Daily Links and Deals: As Libraries and Archives Digitize, Implications for Maintaining Individual Privacy

daily_links_1Today, several interesting pieces on the shift to digital with a spotlight on both libraries and museums. What do these changes mean for the future? Also, stories about copyright and a new search results page for Google. In deals, running shoes, Ray-Ban sunglasses for $60 and deals on Seiko men’s watches.

Daily Links for Tuesday, May 24, 2016:

Revealed: How copyright law is being misused to remove material from the internet (The Guardian) Yesterday, I posted a link to a story on how people are misusing fair use as an excuse to commit piracy. This is a post on how copyright is being misused for censorship.

Chicago will have a film archive of live performance (Chicago Tribune) Chicago has a vibrant life theater and performance scene. This archive is an exciting development for the city.

Museums in the Age of Social (And how to support them)  (NEH) More and more museums are putting digital collections online. What does this mean for the relationship between institutions and their audiences?

Desktop Google Search redesign places Knowledge Graph results inline, displays links in cards (9 to 5 Google) That search page is going to look a little bit different!

As Libraries and Archives Digitize, Implications for Maintaining Individual Privacy (Mediashift) From a series about how libraries are changing, a look at what happens to privacy when analog goes digital.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes Prince: A John Shakespeare Mystery by Rory Clements for 99 cents.

In Today’s Deals, Mizuno running shoes, Ray-Ban sunglasses for $60, an Oreck Upright Vacuum and Seiko men’s watches starting at $49.99.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find has two Bob Dylan biographies in honor of his birthday. The Romance Daily Find is Grave Vengeance by Lori Sjoberg for 99 cents.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is The Bone Collector (The First Lincoln Rhyme Novel) by Jeffery Deaver for $1.99. The Extra Daily Deal is Realities by Marian D. Schwartz for $1.99.

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes Abandoned Prayers: An Incredible True Story of Murder, Obsession and Amish Secrets by Gregg Olsen for $1.99.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)

Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

The non-story about Amazon’s price drop guarantee


There is a story from yesterday from Recode that’s gotten some traction in the news that says that Amazon has stopped refunding for price drops withing 7 days of your purchase. The information is based on a Reddit thread of what seemed like mostly unhappy customers.

The truth is, this is sort of a non-story. Amazon has experimented for years with dynamic pricing  (where different customers may see different prices for the same item). Prime Membership status has also been a factor. (You used to be able to see a different price if you logged in in as a Prime member and a lower one if you browsed under a non-Prime account.)

Amazon officially dropped the price adjustment on most items back in 2008.  Originally, the price guarantee extended to 30 days. The policy was then dropped, although some customers continued to be able to get refunds within seven days of a purchase. You can read a thread about it here on the Amazon customer forums. The thread has been resurrected several times over the last six months when customers started reporting that Amazon was no longer honoring refund requests.

According to the Recode article,

Amazon spokeswoman Julie Law told Recode the policy was always limited to televisions and that any customer who has received refunds on other products was granted an “exception.” But it’s clear that those exceptions were previously given out freely, and now they are not.

The Recode piece suggests that price-tracking companies like Earny and Paribus have played a role in Amazon’s change in their unofficial refund policy. While price tracking may be a factor, it is apparent that Amazon has  paying more attention to its bottom line. A few months back, we were seeing stories about serial returners getting their accounts banned for excessive returns.  One of the Reddit posters said they had asked for price drop refunds over 50 times in the last 3 years. That seems like a very high number – I’ve been an Amazon member for almost 20 years and have only asked for a price drop refund once. Given the cost of providing customer service, maybe Amazon is deciding that price drop refunds are just too expensive in the long run.

Does it matter to you whether Amazon does refunds when prices drop? Or, do you do like I do and watch prices before you buy?