- How Mickey Mouse Evades the Public Domain
I knew that Mickey was a huge part of the reason for ongoing copyright extensions. What I didn't know was that Disney have no real *need* to push for them, since they've got him so heavily trademarked. They own him as long as they want to.
- What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2016?
This is saddening. Even among the famous works, there's a lot here that it would be a huge public good to have copyright-free, and I don't think anyone could argue that the original creators (or in most cases, their estates) haven't been fairly compenstated for these work.
- The tube at a standstill: why TfL stopped people walking up the escalators | UK news | The Guardian
So it turns out that particularly during peak times, it would be better if escalators on the tube were standing-only and people *didn't* walk up the left hand side.
I’ve caught a couple of posts doing the rounds in the last month or two basically asking the question “how many books by women writers have you read?”, obviously with the aim of getting us to confront the inbuilt sexism in our cultural consumption.
I’m not going to bore you with a listing of the writing by women I own/have read. What I will say is that only around 25% of my library is by women. (Please don’t ask me about POC, that’s an even smaller number. I’m not proud of that.)
I want to make 2016 the year I start to correct this. I want to read, at minimum, one new book a month by women or POC.
Yes, that’s still pretty pitiful. The sad truth is that working from home has entirely cratered my reading habit, which used to be about 2 hours a day, while commuting, and is now about 4 hours a week in a good week. I want to set a goal I can reach and exceed, and keep going in future years, not a goal I’m going to miss by month 3, and give up on.
So, if there’s a book by women or POC that I really *must* read this year, feel free to suggest it in the comments/on Twitter.
Current “to read” pile:
- The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K Le Guin
- The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
- Hild, Nicola Griffith
- Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
Yes, that’s all women, no POC. Those 4 have the benefit of having been on my “I really must get around to this” pile for some years now. I’m hoping that by the time I’m done with them, I’ll have the benefit of some other recommendations. If not, I’m sure I can google around for them.
Also: that list is skewing a bit toward what I think of relatively heavyweight/classic. I’m as keen (if not keener, my tastes are not highbrow) to read light/pulpy/action-y stuff, so if there’s some cheery trash you think I’d enjoy, please, fling that in, although the odds I’ve already read it may be slightly better.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to use my holiday time to get some reading in.
- App Directory | Slack
Slack app integrations. May be useful later.
- Official BBC instructions for knitting Doctor Who’s scarf
How to knit the 4th Doctor's scarf.
- The sad economics of being famous on the internet | Fusion
Interesting and saddening breakdown of the economics of internet fame.
We ought to bring back this sort of thing. It’d make dating easier and more civilised.
- Ehsan Abdulaziz: Saudi millionaire who said he ‘accidentally tripped and penetrated’ teenage girl cleared of rape | Crime | News | The Independent
What the actual stuttering fuck? OK, I am reading the reporting, I wasn't in the court, but jesus christ almighty. 30 minutes for 12 people to agree on this, what the hell? The poor girl.
I received the following email a while back:
I am contacting you today to request that you remove our website url: [redacted] from your website:
The reason for this request is because Google recently penalized our website for unnatural links. As a precaution, we are asking certain webmasters to remove our link(s) from their website. If the above links are NOT removed we will add them to a Disavow list that suggests to Google that the offending website is an ‘untrusted’ one. So please do us both a big favor and promptly remove the links that I listed above.
I’d also appreciate you letting me know when they are removed. I will follow up with you in a few days.
Thank you for understand and your assistance in this matter.
I ignored it, and they never followed up, but I did take a quick look in my archives. I linked to them in 2001 – a completely legit and fair link (it was really absolutely nothing exciting). Honestly, what concerns me is that apparently, Google make available tools that websites can use to threaten one another with. “Do what we say, or we’ll damage your Google ranking”. Now me, I don’t care. This is my private blog, from which I derive no income. But if I were running a money making business and I started to get letters like this, I would be seriously concerned.
Does anyone know if there’s someone I can get in touch with at Google about this? (I’m not expecting to be able to, but it’s worth asking.) Because seriously, if I were making money on this site, is there anything about this that doesn’t smell like a classic shakedown?
- Science has spoken: ending a text with a full stop makes you a monster | Technology | The Guardian
This is some weapons-grade bullshit right here. If my texts are every improperly spelled or punctuated – including a full stop at the end – then these are mistakes that I am shamed by, not a lack of sincerity.
- London Underground Station Design Idiom
One to read in depth when I have the time. Because I'm a nerd.
- Study Finds Quitting Facebook Makes You Happier and Less Stressed | HUH.
I would generally agree with the results of this study, but I definitely differ in some specifics – the finding that people without Facebook have a more active social life is definitely not my experience, although I would agree that the *quality* of my social life improved without it.