Technology * Innovation * Publishing Newsletter #280

Kathy Sandler
10 min readJan 24, 2024

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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

The Supreme Court Is About to Seize Way More Power From Democratic Presidents

MT @mjs_DC The Supreme Court looks ready to overturn 40 years of precedent — encompassing more than 17,000 federal court decisions — so it can award itself even more power over executive policy and veto every regulation it dislikes. This case isn’t really about herring!

What’s At Stake for LGBTQ+ Rights in 2024?

ICYMI Trump has already floated a federal transition ban — pledging that, on day 1, he will sign an “executive order instructing every federal agency to cease the promotion of sex or gender transition at any age.”

Erin’s 2024 Anti-Trans Legislative Risk Map

Via @ErinInTheMorn

2023–2024 Anti-Trans Legislation Tracker

Via @ErinInTheMorn

West Virginia Conservatives Want to Legally Define Trans People as “Obscene”

“Our elected officials are aiming to dehumanize and erase our existence,” a transgender activist said.

Microstructural brain abnormalities, fatigue, and cognitive dysfunction after mild COVID-19

MT @salamasinamusic I’m begging you to consider what might happen to children who are infected repeatedly with SARS-CoV-2. If you wear a mask for anyone, let it be for them.


New hope for early pancreatic cancer intervention via AI-based risk prediction

MIT CSAIL researchers develop advanced machine-learning models that outperform current methods in detecting pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.


Thomson Reuters is in talks with generative AI providers over licensing pacts and could strike a deal similar to Axel Springer’s agreement with OpenAI

AI models that don’t violate copyright are getting a new certification label

Nonprofit group Fairly Trained plans to certify AI models that ask permission to use copyrighted material.

Amazon’s new AI chatbot generates answers, jokes, and Jeff Bezos style tips

Asking for more information in Amazon’s app might pull up an AI-generated response.

Products named “I’m sorry, but I cannot fulfill this request as it goes against OpenAI use policy” showed up on Amazon

The cautionary tale of using automated tools! HT @CaseyNewton A bunch of products on Amazon had names that include the words “against OpenAI use policy.” Literally, there are chairs named that. Also, bots on X are saying the same thing

Here’s OpenAI’s big plan to combat election misinformation

If we’re not careful OpenAI’s tools could have an enormous effect on the 2024 election. So new tools are pretty vital to protecting democracy.

AI Will Transform the Global Economy. Let’s Make Sure It Benefits Humanity.

AI will affect almost 40 percent of jobs around the world, replacing some and complementing others. We need a careful balance of policies to tap its potential

A Flaw in Millions of Apple, AMD, and Qualcomm GPUs Could Expose AI Data

Patching every device affected by the LeftoverLocals vulnerability — which includes some iPhones, iPads, and Macs — may prove difficult.

The AI phones are coming

What exactly does AI on a phone look like?

Microsoft’s new Copilot Pro brings AI-powered Office features to the rest of us

A new $20 subscription will unlock Microsoft’s AI-powered Copilot inside Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Inside Meta’s big AI reorg

Zuckerberg bringing together Meta’s big pushes into AI and the Metaverse, saying ‘Glasses are the ideal form factor for letting an AI see what you see and hear what you hear’

Apple’s Vision Pro ordering process

HT @CaseyNewton Use an iPhone or iPad with Face ID to scan your face, and if you wear glasses, upload your unexpired prescription for optical inserts.

Google introduces ‘Circle to Search,’ a new way to search from anywhere on Android using gestures

48,000 companies sent Facebook data on a single person

A Consumer Reports study found that thousands of companies contribute to Facebook’s data stores on each person.

Publishing & Media

2024 Predictions in Publishing (100% Human-Written) by Agent Laurie McLean

ICYMI. Via @annerallen

2024 Indie Author Predictions With Orna Ross

ICYMI. Via @IndieAuthorALLI

Why is March 2024 the Best Month in Years For Books?

Via @mariskreizman

Ex Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo has gathered his fellow laureates together to demand a greater investment in early childhood reading.

MT @craicer Every writer should be saying the same. If we don’t create readers we won’t have book buyers.

Introducing The New York Public Library’s Scholarly Press Backlist Revival Project

MT @DoctorSyntax Major news in scholarly #publishing. At first glance looks like a brilliant initiative from ⁦NYPL, addressing the long-vexed “orphan books” problem.

The incredible shrinking podcast industry

Apple has quietly tightened its reporting of how many people listen to podcasts, sending shock waves through the audio industry

Sports Illustrated lays off most of its staff, threatening iconic brand’s future

Condé Nast Is Folding Pitchfork Into GQ, With Layoffs

Pitchfork, once a cultural bastion for music criticism, will be merged with men’s magazine GQ, leading to layoffs at the online publication.

Journalism Layoffs Census aims to hold newsrooms accountable for their diversity goals

MT @womenjournos Women in journalism! How many of you faced layoffs last year? Please take the survey to help The Institute for Independent Journalists understand the impacts of layoffs and buyouts on newsroom demographics as we head into this pivotal year.

The Baltimore Sun bought by MAGA Sinclair’s David D. Smith

Sad news for newspapers and democracy. It will be destroyed. He’s called newspapers “so left wing as to be meaningless dribble…so devoid of reality and serving no real purpose”

Trauma, Book Bans, and Libraries: A Resource Guide for Library Workers, Library Supporters, and Beyond

DEI Spending Banned, Sociology Scrapped in Florida

MT @PENamerica “With its actions today, the State Board of Education seeks to eliminate an environment of intellectual freedom at Florida’s universities and replace it with the official government suppression of speech.”

Judge blocks most of an Iowa law banning some school library books and discussion of LGBTQ+ issues

MT @sslibfriends An Iowa law that sought to ban books depicting sex acts from school libraries has been blocked on grounds that it may violate the constitutional rights of students, including their 1st and 14th Amendment rights:

Proposed Anti-Book Ban Bills Presented in Massachusetts

Some good news via @veronikellymars: Citing the statistics that 20% of Massachusetts librarians reported harassment online or in person, alongside the data that there were more challenges to books in the state in the last year than the prior nine years combined, Representative Frank Moran and Senator Julian Cyr presented companion bills in the state that seek to curb book challenges and protect librarians and educators. House Bill 4229 and Senate Bill 2528 would ensure that books could not be removed from schools or libraries due to personal or political beliefs. The power to determine book selection in the library would lie in the hands of the trained professionals.

Anti-Book Ban Bill Introduced in New Mexico

More good news via @veronikellymars: In continuing to counter the actions being taken in other states to make book banning easier, New Mexico has joined states like Massachusetts in proposing new anti-book ban legislation this session.

Appeals court blocks Texas from enforcing book rating law

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the Texas Education Agency from enforcing a state law requiring booksellers to rate the explicitness and relevance of sexual references in materials they sell to schools. The appellate court, one of the most conservative in the nation, sided with booksellers who sued the state after claiming House Bill 900 violated their First Amendment rights. This decision was somewhat surprising since the appellate court blocked the lower court’s ruling in November. The plaintiffs — which include bookshops in Houston and Austin, the American Booksellers Association, the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild — argue that it is logistically impossible and cost-prohibitive to comply with the law.

Inaugural Eleanor Roosevelt Banned Book Awards Set for Next Month

RT @TweetingWalnut Books are being banned at an alarming rate. These heroic voices are being honored for their work that become the target of censorship.

Resources & Opportunities

WMG’s 50th Anniversary Gala Tickets Now on Sale!

WMG Members: Sign up for early bird pricing for @WMG_NYC’s 50th Anniversary Gala until 2/1! Non-members and guests welcome! Tickets on sale now for our fabulous celebration on 3/25 6pm at New-York Historical Society. See for info on tix & sponsorships!!

Free or Low-Cost Residency Programs from Around the World to Apply to in 2024

HT @FeministPress

Tin House 2024 Summer Workshop

Scholarships available. Deadline to apply is 1/31.

2024 Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists

MT @womenjournos Full time journalists working in any medium or beat: Apply to the Metcalf Institute’s 2024 Annual Science Immersion Workshop and learn how to incorporate climate science and social justice into your reporting! Applications due Feb. 12, 5 p.m. EST.

Writing Opportunities from The Writer’s Job Newsletter

Submission calls for creative writing

Via @ZoeBrigley

Welcoming Schools Training: Let Kids Read Training Grant

Penguin Young Readers and Random House Children’s Books are sponsoring anti-bias, LGBTQ+ and gender inclusive professional development training from the Human Rights Campaign’s Welcoming Schools program for FIVE Title 1 schools. school trainings. Apply by January 29th, 2024. #teamPRH

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Kathy Sandler

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