Good Advice for End of Semester Studying: Protect Your Things While in Public, Starbucks

According to Michael Wilson of The New York Times, Starbucks coffee shops are a prime location for pickpockets and thieves, because the settings are full of people who are generally at ease with their work or conversation with tunes playing in the background.

I imagine that many of us academics as well as our students spend a considerable amount of time at Starbucks or similar public places that are conducive to a relaxing work environment. We all need however to remember that these places are public, and therefore, they provide no guarantee of protection for our belongings.

Whether you are in a Starbucks or any other public place such as a library, you should always guard your things with care. If you are going to get another cup of joe or if you need to find a book on the shelf, I would recommend that you take your things with you. Merely covering your wallet or laptop with your jacket will not prevent your things from being taken.

Be careful out there, enjoy your coffee and semester-end studies, but please take care of your precious belongings, too.

Read more here: Here Comes Your Starbucks Latte – There Goes Your Laptop – NYTimes.com.

Amazon Nukes Ebooks Remotely

David Pogue on the New York Times reports that Amazon remotely nuked George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm from every purchasers’ Kindle ebook reader, because the publisher decided that it did not want those books available in electronic form.  I call “bullshit” on Amazon and the publishers. I will never buy books from an online publisher that retains the right to reverse the sale after money has exchanged hands.

What recourse will Kindle owners have in a situation like this?  Will they sue to have their books returned, and will a judge or jury care since they were reimbursed for the reversal?  This is obviously a special case, because Amazon, in effect, reached into the home of each Kindle owner that bought those books and snatched them back without asking the purchasers if this was okay.  I believe that this will take strong muscle to assert the rights of consumers against big media.  So-called voting with dollars is non-starter when the need (or perceived need) of a product in the market place can be artificially created, inflated, and manipulated by capital within the market.

Read the full article here.