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Web & Tech

Half Price Books Starts Book Beard Trend

Bookseller Half Price Books has launched a Book Beard tumblr page. They urged readers to imitate the catbearding photo trend, using books instead of cats.

You can share book beard photos on Instagram with the hashtag #BookBeard and will host weekly giveaways around book themes.

This week’s theme is “Book of Your Choosing, and/or Favorite Childhood Book.”

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Writer Recounts Visit from Terrorism Task Force

Writer Michele Catalano published an essay on Medium, recounting how a “joint terrorism task force” sent six agents to her house–reportedly because their family used computers to research pressure cookers and backpacks.

UPDATE: Suffolk County Police Department have released this statement:

Suffolk County Criminal Intelligence Detectives received a tip from a Bay Shore based computer company regarding suspicious computer searches conducted by a recently released employee. The former employee’s computer searches took place on this employee’s workplace computer. On that computer, the employee searched the terms “pressure cooker bombs” and “backpacks.”

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Shindig to Host Online Author Chats Live From BEA

Missing BookExpo America this year? You can watch many of the the guests online.

Shindig will be hosting video chats with fifty authors live from BEA. These online conversations will take place from Thursday, May 30th until Saturday, June 1st.

Some of the authors who will take part include The Summer I Turned Pretty author Jenny HanRevenge Wears Prada author Lauren Weisberger, and Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk. Some of the people who will serve as interviewers include Publishing Business Group editorial director Lynn RosenBeatrice founder Ron Hogan, and Movable Type Management president Jason Ashlock. Who do you look forward to hearing from?

Open Source Project Helps New Yorker Collect Anonymous Tips

To help readers share stories, tips and secrets anonymously, the New Yorker will use a new tool called Strongbox.

Co-developed by the late Internet activist Aaron Swartz, the open-source code could help more journalists communicate with confidential sources. AppNewser has all the details:

The New Yorker has introduced a new online receptacle where sources can share documents and messages with the magazine anonymously. The tool is called Strongbox and it is accessible using the Tor network, a private and secure online network. The publication will not record the I.P. address or any browsing information from people who share documents on Strongbox. It will also not try to access your computer or operating system, and they will not add cookies to your browser.

James Altucher: ‘First Book Ever To Be for Sale ONLY on Bitcoin’

Author James Altucher is letting his fans buy his book with Bitcoin–weeks before you can buy the book with more traditional currencies. According to the author, this is the “first book ever to be for sale ONLY on bitcoin.”

Altucher currently charges 0.1 BTC for a PDF copy of his Choose Yourself book. On June 3rd, you can purchase the book on Amazon using other currencies.

If you are interested in selling your own book with Bitcoin currency, you can contact Altucher for support.

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Create Photo Zines on Your Smartphone

The free KYUR8 iPhone app encourages users to tell stories with pictures and share them as digital zines and books online.

What do you think? AppNewser has more:

Using the app, you can import images from your iPhone, Tumblr, Instagram, or Facebook (Some users are even taking screenshots from Snapchat and turning those into KYUR8 zines). You can use these images to create magazine layouts — you can create a cover, play with layouts and add text to create your own digital magazine. Once you’ve created your digital zine, you can embed it on your website or Tumblr page, as well as share it via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and even as an SMS or email.

Tools of Change Publishing Conference Ends

Tim O’Reilly has decided to end the seven year old Tools of Change publishing conference.

GalleyCat has covered the event for many years, and we have many great memories from the conference. AppNewser has more details:

O’Reilly explained further that the company is shifting its focus “from hosting the conversation about publishing technology to bringing our own tools to market.” This includes a collaborative writing platform code-named Atlas. The organization will continue to share thoughts on the O’Reilly Radar and on the Safari tech blog. AppNewser has covered the show for the past few years. Here is a link to the most recent show coverage.

Betaworks Acquires Instapaper

Betaworks has purchased Instapaper, an app we’ve covered for years. You can use the tool to save online magazine articles and download longer works by online authors.

Do you use the popular tool? AppNewser covered the sale of the digital tool:

Betaworks, a company that develops beta projects into more full fledged ideas, has purchased Instapaper — the popular app that lets you save content to read later. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Marco Arment, who founded Instapaper on his own back in 2008, said in a blog post that the company has, “grown far beyond what one person can do. To really shine, it needs a full-time staff of at least a few people.” Arment explained that he isn’t interested in taking on this task and wants “to try other apps and creative projects.”

Manage Your Writing Connections with LinkedIn Contacts

Do you struggle to manage your publishing industry and writing connections? LinkedIn has created a new tool to help you keep on top of your professional relationships.

AppNewser has all the details:

LinkedIn has introduced a new feature called LinkedIn Contacts, to help users better manage their relationships with their professional contacts. Call it CRM for professional networkers. Using the tool, LinkedIn users can bring together contacts from their address books, email account, and calendar. This information is overlaid with details about past conversations and meetings on that contact’s profile.

BookMentors Seeks Poems That Endorse Books of Poetry

BookMentors, a nonprofit book donation organization, is hosting a National Poetry Month celebration.

To participate, you can write a poem that endorses a book of poetry. You can submit your poem to the organization’s social media platforms (including Google+, Facebook, or Tumblr). Check it out:

we are celebrating #NationalPoetryMonth with daily poems mimicking the style of our favorite poetry books! Post your own poem about your favorite book of poetry or like one of the poems that has already been posted. BookMentors will donate the book featured in the post that gets the most “likes.” Get creative!

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