Monday, January 14, 2008

We are taking it fairly philosophically down here and possibly with a mild optimism. For now work is continuing on the completion of Nation and the basic notes are already being laid down for Unseen Academicals. All other things being equal, I expect to meet most current and, as far as possible, future commitments but will discuss things with the various organisers. Frankly, I would prefer it if people kept things cheerful, because I think there's time for at least a few more books yet.

PS: I would just like to draw attention to everyone reading the above that this should be interpreted as 'I am not dead'. I will, of course, be dead at some future point, as will everybody else. For me, this maybe further off than you think - it's too soon to tell Paul Kidby site (via Galleycat) The news of my D day has been exaggerated (sic)…

Can we change the heart of reading habits? Judge Says Book Reading/Purchasing Is Private
Court records unsealed last week indicate that earlier this year federal prosecutors had tried to get a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Wisconsin to approve a subpoena compelling to disclose the identity of thousands of people who bought used books online. They were investigating former Madison public official Robert D'Angelo, indicted recently on charges that he ran a used book business of his office and did not report the proceeds as income.

Judge Stephen Crocker turned down the request, ruling that there is a First Amendment right to keep your reading habits private. And the AP says he also "unsealed documents detailing the showdown against prosecutors' wishes."

He wrote, "Well-founded or not, rumors of an Orwellian federal criminal investigation into the reading habits of Amazon's customers could frighten countless potential customers into canceling planned online book purchases." Crocker added, "The subpoena is troubling because it permits the government to peek into the reading habits of specific individuals without their knowledge or permission.... It is an unsettling and un-American scenario to envision federal agents nosing through the reading lists of law-abiding citizens while hunting for evidence against somebody else."

Apparently, "Crocker brokered a compromise in which [Amazon] would send a letter to the 24,000 customers describing the investigation and asking them to voluntarily contact prosecutors if they were interested in testifying."

• Cold River and InkWell partner Richard Pine says: Movies sell books and our goal is to have the highest book-to-film ratio in the business. Patricia's enthusiasm, resilience and contacts are first rate and we are certain that our clients will benefit enormously from the focus and energy she will bring to the presentation of their work to agents, managers, producers, studios and networks Purchasing Is Private; [Printing poetry by using letterpress allows the time to appreciate and feel each word as it is put into place ... The touch of words; Introducing the 'Best Blog Posts of 2007', an anthology of writing from Australian independent blogs over the past year. Best blog posts '07]
• · Desert Island Discs: My All Time Top Ten Tunes; The rise and rise of stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s seems to reveal our growing desire to connect more sensually with food. Food glorious food fresh Zummer bread …
• · The Lees have a long history of libel stoushes with foreign media, battles they have never lost when heard in Singapore's own courts, which grants them damages payouts that set world records. Singapore libel case a test of Murdoch's bona fides; For the first time since Robert Kennedy we have a presidential candidate, Barack Obama, inspiring real interest in America The politics of hope
• · · Punters and Jokies are the followers and fans of stand-up comedians: here is some insider knowledge about their characteristics Punters and Jokies; Part of the richness of any culture is its language and one facet is the vast array of names parents bestow upon their children. What’s in a name?
• · · · If music be food of love we are starved of affection; We may be in the midst of a true paradigm shift away from one true identity to a new worldview based on a plurality of identities Plurality of identities
• · · · · High-tech CCTV technology installed in Sydney CBD
PLAYING up in Sydney's CBD just became harder;
This discussion paper analyses the Howard government’s Regional Partnerships Program, the subject of a recent Australian National Audit Office report. The authors discuss the democratic implications and question the political value of pork-barrelling. PDF file attached Rolling out the regional pork barrel: a threat to democracy?
• · · · · · Murdoch's Australian papers covered the election with an eye to the likely post-poll climate, writes RODNEY TIFFEN Rupert Murdoch and the Claytons editorial endorsements
; Research obtained under freedom of information laws raises questions about the accuracy of the Howard government’s pre-election advertising campaign on internet safety, writes PETER MARES on our partner website, Creative Economy How NetAlert accentuated the negative