Technology • Innovation • Publishing — Issue #156


AI Doesn’t Have to Be Too Complicated or Expensive for Your Business

HT @fgilbane Most companies don’t have a clear path to success. But that might change with a new, data-centric approach to AI. By @AndrewYNg #AI

Some K-pop stars are bypassing Twitter and Facebook to create platforms for fans, like Universe, which features AI-generated voice calls with the

Korea’s fancafes have given rise to new social platforms like LYSN, Weverse, and Universe, which serve as self-contained versions of Facebook or Twitter entirely for K-pop fans. #AI


Facebook Wants Us to Live in the

What does that even mean?


Interesting Take on Metaverses via @stratechery #metaverse

Gaming braces for its Netflix and Spotify
A new wave of game subscriptions has only just begun emerging in the last few years. Now, as these subscriptions are married to nascent but fast-growing cloud gaming services that allow you to stream games to almost any screen, the industry is bracing itself for a potential paradigm shift akin to what happened to television, film and music.

Digital transformation after the pandemic

Having built new norms during COVID-19, firms should now focus on operations, employee experience, customer experience, and organizational culture. Via @MITSloan

TikTok confirms pilot test of TikTok Stories is underway

Twitter may have shut down its Stories features known as Fleets, but the Stories format will continue to invade other social platforms. TikTok today confirmed it’s piloting a new feature, TikTok Stories, which will allow it to explore additional ways for its community to bring their creative ideas to life.

Apple wins patent for in-screen Touch ID and Face

#Apple #patents

Amazon Advertising Revenue Eclipses $7B — And Is Still Picking Up Speed


How Amazon plans to cut waste after backlash over destruction of unused
Amazon has launched two programs as part of an effort to give products a second life when they get returned to businesses that sell items on its platform.

Amazon will pay you $10 in credit for your palm print
The retail giant has a spotty history with biometric data.

Amazon’s mission: Getting a ‘key’ to your apartment building
The online shopping giant is pushing landlords to give its drivers the ability to unlock apartment-building doors themselves with a mobile device.

Facebook’s first-ever paid movie premiere

A 9/11 documentary, “The Outsider,” will debut on Facebook Live for $3.99 on Aug. 19. #Facebook

Facebook says it has disabled the accounts, apps, Pages, and access to its APIs for researchers running NYU’s Ad Observatory Project, citing TOS violations
Facebook Inc. has disabled the personal accounts of a group of New York University researchers studying political ads on the social network, claiming they are scraping data in violation of the company’s terms of service.

Google accused in suit of fixing ad rates with Facebook deal

RT @adage Alphabet Inc.’s Google was accused in an antitrust lawsuit of giving itself the edge in online advertising by cutting a cozy deal with Facebook that gives the social network an advantage in virtual auctions which determine whose ads appear where.

Google hits undo on Chrome browser alert change that broke websites, web apps
‘This is peak Chrome; a reasonably good idea hampered because it was pushed out thoughtlessly’

U.S. Enlists Amazon, Microsoft, Google To Improve Infrastructure, Protect Against Cyber Threats

HT @MediaPost

The voices of women in tech are still being erased

MT @michellemanafy Many TikTok users assumed that the text-to-speech voice they heard on the app wasn’t a real person. It was. A Canadian voice actor named Bev Standing had never given ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, permission to use it. By @histoftech

Publishing & Media

Authors, Illustrators, Translators Pressure the UK on Copyright

A total 2,661 authors, illustrators, and translators question UK ‘reconsideration’ on post-Brexit copyright and parallel imports on books. #Copyright @Porter_Anderson @PublishersAssoc @Soc_of_Authors

Binc’s 25th Anniversary

MT @BincFoundation Join us in celebrating Binc’s 25th Anniversary! Thursday, August 12, 2021, 8pm EST #ThinkBinc #Bincat25

Censorship on the Rise Worldwide

HT @BoSacks The International Publishers Association and PEN have documented hundreds of attacks on press freedom, many of them targeting LGBTQ and dissident groups.

Scribd Originals Issues Short “Semi-Autobiographical Tale” By Margaret

On Diversity: A Survey of Canadian Readers 2021

Pearson CEO predicts demise of physical textbooks as digital service
The 177-year-old company debuted its Pearson+ subscription service in the U.S.

Froth Or Future? Hello Sunshine Deal Points To Bold New Era In Media M&A: “We Have Money To Spend, And It’s A Relative World”
Private equity deals like the recent $900 million takeover of Hello Sunshine are poised to continue long into the future, dealmakers say.

Longform joins Vox and will expand its guests to include podcast hosts and documentary filmmakers

“No matter the amount of tweeting or social media promotion that you might do, [the place] where you need to look to grow your audience is existing podcasts.” #podcasting

HBO Max is getting its own exclusive podcasts, starting with Batman
HBO Max is becoming more of a podcast app. This fall, it’ll be the exclusive home for Batman: The Audio Adventures, a scripted podcast starring Jeffrey Wright and Rosario Dawson.

Condé Nast and Universal Music Group Partner to Combine Their Video Reach
The two companies have formed Condé Nast Certified Video Plus, providing advertisers access to both audiences through one offering.

Bloomberg Media and Ebony Join Forces to Seek Out New Audiences
This will be a year-long content-sharing collaboration to cross-pollinate the Bloomberg Equality and Ebony audiences through original content.

Hearst UK wants all of its brands to have Good Housekeeping’s authority in product testing
Good Housekeeping set a standard at Hearst UK that the rest of the portfolio wants to replicate.

Hearst’s iCrossing Acquires Mediablaze

After launching a furniture line, a wine brand and a perfume, Cosmopolitan is debuting a sun care and self-tanning collection.

In recent years, a number of media brands have been tapping into the beauty market. #magazines

AP, Reuters to help Twitter elevate more credible info

Twitter signed a deal with The Associated Press and Reuters to help elevate accurate information on its platform. Twitter said the program will expand its existing work to help explain why certain subjects are trending on the site, to show information and news from trusted resources and to debunk misinformation.

AT&T’s DirecTV to become standalone video business

AT&T Inc’s satellite television provider, DirecTV, will become a standalone video business as part of a deal between the wireless service provider and buyout firm TPG Capital.

New York Times 2021 Q2 Earnings: 8 Million Subscribers
The company expects to end the year with about 8.5 million. In its quarterly results, it reported holding nearly $1 billion in cash.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to Buy Oil Price Information Service for $1.15 Billion Cash
News Corp will pay $1.15 billion in cash for Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), a specialized, digital-centric info provider.

How is DC Comics planning to “future-proof” its publishing arm?

HT @LWShanley @publishingtrend

LinkedIn Acquires Tutorial Video App Jumprope as it Looks to Expand its Creator

Revel Acquires The Woolfer, the Leading Social Platform for Women Over 40; Announces $3.5M Seed

Resources & Opportunities

Scholarships — Hugo

MT @diversebooks Writers: @HugoHouse is offering writing classes both in-person and online, along with scholarships for their Fall Quarter courses! Applications close on August 16th:.

New Visions Writing Contest for Writers of Color and Indigenous/Native

RT @diversebooks Unpublished BIPOC writers: @LEEandLOW has extended the deadlines for both its annual writing contests to August 15th! Winners receive $2000 + a standard publication contract.

New Visions (MG/YA):

New Voices (Picture Books):

Medium Writing Challenge

RT @rgay Medium is hosting a writing challenge. Details here:… And there are some FAQs about your intellectual property and the rights Medium is seeking.

Newberry Library Announces a $25,000 Chicago-Specific Book Award

HT @elizabethscraig The new award, with its inaugural presentation set for next summer, is open to submissions both in fiction and nonfiction. @pubperspectives #wkb84

Join us for Penguin Teen Summer Festival! — Penguin


NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre

RT @MadeinNY We invite NYC storytellers to apply for #NYCWomensFund for the opportunity to bring their films, docs, TV shows, music projects, and theater productions by, for, or about women to life on screen and stage. Apply now at @nyfacurrent:

Yelp to allow users to filter businesses based on vaccination requirements

MT @MarkLevineNYC Very cool: @Yelp now let’s you filter your search for restaurants, stores etc by whether all its staff are fully vaccinated, and whether they screen for vaccination.

Updated COVID Risk Assessment Tool

MT @Pistachio I’m planning to __________ but now I wonder if it’s safe given how Delta COVID spreads. How can i calculate the risks?



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Kathy Sandler

Kathy Sandler

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