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One Man’s Mission To Keep AOL’s Legacy Alive

“Hi. I’m Jason Scott, and I am trying to collect every AOL CD variation ever made.”  Scott works for the Internet Archive, which is kind of like a museum for the Internet. And to him, these CDs are precious artifacts. “They are, in some ways, little time capsules about what online life was and why we wanted to get onto it so badly….  I’m doing it for generations beyond, so — there’s…

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From The ‘London Times’ of 1904

A Mark Twain short story, written in 1898, and set a few years into the future, posits the global ubiquity of a new device called the “telelectroscope,” which lets people around the world see and hear each other. The author, a journalist and a social reformer, explored how an innocent man might save himself from a death sentence by using global information technology to find evidence to support his defense. Time,…

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‘My Fair Lady’ Couldn’t Actually Dance All Night, So These Songs Had To Go

Clever little Easter eggs in this article about the history of My Fair Lady refer to lyrics from the show. I played Col. Pickering in high school 30 years ago. One night during “The Rain in Spain,” when Higgins threw the xylophone mallet in the air, it got stuck in the drapes above the stage. I had watched it go up, so the audience laughed when I waited for it…

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Verizon’s $4.4 billion deal for AOL sends AOL stock on a tear

Verizon has experimented with journalism before, briefly running Sugarstring — where reporters were banned from covering issues like government surveilance and net neutrality (topics in which Verizon is a newsmaker). Verizon buying AOL gives the biggest US wireless carrier access to AOL’s successful digital advertising service and content including the Huffington Post news website. —CS Monitor

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Caroll “Big Bird” Spinney was originally to be on NASA’s doomed Challenger flight

And he was even offered a seat as Big Bird on the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986 in a bid to get children more interested in the NASA program when Star Wars was all the rage. | But there wasn’t enough room for the costume, which is more than eight feet tall, sparing Spinney from the tragedy that saw the Challenger break apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven people…

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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…

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Adventure | T.M. Camp

Great story of nerdiness and discovery and friendship, focusing on the author’s adult memories of his love for a particular text adventure game at a crucial phase of his youth. I’ve collected several such stories in “Interactive Fiction Reflection and Nostalgia.” He knew the game, practically had it memorized. He would be the computer. I would be the player.