Technology * Innovation * Publishing Newsletter #226

Kathy Sandler
10 min readJan 2, 2023

Reminder: I optimized this newsletter for subscription. If you’re reading this on Medium (via website or email), please subscribe at https://www.sandlertechworks.com/ for the best user experience.

Important Items

Gunfire’s Rising Toll on New York City’s Youngest

There have been 149 shooting victims under 18 in New York City this year, as of Dec. 18, according to Police Department data. About one in every 10 New Yorkers struck by a bullet this year was a child. At least 16 died. #StopGunViolence https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/27/nyregion/new-york-teen-shootings.html

Bleeding and in pain, she couldn’t get 2 Louisiana ERs to answer: Is it a miscarriage?

OBGYNs in Louisiana are refusing to see patients before 12 weeks of pregnancy because miscarriages are very common during that period and doctors afraid of being investigated and prosecuted for abortion if a patient miscarries. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/12/29/1143823727/bleeding-and-in-pain-she-couldnt-get-2-louisiana-ers-to-answer-is-it-a-miscarria

As Covid-19 Continues to Spread, So Does Misinformation About It

As Covid cases, hospitalizations and deaths rise in parts of the country, myths and misleading narratives continue to evolve and spread, exasperating overburdened doctors and evading content moderators. #COVIDmisinformationhttps://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/28/technology/covid-misinformation-online.html

Growing vaccine hesitancy fuels measles, chickenpox resurgence in U.S.

Fast-growing measles outbreak in Ohio has sickened 81 kids — most old enough to get shots but parents chose not to. If more parents resist routine immunizations, experts fear that will intensify resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases. #GetVaccinated https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2022/12/26/vaccine-hesitancy-measles-chickenpox-polio-flu/

If a COVID home test is positive, call NYC’s hotline to request Paxlovid w free same-day home delivery

RT @MarkLevineNYC Important reminder: if you test positive on a covid home test, you can call NYC’s covid hotline to request paxlovid — w/ *free same-day home delivery*. Call 212-COVID19 (Dial option 9). No cost regardless of insurance. Treatment is most effective when started early so don’t wait. https://twitter.com/MarkLevineNYC/status/1607372866298732546

Social Security denies disability benefits based on list with jobs from 1977

Despite spending at least $250 million to modernize its vocational system, the agency still relies on 45-year-old job titles to deny thousands of claims a year. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/12/27/social-security-job-titles-disabled-applicants-obsolete/

Innovation

The state of AI in 2022 — and a half decade in review

A set of companies seeing the highest financial returns from AI continue to pull ahead of competitors. The results show these leaders making larger investments in AI, engaging in increasingly advanced practices known to enable scale and faster AI development, and showing signs of faring better in the tight market for AI talent. The data show that there is significant room to improve diversity on AI teams, and, consistent with other studies, diverse teams correlate with outstanding performance. Via @McKinsey #AIhttps://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/quantumblack/our-insights/the-state-of-ai-in-2022-and-a-half-decade-in-review

Humans and AI Will Understand Each Other Better Than Ever

AI promised much, but there has been something holding it back from being used successfully by billions of people: a frustrating struggle for humans and machines to understand one another in natural language. This is now changing, thanks to the arrival of large language models powered by transformer architectures, one of the most important AI breakthroughs in the past 20 years. Transformers are neural networks designed to model sequential data and generate a prediction of what should come next in a series. These new models have delivered significant improvements to applications using natural language like language translation, summarization, information retrieval, and, most important, text generation. In the past, each required bespoke architectures. Now transformers are delivering state-of-the-art results across the board. https://www.wired.com/story/artificial-intelligence-neural-networks/

6 ways media companies use AI to meet their strategic needs

RT @DCNorg AI is creating what venture capitalist and MIT fellow Paul Kedrosky describes as the “most disruptive change the U.S. economy has seen in 100 years. #AIhttps://digitalcontentnext.org/blog/2022/12/15/6-ways-media-companies-use-ai-to-meet-their-strategic-needs/

2023 could be the year of mixed reality

RT @VentureBeat The true #metaverse will seamlessly blend the real and the virtual. Users will cease to think about which elements are physical and which are digital. Here’s why 2023 will be the year of #mixedreality, according to Louis Rosenberg of @UnanimousAI : #AR #VR https://venturebeat.com/virtual/2023-could-be-the-year-of-mixed-reality/

Fidelity plans NFT marketplace and financial services in the metaverse

Investment giant Fidelity Investments has filed trademark applications in the US for a host of Web3 products and services, including: * NFTs + NFT Marketplaces * Metaverse Investment Services * Virtual Real Estate Investing * Cryptocurrency Trading #NFTs https://cointelegraph.com/news/fidelity-plans-nft-marketplace-and-financial-services-in-the-metaverse

Would You Buy an NFT From a Vending Machine?

What if you could buy an NFT from a vending machine? Earlier this year, these popped up in central London. The company behind the vending machine — myNFT — said the goal was to eliminate any barriers to entry when it comes to NFT shopping. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/audio/2022-12-26/would-you-buy-an-nft-from-a-vending-machine-podcast

Technology

The 4P’s: Perspectives. Points of View. Provocations. Plan of Action.

Via ⁦@rishad In a world filled with increasing amounts of data, computational power and advances in AI, talent will matter even more if we

a) focus on what is unique to humans and

b) do so in a way that leverages the power of technology.

https://rishad.substack.com/p/the-4ps-perspectives-points-of-view

The 2022 Good Tech Awards

In his annual Good Tech Awards column, Kevin Roose highlights the noble, clever and socially valuable tech projects that progressed the world this year. Nuclear fusion, generative A.I., bee tracking and more. There’s a lot to like. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/29/technology/good-tech-awards-2022.html

Amazon begins drone deliveries in CA & TX

Amazon Prime Air wants to deliver packages within 60 minutes. #Amazonhttps://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2022/12/amazon-begins-drone-deliveries-in-california-and-texas/

US bans China-based TikTok app on all federal government devices

Move follows House of Representatives ban, which TikTok called a ‘political measure that will do nothing’ for national security https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/dec/30/us-tiktok-ban-government-devices-china

McDonald’s unveiled a restaurant staffed primarily by robots — and some customers hate it

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mcdonalds-automated-restaurant-robots-drive-thru-conveyer-belt/

AI-Created Comic Could Be Deemed Ineligible for Copyright Protection

Kris Kashtanova received a US copyright on Zarya of the Dawn, a comic book inspired by their late grandmother that she created with the text-to-image engine Midjourney. Kashtanova referred to herself as a “prompt engineer” and explained at the time that she went to get the copyright so that she could “make a case that we do own copyright when we make something using AI.” The Copyright Office then contacted her to tell her that it had initiated a proceeding to revoke the protection, explaining that it had errantly missed that Midjourney had created the art for the comic (despite Midjourney being listed on the credits of the cover of the comic). #AI #copyright https://www.cbr.com/ai-comic-deemed-ineligible-copyright-protection/

Publishing

What Can We Learn from Barnes & Noble’s Surprising Turnaround?

Barnes & Noble is flourishing. After a long decline, the company is profitable and growing again — and last week announced plans to open 30 new stores. In some instances, they are taking over locations where Amazon tried (and failed) to operate bookstores. https://tedgioia.substack.com/p/what-can-we-learn-from-barnes-and

Will Children’s Books Become Catalogs of the Extinct?

As an environmental journalist and a parent, Tatiana Schlossberg worries that the animals in her young son’s bedtime stories will disappear before he learns they’re real. https://www.theatlantic.com/books/archive/2022/12/climate-change-extinction-children-picture-books/672588/

How Will BookTok Change Publishing in 2023?

HT @publishingtrend ⁩Creators on TikTok are fighting for a more diverse book world — and running into some deep-seated problems in the industry https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/booktok-tiktok-creator-publishing-1234649819/

Librarians Are Meeting Younger Readers Where They Are: TikTok

MT @draccah The pandemic hurt children’s reading skills. Librarians are doing what it takes to connect them with books — including dance routines. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/30/books/librarians-tiktok.html

We’re drowning in old books. But getting rid of them is heartbreaking.

“They’re more like friends than objects,” one passionate bookseller says. What are we to do with our flooded shelves? https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2022/12/19/used-books-stores-donation-fran-lebowitz/

US Education Department investigates removal of LGBTQ books from school library

The investigation follows a complaint by the American Civil Liberties Union. It appears to be the first based on a nationwide movement pushed by conservatives to ban school library books dealing with sexuality and gender. Since early 2021, book challenges and bans have reached levels not seen in decades, according to officials at the American Library Association, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and other advocates for free expression. #BookBans https://www.pilotonline.com/nation-world/vp-nw-lgtbq-book-ban-texas-20221220-di2k6pp7j5d7lfdcvvp3kdid4y-story.html

The 10 Best Books of 2022

Here are the 10 books Slate’s Laura Miller most enjoyed reading this year, the ones filled with truth and beauty and genuine laughter in spite of — and sometimes because of — the sorry state of the world. Even the sad ones provided a balm for the spirit. #BestBooks https://slate.com/culture/2022/12/best-books-2022-slate-book-critic-fiction-nonfiction.html

The 10 Best Fiction Books of 2022

The best fiction released this year reminded us to value our relationships with one another, no matter what form they take. These books emphasized how we are shaped by the people who surround us, as well as those who are no longer physically present but whose memories we continue to carry. They are stories about friendship and love, growing up and growing older, loss and living, all centered on characters reckoning with how their people do and do not show up for them. #BestBooks https://time.com/6238663/best-fiction-books-2022/

The best health books experts read in 2022

The Well+Being desk asked best-selling authors and leading health experts to recommend their favorite nonfiction read of 2022. For this article, we took a broad view of what self-help means, since any book that makes you think differently about health and well-being can be a self-help book. #BestBookshttps://www.washingtonpost.com/wellness/2022/12/16/best-self-help-books-list/

If You Haven’t Already Read These 23 Books By Black Authors, Now Is The Time, Because They’re All Incredible

From romances to mysteries to thrillers to poetry, the literary contributions made by Black authors in 2022 is truly something to amplify. https://www.buzzfeed.com/jatelialewis/best-books-by-black-authors-from-2022

Best Fantasy & Magical Realism of 2022

Every year thousands of our readers vote for their favorite books of the year in the She Reads Awards. Find out more about the books that were nominated and see which book was voted the Best Fantasy & Magical Realism of 2022. https://shereads.com/best-fantasy-magical-realism-2022/

The 103 Best Book Covers of 2022

As Chosen by Our Favorite Book Cover Designers https://lithub.com/the-103-best-book-covers-of-2022/

The 7 most inspiring book cover trends of 2023

HT @publishingtrend ⁩With global conflict, a continuing climate crisis and a dawning recession, the world has had its share of gloom. But if you’re looking for escapism, 2023’s book cover design trends seem determined to banish the darkness. Bright shapes swirl, flowers blossom and wild creatures strut their stuff. Elsewhere, designers look back, finding beauty in punk’s angst and pleasure in pop art’s playful simplicity. Via @99designs #BookCoverDesign https://99designs.com/blog/trends/book-cover-design-trends/

Resources & Opportunities

Want to Become a Freelance Greeting Card Writer?

American Greetings is looking for freelance greeting card writers. #FreelanceWriters https://corporate.americangreetings.com/freelance-writing/

ColorComm’s NextGen HBCU Fellows

MT @ColorCommntwk Apply Early and Become a #ColorComm HBCU Fellow! Applications are now open to #HBCU students interested in #internships and full-time positions with Fortune 500 companies should apply! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSelsRdaEP5kBXTjQB_fPukpNB_ID0Zz7K5ZTYN5wn3077-tEA/viewform

Bronx Poet Laureate Application

RT @bronxisreading The Bronx Poet Laureate (BXPL) promotes the inclusion of and passion for poetry across the Bronx, looking to inspire a new generation of writers and poets, and to educate Bronx residents about the history of poetry in our borough. Applications open now! https://airtable.com/shrixzABP8G04KNyJ

Freedom Reads

MT @million_book In 2022, Freedom Reads opened 56 #FreedomLibraries in 19 prisons. That’s more than 25,000 books. Or, put another way, more than 25,000 opportunities for men, women, and kids incarcerated to discover the world or themselves through the turning of a page. https://donate.freedomreads.org/forms/ye-appeal-2022-donation-form

Want to read my old newsletters or subscribe? Go to my blog here.

--

--

Kathy Sandler

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