Link Smorgasbord, August 5 - 11

Union Standoff in Germany
I find the description of Amazon's "American-style business practices--in particular, an antipathy to organized labor--that stand at odds with European norms," quite interesting.  I really don't know much about European labor rights and practices (except they generally have better parental leave), but then I also have issues with Amazon so I've been following the news on the fights with Amazon in Germany for the past few months.

Jeff Bezos buys the Washington Post
Holy crap.
Read more:
Obama task force revives SOPA provision outlawing online streaming
What I believe this is trying to target is the increase in streaming services that continue to offer content after license agreements have expired (or without license agreements).  I have come across several law suits where artists have found that companies are continuing to use their work in such case.  That being said I see this targeting individuals way more than corporations similar to all the lawsuits in the early days of Napster.

A Guide to YA Novels with LGBTQ Characters
Available to view on the website and as a PDF download.

Dresden Municipal Libraries Expands Library eBook program to Include All of Germany
Not for free, but at a yearly subscription price that is only slightly more than a month subscription of Netflix.

19th century online romance — and access barriers to public domain texts
Sometimes accessing a public domain ebook can get ridiculous.

Worth a read, if you were unaware of library efforts to boycott HarperCollins.

Yay Corey!

E-Books Strain Relations Beween Libraries, Publishing Houses
Yup, they do.  Interview on NPR with librarians who have been on the front lines of developments with library ebooks.

Is online privacy a right?
I think it should be, as does the author of this article.  Most people don't think a whole lot about their online privacy (or at least that's the impression I get dealing with our public computers), but it is something that is very important.

Chairman Goodlatte Announces Comprehensive Review of Copyright Law
Stay tuned for more, just because Copyright Law is getting a much needed revision does not mean that the revisions will be for the better.

A warning to college profs from a high school teacher
I've never understood the love of standardized tests, particularly as someone who was in the first round of students who had to pass the MCAS to graduate high school.  Seriously it was an awful experience and a poorly written test.  For the essay section one of my essays was two pages detailing exactly why the prompt question was inappropriate for the test, and another essay was half properly answered and half an explanation of problems with the rest of the question.  There were questions in the math section that were simple enough, but were not things that I encountered until I took a graduate level statistics course (that's right, I didn't even come across them in the undergrad statistics courses).

I went to a high school that had the resources for some amazing classes, and regardless of how useful these classes have proven later in both my professional, personal, and academic life, many of them were essentially useless in regards to the various standardized test options I encountered.  Criminology was an amazing one trimester class, other students took photography and that became the groundwork of their profession, we had an auto shop, a wood working shop, electronics classes, CAD and graphic design classes, etc.  Fantastic and useful resources that are no use at all on high school standardized tests.

TL;DR: I might rather like articles like this.

Algorithms Are the New Content Creators, and That’s Bad News for Humans
Very interesting article at an angle that I never considered.

I view Amazon as the Walmart of the bookselling industry, if not the Internet overall.  Consumers generally just see the wide selection and the (possibly) lower prices, and don't really have much awareness of Amazon's questionable business practices.

15 Curious Things Found in Library Books
I kind of want to start leaving notes in my library books for the next patron.

TL;DR - this library has smart and tech savvy people, and libraries do way more than lending books.

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