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Why GeekDad wants better videogame deaths for his kids (Wired UK)

When my son was young, I noticed that videgames had taught him that problems are surmountable, so long as you have enough tries. That’s not always true, of course, or practical. We had a chat about things dying, and as I struggled to lightly broach the subject with him I ended up talking about the games he watches his older siblings play. I started with Lego Star Wars, but he…

USA Today rewrites strategy to cope with Internet

USA Today designed its coin-operated dispensers to resemble TV screens, but today’s flatscreen TVs don’t have rounded corners anymore. The content is getting a refresh, though. That breezy approach has reinforced perceptions that USA Today lacks the intellectual heft and sway of the Times and another national newspaper, The Wall Street Journal. Both those newspapers are also trying to expand their audiences and sell more advertising on digital devices. “USA…

Beyond Blogs

A weblog’s most characteristic feature — the prominence of the most recent entry — has consequences for long-term discussions. But those archives are linkable; a really good blog entry exists in a network of other related posts.  Constantly linking to your own ideas can be a form of narcissism, but judicious back-linking can overcome the problem Bogost complains about here. Levi often (and understandably) rejoins readers, commenters, or other bloggers…

Google books agreement torpedoed by US court

Under the agreement with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, Google would continue to digitise books and sell access online. In return, the company would pay $125m (£76.9m) in royalties every year to the copyright owners of the books being scanned. However, copyright concerns persisted, as the ownership of many of the works being scanned by Google could not be established, meaning many would be unable to…

Va universities explore using mobile application for instruction in and outside classrooms

A VCU survey this year found that 43 percent of students said they use mobile devices as their primary way to access the Internet, up from 10.2 percent just two years before. Last fall, 63 percent of freshmen said they own a smartphone and 73 percent expect to have one by next year. Va universities explore using mobile application for instruction in and outside classrooms – The Washington Post.

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Trying Out the Zaggmate Keyboard/Case for iPad

I was at a meeting yesterday in our IT department, when I saw a Zaggmate keyboard/case lying abandoned on a table, with no iPad in sight. I guess I must have looked interested in it, because the owner, our VP for IT, happily handed it off to me, and even ran down to his car to get the USB cable for it. The keyboard is small — the physical keys…

Book Donation

Day of Dennis Jerz » Today, a Hand-written Letter about a Stack of Books Trumped a Database Lesson

My first contribution to the Day of Digital Humanities was not really what I expected. On this Day of Digital Humanities, I ditched a database lesson in my morning writing course, and instead read a hand-written letter about a stack of books. A couple of weeks ago, a colleague handed me a letter sent from the Fayette State Correctional Institute in LaBelle, Pennsylvania. It was a hand-wrtten request from an…