The Weekly Wrap: Freelance & Creative News

Kodak Warns Of Cryptocurrency Scam

Kodak really is planning to launch a cryptocurrency called KODAKCoin. But the company issued a warning saying it’s not available yet. The offerings for it that are floating around online are a scam.

If you’re interested in legit KODAKCoins, which once again ARE NOT AVAILABLE YET, you’ll have to wait. But, Kodak did issue an update a few weeks ago announcing they have moved forward to the “accredited investors” phase to verify the status of potential investors, says DP Review.

Google Chrome Launches Ad-Blocker

Google Chrome launched its built-in ad blocker, a feature that’s supposed to make Internet-surfing less annoying for those using that browser.

If you’re an advertiser or you run affiliate ads on your site, don’t worry, Chrome isn’t blocking all ads.

According to iDrop News, the types of ads that may be blocked include full-page ads, pop-up ads, ads with countdowns, and auto playing-sound video ads, among others.

Imprisoned Journalists in Myanmar Get Freedom to Write Award

Journalists Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27 will be honored for the 2018 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award at the 2018 America Literary Gala on May 22.

The two are currently in prison in Myanmar for work they did for a Reuters assignment. They were reportedly investigating the torching and pillage of Inn Din, a village in Rakhine state, where 10 Muslim Rohingya men were executed after being accused by the military of participating in political unrest.

They are charged with violating the Official Secrets Act and face up 14 years in prison if convicted.

To read about the case, sign a petition for their release or get info about tickets to the gala, go here.

Freelance Writer Found Dead

Freelance writer Keaven Van Lom, 59, was found dead in a room at the Northern Queen Inn in Nevada City on Monday.

Her death is being treated as suspicious in part due to the condition of her hotel room, which was described as “in disarray,” says The Union. The autopsy didn’t find recent trauma, and the toxicology report may take up to four weeks.

Lom’s work appeared in Moonshine Ink and The Sierra Sun.

Mavs.com Writer Fired For Domestic Violence

Mavs.com writer Earl K. Sneed was fired Tuesday amid publicity over two domestic violence incidents.

The info was revealed in the wake of a Sports Illustrated article that dug into “misogynistic culture” at the team’s Dallas headquarters, says Sports Day.

The SI article revealed Sneed was arrested and pled guilty to misdemeanor charges of family violence assault during the 2010-11 season, and in 2014, he reportedly hit his live-in girlfriend, also a Mavs employee.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says he was responsible for the final decision to let Sneed keep his job after those incidents and it was a “horrible mistake in hindsight.”

Is it just me, or is there a connection between media coverage and people realizing mistakes “in hindsight”? Just asking.

Tennessee Bill Seeks Harassment Rights For Freelancers

As it stands, since musicians, artists and freelancers aren’t employees, they can only file complaints for physical criminal harassment. Tennessee Democrats Rep. Brenda Gilmore and Sen. Jeff Yarbro introduced a bill that will give freelancers the same rights as employees.

If passed, HB 1984/SB 2130 will make it a “discriminatory practice for an employer to harass an employee, an applicant, or a person providing services pursuant to a contract because of the employee’s, applicant’s, or person’s sex…”

And, it defines employer as “any person acting as an agent of an employer, directly or indirectly.”

Therefore, artists, contractors, and freelancers will be able to file complaints like employees, reported Rolling Stone.

Shout out to Gilmore, Yarbro and any other lawmakers looking out for the creatives and contractors!

Warren Buffett’s Newspapers Cutting Jobs

BH Media Group, a part of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, is cutting 148 newspaper employees and eliminating 101 vacant positions across at least three newspapers.

Those affected include Buffett’s hometown newspaper, Omaha World-Herald, the Press of Atlantic City, and the Richmond-Times Dispatch in Virginia.

Last year, BH Media Group cut 289 jobs, saying digital growth couldn’t offset print revenue losses, reported Bloomberg.

Vox Media Slashing 50 Jobs

Vox Media is cutting about 50 employees—or approximately 5%of its workforce, reported Adweek.

Most of the layoffs reportedly affect staffers who produced social media videos for sites like Racked, Curbed and SB Nation and are the result of algorithm changes at sites like Facebook, which now prioritizes posts from friends over those from publishers.

Milo Yiannopoulos Dropped $10 Million Lawsuit Against Publisher

Milo Yiannopoulos, described as a “far-right author and agitator,” dropped the $10 million lawsuit against his former publisher Simon & Schuster. He was suing for breach of contract because the company refused to publish his book “Dangerous.”

Simon & Schuster canceled the release after video clips of Yiannopoulos surfaced in which he appeared to defend sexual relationships between men and underage boys, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Yiannopoulos self-published “Danergous” anyway on July 4.

Did you notice how they said “underage boys?” It there such a thing as over-aged boys? On second thought– ladies, don’t answer that. Just keep reading.

Twitter Suspends Bot Accounts

Twitter purged and suspended thousands of accounts believed to be bot accounts. Some conservatives who claimed to have lost followers or been locked out their accounts believe it’s a political move, reported Gizmodo.

Twitter says its policies and tools are apolitical. They said the company has an ongoing effort to identify accounts with automated activity and those that violate terms of service because they are trying to make the platform “safer and healthier for everyone.”

Apparently, many of the accounts that are locked can be reinstated if the account owners prove they’re human using a telephone verification system.

So, if your number of Twitter followers dropped this week, perhaps it’s because they weren’t real…at least in the eyes of Twitter.

AT&T Is Rolling Out 5G

AT&T wireless will bring a 5G network to 12 cities by the end of 2018. The first cities to get it will be Atlanta, GA and Dallas and Waco, TX. The remaining cities will be announced later.

The rollout of the 5G network is coming before the availability of 5G consumer devices, says TechCrunch.

Hmmm…well, guess someone has to make the first move.

Anchor Relaunched Broadcasting App

Achor relaunched its Broadcasting app this week. Initially, Anchor was for short-form, social audio. But, the new version – Anchor 3.0 – aims to be everything you need to record, edit, host, publish, and distribute a podcast of any length.

It’ll also track how well the podcast is performing, reported TechCrunch. It’s available for iOS, Android and web users.

Click It Audio: Less Reading, More Listening

Click It Audio wants less reading, more listening. The company launched a service that allows you to create audio clips that you can embed into your website or blog.

The idea, according to the company, is to substitute text-heavy pages for audio so it’s easier for people to follow along.

You can create embeddable audio up to five minutes. And the company has an audio engineering team that will help create scripts and add voice-overs and sound effects to your audio, if you want.

You get three free uploads. After that, if you want more, grab your wallet. Here’s where to get started.

Schedule It
March 1-4:

On Air Fest: podcast and audio festival will be held in Brooklyn, NY.

The lineup includes the talent behind My Dad Wrote A Porno, More Perfect, Stitcher and Marvel’s Wolverine: The Long Night, Gimlet’s The Nod, NPR’s Planet Money, ESPN’s 30 for 30 Podcasts, NYT’s Podcast Club and more.

It’s $100 a day or 250 for all three days. Find the schedule and tickets here.

March 21-25:

Virginia Festival of the Book: reportedly the largest community-based book event in the Mid-Atlantic region, attracting over 20,000 people a year. It takes place across over 70 venues in Charlottesville and Albermarle County, VA. Most events don’t require tickets. Here’s the info.

March 23-25

WonderCon: comic book, science fiction, film convention in Anaheim, CA. Prices vary based on day, age, etc. Get details here.


Ghostwriter Lydia Ratcliff died at 84. Her resume included writing financial columns for Sylvia Porter in newspapers and Ladies Home Journal for 13 years without credit and also helping produce the best-selling “Sylvia Porter’s Money Book,” reported the New York Times.

Max Desfor, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, died at 104 at his home in Silver Spring, MD, reported U.S. News.

His award-winning photos featured coverage of the Korean War, including a famous image of hundreds of Korean War refugees crawling across a bridge damaged by bombing.

Desfor worked for the Associated Press and is also remembered for images of Mahatma Gandhi and World War II.

Helen Sloane Dudman, journalist, and broadcasting exec, died at 93. She served as an editor at the Washington Post and held executive positions at The Post’s broadcasting division and PBS.

In 1979, she bought three radio stations in Maine, which she operated with her daughter until 1999. She also helped develop community radio stations in South Africa, reported Washington Post.

The 61st Annual World Press Photo Contest’s top nominated images have been released. Winners will be announced April 12. See what’s in the running. It’s worth the time.

Til next week!

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