A Novel Protagonist with a Health Meter?

This interesting post on WRT ponders the case of I Love You, Beth Cooper, a novel that presents its protagonist, Denis Cooverman, with a status bar. Like a health meter, the reader knows how much body Dennis has remaining at any given time. Reading the book becomes the experience of seeing how far we can make our quarter last, how far we have to go before having to restart the…

Clive Thompson on How T-Shirts Keep Online Content Free

Increasingly, creative types are harnessing what I’ve begun to call “the T-shirt economy”–paying for bits by selling atoms. Charging for content online is hard, often impossible. Even 10 cents for a download of something like Red vs. Blue might drive away the fans. So instead of fighting this dynamic, today’s smart artists are simply adapting to it. Their algorithm is simple: First, don’t limit your audience by insisting they pay…

Dec. 9, 1968: The Mother of All Demos

Douglas Engelbart gave an earth-shaking demo 40 years ago today. The presentation included the debut of the computer mouse, which Engelbart used to control an onscreen pointer in exactly the same way we do today. For a world used to thinking of computers as impersonal boxes that read punched cards, whir awhile, then spit out reams of teletype paper, this kind of real-time graphical control was amazing enough. But Engelbart…