Boing Boing 

What Sony and Spotify's secret deal really looks like


The nitty-gritty details of Sony's deal with Spotify paint a picture of a very lopsided negotiation indeed, with Sony commanding an unbelievable "most favored nation" status from the streaming music provider that entitles it to top-up payments to match other labels whose music is more popular on the service.

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Nail salons in NYC: brutal sweatshops

"If you go to a [nail salon] with rock-bottom prices, that chances are the workers wages' are being stolen" -- the $10.50 New York City manicure was built on illegal, shameful labor practices that brutalize the vulnerable immigrant women who sleep on coffin-life pallets and give up their children to caregivers because they can't make ends meet.

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Disrupting Richard Scarry

Updating Richard Scarry's beloved Busy Town for Silicon Valley corpthink been done before, but never with the depth and persistence of the Welcome to Business Town Tumblr. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

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Portraits of e-waste pickers in Ghana


German photographer Kevin McElvaney shot portraits of the itinerant pickers who work on Agbogbloshie, the toxic e-waste dump outside of Accra, Ghana.

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Marissa Mayer makes 1,100 Yahooers jobless, calls it a "remix"


Why would a CEO be so tone-deaf as to call a mass-firing a "remix?" Because the only audience that matters today are shareholders, not the public.

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How to Teach Adults: Get a Job; Plan Your Class; Teach Your Students; Change the World

Dan Spalding's How to Teach Adults (free download) is an extraordinary document that mixes the practical and the philosophical, a book that explains how to be a better teacher, and how better teachers make a better world. Read the rest

Gov Walker caught lying about his rewrite of the U Wisc mission


Since 1904, the State of Wisconsin and its university system have been governed by the public service mandate of the "Wisconsin Idea" -- until Governor Scott Walker's office leaned on the university to change the Idea to be all about providing workers for the state's businesses, and then lied about it.

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When shirts cost $3,500


An eye-popping parable about the benefits of automation: 200 years ago, it took 479 hours worth of labor to make a shirt (spinning, weaving, sewing), or $3,472.75 at $7.25/hour.

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South Korea's brutalized, disabled slaves


Whole towns' worth of people on South Korea's remote southwest coast are complicit in the longrunning, open enslavement of mentally and physically disabled workers who are kidnapped from the streets of cities like Seoul and beaten into lives of forced labor.

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Teachers describe the terrible state of American education


Teachers from across America (including a Philly elementary school with a $160 annual budget for 400 students!) wrote to Gawker to explain what the No Child Left Behind, charter movement, and the overall war on teachers and education has turned America's classes into.

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Modern slavery: the Mexican megafarms that supply America's top grocers


A four-part series in the LA Times explores the corrupt labor conditions in Mexico's biggest farms, where the produce, destined for American grocers like Walmart and Whole Foods, is treated with infinitely more care than the workers, who are subject to illegal, inhumane treatment, including indentured servitude.

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Boutique jeans-maker hiring "breakers" to wear in denim


You have to promise to wear the jeans for six months without washing them and upload regular photos you breaking them in to the Historytag site, keyed to each pair's unique identifier; in return, you get 20% of the jeans' sale price.

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Directors' commentary for "In Real Life"


On the Forbidden Planet blog, Jen Wang and I discuss the origin-story of In Real Life, our graphic novel, which comes out on Oct 14.

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Malaysia's tech manufacturing sector based on forced labor

"Hardly a major brand name" doing business in Malaysia is untainted by the use of forced labor from trafficked workers, according to a study backed by the US Department of Labor.

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Excerpt from In Real Life, YA graphic novel about gold farmers


In Real Life is the book-length graphic novel adapted by Jen Wang from my short story Anda's Game, about a girl who encounters a union organizer working to sign up Chinese gold-farmers in a multiplayer game.

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Market Basket victory: worker-friendly, fair business trounces looting klepto-investors


(WBUR)

The beloved, profitable, worker-friendly Market Basket grocery chain is back in the hands of former CEO Arthur T Demoulas, following a mass worker and management revolt at the news that Demoulas's cousin, Arthur S Demoulas, was taking over the company, bringing in a notorious former Radio Shack CEO, and getting set to break up and sell off the company in order to extract higher dividends for shareholders.

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Teacher who defended Little Brother against principal will keep her job!

A Florida principal broke his own rules when he cancelled a summer reading program to avoid kids being exposed to "anti-authoritarian themes" in Cory Doctorow's Little Brother. When Mary Kate Griffith objected, she faced misconduct charges and her job was on the line.Read the rest