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Thursday News: Fern Michaels wins a defamation suit; Harlequin revenues down; Men more likely to say I love you first; Science scares me

Thursday News: Fern Michaels wins a defamation suit; Harlequin revenues down;...

Today marks the first day in our August giveaway extravanganza. I don’t know why but I thought it might be fun to solicit authors and publishers to see if they would give away stuff to the Dear Author community. I opened it up to anyone, including self published authors so long as the SP authors had editors. We had a great response. Over 70 authors and publishers agree to provide books, gift certificates and even swag to our readers.

Every day we’ll feature a new giveaway. I hope you come and celebrate reading with us during the month of August.

If I wind up dead, please know that Mary Kuczkir, the author Fern Michaels, more (than) likely arranged for it to happen. Please don’t respond. I want a black/white record. Shelley Dangerfield.

This email was forwarded by Craig Dilley to a website that promotes romance authors. Dilley was found to have defamed Michaels because they could not prove the truth of the statement – that Michaels was trying to murder the Shelley Dangerfield.

Even though the judge found that Michaels had suffered no damages, he still ordered the defamer, Craig Dilley, to pay $75,000.

Attorneys for Michaels, who filed the lawsuit under her legal name, Mary Kuczkir, argued that the writer of almost 100 bestsellers was not a public figure. Michaels claimed she was unable to write for six months and lost $850,000 in income due to her distress. Seventh Judicial Circuit Judge Roger Couch ruled “there was no apparent adverse effect on her earning capacity,” nor was there evidence her book sales suffered or she was denied publishing privileges due to the email.

The facts in the case are so sketchy that it’s hard to make out exactly what the claim was. Defamation per se doesn’t need any proof of damages and calling someone a murderer might fall under that category so the $75,000 may be punitive damages. Again, hard to say and frankly I find the verdict/ruling a bit ridiculous.

One of the reasons for the decline was a weakness in the direct to consumer sales.  Yahoo! Finance

Jennifer Ashley’s shifters wear collars that allow the human government to control their emotions to a certain extent. Collars or other microchips could be used to do more than simply suppress emotion or give off an electrical surge to control instinct. Clearly advanced technology suggests that full control over a lesser being could be done through harnessing EEG signals and processing them. Yay??? ExtremeTech

Monday News: Penguin’s last quarter was stellar; Apple updated product launch rumored for September; Google’s Chromecast might be the next killer device at $35

Monday News: Penguin’s last quarter was stellar; Apple updated product launch...

Google Chromecast

The problem is that the quality of the Chromecast streamed video depends on whether it has partnered with Google. Video playing on your laptop can be streamed via Chromecast, but Tech Crunch says that the video isn’t always that great.

Video streaming quality is quite good (on par with what I get on my Xbox 360 or my Apple TV, at least) particularly when pulling from an app or website that’s been tailored for compatibility — so Netflix, Youtube, or Google Play, at the moment. If you’re using the Chromecast extension for Chrome on your laptop to project an otherwise incompatible video site (like Hulu or HBOGO), however, video quality can dump quite a bit depending on your setup. It’s using your laptop as a middle man to encode the video signal and broadcast it to the Chromecast, whereas the aforementioned compatible sites just send video straight to the dongle, mostly removing your laptop from the mix. When casting video tabs on a 2012 MacBook Air running on an 802.11n network, the framerate was noticeably lower and there were occasional audio syncing issues.