[Terry: I wonder if I wore a weighted shirt during the hours I sit at my computer, would it result in a buff and attractive body?]
We’ve all been there. Gotten lost in The Situation Room while turning over miles on the treadmill, and before we knew it, we’d left the gym without leaving it all on the floor. TITIN Force is the world’s only weighted compression shirt system designed to increase blood circulation and wick away moisture, while kicking your upper-body workout into overdrive. The TITIN is a three-part weighted system, which starts with a zippered inner, fitted with 14 hydro-gel inserts (totaling 8 pounds) strategically balanced along the arms and upper body. The system’s outermost layer is the compression shirt, which keeps the inserts locked in place while the compressive, yet breathable and antimicrobial Sorbtek fabric, supports your muscles and wicks away moisture to keep your core temperature regulated. Another advantage of the TITIN system is how you can heat the inserts for thermal therapy, or freeze them for your post-workout cooldown session. And because we know you’re all about those gains, the TITIN system has been proven to increase your lactate threshold by 25%, vertical leap by 13%, and your ability to tune out external distractions like Blitzer, and fast-track your speed and endurance goals with every moment in the gym by 100%.
Ethan Gilsdorf gets a first-look at some incredible high-res art from the latest edition of the classic pen-and-paper role-playing game.
Will Wizards of the Coast get D&D right this time?
That’s the question on the minds of adventurers young and old ever since the announcement that new rules for Dungeons & Dragons would finally be revealed this year. (At various times, this rebooted D&D has been called “D&D Next,” “5th Edition D&D” and “5.0.” Wizards of the Coast, D&D’s publisher, is now simply calling the game “Dungeons & Dragons.”)
But whether the release schedule is designed to whet or frustrate our appetites is another question. As if compressing a decade’s worth of D&D iterations into six months, Wizards has planned a clever summer-into-fall roll out of this latest rule set, with many a product to buy along the way. Craftier than a mage casting a spell of Confusion, Wizards first teased us with a free PDF called Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons D&D Starter Set, a rulebook and adventure package, complete with dice and pre-generated characters, that will remind many gamers of the quick-to-learn Basic boxed sets published throughout D&D’s history. Thus far, the 5th Edition rules I’ve seen nicely mix just-complex-enough magic and combat systems with playability, while also emphasizing character creation and roleplaying. It’s a balance that veteran gamers should appreciate.
Next come three hefty hardcovers that hearken back to the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons core rulebooks. The first one, the Player’s Handbook, doesn’t arrive until August 19; the Monster Manual is scheduled for September 30; and the climax and clincher, the Dungeon Master’s Guide, we won’t see until November 18.
Mamabear Raises $1.4 Million For A Parenting App That Monitors Children’s Social Media Use And More | TechCrunch
[Terry: Which is scarier? Mamabear or the NSA??]
While there are a number of family locator services to choose from today, ranging from those offered by the mobile operators to venture-backed startups, a nearly two-year old mobile application called Mamabear was created with a goal of doing more than simple location tracking – it’s a full-featured “parenting app” which allows parents – yes, mainly moms, by nature of the job – to also monitor their children’s interactions across social media, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Now the company has an additional $1.4 million in angel funding to help them fund growth and further development, as Mamabear begins to switch on its revenue-generation efforts.
A Digital Parenting Aid
Today’s parents have it tough.
In addition to having a better understanding of the world’s horrors, thanks to technology advances like the internet and the rapid spread of information it allows for, we’re simultaneously placing devices into the hands of our children that could potentially connect them to those horrors first-hand.
It’s no longer useful to just train kids to “not talk to strangers” – we have to now navigate the far more nuanced rules and best practices among a number of social media services and related apps, where sometimes the most immediate threats aren’t the lurking men in the shadows, but the child’s own school-aged friends, who often get involved in a modern-day “beating up” known as cyberbullying.
Christy is the coolest.
Originally posted on When Women Inspire:
Ritu Sharma speaks worldwide about the problem of women living in poverty in developing countries. She co-founded Women Thrive Worldwide in 1998, as a means to find solutions for the issue, and is the current President. She began this organization after leaving Punjab, India with her family to immigrate to the US, leaving behind poverty.
During her public speeches, Ritu Sharma uses personal stories, compelling discoveries and unique viewpoints to bring light to women facing devastating circumstances. Here are inspirational lessons we can learn from her, based on speeches she has given:
Women hold the world together
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Never give up. If you want to be something, be conceited about it. Give yourself a chance. Never say that you are not good for that will never get you anywhere. Set high goals. That is what life is all about.
Originally posted on Don Charisma:
«Never give up. If you want to be something, be conceited about it. Give yourself a chance. Never say that you are not good for that will never get you anywhere. Set high goals. That is what life is all about.»
– Mike McLaren
Charisma quotes are sponsored by DonCharisma.com – you dream it we built it … because – “anything is possible with Charisma”
Originally posted on Crazy, Beautiful Life! :
It’s only day “3″-ish, and I’ve already been too busy to post my 3 things of gratitude, but that doesn’t mean I slacked off and didn’t actually think of my three things yesterday! :-) Here goes:
1. Yesterday I was attending a meeting to discuss the potential re-zoning of the school boundaries that would affect my neighborhood. It was a rather emotional discussion, and there were plenty of opinions flying around. I was so incredibly grateful at that moment for Google! While I was intently listening to our representative, my friend had her phone out, googling almost every statistic he threw up there to verify what he was saying. She caught him on many “slight” misrepresentations. A few other ladies came prepared with facts and documents they found through their google search that will help me when I need to write our Neighborhood Newsletter. I am going to sound really…
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Originally posted on valeriu dg barbu :
Trilingual text: English, Italian and Romanian languages
in the skin taut until to Alpha Centauri
in the nerves twisted on his neck as a rope at the cleat
in the bones that not liking it earth, let alone of Death
in the inability to fly even with wings
in the waters troubled from that it springs the glassy lights
in the fogs so deep that you suspect is definitive
in the cells, on their own, warring with the gods
in the ordinary of a boredom, taken as a virtue
in the hunger for another hungry – where hunger has plural
in the childhood of a sob, looking to the Creator, with the unacknowledged fear
come here, and then ask me to be polite to you, with you one of the mirrors
the enumeration this here is pointed with finger sharp as a scalpel
you will not come, I know…
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Originally posted on MCG Reviews and Rants...:
Summary: “This is a goddamn big story. It’ll make those jerks at the Post look like idiots and Watergate look like a cop taking an apple off a fruit stand.”
It’s 1972. The Watergate scandal has Washington on edge and Putnam, a Vietnam veteran and courier for one of the capital’s leading television stations, is trying to get his life back together after his nightmarish ordeal in the war. Racing at breakneck speed through the streets of the capital, he not only intends to be the best courier in the business, he also intends to escape the demons that haunt him. But when Rick picks up film from a news crew interviewing a government worker with a hot story, his life begins to unravel as everyone involved in the story dies within…
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Is there one thing that an average US citizen can do, right now, to help end the current phase of America’s ongoing civil war?
Only a few days are left in the crowd-funding campaign for Lawrence Lessig’s citizen-centered Super Pac: MAYDAY-PAC. Aimed at changing the playing field, so that raw money is less of a force in U.S. politics.
Mayday PAC was started by my colleague, Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig (co-founder of Rootstrikers and Creative Commons) — a “super PAC” using the power of kickstarted funds from ordinary citizens to fight the power of big money donors that control America’s political system.
You are summoned! To spend one minute – in a minuteman-tradition – to make a difference. Make a donation to help reduce the power of influence in politics — they have five days left to meet their goal.
Start with the excellent 2013 TED talk by Professor Lessig called “We the People …and the Republic We Must Reclaim” — with over a million views.
Lessig’s ideas are further expounded in his ebook, The USA is Lesterland: The Nature of Congressional Corruption – “a map for a democracy we could reclaim.”
Summarized by Lessig: “Less than 1/20th of 1% of America are the “relevant funders” of congressional campaigns. That means about 150,000 Americans, or about the same number who are named “Lester,” wield enormous power over this government. These “Lesters” determine this critical first election in every election cycle—the money election. Without them, few believe they have any chance to win. And certainly, neither party believes it can achieve a majority without answering the special demands these “funders” make. Our Congress has thus become dependent upon these funders. In this sense, we are now “Lesterland.””
[Terry: OK, it is a fact that I wouldn't watch a zombie movie if it was the only show on all 2000 channels but this script MIGHT change my mind.]
0:00 – 0:04
Blackness. Slow, laboured breathing extends into a death rattle.
V/O, female: ‘We lost the world.’
0:05 – 0:09
Series of fixed-camera shots of cities destroyed and deserted. The images intersperse with close-ups of wounds and dead flesh.
V/O: ‘To the dead.’
0:10 – 0:13
An overgrown yard crowded with shambling, rotting corpses.
At the farthest corner of the lot, something hidden in the undergrowth snatches a zombie out of sight.
“It is now impossible to stop Bill Kristol from lying” Edition.
via d r i f t g l a s s.
Ah, but the winner, and the first non-Cheney champion in our retooled Gobshite derby, is Himself, the Dancin’ Master. He takes this week’s House Cup for his interview with Bill Clinton in which he attempted to clear a height on the Both Sides Do It bar about which ordinary mortals can only dream.GREGORY: And the real issue you talk about as well is some of this pain people are feeling in the middle class, the sense that the middle class, that the American dream is slipping away. I look at some of the numbers, 3.4 million Americans who have been out of work for six months plus. You have over 7 million who, by their own admission, are stuck in lower-paying jobs, part-time jobs. How can a Democratic candidate for president– what challenges would a Democratic candidate for president face running on the Obama economy?CLINTON: Well, first of all, that’s not what anybody should do. You should run on making it better. But he didn’t cause the meltdown. The actions that his administration took kept it from being worse. And there had been a concerted effort to stop implementing his economic plan in the second term so none of you have any idea whether they would have worked or not. GREGORY: But you don’t lay this at Speaker Boehner and the Republicans uniquely, do you? I mean, do you really think it’s their opposition to the president that has forced him to have such impediments to get the economy growing again?
I do not challenge Brother Pierce’s wisdom in this matter.
I never figure out how to simplify my life so I’m extremely proud of this one. (So if you send comments indicating that everyone in the world thought of this first, I’ll be very sad.)
1. Create a Contact Named “AAATelemarketer.” The AAAs are just to make sure that it appears first when you go to your Contact list.
2. For a week or two, every time you get that girl from 3,000 miles away who says she’s your local Google rep, or the incomprehensible person who says something about Windows, touch the info icon on the number, hit “add to existing contact” and add the number to AAATelemarketer.
3. There may be a limit to how many phone numbers can be attached to a single contact but I haven’t hit it yet and I’m astounded how many come from the same people over and over. If you fill up, just create AABTelemarketer.
4. Smile when “AAATelemarketer” appears on your screen as an incoming call. Wave, if you’re feeling nice.
(I couldn’t work out anything this easy with my landline so I bought a Sentry callblocker. it runs off the power in the phone line, has an adorable little British voice that tells “tellymarketers” to stuff it, requires the caller to key in zero to continue, and finally allows you to create white and black lists so that your friends come right through and “tellymarketers” never even ring. I’m not an expert but I’d recommend it. Click on the picture to get it from Amazon.
Social Media Fail to Live Up to Early Marketing HypeCompanies Refine Strategies to Stress Quality Over Quantity of Fans
No, I’m not an economist, a lawyer, or a banker. However, before I took on the role of a poor hack pounding out novels, I was an executive at two new media startups and worked at a number of large corporations and I’ve gained a fair amount of experience in corporate gamesmanship and…well, finding myself out of work and wondering why.
I read a particularly dumb article in The Bookseller this morning…OK, it wasn’t really dumb, just shortsighted. It laid out yesterday’s closing of Angry Robot’s Exhibit A and Strange Chemistry imprints quite nicely. What was missing was the entire story of what’s happening to Osprey, the parent corporation back in the US. That story, also well covered in The Bookseller, relates how Osprey’s CEO took a walk over to Penguin/Random House and caused the Osprey Group to go into a panic. Well, they didn’t quite CALL it a panic but the general wetting of trousers can easily be deduced from this statement:
Robin Black, chairman of the Osprey Group, told The Bookseller that he did not wish to make a public comment “about a private company.” However, he said: “We are undergoing a strategic review internally following Rebecca leaving, and included in that is the potential sale of any part of the business”.
A translation of this could be, “We have no idea how to run a book company and the only competent person has just left so we’re putting the place up for a fire sale.”
Now, I’ve been through this mangle a couple of times. Once, I asked the VP of the division of the small tech company where I was Director of Content Production why we had a security guard on 24 hour duty when the FBI’s Carnivore internet monitoring system was being developed downstairs–arguably making this the most secure building in 3 states. His response was that if we had, as the company alleged, a $3 Billion operation going, we would have extra security. Of course, we didn’t have a $3 Billion anything. We had a good idea, some very smart software, and a lot of servers filled with smoke and mirrors. The point was that the parent company was up for sale and our existence added $3 Billion of imaginary weight to the sale price.
The other side of that coin was that the second that the merger went through and the price was set, our division was nothing but wasted money and the corporation shut us down. It had nothing to do with how well we performed or the future value of a streaming media system–it was pure short-term economic thinking. Sort of the way they used to put sawdust in the transmissions of Model A’s that were sold to the Okies heading to California. It worked until the buyer got off the lot and then failed.
The other case was, in my opinion, more of a stock scam and so this will be very vague. A big company that had been a leader in innovation was taken over by a very small group of lawyers. To cover the fact that they were closing down massive R&D labs and tossing thousands of great engineers out of work, they put together a few quirky little dotcoms. The dotcoms either failed on their own or were forced out in about a year and the stock slid below a dime per share. Then the proud owners began to enforce the patents that had been built up over the past 40 years. Last time I looked, the stock was over $40 a share.
The lesson I learned in both cases was that if you hear of a purchase or sale of a parent company, be prepared to hear about how terribly the various divisions have been performing and why they simply must be cut. “Sorry about that, old chap, but you just aren’t that good.”
Well, that’s what I see happening with Osprey. Most of the company are publishers of dull, respectable books about Boer War uniforms or birds or something and then they have this outrageous Angry Robot group that’s sitting over in England hiring new and innovative writers, encouraging editors to search out and contract the best work they can find and generally not fitting into the corporate mold.
Well, if you know virtually nothing about the publishing business (and who does, these days?) you think Osprey would be a much easier sale if we whacked off these madmen (and women) at Angry Robot. Then the buyer, who also has no idea what would make a good book, can sleep easier knowing that, if not a good decision, at least it was a defensible one.
Take one more step on. How do you make Angry Robot easier to sell off?
Yes, you cut off the really strange parts where the writers are new and the profits might not be apparent on the spreadsheets yet. This despite the fact that you were giving the editors pep talks and telling them to sign up every author they could find only 2 months ago. Now Angry Robot is all neat and tidy and can be sold and the victorious Lords of Capital can take their well-earned money and head for the Hamptons.
OK, all this is terribly uninteresting and written by someone with a long record of failure and absolutely NO idea of what goes on in the corridors of power at Osprey (probably foyers of power, actually), but what does it have to do with anything?
The point is that the closure of these two imprints is far more likely to be driven completely by the desire to sell the parent company than for any failure at the imprints. The editors and authors at Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A could have been putting out Ann of Green Gables and In Cold Blood and it wouldn’t have made a bit of difference. (OK, Green Gables might not have fit into the YA dystopian audience but I was reaching for an example.)
OK, my novel Courier might suck and deserve to be slush-piled. I’ll take that hit (although I don’t really buy it) but the excellent new and veteran writers I’ve met by email at Exhibit A and especially Emlyn Rees and Bryon Quertermous–the editors who put a great, animated, inventive, fascinating list of books out should not accept the blame for “not carving their market niche.”
As they said in The Godfather every time they were about to whack someone for purely personal reasons, “It’s not personal. It’s just business.”
As recently as the 1980s and ’90s, writers like me could reasonably aspire to a career and a living wage. I was dispatched to costly and difficult places like Iraq, to work for months on a single story. Later, as a full-time book author, I received advances large enough to fund years of research.How many young writers can realistically dream of that now? Online journalism pays little or nothing and demands round-the-clock feeds. Very few writers or outlets can chase long investigative stories. I also question whether there’s an audience large enough to sustain long-form digital nonfiction, in a world where we’re drowning in bite-size content that’s mostly free and easy to consume. One reason “Boom” sank, I suspect, is that there aren’t many people willing to pay even $2.99 to read at length about a trek through the oil patch, no matter how much I sexed it up with cowboys and strippers.
John Scalzi with a suggestion for Angry Robot
Originally posted on Whatever:
The news is here.
If you’re an author with either of these two imprints, I would check your contracts for reversion clauses.
Likewise, if I were the folks at Angry Robot, and were putting the books in these imprints into “out of print” status, as it seems likely they are from the announcement, I’d be thinking of immediately reverting the books back to the authors, so they can either find them new homes or self-publish them. Because that seems the decent thing to do after cutting the legs out from the income potential of those books for those authors.
There’s the possibility that the latter of these might be complicated by Angry Robot’s parent company having problems of its own. In which case: This is why you have writers’ organizations, folks.
Originally posted on Gatsby's Abandoned Children:
All of my writing published online has been available free to the public. I only sold chapbooks and collections at prices that matched print costs, increasing their availability. Even then, I’m apt to hand them out free to those who couldn’t afford a book. When I street perform, I put a cup out to earn gas money. I wouldn’t be asking for money if it wasn’t (sadly) necessary.
The bottom line is I’m not used to asking for cash in exchange for art.
The fact that Books & Shovels, a traveling bookstore and publisher, rests in the hands of others pledging some of their financial noose, and did not rest in my hands alone, made me initially uncomfortable. All of my prior projects I handled out of pocket.
But in the process of organizing money for this venture, I became homeless, lost my job through an accidental relocation (vehicle decided to commit…
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Damn Good Poet.
Originally posted on keithgarrettpoetry:
Lucky, ever so fortunate to have experienced a childhood,
There comes a time when It like everything must disappear.
Most things turn to memory, traveling down the road we go,
We all have a lifetime no matter the length of our visit here.
From today until forever I have the rest of my life to see things,
My road may not be so long or It could be that I have a longer life left.
What’s ahead of me Is partially known just as the rest remains a mystery,
The rest of my life Is truly a gift from god that will continue until no more,
The rest of my life will be a journey like none before, I see today, tomorrow maybe.
eBy Dorian Benkoil
June 17, 2014
It’s been said for years that the page view is dead as a way to measure media on the web. Now, finally, there may be a replacement.
Advertisers and publishers are increasingly asking if “time” or “attention” — proven time spent engaging with media — can work instead.
They’re hoping that by using technology to show that someone spent a specified amount of time engaging with a page while an ad was in view, they’ll solve quandaries posed by current metrics.
The problem with the standard measurements, such as page views or the number of clicks on an ad, is that not only can they be gamed, but even if they’re accurate they may not be getting at what advertisers and publishers really want — people actually paying attention.
“It’s easy to create [page views],” Tony Haile, CEO of measurement company Chartbeat, told me in a recent interview in their offices. “Halve a page and create twice the clicks.”
Chartbeat and a handful of other media tech companies and publishers are at the forefront of what they are calling the “attention web” — an attempt to measure, and bill, based on how much time someone spends with a piece of media or an ad.
This spring the Media Ratings Council, the leading standards body for media measurement, proclaimed that ad measurement could now be based on “viewability” — that at least 50 percent of the ad was on screen for at least one second.
Previously, the standard for measuring — and billing — advertisements in digital media was simply a “served impression,” meaning that the ad had been received in a browser, whether it was ever in view.
“The viewable impression metric represents a huge step forward in the online advertising landscape,” George W. Ivie, the MRC’s CEO, said in announcing the change.
Here are some of the companies and the steps they’ve been taking: