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Holmes: Send them all to summer school

If we teach our children that school is a prison, then summer school is extra punishment for the worst offenders. The sting of humiliation and failure adds to the pain of having to go to school when your friends are free. That’s too bad, because summer school isn’t a punishment, it’s an opportunity. In terms of education, summer vacation isn’t a well-deserved rest; it’s the time students forget much of…

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Artists climb the uncanny valley

Masahiro Mori’s Uncanny Valley hypothesis states that, as artificial beings get closer to resembling real humans, the slightest errors or inaccuracies can shift our responses from empathy to disbelief and even disgust. It’s why, in Toy Story, we love Woody and Buzz Lightyear, but are totally unmoved by Andy, their human owner. This is something both videogame and movie special effects artists are having to grapple with now that processing…

Photo tool could fix bad images

James Hays and Alexei Efros from Carnegie Mellon University have developed an algorithm to help people who want to remove bits of photographs. The parts being removed could be unsightly lorries in the snaps of the rural idyll where they took a holiday or even an old boyfriend or girlfriend they want to rub out from a photograph. To find suitable matching elements, the research duo’s algorithm looks through a…

Simulated Relationships Offer Insight Into Real Ones

Vicary and Fraley modeled their study on a 1979 Random House interactive fiction series, “Choose Your Own Adventure,” which allowed the reader to select from multiple options at critical points in the story. Each choice directed the reader to a new scenario. This approach appealed to the researchers because earlier studies of individual behavior in relationships asked participants to make choices based solely on descriptions of isolated events. The sequential…

Recommend a few good text adventure games!

Lately I’ve had the urge to play text adventure games, but I’m not sure what to play. I’ve been googling, but I’m overwhelmed by the variety of games available and can’t seem to find a useful review site. So… what should I play? –Recommend a few good text adventure games! (MetaFilter) I missed this thread when it appeared… Thanks, Matt, for pointing it out to me. Many of the games I’d…

New York Times to end paid Web service: report

The New York Times Co. (NYT.N) plans to stop charging Internet users for access to its columnists and Op-Ed pieces on a section of its Web site known as TimesSelect, The New York Post reported on Tuesday. –New York Times to end paid Web service: report (Yahoo! | Reuters) Certain upscale and targeted audiences will pay for some premium content, but this decision suggests the amount of money the Times made…