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Americans are paying high prices for poor quality Internet speeds — speeds that are now slower than in other countries, according to author David Cay Johnston. He says the U.S. ranks 29th in speed worldwide.
"We're way behind countries like Lithuania, Ukraine and Moldavia. Per bit of information moved, we pay 38 times what the Japanese pay," Johnston tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "If you buy one of these triple-play packages that are heavily advertised — where you get Internet, telephone and cable TV together — typically you'll pay what I pay, about $160 a month including fees. The same service in France is $38 a month."
In his new book, The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use "Plain English" to Rob You Blind, Johnston examines the fees that companies — such as cellphone and cable — have added over the years that have made bills incrementally larger.
On February 14, 1989, Valentine’s Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been “sentenced to death” by the Ayatollah Khomeini. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses: A Novel, which was accused of being “against Islam, the Prophet and the Quran.”
So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of an armed police protection team. He was asked to choose an alias that the police could call him by. He thought of writers he loved and combinations of their names; then it came to him: Conrad and Chekhov—Joseph Anton. -- Read More
The prize-winning author says he’s furious with the online encyclopedia over its entry about his novel “The Human Stain.”
In a letter posted Friday by The New Yorker, Roth says Wikipedia editors had said the book was inspired by the life of author Anatole Broyard.
Not true, Roth responded. The character was based on the late Melvin Turin, of Princeton University.
Roth says he privately reported the error to Wikipedia and was told, to his amazement, that he needed a secondary source. So Roth made his case to the public.
His agent, Andrew Wylie, confirmed the letter was written by Roth.
By Friday afternoon, the Wikipedia entry had been updated to include Roth’s comments and to note that some had “incorrectly speculated” about the novel’s origins.
Judy Blume, the author of young adult books "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" and "Tiger Eyes," was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer and underwent a mastectomy, she said on her blog on Wednesday.
Blume, 74, one of America's most famous authors of young adult fiction, said that a month after her surgery she is recovering in New York. She also described the shock of learning from her doctor in June that she had breast cancer, given that she had no family history of the disease.
NASA began a new chapter of its Martian chronicle Aug. 22 when the agency named its Mars rover Curiosity's landing site after the late science fiction author Ray Bradbury.
Curiosity's landing site inside Mars' vast Gale Crater was rechristened "Bradbury Landing" to honor the iconic writer's legacy and dedication to Mars exploration, NASA officials said.
Ray Bradbury died in June at age 91. His first book, "The Martian Chronicles," paints a vivid picture of the human exploration of Mars through a series of short stories. The book was published in 1950 and later adapted into a TV series and video game.
Note: The landing was on Aug 5th but they renamed the landing site on August 22nd because that is Mr. Bradbury's birthday.
The Women’s National Book Association has announced that novelist Ann Patchett has been selected to receive the 2012-2013 Women’s National Book Award. According to the Association’s website, the biennial award is given to “a living American woman who derives part or all of her income from books and allied arts, and who has done meritorious work in the world of books beyond the duties or responsibilities of her profession or occupation.”
Ann Patchett, whose most recent novel is State of Wonder (HarperCollins, 2011), is the bestselling author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novel Bel Canto, which won both the PEN/Faulkner and Orange Prize in 2002. Patchett’s work has also garnered such accolades as the New York Times Notable Book of the Year, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, and the BookSense Book of the Year Award; and has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, and Vogue.
In 2011, Patchett and publishing veteran Karen Hayes opened Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee, after the last remaining bookstores in the city had closed their doors. Patchett has since become a nationally recognized advocate for independent bookselling, and this year was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Poets & Writers reports.