Bye, Bye, Library

The fact is, there will be no more books to restock. The UT library is undergoing a radical change, becoming more of a social gathering place more akin to a coffeehouse than a dusty, whisper-filled hall of records. And to make that happen, the undergraduate collection of books had to go. This summer, 90,000 volumes were transferred to other collections in the campus’s massive library system – leaving some to…

Writing a Sports Story

While the news lead told the five Ws and the H, the lead of a sports story (though not limited to one paragraph) must contain certain elements. When editing sports, check the lead for: 1. Who was involved 2. What happened 3. When 4. Where 5. Name of the sport 6. Score 7. How won How the game was won is usually the lead emphasis on a sports story. –Writing…

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Why People Hate the Paperclip: Labels, Appearance, Behavior, and Social Responses to User Interface Agents

User interface agents are increasingly used in software products; perhaps the best-known user interface agent is the Microsoft Office Assistant (“Clippy the Paperclip”). This thesis explores why many people have a negative response to the Office Assistant, using a combination of theoretical, qualitative, and quantitative studies. Among the findings were that labels–whether internal cognitive labels or explicit system-provided labels–of user interface agents can influence users’ perceptions of those agents. Similarly,…

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'Halo' is headed for the big screen: Live-action film to be based on Microsoft video game

A Microsoft Corp. product is headed to the big screen for the first time — but don’t worry, moviegoers won’t be asked to suffer through two hours of Clippy. The company’s “Halo” video-game franchise and its hero, Master Chief, will provide the basis for a major movie under a deal between Microsoft and movie studios Universal Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox. Microsoft confirmed the agreement Wednesday after months of speculation…

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Feedback — The Flying Spaghetti Monster

“I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster,” Henderson affirms. “It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.” He writes “to formally request that this alternative theory be…