Thursday, August 21, 2014

Amazon Fights Publishers, Removes Their Books – Ethical Issue?

via bits.blogs.nytimes.com
Summary
Amazon is involved in a tug of war with publishers and authors. It has been holding certain books hostage by delaying shipping, and limiting customers’ ability to access and order them. The books are those from publishers such as UK’s Hachette, the fourth-largest publisher, Germany’s Bonnier Media Group and Macmillan. Amazon also removed its book discount from titles published by the above, returning the books to list price. In the process, increasing US price to twice what it is asking from UK customers.

Amazon started its business to help customers get access to cheaper books and a large database at their fingertips. It reduced the list price of books which made Amazon become the giant corporation it is now. This also edged out brick-and-mortar bookstores whose books were more expensive of rent tariffs. Amazon’s substantial market share has been giving authors and publishers concerns, as they fear that Amazon could abuse its considerable power – 65 percent of online book sales, both digital and print – one day.

Ethical Issue Surrounding FCC's Net Neutrality Controversial Proposal


Summary
In January of this year, District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, in favor of Verizon, struck down one of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) auxiliary rules that requires internet service providers to treat internet traffic equally. Now, in June, the FCC has opened its net neutrality law for review. This new amendment will allow internet service providers (ISPs) to make some internet connection stronger and faster than others. Also, it will make it legal for internet service providers to strike deals with companies that stream data while undercutting other companies who do not pay extra for smooth streaming.

At present, ISPs collect money from both data-streaming providers and consumers. Neflix and other streaming companies pay for bandwidth and high quality feeds. And, the average internet user pays for fast connection. Yet, consumers still get network issues. When you add the new FCC proposal to the present mix, it is easy to see why this proposal has people in stitches.

Jill Abramson and The New York Times - Ethical issue

Via thewrap.com
Summary
Jill Abramson hired a lawyer to discuss with the management of New York Times (NYT) the discrepancies between her salary and that of her predecessor, Bill Keller. Weeks later, with no scandal or journalistic disaster, and a recent win of four Pulitzers at once – a huge deal for the paper, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., NYT’s publisher, fired Abramson abruptly. Under Abramson’s executive editorial leadership, the paper won eight Pulitzers, strengthened its journalistic clout, increased its readership and doubled its stock price.
One of the reasons she was fired was because Dean Banquet, her managing editor and successor, felt she was an insensitive executive. Banquet and Abramson had competed for the executive editor position, but Abramson was given the job. Recently, Abramson sought to hire Janine Gibson as digital editor, after Sulzberger and the board already signed up on it. She set up a meeting for Gibson and Banquet to meet together and discuss the Times’ future. But, Banquet felt offended to be left out of the hiring decision. Banquet then complained to Sulzberger that he didn’t feel appreciated as Abramson failed to let him understand where he fits in the Times’ hierarchy.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Creatives, Do we torture ourselves?

Or does the world pour sssss-sizzling coals over open seepin' sores, dragging fiery flickers across our chests, nature's tribal marks drafting territories? The dread-ry, life within art. Brad, Holden, Sabrina, Wade, Rory, cursed. Amaka, Chima, Nedu, Shade, Lema, darkness enclosed within smiles and rolling eyes. 

"Too happy," scrawled, punctuated, across novelty pieces. Petals opened, not shattered enough. Broken, synonymous to experienced. Four years later, four accidents -- two totals, one fender bender, one pedestrian hit -- later, breaking, falling mind walls and living puberty at 23. I revel in the brokenness of my chosen art, unraveling onion scale leaf. Are new pieces good? Don't ask me. First John yes-es. I also must progress, he says. Shall I torture myself further? Isn't my alcoholism, cynical outlook and restless spirit enough? 

Last night, I stayed three hours awoke past my close-eyed time. The pain shooting from my chest like shafters of death unbegged, I grasped for air. The right spot, not heart attack. Unbidden, my mind clawed through. No, it screeched. Hate life. Hate stagnant spot, passport. Hate the endless hidden cry beneath a clean face and a smile. To get up at 6, snoozed 7, I mind-wrote a letter, begging freedom. Oh my parents, my parents. I watched dying amber faint as I palm oil and yam etutu-ed sleep. Last night, every night. 

Do we torture ourselves or does the world torture us? Did I pull a 360 to write, to hide myself and write? Do I need the heavyness of the card carrying 'tortured' to string successful words, to stay Peter Pan-ed in the characters' world? 

Before the black steals my eyesight, I whisper, "I just want to write." But, I want the people who need it to read it too. Perhaps, that's the problem. Truth is, 

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the revelation isn't known to me.



Adieu Robin William. Your effect safe, folded and nested within rib cages. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

#genderbendingFriday

Three months later, this International Watch Company's commercial shoot, starring Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt and Zhou Xun still makes me giddy.





Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Nigerian Immigrant Road and The Darling That Is Uzo Aduba (@UzoAduba)


On Monday, the 4th of August, The Daily Beast published an article that Uzo Aduba wrote about her journey to playing Suzanne on Orange is the New Black. You can read my review on Orange is the New Black by clicking the link.

Uzo's My Road to ‘Orange Is the New Black’ makes you smile as it tackles frustration pursuing a non-traditional career, reaching the breaking point and getting ready to drop it all. A tale I am quite familiar with, and I assume many others are familiar with too. While Uzo's status as an American citizen, since she was born here, might be different from many others, her story still resonates. The lines that gets me jumping up and down most is:
My uncle once told me, “Your parents didn’t leave Nigeria for you to just be standing still, Uzo.” These words resonated with me long after I had first heard them, and I took them to heart.

Book Report: Cross Current by Christine Kling

Seychelle Sullivan on her way to tow and then pump water off Miss Agnes, a Bahamian Cruiser, gets waylaid by a big sport fisherman and alters her course so that it could pass in front of her tub. As she is trying to get on course, she sights something which peaks her curiosity. Upon investigation, she finds a little boat with a little girl and a bloated body of a woman floating face down next to the child. She immediately connects with the little girl and desires to protect and help her. She tows the boat back, calls her friend Jeannie Black, who is also a lawyer, to assess the situation before notifying the authorities about the whole incident. She stalls reporting when she finds them because she knew that the authorities would not be sympathetic to the plight of the little girl. Solange, the little girl, is taken to the hospital since she is not in a healthy condition. However, Solange is attacked in the hospital and appears lifeless like a zombie. This opens up a wave of voodoo or as the Haitian calls it vedou. Christine battles with the forces of good and evil over Solange’s life so as to fulfill a promise she had given to the child, to find her father.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sherlock Holmes: A Tad Bit Unrealistic


One the blessed day after the glorious 4th of July, I watched three episodes of BBC One's Sherlock Holmes. And, boy was I disappointed! Buzzfeed had been Benedict Cumberbatch loving, and my dear friend Koyn had over-mentioned it. Yet, I always kept passing it each time it showed up on my Neflix feed. I should have kept scrolling. You see, I barely opened my eyes through the first three episodes. And, no I was not sleepy. But, I got bored so much, I did skip a lot of scenes before I switched my TV and DVD off and went to sleep.

So, what was so terrible about Sherlock Holmes? First, some disclaimers. I do love English TV. Yesterday, I watched The Politician's Husband. First episode, it had promise. Because, hello, Emily Watson. But, my hopes were pretty much damped. It was just impossible to suspend my disbelief. I tried, oh boy, I tried. However, I found out that Americans are not the only one who mess up adaptations. I need to re-watch The Politician's Wife.

 So, I admit my disinterest in Sherlock Holmes may be a transference thing. But, it was darndest hard to suspend my disbelief and swallow up the fact that Sherlock Holmes is an ingenious detective.

The series fails at timing -- its dogged pace is just annoying. Also, it fails at _________. I have tried to put a name to it but I simply come up blank. The mental sparing scene between Sherlock Holmes and the serial killer. Jesus, a 5-year old would write better scene than that. The scene was supposed to be intense, mind-fuckery intense, yet I kept waiting for the meat of the scene. Which pretty much sums up the entire episodes I watched. The slow pace of the action! I give up.

Now, the American versions of Sherlock Holmes suck too. Is it a franchise curse? At this stage, I give up on understanding why I can't swallow what the series is selling. That's how much I can't get into it.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Embassy by Tolu Oloruntoba

I.

Guards, relax,
I’m not about to bomb the guardians
of America the Beautiful
I’m only fleeing my sinking ship.

We come like to the Lord-
Frightened, greedy, sick, halt, eager,
in disguise bishop collars…
We come- poor, tired and huddling
Wanting to run away wanting our tumours removed.
we want to see light