Tuesday News: Re-reading, crowdfunding library books, copyright targets camera thief, and SmartSpecs glasses
The Key to Rereading – An interesting piece on re-reading that raises a lot of interesting issues related to the way the mind engages and re-engages with text. Until the article’s author, Tim Parks, falls right into the trap of distinguishing genre fiction as basically non-intellectual, in that he leaves no space in which genre fiction can be re-read for precisely the same pleasures he attributes to literary fiction – like gaining a new perspective or solving a new problem presented in the text or seeing the language anew. It seems to me that the lack doesn’t lie with genre fiction, but rather in the failure to engage its pleasures more thoughtfully.
This prompts a second reflection. With a certain kind of reading the pleasure lies in the lock-making process, the progressive meshing of mind and text. Once we are familiar with the kind of experience the text opens up in our minds, we will be less excited. Or at least, the pleasure will be of a different kind, offering the reassurance of the known, or simply a happy reminder of that more strenuous lock-making period. Such a distinction might help us tackle the old chestnut of the difference between genre fiction and literary work. There is no continuing learning process with genre fiction. We know how to read a Maigret and would never dream of rereading one. It always prompts the same reactions. But with a literary novel, we would expect the pleasure of an effort of adjustment, of new vistas being opened in the mind. –New York Review of Books
Writers’ Inspiring New Project Will Send LGBT YA Books to Libraries and Shelters -A new crowdfunded project that seeks to match “Rainbow Boxes” of books with libraries and LGBT shelters, and to have the books shelved in general fiction (or non-fiction), so that they foster inclusivity and hopefully promote more book sales and ultimately increased publisher interest in acquiring more LGBT books.
While culling the book boxes, they’ve also been carefully researching to discover which libraries and LGBT homeless shelters should be candidates to receive Rainbow Boxes, waiting to publicly name the recipients until they’re completely sure the boxes would be able to find their way to shelves. They’re also pushing for libraries to shelve the books in their more general categories, not separately. “We want to push back against the notion that these are niche books,” says Capetta. “Inclusive fiction is for everybody.” –Flavorwire
‘Spiderman’-like photographer caught using $11,000 in stolen camera gear – Australian photographer Bryce Wilson was arrested for burglary and handling stolen camera equipment, which isn’t, by itself, much of a story. Except that Wilson stole the equipment from another photographer, Jon Grundy, and while he was using it, he apparently failed to realize that the legal owner’s copyright info was attached to the equipment and the photos produced with it. In any case, he didn’t remove Grundy’s name and info, and when yet another photographer noticed Grundy’s info on Wilson’s photos (listed for sale), he contacted Grundy, who went to the police. Whoops.
The connection was made because of the photo’s EXIF data, which is assigned to each photo by the camera and contains information like the photographer’s name, the make and model of the camera and lens, and other identifiers. Most widely used photo editors (like Adobe’s Lightroom) will give you access to the EXIF data.–Mashable
These Glasses Could Help the Blind See – For those who cannot read text due to limited vision, the technology used to make this new pair of glasses might eventually provide the opportunity to be able to perceive relatively small text on a page or screen. A substantial technological step forward in addressing some of the diverse issues faced by those designated as legally blind, although it will not be appropriate for all types of vision impairment.
SmartSpecs, developed by a research team at a University of Oxford lab, use 3D cameras originally developed for the Xbox to capture real time images. The images are then put into high contrast and displayed on a screen in front of the user’s eyes. Dark things become black, while bright things become white. Far away objects are simply erased to reduce visual clutter.
Many visually impaired users find the high contrast allows them to see things they normally couldn’t. Furniture that might ordinarily blend in with a same-colored floor, turning it into a tripping hazard, becomes bright white. Doorways are enhanced. Even faces, which might normally appear as a blur, turn into crisp black and white cartoons. Smiles that might go unseen can be appreciated. –Smithsonian Magazine