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February 22, 2012

How To: Make an acceptable eBook cover easily and cheaply

Some really clever tips in here. Though hiring a professional artist is also a great idea if you can swing the clams. Create Your Own Ebook Cover, Step By Step, With Pictures
Before we proceed, we’ll need to talk about the image you are going to use. Obviously, this should be relevant to your book, and hopefully striking and attractive to the reader’s eye. The rights to images are a bit of a legal minefield. If you use your own images and people appear in them, you are supposed to have the permission of those people to use the image. The same is true of certain buildings and works of art. There are images out there in the public domain and there are also image libraries where you can search through and buy pictures which all the legal paperwork has already been done for. Or if it hasn’t the problem is the library’s and not yours! (Again, full disclosure; one of the many talents and skills I lack is being a lawyer. This is one man’s understanding of a complex subject in which he is not in the slightest an expert.) The image libraries I use are Dreamstime and iStockphoto. A quick Google search will reveal more. You can find acceptable cover images in the paid libraries for only a few dollars. You may even recognise them from some of the books you own from big publishing houses. I certainly did, which rather surprised me. The image I use here was 13 credits on Dreamstime. (Most libraries use a system where you purchase credits in much the same way as systems like Xbox Live do. The credit is a sort of borderless currency usable within the Image Library.) 13 credits costs about $17. In any case, go get an image that reflects your book and we’ll be ready to make a start.

February 21, 2012

Google to sell extra-nerdy H.U.D. glasses sometime this year

It's basically an iPhone strapped to your eyeballs. No word yet on if they report everything you see and do to the Goog so they can better sell ads to you. But OF COURSE they will. They are expected to overlay other Google content over your vision, so you can walk around your neighborhood and look at restaurants and see how no one ever uses Google Places. Google to Sell Heads-Up Display Glasses by Year's End - NYTimes.com
According to several Google employees familiar with the project who asked not to be named, the glasses will go on sale to the public by the end of the year. These people said they are expected “to cost around the price of current smartphones,” or $250 to $600. The people familiar with the Google glasses said they would be Android-based, and will include a small screen that will sit a few inches from someone’s eye. They will also have a 3G or 4G data connection and a number of sensors including motion and GPS. A Google spokesman declined to comment on the project. Seth Weintraub, a blogger for 9 to 5 Google, who first wrote about the glasses project in December, and then discovered more information about them this month, also said the glasses would be Android-based and cited a source that described their look as that of a pair of Oakley Thumps. They will also have a unique navigation system. “The navigation system currently used is a head tilting to scroll and click,” Mr. Weintraub wrote this month. “We are told it is very quick to learn and once the user is adept at navigation, it becomes second nature and almost indistinguishable to outside users.” . . .

February 20, 2012

How To: Make a Furry D&D Dice Gauntlet

Dungeons and Dragons Dice Gauntlet - SparkFun Electronics

February 18, 2012

A contract creator for freelancers

Always work with a contract. Contract Creator - Pages from Freelancers Union

February 16, 2012

Writers: Should you be writing right now?

Sorry, no idea where I found this and the Goog is being unhelpful.

Apple announces Mountain Lion update to OSX

Due this summer. It basically takes the best parts of IOS-5 and smushes them into OSX. Apple - OS X Mountain Lion - Inspired by iPad. Made for the Mac.