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


Dear Author

Monday Link Roundup: For the Ultimate in Hacking

I had to write up   Monday Links Roundup for the sole purpose of sharing this Wired feature on Marc Tobias who with Tobiaz Bluzmanis bumped open 6 Medeco locks in under 1o minutes.   The Medeco locks ostensibly protects the most important buildings in the world.   The article reads like a script from a caper.

The lock-cracking quest took on the intensity of a recurring fever dream as night after night they employed paper clips, needle-nose pliers, a plane sander, safe-deposit key blanks, plastic sheets, lock-picking tools, tension wrenches, and lots and lots of paper. They divided the  Medeco3  mechanism into a series of problems, then devised theories to attack each in order.

By December 2006, Bluzmanis and Tobias had discovered a method for opening the Medeco3  in about a minute. Tobias called Roberson immediately. “We figured he’d be as interested as we were,” Bluzmanis says. “But he said, ‘No, it’s impossible; the locks must have been defective.’” So a few weeks later, Tobias sent Roberson the breached hardware along with a video of them opening a couple of Medeco locks. “I even posted the clip on my Web site,” Tobias says. The password for access: Roberson’s initials and phone extension.


Then Tobias and Bluzmanis sat back and waited. What did they expect? Perhaps a press conference, at least some attaboys for cracking the lock equivalent of Fermat’s last theorem. They had just slain Goliath on digital video. But Goliath didn’t appear to care. In fact, according to Tobias, Goliath was no longer returning phone calls.

Kassia of Booksquare nails it on BEA and the issues that aren’t being addressed enough.   Richard Nash suggests that BEA in its current incarnation cannot continue and suggests that opening up the trade fair to the public on Sunday would be one way to save the trade show. Conversely, Mike Shatzkin suggests that BEA needs to revamp itself to focus on more verticality and less horizontal, focusing more on the book business and less on the books themselves. (I wonder if that means no more authors/ARCs/etc.)

While not ebook related, the Microsoft unveiling of Project Natal was mindblowing enough I had to share.   I see PN as a transformative piece of technology that companies will either adopt or be left behind.   How soon will the porn companies adopt this?

Dear Author

BEA 2009: Observations Around the Internet

For the orphans of BEA, there has been great internet coverage from established publications and from the new media (aka bloggers!).

Smart Bitch Sarah attended the Harlequn Art Show.   Harlequin had awesome swag including vintage covers on matchbook type notepads.   She (and Harlequin) are giving away two bags full of this awesome swag.

Publishers Weekly had these articles that I found interesting although almost all were worth a read:

  • Publishers and Booksellers agree that things are bad in publishing but there are few solutions.   One suggestion from Bob Miller of HarperStudios was that booksellers start publishing.   Praveen Madan, a bookseller, asked for a digital catalog of publisher books to assist booksellers in selling online.   Dominique Raccah asked for independents to give more shelf space to small and mid sized presses which account for 54% of all sales (as opposed to the big 6).
  • There was a packed house to hear the blogger panel which was composed of all women and quite a few YA bloggers.   Katiebabs attended this panel and said that much of what the bloggers were pushing for had already been accomplished in the romance blogging community.   (Visit Kate’s site for more BEA musings. It’s worth a read).
  • Amazon is reaching out to small print publishers outlining all the “free” benefits that Amazon offers while also pushing its premium features like Search Inside the Book; it’s POD program; and Kindle publishing.

Edward Champion:

  • During the “book reviews 2010″ panel, sponsored by NBCC, the panelists and moderators largely ignored the question of “whether book reviews were even worth saving.”   Champion was dismayed by the lack of passion for books (and the topic) exhibited by the panelists.
  • The Big Ideas panel by Chris Anderson and Lev Grossman was also a disappointment (heard on Twitter that Champion wasn’t alone in this sentiment.
  • It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Champion who suggested that the best way for BEA to survive (and possibly publishing) is that “It has become vitally important for us to listen to the opposite perspective. We can’t just keep to the comfortable corners of the room.”

Teleread had wonderful pictures and commentary:

  • Publishers are spending a lot of money on generating take down notices but not enough on filtering software to use technology to prevent the infringing work from even appearing on sites like Scribd and Wattpad.
  • Smart Bitch Sarah looked great at the Blogging Signing Booth sponsored by Firebrand Technologies.
  • Amazon and Sony, however, didn’t spend much money in enticing the BEA crowds.