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Facebook Hired Journalists to Train Its Trending Topics Algorithm

Recently I noticed an unusually incendiary phrase in the Facebook “trending” list, and noticed that several people in my feed were reacting strongly to that language. When I clicked the link, I was taken to a page that did not actually contain that phrase. When I searched news.google.com for the source of that phrase, the results came up nil. A few hours later, searched turned up bloggers who were angrily…

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Schiller schools internet on correct Apple device plurals, but Cook says “iPad Pros”

“Siri, is the world ready for Apple pod people who are also grammarians?” According to Schiller, multiple Apple products should be referred to without pluralization, for example the plural of “iPhone” is “iPhone” or “iPhone devices.” It seems years of rampant misuse have taken their toll, finally and absolutely corroding the exec’s resolve to maintain an amiable public persona. “It would be proper to say ‘I have 3 Macintosh’ or…

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Why are we so bored?

On average we spend six to seven hours in front of our phone, tablet, computer and TV screens every day. All this is simply becoming boring. Instead of performing varied activities that engage different neural systems (sport, knitting, painting, cooking, etc) to relieve our tedium, we fall back on the same screen-tapping schema for much of our day. The irony is that while our mobile devices should allow us to…

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Out of the Zuckersphere, (back) into the Blogosphere

This is why I still blog. While commercial platforms like Facebook and Twitter are designed to keep you churning out new content that attracts shallow attention, a weblog encourages reflection, the exploration of lateral thinking and deep linking, and the accumulation of ideas (your chronologically sorted, taggable history of posts) over time. Mark C. Marino says it well: [T]he problem with living your life on FB and Twitter is that…

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Former student: “I remember sometimes being annoyed with all of our blogging assignments, but…”

A third alum in the last few weeks has contacted me to thank me for challenging her while a student: When I look back on my time at SHU, I remember sometimes being annoyed with all of our blogging assignments, but yet again, this is proof that the skills you taught us so a few years ago are still transferring into my professional career. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you, because…

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For News Outlets Squeezed From the Middle, It’s Bend or Bust

Hundreds of thousands of people on Facebook followed BuzzFeed’s live video of two people putting rubber bands around a watermelon until it burst. We should all reflect on how journalism can make the news that is truly important interesting enough to compete with exploding fruit. Traditional media companies face the increasingly daunting task of hooking already-inundated audiences, but they also have more tools than ever to lure them. Videos, podcasts,…

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Jimmy Maher’s Appreciation of Infocom’s Classic Sherlock Text Adventure

I learned a lot while reading this enjoyable essay by Jimmy Maher. Looked at today, however, Sherlock certainly wasn’t a bad note to go out on. Being built on the sturdy foundation of everything Infocom had learned about making text adventures to date, it’s not notably, obviously innovative, but, impressively given that it is a first-timer’s game, it evinces heaps of simple good craftsmanship. We may celebrate the occasional titles…