Link Smorgasbord, June 3 - 9

How Windows Red can fix Windows 8 (InfoWorld)
A proposal for design and structure for the next Windows OS.

"Less than 1% of printed works globally are accessible to the blind. This is because laws around the world bar printed material from being turned into formats useable by the blind and visually impaired, or for such material to be shared across borders.

That’s why 186 countries will soon convene in Morocco to finalize a Treaty that would empower the world’s nearly 300 million blind citizens with the same rights to read, learn, and earn that the sighted enjoy. However, huge and powerful corporations – many wholly unaffected by the proposed Treaty – are working to fatally weaken it or block its adoption.

Ask the President to compel US negotiators to fight for a strong Treaty that gives blind people equal access to books and doesn't burden those who want to provide them. Please sign today!"

Dummy-Proof Step-by-Step Guide to Encrypting a USB Drive (Spiceworks)
A rather nice simple how-to for those who are curious.

White House effort targets 'patent trolls'
I can't say that I have a whole lot of faith in this making a big difference in how patents are being abused, but I hope it is a step in the right direction.  It does not address the fact that company can patent page-turn animation or other patents that really don't qualify as the "novel, non-obvious, and useful" that is supposedly part of patent law.  There are companies who's entire business model is based on owning and developing patents, and other companies need to develop their own patent portfolios even if the patents they develop or purchase are never used by them.


EU outlines proposal for network neutrality guarantees
"The Arab Spring showed us the power of the internet. So I am determined to support and champion that network. A network that is open and unified, and delivering democratic values. Across the world, and here in Europe.  That is why we have our No Disconnect strategy, helping global activists use ICT tools in their fight for freedom. And that is why I am determined to safeguard media freedom and pluralism, including in the digital age."
See also: Speech: The EU, safeguarding the open internet for all

Seems to be a real thing, if perhaps coming across as poorly organized and met with intense skepticism by the target retailers.

Does Your Smartphone Sync with Your Values? Behold: The Fairphone!
In Europe, and still in start-up phase, but it is encouraging to see this sort of trend.

Free eBook Formatting & Marketing Guides for Writers
Nice little resource

Big Six Matrix for Ebook License Comparisons
I've posted the price comparison charts for library ebook costs and availability, but this is a nice chart showing the further layers of complexity and restriction libraries face in lending ebooks.

Windows 8.1 unveiled: Lots of touchscreen tweaks; Desktop users will be dissatisfied
Yup, the article title pretty much hits it.  Yes, the Start button returns... but without the Start menu and just behaves as a shortcut for the Metro UI.  I'm sort of wondering why they bothered on that front.  Overall still seems to be a system that embraces the things I least like about tablets and puts them on a desktop.

Golden Book Gown
I have no clue what I'd ever do with a dress like this, but I would love one and would make opportunities to wear one!

Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have 'Nothing to Hide'
An eloquent article on privacy as something worth holding on to.
"Privacy, in other words, involves so many things that it is impossible to reduce them all to one simple idea. And we need not do so."

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