Category Archives: Did you Know?

Orwell Prize Shortlist, 2011, announced…

The Orwell Prize shortlist has been released…

The nominees are:

Tom Bingham – The Rule of Law

Oliver Bullough – Let Our Fame Be Great: Journeys Among the Defiant People of the Caucasus

Helen Dunmore – The Betrayal

Christopher Hitchens – Hitch-22

Afsaneh Moqadam – Death to the Dictator!

D. R. Thorpe – Supermac: The Life of Harold MacMillan


Copyright As Censorship: After 22 Years, Joyce Estate Finally Lets Kate Bush Use Lyrics She Wanted

It’s no secret that the James Joyce estate has been ridiculously overprotective when it comes to Joyce’s copyright. Of course, a lot of Joyce’s works are quickly approaching the public domain in various places (and some are already there), and so the estate may be losing its control. Still, it’s nice to see that the estate finally “agreed” to one usage. Glyn Moody points us to the news that after an astounding 22 years of asking, singer Kate Bush has finally been allowed to use Molly Bloom’s famous soliloquy from Ulysses as lyrics for a song. She had first asked in 1989… and was denied. She wrote different lyrics instead, but kept asking the estate. Perhaps realizing that (in the UK) the work was going into the public domain next year, the estate finally relented.

Copyright As Censorship: After 22 Years, Joyce Estate Finally Lets Kate Bush Use Lyrics She Wanted | Techdirt.

Privacy Protections for Personal Information Online (CRS, Cong. Research Service), via INFOdocket

Privacy Protections for Personal Information Online (PDF)

There is no comprehensive federal privacy statute that protects personal information. Instead, a patchwork of federal laws and regulations govern the collection and disclosure of personal information and has been addressed by Congress on a sector-by-sector basis. Federal laws and regulations extend protection to consumer credit reports, electronic communications, federal agency records, education records, bank records, cable subscriber information, video rental records, motor vehicle records, health information, telecommunications subscriber information, children’s online information, and customer financial information. Some contend that this patchwork of laws and regulations is insufficient to meet the demands of today’s technology. Congress, the Obama Administration, businesses, public interest groups, and citizens are all involved in the discussion of privacy solutions. This report examines some of those efforts with respect to the protection of personal information. This report provides a brief overview of selected recent developments in the area of federal privacy law. This report does not cover workplace privacy laws or state privacy laws.

For information on access to electronic communications, see CRS Report R41733, Privacy: An Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, by Charles Doyle.


CRS — Privacy Protections for Personal Information Online « INFOdocket.

Hugo Nominees 201, via Boing Boing



2011 Hugo Awards to be presented at this year’s World Science Fiction Convention in Reno, NV.

Best Novel
Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra)
Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz; Pyr)
Feed by Mira Grant (Orbit)
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)

Best Novella
“The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window” by Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Magazine, Summer 2010)
The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
“The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon” by Elizabeth Hand (Stories: All New Tales, William Morrow)
“The Sultan of the Clouds” by Geoffrey A. Landis (Asimov’s, September 2010)
“Troika” by Alastair Reynolds (Godlike Machines, Science Fiction Book Club)


Best Novelette
“Eight Miles” by Sean McMullen (Analog, September 2010)
“The Emperor of Mars” by Allen M. Steele (Asimov’s, June 2010)
“The Jaguar House, in Shadow” by Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s, July 2010)
“Plus or Minus” by James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s, December 2010)
“That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone (Analog, September 2010)

Best Short Story
“Amaryllis” by Carrie Vaughn (Lightspeed, June 2010)
“For Want of a Nail” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s, September 2010)
“Ponies” by Kij Johnson (, November 17, 2010)
“The Things” by Peter Watts (Clarkesworld, January 2010)


Hugo Nominees 2011 – Boing Boing.

What is “peer review”? (via Boing Boing)



“According to a peer-reviewed journal article published this week …”How often have you read that phrase? How often have I written that phrase? If we tried to count, there would probably be some powers of 10 involved. It’s clear from the context that “peer-reviewed journal articles” are the hard currency of science. But the context is less obliging on the whys and wherefores.”

via Meet Science: What is “peer review”? – Boing Boing.