Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

About Robin Reader

http://dearauthor.com/author/janet/

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!

Posts by Robin Reader:

Friday News: Wireless ISP allegedly blocks email encryption; Whisper v. Guardian on privacy; diversity in publishing; and 33 free Philip K. Dick stories

Friday News: Wireless ISP allegedly blocks email encryption; Whisper v. Guardian...

In the second instance, Golden Frog shows that a wireless broadband Internet access provider is interfering with its users’ ability to encrypt their SMTP email traffic. This broadband provider is overwriting the content of users’ communications and actively blocking STARTTLS encryption. This is a man-in-the-middle attack that prevents customers from using the applications of their choosing and directly prevents users from protecting their privacy.

This is scary. If ISPs are actively trying to block the use of encryption, it shows how they might seek to block the use of VPNs and other important security protection measures, leaving all of us less safe. Golden Frog provides more details of what’s happening in this case. . . –Tech Dirt

Among other things, Whisper Editor-in-Chief Neetzan Zimmerman says:

Whisper does not collect nor store any personally identifiable information (PII) from users and is anonymous. To be clear, Whisper does not collect nor store: name, physical address, phone number, email address, or any other form of PII. The privacy of our users is not violated in any of the circumstances suggested in the Guardian story. The Guardian staff, including its CEO and multiple members of the US editorial team, have met with, partnered, and worked with Whisper since February 2014 and published multiple stories utilizing Whispers, with full understanding of our guidelines. The Guardian’s assumptions that Whisper is gathering information about users and violating user’s privacy are false.

The Guardian insists:

The company behind Whisper, the social media app that promises users anonymity and claims to be the “the safest place on the internet”, is tracking the location of its users, including some who have specifically asked not to be followed.

The practice of monitoring the whereabouts of Whisper users – including those who have expressly opted out of geolocation services – will alarm users, who are encouraged to disclose intimate details about their private and professional lives.

Whisper is also sharing information with the US Department of Defense gleaned from smartphones it knows are used from military bases, and developing a version of its app to conform with Chinese censorship laws. –The Guardian

Let’s go back to some of those stats that Chris was throwing out. Do publishers just not think there’s an audience for work by writers of color?

[Chris] Jackson: No, I don’t think that’s true. I would say what’s happening in some of the larger publishing companies is that they’re publishing fewer books generally than they have in the past, and so they’re trying to publish those to audiences that they think they have mastered, they’ve already identified. And there’s a lot of data now in the way there wasn’t in the past, which can cut two ways. The olden days of “gut feelings” is passing away, and that’s not such a bad thing—gut feelings are often laced with implicit and untested biases. But my fear about more data-driven publishing is that it leads to companies engineered to sell books to people they’ve already identified.

And that means that it’s almost like, if you got on the boat already, you’re in. But if you’re not on the boat already…then the boat’s gone, and you’re not getting in. So lots of audiences that haven’t been as identifiable or easy to reach, or whatever, I think you have a lot more trouble with those kinds of books.

The good thing is that there are a lot of writers who are finding ways to get themselves out there without needing a publishing machine the way that they did in the past. –Scratch Magazine

If you’re not intimately familiar with his novels, then you assuredly know major films based on Dick’s work – Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly and Minority Report. Today, we bring you another way to get acquainted with his writing. We’re presenting a selection of Dick’s stories available for free on the web. Below we have culled together 33 short stories from our two collections, 600 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices and 550 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free. The stories, it appears, are all in the public domain. –Open Culture

Thursday News: Barbara Freethy partners with Ingram; Richard Flanagan takes the Man Booker Prize; Anthony Horowitz ARC surprise; and Jules Verne amusement park.

Thursday News: Barbara Freethy partners with Ingram; Richard Flanagan takes the...

I think this venture is going to be a win-win-win for booksellers, readers and Indie authors like myself who have not been able to reach the print market outside of print-on-demand in the last few years. There’s been a void in the market, and the larger publishers have been unwilling to put bestselling digital titles by Indie authors into print without taking a piece of the digital pie. But with my partnership with Ingram, I’ll still maintain all of my digital rights. I’m very excited to have Ingram as a partner in this exciting new venture. And I’m so happy that readers will be able to get my books in any format they like from print to digital to audio! –barbarafreethy.com

“In Australia the Man Booker prize is sometimes seen as something of a chicken raffle,” he joked. “I just didn’t expect to end up the chicken.”

The novel is an incredibly personal book for Flanagan, whose father was a survivor of Japan’s campaign to build the railway. He died aged 98 on the day Flanagan emailed his final draft to his publisher.

“I grew up, as did my five siblings, as children of the Death Railway,” Flanagan said. “We carried many incommunicable things and I realised at a certain point … that I would have to write this book.” –The Guardian

Ms. Andreadis said that fewer than 2,000 copies had been sent out, and that Harper planned to reprint a new batch without the errors.

It is no big deal: Mr. Horowitz did not use unsavory language, abuse the copy editors, or expose some fantastic dispute between himself and his publishers. At most, there is firm authorial pushback. He just wants things the way he wants them. And he comes straight to the point: “I’M NOT CHANGING THIS.” –New York Times

In 2007, Nantes opened the combined art installation and amusement park on the site of a former shipyard. Les Machines offers both carnival-style rides for which anyone can purchase a ticket, and smaller machines demonstrated by visitors selected from the crowd. The result is a kind of steampunk amusement park, and a breathtaking juxtaposition of old, new – and weird. –BBC Travel