News

We won our #dignity and #freedom as #LGBT in America

I am still in shock. My body is shaking, unsure whether I should laugh or cry, dance or scream. Maybe there is a way to do it all at the same time. 

Honestly, I never thought this day would come.  I remember how I felt the day my state banned my rights by constitutional amendment. It hurt, but I knew that my state and country default to hate and denial of dignity. We have never been good at respecting basic human rights.  

I want to feel like this is a victory, because it is, but I still don't feel like I am awake.  Reality has merged with my dreams in a way that I can't believe happened.

This feeling, smiling while on the verge of tears, is one of the most amazing feeling I have ever experienced.  Today, I am finally a full citizen in my country.

The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times,” Kennedy wrote in the 34-page opinion. “The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.
Supreme Court Affirms Constitutionality of Gay Marriage - US News

The tide of progress marches forward, and our understanding of liberty and oppression grow over time.  As science continues to offer us a better understanding of the world as it is, we see the foolishness of past generations in the clear light of wisdom.  All humans are equal.  All humans.

It is now clear that the challenged laws burden the liberty of same-sex couples, and it must be further acknowledged that they abridge central precepts of equality … Especially against a long history of disapproval of their relationships, this denial to same-sex couples of the right to marry works a grave and continuing harm. The imposition of this disability on gays and lesbians serves to disrespect and subordinate them. And the Equal Protection Clause, like the Due Process Clause, prohibits this unjustified infringement of the fundamental right to marry.
Justice Kennedy, “The Ideals Of Love,” And Other Key Quotes From The Huge Supreme Court Victory / Queerty

To read the court calling the discrimination I have lived with my entire life "unjustified infringement" is one of those moments beyond words.  I have been married to the person I love for almost two decades.  Married in the eyes of God, but not in the state I live in.  To be told that our relationship was a danger to the country hurt.  Now, we can start planning a wedding...

These words now cover my community too:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
— Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

It is hard to express my joy.  I am sure this post makes me sound like a rambling idiot, but I had to say something, and I had to say it now.  I am an equal citizen in my country.  After 37 years of second class citizenship, I am now equal. We are now equal.

Ebook Library from Amazon?

Ebook Library from Amazon?

A part of me is horrified by the idea of this.  Amazon offering a subscription service which would allow readers access to a number of digital books at a time. This move raises many concerns.  (Amazon in Talks to Launch Digital-Book Library - WSJ.com)

Will writers get enough compensation so they can afford to keep writing?

It makes me think about the infographic about how much musicians make from online streaming services.

How Much Do Music Artists Earn Online?

Breaking The Free Model

I give away most of my fiction for free off the idea that people who love it will pay for it, but this model will make them feel like they already did pay for the book.

The beauty of the current model is that I don't need to be a mass market success to make a living from writing, and this will seriously jeopardize that. I suppose that means I will have to do something special to encourage my readers to help me out, but it will break the emerging model even more than it already is.

The only benefit I can see is that I would be compensated for the reads that would have been free.  Kind of like putting several pennies in one hand while taking the dollars out of the other. 

Not sure what to think about this.

 

Ok, has Netflix just lost its mind?

"Ok, has Netflix just lost its mind?

Netflix is rebranding its 12-year-old movies-by-mail service as Qwikster and adding video games to its catalog, Reed Hastings, the company's CEO, announced Sunday night. The Web-streaming portion will continue to be called Netflix, he wrote on the company's blog.

After the separation, people who subscribe to both services will have to log into two separate websites, Netflix.com and Qwikster.com, to manage their movie queues and account information...  (via cnn)

I was one of the few who didn't freak out about the new pricing structure Netflix introduced. As a person who works online, I understand the need to make money on those endeavors, but now seeing that they are spinning off part of their service I am not sure I understand it at all anymore.

Why split off the DVD part of their service? 

The only thing I can think right now is that Netflix has decided it is their mission to kill physical media. 

This feels so premature. After the studios pulled out or instituted stalling tactics on streaming rentals my Netflix streaming dropped.  After all If their streaming offering was better, I could see how this is a good move, but right now... ugh.  To compensate I had plans to keep both.  Renting DVD's for those few things I wanted to see right away and that was not available for streaming.  For the rest I would just wait for it to show up on streaming or never bother watching. 

I was fine paying a little more to have both physical DVD rental and streaming rental in one convient place.  The convience of managing my ratings and que was one of the biggest draws to Netflix.  Like most we live a busy life with our time divided and enough inconviences that no one wants to pay for another one.  On top of that the extra step is one I know I will forget to take...

Then that name: Qwikster.

Really? That sounds like something Randal from Clerks thought up one morning after recovering from a heavy night of binge drinking and salsa shark attacks. Time to cancel the DVDs?

Video game rentals sweeten the deal, but I haven't turned my 360 on in about 6 months.  In addition to that I tried a seperate Video game rental service but the inconvience added an extra step that I did forget to take.

And then their subscribers drop and stock drops.  Not a suprise here.  They claim they made the split and price changes for 4 reasons:

(1) to create a dedicated DVD rental division that takes pride in great execution and maximizes the opportunity for disc rental over the coming decade;
(2) to enable us to improve our global streaming service even more rapidly, because it is not meshed with a domestic DVD business;
(3) to enable us, with the growth in revenue, to license more streaming content and thereby improve our streaming service even more;
(4) to remain very price aggressive, with $7.99 per month for unlimited streaming of a huge library of TV shows and movies, and $7.99 per month for unlimited DVD rentals, 1 out at-a-time.  (via  Online Video News

  1. Didn't they already have a great rental division that had pride?
  2. A big improvement to streaming would be providing a service in which I could manage both my streaming videos and my rental videos.  By the way wouldn't the extra cost help to pay for them to make streaming improvements?
  3. Wouldn't it be easier to streamline costs when both divisions are under one roof verses two seperate companies?
  4. Sadly they forgot about and now are loosing the convience and service of one que one rating place.

 

Giant Crocodile IRL

When beholding an image of a real life Giant Crocodile my first thought is astonishment.  That says a lot for someone who watches a many episodes of river monsters and other shows like it as I have.  This 21 foot long crocodile is a great reminder that large reptilian dinosaur like creatures do still exist, roam about and are a present danger even in our modern day.   

Giant crocodile captured alive in Philippines - Yahoo! News)

Netflix to make Original Programming

affiliate linkThe folk at Netflix decided that is a good idea for them to make their own content by signing House of Cards to an amazing 2 season deal (check out Deadline for more).

I'm not sure this is a good idea.  YouTube and Hulu have done the same type of thing lately, and it all just makes me sigh.

Content platforms should be Platforms, not producers.  There is an inherent conflict of interest when your business is about both, making content and distributing it.  They will naturally push their original content more than the content of others...

I would love to see them take the idea of being a platform to the next stage instead.  Provide tools for independent producers to submit their content easily, and curate that content, to keep the quality of your offering up to your standards.

Am I making to much out of this?  Let me know what you think.

Welcome to the New dashPunk

Over the last few months we have been hard at work improving what we are doing here at dashPunk, and we hope you love the new site as much as we do.

Some of the new features are:

  • Our Improved Forum: We were blown away by the popularity of the forum when we originally added it to dashPunk.  The new forum offers a better post editor, making it easier for you, and modularity, so we can have as many or as few Forums as the site needs.  Flexibility is the key.
  • Our new galleries feature: I'm sure Brian will be playing with this a lot, and maybe some others of you.  Now, we can collect and share images with you all easier than ever!  You can see an example here.
  • Power to the pages!  Now, we can offer and organize the resources you all have been asking for.
  • New Home Page: the new home page will keep you up to date on all of the site updates, from new pages to posts and even new forum topics!
  • Power to the people!!

Some of you received an email from me letting you know that you have been upgraded to Contributor status on the site!  Membership has its privileges, and we will be promoting those of you who share the most with the community to contributor status so you can post to the blog and share with our many RSS subscribers, and more opportunities may open to you all in the near future.

Now it's time to make dashPunk the home of fandom it was always meant to be!

Hulu might die in 2010

Image representing hulu as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

The future of decabling is in trouble:

“I think a free model is a very difficult way to capture the value of our content. I think what we need to do is deliver that content to consumers in a way where they will appreciate the value,” Carey said. “Hulu concurs with that, it needs to evolve to have a meaningful subscription model as part of its business.”

To be clear, Carey is saying that much of the site’s content should remain free. Any paid content should add value for users and revenue for broadcasters, he explained — unlike some proposed “TV Everywhere” authentication schemes which give the same content through a different venue. Hulu premium products could include exclusives, previews, shortened windows, mobile and behind-the-scenes content ( New TeeVee).

Before I start freaking out, if they are going to charge for premium content, I don't have that much trouble with this.

The honest answer is, Murdock and the Mouse want to charge for all this content.  They see the end of the Television model where free, commercial based content is delivered into viewers homes and they do not want to have it replaced with another commercial based model.

If they had their way, they would charge for access and run the commercials too.

I really hope they are only talking about charging for premium content, but I seriously doubt it.

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Free Ebooks boost Sales, but How?

Random House, Inc.
Image via Wikipedia

Victoria found this interesting Fact about giving away a free eBook of your novel.

... a doctoral student, John Hilton, is collecting data on the sales impact of ebook giveaways...

...While four of the five Random House books Hilton identified showed an uptick in sales post-e-version, 20 of 24 Tor titles showed a decrease. Why the difference? "One possible explanation is that by making the free books available for only one week a different dynamic was present [for Tor] than when the books were made permanently available [by Random House]," Hilton says. "The opportunity for word-of-mouth to spread about the free book may have been significantly diminished in the model used by Tor (Writer Beware Blogs!)."

Permanently Free= Word of Mouth

The study is finished but the difference between permanently giving away a free eBook increases sales while a limited time free eBook didn't.  The trick to building any audience or community is word of mouth.  My question is, how much do you giveaway?  I am not talking about whether or not to give away the whole book or just a sample, I am more interested in when is a good time to start giving away the book.

Writing in public

I have been toying around with the idea of writing a book in public.  I am in the process of developing a new novel, and I have been thinking about making the development and the writing public.  The question for me is how.  I can see a couple options:

  1. Set up a free blog and allow anyone to read and comment on the ideas, outlines and drafts.
  2. Set up a paid blog and allow anyone who preorders the book to read and comment on the ideas, outlines and drafts.

I like the second model best because it would weed out people who do not like my work at all, and it would allow my fans to be a part of the the writing process.  I do not usually release hardcovers, so maybe I could make a signed hard cover the preorder book.  Maybe I could even set up a gold membership that would offer an exclusive copy of the prewriting in print too.

What do you think?

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No one writes alone

I need some book recommendations.
Image by classicrockrox via Flickr

I have a lot in common with David Halpert over at Scifi Watch.

I have always been a writer too.  For me, It started when I was a kid watching He-man and the Transformers.  I started writing and drawing my own comics.

I fell in love with books when my sister bought me the works of Edgar Allen Poe and Mark Twain.  I started telling stories for my AD&D club, and my preferences were always Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance.

I never thought about writing a book before I read Dragon Singer by Anne McCaffrey.  That book changed the way I saw novels.

The Internet changed my writing

Before I wrote Liquid Sky, I agreed with David:

Realistically I’m all alone when it comes to achieving my goals of getting published (and hopefully to one day write full-time) [SciFi Watch].

Now, I see the error in that way of thinking.  I am not alone in my writing goals.  I have my readers, friends, and fans to help me get where I want to go.

It depends on your goals

If your goal is to garner the approval of publisher so a corporation will pat you on the head and say, "Good job." at least once, then this system might not work for you.  But if your like me, with a compulsion to write and a desire to get your stories out for others to read in the hopes that it will become a full time career, then give it a try.

Writing and fandom...

are forever connected one with the other.

If you have a story to tell:

  • write it
  • edit it
  • polish it
  • share it for the world to read
  • connect with your readers
  • grow your readership
  • hone your writing
  • repeat

You are not alone in your writing.  Today, there is a cloud of readers who can and will help you build and audience and support your work.

Never believe that you are alone.

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Cyberdyne Presents: Our New Robotic Overloard

cyberdyne-robot-suit

I love the growing robot technology and how it can better everyone's lives.  The idea that one day I  could crawl into a Mech suit to "run around in" excites me and is one of the things I'm looking forward to in the new G.I. Joe movie.  This suit is of no exception it uses sensors attached to the skin of the wearer to operate.

“HAL catches these signals through a sensor attached on the skin of the wearer. Based on the signals obtained, the power unit is controlled to move the joint unitedly with the wearer’s muscle movement, enabling to support the wearer’s daily activities. This is what we call a ‘voluntary control system’ that provides movement interpreting the wearer’s intention from the biosignals in advance of the actual movement. Not only a ‘voluntary control system’ “HAL” has, but also a ‘robotic autonomous control system’ that provides human-like movement based on a robotic system which integrally work together with the ‘autonomous control system’. “HAL” is the world’s first cyborg-type robot controlled by this unique Hybrid System.”

The humor of the company working on this is at no loss to me either:

  • Naming themselves Cyberdyne after the Terminator films
  • Naming the suit Hybrid Assistive Limb or Hal

I'm not sure if I like their use of all the darker films where the robots turned on the humans and killed them but being an optimist I go to my happy place and think that the ominous warnings given in the films is what was on their minds... besides the suit needs us so if it gained sentience and went crazy it would merely assimilate humans instead of killing us off.

(via /Film)

Project:Shadow 2007 November Newsletter

Hey everyone! Are you concerned about keeping up to date as to the latest sci-fi / fantasy / horror news? Are you just boiling with rage over the casting for the new Star Trek film? Would you like to talk with other like minded fans of sci-fi / fantasy / horror? Then join us at the Project:Shadow HQ where you can share with us your favorite finds or talk about your latest fascination. The conversation is here!

What’s New

Matt gets a great write up in on the pod.net (http://rurl.org/box): Community member Matthew Wayne Selznick received a great write up that talked about all of his current projects. The article highlighted Matthew's DIY ethic and podcast Writers Talking. This is a great article, if you haven't read it yet check it out at (http://rurl.org/box). If you have some news you would like to share with us then log into the HQ and share it we would love to hear about it.

Release information for next episode of Fates Harrow, Black Moon Rising: The next episode of Fates Harrow, Black Moon Rising is finished and shall be published through the amazon shorts program any day now. Sorry we can't give you any more information as to a specific date. You can get your copy through the Project:Shadow store and if you haven't already you can get the other episodes Deus Ex Machina, and Night Terror.

Get your one stop holiday shopping with us at Project:Shadow. We set up a store so that you can get your holiday shopping done in one stop, stores include Amazon, Hot Topic, and Sharper Image. We also have cool t-shirts, posters, and other merchandise available.

Spotlight

Share your opinion on the newest forum discussion: Who's at fault for all of the remakes we see today. In the discussion we want to take a look at why or what cause has lead us to seeing so many remakes and rehashing and why there isn't a lot of new projects being produced? Is it the producers fault. It is easier to invest money into a known project that has an established audience. It is easier to market and sell something that already has a known franchise behind it because for the most part if it is already established all you need to do is mention the franchise and the audience will try it and buy it. Is it the consumers fault. As consumers how do we find out what is new? How do we find out what is good? Are we lazy or do not have enough time to seek out and or try new things. Do we not have enough money to buy into new things only to have them turn out bad and are not willing to risk our money on something that is not established Is it the fault of too much stuff because there is too much new stuff coming out so the only way to be heard and discovered is to ride in on the franchise of something already established.

National Novel Writing Month: This is National Novel Writing Month! Throughout the month of November writers sign up to try and write 50,000 words in 30 days. It's a great exercise and a lot of fun. If you are signed up and are feverishly writing away stop in the HQ and share your experience with us.

C.E. Dorsett is doing a video blog for National Novel Writing Month in November: Eric is working on writing a novel this month for National Novel Writing Month. If you would like to follow along and see how he is doing then catch his video blog at ProjectShadow.com

We Love Net Flix! We have been a member of Netflix for more than five years now and it is great! Before that we would spend one to three hours in the video store every Friday looking and trying to decide what video we wanted to rent (a large chunk of this time was spent trying to remember what videos were out that we wanted to see), spend all that money on the rentals, and then have to go through the hassle of trying to watch and return the video so that we would not get charged a late fee. This terrible experience was flipped with Netflix. Now we have a list of videos that we want to see set up. Whenever we see a trailer for a movie or show that we want to rent we just add it to our list and when it gets released to dvd about a year latter the video just arrives! Now every week we get excited waiting for the mail to arrive so that we can see what new videos arrive. We watch them when we get time to watch them. Then when we are done watching it (in some cases this can take several weeks to accomplish partially due to some hectic event that takes up all of our time and in some situations it's because we end up watching it over and over again) we just drop it in the mail. If you don't already use Netflix then go to the ProjectShadow store get signed up!

Listen Live, daily, to our new podcast Project:Shadow Informant: We are doing a live podcast Monday through Friday at 1:30 est on talk shue (http://rurl.org/a8j). You can also stream the podcast or download it. On the Project:Shadow Informant we cover news and topics related to the speculative fiction culture. Its great fun and a nice way to keep up as per what is going on, join us!

Share your favorite video clip with the group: We now have 76 videos available to members at the ProjectShadow HQ that have been shared to us by members of the groups. Its a great way to share your great finds with everyone and also a great way to catch the coolest, neatest new videos that are out.

Chapters 2 & 3 are up on the liquid sky erratta! Yes the next two chapters are done and available for members to read and share their input. The new fixes are really looking great and takes the reading experience of Liquid Sky to a whole new level.

Have you uploaded your fun photos yet? We now have 98 photos available for the members to enjoy on the HQ. If you have some fun photos that you would love to share with the group then go to the HQ and add them.

Thank you for your interest! Supporting Project:Shadow helps us to bring you more and better content! Your support can take a variety of forms like doing your Amazon shopping (here) through us or making a donation (here)! Read our support us page (here) for more information and programs.

Eric

Project:Shadow

[Hq.ProjectShadow.com]

[ProjectShadow.com]

[BarrensEnd.com]

My Novel is Finished!!

C.E. Dorsett The Book is finished! It is short, but in a way I think that could be a good thing. I am excited by the nature of doing such a short work. I will be editing it soon, but I also be working on a couple of Novelettes in the mean time. One of the novelettes should be pretty funny, if I can get it done.

Now, I what you're thinking, “Eric, can you be funny?” Well, I really don't know so I will give it a try. Do not fear, I will not neglect the fight scenes and obsessively written fantasy scenes. After all, they are why I write in the first place.

I am just bubbling over!! Hope to reveal more about this book soon.