Delware school district wants kids to get signed permission before checking out YA library books


The Appoquinimink, DE school board is contemplating requiring parental permission slips for students who want to check YA novels out of their school library; district secondary education curriculum director Ray Gravuer came up with this silly idea in response to a parental complaint.

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Discounted ebooks for readers who own Dilbert, Oatmeal and Nom Nom Paleo books


Peter writes, "Vancouver based ebook bundling start-up, Bitlit has signed a deal with Andrews McMeel publishing. The deal allows readers who own a paper copy of an Andrews McMeel book to get the eBook for 80% off. The deal includes comic collections from Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal) and Scott Adams (Dilbert), and Michelle Tam's bestselling cookbook Nom Nom Paleo."

Tldrbot: great works of literature in seconds

Tldrbot is the latest bot from Shardcore (previously, previously, previously) that slurps up great novels, algorithmically summarizes them to 1% of their length, then spits out audio files of a synthetic Scottish woman's voice reading those summaries aloud.

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Vast Humble Comics Bundle


The latest Humble Bundle features an indescribably vast array of comics from Mega, including work from Mark Waid, Darick Robertson, Garth Ennis, Gail Simone, Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, J. Michael Straczynski, David Mack, Howard Chaykin, Bill Willingham, Sean Phillips, Tim Seeley, Chuck Dixon, Andy Diggle, Duane Swierczynski, Joshua Hale Fialkov and others.

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Stross's Merchant Princes books in omnibus editions


Charlie Stross's "Merchant Princes" series-- a sly, action-packed romp that blends heroic fantasy, military science fiction, economics, politics, and alternate worlds -- originally published as six mass-market paperbacks, is now available in three handy trade-paperbacks.

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David Nickle and Karl Schroeder's "The Toy Mill"


"His hair was whiter than his flesh. Thick whorls of ice embedded his beard in icicles like a January cataract; more separated the thick hairs of his eyebrows into individual daggers, pushed back by the yuletide winds of the stratosphere so that they swept down to meet at the bridge of his narrow, blue-tinged nose."

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The Illustrated Guide to Criminal Procedure

Nathaniel Burney continues his project to create an entire law-degree in comic-book form with The Illustrated Guide to Criminal Procedure, Vol I: Parts 1-3, the followup to his brilliant 2012 book Illustrated Guide to Criminal Law. Never has the Fourth Amendment been more graphic and accessible: Cory Doctorow is learning everything he needs for a life of successful criminal law and/or crime.

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Weird fiction Storybundle to benefit Helsinki Worldcon bid


Crystal writes, "Love indie fiction? Want a choose-your-price set of Weird Fiction ebooks that will help support the Helsinki bid for Worldcon? We want to bring Worldcon to Helsinki in 2017, to boldly go where no Worldcon has gone before.

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Felicia Day's memoir: "You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)"


Nerd hero and all-round awesomesauce dispenser Felicia Day has announced a memoir, You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), which will be published in 2015.

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Hand-illuminated edition of The Silmarillion


Benjamin Harff produced a hand-illuminated edition of Tolkien's The Silmarillion (a famously dense set of myths and background for Middle Earth) as a final project at art school; in this interview, he explains his motivation and his process.

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Lawquake! Judge rules that explaining jailbreaking isn't illegal


A federal judge in New York has ruled that telling people where to get DRM-removal software isn't against the law -- it's a huge shift in the case-law around DRM, and it's an important step in the right direction.

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The high cost of being poor

An excerpt from Linda Tirado's 2014 book Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America lays out some of the ways that being poor costs more than having a comfortable income -- it's more than having to pay for high daily rents in a motel because you can't afford first-and-last.

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High court rules that English/Welsh prisoners should be allowed to read books


Tory justice secretary Chris Grayling enacted a ban on sending reading material for prisoners as a way of throwing red meat to his base, who bay for maximum cruelty to "bad people" -- but a high court judge agreed with English PEN and the John Howard society and struck down the ban.

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Brian Krebs's "Spam Nation"

In Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door, Brian Krebs offers a fascinating look at the mass-scale cybercrime that underpins the spam in your inbox and provides an inside peek at a violent fight among its principle players. Cory Doctorow reviews.

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Custom literary matchboxes for chasing away poo-gas


From Burlington, VT's Dippy Lulu, Literary Lites are custom-made matchboxes that look like Penguin classics, with punny, poop-oriented titles, intended for use in the bathroom to light after particularly stinky Number Twos. They come in six, color-coded sets of three match-boxes each.

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