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Game of Thrones

Wednesday News: NYPL hosts Amazon roundtable, Guernica names first paid publisher, JK Rowling’s plot map, and Game of Thrones wedding costs

Wednesday News: NYPL hosts Amazon roundtable, Guernica names first paid publisher,...

Amazon: Business As Usual? – Although I have not had a chance to watch it, and therefore cannot comment on the content, I’m thinking that the 759 comments (as of Tuesday night PST), some of which are pretty entertaining, suggest that it might be worth sitting through the 90-minute discussion of everyone’s favorite subject (not). From the website describing the event:

Authors, agents, and publishers take to the LIVE from the NYPL stage to tackle these urgent questions in a conversation moderated by Tina Bennett, literary agent at WME. Guests include: best-selling author James Patterson; Morgan Entrekin, publisher and president of Grove Atlantic; Bob Kohn, attorney and founder of; Tim Wu, law professor and theorist of “net neutrality;” Danielle Allen, political theorist, author of a new book on the Declaration of Independence and elected chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board; and David Vandagriff, intellectual property lawyer. –New York Public Library

Guernica Magazine Names Lisa Lucas PublisherGuernica Magazine is celebrating its 10th anniversary as an entirely free, volunteer-run publication that, as its latest edition demonstrates, is better than many professionally run publications. Lisa Lucas, who has been serving as volunteer publisher, is poised to be the magazine’s first paid employee, and she is expected to undertake fundraising to pay more contributors and even produce a print version of the magazine. It will be interesting to see how, if at all, funding changes Guernica‘s priorities, content, and/or reach.

“I am thrilled to be charged with ushering Guernica into a new era of growth and sustainability. For 10 years, the magazine has been publishing the highest caliber of intellectual and literary work for free,” Ms. Lucas said in an announcement. “With keen long-term strategy, we will continue to do so while fostering creative culture by supporting our incredible contributors and expanding our offerings to new platforms.” –New York Observer

How J.K. Rowling Plotted Harry Potter with a Hand-Drawn Spreadsheet – First, if you don’t already visit Open Culture on a regular basis, start today – the site is devoted to locating free content, whether it be music, film, books, or cartoons. This is a particularly interesting entry, as it contains a piece of notebook paper on which JK Rowling plotted chapters 13-24 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. If you find writerly processes interesting, check out Rowling’s intricate chart.

At the height of the Harry Potter novels’ popularity, I asked a number of people why those books in particular enjoyed such a devoted readership. Everyone gave almost the same answer: that author J.K. Rowling “tells a good story.” The response at once clarified everything and nothing; of course a “good story” can draw a large, enthusiastic (and, at that time, impatient) readership, but what does it take to actually tell a good story? –Open Culture

The true cost of every wedding on ‘Game of Thrones’ – Want to recreate one of the Game of Thrones‘ weddings? According to wedding planner Sarah Haywood, all it takes is money. How much, you may ask? Somewhere between $500 and $10 million ought to do it, depending on your wedding of choice.

What if you were truly determined to host one of Game of Thrones’ infamous weddings in real life, and had the resources to do it? What challenges would you face, and just how much would it set you back?

Even with our copious infographic experience, we couldn’t calculate this one alone. So we roped in the help of Sarah Haywood, described by Time as “Britain’s most sought-after wedding planner and an authority on multimillion-dollar weddings.” Haywood has dozens of high-end nuptials under her belt, and she agreed to lend us her professional perspective. –Daily Dot

Friday News: Tech Edition

Friday News: Tech Edition

Yahoo Protects Users with Lots More Encryption – Good news for Yahoo users; the company has boosted encryption for email and for traffic between its data centers. Yahoo has also instituted HTTPS encryption for search queries on the Yahoo homepage, and between Yahoo Mail and some other mail servers (like Gmail). They will also be introducing an encrypted version of Yahoo Messenger soon.

It’s important to note that all these uses of encryption protect only communications in transit between a user and Yahoo’s servers, or within different parts of Yahoo’s own infrastructure. That means it doesn’t in any way change Yahoo’s ability to turn over user data in response to government requests. It makes it more difficult for any government to use its access to network infrastructure to secretly intercept users’ communications, but governments can still come directly to Yahoo with demands for access to user data. –Electronic Frontier Foundation

Set-Top Showdown: Amazon Fire TV Vs. Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku – If you’re looking for a streaming media service, this comparison serves as a quick reference guide for the Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Roku. Chromecast has the added benefit of costing about a third of the other three. –Wall Street Journal

Thank God: There’s Finally an App That Lets You Escape Group Texts – For those of you who are tired of group texts, you can now purchase a $2 app called GroupXit that allows you to opt out of all those group follow up texts you get in response to your friend’s latest baby video or cute animal photo. Although only available for Android devices currently, there will be an i0S version available “soon,” according to the company. As for how the app works:

The app is actually pretty ingenious in its design. Rather than existing as another messaging system entirely, GroupXit simply pulls the group threads you’re currently in from your native messaging app, allowing you to choose which threads you’d like to remove from sight and even which individual friends (“friends”) you’d like to silence. And don’t worry about missing something important; you can opt to receive an alert for certain keywords –Gizmodo

‘Game of Thrones’ recapped in emoji – I’ll admit that I’m not much of a Game of Thrones viewer (or reader), but even I found this emoji recap of Season 3 pretty awesome. Those of you who already know about “Game of Phones” may know about this, but if you don’t, definitely check it out. This story coincides with recent news that emojis are finally getting more diversified, following calls for Apple to diversify the symbols. So far the new emojis are only available for Android devices, but will soon be coming to i0S. –Death and Taxes