Monday News: harassment, privacy, self-publishing, and flowers
Inside the underage sex scandal that’s tearing Vine apart – So despite all the tough talk from Hank and John Green about the sexual abuse and harassment issues in the Vine and YouTube communities, the problem persists. And, unsurprisingly, it’s young women who seem to be taking the lead, with a non-profit group called Uplift Together, which includes a Tumblr and “Engage” videos on YouTube. Anyone attend VidCon this year who can report on the environment, especially for female attendees?
What is clear, however, is that sexual harassment, assault and child pornography have become epidemics in the Vine and YouTube communities. In the past two years, in fact, more than two dozen of the Internet’s top stars have been accused of, investigated for or charged with crimes related to sexual misconduct, typically involving underage teens.
“Obviously every incident is different and I think it should be considered as such,” said Hank Green, who — with his brother, the vlogger and author John Green — co-founded VidCon and DFTBA, a record label for YouTube stars. “It really does run the gamut from the simply skeezy to shocking and illegal, but we take all of it seriously and are doing our best to support the conversation about it.” –Washington Post
Windows 10: Here are the privacy issues you should know about – So there’s been a lot of concern about the launch of Windows 10 and security for its users, as there should be. I don’t think there’s really a commercial operating system around right now that is “safe” or “private” in any meaningful sense of those terms. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, etc. – they all want you data, because data is useful in getting you to buy more stuff. This article does a pretty good job outlining some of the most important issues you may want to pay attention to if you’re a Windows user.
The new policies take effect on 1 August and there are a few unsettling things nestling in there that you should be thinking about if you’re using the company’s services and software. . . .
And, like so many other companies, Microsoft has grabbed some very broad powers to collect things you do, say and create while using its software. Your data won’t be staying on your computer, that much is for sure.–The Next Web
Indian tea-seller who hawks his books on Amazon – From the ‘if you think self-publishing is new’ department comes this fantastic chronicle of Laxman Rao, who the BBC calls the “most famous tea seller” in Delhi, and also the author of 24 books. He has authored political essays, plays, and novels, all written in Hindi and sold through his tea stall, as well as Flipkart and Amazon. His 1992 novel, Ramdas, is his best-selling work at 4,000 copies and three editions. He was even invited to present several of his books to Indira Gandhi in 1984, although he has yet to receive any invitations to Indian literary festivals.
Mr Rao has a bachelor’s degree in Hindi and has sat a masters exam through a distance learning programme. He worked hard to publish his books, but all his meetings with publishers ended in disappointment as nobody was willing to bet their money on a book written by a roadside vendor.
Undeterred, he saved up enough to self-publish his first novel in 1979. “Publishers have a highbrow attitude towards people like us and want money to publish our work. I had no money to spare and, therefore, decided to start my own publishing house,” said Mr Rao.–BBC News
How Flowers Changed the World, From Ecosystems to Art Galleries – Yeah, I know I’m on a Smithsonian kick, but they’ve had some great content lately, and this article on flowers, and in particular on Stephen Buchmann’s The Reason for Flowers: Their History, Culture, Biology, and How They Change Our Lives is no exception. And it reminded me of how much I love Romance protagonists who are scientists. I’m trying to think of books with a botanist in a main role – anyone?
Who writes about flowers most poetically?
Alfred Tennyson, Emily Dickinson, Ezra Pound, Louise Gluck, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes. A favorite is the work of Walt Whitman, who gave us wonderful imagery of garden lilacs in his poem “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” a poem about the death of Abraham Lincoln. And since I grew up in the ’60s and ’70s, immersed in the southern California rock scene, another favorite are the dead flowers penned in song lyrics by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on their Sticky Fingers album. –Smithsonian Magazine