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Web & Tech

Douglas Adams Gets Interactive Google Doodle for His Birthday

Google has created an interactive Google Doodle celebrating Douglas Adams‘ 61st birthday. The UK author is best known for his comedic science-fiction series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Check out this YouTube video which shows how internet users can interact with this animated doodle. Random House posted a screenshot of the art piece on Facebook and drew 266 “likes.”

Here’s more from ABC News: “Google’s doodle includes references to Adams’ work: a towel, which according to Adams’ book, is an essential item for space travel, a cup of tea, a staple of his oeuvre, and when users click the door in the doodle, Marvin, the beloved ‘paranoid android,’ from ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide‘ appears.”

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Why You Should Reset Your Evernote Password

Do you use Evernote to keep your research, reading and writing sorted? You should reset your password right now, just to be safe.

AppNewser has all the details:

Evernote blocked a recent hacking attempt this weekend, but hackers still gained access to user emails and passwords … As a result of the security breach, all users are required to reset their password for access by logging in at Evernote.com. All Evernote apps must be updated with the new account information to work. While it is unlikely that hackers can crack Evernote’s encrypted passwords, users can take extra measures by using different passwords for different web sites and web services.

Edward Gorey Gets a Google Doodle

Google has created a Google Doodle celebrating author and illustrator Edward Gorey‘s 88th birthday.

Gorey established his artistic career working as a book designer at Doubleday Anchor. From there, he went on to write and illustrate more than one hundred books. He wrote under a number of pseudonyms; two of them, Ogdred Weary and Mrs. Regera Dowdy, are anagrams of his actual name.

Here’s more from The Huffington Post: “With a distinct style, often described as ‘whimsical’ and ‘grim’, Gorey’s pen and ink illustrations often depicted animals, as is shown in the Google doodle. The doodle also pays homage to Gorey’s most famous book, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, which depicts the deaths of 26 children, each representing a different letter of the alphabet.”

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Second Life Creators Launch Interactive Storytelling Platform

Linden Labs, the creators of the virtual Second Life world, have created a new interactive storytelling platform called Versu.

We’ve embedded a video demonstration above, but AppNewser has all the details:

To begin, select an episode from Versu’s library or buy one from their store (there’s only three for now). The app allows you to select a character to play and the scripted narrative comes with objectives that must be completed before you move on. Each story is like a game and your character gives you an idiosyncratic perspective on stories that changes each time you play them. Users can unlock various achievements that spices up each narrative.

Small Demons Counts Content Deals with Five of the Big Six Publishers

Small Demons, the site that explores the people, places and things inside of books, has cut a content deal with Penguin.

Here’s more from the release:

Having already inked deals with Simon & Schuster, Random House, Harper Collins and Hachette, Small Demons now has content deals with five of the big six publishing houses. Many books within the Penguin collection, including bestselling genre fiction and the world’s leading classics brand Penguin Classics, will begin to appear on the site over the course of 2013, allowing readers to explore their favorite books and draw surprising connections between seemingly disparate literary worlds: from Jack Kerouac’s jazz legends to Jim Butcher’s Chicago wizards, from Jane Austen’s genteel England to Charlaine Harris’s tumultuous Bon Temps, Louisiana.

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Would You Spend the Rest of Your Life on Mars?

The Mars One project hopes to send a team of astronauts on a one-way trip to Mars. We think they should hire at least one writer for this epic trip.

AppNewser has all the details on how to apply for the Mars One project:

Have you dreamed of living on another planet? The Mars One team will select four astronauts to make a one-way trip to Mars after a grueling and public training period … If successful, the venture will use resources from around the world and convert the entire process into a media event across all major social networks.

Blogger Vows to Read 131 Baby-Sitters Club Books This Year

Melanie Leeson, the blogger behind “Beauty & the Armageddon,” has made a Baby-Sitters Club-themed New Year’s resolution.

She hopes to read the 131 titles in the original Baby-Sitters Club book series.

Here’s more from her blog post: “If time permits I will also read the Mysteries, Super Special, Super Mysteries, and any of the the other supplemental books. My plan is to stick with the books pertaining to the main members of the club and only shoot for the spin-off series if I’m incredibly crazy.”

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Free eBooks for Your New iPad, Kindle or Nook

Readers around the globe have unwrapped new tablets and eReaders this holiday season. Below, we’ve included a long, long, long list of free and legal eBooks you can download right now for any device.

Explore our Project Gutenberg lists and click “read this eBook online” to sample the book without downloading anything.

If you have an iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone or iPod Touch, you can download the ePub edition. If you have a Kindle or a Kindle Fire, you need to download the Kindle edition. If you have a Nook, Sony eReader or a Kobo, you should download the ePub edition.

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Wattpad Counts 10 Million Uploads

Digital publishing community Wattpad now counts ten million uploads.

Members of the community upload one million new pieces on a monthly basis. Back in August 2011, the site reached one million site users. Several Wattpad writers, including book blogger Brittany Geragotelis and UK novelist Beth Reekles, have landed book deals with traditional publishing houses.

In an email announcement, product marketing manager Amy Martin shared the company’s next goal: “Given current growth rates we’re only looking at another three years until we reach 129 million uploads. That’s our next target because according to engineers working on the Google Books project it’s the total number of unique books that have been published worldwide since the advent of printing.”

Why One Publisher Used Medium to Share Book Excerpts

Are you looking for a way to share book excerpts with your readers outside of the retail websites?

When Wieden+Kennedy decided to launch the Sharp Stuff imprint, they decided to use the new social network Medium to share excerpts from their first title, American Dreamers. We caught up with director of content and communications Jake Dockter to find out why.

He explained: “Medium allows us to post content, interact with readers and seamlessly integrate into our twitter and social media. We post an excerpt from our newest book, American Dreamers, every day. Medium users can then read and vote on the content. The highest rated pieces rises to the top, allowing us to track which content users like the most. Publishers no longer need to guess what people like but can interact with content in a new way.”

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