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Amazon Modifies Kindle Text-to-speech Feature – PC World

The new Kindle is still way out of my price range, though of course I’m still craving one. This news took a bit of the edge off of that craving, since I regularly load my MP3 player with the sounds of a computerized voice reading common-domain texts. Amazon.com will let copyright holders opt out of having their books read aloud on the company’s Kindle 2 book reader, in an apparent…

American Society of Newspaper Editors cancels 2009 convention

Citing the challenging times faced by its members, The American Society of Newspaper Editors today announced it has canceled its 2009 convention. — ASNE According to the ASNE website, one of the items on the agenda at the conference was a motion to drop the reference to “paper” in the organization’s name, and to expand the organization’s purview to include online-only publications.

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Writing in the 21st Century

Kathleen Blake Yancey offers a thoughtful overview of the challenges and opportunities that technology brings to teachers of English. I particularly like her analysis of an effort, organized by high school students, to get AP test-takers to insert the catchphrase  “THIS IS SPARTA!” into their exams. ['T]he students understood the new audiences of twenty-first century composing–colleagues across the country and faceless AP graders alike.They understood one audience–the testing system–and knew…

WBAL-TV fires reporter over prank

The Baltimore Sun publishes this item under the “entertainment” section: Sanders admitted inserting a graphic phrase into a video to make it appear that John Gibson of Fox News was denigrating U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. In the faked video, which appeared first on YouTube and later on The Huffington Post, Gibson is shown using the phrase “bright blue scrotum” while referring to Holder. A statement from WBAL claims that…

The Pac-Man Dossier

Nerd heaven. In chase mode, Pinky behaves as he does because he does not target Pac-Man’s tile directly. Instead, he selects an offset four tiles away from Pac-Man in the direction Pac-Man is currently moving (with one exception). The pictures below illustrate the four possible offsets Pinky will use to determine his target tile based on Pac-Man’s orientation: If Pac-Man is moving left, Pinky’s target tile will be four game…

The Game Design Question

I recently gave a brief presentation on games to our school’s education faculty. One faculty member (I believe he used to be a school principal) got fairly excited, asking me whether he could use Crazy Machines to set up a scientific experiment to show his students.  I suggested that he was thinking of the game simply as a tool for setting up a demo, but that was missing out on…