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The Public Access Weekly: Careless whispers

Amber Bouman
02.19.16
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Today's issue of the Public Access Weekly is brought to you by chocolate ganache donuts, a Reggae Classics playlist and videos of people doing fairly impressive stunts in dinosaur costumes (somehow still not tired of those).



Oh, and for those of you keeping track, I solved my musical problem from last week. Turns out Lou Reed is an exceptional antidote to poorly crafted teenage pop anthems.

In lieu of housekeeping, here are a few questions that I've answered this week about Public Access:

No, unfortunately, we don't pay our contributors. (But we'd like to do so at some point!) In the meantime, your articles on Public Access are still eligible to make it onto the Engadget home page, so we've got that going for us. Which is nice.

Secondly, our CMS (where you create your articles) pulls the first image from your stories to use in the article feed on Public Access. If you don't include an image, you'll see a default grey square with the "E" logo, like this:
However, if you include an image that is larger than 630 pixels wide, it looks really, really funky (and we will probably ask you to replace it).TL;DR: Please use an image in your stories. Please make sure the first image you use is 630 pixels wide.

Additionally -- and almost more importantly -- images used in Public Access articles must be fair-use. If you don't understand what that means, these links will be helpful but the bottom line is: If you didn't take or create the image, it doesn't belong to you and we could get into trouble for running it. Consider using image resources like Creative Commons or Public Domain Images.

I'd also like to give one last shout out of thanks to all the people who took the Public Access survey -- it was really informative and helpful, and we sincerely appreciate everyone taking the time so thank you all!
We learned a lot from those survey answers, for example many (if not most) of you also contribute stories to other websites, many of you thought that the topic ideas (formerly assignments) were mandatory -- which, again, not the case -- and that the number one reason you're not finishing your draft posts is that you run out of time. (I...am feeling y'all on that one).

Looking for something to read? Check out:


This article from our very own Public Access page discusses into the idea that we could be looking at a superhuman future sooner than we think. It will also our second Public Access story to make it to the Engadget home page, so kudos to the author!

Our latest irreverent, cheeky Q&A interview is up! This time around, we feature answers from Ashley Dickinson who runs a blog that is dedicated to making kindness, badass. No small feat, that.

Our own Head of Project, Jose, took some time out of the many, many things he's responsible for on the back-end to pen this piece on the things he learned during our last redesign. It's a bit of a peek into the kinds of decisions that happen during that process.

Looking for something to write about? Mull over:


The big news this week was clearly the open letter Tim Cook released concerning why he will not put a backdoor into iOS. This story is still developing, with Google's CEO weighing in as well the Justice Department firing back but clearly people have some very strong feelings about this one. Here's your chance to share what you think about Cook's letter, Apple's refusal to add a backdoor, the FBI's request and if the DOJ will succeed in forcing Apple's compliance.

Apparently the thing to do this year is to clear your games backlog. First, Kris Naudus started her Operation Play All the Games articles for us, then Zack Hines wrote about his plan for playing time-intensive RPGs. So now it's your turn: What's in your games backlog? Do these stories inspire you to tackle it? And how would you go about doing such a thing?

This article on the resurgence of shooting in film and the advancements in digital cameras gave many people feelings. How do you feel about shooting in film vs digital? Is there room for analog techniques like film in an increasingly digital world? Is the nostalgia around film misplaced?