Wander (1974) — a lost mainframe game is found!

Interesting news for historians of digital culture. I had no direct knowledge of this game. I want to learn more about it. Wander was probably the first computer game that is recognisable as what came to be known as a “text adventure” (or “interactive fiction“) – pre-dating even ADVENT (a.k.a. Colossal Cave) by Crowther and Woods! But Wander was more than that because it seems to have been designed to be a tool to allow users…


Apple’s new diverse emoji are even more problematic than before

This author did a great job articulating the unease I felt when I learned about Apple’s racially diverse emoji. I don’t like it when interfaces translate my textual emoticons ;-) into graphic symbols. Now I feel like I’ll have to think deliberately about whatever color the autocorrect chooses for those graphics. Because I’m black, should I now feel compelled to use the “appropriate” brown-skinned nail-painting emoji? Why would I use the…

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 6.28.33 PM

Fraternity Announces “Legal Action” Against Rolling Stone

“The Rolling Stone article viewed by millions fueled a court of public opinion that ostracized Phi Kappa Psi members and led to vandalism of the fraternity house,” the fraternity’s statement said. “Clearly our fraternity and its members have been defamed, but more importantly we fear this entire episode may prompt some victims to remain in the shadows, fearful to confront their attackers,” said Stephen Scipione, president of the the University…

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 12.07.11 PM

Rolling Stone and UVA: The Columbia School of Journalism Report

Sloppy journalism can ruin lives. Check your sources. Before publishing accusations against someone, get that person’s side of the story. My personal belief is that it’s silly to want to join clubs with greek letters, but then again in my spare time in the past few weeks I have pretended to be shot by a lyric soprano in Sweeney Todd and I’ve pretended to help crucify Jesus in JC Superstar,…


Pizza, Religious Freedom, Bigotry, and Yellow Journalism

I have not seen the pizzeria TV interview in question, I have not been following developments in the controversy, and I won’t link to any of the coverage. Yellow journalism is bad when it supports an unjust status quo, or when it simply creates noise that distracts us from more important things. But it is also bad when it exposes bigotry. Of course, I don’t defend bigotry or claim the victims…

Google GIF

Google responds to streaming report with shruggie GIF

The Daily Dot proceeded to shrug the GIF off, chalking it up as an unconventional “no comment.” But the YouTube rep then got back in touch a day later, demanding they include it in their story. No it’s not a joke, he said — “the GIF really is our official response, it technically wasn’t a decline to comment and would appreciate if you could update your story.” via Google responds to…


National Science Foundation announces plan for comprehensive public access to research results

This is good news. It’s unfair that government-funded studies get published in private databases that make money off of the public’s desire to access results of studies paid for by our taxes. NSF will require that articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and papers in juried conference proceedings or transactions be deposited in a public access compliant repository and be available for download, reading and analysis within one year of publication.…