Are Bestselling Authors Killing the ‘Small’ Authors and Writing?

Originally posted on WP Writers Group:

inspiredmagz-ImageProxy.mvcThat is what a fellow author claim. He says:

‘Would you like to know what’s really killing writing? It’s the major best-selling authors who are demanding huge advances they don’t need, thus denying newer authors from a liveable advance. Do any of those authors really need a $20 million advance when they have much more than that in the bank? I think not.

‘A new writer could easily live on a much smaller one while s/he works on a new book. We deserve to make a living too. We work just as hard and are not repeating our formula for the sake of loyal readers.’

Is traditional publishing no longer fair or sustainable?
Society of Authors says so
‘Earlier this week, the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society released a survey of almost 2,500 writers which found that the median income of a professional author last year was £11,000, down 29%…

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3 Projects to Prove Privacy Is Not Dead

scientificamerican-8D575CE7-0E2D-42D0-B33A4987A340A8E8_article‘…Services such as Britain’s Mydex offer the ability to store, manage and share personal information in an encrypted central repository called a data store, which only the person who creates the store can fully access. Anyone wanting information contained within that personal data store—an insurance company or marketer, for example—must connect to Mydex’s network and agree to terms of use created by the person owning the data before Mydex will release it. Personal, based in Washington, D.C., offers a similar “data vault” service.

‘A system called the open personal data store (openPDS) platform, under development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, likewise consolidates information into a single location that can be stored on one’s computer or with a service provider (aka in the “cloud”). OpenPDS, however, deals specifically with metadata—which can describe a person’s location, phone use or Web searches, for example. The M.I.T. approach protects privacy by refusing to share any of that data directly. Instead, a mobile app, Web site or research firm looking for information protected by an openPDS must query the data store directly—to check, for instance, whether your shipping address has changed or to confirm your present location. OpenPDS responds specifically to that query with answers that the openPDS owner approves for release, according to a study published July 9 in PLOS ONE…’

Hi-Tech Desecration
A threat to the privacy of the deceased
A Plan To Untangle Our Digital Lives After We’re Gone
‘Last week, the Uniform Law Commission drafted the , a model law that would let relatives access the social media accounts of the deceased. A national lawyers’ group, the ULC aims to standardize law across the country by recommending legislation for states to adopt, particularly when it comes to timely, fast-evolving issues.

‘And little evolves more quickly than the Web.

‘As we live more and more of our lives online, more and more of what used to be tangible turns digital.

‘”Where you used to have a shoebox full of family photos, now those photos are often posted to a website,” notes Ben Orzeske, legislative counsel at the ULC…’
npr blogs

President Barack Obama to issue executive order on drone privacy
Drones can even intrude on our real life privacy
‘The order would put the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an arm of the Commerce Department, in charge of developing the guidelines. NTIA would bring together companies and consumer groups to hammer out a series of voluntary best practices for unmanned aerial vehicles.

‘The FAA, which is working on a formal set of rules to allow commercial drones to operate in U.S. skies, has been criticized for not tackling issues around what kind of images and data drones can collect. Consumer groups and some lawmakers have said drones could violate people’s privacy by peering into their homes and backyards…’
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Posted in cybercrime, cyberlaw, news, privacy laws and violations, science and technology, Society, TECHNOLOGY | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Workshop School Works This School, Class Is A Workshop And Experiments Are Mandatory
‘Imagine a school where classes are organized not by subject but by project — a school created not by administrators, but by teachers fed up with the status quo. A school where kids from a city’s toughest neighborhoods are given the opportunity to experiment and the freedom to fail.

‘In West Philadelphia, that school is a reality.

‘The idea started with an innovative project for a few dozen kids at one of Philly’s most troubled high schools, West Philadelphia High School.
The project

The nation’s top colleges are turning our kids into zombies
‘A friend who teaches at a top university once asked her class to memorize 30 lines of the eighteenth-century poet Alexander Pope. Nearly every single kid got every single line correct. It was a thing of wonder, she said, like watching thoroughbreds circle a track.

‘These enviable youngsters appear to be the winners in the race we have made of childhood. But the reality is very different, as I have witnessed in many of my own students and heard from the hundreds of young people whom I have spoken with on campuses or who have written to me over the last few years. Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it…’

A model for indestructible books

The Indestructible Bible
Designed to Withstand the Elements and Last Forever
‘The Forever Bible is touted as indestructible, “a Bible that literally walks on water.” Currently raising funds on Kickstarter, the book is said to be waterproof, dirt-proof, tear-proof and more. It is capable of withstanding the elements so it is guaranteed to last forever. The aims is to create a Bible that will last readers a lifetime amid traveling, accidents and whatever else is thrown at it.

‘The first Bible in history built to last forever, this project presents the most popular book of all time in a new way. A message of hope, love and eternal strength, there are well over six billion copies around the world. This version has been printed using the best materials that exist today.

‘Space Age nanotechnology was utilized to print the Bible–which is also twenty-four times stronger than regular paper–on an advanced paper that doesn’t use any trees. The tome floats on water, while keeping notes and highlighted passages pristine. It holds tightly onto its pages using a superior, patented dual-binding process…’

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Is MH17 Journo Guilty of Tainting Crime (Crash) Scene?

mashable-abc-crash6Australian Journalist Criticised for Touching MH17 Victims’ Belongings

‘Following allegations that pro-Russian rebels may have “severely compromised” the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine, journalists have been caught touching victims’ belongings.

‘Williams defended his actions by saying the crime scene had already been contaminated by the rebels looting and trashing the crash site.

‘“I am guilty of picking up, touching a scarf on the ground, and that’s because there are piles of people’s belongings that have just been collected and dumped on the roadside; they’ve been picked through, and so it’s not as though it’s a crime scene, an uncontaminated crime scene there,” Williams told the ABC’s PM program on Monday night…’


UK definition of terrorism ‘could catch political journalists and bloggers’

‘The current British definition of terrorism is so broadly drawn that it could even catch political journalists and bloggers who publish material that the authorities consider dangerous to public safety, said the official counter-terrorism watchdog.

‘David Anderson QC, the official reviewer of counter-terrorism laws, said Britain had some of the most extensive anti-terrorism laws in the western world, which gave police and prosecutors the powers they needed to tackle al-Qaida-inspired terrorists, rightwing extremists and dissident Northern Irish groups.

‘”But if these exceptional powers are to command public consent, it is important they need to be confined to their proper purpose, and recent years have seen a degree of ‘creep’ in parliament that could be reversed without diminishing their impact”…’


$10 million lawsuit against Wikipedia editors withdrawn

Only a “strategic” move so that they can refile the lawsuit

‘On the same day the Wikimedia Foundation announced it would offer assistance to English Wikipedia editors embroiled in a legal dispute with Yank Barry, the lawsuit has been dismissed without prejudice at the request of Barry’s legal team—but only as a “strategic” move so that they can refile the lawsuit with a “new, more comprehensive complaint.”

‘Barry, who was a musician in the 1960s and 70s before becoming an entrepreneur and philanthropist, launched the action against five editors who he alleges participated in a “conspiracy″ to “engage in the wrongful acts of defamation and invasion of privacy” against him and his charity, the Global Village Champions Foundation, which is also a named plaintiff…’


July 17, 1996.

TWA Flight 800, a Boeing 747, left JFK airport on its way to Paris.

It didn’t make it.

Many expert witnesses saw white streaks heading towards the plane. Radar operators saw an object heading towards the plane.

Then the plane exploded catastrophically in mid air.

The radar also captured another image: a ship right beneath the explosion.

That ship took off at high speed away from the scene of the accident and was never included in the official report.

What did the FBI do? They ignored some witnesses and intimidated others.

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Flight 17 Grave Robbers in Facebook

This photo was another case of grave robbing in Poland

This photo was another case of grave robbing in Poland

‘In a sick revelation, scammers have set up fake Facebook profiles using the identities of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 victims amid claims that credit cards may have been stolen from the crash site.

‘On Friday, Ukrainian MP Anton Gerashchenko said via his Facebook page that “death hunters” were collecting cash, jewelry and the credit cards of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777, which was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday.

‘”My humble request to the relatives of the victims to freeze their credit cards, so that they won’t lose their assets to terrorists!” Gerashchenko said in the post…’
Post by Anton Gerashchenko

Another dumb ‘Facebook’ criminal
Woman steals dress then shows off dress in Facebook
Facebook led police to thief within hours
‘Police say 27-year-old Danielle Saxton stole from a downtown boutique last week. Then, she posted pictures of herself wearing the merchandise. Investigators say Saxton shared the pics just a few hours after the theft. The images quickly spread on Facebook, and led officers straight to her.

‘“What she stole was a very distinct leopard dress,” store co-owner Kert Williams explained.

‘Police say the pictures are evidence of shoplifting committed by Saxton. The theft happened at Mortie’s Boutique in West Frankfort, where multiple items disappeared last Friday.

‘“[She stole] A dress, a couple shirts, some jewelry, couple items like that,” Williams said.

‘Williams was heading back to work last week when he saw a woman walking away from the store with those clothes…’
wsil tv

A real case of ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’
Couple Could Be Fined $500 if They Water Lawn, $500 if They Don’t
‘After a Glendora couple decided that they’d water their lawn only twice a week, which left it with brown patches and bald spots, they received a letter from the city’s code enforcement unit warning them to turn their grass green again or face $100 to $500 in fines and possible criminal action, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. The letter said that despite the need to conserve water, “we wish to remind you that limited watering is still required to keep landscaping looking healthy and green.” And the city helpfully included some pictures of bad and good examples: a dead lawn with a red line through it and a lush, green lawn with a sprinkler running…’
la times

Daly City fugitive nabbed through Facebook after 22 years
‘Legaspi, formerly of Daly City, was originally indicted Aug. 19, 1992, on three counts of aiding and filing false quarterly employment tax returns for Mission Childcare Consortium. In 1989, Legaspi claimed to have made $37,442.12 in federal tax deposits although the consortium had actually made only $10,715.68 for the quarter. In 1989, he similarly claimed $46,422.24 in compensation for tax purposes while the truth was $143,679.40. On another occasion, Legaspi also misrepresented the compensation and taxation, according to the indictment.

‘That November, he pleaded guilty to one count and was due to be sentenced Jan. 28, 1993. He never showed up and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

‘In 2012, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security tracked down Legaspi’s Facebook page and found him living in London, Ontario, Canada. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested Legaspi…’

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The Youthful Microsoft Admins

Originally posted on WP Writers Group:

education.asu-ma-ed-techA Window chat app that wasn’t working finally made me curious and I asked for MS help. I noticed at once that the second MS administrator that replied is young (the profile pic of the first isn’t his face). When I met the 9th of them, I just have to write about the surprising discovery: none of these admins look thirtyish. This was the first time I witnessed a youthful group of admins—at least in this one involving a tech giant. Since they decided that my topic should be private, I know I should not say anything more about it.

The second discovery was that MS might ask your permission to grant access to your account if your problem requires it. It asked me to send a screen capture of my browser network info. And since MS was very strict about our discussion being private, I knew I could trust…

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Are You Working with the Right Energy Level?

A decrease in energy level from E 2 to E 1 res...

A decrease in energy level from E 2 to E 1 resulting in emission of a photon represented by the red squiggly arrow, and whose energy = h (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘”We have over 15 years of research from hundreds of thousands of individuals showing that optimizing and directing energy positively drives high performance and growth,” Welbourne said in a statement.

‘Welbourne said working above your best energy level is counterproductive because mistakes are made more frequently, and small obstacles easily become big problems. She said working at this level for too long can lead to burnout.

‘Conversely, when leaders work too far below their optimal energy level, they avoid challenges and boredom sets in easily, Welbourne said. The research found that among the leaders surveyed, this was particularly a problem for senior managers, vice presidents and CEOs.

‘Welbourne said in order improve energy and productivity business leaders need to measure and understand their own energy and that of their employees…’

How Much Difference Practice Makes
The Limits of Practice
‘Those who, like me, have failed to become proficient at something despite working at it for a long time can take heart from a new paper in the journal Psychological Science. Brooke N. Macnamara and her co-authors analyzed 88 studies of the impact of practice on people’s prowess in such areas as music, sports and professional jobs. They found that practice helped, but it wasn’t everything — it explained about 21 percent of the difference in subjects’ musical skills, 18 percent of the difference in sports and less than 1 percent of the difference in professions. So definitely leave work early today — you may not be getting any better by staying…’

Why people gave almost $50,000 just to produce potato salad
How one person raised almost $50,000 to make potato salad
The Psychology Behind Why We Give
‘Americans are now donating more than ever before. Recent studies have shown that we’re more likely to give to one person, rather than many. In fact, we’re willing to donate twice as much if it serves the needs of an individual, instead of a group. This establishes an inverse relationship between the amount of people involved and the responsibility we feel to reach out.

‘But why? There is an explanation that stems from individual involvement and personalization—the opportunity for people to actually change future trajectories and become part of how stories are shaped. This reasoning is driven by empathetic roots that run deep in our psyche:…’
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