PEN America survey finds NSA surveillance most effective at stopping writers speak

By libertyc
December 24, 2013 // 2 Comments

I lived successively in two ostensibly free countries where self-censorship is prevalent:  Hong Kong, where concern over the authoritarian Big Brother next door drives many journalists to limit or moderate their statements on certain subjects; and Hungary, where an triumphalist and populist [...]

The Revolt of the Books in Istanbul's Taksim Square

By libertyc
July 2, 2013 // 2 Comments

Reading books has become one of the main expressions of dissent in Turkey following the police clampdown on more active forms of protest against the increasingly autocratic government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Taksim Square Book Club, which convenes demonstrators in [...]

Post-PRISM "Nineteen Eighty-Four" sales spike points up Orwell’s split position

By libertyc
June 15, 2013 // 3 Comments

One off-the-wall consequence of the sudden disclosures regarding the U.S. National Security Agency’s PRISM digital surveillance program earlier this week was the much-reported spike in sales of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”—with Penguin Plume’s recent Centennial [...]

On privacy, and the use of our personal information

By libertyc
June 12, 2013 // 0 Comments

There’s been lots in the news recently about this issue. The latest article I’ve seen was from All Things D about Google wanting permission to reveal how many FISA requests its received. I think this is a good time for us to be thinking about our information, how it’s collected and what [...]

Banned book trading cards earn prestigious award

By libertyc
April 26, 2013 // 0 Comments

The Lawrence (Kansas) Public Library found an innovative way to celebrate Banned Book Week last fall when it produced art trading cards. Lawrence Library picked seven books to put on its trading cards from 46 submissions. Books included 1984 (pictured), Animal Farm, and Little Red Riding Hood. The [...]

New Orwell cover designs obscure an Orwellian copyright saga

By libertyc
January 10, 2013 // 6 Comments

Penguin Books, along with its seriously talented team of graphic designers, is making great play of its latest rebooting of the George Orwell franchise. Coverage from the Huffington Post to the Creative Review lauds Penguin’s brave and high-minded initiative to relaunch Orwell’s works with [...]

Amazon’s zapping of customer’s Kindle library shows why we need library-provided ‘content lockers’ (Updated)

By libertyc
October 22, 2012 // 6 Comments

What if Amazon wiped out all your Kindle books and refused to let you open another account? I don’t know what if any sins a customer committed, but such an Orwellian scenario is said to have actually happened. No, I’m not just talking about the remote deletion of 1984, but rather [...]

Banned Books Week celebrates 30 years of defiant reading

By libertyc
September 26, 2012 // 1 Comment

If you’ve never read a book specifically in celebration of Banned Books Week, you might want to consider rectifying that situation this Sunday, September 30, when the 30th anniversary of the proud literary tradition officially kicks off. I can still remember (more or less) when I first [...]

Reader Privacy Under Threat in the Digital Age

By libertyc
September 2, 2012 // 12 Comments

There was an interesting overview of reader privacy issues in this week’s Guardian. I wonder if most e-book readers have given any thought to the issue. I bet it hasn’t even crossed their minds that the customer profile Amazon or Kobo or Sony might have on them—detailing what [...]

Aldous Huxley writes to George Orwell about 1984

By Paul Biba
March 8, 2012 // 1 Comment

Back in 2010 I mentioned the blog Letters of Note.  It’s a blog that publishes letters, postcards, telegrams faxes and memos.  Now they have a fascinating letter from Aldous Huxley to Oeorge Orwell.  Here’s what they say: In October of 1949, a few months after the release of George [...]

Gabe Newell’s class act, and e-book retailers’ lack thereof

By libertyc
July 28, 2010 // 1 Comment

I do realize this is an e-book blog, not a video gaming blog, but digital media do share a lot of commonalities—and Valve just keeps doing things that prompt me to draw direct comparisons to things e-book stores and publishers should be doing, but aren’t. Our sister blog Gamertell, which is a [...]

Wired calls for app store transparency

By libertyc
April 26, 2010 // 0 Comments

Wired’s “Gadget Lab” writer Brian X. Chen has posted a call for transparency in the app store, in which he uses the recent rejection and subsequent approval of Mark Fiore’s political cartoon app to remind us that Apple still hasn’t come out with clear guidelines over what is and is not [...]

On fixing (or not) Kindle e-book typos

By libertyc
April 19, 2010 // 8 Comments

Steven Levy at Wired talks about the experience of finding a typo on the title page of a Kindle book. A book entitled I, Sniper opened up on his Kindle as I, Snipper. Levy emailed a friend of his who worked at the publisher about it, and his friend told him that the book was being corrected both [...]

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