Link Smorgasbord, June 2014

School cancels reading program rather than promote “hacker culture”

Ok, I can buy that Little Brother promotes "hacker culture" - along with independent thought, distrust for authorities, and standing up for what you believe is right.  I've read Little Brother and other YA novels by Doctorow, and I can easily say there is a far better dynamic with family (and even authority figures) than I have found in many books aimed at teens.  Little Brother is quite "teen friendly" in terms of content, and love it or hate it, Little Brother has a lot of fodder for discussion.

Personally, I want to challenge kids to think, and I am biased towards the political views of Little Brother.  That aside, we're dealing with a book that has been used successfully somewhat widely and is used in high school and college classrooms.  So obviously I feel they should have kept the book and gone forward.  Canceling the program instead of changing books strikes me as just ridiculous.

Amazon Stops Taking Advance Orders for ‘Lego’ and Other Warner Videos
This seems to be close to resolution at this point.

Powell's Happily Scrambled to Handle Colbert Bump
That must have been an interesting day at the office for Powell's.

Lie Like A Lady: The Profoundly Weird, Gender-Specific Roots Of The Turing Test
Really interesting and informative read.

YouTube to block indie labels as subscription service launches
Argh.  Personally, I actually don't use YouTube often for music, but you can be sure that when I do, if I can't find it there I will simply use another source.  Some of the bands facing removal of video content have large followings, and YouTube is not the only place for video hosting.  I'm interested in seeing how this falls out... and potentially what rises as a result.

News about Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A
Angry Robot is one of my favorite publishers, they put out some exemplary Science Fiction.  I wanted to see where their YA and Mystery imprints would take them, but I respect their analysis of the markets they faced.

Amazon Pressing U.K. Publishers on Range of Issues
Amazon is playing hardball all over the place, and people aren't happy.

Retail in Real-Time
I thought this was neat, "Retail in Real-Time - a glimpse of how and where the US spends its cash and just how quickly these numbers grow."

FAA grounds Amazon’s drone delivery plans
For the time being.  Seems like Amazon may actually be serious about this idea.

S&S Makes E-Catalogue Available to All LibrariesProgress

BitLit is a platform that works with publishers to bundle print books with ebooks.  A handful of publishers are participating at this time.  To claim a book you take a cover photo and a copyright page photo (with your name written clearly in all caps at the top of the page), and once verified allows download to free or steeply discounted ebook copies in a variety of formats of your book.  I can see some risk for abuse, but hopefully the software that analyzes the photos can pick up on library markings (also, hopefully people aren't jerks, but... let's just say I'm jaded).


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