Web hoax fools news services: S.F. man fakes beheading, proves need for verification

For almost an hour Saturday morning, the Associated Press reported that a 22-year-old San Francisco man, Benjamin Vanderford, had been beheaded in Iraq. The report of Vanderford’s death was based on a 55-second video clip that Vanderford and two friends had faked and distributed via the Internet. The story also was picked up by the Reuters news service, and the grainy video was broadcast by two Middle Eastern television stations.…

In Defense of Retro Gaming: A Discussion of Abstraction

To those who roll their eyes at retro gamers, I say, “What is really so great about the games you are playing?” Is there really that much difference between Soul Calibur II and International Karate? We are still mashing buttons and kicking people in the groin. Why did your game take years to produce? I can tell you what we have lost. We have lost the slapstick animation of Sam…

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Both sides now: Stars take on new role as journalists

Editors say stars do their own writing but are subject to editing like any freelancer. Keys says she tends to “overwrite. I want to get every nuance in there.” Stiles’ Guardian article needed “a couple of rewrites,” the actress says, “but they were good suggestions, and I didn’t mind doing them. … I have a newfound respect for journalists. It’s incredibly hard to make a living at it.” –Both sides…