Tuesday, May 27, 2014

From the army to the big city, 3D printing can be a real game changer

3D printing has great practical potential for the supply chain, as shown by the US army. Jerry Castanos saw its military application on his tour of duty in Afghanistan. That inspired him to open his own 3D printing business in New York City, 3D Heights, which offers 3D printers, related accessories, and lessons in using them. His goal is to be "the first" successful 3D printing retail store in the city. I spoke to about the confluence of his army experience with supply chain management and the uses for 3D printing.
Car with 3D printed metal body photographed by Ariella Brown at the Javits Center


Read more in

Army to Big City: 3D Printing Reshapes the Supply Chain

A soft sell for sensors

Wearables go where no devices have gone before when designed to fit wherever one wants them on  the body.  Fitting the device to the body, rather than the body to the device: that’s what defines the technology developed by MC10.  This privately held company partners with well-known brands, like Reebok, to bring its technology into the consumer space.  I spoke with Elyse Winer, Manager of Marketing & Communications at MC10 about the company’s innovative products. Read about it in  A Soft Sell for Sensors

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How to manage editors, Russell Baker style

In Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind the Scenes at Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! 
  (p.129), Rebecca Eaton includes a facsimile of a note on New York Times stationery that  Russell Baker wrote to her regarding his scripts for introducing Masterpiece Theatre on January 10, 1997.
It says:
Dear Rebecca  _
These can be cut, sliced, pared, slashed, canned, pruned, trimmed, condensed, abridged, curtailed or sheared, if you want me never to speak to you again.
Yrs
Russell
[Note: Baker didn't use the Oxford comma, so there's something for those who oppose it to point to.]

Thursday, May 15, 2014

So much for slavery being illegal

I've written for a content mill known as Examiner.com for years. The pay was exceedingly low, amounting to somewhere around $100 a year, but I had a lot of freedom and so wrote some of what I would have included on one of my personal blogs (not this one)  in any case.

However, it's time to cut the content mill out of my life because there is no way I will agree to its new terms. Note that point #2 absolves them from any formula for payment -- even that fraction of a penny per view that it used to use and that #7 amounts to selling (for no specified amount other than the possibility of "exposure") the use of your work forever after to Examiner.


“EXAMINERS” INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR AGREEMENT AND LICENSE

Important - Read Carefully: This Examiners Independent Contractor Agreement and License (“Agreement”) is a legal agreement between you and AXS Digital Media Group, LLC d/b/a Examiner.com (“Examiner.com”) regarding the content you may choose to provide as an “Examiner,” as described herein. All rights granted by you to Examiner.com under this Agreement are hereby also granted to the parent company and all affiliates, subsidiaries, and related entities of Examiner.com (collectively “Affiliates”). BY CLICKING THE “I AGREE” BUTTON, YOU AFFIRM THAT YOU HAVE READ, UNDERSTAND, AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY ALL TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, WITHOUT LIMITATION OR QUALIFICATION. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THESE TERMS, DO NOT CLICK “I AGREE,” AND YOU AND EXAMINER.COM WILL HAVE NO OBLIGATIONS TO EACH OTHER WITH REGARD TO THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THIS AGREEMENT. In consideration of the mutual covenants and agreements contained herein, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, the parties agree as follows:

1) Content: As a freelance Examiner contributor, you will have the ability to engage in the following activities using the Examiner.com platform (collectively the “Activities”): (i) write and promote your Works (defined below) on a page on the Examiner.com website (the “Web Page”) featuring the topic for which you have been approved by Examiner.com (the “Topic”); (ii) utilize the publishing tools and other products offered by Examiner.com (collectively, the “Products”) to facilitate the publication of your Works on the Web Page; and (iii) develop a following of readers who are interested in your Topic by engaging in online conversations about your Works through comments on your Web Page and promoting your Works through social media. For purposes of this Agreement, “Works” include all articles, photos, videos, or other content that you publish to the Web Page or otherwise make available to Examiner.com under this Agreement, with the exception of any materials provided by Examiner.com. All Works posted on the Web Page must be closely related to the Topic, however you may determine the specific subjects within the Topic about which you choose to write. You may post new Works or comments to the Web Page whenever you deem appropriate (e.g. when there is news related to your Topic, or any other time). In order to build a following for your Web Page, we encourage you to post links to your Works in your social media accounts and take other legitimate and ethical steps (e.g. generating interested human visitors but not mechanical clicks on content) to drive traffic to your Works and your Web Page. You agree to comply with all terms of this Agreement and the Examiner.com Terms of Use in performing the Activities.

2) Consideration: In consideration of your Activities, you will be provided exposure of your name and Works, and you will have the ability to use the Examiner.com platform to develop a following for your Works. You understand that you potentially may not receive anything other than such exposure in exchange for your Activities. However, you may be eligible for certain incentive payments, which are subject to the terms of Examiner.com’s programs and policies as modified from time to time (collectively, the “Incentives”). Incentives may include payments based on traffic levels and/or other performance metrics related to your Web Page or Works, payments based on referral programs, or other programs Examiner.com may offer, all of which will be subject to the eligibility criteria, performance metrics and terms determined by Examiner.com for the particular type of Incentive, as may be modified from time to time. Incentives paid to you, if any, would be subject to and calculated according to Examiner.com’s payment policies, which may change from time to time in our sole discretion. If you do not agree to any changes in the payment policies, your sole remedy is to cease participation as an Examiner. You may not engage in unethical means of increasing pageviews of your Works (e.g. by using mechanical traffic or other artificial means) (“Unauthorized Traffic”). We reserve the right to terminate Examiners if we believe they are using Unauthorized Traffic. Determination of which means of generating pageviews are Unauthorized Traffic will be made by Examiner.com in its sole discretion, so if you have questions regarding whether certain means are permitted, please contact us. If we suspect that you have used any Unauthorized Traffic (or other practices we consider in violation of the spirit of this Agreement), your applicable Incentives will be deemed void and not payable. Payment of Incentives earned will be made via PayPal or other service subsequently designated by Examiner.com (“Payment Service”) in U.S. dollars, unless otherwise designated by Examiner.com. It is your sole responsibility to correctly establish an account with the designated Payment Service, and Examiner.com is not liable for failure to pay you due to problems with your Payment Service account. Incentives will not be paid unless they meet the minimum payment threshold and other criteria established by Examiner.com. If you wish to opt-out of receiving any Incentives, please send an email to editors@examiner.com and ask for instructions regarding the steps you will need to take. Examiner.com makes no representations as to the likelihood that you will ever receive monetary compensation with regard to the Activities. Your ability to earn Incentives terminates when you cease to be an Examiner, regardless of whether your Works remain on the Web Page or are otherwise used pursuant to this Agreement.

3) Screening and Editing of Works: Examiner.com reserves the right to screen, edit and/or remove any Works or portions thereof with or without cause, in the sole discretion of Examiner.com or its designees, without providing notice to you. If you wish to challenge the editing or removal of any of your Works, you may send an e-mail to legal@examiner.com, however, Examiner.com will have no obligation to respond to such e-mail or take any action with regard thereto.

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a) Editorial Requirements. Your Works and Activities must comply with all Editorial Requirements http://www.examiner.com/editorialrequirements.html , which are hereby incorporated into this Agreement.

b) Third Party Content or Programs. You must have permission from the owner/copyright holder of any content before including it on your Web Page, unless it was provided by Examiner.com. You are not authorized to enter into any agreement for any RSS feeds, advertisements, programs, applications, APIs, or other third party content or services to be featured on the Web Page, and all such proposed agreements (including without limitation online terms of service and click-through agreements) must be sent to legal@examiner.com. If any third party imposes a fee or takes any legal action as a result of your inclusion of its content, services or programs on the Web Page, you will be solely responsible for payment of fees and any legal liability that may result, unless otherwise agreed in writing by Examiner.com.

c) Public Relations, Marketing and Promotions Requirements. You are responsible for compliance with the Public Relations, Marketing and Promotions Requirements for Examiners http://www.examiner.com/prmarketing.html which are hereby incorporated into this Agreement, and you will be solely liable for any failure to comply with these requirements or any applicable laws or regulations related to your marketing, public relations, or promotional activities.

d) Certain Prohibited Activities. In addition to other requirements of this Agreement, you are prohibited from engaging in any of the following activities with regard to the Works, the Activities, the Products, and the Examiner.com website: (i) impersonating any person or entity, or falsely stating or otherwise misrepresenting your affiliation with or endorsement by any person or entity; (ii) interfering with or disrupting the Web Page, the Examiner.com website, or servers or networks connected thereto; (iii) violating any applicable law, rule or regulation or any third party’s rights; (iv) engaging in, encouraging or facilitating the "stalking" or other harassment of a third party; (v) engaging in other actions which could reflect negatively on Examiner.com or its Affiliates; or (vi) including links to any third party’s affiliate marketing programs or other commercial promotions or links within your Works.

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i) From time to time, you may be offered, or you may wish to purchase, tickets to concerts, movies, or other events, other products or services you wish to write about in your Works, or anything else of value from a third party (collectively “Third Party Offerings”). It is solely your decision whether to accept, purchase, attend, or use any Third Party Offerings. Receipt of any Third Party Offering does not obligate you to write about any subject related thereto, and you are prohibited from accepting any Third Party Offering in exchange for an agreement to include any content in your Works. However, if you do decide to write an endorsement regarding a Third Party Offering which you have received at no cost or at a discount, if you have a significant relationship with the third party, or if a third party has otherwise provided you with incentive to write about a certain product or service, it is your sole responsibility to disclose the foregoing if required by any laws, regulations or guidelines, including without limitation those of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. You are prohibited from requesting excessive Third Party Offerings in your capacity as an Examiner. You will be solely responsible for any charges related to Third Party Offerings you have requested, accepted, or purchased, all arrangements to travel to/from any events, and any other applicable arrangements.

ii) Examiner.com and its Affiliates, employees, officers, directors, shareholders, representatives, and agents (collectively, the “Examiner.com Parties”) are not responsible or liable in any manner for any losses, claims, damages, liabilities, costs or expenses (collectively “Losses”) related to your use or receipt of, or participation in, any Third Party Offerings. You hereby forever and irrevocably RELEASE AND DISCHARGE the Examiner.com Parties from and against all Losses arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from your receipt or use of or participation in any Third Party Offerings. The foregoing release includes, without limitation, any and all liability, bodily injury, death, loss or damage to yourself or any third party arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the use or misuse of, or participation in, any Third Party Offerings. You further covenant not to sue any of the Examiner.com Parties with respect to any matter addressed by this release. You understand and agree that this is a complete release and discharge of all of your claims and rights against the Examiner.com Parties with regard to any Third Party Offerings that may be offered or made available to you.

g) Source Material. You will maintain any source material (such as notes, audio, video or photographs) you have used in the creation of the Works for one (1) year after first publication of the applicable Work on a Web Page, and you will make such material available to Examiner.com upon request. Examiner.com may copy such materials at its expense and may use such materials for fact checking and verification related to the Works, or may provide any of such materials to a third party if required to do so by law, rule, regulation, or court order, or if determined necessary by Examiner.com.

5) Confidentiality: As used herein, "Confidential Information" includes any communications or materials furnished to you by Examiner.com that are of a confidential or proprietary nature, regardless of whether marked or indicated as such, including without limitation: (a) any and all technical or business data, information, trade secrets or software furnished by Examiner.com to you, (b) the Products and materials related thereto; (c) any reports related to the Web Page or the Examiner.com site; (d) and any communications from Examiner.com and its employees, contractors, agents or representatives with regard to the Activities, your application or status as an Examiner, this Agreement or any subject related thereto. You agree to: (i) treat as confidential, and preserve the confidentiality of, all Confidential Information; (ii) use the Confidential Information solely for the purposes of this Agreement; and (iii) not copy, use, or disclose such Confidential Information unless specifically authorized by Examiner.com. You must promptly return all Confidential Information at Examiner.com’s request.

6) License to Products, Content and Programs Provided by Examiner.com:

a) The Products are protected by the intellectual property laws and treaties of the U.S. and other countries. The Products are hereby licensed to you on a non-exclusive basis, solely for the term of this Agreement, and solely for the purposes of carrying out your obligations under this Agreement. All rights not expressly granted are reserved by Examiner.com. As between you and Examiner.com, all rights in and to the Products are owned by Examiner.com.

b) Certain third party software programs, photo libraries, and other content (collectively, “Third Party Property”) may be made available to you by Examiner.com from time to time in connection with the Activities. You are not required to use any particular Third Party Property, however, in the event that you do access, reproduce, or use any Third Party Property in any manner, you agree to comply with all terms of any license agreement which the licensor of such Third Party Property may require from end-users thereof.

c) Not limiting the foregoing, this Agreement does not grant you any rights to (and you are prohibited from): (i) granting any sublicense, distributing or transmitting the Products or any Third Party Property in whole or in part; (ii) modifying, reverse engineering, decompiling, or disassembling the Products or any Third Party Property, except as expressly permitted by applicable law; (iii) using any trademarks of the licensor of any Third Party Property; and (v) using the Products or any Third Party Property for purposes other than carrying out Activities pursuant to this Agreement and in compliance with Examiner.com’s license for such Third Party Property.

7) Ownership and License of Works and Web Page:

a) Your Works may include content created by you during the Term or prior to the Term (provided that you own all right, title and interest therein), or other content for which you have all rights to grant the licenses herein. You will retain copyright in your original Works, excluding any Third Party Property or Third Party Content therein. Examiner.com will retain all rights, title and interest in all elements of the Web Page other than the Works, including without limitation the layout, design, and graphics of the Web Page. If you choose to publish your Works elsewhere (on other websites or in other media) after publication on Examiner.com, we recommend the inclusion of a link to the original article on Examiner.com or another reference to original publication on Examiner.com.

b) You hereby grant to Examiner.com and its Affiliates a non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, transferable, worldwide license, without any obligation of notice or compensation to you, to:

i) copy, reproduce, distribute, perform, modify, adapt, create derivative works of, use, transmit, publicly display, and exploit the Works or any part thereof, in any manner, media or format now existing or hereafter devised, whether fixed or interactive, including without limitation in print, audio, on the Internet, via mobile devices, in databases and compilations, via any devices capable of playing audio or video content, in CD-ROMs and DVDs;

ii) use, copy, transmit, publicly display and otherwise promote your name, image, likeness, opinions, and any biographic information provided by you in connection with the exercise of the rights granted herein, including without limitation in connection with the advertising, promotion, publication and exploitation of Examiner.com or the Works in any manner, media or format now existing or hereafter devised, however nothing in this Agreement shall be deemed as an obligation for Examiner.com to include attribution to you for any/all publications or other exercise of rights; and

iii) sublicense, syndicate, or otherwise grant third parties any of the rights described in this subsection.

c) Although you retain ownership of your original Works (subject to the licenses granted herein), Examiner.com, its Affiliates or their sublicensees or assignees may apply for or seek to obtain copyrights, trademarks, patents, or other protection with regard to: (i) the Web Page as part of the Examiner.com website; (ii) as part of a compilation or derivative work created by any of them based on or including any or all of the Works; (iii) or in any other manner other than for a publication of solely your Works on a standalone basis. You will not object to or challenge the rights of Examiner.com, its Affiliates or their sublicensees or assignees in, and you hereby waive any rights in and to any such derivative works or compilations created by any of them, any registration or application for any rights therein, or any other exercise by Examiner.com, its Affiliates or their sublicensees or assignees of any rights granted by you herein. You will not make any claim under this Agreement or otherwise, to have any copyright, moral rights, title, or interest of any kind whatsoever, in any material or media created by Examiner.com in which any Work or portion thereof appears, other than your ownership of the applicable Works.

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a) Your use of the Products and your participation as an Examiner are at your own risk. If you are dissatisfied with the Products or any Third Party Property, or with any terms of this Agreement, your sole remedy is to discontinue accessing and using the Products or Third Party Property, and terminate your status as an Examiner. Examiner.com reserves the right to make changes to the Products or to require use of different products or Payment Services at any time, upon notice. The Examiner.com Parties assume no responsibility and shall not be liable for: (i) any damages, harm, threats, or third party claims or other issues that may arise as a result of your performance of the Activities or the featuring of your Works on any Web Pages or otherwise; (ii) the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, reliability, relevance or usefulness of the Examiner.com site, the Products, any Third Party Property, or any Payment Service; or (iii) any damages to, or viruses that may infect your equipment or other property or injuries that may occur on account of your access to, or use of the Products, any Third Party Property, any Third Party Offerings, any Payment Service, or your downloading of any materials accessed from Examiner.com, the Products or any Third Party Property. You assume total responsibility for establishing such procedures for data back up and virus checking as you consider necessary.

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17) Language: The parties have requested that the present Agreement be drafted in the English language. Les parties ont expressément demandé que ce contrat soit rédigé en langue anglaise.

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19) Effective Date and Version: This Agreement is effective as of May 8, 2014 and version Examiners-Standard Ind-20140508.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The quantified swoon, or how readers fall for Mr. Darcy

Personally, I've never had a crush on Mr. Darcy -- in book or film form. But I see I'm very much in the minority here. You just can't argue with data. 

I wrote about the kind of data Oyster Books and similar services pick up on their readers a little while back in Reading & Being Read by E-Books
Now Oyster is sharing its data to track readers' fascination with Mr. Darcy. Here's the infographic that was shared by Huffington Post: