Thursday News: Man Booker Prize winner, National Book Award finalists, DRM for JPEG, and Cocktails for Dingdongs
Man Booker Prize 2015: Marlon James wins for A Brief History of Seven Killings – An almost 700-page book that, according to the judging committee’s chair, Michael Wood, is “full of swearing” (!), James’s novel was apparently an easy choice for the judges. James will receive £50,000 for his winning novel.
Set across three decades, the novel uses the true story of the attempt on the life of reggae star Marley to explore the turbulent world of Jamaican gangs and politics.
Wood said the judges had come to a unanimous decision in less than two hours.
He praised the book’s “many voices” – it contains more than 75 characters – which “went from Jamaican slang to Biblical heights”.
He said: “One of the pleasures of reading it is that you turn the page and you’re not quite sure who the next narrator will be.” – BBC News
Finalists Unveiled For This Year’s National Book Awards – Finalists for the categories of Fiction, Non Fiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature are listed in full on the site. Not surprisingly Ta-Nehisi Coates has been nominated in non-fiction for Between the World and Me.
On the fiction side, Hanya Yanagihara’s novel A Little Life adds to a stellar record so far this literary awards season. The tome — which NPR’s John Powers calls “a wrenching portrait of the enduring grace of friendship” — has already earned a spot on the shortlists for the Man Booker and Kirkus prizes.
Joining Yanagihara’s novel are Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies — “a master class in best lines,” says reviewer Jason Sheehan — and Fortune Smiles, a globe-trotting collection of stories from Pulitzer Prize winner Adam Johnson. Karen E. Bender’s collection Refund and Angela Flournoy’s The Turner House round out the fiction list. – NPR
There’s No DRM in JPEG—Let’s Keep It That Way – Aside from the professional version of JPEG, the imaging format does not contain DRM. Now, though, the JPEG Privacy and Security group is looking to change that. Part of their rationale is related to the ease with which people’s personal information can be attached to JPEG images, which could be encrypted with the addition of DRM. And let’s face it – images don’t always have the same perception of originality that text does, even though the creative content, and attendant intellectual property rights, are comparable. Still, as EFF points out, DRMing JPEG is a bad idea, for many reasons:
Currently some social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, automatically strip off image metadata in an attempt to preserve user privacy. However in doing so they also strip off information about authorship and licensing. Indeed, this is one of the factors that has created pressure for a DRM system that could prevent image metadata from being removed. A better solution, not requiring any changes to the JPEG image format, would be if platforms were to give users more control over how much of their metadata is revealed when they upload an image, rather than always stripping it all out. – Electronic Frontier Foundation
Promontory Releases Illustrated Cocktail Book To Battle Pretentiousness – Although I’ve never been to The Promontory in Chicago, I would love a copy of their new book, Cocktails for Dingdongs, which is aimed at people who love cocktails, but may not be so fond of the muddle (heh) that is often made of them via obscure names and complicated combinations of liquors and other boutique ingredients. That the volume is illustrated like a children’s book is just a clever bonus:
“Dingdongs” is way to poke fun of the stiff drink culture that sometimes surrounds the industry. It sprung from a book kept behind the bar, said Drankiewicz, who also heads up drinks at Dusek’s, Punch House and Tack Room. The reserve book was filled with drinks that moved off the bar’s rotating, seasonal menu, a way to offer regulars their favorite drinks all year. But it also featured Ensign’s off-beat drawings, illustrations she brainstormed with Drankiewicz. The book became so popular that they decided to print and sell copies of a new, enhanced version. This book’s full of inside jokes including Wu-Tang Clan, Monsanto and Brony references, and they’ll release four volumes annually. – Eater