January 25, 2017 Last Updated 12:45 pm

Technology journalist launches Kickstarter campaign for book on type, printing, and punctuation

Media news tidbits: MAZ Digital debuts new over-the-top CMS platform called TVX for publishing partners looking to create video channel apps for common platforms such as Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast

This day will likely end as crazy as yesterday did. I noticed that as I was going to bed the day’s events had gotten to me and I found myself throwing my iPhone around the room at various times, sometimes mad at the news (Chicagoan, to the barricades!), sometimes because iOS is getting increasingly buggy (hey, Apple, anyone working over there?).

So, maybe rather than trying to compose some profound new media opus, it might be best to give readers a rundown of some of what is going outside of executive orders.



Seattle-based technology journalist Glenn Fleishman has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new book on type, printing, and punctuation. I think he is calling it Hands On: the Original Digital, or at least that is the title on his Kickstarter page.

“In this project, I’ll be exploring our “digital” past and our digital present and melding the two across the manual and electronic divide,” Fleishman says on his funding page. “I’ve been trying to find a way to get my hands dirty, revisit my design and printing background, and produce something lasting and meaningful to myself and others, where I can bring people along as I journey into new knowledge and make art.”

Glenn’s already at $1K for a goal of $10K, and today is only day one. So, chip in if you can.

Here is his funding video:
 


 
For those unfamiliar with Glenn’s work, the journalist is a freelancer, senior contributor at Macworld, and has written for a slew of other publications.

TNM readers should be familiar with Glenn as he took over the digital-only The Magazine from Marco Arment and guided it for a while before realizing that the Newsstand was good at initially selling subscriptions, but terrible at helping maintain those subscriptions.



Simon & Schuster is discovering that things are a bit different these days. When, in the past, one could sign a right-wing author for their Threshold Editions, no one would really care. No one wants to stifle free speech, right, so Glenn Beck has every right to publish his thoughts as anyone else.

But things get a little dicey when politics heats up, and the incoming administration suppresses the views of its departments, prevents them from publishing either in print or online, and at the same time cozies up to white nationalists.

As the fictional Ben Franklin says in the mini-series John Adams: “It’s perfectly acceptable to insult someone in private. Sometimes they might even thank you for it afterwards, but when you do it in public, they tend to think you are serious.”

You start letting white nationalists publish through a major publisher and people will begin to think they are serious.

This has led to some pushback. Today, BuzzFeed reports that Roxane Gay, the author of Bad Feminist, has pulled her new book How to Be Heard from Simon & Schuster. The reason: Milo Yiannopoulous’s $250,000 book deal with the publisher.

Gay’s book was set to be published by Simon & Schuster’s TED Book imprint.

“Though TED Books and Threshold are vastly different imprints, they both reside within Simon & Schuster and so I guess I’m putting my money where my mouth is,” Gay told BuzzFeed. “And to be clear, this isn’t about censorship. Milo has every right to say what he wants to say, however distasteful I and many others find it to be. He doesn’t have a right to have a book published by a major publisher but he has, in some bizarre twist of fate, been afforded that privilege.”

As of now, the Kindle Edition is still available through Amazon, and lists S&S as the publisher.

This whole Milo thing shouldn’t have gotten to this point. When word broke that Yiannopoulous had a $250K book deal with the publisher, the news seemed to be coming solely from the author, which would have infuriated me as a publisher. But whatever, publicity could have handled things going forward, but they didn’t.

In the end, Simon & Schuster’s CEO Carolyn Reidy was forced to issue a statement that only made things worse.

“First and foremost, I want to make clear that we do not support of condone, now will we publish, hate speech,” said Reidy, all but acknowledging that Yiannopoulous is associated with just that. Reidy said the book would be about the issue of “political correctness and free speech.”

That a way to swing back at one’s critics, by implying that they are only engaging in political correctness and suppressing free speech – because nothing rings of freedom quite like white supremacy, right?



The digital publishing platform MAZ is branching out, it appears. Yesterday they announced that they have a new over-the-top CMS platform called TVX. The solution allows for their publishing partners such as Men’s Health and Fast Company, to launch OTT apps that will support Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV, as well as iOS and Android apps.

I often wondered by Roku didn’t partner with a digital publishing platform in order to offer a solution such as this one – and while consumers seem to be tiring of the whole app idea, it does make sense for those with good video content to make that content available via the major TV platforms.

Here is the announcement from MAZ:

NEW YORK, NY – January 24, 2017 — MAZ, a New York based media technology company, launched a new over-the-top (OTT) CMS platform called TVX, which enables TV broadcasters and other video providers to distribute to every major consumer device with one comprehensive content management solution. MAZ has launched TVX with partners Outside TV, Men’s Health, Fast Company, Radar Online and NTD TV.

TVX was built to bring stunning OTT apps to traditional TV networks. The industry continues to see a growing number of “cord cutters” and an increase in video consumption on multiple devices. TVX offers a viewing experience that is intuitive and beautiful for consumers, while being incredibly stable yet flexible for publishers, with powerful tools to manage and monetize.

With its proprietary 360 Sync technology, TVX embraces the fact that over 100 million people watch videos on their smartphones in the United States alone. TVX provides a seamless, device-agnostic experience to watch video content across all mobile, tablet, and OTT devices. For instance, end users can receive a push notification to their phone, save that video to their queue, and watch it later on TV.

“We’re working with our partners to solve a really exciting question: what is the future of TV?” said MAZ CEO, Paul Canetti. “As TV networks make the transition from cable distribution to direct-to-consumer, there are so many different outputs to manage– we wanted to create a tool that gets you everywhere with a single click.”

TVX supports Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV, as well as iOS and Android, with XBox, PS4 and other platforms coming soon. TVX is compatible with all major video solutions including Brightcove, JW Player, Kaltura, Ooyala, Viddler and Vimeo, and supports AVOD, TVOD, SVOD, as well as authenticated access. The platform features 360 Sync™, allows for infinite levels of series and episodic hierarchy, dynamic and customizable interface options, save for later, social sharing, and more.

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