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Friday, July 29th, 2016 @ 11:42 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 4,590

One of the big political stories this week is that experts believe that Russia has hacked the Democratic National Committee’s servers in an effort to help Trump win the presidential election. Today, security expert Bruce Schneier went further, in an editorial in the Washington Post, suggesting that Putin’s next move may be to exploit the woefully inadequate security of US voting machines to hack the election itself.

That’s a warning worth heeding, because the possibility is all too real. So far, though, no one has focused on another vulnerability that may have already been exploited as the first step towards stealing the election. That’s surprising, because the hack is so obvious.

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 @ 03:20 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 5,746

Sisyphus, public domain, courtesy of Wikipedia/Wolfd59Well, that's a blog title I never expected to use here.

Back in 2003, over 800 blog posts ago, I decided to launch something I called the Standards Blog. Not surprisingly, it focused mostly on the development, implementation and importance of open standards. But I also wrote about other areas of open collaboration, such as open data, open research, and of course, open source software. Over time, there were more and more stories about open source worth writing, as well as pieces on the sometimes tricky intersection of open standards and open source.

Sunday, April 10th, 2016 @ 03:38 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 2,446

In principle, every author (self published or otherwise) should be in favor of diversity and competition in the book distribution marketplace. The reason? Because competition in any area of commerce fosters continuing innovation, more choices, and more price competition. Unfortunately, sometimes a competitive marketplace turns into a monopolized one. When that happens, idealism may have to take a back seat to pragmatism, and an author may have to just make the best of what she’s got.

Saturday, March 26th, 2016 @ 05:45 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 2,506

This article is by Ellie Martin. You can find Ellie's web site here.

169th page of the Peer-Codex. Public domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and hu:User:Data destroyerWhen one thinks of a good book, it’s quite rare that the first thing that comes to mind is the book’s design. Why would it? It’s generally agreed that a good book is all about the words on the page and the power of the story between the two covers. It makes sense, then, that an author’s main focus is on the content of the book. The story is and rightly should be any serious author’s number one priority, but it should not be the only priority.

Sunday, February 21st, 2016 @ 04:36 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 2,092

Or so we might hear Sarah Palin taunt a liberal. Just about every other pundit in the media, however, continues to scratch their heads in wonder, asking themselves, “Can this many people really, I mean really, be voting for Donald Trump?!?  Well, if they had taken the time to read a recently released thriller by an unknown political satirist, they’d know that the answer could be, well, maybe not.

 

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 @ 09:40 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 2,041

Courtesy Alexius Horatius/Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.So far, the 2016 US presidential election has borne an eerie similarity to the plot of my book, The Lafayette Campaign, A Tale of Deception and Elections. Totally improbable candidates have shot to the top of the polls, and then succeeded in the Iowa caucuses. Which raises an interesting question: would you rather think that an election could be hacked, or that Americans really would vote in droves for someone like Donald Trump? If that’s too depressing a question to confront, you can escape from that disquieting reality for a few minutes by seeing how the New Hampshire primary unfolds in my book instead. Here goes.

 

 

Sunday, January 31st, 2016 @ 01:50 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 2,759

There’s a heart-warming story in the New York Times this morning that tells the tale of a brand new independent author with a flair for marketing who not only turns her first erotic novel into a best seller, but goes on to start her own imprint and build similar success for equally talented Indie authors who don’t have that special marketing gene. Great! you say? Well, maybe not so great.  Read on.

Monday, January 18th, 2016 @ 02:15 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 2,012

It seems as if more and more entrepreneurs are jumping into the book promotion e-newsletter business. The good news is that there are many services to choose from. Predictably, the bad news is that most produce few sales, and sometimes none at all. As with almost everything else in the self-publishing world, there’s no convenient source to consult to find out what works, and what doesn’t. In this post, I’ll provide the results of my own experiences as a starting point for others to work from. I’ll also provide advice on how to choose the services that may work best for you, and how to get accepted by the most competitive services.

Sunday, December 27th, 2015 @ 04:40 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 1,686

Public Domain, courtesy Royal Armoury, Stockholm and Wikimedia CommonsThe desirability (or even the concept) of establishing a brand may not come naturally to many authors. Branding may appear to have nothing to do with authorship, or seem to cheapen the author's craft, or represent an intimidating task to carry out - or perhaps even all of the above. But for non-fiction writers, and particularly genre authors, a brand is an important and unique tool to forge and to hone.

Sunday, December 6th, 2015 @ 03:44 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 1,723

Courtesy Oregon State Transportation Department/Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. 	When I released my first book four years ago, I wasn’t convinced I needed an author site. After all, an Amazon Author Page includes most of the basic elements needed to establish a web presence, and it’s free to boot. I decided to build one a simple WordPress one anyway for the experience I’d gain in doing so, and now it’s time for a major rebuild. Here’s why.