One of the less pleasant parts of the book publishing industry is the slush pile -- the stack of unsolicited manuscripts that no-one wants to read, but which might just contain the next Dan Brown or Tim Winton amongst the detritus. UK publisher HarperCollins is experimenting with using the crowdsourcing approach to change its approach to the slush pile, and its site Authonomy moving out of private beta this week. Authonomy lets authors upload chapters of work in progress and comment on each others' writing, with the promise that the highest-ranked works (based on site user recommendations) will be considered by Harper Collins editors. Managing the process as the beta expands could be challenging, I suspect, but it's a novel way of identifying new writing talent.
Authonomy lets readers judge unpublished manuscripts
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The maximum number of face turns needed to solve the classic Rubik's cube is 20, and the maximum number of quarter turns is 26. It took 30 years to discover these numbers, which were finally proved by Tomas Rokicki and Morley Davidson using a mixture of mathematics and computer calculation. (The puzzle does have 43 quintillion possible configurations after all.) So how did the current world-record holder SeungBeom Cho manage to solve Rubik's cube in under five seconds? (4.59 seconds to be exact.)
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