Daily Digest: Apple sued, Zimmerman lawyers drop out, Springfield location revealed

John Hageman

 –The U.S. Justice Department has sued Apple and several book publishers, alleging that the colluded to raise e-book prices in 2010, according to the New York Times.

The lawsuit stems from an investigation that began last year into Apple and the publisher’s pricing policy, known as the agency model. This model “allowed publishers to set their own prices on e-books, with the retailer taking a commission. It was a significant switch from the wholesale model that publishers had been using for print books, in which publishers charged retailers about half the cover price for a book and then allowed retailers to set their own sale price.”

But many publishing executives argue that without this model, Amazon would gain a monopoly on e-books. And some authors argue that this action will hurt the publishing industry.

“This would be tragic for all of us who value books, and the culture they support,” wrote Scott Turow, president of the Authors Guild.

Several publishers have agreed to a proposed settlement already, according to the Times.

 

–The attorneys for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer whose killing of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin set off a national debate over race and self defense, have dropped him as their client, according to the Associated Press.

The lawyers said Tuesday that they haven’t heard from Zimmerman since Sunday, and that he has reached out to the prosecutor’s office against their advice. That prosecutor, Angela Corey, said that an announcement will be made in the coming days about the case.

Zimmerman was never charged in the Feb. 26 killing of Martin. Many have protested the inaction by police, and say that the killing was racially-motivated.

Martin was black, and Zimmerman’s father is white and mother is Hispanic.

Zimmerman claims he shot Martin in self-defense, a statement his former lawyers still stand by.

"He is largely alone. You might even say he is emotionally crippled by virtue of the pressure of this case," said Hal Uhrig, a former lawyer for Zimmerman.

Craig Sonner, Zimmerman’s other former attorney, said he believes Zimmerman is in hiding but still in the U.S. Both say they will represent Zimmerman again if he asks.

 

–After decades of keeping the true location of Springfield, the town where The Simpsons takes place, creator Matt Groening has finally let the cat out of the bag…

(Drumroll)

It’s…Springfield, Oregon!

Groening told Smithsonian Magazine that Springfield was his inspiration for the show, which will begin its 25th season on April 15. Groening was raised in nearby Portland, Oregon.

Gizmodo has compiled a Google maps version of Springfield, Oregon, comparing it locations in the show.

The Simpsons teased long-time viewers several times as to the true location of Springfield.

As Ned Flanders points out in the Simpsons Movie, "Look at that, you can see the four states that border Springfield: Ohio, Nevada, Maine, and Kentucky!"

This website attempts to narrow down the state using references dropped in episodes. “Fear of Flying,” an episode appearing in season six, eliminated Alaska (Hawaii had already been eliminated):

Official: If word gets out about this, Krazy Klown Airlines will be a laughingstock. In exchange for your silence, I'm prepared to offer your family free tickets to anywhere in the United States. Excluding Alaska and Hawaii, the freak states.

Homer: Woo hoo!

Homer: [at home] Good news, everybody! Because I endangered lives, we can fly anywhere we want!

Bart: Alaska!

Lisa: Hawaii!

But it appears that didn’t work, as they already eliminated Oregon.

Guessing the location wouldn’t have done much good either. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, there are 28 Springfield across the country, with Wisconsin claiming five somehow.

But somehow it wasn’t painfully obvious to everyone that it was Oregon, considering Groening grew up 100 miles away. Oh well, off to solve the other mysteries of my childhood, like what the hell was going on with Hey Arnold!’s head.