Stormtroopers
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Twitter betrays You

Today, over at BetaNews, my colleague Mark Wilson asks:
Twitter may be within its rights to block ISIS beheading content, but is it right?” The social service did more—suspending accounts for some users who shared the gruesome video depicting the slaughter of front-line journalist James Foley, who was held in captivity for about two years. Mark writes:

Twitter has a responsibility to allow events to unfold without intervention. The sheer number of people using the site means that it is possible to get a fairly balanced view of what is going on in the world—do a little research and you should be able to find supporters of every side of just about any story or argument. But for this to work, censorship just cannot happen.

I agree but see far darker implications with respect to news reporting. [Read more]

News
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The Difference Between Nixon and Obama News Reporting

The Atlantic offers an astute assessment of Richard Nixon’s media machine and how other presidents adopted or adapted the playbook. The story, one of many during the 40th anniversary year of resignation, is a must-read for journalists, particularly those covering politics.

I am a long-standing critic of the current administration’s aggressive, anti-media tactics. The Nixon and Obama White Houses share in common a general disregard for the Fourth Estate. Interference in the newsgathering process is commonplace and extends beyond the White House. [Read more]

Kindle Fire HD
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With Whom Should Authors Unite?

That’s the question on my mind since I started self-publishing ebooks about a year ago. Falling ebook prices and rising number of cheap reads—an increasing number of them serials built around single characters—offer readers bountiful choices. What’s good for consumers may not be best for producers, though. If 99 cents is the value of all books, who can make a living writing them? The answer to that question makes Amazon the savior of publishing or the great Satan destroying it.

I write about this today because overnight Amazon sent long email “Important Kindle request” announcing Readers United. But the letter didn’t come to me as a reader but as an author, from Kindle Direct Publishing. Amazon and publisher Hachette are engaged in a dispute that, long-term, could affect future ebook pricing. Hachette Authors United seeks resolution from Amazon, which calls on readers—and writers—to respond in kind. [Read more]

Who needs another vampire story
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Take ‘My Blood’, and If It Satisfies…

So you may know that I’m about half-way through a flailing crowd-funding campaign to raise seed money for my first fiction book. Here’s the campaign page But don’t go there. Go here instead. I started the campaign by offering a free, condensed preview of the book, My Blood. Read it. If you enjoy the 8,000-word teaser, and want to read the book, go to the campaign page and contribute. The more mullah I raise, the faster the book arrives.

If you don’t think much of the preview—or it’s just not your kind of story—contribute another way. Tell me what’s wrong or what you would rather read instead. I mean: that you would pay for. [Read more]

Korg Concert 4000
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I Gave up TV for This

On Tuesday we sold our TV, streaming boxes (Roku 3 and Apple TV), and Blu-ray player to a couple of law students (he wants to prosecute criminals and she protect kids). They don’t have cable TV service, just Internet, so the setup is just ideal.

Yesterday I went from being a Craigslist seller to a buyer, using the Tellie bounty to buy a Korg Concert 4000. I don’t play but will learn (this time). We once owned the Korg SP-250, a much newer and more sophisticated model, to a missionary family. A daughter died in Indonesia, and they were returning after nearly two years stateside.  [Read more]