November 4, 2009

Students suspended for racy slumber party pics, file lawsuit

The line between online and offline life continues to blur as yet another lawsuit is being brought against a school that punished students over pictures posted to an online social media website. Two sophomore girls at Churubusco High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana were banned from extracurricular activities after sexually suggestive pictures posted to MySpace during summer vacation ended up in the hands of school officials. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the girls, claiming that the punishment went too far by violating the students' free speech rights and resulted in their "humiliation" as they were forced to apologize to an all-male coaches board.

ars technica

Is the Death of the DVD Nigh?

The announcement that Best Buy is teaming with CinemaNow on movie downloads is yet another sign that DVDs are plummeting fast into a steep downward trajectory.

As my PC World colleague Daniel Ionescu pointed out today, Best Buy, the leading retail seller of DVD movies, is now seeing those sales fade away as more people move to renting movies through digital distribution.

Let’s face facts here. DVDs can warp or get scratched, immediately making them unplayable. It’s easy to lose a DVD — and it might be hard to get one back after you’ve loaned it to a friend.


Oral histories of missing space

I spent Halloween afternoon over in New York's West Village, being given a tour of a gut-renovated townhouse by one of the home's owners. While a description of the actual house will appear next spring in an article I'm writing for another publication, what struck me most was the opening half of the home tour. The homeowner and I stood there alone in the downstairs kitchen, as I listened to her describe what used to be there: the walls that got taken down, the halls that no longer exist, the lost backyard and the missing stairs. We were surrounded by a halo of absent spaces, rooms that had been cut out around the edges and removed.