Wow.

According to research done by AuthorEarnings.com, self-published books account for 31 percent of Kindle electronic book sales, compared with 38 percent for the “big 5″ publishing houses, and added that self-published authors earn more in Kindle royalties than Big 5 authors, combined. And self-published authors are now earning nearly 40 percent of all e-book royalties on the Amazon.com Kindle store, according to research by AuthorEarnings.

via Self-published books nearly a third of Amazon Kindle sales – Puget Sound Business Journal.

Using MarsEdit with the WordPress Google Authenticator plugin

File this under Hashtag Facepalm.

I fired up MarsEdit this morning to type up a couple of posts for this blog and found that my password kept getting rejected. It took me a while to realize that the Google Authenticator plugin that I had added to make my logins more secure was (properly!) keeping MarsEdit from connecting. The fix was easy once I figured it out. Here’s how you do it:

authenticator-enable-app-password
Log in to your blog and go to your user profile. Scroll down just a bit to Google Authenticator settings. Make sure that “Enable app password” is checked, and then click “Create new password”. Copy the password and then click the “Update Profile” button at the bottom of the page. (I missed this step the first time I tried and MarsEdit wouldn’t connect.)

Then, in MarsEdit, right-click on your blog and select “Enter password…” from the contextual menu. Enter your regular username and the app password that you just generated. Voila! You can now access your blog securely.

Options for sharing public links from Dropbox on OS X

While I was searching for how to fix my missing Dropbox contextual menus yesterday, I came across these handy links:

PathFinderLogoIf you’re a Path Finder 6 user, Thanh Pham has figured out how to make an Automator service that will let you share a public Dropbox link from Path Finder’s contextual menu. More often than not, I find that I need to share files that aren’t in my Public folder already, so I don’t know how much I’ll use this, but it’s handy to have a bit of Dropbox integration in Path Finder nevertheless.

 

BloodropLogo
Bloodrop is a Dropbox droplet that I might find slightly more useful. Simply add the droplet to your dock and then drag any files you want to share on top of it. Bloodrop will copy those files to your Dropbox public folder and place links to those files in your clipboard. Easy peasy.

How to restore contextual menus in Dropbox

Dropbox logo1 I discovered yesterday that my Dropbox contextual menus had disappeared. I have no idea when it happened. It might have been when I installed Mavericks… that’s how little I use that feature. But when I need it, it’s damned useful.

It took me about an hour of poking around the Dropbox forums (which were no help, ultimately) and trying various queries in DuckDuckGo to figure out how to get the menu options back. Hopefully this post will save others a bit of troubleshooting time.

I should have figured that Rui Carmo would have the answer. Here’s what he said:

If you lose Finder icon overlays and context menus, quit Dropbox and do this:

sudo rm -rf /Library/DropboxHelperTools
killall Finder

…and restart Dropbox. It should ask for an administrator password to reinstall the Finder plugin, and all should be well.

Bingo. That worked! And (weirdly) it restored my ability to get proper public file links so I could finally find my Dropbox user ID.

Sheesh.

Amazing. This actually works: use your own fingers (or someone else’s, I guess) as temporary reading glasses.

One of the things you’re supposed to work out some time in your adolescence is that though you’re the star of your own life, you’re not the star of anyone else’s. Some companies never work this out.

Via strat?chery.

A thought-provoking piece about policing in the wake of the Boston bombings. What police behavior is justified in a case like this? What’s over the line?

The police in Boston were searching for some dangerous criminals who killed innocent people, killed a rookie police officer, hurled at least 3 bombs at police during the chase, and engaged the police in a massive gunfight. Obviously, extraordinary precautionary measures are reasonable and necessary.

However, when there is a manhunt for 1 person, it’s also important to remember that over 99% of the other people in the area are innocent. These innocent people shouldn’t be herded like cattle out out of their homes at gunpoint. They shouldn’t be treated as suspects. The number one priority of police officers should be to protect citizens, not protect themselves from citizens.

Via ShortFormBlog

Using mature, reliable, widespread tools isn’t just about scaling more easily — it’s about being as low-needs as possible so you can spend more of your time and attention on things that matter more to you.

Marco Arment’s conclusion here is a smart observation on dealing with problems of scalability in web services, but it could also apply to just about any area of tool use. I like fiddling with my tools, systems, and processes as much as the next guy, but at some point I just want to get stuff done. More and more I’ve been simplifying my toolsets so that I spend my energy on creating, not on infrastructure.

Using mature, reliable, widespread tools isn’t just about scaling more easily — it’s about being as low-needs as possible so you can spend more of your time and attention on things that matter more to you.

Marco Arment’s conclusion here is a smart observation on dealing with problems of scalability in web services, but it could also apply to just about any area of tool use. I like fiddling with my tools, systems, and processes as much as the next guy, but at some point I just want to get stuff done. More and more I’ve been simplifying my toolsets so that I spend my energy on creating, not on infrastructure.

I love K-Mart for doing this commercial.

Video: Ship Your Pants