Technology * Innovation * Publishing Newsletter #272

Kathy Sandler
11 min readNov 22, 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

Trump allies pre-screen loyalists for unprecedented power grab

Hundreds of people are spending tens of millions of dollars to install a pre-vetted, pro-Trump army of up to 54,000 loyalists across government to rip off the restraints imposed on the previous 46 presidents.

Trump’s plan for giant detention camps points to a brutal 2024 reality

MT @ThePlumLineGS Trump’s plans for giant detention camps, a new Muslim ban, and mass expulsions of millions is a test. Trump and Stephen Miller are testing the public’s willingness to accept an agenda built on white nationalist sadism.

Terror on Repeat: A rare look at the devastation caused by AR-15 shootings

MT @washingtonpost The full effects of the AR-15’s catastrophic force in mass killings are rarely seen in public. To assess the extent of the destruction, The Post examined thousands of photos and videos and identified parallels across 11 mass shootings between 2012 and 2023. The graphic pictures and personal accounts in this story may be disturbing.

Does the Second Amendment protect the right of abusers to own a gun? We’re about to find out.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments last week in U.S. v. Rahimi, a case that will determine whether a federal law that keeps guns out of the hands of domestic violence offenders is constitutional. In a country where an average of 70 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner every month, the outcome is a matter of life and death. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for a unanimous Supreme Court in 2014, “the only difference between a battered woman and a dead woman is the presence of a gun.”

Can’t Think, Can’t Remember: More Americans Say They’re in a Cognitive Fog

MT @DrEricDing Adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s are driving the trend. Researchers point to long Covid as a major cause. “There are more Americans who say they have serious cognitive problems — with remembering, concentrating or making decisions — than at any time in the last 15 years, data from the Census Bureau shows. The increase started with the pandemic: The number of working-age adults reporting “serious difficulty” thinking has climbed by an estimated one million people.

Covid will be a leading cause of death in the U.S. indefinitely, whether or not the pandemic is ‘over’

Covid was the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020, after heart disease and cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The same was true last year, provisional CDC data shows. Since April, Covid deaths have stayed relatively flat, at a weekly average of around 300 to 500 per day. If the trend continues, the U.S. could expect 113,000 to 188,000 deaths a year from Covid, putting it on par with Alzheimer’s, chronic lower respiratory diseases and stroke.

Global Study Finds One-Third of Corporate Managers Lead With Fear, Approach to Leadership Costing $36 Billion In Productivity

HT @SStaaterman


Propelling NASA Closer to the Moon and Mars with Open Innovation

NASA invites the national and global community to participate in Moon to Mars planning through open innovation initiatives. “Almost every submission had innovative ideas, giving NASA a sourcebook for future concept development work.”

The “Piggyback” Approach to Innovation


‘It is a beast that needs to be tamed’: leading novelists on how AI could rewrite the future

Novelists and poets, Bernardine Evaristo, Jeanette Winterson, Stephen Marche and others, consider the threats and thrilling possibilities of artificial intelligence

AI and AR at the Sharjah Publishers Conference

Judge Will Toss Part of Authors’ AI Copyright Lawsuit

MT @victoriastrauss Mixed results for one of several lawsuits over AI copyright infringement: judge dismisses some, but not all, of authors’ suit against Meta

Artificial Intelligence and Copyright: SFWA’s Comments to the US Copyright Office

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association details a variety of harms reported by novelists and short fiction writers as a result of generative AI (including the training of AI systems on vast amounts of in-copyright work without permission) and offers four specific suggestions for protecting creators and their work. Via @victoriastrauss.

AI is about to completely change how you use computers

ICYMI In 5 years, agents will be able to give health care advice, tutor students, do your shopping, help workers be far more productive, and much more. Via @billgates

Chatbots May ‘Hallucinate’ More Often Than Many Realize

When summarizing facts, ChatGPT technology makes things up about 3 percent of the time, according to research from a new start-up. A Google system’s rate was 27 percent.

Artificial general bullshit

by @jeffjarvis

Why AI will not save you

Hollywood Actors Strike Ends with a Deal That Will Impact AI & Streaming for Decades

ICYMI The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television & Radio Artists reached a tentative agreement w the studios, ending a 118-day strike. The deal will impact AI & streaming for decades.

Company appoints AI-powered robot as CEO

Earlier this year, Polish drinks company Dictador announced that it had anointed a robot called Mika as its “experimental CEO.”

Meta lets Amazon shoppers buy products on Facebook and Instagram without leaving the apps

YouTube’s head of shopping explains the video format that’s been most effective for e-commerce — and why

Google is going to let you annotate search results

As part of a new opt-in experiment, users will be able to add notes to links they see in search.

Look, Up in the Sky! It’s a Can of Soup!

Amazon’s Drone Project 10 years later….

Publishing & Media

Amazon is merging Comixology into Kindle

Goodreads Awards Category Removal Sparks Outcry

Nominations for the 2023 Goodreads Choice Awards recently opened, and Goodreads is coming under fire for its decision to eliminate several categories. Children’s & Middle Grade, Poetry, and Graphic Novels were removed from the awards.

Goodreads Choice Awards: Reinstate Children’s & Middle Grade / Graphic Novel categories

MT @inkyelbows Please sign this petition to let Goodreads know how important graphic novels & books for children are.

Can reading really improve your life?

RT @EveryLibrary Most educational research now suggests that reading for pleasure is strongly linked to a child’s future outcome, educational success, and even wellbeing. But the latest studies also show that reading for pleasure is at its lowest level for twenty years.

Karlie Kloss Is Acquiring i-D Magazine and Becoming CEO

MT @mediagazer Model and investor Karlie Kloss is acquiring British fashion outlet i-D Magazine from Vice Media Group; Kloss’ Bedford Media will be i-D’s parent company

Media jobs slashed amid soft ad market

MT @sarafischer Ad market is thriving for Big Tech but most premium publishers are really struggling

— Analysts don’t see it getting better in foreseeable future

— Performance marketing (search, social, retail) getting even better with AI

— Media layoffs soaring as a result

One-third of U.S. newspapers as of 2005 will be gone by 2024

MT @sarafischer 1/3 of US newspapers will be gone by 2024, a year earlier than initially projected — The industry is falling so fast that even hedge funds are pulling back — there’s not much juice left to squeeze.

New York City public libraries over the next two weeks to begin closing on Sundays

Cuts to the city budget mean public libraries will no longer be open seven days a week, officials said. The last day of Sunday service for the New York Public Library and Queens Public Library will be Nov. 26. For Brooklyn Public Library, the last Sunday service will be Dec. 17.

LeVar Burton Is Still Fighting For Your Right to Read

In an age of unprecedented book bans, the actor and literacy advocate is going to the mat for the freedom to read. “America loves to live in the shadows,” he says, “but we’re living in an age when the truth wants to come out.”

My Book Was Segregated by Scholastic Until It Wasn’t. Will Anything Change?

The entire publishing industry is dealing with legislation in 30 states that effectively limits books about Black, queer, and Latino kids in schools. Scholastic officials stated that they created this optional box in order to protect teachers, librarians, and volunteers from being fired or sued if states were to enforce this legislation. Ostensibly, these laws exist to protect children. But let’s be serious: Reina Ramos Works It Out is simply a story about someone who happens to be Latina. What message do we send children when we label books like mine as potentially unlawful? We’re telling every kid like Reina — brown and bilingual — that there’s something potentially wrong with them, just by being who they are. To racists or xenophobes, nothing is as threatening as the thought of Latino children living lives full of dance and play. The bigots want us to struggle and to feel shame. By @EmmaOtheguy.

When Is A Book Ban Not a Book Ban?

By @veronikellymars. One of the most common refrains from those aiming to ban books–and this comes not just from Moms for Liberty or No Left Turn in Education, but also all of the local groups and individuals working to get rid of books on school and library shelves–is that they are not banning books. They insist their work is about simply “removing” books from the schools, not banning them. Of course, what they are doing is precisely that: banning books.

Author of banned book calls out Menomonee Falls School District

RT @EveryLibrary Best-selling author Jodi Picoult is going after the Menomonee Falls school superintendent, “Explain to me face to face why my book was removed from the High School library.”

Hamilton East Public Library (IN) shelves controversial book review policy

MT @jonfreadom A victory against book censorship in Indiana. That library that pulled comic books and closed its YA section, and aged up @johngreen and hundreds of other novels to the adult section in Fishers? …this week they voted 5–1 to rescind the misguided policy.

Texas board rejects many science textbooks over climate change messaging

MT @PENamerica Scientists, including the state climatologist, say several types of extreme weather in Texas — including more intense heat, droughts and hurricanes — have been made worse by climate change.

Resources & Opportunities

Transforming DEI: Moving from Numbers to Narratives

Join WMG on November 30 for this extraordinary fundraising event featuring author Janet Stovall, DEI expert Jodi Brockington, & Pride Global Director of DEI Kamela Forbes! Tickets are on sale now, including a signed copy of Janet’s new book and time for festive pre-holiday networking! Register now!

A Cancer Patient’s Last Wish: To Pay Off the Medical Debt of Others

Casey McIntyre organized a campaign that has raised nearly $220,000 since she died a week ago. The funds are expected to pay off more than $20 million in debt, an official said. #teamPRH

Portfolio Review by Black & Brown Book Designers

Nieman Fellowship at Harvard

MT @niemanfdn 🚨 Journalists: Only a few more weeks to apply for a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard! Join peers from around the world to study and collaborate during the 2024–25 academic year. Deadline? Dec. 1 for international journalists; Jan. 31 for U.S. candidates.

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Kathy Sandler

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