20130531-210639.jpg
5

‘Atari Dump’ Will Be Excavated, After Nearly 30 Years

The New Mexico landfill or “Atari Dump” where the game console maker buried its mistakes — the biggest being the game E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial — will be dug up by game developer Fuel Industries, which hopes to make a documentary about the project. Also known as the “Atari Graveyard” or the “E.T. Dump”, the desert landfill is the spot where Atari decided to permanently off-load tons of games that were…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu
1

Texty Cloak of Darkness in Prose

Below is a snippet from “Texty Cloak of Darkness,” which aims to use prose conventions to emulate game-state changes and alternate endings (in a medium designed to be linear). Since our encounter, such as it is, has already begun, it may as well happen in a place. The foyer of the opera house is where the game begins. This empty room has doors to the south and west, also an…

Multimedia | Computers and Writing 2013

Earlier this week, the Computers and Writing folks discussed the decline in the use of the word “computer” in MLA job ads. The decline is more than offset by a rise in related terms, so the discussion appropriately focused on the value of “computers” as an umbrella term. (In our daily lives, we increasingly use things we know as tablets, netbooks, smartphones, etc. rather than “computers.” There are now, for…

Chicago Sun-Times lays off its photo staff

“The Sun-Times business is changing rapidly and our audiences are consistently seeking more video content with their news,” The Sun-Times tells Channick in a statement. “We have made great progress in meeting this demand and are focused on bolstering our reporting capabilities with video and other multimedia elements.” “I think I would read that to mean who’s shooting that video: the reporters,” Mickey Osterreicher, the general counsel at the National…

Students say “math class is stupid and boring,” and they are right. –Mathematician Paul Lockhart

I am working on some conference papers that touch on coding as a liberal art. While reviewing classics, like Stephenson’s In the Beginning Was the Command Line and Knuth’s approach to “Literate Programming,” From the insightful and quirky “A Mathematician’s Lament,” by Paul Lockhart. A musician wakes from a terrible nightmare. In his dream he finds himself in a society where music education has been made mandatory. “We are helping…

Diana Kimball on “What Scares Us About Programming?”

A few months old, but still interesting: entrepreneur and digital culture promoter Diana Kimball responds to a hacker brainstorming session. Alex Payne recently posted a picture of this whiteboard from Hacker School, and it rings wildly true to me. I was interested and encouraged to see that the question “What scares us the most about programming?” elicited more than one answer to the effect of: “asking for help.” In my experience, it’s not…

envelope

My Teenage Son Does Not Know How To Mail A Letter – I Blame Technology – ReadWrite

A father learns the Postal Service website is no help in teaching a new generation of snail-mailers where the stamp goes. “Get your computer. Go to USPS.gov (turns out it’s really USPS.com).” If he saw for himself – on the screen – how to properly mail a letter, maybe he’d get it, I thought. Unfortunately, the Postal Service doesn’t know it has a problem here. We couldn’t find any instructions at…

Melissa Terras Reports Her Success in Making Digital Humanities More Inclusive

A pleasant little success story. “TEI” is the “Text Encoding Initiative,” an international effort to define and standardize the digital representation of texts. [I]n 2006 I first noticed that the TEI guidelines encouraged the use of ISO5218:2004 to assign sexuality of persons in a document (with attributes being given as 1 for male, 2 for female, 9 for non-applicable, and 0 for unknown). I find this an outmoded and problematic…

Anthony Weiner, Reality Star of Sorts, Returns to the Stump

Because my beginning journalism students often use the phrase “when asked about” as a default (lazy) transition when introducing quotes, I created a scenario in which President Bush apparently expresses a desire to be a cuddly bunny. In the example, a child reporter gives him two options — would he rather be a robot or a bunny; that is a rare case in which a “when asked about” transition is…