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Monday News: YouTube targets slow ISPs, Scarlett Johansson wins limited judgment, “considering” books for review, and new DA submission forms

Monday News: YouTube targets slow ISPs, Scarlett Johansson wins limited judgment,...

YouTube, following Netflix, is now publicly shaming internet providers for slow video – This is pretty interesting. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is posting these messages on videos that have streaming issues due to insufficient ISP speeds. Netflix had been doing something similar, and Verizon apparently threatened to sue them, so they quit, but I’ve recently seen the YouTube message, so I know it’s still in use. At the same time, Quartz points out that there seems to be an awful lot of Silicon Valley silence about the proposed Net Neutrality rules, which is pretty frustrating, especially since the changes extend far past speed to the way Internet Service Providers are treated under the law.

Curiously, though, Google and other technology companies have been relatively quiet as the US Federal Communications Commission moves closer to rules that would explicitly allow those fast lanes. That’s a stark contrast to four years ago, when Google played a central—and controversial—role in drafting net neutrality regulations.

Rather than intensely lobbying the government this time around, Google and Netflix seem to be focused on a public relations campaign. Both now regularly report how well their services work on a wide range of internet providers. Netflix’s ISP Index covers 20 countries; Google’s Video Quality Report is available in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Google has also started labeling some ISPs as “YouTube HD Verified,” a sort of Good Housekeeping Seal for streaming video. –Quartz

Scarlett Johansson wins defamation case against French novelist – The title of this article is slightly misleading, as are articles like this one in Vogue UK,  which somewhat overstate the actual scope of the verdict by a French judge in Johansson’s suit. The fraudulent exploitation aspect was dismissed, based on the fact that she had not kept her private life private, and has spoken publicly about it. Consequently, she was awarded only €2,500, plus €2,500 in legal costs, and prevailed only on the alleged claim of two romantic relationships that never existed.

I doubt this case would have gotten very far in the United States, especially because public figures have to prove actual malice, but this case may have served as an informal precedent of sorts had she prevailed more broadly.

Emmanuelle Allibert of the publishers J-C Lattès said they and Delacourt were happy with the judgment. “All of Scarlett Johansson’s demands were rejected except one thing that was seen to be an attack in her private life over two relations that she never had.

“All her other demands, including damages of €50,000, were rejected, notably that there should be a ban on the book being translated or made into a film. We just have to cut out the bit about the affairs, which is just four lines,” Allibert told the Guardian. –The Guardian

“For Review” Vs. “For Review Consideration” – An interesting discussion on an SFF blog about the difference between reviewing every book a blogger accepts and considering for review every book the blogger accepts. I think this notion of a contract or an obligation between book blogger and author cultivates a really problematic reviewing environment, in part because it can create an environment where resentment or guilt can find their way into the reviewing process. Moreover, ARCs have historically been considered promotional items, and the more obligations that become attached to that process, the less independence of opinion you may end up with.

The main thrust of the article is that book bloggers as a whole seem to think that receiving books in exchange for a review (even an honest one) is a fair verbal contract. However, (and I didn’t know this previously) editorial media does not enter into this sort of tit-for-tat, book-for-review agreement with publishers, even when a reviewer specifically requests a book from the publisher. –On Starships and Dragonwings

Two new forms for submitting news and deal items to Dear Author – Jane has asked me to post links to two new forms, which are also available in the drop down Contact Us menu.

First, here’s a form for submitting any current book deal you think we should post.

And here’s a form for submitting and news story you think we should post.

In regard to news posts, when someone sends me a prospective item, I don’t generally reference the sender, because not everyone wants to be recognized in that way. But if you’d like a shout out, please let me know; I’m happy to oblige and always appreciate the heads up on articles I might otherwise have missed. –Dear Author

Daily Deals: A thought provoking YA, an Australian set chick lit, Brothers of the Old West, and a freebie short story collection

Daily Deals: A thought provoking YA, an Australian set chick lit,...

2940045588935_p0_v1_s260x420The Kiss: An Anthology About Love and Other Close Encounters by C. A. Newsome. $ Free

From the Jacket Copy:

A kiss is a simple communication. It can also be an exchange, a betrayal, an assault, a promise, a hope…or it could be a goodbye. The intimacy of a kiss cannot be denied. Whether shared, stolen or simply dreamed of, its recipient will be affected. Thirty-one stories by authors from around the world will tease your imagination as you anticipate ‘The Kiss’ in each weird or wonderful tale.

This cross-genre anthology contains stories by Kate Aaron, Saxon Andrew, Jacques Antoine, Alison Blake, E. B. Boggs, Shirley Bourget, Ben Cassidy, Jason Deas, Sharon Delarose, Meghan Ciana Doidge, Suzy Stewart Dubot, Corrie Fischer, Brandon Hale, Traci Tyne Hilton, Colleen Hoover, Mona Ingram, J. L. Jarvis, Elizabeth Jasper, Anna J. McIntyre, Jess Mountifield, C. A. Newsome, S. Patrick O’Connell, Suzie O’Connell, Jeanette Raleigh, J. R. C. Salter, Molly Snow, Holli Marie Spaulding, Cleve Sylcox, Robert Thomas, Chris Ward and George Wier.

So there are a ton of authors in this collection and its 130,000 words so I’m guessing it is only 5,000 words per story. It’s free everywhere but Amazon. I thought that was kind of humorous. My guess is Amazon will match the freebie later today.

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fMUwkeiIVh0CThe Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt. $ 1.99 AMZN | Google

From the Jacket Copy:

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize

Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn’t share his brother’s appetite for whiskey and killing, he’s never known anything else. But their prey isn’t an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm’s gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living–and whom he does it for.

With The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of characters–losers, cheaters, and ne’er-do-wells from all stripes of life–and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.

“If Cormac McCarthy had a sense of humor, he might have concocted a story like Patrick DeWitt’s bloody, darkly funny western THE SISTERS BROTHERS…[DeWitt has] a skillfully polished voice and a penchant for gleefully looking under bloody bandages.” (Los Angeles Times)

Love that. If McCarthy had a sense of humor. LAWL.

Jayne emailed me and said this was terrible and that she couldn’t even bring herself to write a review of it.

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9780060586133_p0_v2_s260x420Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Australian triplets Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle are about to turn thirty-three and one is pregnant, one has just had her life turned upside down, and one is only just keeping hers from skidding off the fast lane. Meanwhile, their divorced parents have been behaving very oddly indeed.

In this family comedy by Liane Moriarty, we follow the three Kettle sisters through their tumultuous thirty-third year — as they deal with sibling rivalry and secrets, revelations and relationships, unfaithful husbands and unthinkable decisions, and the fabulous, frustrating life of forever being part of a trio.

PW “Moriarty’s novel is a winning combination of smart-alecky fun and feel-good mush (mostly the former). Her writing is smart and playful (“Death was the hot bath you promised yourself while you endured small talk and uncomfortable shoes”), her characters are quirky and lovable and her clever plot turns—like the rekindled love between the triplets’ divorced parents—are fun. Convenient coincidences and a general predictability don’t distract too much from the sassy pleasures. “

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41Ze1RQ944L._SX300_Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson . $ 1.99 AMZN | Google Play.

From the Jacket Copy:

The first ten lies they tell you in high school. “Speak up for yourself–we want to know what you have to say.” From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether.

Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him.

But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In Laurie Halse Anderson’s powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself. Speak was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature.

This book was banned for some reason and labelled pornography. It sounds like a powerful story and one I’d want my kid to read at the appropriate time.

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