Best of the web: the law of solitude, Sun+ and, of course, Mandela

‘Best of the web’ is my weekly semi-regular attempt to squeeze something useful out of my (nerdy) procrastination. See last time’s here.

The law of solitude

David Allen Green, Financial Times (blog post)

Old-fashioned liberals will enjoy this piece.

Imagine you are in a room by yourself. There is no form of communication with the outside world. There is no telephone and no internet access. There is not a window or other way of catching anyone’s attention. Nobody is within earshot. You are quite alone.

What crimes, under English (and Welsh) law can you then commit? Quite a lot, as the author describes, the implication being that more than a few of those activities shouldn’t be criminalised.

News UK is reborn by putting a digital smile on Wapping’s face

Roy Greenslade, The Guardian (blog post)

I like Greenslade’s blog a lot. There is a rarely a development in the journalism world which you’ve noticed that Greenslade doesn’t provide shrewd commentary on. More to the point, there are plenty of developments which you haven’t noticed that he provides shrewd commentary on.

This post focuses on The Sun’s first update about the success of Sun+, its paywall protected digital service. The market-leading tabloid has, in the first four months of Sun+, picked up 117,000 subscribers.

That’s much less than the 300,000 subscribers the Sun allegedly needs in order to compensate for the (huge) drop in online ad revenue that occurred after the Sun went behind its paywall, as well as the millions it has shelled out to show Premier League highlights. However, it took the more up-market Times and Sunday Times publications a year to reach that figure. Talking speculatively, it looks likely that Sun+ will break the 300,000 mark by 2015.

Nelson Mandela obituary

David Beresford, The Guardian

In a market saturated with Mandela coverage this week, the Guardian’s obituary stood out for me.

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