You Don’t Own Your Ebooks

You Don’t Own Your Ebooks

michaelblume:

titleknown:

allacharade:

theoldaeroplane:

zigraves:

vaspider:

katherinethegrape:

unlikelylass:

vaspider:

ayellowbirds:

dr-archeville:

You don’t own your ebooks with DRM.  You’re merely
licensing the privilege to read them.  Some readers overseas have learned
this the hard way (yet again) now that Nook is going out of business in
the United Kingdom.  But don’t worry, they’re working to let you maybe possibly transfer all those books you bought.

The Register and TechDirt brought this notice from Nook’s UK site to our attention (emphasis mine):

Effective from March 15, 2016, NOOK will no longer sell
digital content in the United Kingdom.  The NOOK Store on NOOK devices
sold in the UK, on the UK NOOK Reading App for Android, and at nook.com/gb will cease operation.

To
meet your digital reading needs going forward, NOOK has partnered with
award-winning Sainsbury’s Entertainment on Demand to ensure that you
have continued access to the vast majority of your purchased NOOK Books
at no new cost to you.
  Further instructions on how to transfer
your NOOK Books to a new or existing Sainsbury’s Entertainment on Demand
account will be sent to you by email over the coming weeks.  Please
ensure that you look out for these emails as they will contain important
information on what to do next.

Your action is required.

“…continued access to the vast majority of your purchased NOOK Books…”

They’re not even promising that you’ll be able to transfer all your books!

Digital rights management (DRM) is absolutely crippling our ability
to preserve digital knowledge for the future.  And it’s half the reason I
prefer deadtree books.

Even when it’s an accident (like when Amazon deleted everybody’s copies of George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm from their Kindles) it shows just how little control we have over the books we “buy” from digital retailers.

So repeat after me…

You don’t own your ebooks.

You don’t own your ebooks.

You don’t own your ebooks.

This has been an issue for libraries since e-books first started being released.

I keep forgetting that this is a thing that isn’t widely known outside of libraries, the mentality of publishers that electronic media is being “lent” to the buyer, rather than actually becoming a thing you own.

This really bothers me on an accessibility level, bc my Kindle having everything on it makes it accessible to me in my tiny house, with my busted back. I don’t have to get up to get another book. I don’t have to reserve space I don’t have for books. I don’t have to carry a bunch of heavy books when I’m already managing my wheelchair etc while traveling.

This is such a problem.

My husband has complicated allergies. Book ink and the formaldehyde in the paper is a major issue for him. But an ereader works great!

Richard Stalman wrote an article about this back in the 90s called The Right to Read, IIRC.

Welcome to our dystopian cyberpunk present. :/

This is why I use Calibre to back everything up.

There you go.

For anyone who reads sci fi and fantasy, Baen/Tor (who publish a LOT of SF/f, including my beloved Vorkosigan Saga) sell most of their own ebooks on their own site unless the author has a special agreement, and all their ebooks are DRM free. They’re available in a bunch of different formats depending on what kind of ereader you have. Some other publishers also do, though I can’t remember which ones.

I know that nook, Amazon, et al are convenient aggregators, but it may be worth checking if the publisher sells a DRM free version directly if there’s a book you really wanna make sure you don’t lose access to. In addition to the nook problem listed above, Amazon have also been caught retroactively editing the content of books in people’s libraries after purchase. So. You know. Either find a DRM free version to start with, or be prepared to crack every book you buy.

for said cracking, please see DeDRM

DeDRM and Calibre are easy and essential. You can and should own your ebooks.

Reblogging both for the resources and because shit like this regarding DRM pisses me off so fucking much… 

As always, RMS warned us about this shit.

My work colleague rib me a little about the fact that I’ve got a computer science degree but seem to shun a lot of new technology (I don’t have a smart phone) but they were stunned to learn they’re only renting the music and books they’ve “bought” digitally.

All the paper books, CDs and DVDs I have are basically a backup system for the things I really want to keep.

In fairness to my colleagues, we work in the charity sector and none of them spent the time when iTunes etc were really starting to take off being totally immersed in the academic side of it all.

(My Mum used to moan about not having Facebook messenger on her phone, but she’s pretty glad now that I wouldn’t install it for her after the Facebook shenanigans got more widely known. Did I watch too much X-Files as a kid and get paranoid? Maybe? But when it turned out the CIA had been spying on folks through webcams, I wasn’t worried for myself (other than like, not being of interest to them) because ever since I got my first USB webcam, I’ve been covering the lens or turning it to face the wall – I just assumed that some l33t h4x0r could have been watching anyway.)

Michelin guide recognizes Singapore hawkers

Michelin guide recognizes Singapore hawkers

copperbadge:

southeastasianists:

Culinary bible Michelin on Thursday, July 21, awarded one star each
to two street food hawkers in Singapore, the first in the guide’s
history.

Launching the inaugural restaurant and hotel guide to the Southeast
Asian city-state, Michelin inspectors gave one star each to Hill Street
Tai Hwa Pork Noodle and Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle.

“For the first time, you would be able to have a Michelin-starred
meal for under Sg$5 ($3.70),” said Michael Ellis, international director
of the Michelin guides. (…)”

Congratulations to them! This is amazing and a huge step forward for food culture, that the Michelin guide is willing to recognize and recommend chefs who don’t have white-tablecloth service and a tony address behind them. Not to mention a wonderful compliment for the chefs!

This is the fantasy I was envisioning when I had Steve win a Michelin star for War On Hunger. 😀 

mmmm chicken rice

Chris Evans May Take a Captain America Break to Play a Modern-Day Dr. Jekyll

Chris Evans May Take a Captain America Break to Play a Modern-Day Dr. Jekyll

luninosity:

In case no one’s posted this yet (I’ve been on campus all day).

I AM SO HERE FOR THIS. GOOD AND EVIL SIDES OF CHRIS? MODERN-DAY DESCENDANT STORY? YES.

AUGH. Torn. The series this will be based on was AMAZING and James Nesbitt was GREAT in it, so like… why re-tread the same approach to the Jekyll & Hyde story but CHRIS EVANS.

Yahoo reports big loss, writes down Tumblr value

Yahoo reports big loss, writes down Tumblr value

copperbadge:

deadcatwithaflamethrower:

odditycollector:

I FUCKING KNEW IT.

SO. IF YOU KNOW YOUR FANDOM HISTORY, YOU CAN SEE THE WRITING ON THE WALL RIGHT NOW.

AND IN CASE YOU DON’T, I will tell you a story.

I don’t know if Yahoo as a corporate entity hates fandom, or if it LOVES fandom in the way a flame longs to wrap its embrace around a forest. Or maybe it’s just that fandom is an enticingly big and active userbase; but just by the nature of our enterprise, we are extremely difficult to monetize.

It doesn’t matter.

Once upon a time – in the era before anyone had heard of google – if you wanted to post fandom (or really, ANY) content, you made your own webpage out of nested frames and midi files. And you hosted it on GeoCities.

GeoCities was free and… there. If the internet of today is facebook and tumblr and twitter, the internet of the late 90s WAS GeoCities.

And then Yahoo bought GeoCities for way too much money and immediately made some, let’s say, User Outreach Errors. And anyway, the internet was getting more varied all the time, fandom mostly moved on – it wasn’t painful. GeoCities was free hosting, not a community space – but the 90s/early 00s internet was still there, preserved as if in amber, at GeoCities.com.

Until 2009, when Yahoo killed it. 15 years of early-internet history – a monument to humanity’s masses first testing the potential of the internet, and realizing they could build anything they wanted… And what they wanted to build was shines to Angel from BtVS with 20 pages of pictures that were too big to wait for on a 56k modem, interspersed with MS Word clipart and paragraphs of REALLY BIG flashing fushia letters that scrolled L to R across the page. And also your cursor would become a different MS Word clipart, with sparkles.

(So basically nothing has changed, except you don’t have to personally hardcode every entry in your tumblr anymore. Progress!)

And it was all wiped out, just like that. Gone. (except on the wayback machine, an important project, but they didn’t get everything) The weight of that loss still hurts. The sheer magnitude…

Imagine a library stocked with hundreds of thousands of personal journals, letters, family photographs, eulogies, novels, etc. dated from a revolutionary period in history, and each one its only copy. And then one day, its librarians become tired of maintaining it, so they set the library and all its contents on fire.

And watch as the flames take everything.

Brush the ash from their hands.

Walk away.

Once upon a time – in the era after everyone had heard of google, but still mostly believed them about “Don’t be evil” – fandom had a pretty great collective memory. If someone posted a good fic, or meta, or art, or conversation relevant to your interests? Anywhere? (This was before the AO3, after all.) You could know p much as soon – or as many years late – as you wanted to.

Because there was a tagging site – del.icio.us – that fandom-as-a-whole used; it was simple, functional, free, and there. Yahoo bought it in 2005. Yahoo announced they were closing it in 2010.

They ended up selling it instead, but not all the data went with it – many users didn’t opt to the migration. And even then, the new version was busted. Basically unusable for fannish searching or tagging purposes. This is the lure and the danger of centralization, I guess.

It is like fandom suffered – collectively – a brain injury. Memories are irrevocably lost, or else they are not retrievable without struggle. New ones aren’t getting formed. There is no consensus replacement.

We have never yet recovered.

Once upon a time… Yahoo bought tumblr.

I don’t know how you celebrated the event, but I spent it backing up as much as I could, because Yahoo’s hobby is collecting the platforms that fandom relies on and destroying them.

I do not think Yahoo is “bad” – I am criticizing them on their own site, after all, and I don’t expect any retribution. I genuinely hope they sort out their difficulties.

But they are, historically, bad for US.

And right now is a good time to look at what you’ve accumulated during your career on this platform, and start deciding what you want to pack and what can be left behind to become ruins. And ash.

…On a cheerier note, wherever we settle next will probably be much better! This was never a good place to build a city.

My response to this will be to back up all of my Tumblr entries (all 10k of them) onto Dreamwidth, which IS fandom-run and fandom-friendly, just so I don’t lose anything when the inevitable happens.

I know DW  has never quite been accepted as a community–which I don’t understand at all, it has the flex and love that Livejournal abandoned over ten years ago–but hey, better than nothing.

Yahoo also bought and then slowly destroyed Flickr. I WILL say it: Yahoo is bad, they make bad, greedy decisions like the users of people which they are, and the only reason they haven’t fallen is that they made one good choice and bought a shitload of Alibaba stock before it hit big. Yahoo doesn’t make significant money off its platforms; it makes more money as a single-stock hedge fund than it does as a dot com. That’s how bad they are at making anything work in an even remotely functional way.

@pillowfort-io look out we’re about to show up on your doorstep carrying our canons and our smaller fellow fans on our backs. 😀

At least this time we have AO3 for most of the fanworks. If your shit isn’t on AO3 or backed up somewhere off Tumblr, guys, now’s the time.

Constance Wu: ‘Diversity…doesn’t Mean We Want the White People to Write Asian Stories’

Constance Wu: ‘Diversity…doesn’t Mean We Want the White People to Write Asian Stories’

minoritiesinpublishing:

“[Diversity] doesn’t mean we want the white people to write Asian stories.
What I want is to foster the Asian-American writers and directors and
producers and actors…foster their stories to come into the spotlight a
little bit.”

This explanation for the term “diversity” is very important. Please pay attention.

5 examples of how the languages we speak can affect the way we think.

5 examples of how the languages we speak can affect the way we think.

triflesandparsnips:

fromonesurvivortoanother:

divineirony:

To say, “This is my uncle,” in Chinese, you have no choice but to encode more information about said uncle. The language requires that you denote the side the uncle is on, whether he’s related by marriage or birth and, if it’s your father’s brother, whether he’s older or younger.

“All of this information is obligatory. Chinese doesn’t let me ignore it,” says Chen. “In fact, if I want to speak correctly, Chinese forces me to constantly think about it.”

This got Chen wondering: Is there a connection between language and how we think and behave? In particular, Chen wanted to know: does our language affect our economic decisions?

Chen designed a study — which he describes in detail in this blog post — to look at how language might affect individual’s ability to save for the future. According to his results, it does — big time.

While “futured languages,” like English, distinguish between the past, present and future, “futureless languages,” like Chinese, use the same phrasing to describe the events of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Using vast inventories of data and meticulous analysis, Chen found that huge economic differences accompany this linguistic discrepancy. Futureless language speakers are 30 percent more likely to report having saved in any given year than futured language speakers. (This amounts to 25 percent more savings by retirement, if income is held constant.) Chen’s explanation: When we speak about the future as more distinct from the present, it feels more distant — and we’re less motivated to save money now in favor of monetary comfort years down the line.

But that’s only the beginning. There’s a wide field of research on the link between language and both psychology and behavior. Here, a few fascinating examples:

Navigation and Pormpuraawans
In Pormpuraaw, an Australian Aboriginal community, you wouldn’t refer to an object as on your “left” or “right,” but rather as “northeast” or “southwest,” writes Stanford psychology professor Lera Boroditsky (and an expert in linguistic-cultural connections) in the Wall Street Journal. About a third of the world’s languages discuss space in these kinds of absolute terms rather than the relative ones we use in English, according to Boroditsky. “As a result of this constant linguistic training,” she writes, “speakers of such languages are remarkably good at staying oriented and keeping track of where they are, even in unfamiliar landscapes.” On a research trip to Australia, Boroditsky and her colleague found that Pormpuraawans, who speak Kuuk Thaayorre, not only knew instinctively in which direction they were facing, but also always arranged pictures in a temporal progression from east to west.

Blame and English Speakers
In the same article, Boroditsky notes that in English, we’ll often say that someone broke a vase even if it was an accident, but Spanish and Japanese speakers tend to say that the vase broke itself. Boroditsky describes a study by her student Caitlin Fausey in which English speakers were much more likely to remember who accidentally popped balloons, broke eggs, or spilled drinks in a video than Spanish or Japanese speakers. (Guilt alert!) Not only that, but there’s a correlation between a focus on agents in English and our criminal-justice bent toward punishing transgressors rather than restituting victims, Boroditsky argues.

Color among Zuñi and Russian Speakers
Our ability to distinguish between colors follows the terms in which we describe them, as Chen notes in the academic paper in which he presents his research (forthcoming in the American Economic Review; PDF here). A 1954 study found that Zuñi speakers, who don’t differentiate between orange and yellow, have trouble telling them apart. Russian speakers, on the other hand, have separate words for light blue (goluboy) and dark blue (siniy). According to a 2007 study, they’re better than English speakers at picking out blues close to the goluboy/siniy threshold.

Gender in Finnish and Hebrew
In Hebrew, gender markers are all over the place, whereas Finnish doesn’t mark gender at all, Boroditsky writes in Scientific American (PDF). A study done in the 1980s found that, yup, thought follows suit: kids who spoke Hebrew knew their own genders a year earlier than those who grew up speaking Finnish. (Speakers of English, in which gender referents fall in the middle, were in between on that timeline, too.)

This doesn’t surprise me. I’d also propose that since Chinese has no plural nouns, only context, that a greater sense of belonging to a group or community is present among native Chinese speakers, while English speakers feel more individualistic.

So I feel like everyone should immediately go read Ted Chiang’s amazing SF short story “The Story of Your Life,” which is about learning an alien language that has an emphasis on knowing how the sentence about to spoken will end — which leads to an overall advanced understanding of time itself.

It’s a fantastic story. It’ll massively fuck with your mind. Read it.

Decades of Scientific Research May Be Ruined Because Mice Are Afraid of Men

Decades of Scientific Research May Be Ruined Because Mice Are Afraid of Men

innerbrat:

kajedheat:

micdotcom:

Mice are crucial part of lab research. Everything from their cells and their behavior are dissected in the name of science. Some of the biggest medical breakthroughs owe thanks to mice, but all that may come into question due to a shocking new discovery that threatens to blow apart decades of research.

Mice are more scared of male researchers than of female ones.

It sounds almost too comical to be true, but a new study published in the journal Nature Methods argues that mice’s aversion to men is all too real — and it may have had incalculable impact on past research.

Read more

MICEANDRY

This is why men shouldn’t do science.