Google testing "My World" for launch later this year

ArsTechnica: Rumors of Google’s plans to create a virtual world that rivals that of Second Life have popped up once again over the weekend. The company could now be collaborating with Arizona State University to test the 3D social network, which may be tied into Google’s current applications of Google Earth and Google Maps. I really like Google’s 3D model builder, SketchUp, but was frustrated because you can’t really interact…

The Play's the Thing

Daniel Radosh brings to the mainstream press (New York Times) an argument that games researchers have been making for years. If games are to become more than mere entertainment, they will need to use the fundamentals of gameplay — giving players challenges to work through and choices to make — in entirely new ways. The formula followed by virtually all games is a steady progression toward victory: you accomplish tasks…

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Your verbs have been lost and will be invisible until sentence author revision.

The marketers and programmers at Google’s Blogger.com are not speaking with each other much, or so it would seem. The folks in charge of the home page love verbs.  Here’s a thumbnail I cropped from the blogger.com home page. Verbs, verbs, everywhere verbs!  Create! Publish! Go! Post! Interact!  Take a tour! Name your blog!  Okay, well “Get” as they use it in “Get Feedback” is a bit lame, but it’s…

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The Graphic – Staff editorial: Taser this … Colorado State University

This editorial from Pepperdine shows good, clear writing, unlike the four-word CSU editorial that has been in the news recently. It emphasizes the fact that the editorial does not simply contain a vulgar charge aimed at the president, but that… When students at Colorado State University in Front Collins opened the Sept. 24 issue of the Rocky Mountain Collegian, their student newspaper, an oversized and attention-grabbing headline shouted at them:…

A Muslim Astronaut's Dilemma: How to Face Mecca From Space

Wired teases a bit, so that the ending is actually kind of anti-climactic, but it’s a wonderfully geeky puzzle. From ISS, orbiting 220 miles above the surface of the Earth, the qibla (an Arabic word meaning the direction a Muslim should pray toward Mecca) changes from second to second. During some parts of the space station’s orbit, the qibla can move nearly 180 degrees during the course of a single…

Med Examiner Writes of Va. Tech Tragedy

AP | Guardian The morgue scene couldn’t have been more grim: As doctors worked to retrieve evidence from 33 bodies riddled with gunshots, they were unnerved by the ringing of victims’ cell phones, signaling loved ones seeking reassurance they would never get. This haunting detail offers, after several months, a fresh perspective on the VA Tech tragedy.

Man With Rifle Is Arrested on College Campus in Queens – New York Times

NYT: a student helps a security guard tackle a student carrying a rifle: The scene at the university yesterday underlined how campus security has been rethought in this country since April, when a gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Tech. Instead of fleeing out of classrooms and onto the street, students at St. John’s were instructed, via text message to their cellphones, to stay where they were. The messages went…