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The Complete New Yorker


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I just got The Complete New Yorker (available at amazon.com or bookstores). It's a commemorative book and 8 disks of every New Yorker issue. For dance lovers, every Croce article is there -- the essays not included in her books, plus anybody else who wrote about dance (like Alastair Macaulay and Acocella). Everything. It costs be $65-90. It's got a searchable database. It's worth the money. It will be amazing if this ushers in more "complete" magazine archives (it will also save space in homes!).

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This article about The New Yorker set appeared in today’s Wall Street Journal.


But Mr. Rivas and other Web-savvy users accustomed to navigating easily through online content find The Complete New Yorker a bit of an anachronism. Each page of content is literally a picture of a magazine page. Readers can't copy text from a story and paste it elsewhere. They can't search for keywords within the text of articles, only within titles and abstracts. If they want to jump from issue to issue, or article to article, they first have to go back to the index and sometimes change DVDs. "It feels a little bit cumbersome," Mr. Rivas says.

Interesting comment from Lessig:

A major difficulty for publishers is that court cases have moved more slowly than technology, says Lawrence Lessig, a professor of law at Stanford University. And the recent court rulings' emphasis on original context may have missed the point, as more powerful search tools become common in personal computing. "There is no such thing as context, or relevant context, as you move off into a digital form," Prof. Lessig says.

No such thing as context? I can see some issues with that.

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I'm not displeased that the magazine layouts were preserved—as a graphic designer I don't view that as a throwaway—a text file is not the New Yorker magazine. A record of the physical presence of the magazine is part of the "relevant context."

It seems shockingly cheap! :beg:

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I recently received an e-mail advertising an updated dvd set of The Complete New Yorker:

is not available in stores but you can order it online at

With the new Updated DVD #1, this exciting book and nine-DVD set gives you over 4,000 issues dating from the magazine's founding in 1925 through April 2006.

I sent a message to The New Yorker specifically asking about the spyware and am happy to share their reply:

In response to your question, I want to address the first part, about the spyware. Even though there was a section of the agreement for the DVD set that references a program that could track reader selections, searches, etc. on The Complete New Yorker (only), that program was never actually loaded, and we failed to remove this clause before the DVD set was released. So, there wasn't any type of spyware that was ever loaded. If you'd like, I can send you a letter from General Counsel that created to assure people who were concerned about the very same thing.

In answer to your second question, no, there is no spyware being loaded with the Updated DVD One. I can assure you of that. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. You can reach me via email (just reply to this) or call me toll-free at 800-897-8666 x. 182.

I hope that this information helps.


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