Monday News: Electronic privacy, hip-hop comics covers, teaching about disability, and animated book covers
EFF Urges Appeals Court To Toughen Privacy Protections for Devices at the Border – Just a heads up to anyone traveling across the US border that your laptops and smartphones may not be safe from unwarranted search and/or seizure. EFF (which has been fighting the AT&T case for years now) has filed an amicus brief in the federal appeal, arguing that our electronic devices are both of a different nature than suitcases and that warrantless searches at the border in general are allowable for the narrow purpose of “enforcing immigration and customs laws.”
”Anyone coming back into the country from vacation or a business trip can have his or her smartphone, laptop, or tablet seized, and emails, texts, photos, videos, and voicemails rifled through and retained, without a warrant or any suspicion that a crime has been committed,’’ said EFF Staff Attorney Sophia Cope. “This violates Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Supreme Court recognized last year in Riley v. California that modern digital devices contain unprecedented amounts of highly personal information and ruled that police need a warrant to search devices found on people they arrest. The same standard should apply when border agents want to search devices we carry with us while traveling.’’ –Electronic Frontier Foundation
Kendrick Lamar, Raekwon, Kool Keith Get Marvel Comic Book Covers – Putting the news together here has given me an opportunity to learn about other genres and forms of media, including comics and graphic novels. Clearly there is a lot of branding and rebranding going on in the world of comic books, and this latest round of covers inspired by hip-hop albums is part of that evolution. I’m guessing this iteration of Marvel comics is intended to appeal to male readers, and I’m curious to know how much overlap there is between hip-hop fans and comic book fans. New market? Existing market? A little of both?
Marvel Comics have recently been paying homage to hip-hop through a series of variant covers inspired by some of the best hip-hop albums ever. The latest batch have been unveiled: Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, and Kool Keith’s Black Elvis/Lost in Space. –Pitchfork
The Perils of Playing Blind: Problems with Blindness Simulation and a Better Way to Teach about Blindness – A very informative article on the limitations of simulation training to help people understand various types of physical conditions, including blindness. Potentially a good resource for authors who want to research disability for a character or storyline. The author, Arielle Michal Silverman, argues that some of the popular simulation exercises (like blindfolding someone) can actually reinforce negative stereotypes of disability, while focuses on skill-building (for example, teaching someone to read braille) can promote understanding with fewer stereotypical attitudes.
Disability simulations are also misleading because simulated impairments are escapable. A simulator can remove the blindfold or leave the wheelchair at any time whereas someone with a permanent impairment cannot. Furthermore, while simulations tend to over-emphasize the physical trauma of disability, they can also under-emphasize the impact of social discrimination and accessibility barriers, which become apparent only over time (French, 1992).
For this reason, disability scholars have cautioned that simulations could unwittingly mislead participants about the realities of living with a disability. Wright (1978) argues that simulation “can enhance, not only understanding of some problems, but also pervasive pity and devaluation” (p. 178), and that “the main danger of role-playing is that the essence of life of people with a disability will be perceived in negative terms” (p. 182). In her critique of disability simulations, French (1992) quotes disability activists who contend that simulations not only represent disability as tragic, but also as an individual defect rather than a consequence of social barriers. Instead of simulation, French recommends “disability equality training” workshops conducted by disabled people which emphasize strategies to ameliorate the social inequalities disabled people encounter.–Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research
Artist Animates Famous Book Covers in an Elegant, Understated Way – I love the subtlety of these animations. With all of the interactive content now being promoted in books, are covers involved? I would love it if my Kindle could present me with covers like these. Not cartoons, necessarily, but just a little extra sparkle to actually interest me in the cover art (I barely even look at covers these days).
Javier Jensen, an artist living down in Santiago, Chile, has breathed a little life into some beloved book covers. And when I say little, I mean little. His animated touches are nicely understated, hardly distracting from the original cover designs.
To the 1851 cover of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Jensen added a little flipping whale tale (above). A planet shimmers and a star sparkles on the cover of Antoine de Saint Exupery’s Le Petit Prince. Wisps of smoke rise from a pipe on Conan Doyle’s The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. –Open Culture