Perhaps the most arresting fact about the Scottish referendum is this: that there is no newspaper – local, regional or national, English or Scottish – that supports independence except the Sunday Herald. The Scots who will vote yes have been almost without representation in the media.

some guy in the Guardian making a very good point

but I’m not going to name him because the Guardian can talk! Now that it’s over they have nothing but good things to write about the Yes campaign …

…she told me what it was like getting pregnant in the glorious 50s, years before she had me. Sitting in the bath, drinking quinine from the chemist she worked in then, eventually scraping together the money to go to London. There, in a small room, another woman clipped the neck of her cervix and told her to “just go”.

1/ Why aren’t you showing us a picture of her at 80, then?

2/ Outspoken and controversial? Oh yeah? For being photographed by men in swimwear and generally being a *muse* to sexist male artists? Groundbreaking. 

3/ As I scrolled through the article to check if there was any pictures of her in middle or old age (nope), I read the last paragraph:

Then there is the question of her apparent flirtation with the Front National. But, according to Lelièvre, the extent of her far-right sympathies can be overdone: “Brigitte Bardot’s husband is a friend of Jean-Marie Le Pen, but neither of them is a party member. Bardot is not racist and not an extreme-right activist.” In fact, says Lelièvre, any attempt to classify Bardot is futile. “Bardot is Bardot, she defies definition.”


So fearful is she of her disapproval that the “angst-ridden” Vine is planning to clean her own oven before the cleaner returns from her “six-week holiday at home in Portugal”.

Michael Gove’s wife is embarrassed about leaving a dirty kitchen for her cleaner. Maybe they should employ some poor sixth-form college kids to do it instead. That way the kids get an income to replace their lost EMA and the Mr & Mrs can have a cleaner they’re already used to treating like shit.

Quietly, ingeniously and, of course, cryptically, the beloved – and sometimes feared – crossword setter Araucaria has used one of his own puzzles to announce that he is dying of cancer.

Above cryptic crossword No 25,842 sat a set of special instructions: “Araucaria,” it said, “has 18 down of the 19, which is being treated with 13 15”.


Crossword master Araucaria reveals in puzzle that he is dying of cancer

Sad news. Araucaria was my gran’s favourite crossword setter. His crosswords were brutal, but she felt she shared a twisted logic with him that delighted her.

(Odd choice of headline)

And why is competition important? Because it drives not just lower prices, but better products.

We can look to Apple popularizing and holding onto the MP3 player market to disprove that one. The Kindle is identical to the iPod in that aspect. Readers before the Kindle showed up were clunky, cheap, low-battery-life gadgets, and nobody had actually found success selling ebooks. Amazon made a groundbreaking string of devices and threw their weight at publishers to get the accompanying store off the ground.

And let’s face it, the products we have are ho-hum. E-readers are uninspired. They’re slabs of plastic with fiddly controls and display a badly-formatted, typographically impoverished rendering of a paper book. That’s not the electronic book I want. I want a gorgeous physical object, with paper pages, that can transform into any story I choose, perfectly presented on the page. I want a device from a fairytale, not a bargain bucket.

“Fiddly controls” is a legit concern, but as much as I hate to say it, the current generation of e-readers looks like it’s just a quick stop on the road to the affordable, eye-friendly tablets we’ll presumably have in a few years (And we have Apple to thank for finally driving tablet adoption, obviously). And that ‘paper pages’ fantasy is regressive. I like being able to touch a button to turn pages. It’s a lot more convenient than turning a page or making a 'swipe’ gesture on a touchscreen. I can read one-handed!
And as for those complaints about bad formatting - those are entirely, 100% the publishers’ fault.

Although, sure, I’d like it to be affordable, too. And that will not happen if one company controls the market. Why should it?

The Kindle starts at $79. None of the past Kindles have been above $200. You should be cheering Amazon for creating cheap e-readers, but instead you’re claiming that we can never have cheap e-readers while Amazon control the market.

If Amazon was truly consumer-centric, it would do away with DRM and adopt the ePub format, allowing users to consume their media on any device and through any software they choose, securing them from obsolescence and errors in DRM servers, accidental deletions and the rest. And that it most emphatically does not do.

Now that, I wholly agree with. But even here, you have to give Amazon some credit: thanks to Amazon’s threat, the old publishers are finally desperate enough to drop DRM. We can only hope they’ll make sure Amazon follows their lead.