rDigital News: Hacking the Book, Revenge Porn, and more

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From Bitcoin banks getting robbed to the impact of 3D printing on the fashion industry, this week in digital news was all about how technology is changing how we live.

Here are our picks of the biggest tech news stories of the week:

Hack the Book

On Friday, March 7, students from across Ryerson University came together to challenge the idea of the conventional book.

“Digital technology is effecting books at all levels from whose writing books to what the form of a book is,” said Ryerson digital media professor Richard Lachman. “The hackathon here is about generating new ideas.”

The 24-hour hackathon began with pitches from leading experts from The Walrus, Kobo, Toronto Public libraries, Ryerson libraries and Penguin UK, questioning different aspects of how we tell stories and what can be changed to keep this industry alive and thriving. From there, teams were formed, ideas were brainstormed and overnight, students generated prototypes to hack the book.

“The world is changing really quickly and so it’s really exciting for where and how you reach your audience,” said our host Ramona Pringle, a mentor at the event. Her advice to the students? “Go big. Be brave.”

By 3 p.m. on Saturday, participants presented solutions ranging from a new way to comment on articles to a pitch to reinvent the kids interface at Kobo. And everyone went home a winner.

Stay tuned for our full coverage of Hack the Book and what the teams came up with to revolutionize how we tell stories.

For more on the evolution of storytelling, check out our experts and their take on where the industry is going:

Revenge porn

Revenge porn—the act of posting nude photos or videos of someone, often a former lover, online—has become the center of much debate and legal action in recent months with multiple states working towards making it a criminal offence.

“Social media has changed the coming-of-age process in the sense that a lot more of it is taking place in public now, in ways that it maybe didn’t when I was a teenager,” says feminist activist and community manager Steph Guthrie. “Girls feel pressured to post sexy images, and then they get shamed for posting sexy images.”

However, while revenge porn raises some serious concerns, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, banning these photos outright may cross some ethical boundaries as well.

“The reality is that revenge porn laws tend to criminalize the sharing of nude images that people lawfully own,” says Lee Rowland, a lawyer with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project told NPR. “That treads on very thin ice constitutionally.”

So, on the wild web, who owns the rights to these types of images? Who is responsible for creating and enforcing the rules of the web?

We tackled some of these issues in our privacy series, produced for Walrus TV:

International Women’s Day

And last but not least, this week we have to give a shout out to our ladies. Whether it is hacking the book or tackling the dark side of the internet, women play a major role in shaping where technology is taking us and how we think about the future. In honour of International Women’s Day, we compiled a list of the wonderful women featured on rdigitaLIFE. These 18 leading ladies of the technology industry represent just a sample of the numerous women working to improving our digital lives.

For more, check out Metro’s list, “Celebrating Canadian Women in Tech.”

 

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