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The Times on Games

Stealthy? 1995? Please. 100% of teenagers play games today (those who don’t are a rounding error)–but I doubt the percentage in, say, 1990, during the SNES/Genesis era, was all that different. And the game industry first made the claim that it was bigger than the movies in 1980 or 81, if I remember correctly–albeit revenues then were largely from the arcade cash-drop, not software sales. The point being that games…

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Professor lands international radio deal

When she got home she found her inbox stuffed with new messages, many of which were junk mail. One message was titled “BBC World service proposal,” but Onwueme said she just skipped over it. | The BBC sent a second e-mail, which she also did not take the time to read because it had the same vague title. –Susan MacLaughlin –Professor lands international radio deal (UWEC Spectator) Tess Onwueme, a playwright…

3

McGill student wins fight over anti-cheating website

A student at McGill University has won the right to have his assignments marked without first submitting them to an American, anti-plagiarism website. –McGill student wins fight over anti-cheating website  (CBC) As a former resident of Canada, I couldn’t repress a smirk at the CBC’s need to identify the website as “American” in the lead. (The site is TurnitIn.com.)

Blood on the Virtual Carpet

The very premise of an online game is that it is uncontrollable – indeed, even the banned players have found ways to sneak back in various disguises. | That, in turn, presents a thorny set of philosophical problems. How do you seek to curb the baser instincts of a community of autonomous players? Is repression the answer? Or do you have to give people incentives to behave better all by…

Going for the Record

On this day in 1984, after a year of deliberation, the US supreme court ruled in favour of Sony (makers of the Betamax video-recorder) and against Universal Studios and Disney, who had claimed that viewers recording television programmes were stealing copyrighted material. The counter-argument was that home-tapers were “time-shifting”: rescheduling programmes through convenience rather than greed. The acceptance of that argument was decided on a 5-4 vote, meaning that if…