James Martin

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[Cross-posted from New Books in Terrorism and Organized Crime] I am old enough to realise that we have entered a science fiction world in which the old systems of the market place are being sidestepped by new technology. We who follow the tried and true methods are missing out of the brave new world. The changes are particularly true for the middle men whose services are no longer needed as the web allows customers to deal directly with producers. This also applies to the participants in organised crime. James Martin’s terrific new book Drugs on the Dark Net: How Cryptomarkets are Transforming the Global Trade in Illicit Drugs (Palgrave, 2014) spells out how this is occurring in the drug trade as the Tor Network allows drug users to purchase their products from anywhere in the world. No longer are they tied to a street dealer or a friend for supply. No longer do they lack choice in quality or variety. Now they can peruse a range of products from the safety of their home. They have choice that would never be available without the internet. More importantly, as Martin points out, they are now valued customers with contracts, refund policies and providers of feedback on service quality. These websites provide all types of illicit goods but, surprisingly, many have ethical frameworks that limit their product ranges to restrict the sale of unacceptable goods and services such as child pornography or, in comes cases, firearms. This book is a mind expanding (pun intended) exploration of a high tech illicit market place that is essential reading for police, academics and the public at large.

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Mark CarnesMinds on Fire: How Role-Immersion Games Transform College

September 24, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Education]  “All classes are sorta boring” (p. 19). This statement is one that college students might believe, along with many of their professors, but not Dr. Mark Carnes, author of Minds on Fire: How Role-Immersion Games Transform College (Harvard University Press, 2014). In Carnes’ book, he describes a new type of learning and classroom [...]

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Brooke Erin DuffyRemake, Remodel: Women’s Magazines in the Digital Age

September 18, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Media & Communications] Brooke Erin Duffy’s Remake, Remodel: Women’s Magazines in the Digital Age (University of Illinois Press, 2013) traces the upheaval in the women’s magazine industry in an era of media convergence and audience media-making. Duffy, assistant professor at Temple University’s School of Media and Communication, is especially interested in the experience of writers, [...]

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Jeremy LipschultzSocial Media Communication: Concepts, Practices, Data, Law, and Ethics

September 7, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Technology] Social media is a phenomenon that continues to grow and attract much attention in the form of consternation, commentary, criticism and scholarly research. Any attempt at truly understanding social media communication practices and tools requires interdisciplinary analysis, the examination of the technology from the varying perspectives of the groups of users, [...]

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Tim AndersonPopular Music in a Digital Music Economy: Problems and Practices for an Emerging Service Industry

August 23, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Popular Music] Since the 1990s, the music industry has been going through a massive transformation. After World War II, the primary way audiences participated in the music business in the period between 1945 and 1990 was by purchasing records and attending concerts. The internet and the mp3 file, however, have changed how [...]

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Joe MoranArmchair Nation: An Intimate History of Britain in Front of the TV

July 30, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in European Studies] The social and cultural historian Joe Moran, Professor of English and Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University, UK is interested in the everyday moments between great events. In his books Queuing for Beginners: The Story of Daily Life from Breakfast to Bedtime, On Roads: A Hidden History and now Armchair Nation: An Intimate [...]

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Judith DonathThe Social Machine: Designs for Living Online

July 19, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Technology] The conversation about the Web and social media skews toward a discussion of the potential for connections, and how both individuals and organizations are using the media to communicate, to form communities, and to conduct business. Lacking, for the most part, is an investigation of the design of these spaces [...]

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Lisa GitelmanPaper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents

July 9, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in History] “One doesn’t so much read a death certificate, it would seem, as perform calisthenics on one…” From the first, prefatory page of Lisa Gitelman’s new book, the reader is introduced to a way of thinking about documents as tools for creating bodily experience, and as material objects situated within hierarchies and relationships of labor. [...]

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Payal AroraThe Leisure Commons: A Spatial History of Web 2.0

July 2, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Technology] Scholars and commentators have used metaphor in an attempt to describe the Web since public access began. Think of ideas like the information highway, cyberspace, the digital library, etc. In her new book, The Leisure Commons: A Spatial History of Web 2.0 (Routledge, 2014), Payal Arora, an assistant professor in the Department of [...]

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John Nathan AndersonRadio’s Digital Dilemma: Broadcasting in the 21st Century

June 20, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Media and Communications] John Nathan Anderson’s new book, Radio’s Digital Dilemma: Broadcasting in the 21st Century (Routledge, 2014), documents the somewhat tortured path of broadcast radio’s digital transition in the United States.  Beginning his analysis with rise of neoliberal communications policy in the 1980s, Anderson charts the development of the idea of digitalization by closely [...]

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