Harry Potter and the diminished returns

It should be a great moment for the publishing industry, which for years has been limping along with flat sales. But amid this avalanche of commerce and pre-publication hype, the book business is ruefully taking note of a startling incongruity: Very few U.S. booksellers will be making big money from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” –Josh Getlin and Martha Groves –Harry Potter and the diminished returns (CalendarLive.com | LA Times)

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Confusing ''b'' and ''d''

Confusing ”b” and ”d” (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog) Hold your hands like this, and imagine an “e” in between them, and you’ve got the word “bed”. My five-year-old daughter was having so much trouble telling the difference between her ”b” and ”d” that my wife urged me to look up dyslexia on the internet. Along the way, I came across several sites selling stickers or posters showing the word “bed” superimposed over…

Did Assignment Zero Fail? A Look Back, and Lessons Learned

Asking contributors to “write the story on open-source car design” had all the appeal of asking people to rewrite their college term papers. Asking them to talk to someone they admire and respect was met with a far warmer response. –Jeff Howe –Did Assignment Zero Fail? A Look Back, and Lessons Learned (Wired) An assessment of Wired’s pro-am journalism experiment. Can a crowd of volunteers produce quality news reporting?

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Harry Potter and the Death of Reading

But before I can suggest what one might learn from reading a good novel, they pop the question about The Boy Who Lived: “How do you like ‘Harry Potter’?” Of course, it’s not really a question anymore, is it? In the current state of Potter mania, it’s an invitation to recite the loyalty oath. And you’d better answer correctly. Start carrying on like Moaning Myrtle about the repetitive plots, the…

These Games Are So Bad, It's Not Funny

Gamers never sit around and fondly recall games that were so ludicrous they circled back and arrived at greatness. There is no game analog to, say, Sid and Marty Kroft children’s show, or Plan Nine From Outer Space. When a game is bad, it’s just … bad. I think this tells us a lot about the nature of play. B games don’t exist because a game isn’t something you watch;…