Technology • Innovation • Publishing — Issue #123

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Amazon debuts Trainium, a custom chip for machine learning training in the
Amazon unveiled Trainium, a custom chip for machine learning training workloads. It’ll be available to AWS customers in H2 2021.


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Amazon now lets you text Alexa on iOS to ask for things instead of only using your
Amazon is testing a new Type with Alexa feature that allows users on iOS to text Amazon’s virtual assistant instead of speaking requests out loud. Google Assistant and Siri already offer similar functionality.

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How to watch a movie in a small window on your iPhone while you do other
It’s useful if you want to sit in bed and catch up on the latest episode of your favorite TV series while texting with friends at night.

Publishing & Media

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Amazon under pressure to lift ban on e-book library

Amazon’s refusal to sell e-books published in-house to libraries is sparking backlash as demand for digital content spikes during the coronavirus pandemic. #LoveLibraries #ebooks #Amazon

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The News 50: Tech giants dwarf Rupert Murdoch to become the biggest news media companies in the English-speaking


U.S. states plan to sue Facebook next

A group of >40 US states is investigating Facebook for possible antitrust violations and plans to file a lawsuit against the social media giant next week.

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Facebook News will pay UK outlets for content in
Starting in January, Facebook will pay UK publishers for some — but not all — of their content.

iHeartMedia, Podimo to Translate Podcasts

Extending its investment in podcasting, iHeartMedia announced a partnership with European podcast platform Podimo to translate and adapt podcasts “across the globe in different languages.” #podcasting

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Spotify says it’s dominating the podcasting market because of a million-plus tiny

MT @mediagazer Spotify says Anchor powered 80% of its new podcasts, or 1M+ shows, in 2020; overall, Anchor powers 70% of Spotify’s total podcast catalog of over 1.9M shows.

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Amazon in exclusive talks to acquire podcasting company
Amazon is now in exclusive talks to acquire the independent podcast network Wondery. This comes after a report that Apple was interested.

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Spotify is letting record labels influence personalized recommendations… so long as they pay for it in


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Mapping Black Media — Newmark

RT @CCMNewmarkJ Today we’re excited to share our NEW map and directory tracking nearly 300 Black media outlets across the United States. We are filling a void by providing a listing that includes Black newspapers, digital outlets, radio, startups and more in one location:


Inside Patch’s new local newsletter

MT @sarafischer Patch, which is approaching its 5th year as a profitable company, is launching a new local newsletter platform that lets individual journalists monetize via subscriptions, ads, etc. Comes amid a local newsletter boom.

The New York Times Announces Philanthropic Support for the Headway Initiative

RT @mediagazer NYT says it has raised $4M for Headway, a three-year journalistic venture, which will aim to produce 10–12 deeply researched, data-rich projects per year

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BookExpo and BookCon Are No

ICYMI The biggest trade show in U.S. book publishing is being retired. BookExpo and its attendant consumer-focused events, BookCon and Unbound, will not be held in 2021, as organizer ReedPop considers the future of the events.

AT&T to Stream All Warner Films in Seismic Shift

Resources & Opportunities

Penguin Hotline

On Monday 12/6, I’m working the #PenguinHotline! Let us know who you’re shopping for and you’ll get a personalized list of recommendations. For every request 12/2/20–12/16/20, the Penguin Hotline will donate $2 to @diversebooks (up to $10K) #TeamPRH

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DVcon, a product of #DVpit, is a free, two-day virtual writers conference for self-identifying marginalized book

The mission of DVcon is to educate and connect authors & illustrators who have been historically underrepresented and marginalized in the book publishing industry. Featuring a diverse faculty as well as #DVpit alum, DVcon will offer informative workshops, fun micro-content, and our additional focus will be on community-building and forging connections. You’ll retain access to content (and friendships!) after the conference ends.

Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards

MT @diversebooks Applications for @penguinrandom’s 2021 Creative Writing Awards are now open! Public High School seniors can win up to $10,000 in scholarship funds. #teamPRH

Elana K. Arnold’s Revision Season Scholarship

RT @diversebooks Award-winning author Elana K. Arnold is offering 5 scholarships for marginalized writers in her virtual master class, Revision Season! Applicants should have a finished draft of a novel in any genre or age category. Apply through 12/16

WNDB Emergency Fund for Diverse Creatives

MT @diversebooks The WNDB Emergency Fund for Diverse Creatives is accepting new applicants! We’ve updated our criteria so that even more diverse creatives can apply for grants (ranging from $500 to 1,000) during this challenging time.

NEH Long-Term Fellowships | The New York Public Library

RT @nypl We are very excited to announce our new @NEHgov Long-Term Fellowships to support advanced research in history, literature, and culture of peoples represented in our collections! The fellowships support 2 fellows for 9 months with a stipend of $45,000.

Black Founder Startup Grant

Black Founder Startup Grant. SoGal Foundation has teamed up with Winky Lux, bluemercury, twelveNYC, Lively, and other sponsors to make a small step towards progress by providing several $10K and $5K cash grants to Black women or nonbinary entrepreneurs.

Female Innovators | Barclays

Female Innovators’ Lab, deadline: rolling basis. Barclays and Anthemis are committed to bringing more women into entrepreneurship in the financial services ecosystem and closing the fundraising gender gap.


Introducing the Talent x Opportunity Fund — Andreessen

Introducing the Talent x Opportunity Fund. Andreessen Horowitz launched this fund devoted to helping those who are lacking resources to be able to achieve entrepreneurial success.

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Apply Now for a Free 90-Day Helsinki Relocation Package!

Free 90-Day Helsinki Relocation Package, deadline 12/10. We will provide free 90-day relocation package for the entire family. We’ll arrange housing, daycare, schooling, everything you need — the real deal, just like a Finn. No charges or investments.

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Test & Trace Corps | NYC Health +

RT @emmagf An update on the New York City website showing wait times at covid testing sites: More sites are providing wait time info, but not all. Some, like Highbridge Pool near me, have long waits of up to two hours. Others have no wait! Check wait times here:



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Kathy Sandler

Kathy Sandler

Sr Mgr, Content Applications, Penguin Random House * Innovation * Technology * Publishing * Opinions expressed are my own