Wednesday News: The Gawker mess, streaming the Olympics, how to kill your own book proposal, and book-themed vacations
Gawker, Daily Mail in ‘Final Stages’ of Settling Defamation Suit – Although I’ve never been the biggest Gawker fan, there are some chilling lessons in its current situation, especially in the fact that one person – Paypal co-founder and CEO Peter Thiel – funded the $140 million Hulk Hogan suit against Gawker that really got the dominos falling. Now Gawker will be sold next week, and much is up in the air, including employment of the union-represented editorial staff (because of the bankruptcy sale, the new owners will not have to adopt the union contract). And the privacy/defamation questions are nowhere near settled.
Gawker, which has appealed the $140 million award, is also facing defamation suits from blogger Charles Johnson, journalist Ashley Terrill and tech entrepreneur Shiva Ayyadurai, who claims to have invented email. Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who was outed as gay in 2007 by Gawker’s now-defunct Valleywag blog, has acknowledged backing much of the legal firestorm engulfing Gawker, Mr. Denton and several other writers and editors. . . .
Gawker, which publishes under its own name as well as banners including Gizmodo, Jalopnik and Jezebel, has already lined up a $90 million offer from Ziff Davis LLC. The auction is scheduled for Aug. 16, with a bankruptcy court hearing to approve the results of the bidding slated for Aug. 18. – Wall Street Journal
How to Stream the 2016 Olympics Online, No Cable Required – Given the discussion of NBC’s less than stellar coverage of the Olympics for US viewers, I thought I’d offer this Lifehacker article on potential streaming options:
NBC is making it easier than ever to stream the Olympics… if you’re a cable subscriber. However, if you can borrow a friend or family member’s cable credentials both NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app (free on iOS, Apple TV, Android, Windows devices, Xbox, and Roku) will be streaming over 4,500 hours of live coverage during the games, including the opening and closing ceremonies. You’ll pretty much be able to see it all on almost any device if someone is nice enough to let you use their credentials. You can also watch live coverage of the Olympics for free on a time-delay if you have an Over-the-Air (OTA) antenna hooked up to your TV. If none of those work for you, don’t fret, there are still a couple other ways you can watch. – Lifehacker
I Killed My Own Book Proposal By Blogging About A Sad Flopsweaty Douchebag Clown – That Deadspin is a Gawker site just makes this even more poignant. Foodspin founder Albert Burneko was fortunate enough to be solicited for a book proposal, the writing of which took him a solid two years. And right as he could see the finish line, Burneko authored a post that even he describes as “extremely mean spirited” that had, shall we say, substantial unintended consequences. Especially ironic is the role that thoughtlessness played in the whole thing (and it makes me wonder how much of Gawker’s troubles are the result of something similar).
At Deadspin we have an unofficial practice called “Slack Law”: When a topic consumes the staff’s attention for more than a few minutes in Slack, Slack Law says that somebody has to take it to the actual website where we get paid to do our work, so that it will not be a complete waste of time and will not intrude for too long on the actual work-related use of Slack. Thus, for example, if we are bickering about whether a hippopotamus could take a rhinoceros in a street fight, someone can invoke Slack Law, at which point the bickering must end, and a blog must be produced. – Deadspin
Vacation rentals for book lovers – So apparently yesterday was “National Book Lovers Day” (isn’t that every day??), and here is a collection of book-themed vacation rentals (aka they have a connection to a famous book). From Sense and Sensibility to Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants to Dracula and then some, there are some pretty cool (and even affordable) places on this list. – USA Today