What I Learned Sending My Novel Out Under a Male Name: I sent the six queries I had planned to send that day. Within 24 hours George had five responses—three manuscript requests and two warm rejections praising his exciting project. For contrast, under my own name, the same letter and pages sent 50 times had netted me a total of two manuscript requests. The responses gave me a little frisson of delight at being called “Mr.” and then I got mad. Three manuscript requests on a Saturday, not even during business hours! The judgments about my work that had seemed as solid as the walls of my house had turned out to be meaningless. My novel wasn’t the problem, it was me—Catherine.
The Department of Immigration and Border Patrol of Australia's secret blacklist of immigration lawyers and agents has been discovered. DIBP claims that the list is used for "risk assessment" for partner visas and has "no impact" on assessing cases. The Migration Alliance, the lobby group of Australian migration agents that broke the news of the list, is not convinced.
Anne Helen Petersen, the voice behind "Scandals Of Classic Hollywood" (previously) and "doctor of celebrity gossip" gives us an academic rundown of the hows and whys of the last hundred years of Hollywood Star Making, celebrity, PR, marketing, fandom, and scandal management.
You may have heard about Romeo Agents, the male employees of the East German Ministry for State Security (also known as MfS or Stasi). They were unleashed on female federal employees in West Germany, with whom they began long-term relations and then began using as sources. That tactic has apparently been used in the United States as well; David Cay Johnston writes about the real legacy of Daryl Gates, the former chief of the LAPD. Gates died Friday. [more inside]
Worried that the new guy might tip off the feds about your "concrete company?" The internet gives you the perfect research tool.
Going Poston! - This is a Flash parody about the NFL's most notorious player agents, the Postons, Carl and Kevin. This article from a month ago, pretty much sums up why they're becoming so infamous.
InfoBots are coming. I believe we've touched on this before, but now it seems to be moving from concept to reality: Instant Messenger "buddies" that are actually bots. You send them an IM with a question, such as "Hey pal, what's the weather in Thunder Bay, Ontario?" And it IMs you back with the answer, almost instantaneously. No waiting for messy web sites to load, no funky searches to run. ActiveBuddy has been the most, um, active in developing the technology, but they've been working on it forever without anything to show to the public. Now, it's out there, somewhere. CNET is reporting today that an ActiveBuddy beta bot has been live for a few months; you can play with it right now if you know its name. (And if you do know its name, a tip would be appreciated. I've been jonesing for this for a good while.) A more public version is supposed to be out in a few weeks. Here buddy buddy buddy...