Writing, Technology and Teens

Pew / Internet (PDF): Most teenagers spend a considerable amount of their life composing texts, but they do not think that a lot of the material they create electronically is real writing. The act of exchanging emails, instant messages, texts, and social network posts is communication that carries the same weight to teens as phone calls and between-class hallway greetings…. Yet despite the nearly ubiquitous use of these tools by…

Tests Confirm T. Rex Kinship With Birds

NYT: T. rex shared more of its genetic makeup with ostriches and chickens than with living reptiles, like alligators. On this basis, the research team has redrawn the family tree of major vertebrate groups, assigning the dinosaur a new place in evolutionary relationships. Similar molecular tests on tissues from the extinct mastodon confirmed its close genetic link to the elephant, as had been suspected from skeletal affinities. “Our results at…

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What a Week to be a Geek! A Trove of Atari 2600 Goodness

Back when the box art had little to do with the way computer games looked, you got used to the cognitive disconnect between the two media. My brain still hasn’t fully processed Infocom Diskgate, when I come across a trove of Atari 2600 cartridges that resemble games I played, but the boxes seem… different.  Here’s my favorite. Check out the others at Mightygodking.

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Of Hitchhikers, Hard Drives, and Happenstance

Imagine that, since childhood, you’ve been a fan of a now-obscure genre of computer games called interactive fiction. Imagine that, since 1999, you’ve kept a weblog. Imagine that, since 2003, you’ve taught journalism and new media courses, in which you have introduced students to weblogs and interactive fiction (among other topics, of course).  Recently, after about five years of on-and-off research, you published an article that included archival material about…

Forum Refereee!

Jason Scott (who has produced a documentary on BBS culture and is working on one now on interactive fiction) offers a thoughtful analysis of an Atari forum thread that went awry. The problem with a “what do you think about this”, or the hardest portion, is listening to what people say and then waiting until it’s all died down to give a summary thanks and move on. Fulop instead begins…

Milliways: Infocom's Unreleased Sequel to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy – Waxy.org

Andy Baio offers some forensic digital journalism: From an anonymous source close to the company, I’ve found myself in possession of the “Infocom Drive” — a complete backup of Infocom’s shared network drive from 1989. This is one of the most amazing archives I’ve ever seen, a treasure chest documenting the rise and fall of the legendary interactive fiction game company. Among the assets included: design documents, email archives, employee…