Technology * Innovation * Publishing Newsletter #296

Kathy Sandler
8 min readJun 18, 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 Group Helping the Supreme Court Rewrite America’s Gun Laws Is Worse Than the NRA

MT @mjs_DC To justify legalizing bump stocks, Clarence Thomas literally copied and pasted materials from an extremist pro-gun group whose violent rhetoric makes the NRA look moderate. This is who has the Supreme Court’s ear these days.


Mass General Cancer Center Researchers Identify Gene That Helps Cancer Cells Spread Throughout the Body

New material looks like frosted glass but lets in more light than a window

PMMM is a new material that looks like frosted glass but lets in more light than a window, & has an ultrathin coating that is self-cleaning & can cool ambient room temperature.

If Ray Kurzweil Is Right (Again), You’ll Meet His Immortal Soul in the Cloud

The famed futurist remains inhumanly optimistic about the world and his own fate — and thinks the singularity is minutes away. #teamPRH

The Secret to Living Past 120 Years Old? Nanobots

In The Singularity Is Nearer: When We Merge With AI, the spiritual sequel to his (in)famous first book, Ray Kurzweil doubles down on the promise of immortality. #teamPRH

AI researchers build ‘future self’ chatbot to inspire wise life choices

Scientists at MIT hope talking to 60-year-old self will shift thinking on health, money and work


‘The New York Times’ Adds Listen And Custom Interest Tabs To Its News App

The New York Times has updated its news app to enhance the audio experience while personalizing it based on reader interests.

An AI Toolbox for Librarians

AI can help with accessibility because it can re-level, outline, summarize, narrate, and remove distractions from text, unlocking rigorous curricula for struggling readers. AI LLMs are not only useful for special education students, but for all students, particularly in writing skills.

Bertelsmann Releases Study on AI in the Media World


Publishers Target Common Crawl In Fight Over AI Training Data

Long-running nonprofit Common Crawl has been a boon to researchers for years. But now its role in AI training data has triggered backlash from publishers.

‘Devastating’ potential impact of Google AI Overviews on publisher visibility revealed

While Google is introducing AI results to search and claims “we’ll continue to focus on sending valuable traffic to publishers,” the reality is very different.

Hearst Launches Ad Targeting Tool Using AI

Hearst Magazines has developed a new first-party ad targeting product, with the help of AI, that could improve click-through rates.

Apple WWDC 2024: the 13 biggest announcements

Apple Proved That AI Is a Feature, Not a Product

Other tech companies want to sell you chatbots. Apple’s demos show the value of seeing the AI as an integrated, holistic experience rather than a stand-alone app or device.

Apple Intelligence Won’t Work on Hundreds of Millions of iPhones — but Maybe It Could

Older iPhones might well be able to cope with Apple’s AI, so why won’t your $900 year-old model run it? Here’s why.

AI Detectors Get It Wrong. Writers Are Being Fired Anyway

AI is already stealing writers’ work. Now they’re losing jobs over false accusations of using it.

It Looked Like a Reliable News Site. It Was an A.I. Chop Shop.

BNN Breaking had millions of readers, an international team of journalists and a publishing deal with Microsoft. But it was full of error-ridden content.

LinkedIn’s AI Career Coaches Will See You Now

LinkedIn’s new generative AI features include chatbots based on popular career coaches and tools to rewrite résumés and cover letters.

Doing Stuff with AI: Opinionated Midyear Edition

By @emollick

Building AI products

How do we build mass-market products that change the world around a technology that gets things ‘wrong’? What does wrong mean, and how is that useful? By @benedictevans.

Adobe’s new terms of service aren’t the problem — it’s the trust

In case you missed the kerfuffle last week: The reaction from Adobe’s customers to a small update highlights the growing lack of faith surrounding big tech companies and their AI tools.

Microsoft rolls back ‘dumbest cybersecurity move in a decade’

Changes to the AI feature dubbed Recall come as Microsoft navigates the fallout of a string of high-profile security breaches.

AI Chatbots Are Running for Office Now

(Unfortunately, not against each other!) Meet AI Steve and VIC.

Reduce AI Hallucinations With This Neat Software Trick

A buzzy process called retrieval augmented generation, or RAG, is taking hold in Silicon Valley and improving the outputs from large language models. How does it work?

New York Times in Partnership with Instacart

The New York Times and Instacart have cooked up a new partnership that will make the media company’s recipes shoppable

Publishing Companies Say Google is Liable for Promoting Pirated Textbooks

HT @inkbitspixels Several major educational publishing companies, including Macmillan, Elsevier and McGraw Hill, have sued Google in a New York district court alleging contributory and vicarious copyright infringement, trademark infringement and violations of New York’s General Business Law. The companies claim that Google’s search engine is facilitating infringement by promoting pirate sites that sell heavily discounted versions of educational textbooks.

Publishing & Media

Romance Writers of America Declares Bankruptcy

ICYMI This follows plummeting membership and struggles to bounce back from a high-profile organizational crisis.

60% of Netflix’s Most Popular Shows Are Based on Comics or Books

Ursula K. Le Guin’s home will become a writers residency

The Bronx Book Festival Just Happened for the 7th Time — & Maybe Its Last

Oh no, say it ain’t so! It was lit!! Low interest from sponsors + Bronx elected officials leaves them short on funds, even as young people in the borough need more access to reading

BANNED TOGETHER: Empowering Teens and Fighting for the Right to Read

Teens have pushed back and reclaimed their space in a world where their perspectives, insights, and education are being stifled in the name of political points.

Book ban lawsuits one step closer to Supreme Court

Seven states have banned book bans in some capacity, with several other bills still on the table.

How Alabama Library Supporters Took Action and You Can, Too

Here’s how Utah plans to enforce statewide book ban retroactively

A list of the first-ever books to be banned from every public school in Utah will be released in two months.

Resources & Opportunities

2024 Literary Auction for Change

MT @litagtsofchange Did you know that agents, authors, and publishers are auctioning off a limited number of spots at virtual classes, seminars, and group AMA chats this year? 👀Check out the offerings and snag your seat — plus a whole lot more! Deadline extended to June 20th!

Free virtual Romantasy Con from Hay House and Sourcebooks

Audible Podcast Development Program

MT @insideaudible Calling all US-based storytellers! 🎙️ Apply to the Audible Podcast Development Program by July 3, 2024, for a chance to share your story with Audible listeners.

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Kathy Sandler

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