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Old 03-22-2009, 10:13 AM   #1
Rick Osborne
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Osborne, Rick: Trust Network. v1. 22 Mar 2009

This is a book that I'm currently working on selling, but have decided to liberate until I get a contract that makes me take it down. I wrote it, and thus own the copyright. I grant you the right to read and enjoy, but not to change nor any other unspecified rights.

Based on a short description of the book on Slashdot, erayd asked me to post this here, so here I am. If I've managed to screw it up, please let me know.

Synopsis:
Xochitl Green is a contemporary web programmer. She's faced with the issues of any techno-savvy person today, primary among them being the ethical implications of the arms race between content producing industries trying to protect their producers' rights and consumers who just want to get at that content and not be hassled with copy protection and other invasive technologies. Her friend Brian has an idea: take all of the online social interaction that we are building and turn it into a model of trust for our computers. Instead of thinking about firewalls and Internet privacy and protection at a software level, think of it at a social level. Xochitl takes the idea and writes the program, calling it "Alfred". Alfred turns out to be quite popular, and attracts both good and bad attention.
In addition to this LRF format you can also download the free PDF from Lulu or read it for free online at Scribd.
This work is in the Canadian public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. It may still be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work.

To report a copyright violation you can contact us here.
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File Type: lrf Trust Network - Osborne, Rick_1.lrf (657.6 KB, 228 views)
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:37 PM   #2
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Thanks :-). Do you have a paypal account?

Edit: You mentioned you're looking for a publisher - have you considered submitting it to Authonomy?

Last edited by erayd; 03-22-2009 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:15 PM   #3
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Thank you for offering your work on MobileRead and especially in a format besides pdf

I like supporting authors on this Forum especially when they join in, learn about us (the end consumer) and expand their knowledge about ebooks.

Your work is on my list to be read during spring break

Good Luck and I hope you stop back by, introduce yourself in the "Introduce Yourself" forum, and check out the Writers' Corner.
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:30 PM   #4
Rick Osborne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erayd View Post
Thanks :-). Do you have a paypal account?
I'm wary of making any money off of it yet. The photos I used on the cover are not available for commercial works, so for now I need to avoid any licensing entanglements.

But I do appreciate the offer, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by erayd View Post
have you considered submitting it to Authonomy?
I hadn't heard of it, but thanks for the link.

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Originally Posted by dreams View Post
Thank you for offering your work on MobileRead and especially in a format besides pdf
No problem! I'm sorry I couldn't get it converted over to a few more formats. The source document is written in OpenOffice, and even when I save it over to DOC format it still makes BookDesigner4 crash. I saw that Microsoft has their own program for converting to LIT, so I'll see if I can get that to work.

What's the quote? "The great thing about Standards is that there are so many to choose from", I think.

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I like supporting authors on this Forum especially when they join in, learn about us (the end consumer) and expand their knowledge about ebooks.
For the record, it's really weird to be on the other side of that line (consumer versus producer). It's interesting, because it's providing me with all sort of new perspectives on things. As a consumer, we're so frustrated at how the producers just "don't get it". But as a producer, let me tell you that it's surprisingly hard to get -- there are so many different formats and communities and islands that are all clamoring to be heard. I'm a technical guy, probably more tech-savvy than 99% of the authors out there, and even I have one heckuva learning curve.

There's a great business opportunity here if someone wanted to reach out and grab it. By becoming a Subject Matter Expert on the intricacies of digital publishing and distribution, you could make some cash by offering your services to the right people.

But I'm getting off-topic ...

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Your work is on my list to be read during spring break
I hope you enjoy it. And, seriously, I hope that if you don't enjoy it you can come back here and tell me exactly why not. I know I'm not Crichton or Stephenson or Gaiman, but the only way I'm going to get any better is by people telling me what they don't like.

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Good Luck and I hope you stop back by, introduce yourself in the "Introduce Yourself" forum, and check out the Writers' Corner.
Thanks, I certainly will!
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:22 AM   #5
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Just finished it - that's definitely a real page-turner, I thought it was great . Thank you very much for being willing to post it here (and for spamming slashdot with it ).

A few points I thought could use a little more polish:
  • A few of the location descriptions aren't very detailed - you explain all about the people, but sometimes at the expense of the scenery, which meant I had to occasionally revise my internal pictures to take into account new facts.
  • It needs a final going-over by a grammar editor - there is the occasional spot where you have a missing word, or an incorrect word (e.g. I'm instead of I've).
  • Eddie, Teddy & Susie get left hanging, particularly Teddy. I'm assuming they are who the postcard went to, but that plot thread feels a little unresolved for me.
All minor nitpicking though really - I think you did an outstanding job on that story, and I'm impressed. I've never come across an author before who could get the tech details right without them dominating the book - either the book is all tech and no plot, or it has a great plot and the tech doesn't make sense. You've successfully avoided both these pitfalls and got the balance perfect - enough tech to be interesting, but still with a great plot and integrated in such a way that it won't turn non-techies away.

I thought the plot was particularly engaging - every time I thought I finally had a handle on what was going on, something would happen that changed all my predictions about how the book would end. This is a story that would have Xochitl completely hooked until the very last page!

I know you don't want to be paid for it at this point, but let me know when you get something organised - I'll like to contribute something, and you deserve to be compensated for your work.

Overall it was thoroughly enjoyable, and I'd definitely recommend it - thanks!



Edit: Oh and I think you need to rewrite your summary - it doesn't do the story justice, and contains jargon that may unnecessarily turn away less-technical readers.

Last edited by erayd; 03-24-2009 at 02:32 AM.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:08 AM   #6
Rick Osborne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erayd View Post
A few of the location descriptions aren't very detailed - you explain all about the people, but sometimes at the expense of the scenery
Yep, this is a known bug with the author. I found myself in a bit of a Catch-22: I've never actually been to any of those places, and yet I needed to write convincingly about them. I erred on the side of too little, thinking that the more I put in the bigger chance I had of screwing up some detail and ripping some Edinburgh/Barcelona/Paris native out of the story.

I keep meaning to go back and flesh it out some more, but then half of my brain screams "you want to make it LONGER?".

But, I appreciate the feedback. I agree 100%.

Quote:
Eddie, Teddy & Susie get left hanging, particularly Teddy. I'm assuming they are who the postcard went to, but that plot thread feels a little unresolved for me.
Yep. This will be fixed in the next revision. Xochitl will have a bit more internal dialogue about why she sends just the postcard and nothing else. It was clear in my head when I wrote it, but upon rereading it I can see that much of it is only lightly inferred -- probably too lightly.

Quote:
every time I thought I finally had a handle on what was going on, something would happen that changed all my predictions about how the book would end.
So be brutally honest with me here: was there too much chain-yanking? Did you feel cheated? Did it seem like I kept pulling an Agatha Christie and just dropping randomness on your head? I tried to drop enough hints along the way to make it seem like you could figure it out, but still keep you guessing.

Quote:
I think you need to rewrite your summary - it doesn't do the story justice, and contains jargon that may unnecessarily turn away less-technical readers.
Yep, another known bug. This is going to sound so dumb, but would you believe that the summary is the hardest thing to write? Especially with, as you said, so many twists and turns and reveals. I've been working towards:

Quote:
The Internet is a cocktail party. At least, that's how Xochitl Green sees it. Friends chat, interaction implies trust, and everyone is connected. Her idea is simple: take that interaction, that trust, and use it to keep everyone safe online. It's just a few weeks of coding, and it'll keep her busy, so why not? But online cliques and bouncers make things a little too difficult for Internet party crashers. They've got big plans, and want to return Xochitl's hospitality -- putting her on the run. But when all you know about the world is how it looks on your screen, what do you do? Where do you go? Who do you trust?
Better, yeah?

At any rate, thanks for taking the time to let me know what you think and especially what you saw as rough spots. It'll definitely help me improve the book!



-R
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Rick Osborne View Post
Yep, this is a known bug with the author. I found myself in a bit of a Catch-22: I've never actually been to any of those places, and yet I needed to write convincingly about them. I erred on the side of too little, thinking that the more I put in the bigger chance I had of screwing up some detail and ripping some Edinburgh/Barcelona/Paris native out of the story.

I keep meaning to go back and flesh it out some more, but then half of my brain screams "you want to make it LONGER?".
I have no problem with long books. Maybe this is just giving you an excuse to travel?


Quote:
So be brutally honest with me here: was there too much chain-yanking? Did you feel cheated? Did it seem like I kept pulling an Agatha Christie and just dropping randomness on your head? I tried to drop enough hints along the way to make it seem like you could figure it out, but still keep you guessing.
No - I thought it was perfect. There was just the right amount of suspense to keep me guessing, but it all tied together well - there was never a sense of you randomly dropping things in, everything had a purpose and integrated properly with all the other elements.


Quote:
Yep, another known bug. This is going to sound so dumb, but would you believe that the summary is the hardest thing to write? Especially with, as you said, so many twists and turns and reveals. I've been working towards:
<snip>

Better, yeah?
Hmm... Being brutally honest here, I don't like either summary. I'm not very good at writing overviews though, so it may just be me. I definitely agree about them being hard to write! Edit: I think my main issue with the new one is that it places Xochitl in a very social context, when she has always been a bit introverted and focused on her work - how many geeks daydream about cocktail parties (although I know you used this analogy in the novel)?

Quote:
At any rate, thanks for taking the time to let me know what you think and especially what you saw as rough spots. It'll definitely help me improve the book!
No worries - thank you for making your work available, and good luck with finding a publisher .

Last edited by erayd; 03-24-2009 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:05 AM   #8
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Just found your completed summary on Authonomy - I have to say I like that one a lot better! I still don't think it captures everything, but I now find it engaging, and it would make me want to investigate further.
Quote:
A socially-awkward web programmer has an idea that gets her noticed by the wrong people, forcing her to stay a step ahead of them.


The Internet is a cocktail party. At least that's how Xochitl Green sees it, even though she's never been invited to one. In the abstract, how different are they? Friends chat, interaction implies trust, and everyone is connected. Want to meet someone new? Grab a wingman or two, get introduced, and see where things go.

Her idea is simple: take that interaction, that trust, and use it to keep everyone safe online. Make it simple and bulletproof, so that even computer-fearing grandmothers can use it. It's just a few weeks of coding, and it'll give her something to do with all the free time from not being invited to cocktail parties. Why not? Get it done, go on vacation, and chill out.

But online cliques and bouncers make things a little too difficult for Internet party crashers. They've got big plans, and want to return Xochitl's hospitality -- putting her on the run. But when all you know about the world is how it looks on your screen, what do you do? Where do you go? Who do you trust?
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