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SCSU professor takes video games to new level

The St. Cloud Times gives retrogaming its due, with this profile of Matt Barton. The most common misconception about video gamers is that they are young teenagers who absorb everything negative that the most violent games offer. Matt Barton has another take. The 30-something English professor at St. Cloud State University considers himself to be a more accurate reflection of today’s typical gamer. And he’s out to educate the rest…

XeePhotoshopLoader.m – xee – Google Code

Best. Comment. Ever.         while([fh offsetInFile]+12<=imageoffs)        {                uint32 sign=[fh readUInt32BE];                uint32 marker=[fh readUInt32BE];                uint32 chunklen=[fh readUInt32BE];                off_t nextchunk=[fh offsetInFile]+((chunklen+3)&~3);                // At this point, I’d like to take a moment to speak to you about the Adobe PSD format.                // PSD is not a good format. PSD is not even a bad format. Calling it such would be an                // insult to other bad formats, such as PCX or JPEG. No,…

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F-Secure says stop using Adobe Acrobat Reader

I am not a fan of Adobe Acrobat Reader, though I do read a lot of PDFs. With all the Internet attacks that exploit Adobe Acrobat Reader people should switch to using an alternative PDF reader, a security expert said at the RSA security conference on Tuesday. Of the targeted attacks so far this year, more than 47 percent of them exploit holes in Acrobat Reader while six vulnerabilities have…

Fool All of the People, All of the Time

Fascinating story of a forger who tricked both the Nazis and the Allies. Sounds like a great subject for a non-fiction novel. Brought in for questioning, van Meegeren refused to give up the name of the painting’s rightful owners and was sent to prison on charges of treason, a crime punishable by death. Six weeks on death row and van Meegeren cracked, announcing somewhat histrionically that he’d painting the thing…

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Time to Develop a New Motivational Strategy

I never actually had to teach my son to read. He went smoothly from being read to, to reading along, to reading on his own.  The transition for my daughter has been a little rougher, so in the last year or so, whenever Carolyn showed an interest in reading, I’ve praised her for her accomplishment. Last weekend we were driving to Denny’s for a family treat when she read some…

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Internet-Age Writing Syllabus and Course Overview

My former student Mike Rubino sent me this link to a wonderfully awful new media course description. String me up by my USB dongles if I ever teach a course like this. As print takes its place alongside smoke signals, cuneiform, and hollering, there has emerged a new literary age, one in which writers no longer need to feel encumbered by the paper cuts, reading, and excessive use of words…

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Facebook Student Projects

In the past few hours, I’ve gotten Friend requests from Jay Gatsby and Nick Carroway, as well as a a shady “Narrator Man” who calls himself invisible, and is a member of The Brotherhood. My students in an American Lit class have been working on a creative interpretation of a work of literature, and several have chosen to use Facebook. 

the fiction circus

Most small publishers only received letters from Google last week asking them to contact their out-of-print authors and let them know that soon their rights will revert to Google unless they “opt out” immediately. This gives small publishers two weeks to track down their writers, many of whom spend at least half the year in an alcoholic coma. They will not succeed at this. Many writers will not know what…

Career Advice: Boring Within or Simply Boring?

My class topic today was an introduction to oral presentations for a freshman writing course. The students had already given informal four-minute practice presentations earlier in the term, but they’re gearing up for a more formal presentation. So this article comes at a good time for me. The ability to give an engaging lecture doesn’t come shrink-wrapped with your graduate diploma. Nor does it necessarily come with experience; some of…