>Read Game

If you’re older than about 38, words and phrases like “frotz,” “xyzzy,” “maze of twisty passages all alike,” and “eaten by a grue” trigger sharp remembrance, like Marcel Proust eating a madeleine. You’ll instantly reminisce about text games like Infocom’s Deadline, Suspended, Infidel, Leather Goddesses of Phobos, and a zillion Scott Adams titles from Adventure International. You’ll grit your teeth recalling the hours it took to put the Babel fish…

Playing with words

Text games circa 2005, however, are called interactive fiction or interactive storytelling. Some are book-length, requiring 20 to 30 hours to play and read. Others are more akin to short stories and can be completed in a half hour. “The goal is to make you forget you’re sitting at a computer and to make you feel like you’re sitting inside the game,” said Paul O’Brien, a computer programmer at the…

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Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2008

2. Desi Arnaz, Orson Welles, Roy Orbison, Ted Bundy, Ayatollah Khomeini, and Cary Grant have always been dead. 3. ?Heeeere‘sJohnny!? is a scary greeting from Jack Nicholson, not a warm welcome from Ed McMahon. 4. The Energizer bunny has always been going, and going, and going. 5. Large fine-print ads for prescription drugs have always appeared in magazines. 6. Photographs have always been processed in an hour or less. 7.…

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What's in the works for the next 12 months at OJR?

The world’s grown too complex for journalists to cover using only literary skills. A generation ago, forward-thinking journalists developed computer-assisted reporting techniques, uncovering stories from public databases, including crime reports, school test scores and census data. Unfortunately, CARR has remained a specialty within journalism, rather than a core skill. Part of this can be attributed to journalists’ collective hostility toward math and science. I’ve been training journalists in basic math…

Google launches Sidebar in latest attempt to make 'push' model work online

Like a zombie from a George Romero flick, the PointCast model refuses to die. The latest incarnation? Google Sidebar aggregrates news headlines, plus custom local weather reports and stock quotes in a desktop application window. Sidebar also adds new features, including the ability to read messages sent to a Gmail account and reader-selected RSS feeds within the Sidebar app. –Robert Niles –Google launches Sidebar in latest attempt to make ‘push’…