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⟳ 870 apps added, 78 updated at f-droid.org

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⟳ f-droid.org from Wed, 26 Feb 2020 20:21:50 GMT updated on Sun, 01 Mar 2020 05:23:29 GMT contains 2962 apps.
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submitted by BrainstormBot to FDroidUpdates [link] [comments]

Musicoin Facts and FAQs

Musicoin Facts and FAQs
The following facts and answers to frequently asked questions are to be known by all members of the Musicoin Foundation, its ambassadors and representatives, so that they may communicate the information to focal groups and the general public.
1) “Musicoin” refers to a blockchain-powered platform that connects music listeners and fans to free music streaming. Musicoin is also a cryptocurrency that is instantly paid to artists on the Musicoin platform every time one of their musical works are played on the platform.
2) Musicoin.org is the first blockchain-enabled streaming musical service open to the public that pays artists with cryptocurrency. The beta platform went online and mining began February 11, 2017.
3) Musicoin started without an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), pre-mine, or pre-allocation of funds for development. This means that the developers did not begin the project with a large allotment of coins with a cost basis of zero. This greatly reduces chances of coins being dumped or flooding the market.
4) Isaac Mao, Musicoin’s founder, believed it was important for musicians, listeners, miners, and investors to all start on an even play field. The project was initiated by music lovers, musicians, and developers.
5) The Musicoin blockchain is a fork of the Ethereum blockchain, specifically modified for music consumption. It is capable of executing smart contracts in a Turing-complete language and acts as a foundation for future layers of musical applications to be built on top of the Musicoin blockchain.
6) Like Ethereum, Musicoin’s total coin supply is uncapped, generating 1.5 million coins per day. This coin emission scheme is designed to facilitate Musicoin in building a global ecosystem that aspires to power and fairly compensate all economic activities related to the creation, distribution and consumption of music globally via its native cryptocurrency..
7) On May 22, 2017, Musicoin became an official member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA). Musicoin developers continue to work closely with Ethereum developers in integrating technologies that will be beneficial for the Musicoin platform going forward.
8) Musical works in the Musicoin system are governed by “smart contracts” that the rights holder may divide and distribute to others if necessary. For example, a three-piece band could design a smart contract which pays each band member equally per play, or choose to allot a greater or lesser percentage of the payout for certain members.
9) There are over 3,500 verified musicians and labels on the Musicoin system. (February 2018)
10) Musicoin has over 35,000 registered users. (February 2018)
11) An average of 10,000-12,000 songs a day are currently played on the Musicoin platform. (February 2018)
12) Listeners can share Musicoin tracks via embedded social media players, like on Twitter. This means that listeners can trigger instant payouts to artists without even entering the Musicoin platform.
13) If irregular activity is detected in any account (profile) such as fraud due to a high number of plays from a same IP address, the account will be subject to scrutiny, and possibly lead to suspension.
1) Can I upload someone else’s work to Musicoin and still get paid?
No. Artists on the Musicoin platform are vetted to ensure that only original material is submitted, and that they clearly demonstrate rights ownership. Musicoin also cannot host material containing copyrighted samples or cover songs unless the rights holder has specific permission to allow the work in the Musicoin system.
2)Where can I buy and sell Musicoins?
Currently, Musicoins can be traded on Bittrex and Cryptopia, although we are actively looking to get listed on more exchanges.
3) What can I buy with Musicoins?
Musicoins can be sold on exchanges for Bitcoin, which can then be exchanged for fiat currencies (legal government tender) or other cryptocurrencies. However, our Global Ambassador Program has representatives tasked to encourage Musicoin as a form of payment, such as ticket, merchandise, or food sales at venues and festivals. We hope one day Musicoins can purchase everyday items useful in one’s life.
4) How much is a Musicoin worth?
The cost of Musicoin fluctuates with market demands. Visit Coinmarketcap for the current aggregated price.
5) How much is a play worth?
*Each play on the Musicoin platform currently awards the artist one Musicoin. *
6) How do you prevent fraud/abuse?
All musician accounts on the Musicoin platform must be verified by our team in order to validate the artist/band’s legitimacy. The verified accounts are also monitored by the system for unusual behavior, such as mass replays from the same IP address. Any user noticing fraud, abuse, or comment spamming occuring on the Musicoin platform or online, should email [email protected] or [email protected] immediately with details.
7) What is UBI (Universal Basic Income) in regards to Musicoin?
Under the UBI model, all streaming on our platform is free of charge, thanks to a 15.9% portion of the miner’s block rewards being set aside for artist compensation. The UBI system was rolled out in the third quarter of 2017.
8) What is mining, and what are block rewards?
Mining is the process that Musicoins (and other “proof-of-work” cryptocurrencies) are generated. Miners use GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) to solve complex mathematical algorithms (“blocks”) in the Musicoin blockchain. When it is solved, the miner receives block rewards (paid in Musicoin) and moves on towards trying to solve the next block. Also, when blocks are solved, all the transactions which occurred during during that round of calculations are verified and written to the permanent blockchain ledger.
9) Where can I find Musicoin’s road map?
To find out where Musicoin has been and where it’s going, view our roadmap at https://medium.com/@musicoin/roadmap-of-musicoin-blockchain-4a65620fefce
10) Where are people discussing Musicoin online?
Our official forum can be found at forum.musicoin.org. Active discussion also occurs on Musicoin’s subreddit (reddit.com/musicoin).
11)How do I get verified as an artist?
Artists must submit all of their social media/artist-related accounts on their profile so that we easily verify their identity and their music activity. Their chances of getting verified depends on their number of social media channels, as well as demonstrating how involved they were in the past with music content creation.
12) How users delete their Musicoin account?
Contact [email protected] with a delete request.
13) Why do some artists have an equal amount of plays, but a different amount of Musicoins?
Users are able to tip artists additional Musicoin from their own personal wallets by hitting the clap icon on the platform. Tips can be as little as 1 Musicoin up to 1000, which can make a big difference in the artist’s income.
14) Why do I see less/more money in my profile’s wallet than before?
Because the price of Musicoin fluctuates due to the demands of the open market, its value is constantly changing. Even with price fluctuations, Musicoin artists receive compensation well above other streaming platforms.
15) Can I shorten my url of musicoin?
Yes; you can find a link shortener at http://jam.dj
16) Can I use music from other musicians to make my own mixes as a DJ?
Yes. Please visit musicoin.dj for more details.
17) I cannot upload my music? Why?
It may be that the codec is not correct. Reconvert your original file to .mp3 with another audio editor. Musicoin only accepts .mp3 files, though they may be of any bitrate.
18) I’m a developer. Can I work for Musicoin?
If you have extraordinary skills you can apply to be part of our team. Please send your credentials and areas of interest to Varunram Ganesh at [email protected].
19) How can I get involved with or promote Musicoin?
We have liaisons all over the world representing Musicoin and assigned a wide variety of tasks. Contact us at [email protected]
20) Can I upload a remix I created to Musicoin?
Remixes and cover songs can only be submitted after exhibiting explicit permission from the rights holder of the original.
21) Where do my files go when I upload them?
Musicoin uses a distributed file system called the Interplanetary File System.
22)Will Musicoin be a paid service in the future?
No, Musicoin is and always will be a free streaming music service.
23) What is Pay Per Play (PPP)?
PPP is a smart contract on the Musicoin blockchain that enforces and executes licensing terms to reward a certain fixed amount of Musicoin.
24) Can I use Musicoins as a payment method in my shop/platform?
Eventually; although we have not designed a shopping cart yet, we hope to make Musicoin a viable payment method for all music-related shops/platforms in the future.
25) How Musicoin is protecting my music from copyright infringements?
The Musicoin team reviews all incoming uploads in order to prevent copyright infringement. However, no system of review can be 100% accurate due to the fundamental underpinnings of copyright law. If you believe a track on the Musicoin system infringes on someone's copyright, please report the track by clicking the "Report Abuse" button which will alert the team to take further action.
26) Can record labels sign up to Musicoin?
27) Do you have to pay taxes on the earnings you receive on Musicoin?
Different countries have varying approaches to how much tax is expected and how they collect cryptocurrency-based earnings. Please consult your local tax advisor for further details.
28) Is it easy to set up a smart contract on Musicoin so earnings go to the right people?
Yes, very. Before you upload a track onto Musicoin you have the opportunity to set various payment parameters. For example, if you own 100 percent of the musical work, then you simply keep the payout allotment default, which is ‘1’. If a 50/50 split is necessary, then the other musician to receive the 50% will need to sign up to Musicoin and get added to the contract. Both musicians should be set to ‘0.5’. You can also adjust the percentages later.
29) How can artists delete songs from their account?
If artists want to delete their song that can be done in profile edit section (musicoin.org/nav/profile) by choosing "Delete" in the options menu, which is to the right of the song.
submitted by jamesdpitley to musicoin [link] [comments]

Theory: Banks themselves will eventually implement the widespread adoption of Bitcoin.

I just watched this video of Andreas Antonopoulos, and he was talking about how the internet completely changed the game when it came to long distance communication.
And how if the phone companies got to decide the rules of the internet, they'd have him dropping coins every 10 seconds into his computer, like how he used to do when making a long distance call at a phone booth.
But then he also said that the phone companies eventually accepted that they can't fight it, and how they instead stayed in the game, by being the internet service providers themselves.
I realized, this is true for most companies as well, when they encounter a technology that could obsolete them.
Cable companies realized that people were turning to the web for their content. And so cable companies also became internet service providers themselves.
They couldn't fight MP3 downloads, so they started selling it in iTunes. They couldn't fight video streaming, so they started renting it out in Netflix.
Although in the case of the phone companies and cable companies being the internet provides themselves, one can argue: the technology itself (which travels through wires) dictates that whoever had the infrastructure would be the ones to dominate that market. And since phone companies and cable companies already have their lines running everywhere, "It's just the logical progression".
And this is EXACTLY why banks are the ones who I see eventually offering bitcoin services. They already have the infrastructure to handle everyone's finances. They hold most of the fiat. They offer loans. They do online and instant purchases via credit cards, VISA, etc. They do cross-border remittances via SWIFT.
Eventually, I see them also performing Bitcoin exchange services. And upgrading their payment systems offered to merchants. Imagine if the thing you swiped your VISA/Mastercard in, also flashed a QR code that you can scan on your mobile wallet app to pay in bitcoin.
VISA already has the infrastructure in place to accept payments in millions if not billions of merchants everywhere. The logical progression I see is that they will use their existing infrastructure, to offer a way to accept bitcoin payments instantly to all their current merchants.
I can't see any other party than the banks them fulfilling this role globally. This instantly answer the question "where can I spend my bitcoin"? Everywhere that can accept credit cards, they now support it because banks have given them a way to accept bitcoin, and it goes straight in their accounts (even for those who only want their accounts in fiat... for now.)
And so, the only next logical step I can see for bitcoin is for banks to finally accept that they can't fight it.
Just like how record companies kept fighting Napster, Kazaa, Limewire... they eventually embraced it, and started selling music on iTunes.
Or how they kept fighting online pirate streaming sites, until they realized people will actually pay for streaming. And now, most people turn to Netflix for their video streaming fix.
Sure, they will lose control. The phone companies lost a lof of control over long distance communication.
But when they eventually accept that they can't fight bitcoin, and accept that they will lose control as well, only then will they take what I see as the biggest step needed for worldwide bitcoin adoption.
It's not a matter of "if", it's a matter of "when". When they eventually start offering bitcoin loans, accepting bitcoin deposits and withdrawals, and include bitcoin in their currency conversion services, and they accept that people can send it anywhere they want, and they've lost control of that and people no longer need services like "SWIFT" to send their money internationally.
submitted by btc_ph to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

So how is eventual CP-Drugs-ISIS-MuhSovriegnCitizen sidechain not going to turn into an FBI/CIA/Iterpol/HomelandSecurity honeypot?

I kept trying to post this as an new user. But fuckit - I don't have anything to hide and it keeps shadow banning me.
So I was reading an article about how the government is spending tens to hundreds of millions tracking bitcoin several weeks ago. I wish I could find it - highly informative. Basically even with mixers - they can track the accounts the mixed bitcoin comes out of by subtracking fees and applying timestamps. Also with most exchanges they have access to where the money comes from almost instantly.
So my question in this (I've been away from crypto for quite awhile) is using tech like ring signatures on a sidechain for butters going to just be a honey pot for the government? Let's call it CP-Drugs-ISIS-MuhSovriegnCitizen sidechain. And it sits there in it's little black box. So my understanding of ring signatures is basically you broadcast your transactions to say 15 different addresses. Only the right one can spend the money but on the blockchain it looks like all of them got it.
So in our hypothetical CP-Drugs-ISIS-MuhSovriegnCitizen sidechain coin that the miners are securing out of the goodness of their heart. If I just want to say gamble with my bitcoin on SatoshiDice and I know that Coinbase automatically shuts down my account for gambling I send it to CP-Drugs-ISIS-MuhSovriegnCitizen sidechain where it's broadcast to 12 different people, and I receive back Aseed Baraj's sidechain bitcoin who has been doing black market oil sales to the Turkish government between cutting people's heads off and stuff. So I withdraw it back to the main bitcoin (which the government can't tell it came from him - just the CP-Drugs-ISIS-MuhSovriegnCiteizen sidechain) and take it on over to Satoshi Dice.
Assuming all of this is anonymous. I'm only mixing my bitcoins with everyone else on the bitcoin network who's using CP-Drugs-ISIS-MuhSovriegnCitizen sidechain sidechain right? And the government might not be able to tell if my butts are CP, ISIS or human traficking. But like - how is this a good idea for me if I'm just using Satoshi Dice or buying my monthly half ounce of weed? Now my bank account is linked to a tiny pool that's linked to Walter White's savings account, ISIS, CP & buying / selling slaves in South Sudan?
Furthermore - I've been poking around and almost every single exchange requires ID now. Most of the shady ones won't deal w U.S. Citizens (even though they require a passport). Why can't the government just blacklist all butts coming off the CP-Drugs-ISIS-MuhSovriegnCitizen sidechain so it's impossible to exchange them for USD? I mean they do control the world's money pretty much - at least for their own citizens. And it seems like this would be trivial for exchanges to implement (or for the government to force them to do).
This would lead to a chian reaction even on exchanges that only deal in crypto. As well as even international ATMs and places like Shapeshift. A USD / Interpol blacklisted bitcoin will be worth way less than a clean bitcoin. Not blacklisting them would have moonboys rioting / moving to exchanges that did. Basically you will have to find someone too dumb to realize they can't exchange it for dirty fiat anywhere for pizza, rent or milk.
And isn't the whole point of privacy based butts/money laundering to mix bad money in with good otherwise bad money is worth a lot less? Seems like blacklisting a privacy based sidechain would force them all back onto the main chain where everything is transparent otherwise no one is going to want to buy their tokens (because they can't be used to actually get money so everyone from drug kingpins to ISIS won't want to exchange them).
Doesn't this kill the entire fiscal incentive for privacy based sidechains?
P.S. Believe it or not I've never done anything illegal with butts (except I did use it to buy some music on AllofMP3 / Alltunes once).
submitted by rdnkjdi to Buttcoin [link] [comments]

ATT PURSE IO OWNER Idea for Purse.io to satisfy Buyers and Earners

There are other ways to trade with earners, if a US customer wants to buy the product for themselves, earners can buy gift of prime for them and send it to the buyers. So then earners can get there bitcoins righ away and the buyers could order the product themselves and not to have to worry about being scammed and also to be able to control the order just in case there is something wrong with the product. It is called Gift of Prime trick. Ill post details on trick below. people who use this trick should only charge 10 percent rate for their bitcoins. I done this before so its fine. Amazon allows it.
Gift of Prime Trick:
 Earner can transfer in increments of $33 or $99 (plus any applicable taxes) via this method Buyer doesn't need a Prime subscription to exchange the gift for Amazon balance 
Earner Instructions:
 Add Amazon's Gift of Prime to your cart. Proceed to Checkout Enter Recipient's Email Make sure Give Amazon Prime as a gift is checked then click Save Gift Options Make sure your available balance is used to fund the purchase then click Continue Chose your billing address Then click Place Your Order 
Buyer Instructions:
 Wait for email to arrive (it should arrive instantly if you ordered just one Gift of Prime, if you ordered more it'll take longer) When the email arrives, the buyer must decline the Gift, Amazon will then give you the option of adding the equivalent value to your balance 
Gift of Kindle Unlimited As of 9/27, you do not need to be a Kindle Unlimited subscriber in order to redeem the gift as a gift card. You also don't need to be a subscriber to Amazon Prime for it to work. There are two ways you can handle the transfer. We prefer the 1st method for there is never any confusion as to if Amazon has processed the order.
 Earner can transfer in $60, $120 or $240 increments via this method 
1st Method Earner Instructions:
 Go to Give the Gift of Kindle Unlimited Choose the amount you want to transfer Click Add Kindle Unlimited to Cart (make sure This is a gift is checked) Enter your email address Place Order You will receive this email Right click Redeem your Kindle Unlimited membership Forward link to the buyer 
Buyer Instructions:
 Click the link the seller forwarded you You will be take to this page. Click Click here after it says Already a Kindle Unlimited member? Amazon will then add the equivalent value to your balance 
2nd Method Earner Instructions:
 Go to Give the Gift of Kindle Unlimited Choose the amount you want to transfer Click Add Kindle Unlimited to Cart (make sure This is a gift is checked) Enter recipient's email Place Order 
Buyer Instructions:
 You will receive this email Click Redeem Your Kindle Unlimited Membership (don't worry, you won't end up with a Kindle Unlimited Membership, it just takes you to a new page) You will be take to this page. Click Click here after it says Already a Kindle Unlimited member? Amazon will then add the equivalent value to your balance 
Kindle Trick Important: you can only buy up to three in a day otherwise Amazon may suspend your account. Seller Instructions:
 Go to Amazon's Kindle Store Find the e-book(s) that approximates the amount you want to transfer Click Give As Gift Enter buyer's email address as recipient Place order (your balance will be deducted automatically) 
Buyer Instructions:
 When you receive the email containing the ebook, click Get your gift now From the Accept your Kindle Book Gift page, click Learn how this works or exchange for gift credit. On the following screen, click 'Request your gift credit from customer service now'. You can either wait for Amazon to automatically apply it to your account or you can chat with customer service and they will do it immediately. 
Music Trick (available to US accounts only): you can also transfer smaller balances by giving digital music as a gift.
Seller Instructions:
 Go to Amazon's Digital Music Store Search for an MP3 or Album that most closely resembles the amount you want to trade Click More Options then Give Song or Album as Gift Enter buyer's email address of the person who wants to receive the gift card balance Continue the checkout and order the MP3 album or file. 
Buyer Instructions:
 When the receiver gets the MP3 gift, there should be a link offering to exchange for an Amazon.com gift card COPY THE ORDER NUMBER, THIS IS IMPORTANT, it should be right below the exchange button After trying to exchange the gift for Amazon balance, you will get greeted with a message saying it will take up to 7 days to process. You will not have to wait. Contact Amazon, click Digital Services, then Digital Music, then Payment, then chat In the chat, state how you received an MP3 gift, "let them know the order number", and kindly ask if the gift can be applied to your gift card balance instead. 99% of the time, the rep will do it within minutes, then confirm it is done. 
submitted by beermoneyz to PurseIO [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA: Charles Stross, science fiction writer

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2012-07-02
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Link to my post
Questions Answers
Are you planning a kickstarter game like Neal Stephenson? If you did what would it be about? Reverse order: no, I'm not planning a kickstarter game. And I'm not really a game designer. (Writing novels takes up about 100% of my available working time.)
Fellow early adopter here. TI gave me a TIPC with a 1200 baud modem and sent me home. I tripped over the usenet and compuserve by accident. What happened to keep you off for 6 months?! Left university and got a job with a company who had no internet connection, back in the days when a 2400 baud UUCP dial-up cost £900 a year (or about a months' gross salary). Remedied this by changing jobs :)
Hallo Charles. I'm in the UK. I just wrote a book and (it looks like) a good publishing house are going to pick it up. It is sort of sci-fi. For starters, there's a long-standing (50 year old) flame war within the field over whether it's "sci-fi" or "SF".
My question: all agents I've spoken to think that while selling a book to publishers it's best to avoid using the term "sci-fi" if possible. Ideally they want to sneak sci-fi stuff in, "under the radar", so it can get the sort of backing that only a big publisher can provide. Secondly, all these labels boil down to is a bunch of marketing categories that tell bookshop staff where to file the product (which they don't know from a hole in the road) on the shelves where customers can find it. SF has traditionally been looked down on by the literary establishment because, to be honest, much early SF was execrably badly written -- but these days the significance of the pigeon hole is fading; we have serious mainstream authors writing stuff that is I-can't-believe-it's-not-SF, and SF authors breaking into the mainstream. If you view them as tags that point to shelves in bricks-and-mortar bookshops, how long are these genre categories going to survive in the age of the internet?
How do you feel about this? Cheers. Note: this skepticism breaks down in the face of, for example, the German publishing sector, where booksellers are a lot stuffier and more hidebound over what is or is not acceptable as literature.
Could you give an example or two of large British publishers that you think are doing a good job in this respect? Ignoring genre barriers, taking risks etc? AhahahaHA!!
Sorry, no I can't. But not for the reason you think. Thing is, my agent is based in New York. And due to a historic accident, my publishing track is primarily American -- I'm sold into the UK almost as a foreign import! So I'm quite out of touch with what's going on in UK publishing. (Even my Kindle is geared to the US store.)
Did you end up with an American agent because all the British agents passed on you? Or did you actually want to do things that way? A bit of both. I wanted an agent who would actually sell stuff. After two British agents failed comprehensively, I was reading Locus (the SF field's trade journal) and noticed a press release about an experienced editor leaving her job to join an agent in setting up a new agency. And I went "aha!" -- because what you need is an agent who knows the industry but who doesn't have a huge list of famous clients whose needs will inevitably be put ahead of you. So I emailed her, and ... well, 11 years later I am the client listed at the top of her masthead!
One last question (if you can be arsed). When you look at the publishing process (particularly the point at which agents have to sell books) what do you think needs to be fixed/tinkered with? Are editors too short-sighted? In your experience is their predilection for putting things in boxes limiting? Biggest message: find your customers and sell them what they want to buy. DRM is bad for business. Territorial rights restrictions are bad for business. Amazon are utterly hateful and evil -- they will kill you and establish a monopoly if they can -- but their one redeeming feature is that they're good to customers: so learn from them.
Basically if you could sit all the big editors down and briefly lecture them on doing their job what would you say? Thanks Charles. It's not the editors I'd lecture, but the senior executives who give the publishing CEOs their marching orders (editors are a level below that). All the editors I deal with are extremely smart, clueful folks who are often frustrated by corporate policies -- because the publishing houses are divisions within large media conglomerates, and they're small, low-profit subsidiaries at that (and so don't get much say in group-wide policy).
Have you considered selling books via Baen? They seem to have the right idea, and you're in the right genre. Link to www.baen.com. Not up to me, up to my publishers.
For someone who is unfamiliar with your work, what book would you suggest as a good starting point (if it's available for Kindle, I will get it as soon as I see your answer)? Any plans to follow in L. Ron's footsteps and start a religion? I'm an atheist (subtype: generally agree with Richard Dawkins but think he could be slightly more polite; special twist: I was raised in British reform Judaism, which is not like American reform Judaism, much less any other strain of organised religion). So: no cults here. Starting points: for a sampler, you could try my short story collection "Wireless". Which contains one novella that scooped a Locus award, and one that won a Hugo, and covers a range of different styles.
Thank you so much for releasing Accelerando as a freebie! I'd just picked up Stanza on my iPhone and was going through the free Sci Fi (or SF) books. That ebook got me hooked, so was a pretty savvy marketing move. Book depository is nothing new; there've been outlets selling books internationally via mail order for many decades -- the only change is that it's now easier to find and use such services.
So, is there an official term for "Polite Atheist"? Someone who doesn't believe, yet isn't offensive about it? I'm not sure. The trouble is, if you go too far towards being polite, the label that applies is "doormat".
Hi! Would you consider Halting State and Rule 34 Cyberpunk? I was heavily reminded of Neal Stephensons early books (the craziness of Snow Crash mixed with more current-day themes like Cryptonomicon). "Halting State" and "Rule 34" are cyberpunk only insofar as we are living in a 1980s cyberpunk dystopia, and these are very much novels of our time (plus 10-20 years). What I've learned during my life is that the near future is 90% identical to the present -- if you buy a new car today, it'll probably still be on the road in 2022. Another 9% is predictable from existing tech roadmaps: Intel's projected roadmap for where their processors are going, SpaceX's order book for satellite launches, and so on. And 1% is totally bugfuck crazy and impossible to predict. (Go back to 1982 and the idea that the USSR would have collapsed and been replaced by hyper-capitalist oligarchs would have earned you a straitjacket, never mind a book contract. Go back to 1992 and the idea that the USA and Iran would be fighting a proxy war on the internet would have ... well, ditto.)
While I love the Laundry books I consider A Colder War one of your best works, is there a chance that we will get another 'serious' story with Lovecraftian themes? Lovecraftian seriousness: well, book 5 or 6 of the Laundry series is due to get epically grim.
Case Nightmare Green? Yup.
It's always interesting to learn how different authors approach their craft. What's your "ritual" when writing? TL;DR: I don't have one.
Longer version ... (I want to apologize for keeping this short: I have carpal tunnel issues so I might have to switch to speech recognition soon) ...
I write exclusively using computers. Pens and typewriters can fsck right off -- I wrote my first half million words in my teens on a manual typewriter (had to trade it for a new one due to keys snapping from metal fatigue) so I am not a pen or typewriter fetishist.
I write almost entlirely on Macs, because: Windows gives me hives. (I first ran into Windows as of Win 2.11/386, back in the eighties. It did not leave a good taste. I then became a happy UNIX bunny. Mac OSX is the last UNIX workstation class OS standing. So I've learned to put up with its other foibles.)
I have no set writing routine other than: plant bum in chair in front of keyboard/on sofa under laptop, and start going. Oh, and I drink tea pretty much continuously at a rate of around 1 imperial pint/hour, which sort of enforces screen/keyboard breaks.
(I want to apologize for keeping this short: I have carpal tunnel issues so I might have to switch to speech recognition soon) I write exclusively using computers. Does this mean you use speech recognition while writing too? or have you been writing before the AMA and you're at your fatigue point? Speech recognition is utterly crap for writing fiction. If you try reading a novel aloud you'll soon figure out why -- written prose style is utterly unlike the spoken word.
Why Mac rather than Linux? (Esp. considering your background, e.g. Computer Shopper etc.) Excellent design values. ("Why drive a Porsche if you could drive a backhoe? The backhoe's got more torque and you can do cool things with it like digging holes in the road!" "Yes, but the backhoe isn't a Porsche ...")
It gets out of my way and lets me get stuff done. Seriously, Windows seems designed to make easy tasks hard and hard tasks impossible; Linux would be fine if it came pre-tuned to the hardware, but I've got a long term 30% failure rate getting any given laptop to run it properly with full device support -- I can do without the choice between badly designed, bulky, inconvenient machines that work with Linux, and taking pot luck that the latest well-designed sleek ultrabook will actually, um, boot.
TL:DR; I've reached an age at which I'd rather pay more for something that "just works" than roll up my sleeves, reach for a spanner, and make it work. Time is money, and the older we get the less of it we've got left ...
It's said that people have to write a million words of crap before they can rite good stuff. True, in your opinion? No. I wrote two million words of crap. Maybe I'm just a slow learner ...
Do you just put up with the carpal tunnel when writing? Up to a point. I don't want to permanently damage myself! On the other hand, a couple of days off the keyboard tends to make things somewhat better.
What are your views about people pirating your books? Back before the internet we had a name for people who bought a single copy of our books and lent them to all their friends without charging: we called them "librarians". Frankly, I couldn't care less about you loaning a copy of one of my books, on paper, to a friend. In fact, I think it's a good idea. Spreads the word, right? What I do have a problem with is people who sell my work for financial gain without paying me a cut of the proceeds. If money is passing hands, then the customer feels that they've paid for the right to read the work. But if they haven't paid me (or my publishers), then that's siphoning money out of my income stream. Today, we see some "file sharing" sites that rely on fans uploading cracked copies of ebooks, and which then make money off those books by charging for downloads (via cash subscriptions or advertising). Again: I take a dim view of this. They're making money off the back of my work without paying me.
2: Mr. Stross answered this question in far more detail while I was typing the above edit. Thank you! [Edit/afterthought] More often than not, piracy is a symptom of an under-provisioned market. People want to buy mp3s but can't? Piracy ensues. Then Apple strong-arms the music studios into the iTunes store and music piracy drops somewhat. The same, I believe, is also happening with ebooks.
Do you make a point of turning unpromising-sounding premises into something really extra-ordinary? Or are the back-of-book blurbs just over-simplifying? The back-of-book blurb is not written by the author (any more than the author paints the cover illustration). The sole job of the back-of-book blurb and the cover is to make a reader who is unfamiliar with the author or the book pick the product up in a store, because retail psychology studies show that consumers who handle the merchandise are more likely to buy it.
Hi Charlie! I've read much of what you've written, and I just have to say that you have a creativity rarely matched in SF - please keep it up. That said, what gadget do you think is going to have the greatest impact on the way we live in the next few coming years? Something like the Google glasses? Ultra-low power consumption ubiquitous embedded processors powered by ambient light or EM radiation are going to do insane things to our cities in the next 15-30 years -- far more significant than google glasses, which are just a slightly different UI (you can do much the same stuff already using a smartphone with motion/orientation/positioning sensors) ...
The radical transparency surveillance state that Brin predicted, open to all? Or data inequality leveraged by the HFT engines of the rich corporations to give them the edge to make a buck of it? Now add ambient genome sensing -- not human genomes, but the microbiome soup we live in (remember, sequencer costs are currently obeying Moore's Law) and start wondering where it's all going!
Been a fan for a long time. Got hooked via Accelerando (which I understand is something of an old shame at this point?), and stayed hooked via Halting State and the Laundry Files. Thanks for the AMA. :D. It's not an old shame, it's simply that I wrote it circa 1998-2004, and my views have changed somewhat over the intervening decade ...
Can you please expand on that? In what way did your views change? Accelerando is one of my all time favourites. Sure. See: Link to www.antipope.org
Link to www.amazon.com
Progress always get met with "but consider the ethics..". OK, let me ask you this: if you have a no-shit AI in a box, and it's running, when you switch it off/reboot it/reformat it/send it to the scrap heap, are you murdering a sentient being? Yes/No? Please justify your reasoning.
Now consider: your no-shit AI is the adversary in a computer game environment. What happens when you kill it (in-game)? What happens when you get tired of the game and delete it?
Hint: some fun background reading would be Ted Chiang's "The Lifecycle of Software Objects".
Have you ever used unused (or used) ideas from your D&D days in your stories, or vice versa? No. My D&D days are 30 years gone; it'd be a rare idea to survive from that long ago.
If you could meet any dead science fiction author for a day, who would you meet and what would you do? Roger Zelazny. And probably a pub crawl then a curry.
How hard was it for you to break into the US market? If I'd known how easy it would be, I'd have done it earlier!
If you could choose between The Merchant Princes becoming a video game, a movie series, a TV series, and a limited HBO TV series, what format would you choose? Who would you pick for a director and some of the leads? Would you want to do the screenplay yourself? None of those are media formats I consume, so I have no opinion on the options. (Nor do I have any idea who the currently interesting directors or actors are.) If I wanted to be in movies, I'd have gone into scriptwriting: the fact that I write novels should be a big hint about what I prefer to do!
(Final Q: I dislike Dr Who and Star Trek, so I shan't comment further.)
"I dislike Dr. Who and Star Trek..." This is like finding out your dad really can't beat up everyone else's dad. They've achieved cult following through character development, but as SF they both have gigantic structural flaws at the plot and tech level; great gaping internal inconsistencies! (Although I'm kind of fond of the meta-theory that explains Star Trek as being propaganda intended for external consumption by the Federation, which is actually the Soviet Union in Space in the 24th century.)
Next you will tell me Nutella doesn't really taste good. Damn you Charles Stross! Damn you to hell! I will still read your books, but I will do so with a smug expression of annoyance ;) Nutella is okay, but Marmite rocks as a sandwich topping!
You must try Vegemite. I like vegemite too.
(Alas - this may be TMI - I have a mild yeast intolerance; if I consume too much wheat beer or marmite or vegemite and my next morning will be exceedingly interesting, in a most unpleasant way.)
I saw that you started writing at the age of 15, novels at that. I'm a younger person myself, and for me and the rest of novel-aspiring-youth, what do you have to tell? Tips, motivation, etc.? Write. Every day, if possible.
Finish stuff.
Send it out, and when it comes back, send it out again.
Step 3 may be a bit premature if you're thinking about professional publication, but at the very least: workshop with other writers, learn to critique their work, learn to understand and listen to their criticism of your work, then apply the skills you learned dissecting other folks' writing to your own stuff.
Do you ever read something someone else has written and think "damn, now I cant do that". Who do you read? (if you have time) Yes, I sometimes get the "Damn, too late, [X] got there first" idea. But seriously? I have time to write 1-2 novels per year, and get roughly novel-sized ideas every month. I have to perform triage on my own writing impulses. So it's usually quite easy to shrug and write something else instead.
What I read: while I'm writing, I tend to go off reading fiction for relaxation -- especially the challenging stuff. It's too much like the day job. When I do get to chow down on a book, I try to read ones that are nothing like what I'm writing. So, as I'm currently working on a space opera (of sorts) I'm mostly indulging in urban fantasy.
Wow, I didn't realise the ideas flew in so fast. Is it morbid to ask if you worry about getting it all written before you die? (Im thinking of Terry Pratchett here...) Yes, I worry about that. I'm 47. I reckon I can count on 30 more writing years, averaging a book a year (I can't keep up the 2-2.5 a year I used to do these days). And these days I've gotten round to wondering, for each new idea, "do I want to be remembered for this?" before I get to the point of spending a year on it.
Asimov or Clarke? Neither, although I'm marginally less averse to Clarke's style.
Out of curiosity, what about Heinlein? (As a writer, at least - let's leave politics aside for the moment.) I have written a Heinlein tribute novel.
In general, who in sci-fi/SF inspired you, and/or inspires you now? (Unfortunately, while most authors who do that -- Scalzi, Varley, Robinson, et al -- pick Heinlein juveniles, I went for a dirty old man Heinlein tribute novel. Hence "Saturn's Children" and a novel that hinges on the word spung!).
Have you ever been afraid to actually publish a book for fear of what your fans may think? And how do you deal with writers block, or just actually getting the damn thing started? And lastly, do you read books that aren't in your current genre? And if so, what's your favorite? Publishing is the final step in making a book; if I was afraid to publish one, I wouldn't write it in the first place. (But in general, a little controversy isn't harmful: if anything, it gets people interested. I don't think most of my opinions, political or social, are so far outside of the mainstream that they'd cause massive outrage on a scale liable to provoke death threats or referrals to prosecutors for outraging public decency, so why worry?)
Writers block: when I get it, it's because my subconscious spotted that I'd make a huge structural mistake in constructing a novel before my conscious mind became aware of it, and threw on the brakes. So I've learned not to sweat it: take two days off, then back up a chapter, read through, and try to work out why I'm suddenly uneasy about continuing.
While writing a novel I almost completely stop reading books in the same sub-genre for the duration.
Hi there, funnily enough i just finished the Atrocity Archives, which i bought because i bought the Laundry RPG a while back. Awesome book. Loved it. Can't wait to run the game. So do you play Call of Cthulhu or the Laundry at all? Or are you just into the writing side? Strictly writing side. I was heavily into AD&D in my teens (late 1970s-early 1980s) but fell off the RPG habit in the mid-80s and have never gone back to it; my lifestyle today isn't very compatible with having a regular gaming group (too much travel).
Which do you enjoy writing more; the Laundry series or harder scifi like Glasshouse and Accelerando? That's a very hard question.
If I write too much of anything for too long, I burn out on it. So it helps to vary my output from year to year. That's partly why the Laundry books are coming out at 2-5 year intervals rather than every 12 months.
As someone who grew up reading Ian Fleming and HP Lovecraft, I think they're well worth the wait! (Just pre-ordered the latest iteration) Also, do you find it difficult to write your more abstract stories like Accelerando? I tried to explain it to a friend once, but failed miserably. Accelerando was murder. It took me more than five years, in the shape of nine stories. One of which (#5) was so difficult that by way of finding an excuse to dodge having to work on it I accidentally barfed up the first two volumes of the Merchant Princes series.
I am a huge fan of yours. Three of my favorite short stories are Missile Gap, A Colder War, and Unwirer. Well, I guess I just really love the whole "Wireless" collection. What inspired you to cross Lovecraft with The Cold War? Fear of nuclear annihilation. I'm a child of the cold war: I didn't live more than 10 miles from a major WarPac nuclear target until the Berlin Wall came down and the CW ended. Knowing you can die horribly at any moment because of decisions made by alien intelligences thousands of miles away who don't even know you exist -- there's something Lovecraftian about that, isn't there?
At what age did you start writing novels? I began my first novel when I was 15. It went through three drafts, of around 40,000 words each. If I find it, I'll burn it. (If you read it, you'd thank me :)
Hahahha I'm 15 now. Every time when i have to do an assignment for school, i don't really know how to start, could you give me some advice, please? Nope. Because I'm nearly a third of a century older than you, and any advice I could give you about school assignments would be slightly out of date ...!
The modern solution is to just wikiwalk until inspired. Or tropeswalk! Actually, no, don't do that. You'll get sucked into TVTropes and suddenly notice that the sun's peeking through your window, you're knee-deep in villain archetypes, and the assignment's due in three hours. Your warning comes too late. Actually, I was semi-immunized to TVTropes by being sent a copy of the Turkey City Lexicon by Bruce Sterling at an impressionable age: Link to www.sfwa.org
What do you think of TV Tropes, in general? Like all good things, it's possible to overdose on it.
But for someone who is starting out on developing their critical skills, just being aware of its existence is great: it can make the difference between trying to write a story around a cliche or an original idea, and better still, studying it can eventually clue you in on how to breathe new life into tired tropes.
One of the things that I liked about Halting State and Rule 34 was that they are set in a plausible near future where technology has made individuals much more productive than people from 50+ years ago. Given that with technological assistance one worker can now supervise many machines working to produce goods do you think that there will be a resurgence of a leisure class in the first world? Do you think that we are getting to the point where instead of overpaying people to do manual factory work there is room for another model that still resembles modern life? I have no answer to this question. Keynes asked it more than fifty years ago; something has clearly gone wrong, given that the folks with jobs seem to work endless hours while many people can't get a job at all.
Nice to see a bit of social marketing, it will be interesting to hear how it compares to the publishers' marketdroid efforts in terms of sales (if you can tease out the stats). Now the important question, favourite beer? My regular session beer is Deuchars IPA (Link to www.caledonianbeer.com) It's not an American-style bitterness wars IPA; it's a light, Scottish ale with just enough hops to tell you what it is, and it's weak enough that you can keep drinking it continuously for hours without any risk of waking up in a puddle with KICK ME tattooed on your bum.
Any other writing aids? Link to www.antipope.org
What's your policy/opinion on adverbs? I ask because guys like Stephen King encourage writers to murder every adverb before it ever hits the page, whereas guys like William Gibson (my favorite author) use them liberally. I have no policy, for or against: only a personal style. (Which is to say, I use them when I think it's appropriate to; for example, an internal monologue by a locquacious and verbose narrator is more likely to be larded with adverbs than an exchange of instant messages between cops at a crime scene.)
I'm a new but big fan. The first book of yours that I read only a few months ago was Accelerando and it absolutely blew my mind! Not only that but it made me very excited for the near future, I see Google Glasses as being a very exciting tech that leads into your vision. Bitcoin: probably not, but it's intriguing enough to be at the root of an entire interstellar finance system in "Neptune's Brood" (due next July, 2013).
PS I'm really looking forward to seeing you when you come to Perth West Aus next year. Maybe I can buy you a beer! Perth, beer? Sure!
Bitcoins as... urrrrgh. Okay. I'll have to read that, then. Hope you got the failure conditions right! I hybridised it with Chaum's digicash. With the added twist that participants in exchanges had to be in different solar systems. It's called "slow money" for a reason ...
How do you make sure you aren't "inadvertently plagiarizing?" I think up ideas a lot but am sure they have already been done somewhere or that I am ripping something off I have read and cannot recall specifically. Original creativity seems difficult. First: plagiarism requires you to copy someone else's words. You can avoid this by, er, not copying! Writing your own story around the same ideas is not plagiarism; at worst, it's being unoriginal.
thanks for the books...I love science fiction and appreciate the work that goes into putting out novels to entertain us. Having said that, you're right: coming up with truly new ideas is hard. But I've got a method: I look for a couple of obvious ideas that have been done before (try: folks who can travel at will to parallel universes; in their home world they're the aristocracy, because: magic powers) and then look for the second-order side effects: stuff that other authors didn't dig into (for example: wrt. the previous idea, what are the consequences of these folks' ability for the ongoing economic and political development of their world? Can it have negative consequences? If so, what are they?)
How long did it take you to become comfortable writing in the second person? I finished reading Rule 34 and it was the first novel* i had read in this style. It took me about a hundred pages of "Halting State" to get the hang of it, and another hundred pages to feel comfortable. I also needed a reason to start doing it (2nd person is the natural voice of the text adventure game -- "you are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike").
A trilogy? Does this mean that a third book is on contract, or that you just have it kicking around in your head? EDIT: Nevermind, you answered this already. Looking forward to it! "The Lambda Functionary" is on contract for delivery on July 1st, 2013 and publication around July 3rd, 2014. And I haven't even begun writing it yet. Ulp.
Connected intelligence (as in, human intelligence augmented by online sources) seems to be on the perpetual 'five years out' list - do you think projects like Google Glass will finally make this a reality? What sort of timescale would you envisage for mass-adoption? (crosses fingures for a 'yes') Hmm ... what's wrong with a smartphone with always-on 3G or 4G data and google/wikipedia? Doesn't that qualify?
How much pre-planning would you say that you do before starting on a new book? Or do you subscribe more to the "Let's just start writing and see where it takes us" camp? Both :)
No two books come out the same way. Some I write by the seat of my pants; others are planned in minute detail.
The one thing that does happen, every time, though, is that I never get to write a book until I've already been thinking about it for a period of months to years. Unless it's "Glasshouse" (time from initial idea to starting writing: 9 days).
Rule 34 was one of my favorite reads last year, but I found the title to be a bit of a red herring since (without spoilers) neither memes nor porn ended being a big part of the story's resolution (other than the department Kavanaugh is in when she started). Was that intentional? What is ATHENA if not a meme with legs? (The relative lack of porn I'll grant you ...) Link to www.antipope.org
Hi Charles, I'm Chinese and I live in Asia and most of the sci fi actually comes from the west. Is this due to cultural reasons, literacy or how technology/future seems to resonate more if written from a western perspective? Also, how can one become a successful sci fi/fantasy writer outside of Europe/America? I have no idea, frankly ...
Last updated: 2012-07-09 03:39 UTC
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