Technology * Innovation * Publishing Newsletter #271

Kathy Sandler
9 min readNov 14, 2023

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While I focus on Technology, Innovation, and Publishing, because I have a platform, I also flag items that I think are important, which you might have missed, and try to include a bunch of resources & opportunities. I’d love to hear what you think of this newsletter.

Important Items

Ohio GOP lawmakers call to block courts from implementing new abortion amendment

Several Ohio Republican lawmakers are proposing to strip courts of the authority to review cases related to implementing the newly passed Issue 1 abortion amendment.

‘There is still work to be done’: Voters with disabilities face unaddressed barriers to the ballot

RT @19thnews From transportation troubles to a lack of accessible equipment, voters with disabilities face unaddressed barriers to the ballot. Researchers estimate that if accommodations were prioritized, over 2 million more votes would be cast.

New Report: Legislatures Introduce 110 Educational Gag Orders in 2023

RT @PENamerica New PEN America report documents 110 educational gag orders introduced in 2023, primarily focused on restricting speech about LGBTQ+ topics & identities in schools, and squelching the structures that underpin academic freedom within higher education.

Intellectual disability after COVID: study among people with college degree

HT @RajeevJayadevan “10 years’ equivalent cognitive decline” Worse among people with Long COVID. Stony Brook study included a non-infected control group, eliminating sampling bias.

Now we know how COVID attacks your arteries

HT @Dakota_150 Even patients with mild COVID symptoms could face a higher risk of developing heart disease and stroke


Silicon Valley’s Big, Bold Sci-Fi Bet on the Device That Comes After the Smartphone

Humane, a company started by two former Apple employees, says its new artificial intelligence pin can stop all the scrolling. Can it live up to the hype?


Tech is Going to Get Much Bigger

What happens when energy, intelligence, and labor get cheap?

Strange Ways AI Disrupts Business Models, What’s Next For Creativity & Marketing, Some Provocative Data

Via @scottbelsky Forecasts and implications around: (1) business models likely to become antiquated as AI proliferates in more industries, (2) reflections on another round of AI launches in the creative world, and (3) some provocative data and surprises

AI and the future of writing

By @rishad

UI and user experience and ChatGPT

Dissecting OpenAI’s brand-new GPT Creator

Three takeaways learned from creating my first GPT by Bradley Metrock.

‘Now and Then,’ the Beatles’ Last Song, Is Here, Thanks to Peter Jackson’s AI

ICYMI “Now and Then” was made possible by technology Peter Jackson used on the documentary series Get Back. Listen here.

Johnny Cash’s Taylor Swift Cover Predicts the Boring Future of AI Music

With covers of “Blank Space” and Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” going viral, Johnny Cash is suddenly the voice of AI. The choice is telling.

World Powers Say They Want to Contain AI. They’re Also Racing to Advance It

ICYMI The US, China, & others signed a declaration coordinated by the UK warning AI could be “catastrophic.” Yet none seem to be suggesting development should slow down

Meta bars political advertisers from using generative AI ads tools

Meta is barring political campaigns and advertisers in other regulated industries from using its new generative AI advertising products, denying access to tools that lawmakers have warned could turbo-charge the spread of election misinformation.

Livestream shopping keeps failing in India. Amazon thinks it has the answer

Most startups that tried to popularize livestream commerce in the country are struggling.

Overlooked No More: Ángela Ruiz Robles, Inventor of an Early E-Reader

In 1948, long before Kindles and iPads became popular, Ruiz Robles, a teacher, created her Mechanical Encyclopedia to help lighten her students’ textbook load. It was a pale green box about the size of a textbook that allowed a user to read any book in any language and on any topic.

Media & Publishing

The ‘Wall Street Journal’ Drops Its Bestseller Lists

Indigenous Reads Rising

MT @diversebooks Announcing: Indigenous Reads Rising! We’re excited to share this new site with you today, which covers children’s & YA books by Native, First Nations, and Indigenous creators. Looking for book lists? Best practice articles? Educator resources?

American Indians in Children’s Literature: Young Adult Books

RT @debreese Get to know Native writers and use their books all year long. Our kids are Native 365 days/year. Normalize our existence. Don’t confine us to November. See my YA list at WorldCat:

Her Daughter Stopped Going to School Because of Anxiety. Now Lauri Hornik Helps Other Kids — Through Books


New ALA report: Gen Z & Millennials are visiting the library & prefer print books

RT @ALALibrary ICYMI: New report finds that libraries are popular among Gen Z and Millennials, even among self-identified non-readers. 54% of Gen Z and Millennials visited a physical library within the previous 12 months.

How 13 news publishers are using WhatsApp Channels

Financial Times, La Nación, The New York Times, Vox, Chilango, the Times of India, and others talk about their early experiments sharing news on the world’s favorite messaging app.

Salon is being sold to the team of entrepreneurs behind the media company

U.S. Book Challenges Update

RT @ILoveLibraries Our latest report on book bans and challenges happening in the U.S. — and efforts to thwart them — includes news from Florida, Colorado, and Kentucky, and actor/comedian Steve Martin’s response to his book being banned by a school district.

Utah lawmakers consider proposal to make removing books from school libraries easier

MT @jonfreadom Utah lawmakers want to make it easier to ban books. If a book is banned in 2 districts why not just mandate its banning state-wide? How about encouraging elected officials to ban books in their own districts? It’s clear to see the direction this is going.

Fired librarians who opposed book bans turn to civil rights agency for redress

HT @publishingtrend

Fulton Township to cut funding to Quarryville Library over transgender book content

MT @EveryLibrary

If you don’t like a book at a public library, your choices are:

Sanity- Don’t check it out.

Insanity- Defund the library.

Johnny Weir pledges to give money to Quarryville Library after Fulton Township stops

MT @PENamerica Pennsylvania: Johnny Weir pledges to give money to Quarryville Library after Fulton Township decided to pull its annual funding to due to LGBTQ+ material at the library. Weir, the two-time Olympian in figure skating, is from Quarryville.

City Ordinance Banning Public Homosexuality Reaches Rutherford County Libraries

Via @ErinInTheMorn

Moms for Liberty Members Call the Cops on Librarians Over YA Bestseller

MT @shannonrwatts “We’re living in an era where some adults find it appropriate to contact the police over a fictional book involving gargoyles,” said Jennifer L. Armentrout, author of the library book that led Moms for Liberty members to call the police in Florida.

Santa Rosa County mother accuses ‘Moms for Liberty’ of exploiting daughter to push agenda

HT @FLFreedomRead A teacher asked a student to check out the book [that Moms for Liberty called the cops on]. That teacher then gave the book to a member of “Moms for Liberty.” “It’s over a book that’s never been read by my daughter. What makes me upset is my daughter is being used for this group. The group needs to fight on its behalf and not use children that they’re trying to supposedly protect,” the anonymous mother told WEAR News.

High schoolers in Sitka, Alaska, introduce a resolution to their school board to ensure there will be no book bans

HT @veronikellymars

Resources & Opportunities

Disability in Publishing: A WMG Power Hour Event

Join us for this pay-what-you-wish virtual program on Disability in Publishing and media, where you will hear from a panel of experts who are authors, screenwriters, journalists, bookstore owners, marketers, and activists with disabilities. 11/14 noon ET. Open to all. Virtual. Pay-what-you-wish.

Transforming DEI: Moving from Numbers to Narratives

Hope you can come to this WMG in-person get together on 11/30 5:30pm ET in NYC. This event will include time for catching up before the holidays as well as an important Power Hour talk about how to move DEI initiatives forward.

Children in Read UK Auction

Signed Book Auction — All Proceeds are in Aid of B.B.C. Children in Need.

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Kathy Sandler

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