Numlock News: May 31, 2018


One glimmering bright spot in the publishing world has been the rapid growth of the audiobook market. Sales in the sector grew by 20 percent last year, and an estimated 50,000 audiobooks are recorded annually in the U.S. That quick production clip has created a seller's market for those gifted with particularly dulcet pipes to narrate and perform these books.
Molly Fitzpatrick, The Village Voice

Former federal judge Barbara Jones was appointed by U.S. District Judge Kim Wood to sort through documents seized during a raid of attorney Michael Cohen's office to identify any documents are protected by attorney-client privilege and thus cannot be turned over to investigators. Jones said in a filing that, of the seized documents, only252 items have been flagged as privileged communications for Cohen or his longtime client, the president. The filing also indicated the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York has already been given access to at least 292,000 items that were cleared as not protected by attorney-client privilege.
Philip Bump and Mark Berman, The Washington Post 

In what is easily the most jaw-dropping sports investigation since the Lennay Kekua saga, there's pretty substantial circumstantial evidence linking 5 different pseudonymous Twitter accounts that have dissed players of the Philadelphia 76ers to the person who is president of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers. Do you have any idea how much sports-related salt you've got to have to make the notoriously salty city of Philadelphia shocked at how salty you are about sports? We shall soon find out. 
Ben Detrick, The Ringer

In keeping with millennia of tradition, Italy is going through a bit of political turmoil at the moment. Two populist parties — the League and the Five Star Movement — wanted the president to appoint a euroskeptic to the economics ministry, and on Sunday Italian president Sergio Mattarella rejected that. The two rival parties are now considering joining forces ahead of the next election, but a new report from the Pew Research Center may give them a bit of pause. Only 13 percent of Italian adults had a favorable opinion of both the League and Five Star, compared to 46 percent who don't have a favorable view of either. Another 41 percent like one but dislike the other.
Laura Silver, Courtney Johnson and Kyle Taylor, Pew Research Center

While the events of the 2016 U.S. presidential election came as a shock to some observers, that's not really on the polls. The weighted average error in polls taken during the final 21 days was 3.1 percentage points for national polls and 5.2 percentage points in state polls, and 4.8 percentage points overall. This is, historically speaking, not really outside of what's typical. In polls taken in the final 21 days of presidential elections since 1972, the national polls missed the actual margins by 4.1 percentage points, state polls missed by an average of 4.8 percent and overall they missed by 4.6 percentage points.
Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight


According to the annual and indispensable report on internet trends from venture capitalist Mary Meeker, an estimated 3.6 billion peoplewill be on the internet in 2018. For context, that figure was a hair above 2 billion users as recently as 2011. This additional growth is thanks to increasing global access to Wi-Fi and the availability of inexpensive Android phones.
Josh Constine, TechCrunch

 

Hey remember when Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for the presidency in 2016, raised like seven million dollars from shocked people to fund a recount? Whatever happened there? Well, as of April 20, the campaign said it was down to $932,178 in recount funds from the $7.3 million raised. Filing fees in Wisconsin and Michigan ate up $2.3 million and attorney's fees claimed about $2.6 million. But there's something funky here; hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on media, travel and staff, much of it well after February 2017, and the campaign has stopped filing FEC reports.
Charles Davis, The Daily Beast

ABC cancelled "Roseanne" amid the eponymous star's racist tweet about a former Obama advisor. In doing so moving on from a show that netted $45 million in ad revenue over eight nights and commanded $167,159 per 30-second ad spot in April. These are big numbers — 55 percent higher than the broadcast comedy average — but the network ended up looking past the ad money. The media networks division of Disney is a slim 7 percent of operating profit, and Roseanne Barr was hardly a hill for the Mouse to die on. Did Laurie Metcalf deserve better? Always. But Barr played stupid games and Barr won stupid prizes.
Dade Hayes, Deadline