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Wednesday News: Apple’s patents rejected; Rubber duck floats down the Thames; Rise of the author brand

Wednesday News: Apple’s patents rejected; Rubber duck floats down the Thames;...

Rubber Duck Thames

A computer-implemented method for use in conjunction with a computing device with a touch screen display comprises: detecting one or more finger contacts with the touch screen display, applying one or more heuristics to the one or more finger contacts to determine a command for the device, and processing the command. The one or more heuristics comprise: a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command, a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a two-dimensional screen translation command, and a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a command to transition from displaying a respective item in a set of items to displaying a next item in the set of items.

This and others are the basis for Apple’s suit against Samsung, a suit it won at the trial court. Experts say that the patents deemed invalid at this point can go on to win approval but even the USPTO making this step is important. Foss Patents

Dear Author

Thursday News: SMP Was to Receive $70,000 Worth of Pot

In light of fan fiction, collaboration, and just plain fascinating stuff comes the story of a Redditor turned screenplay writer.  Wired recounts the transformation of James Erwin from Redditor commenter who began to envision a story about a group of military folks in Afghanistan being time warped back to the Roman period.  His scenes made him an instant Redditor celebrity, got him an agent, and now his screenplay is the basis of a big budget movie.

Mid-afternoon, Erwin posted the seventh installment, then wrote a brief comment asking the Reddit community what he should do next. “Subreddit? Publish? Pass the torch?” He promised that he would do whatever the top-voted comment told him to do. An hour later, the top-voted comment by a wide margin read simply “QUIT JOB ENTERTAIN ME.” A user named tick_tock_clock suggested a name for a subreddit: RomeSweetRome. Erwin responded, “As much as I’d love to quit my job to finish this, that may be … impractical.” He was thinking of his family; he had a young child to help provide for and a mortgage to pay. What wasn’t impractical, he wrote, “is moving this over to r/RomeSweetRome, where I will continue writing this up … at a slightly less feverish pace. :)”

I really encourage you to read it.  Source: Wired


Kate Hart has a graphical representation of YA Deals for 2011-2012.

Paranormal is definitely moving away from vampires and werewolves. The only vampire deal I saw was for an existing series, and I only saw two werewolf and two angel blurbs, of which one each was new.

There were several folklore tales, a few ghosts and demons, and one dragon. Otherwise, it appears that “psychic” is the new “vampire” (ignoring the fact that our friend to the left is a psychic vampire to being with.)


In possibly one of the best stories of 2012 (yes, going out on a limb and saying this can’t be beat by anything in the upcoming 9 months), the feds intercept a shipment of a 11 pounds of marijuana addressed to Karen White at St. Martin’s Press.

Two shipments of marijuana destined for the New York City offices of a major book publisher were intercepted this month by federal agents after postal workers detected a “suspicious odor” emanating from the Express Mail parcels, according to court records.

The packages, containing a total of more than 11 pounds of pot, were bound for St. Martin’s Press, which is headquatered in the landmark Flatiron Building on lower Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

And now, the next time you are thinking “what are those publishers smoking” you have an answer. Via everyone but I noticed it first via Sarah Weinman.