Thursday News: National Book Award winners; Doctorow on DRM; Barbie book gets backlash; and hot chocolate recipes
Klay, who had been deployed in Iraq, appeared taken aback by the honor on stage.
“I can’t think of a more important conversation to be having — war’s too strange to be processed alone,” he said in his acceptance speech. “I want to thank everyone who picked up the book, who read it and decided to join the conversation.” –NPR
Digital-lock vendors will tell you that their wares aren’t perfect, but they’re “better than nothing.” But the evidence is that digital locks are much worse than nothing. Industries that make widespread use of digital locks see market power shifting from creators and investors to intermediaries. They don’t reduce piracy. And customers who run into frustrations with digital locks are given an incentive to learn how to rip off the whole supply chain.
If you’re a publisher, label, or studio, the answer is simple: don’t let companies sell your goods with digital locks on them. And if a company refuses to sell your goods unless they can put their locks on your products? Well, you can be pretty sure that those locks aren’t there for your benefit. –Tech Crunch
Barbie Author ‘Scared to Open’ Email After Book Labeled ‘Sexist’ – The title to this story is pretty ridiculous, because the author in question made an apologetic statement about her portrayal of Barbie as a game designer, who turns to her male colleagues to execute the design. In some ways this is a story about how easy it is to replicate stereotypes, even among progressive women who have been successful in traditionally male-dominated fields. But it’s also a story about how the expectations for Barbie continue to evolve, and about how Barbie marketing responded to negative reader reviews (and apparently Mattel has pulled the book):
“Maybe I should have made one of those programmers a female – I wish I did,” said Marenco, who is now a technical editor at a tech firm in San Francisco. Mattel has not responded to ABC News’ attempts to confirm her account.
But Lori Pantel, vice president of Barbie’s global brand marketing, said, the “I Can Be A Computer Engineer” book was first published in 2010.
“Since that time we have reworked our Barbie books,” Pantel said in a statement. “The portrayal of Barbie in this specific story doesn’t reflect the Brand’s vision for what Barbie stands for. We believe girls should be empowered to understand that anything is possible and believe they live in a world without limits. We apologize that this book didn’t reflect that belief. All Barbie titles moving forward will be written to inspire girls imaginations and portray an empowered Barbie character.” — ABC News
How to Spice up your Hot Chocolate – In honor of the first big rainstorm here (this is winter for us), a cute infographic that gives a lot of great ideas for hot chocolate flavorings and toppings, from Nutella to peanut butter to lavender. There’s even a vegan recipe. — SheKnows