Axl Rose has issued Google a takedown notice regarding the “Fat Axl” meme, which uses a shot of the singer performing with Guns N’ Roses in 2010. The notice is operating on the grounds that Guns N’ Roses owns the copyright to all photos taken at the band’s performances, according to a waiver all photographers must sign before any show....more
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But as writers, what are we supposed to do if we have a super common name? Do we get a pen name? Do we find an SEO expert? Do we just kind of ignore the issue and hope our names will float to the top of the Google search results someday, somehow?
The New Yorker’s Jill Lepore laments the devaluation of truth in politics with the rise of “big data”:
The era of the fact is coming to an end: the place once held by “facts” is being taken over by “data.” This is making for more epistemological mayhem, not least because the collection and weighing of facts require investigation, discernment, and judgment, while the collection and analysis of data are outsourced to machines.
Don’t miss the official trailer, just released last week, for Moon Shot, a web documentary series directed by Orlando von Einsiedel, and produced by Epic Digital and Bad Robot, surrounding some of the scientifically savvy entrepreneurs competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE to send the first privately-funded robot to the moon....more
Editions at Play, the brainchild of Visual Editions publishers Anna Gerber and Britt Iverson and Google Creative Lab in Sydney, has launched, pushing the boundaries of books so far off that they can no longer be printed. Editions at Play creates interactive storytelling experiences meant for your phone, the justification for which being that digital is a new media aching to be explored by writers with more depth, more sensitivity, and more fun poking around in Google Earth....more
Writers’ wages are down—as much as 30% since 2009. The Authors Guild is looking to change that in 2016. NPR spoke with the organization’s executive director, Mary Rasenberger, about pursuing better contracts from publishers and challenging court cases that have granted companies like Google the right to digitize out-of-print works....more
Oyster is a digital ebook subscription service that operates much like Netflix. If you think that’s a cool idea, you’ll have to try an alternative—like Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program—because Oyster is closing shop. Many of the company’s top execs are headed over to Google Play Books, where they could very well help Google launch its own ebook subscription service:
Google is resistant to the notion that it bought Oyster.
Before there was Google, there was the New York Public Library. Library patrons could query librarians by writing out questions on notecards. The NYPL found a set of vintage cards, and has been publishing them on Instagram. The Guardian shares some of the best questions, like this one from 1947:
What does it mean when you dream you’re being chased by an elephant?
In the finished novel, this journey will take up four sentences. My virtual mapping of the route will have almost no discernible impact on the prose that I’ve already sketched out – as adjectives go, “nondescript” doesn’t paint much of a picture – and, once again, what I justify as research might just as easily be dismissed as the writer’s tendency to arse around.
Draftback is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to watch every keystroke of every revision made to a Google Doc played back to you, opening up a new way to study how writers write. Chadwick Matlin at FiveThirtyEight tried the extension, however, and he sees a dark side:
Embedded in Draftback’s ingenuity is also a certain kind of inevitability: that writing, like any commodity, is at the mercy of a technology that never forgets.
If there is an individual alive in 2015 with the genius and vision of James Joyce, they’re probably working for Google, and if there isn’t, it doesn’t matter since the operations of that genius and vision are being developed and performed collectively by operators on the payroll of that company, or of one like it.
Of course books don’t digitize themselves. Human hands have to individually scan the books, to open the covers and flip the pages. But when Google promotes its project—a database of “millions of books from libraries and publishers worldwide”—they put the technology, the search function and the expansive virtual library in the forefront.
You may have seen the recent series of UN Women ads using screenshots of Google auto-complete suggestions to educate viewers about sexist stereotypes.
This Book Riot post does the same thing but with famous authors—for example, when you type in “Ernest Hemingway was,” what does Google predict you’ll type next?...more