by the time you shop around for similar offers, do some price comparisons, or fully think things through, that “Buy” button could be gone. What’s more, the act of purchasing is simply a tap or two on a phone, quicker and easier even than posting your latest brilliant random thoughts on Twitter. It doesn’t feel like spending real money at all. –Time

It has become popular to consider fiction in terms of empathy — how it can catalyze and deepen our awareness of lives beyond our own — but what if it can also catalyze other tendencies, other capacities or grooves of thought? Novels might not make us worse, but they can unlock parts of us that were already there, already dark, already violent or ruthless or self-destructive. People with eating disorders learn tricks from stories about anorexia. People with histories of drug abuse get triggered by stories of intoxication. –New York Times