Category Archives: Did you Know?

Digital Subscription Prices Visualized aka The New York Times Is Delusional


As Frédéric Filloux and others have pointed out, The New York Times pricing seems designed not to get people to subscribe digitally, but rather to discourage existing subscribers from cancelling their print subscriptions. I think the chart above validates that view: they apparently have no interest in competing for digital-only dollars.

via Digital Subscription Prices Visualized aka The New York Times Is Delusional.

2010 National Book Critics Circle Award Winners Announced



Fiction: Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad (at The Millions, Egan’s Year in Reading, excerpt)

Nonfiction: Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (excerpt)

Autobiography: Darin Strauss, Half a Life (excerpt)

Criticism: Clare Cavanagh, Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics: Russia, Poland, and the West

Biography: Sarah Bakewell, How To Live: Or, A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer (at The Millions, excerpt)

Poetry: C. D. Wright, One with Others

via The Millions : 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award Winners Announced.

A Question of Authority: How Does Twitter Verify [Celebrity] Accounts?


Twitter has 175 million users and counting and only select, mostly high-profile people are granted “verified” status. How are verified users vetted? Twitter refused to explain the process, saying via e-mail, “we continue to very selectively verify accounts most at risk for impersonation on a one-off and highly irregular basis.”


How Does Twitter Verify Celebrity Accounts? – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Banned books unbanned in Tunisia and Egypt (MOBYLIVES)



Books once considered too dangerous, scandalous, or offensive are now beginning to see the light of day according to this report in the Guardian by Benedict Page.

Living up to the ideals of the popular democratic revolutions that sparked region-wide protests and demands for greater political freedom, the people of Tunisia and Egypt are exercising and enjoying their right to a free press. In his report, Page outlines several titles making their way back into circulation that were censored by the exiled former president of Tunisia, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali:

La Regente de Carthage by Nicolas Beau and Catherine Graciet, a critical book about the former president’s family, focusing in particular on the role of his wife, Leila, is among those now openly on sale in the country, according to the International Publishers Association.

Alongside it is a previously banned study of the long-serving Tunisian president from whom Ben Ali took over following a 1987 coup: Habib Bourguiba: La Trace et l’Heritage by Michel Camau and Vincent Geisser.

Also now appearing in the country’s bookshops are The Assassination of Salah Ben Youssef by Omar Khlifi, a book about the shooting of a former Tunisian minister of justice in Frankfurt in 1961, and works by journalist Toaufik Ben Brik, a prominent critic of Ben Ali’s presidency.

Page also reports that long-banned books in Egypt are starting to be circulated at street sales and newspaper kiosks. As we mentioned last week, the newly instituted Tahrir Square Book Fair is set to take place later this month. One imagine publishers will take full advantage and put out loads of books on their tables they would once have only brought out when asked discretely.

Still, as Page alludes, there’s an open question as to whether this new-found desire to un-ban books will translate to a commitment against censorship when it comes to new works. One hopes that in the midst of the excitement generated by these new freedoms the folks doing the hard work in creating transitional governments and drafting new constitutions will make a firm commitment to the freedom of the press.

If not, I suspect the people won’t be timid about voicing their disapproval.


MOBYLIVES » Banned books unbanned in Tunisia and Egypt.