Tuesday News: Provocative new domains, customized Amazon reviews, same sex relationships in history, and Tron lightcycle for sale
Here comes verizon.sucks, but will it help or hurt the company? – I remember when .biz was an unusual domain suffix. Now we’ve got .sucks and .porn coming down the pike, among others. It’ll be interesting to see who buys their own .sucks name, and how they get utilized as protest sites. Remember when United was trying to get its customer complaint website shut down? Now that’s going to be even more difficult. And god help us with the .porn sites we’re likely to see.
Companies will have to decide whether it’s worth $2,500 a year to tie up a .sucks address during a 60-day early access period set aside for trademark owners and celebrities that begins March 30. If they don’t, anyone in the world will be able to register the name and set up their own protest site.
Another controversial new suffix, .porn, has already begun its early access period, drawing registrations from Microsoft (MSFT), Harvard University and even pop star Taylor Swift. Celebrities have more experience with the problems that may arise, having dealt with a barrage of new web site names when the .xxx suffix opened for business four years ago. –Yahoo Tech
Amazon Refines Customer Review Process With New Ratings Options – So Amazon is now prompting its customers to leave more detailed review information with helpful drop down menus encouraging the reviewer to, for example, comment specifically on the writing quality of a book. Which is not at all going to exacerbate the accusations that readers are just mean bullies who don’t want authors to have careers. Or whatever. Anyway, I find this amusing.
All in all, this is a good move on the part of Amazon. I’m sure I’m not the only reader who has put down a book in frustration with the writing style, tone, or amount of extraneous sex or violence. By offering specific prompts for these areas of concern, Amazon is helping readers make more informed decisions.
That said, I would hope that Amazon’s next move will be to make it easier to start a review. Currently you have to navigate to a book’s listing, then open the “all reviews” page, and finally click a button so you can write a review. –Ink, Bits & Pixels (aka The Digital Reader)
The improbable, 200-year-old story of one of America’s first same-sex ‘marriages’ – So here’s goodbye to another myth about what is and isn’t “accurate” in historical Romance. This piece really got me wondering about how much historical Romance indulges in a fantasy image of the past that doesn’t engage any number of social complexities. Anyway, there’s some fantastic detail here about the the history of openly lived same-sex relationships. I’d also recommend Sharon Marcus’s Between Women: Friendship, Desire, and Marriage in Victorian England, and Richard Godbeer’s Sexual Revolution in Early America. Both books challenge a number of stubborn myths about Puritan and Victorian societies.
“Our popular narrative of same-sex marriage says it’s this brand new thing,” said Rachel Hope Cleves, an associate professor of history at the University of Victoria and the author of a new study in the latest issue of the Journal of American History chronicling 500 years of same-sex unions in the United States. “But the reality is that it came over with human migration” — contrary, for example, to Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s comment during oral arguments on California’s Proposition 8 case that it’s an “institution which is newer than cellphones or the Internet.”
Long before United States vs. Windsor — before the Defense of Marriage Act, even before the Stonewall Riots — gays and lesbians in North America found ways to live as married couples, in practice if not in law, according to Cleves’s research. In the mid-16th century, Spanish conquistador Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca wrote about a custom of “one man married to another,” which he saw in several Gulf Coast communities. Newspaper accounts from the 18th and 19th centuries tell sensationalized stories of “female husbands,” women who passed as men and married other women for love or money. California miners Jason Chamberlain and John Chaffee lived together for more than 50 years and were thought of as “wedded bachelors” by those who knew them. –Washington Post
Absurdly rich ‘Tron’ fans could own a working light cycle for $40,000 – Have an extra $25 to $40K hanging around? You may want to bid on this extremely cool light cycle, which is a working replica of the cycles from the Tron movie remake. One of a kind, illuminated by streaks of blue light, and definitely fun to drive around the neighborhood in the dark, pretending you’re being chased by those computer program dudes.
The vehicle, which is listed in “new condition” runs on a 96 volt, direct-drive electric motor with lithium batteries and also features a computer-controlled throttle, rebound and compression damping with spring-preload front suspension and rigid rear suspension, and front and rear hydraulic brakes. So, you know — car stuff. –Mashable
Great linky list! Really happy to see the changes in Amazon’s rating system. Did you hear about the changes to author pages on Goodreads?
I almost understand the intent behind .sucks, but feel certain many of those domains will not be the source of reasoned discussion ICANN envisions. OTOH, .porn will be the debacle–and cudgel–I fully expect when attached to the name of any person, private or public.
I am not in favor of the new Amazon review sustem. If it supplements the current written review, fine, but to replace it? Those reviews won’t tell me what I want to know.-How is the writing; is it dry, humorous, engaging, smart, dull; are the characters believable? likeable? or mere wooden cutouts? are the details, believable, are facts accurate? etc. To the drop down menu is just a starting point. I’m worried that Amazon will make it the whole review.
That drop down menu of review prompts looks very much like the Audible rating system which I despise. Audible,, however, allows you to skip the prompts and write a typical review. I think they may be responding to criticism of the “I loved it!” and the “it sucks” review but maybe I’m giving them too much credit. I won’t judge until I actually see it in action. I wrote a review this morning for some body wash and there weren’t any prompts.
@Bark’s Book Nonsense: I believe although not sure that these review prompts so far appear only for book reviews. I am also pretty sure that you can skip it on Amazon as well. I found them incredibly irritating but I was able to ignore it after second try.