Monday News: Apple settlement fast-tracked, Sony Reader defunct, great Roxane Gay profile, and David Sedaris honored for de-littering
Note: I’m putting together a list of WWI resources for a future news post, from comic books to library archives, so if you have any you’d like to contribute, feel free to submit via the DA submission form.
Court Grants Preliminary Approval to Apple Settlement – Judge Denise Cote officially fast-tracked the Apple settlement last week, looking to have everything wrapped up by Thanksgiving, which will require consumer notice by September 15th, and the final fairness hearing on November 21st. Even though the judge indicated concerns with both the damages and the pending appeal, neither party showed any willingness to slow the process down. It seems like Apple just wants to get this over with, at this point.
Under terms of the settlement, Apple will pay $400 million to consumers if the liability finding survives the appeal process; $50 million if the liability question is remanded or vacated; and nothing if the finding is reversed. In dismissing her own concerns over the damages that Apple could pay if her decision is remanded, Cote noted that the Plaintiffs believe that her liability finding will be upheld on appeal. In addition, Cote was persuaded by assurances from counsel that the agreement applies only to the liability finding—thus, if the decision is remanded for “administrative or non-substantive grounds that do not, or could not, affect the Liability Finding” the $400 million payout would still apply. –Publishers Weekly
It’s Official – the Sony Reader is Kaput – Although we informally rang the death knell for Sony a few months ago, I figured we might as well chronicle the official announcement. Nate Hoffelder gives the Sony Reader a nice little memorial, and from a competition standard this is a real loss, although the Reader’s dependence on Adobe Reader was a profound frustration for many digital book consumers.
Sony has confirmed today that they will not be making another ebook reader – not even for their sole remaining market in Japan.
There will be no PRS-T4, and lesen.net reports that the remaining stock of the Sony Reader PRS-T3 will be sold until it runs out. That device was was launched last fall in Europe but never shipped in the US, so I’m not sure how many people actually have one. –Publishers Weekly
Roxane Gay: meet the bad feminist – A wonderful profile of scholar, essayist, and fiction writer Roxane Gay, whose first novel, An Untamed State, has put her on the radar as an ‘overnight success,’ despite the many pieces of short fiction she’s written over the years, and the myriad essays she’s produced for many different media venues, some of which have been collected into the upcoming anthology, Bad Feminist. Gay is both disarmingly self-critical in her work, and searingly insightful, her voice inviting and accessible, even when she’s discussing topics that are profoundly complex, difficult, and unsettling. You can find her work all over the internet, so check some out. We linked to a piece on Zadie Smith and the writing process here.
Over the past few years, Gay has worked hard to raise the profile of writers of colour, conducting a count, for instance, of the books reviewed by leading publications. In 2012, she found that 90% of the books reviewed by the New York Times were by white writers – according to the 2010 census, 72% of the US population is white, so, as she noted, the figures are grim. She has also published lists of brilliant writers of colour on the Rumpus, and in Bad Feminist writes about the representation of black lives on screen and on the page. This includes a critique of two films that tell stories of slavery, Django Unchained, which she hated, and 12 Years A Slave, which she thought was brilliant. But she’s at the stage now, she says, where she can’t watch “any more slavery movies. It happened. It was bad. It’s still bad. The repercussions linger.” She’d like to see more films that take on those repercussions, but also more like the romantic comedy The Best Man, “which just show people living their lives. Just once in a while, we’d like to be carefree, too.” –The Guardian
South Downs litter picker has truck named after him – The best part about this charming article might be that not once is David Sedaris, the bestselling author and humorist. In any case, it’s an uplifting story with a great photo of Sedaris standing next to the truck dedicated to him and the work he does picking up litter on highways in the vicinity of his home in the Horsham District.
After running the story, the publication saw its article go viral, and updated the story with reference to Sedaris’s fame.
In recognition for all his fantastic work and dedication and as a token of Horsham District Council’s appreciation, the council has named one of their waste vehicles after him.
The vehicle, bedecked with its bespoke ‘Pig Pen Sedaris’ sign was officially unveiled by the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex Mrs Susan Pyper at an outdoor ceremony on July 23.
District councillor for Chantry Ward, Diana van der Klugt, said: “David Sedaris is a familiar and very welcome sight in the lanes and by-ways of this lovely part of Horsham District, as he tirelessly and painstakingly goes about gathering up the litter so thoughtlessly discarded. –West Sussex County Times
I wish Sony had been run by execs who’d had a clue about digital reading. Oh well, I love my 650 and still use it sometimes.
My first reader was a Sony 505 and I still use it occasionally though the battery doesn’t last very long anymore. I would think it was a better reader then my keyboard kindle if it wasn’t for the dependence on a Adobe.
I love my Sony reader. In fact, mine started to die and I tried a Nook (the old style so I can use an SD card), but I hated it. eBay is my friend and I am now the proud owner of a PRS-T3. I may have to look for another and save it for when this one bites the dust.
@Amanda: Oh, man, that was my first e-reader too! I loved it, and it was a great introduction to the world of ebooks. I still remember holding it for the first time and just being in awe that it could hold so many books at once. Haha.
I use a PRS-T1, and it is the only e-reader I’ve ever had (2.5+ years now, I think?) I like it well enough, but it’s developed some problems over the years. For example, about 1/4 of the time, using the dictionary freezes the device and I have to press the reset button. The software isn’t great, either.
Even before the demise of the Sony e-reader, I decided I’d get a Kobo next. I know there are ways to convert epubs to mobis, but I would prefer not to have to do that, so I don’t want to go with a Kindle. Kindles were introduced in Canada pretty late IIRC, and I think Kobo is most popular here?
The Sony 505 was my first e-reader. I haven’t used it in years since I moved on to a Kindle Fire and now an iPad. My husband got it for me for my birthday a couple months after we were married. It was the first gift he ever bought me. He even had the front engraved. I still have it sitting in a drawer in my nightstand.
David Sedaris is one in a million. West Sussex is lucky to have him. We saw him perform recently and I laughed and cried my heart out. His Christmas story about being a Macy’s Elf is one the funniest things ever! Thanks for the post.
my comment got the 404…..is in spam?
It’s interesting that the e-readers with closer ties to bookstores survived. When you think about it, there was no reason for bookstores or publishers to promote e-books, given that they’d do in the bricks and mortar for the one and the profitable hardcover for the latter.
A lesson in technology introduction.
I won the Sony 700 from a Smart Bitches contest in 2009 or so. I loved it, but the technological strides and the growth of the Kindle made book buying on my Sony a hassle. At least Kobo has coupons every month–you were stuck with Sony pricing (higher than other stores) save for that monthly or seasonal one-use coupon code.
Sony was my first ereader too – before kindle. I did not go back but I enjoyed it while I used it.
I’m still using the PRS-505 I got in 2009. At the time, Kindle wasn’t available in Canada, and Kobo wasn’t a thing yet. And the iPad was still a rumour. I’ll be very sad when my Sony dies.
I never bought a book from the Sony bookstore, for some reason. I think that, when I bought the reader, it was incompatible with my Mac? I remember I had to register it through somebody else’s computer, because I couldn’t do it on my Mac. I had pretty limited sources to buy books, and at just about the same time, the publishers limited them even further, which forced me to go outside of my comfort zone, author-wise.
I suppose eventually, I’ll get a Kobo. Not until I have to, though.
I had just been reading about Roxane Gay, but for a different reason. It isn’t enough that she’s a scholar, essayist, and fiction writer apparently:
Sorry, if links aren’t OK, please remove my post.
My first ereader was a Sony too, though I switched to kindle three and a half years ago. At the time I got my Sony, it had a far more attractive design than the first kindles. It was also my first experience of e-ink, which I hope never goes away! RIP, Sony reader devices.
I had a Sony 505 for a while and didn’t really like it. I had an ebookwise before (I loved that thing, even with its screen that looked like a calculator display!), and I just couldn’t get used to the teeny tiny page-turn buttons on the Sony. I had it for about a year and a half before buying myself a kindle and thinking yep, this is what e-readers are supposed to be.
I loved the profile of Roxane Gay in The Guardian. Has anyone here read Bad Feminist? After reading the profile, I’m eager to read more of her.
@Darlynne: That is horrible. At first I wanted to say unbelievable, but sadly it’s all too believable.
As far as your WW1 project, I can highly recommend a book called Fanny Goes to War by Pat Beauchamp Washington. It’s a WW1 ambulance driver’s account of her experiences. It’s available free for Kindle, and it’s mentioned in this thread about public domain books on the Kindle discussion forum: http://amzn.to/1rKpehU If you search within the thread for the term war, there are several other books from the time that people have recommended, also.