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Facebook Instant Articles Are on Their Way

Tons of large new media operations produce cool and slick videos on Facebook, and the viewership numbers are skyrocketing! Also skyrocketing: Low-quality rips of poorly compressed videos originally upload to Instagram (themselves stolen from Vine). The freebooting world of Facebook  is largely untamed, and one might assume, decently profitable as well. It’s not hard to imagine the same going for Instant Articles as well. For a small set of successful…

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The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens

That feeling when you hit a million followers, make more money than your mom, push a diet pill scheme, lose your blog, and turn 16. | When I began reporting on the world of Tumblr teens, I first wanted to explain the absurdist comedy of Pizza and dozens of other Tumblrs like hers. But I soon discovered a secret world hidden in plain sight, one in which teenagers, through wit and…

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Museum of Endangered Sounds

Imagine a world where we never again hear the symphonic startup of a Windows 95 machine. Imagine generations of children unacquainted with the chattering of angels lodged deep within the recesses of an old cathode ray tube TV. And when the entire world has adopted devices with sleek, silent touch interfaces, where will we turn for the sound of fingers striking QWERTY keypads? Tell me that. And tell me: Who…

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Video Game about Cancer and Grief

On my list for the next time I teach “Video Game Culture and Theory.” The “extra life” was a fixture of early video games, a reward for skilled players that was imbued with the language of reincarnation. Players would not say they earned additional time to play, or a bonus turn, upon reaching a certain score. They were bestowed an extra life, a new chance at existence. Death is not…

Praying
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Mount St. Mary’s president fires two faculty members, one with tenure

Mount St. Mary’s fires two faculty members. One was tenured professor charged with lack of loyalty. The other advised student newspaper that recently exposed president’s quotes about “drowning bunnies.” […] Last month The Mountain Echo, the student newspaper, revealed the debate over retention strategies and Newman’s quote about needing to view students as bunnies to be drowned. Mount St. Mary’s board members have repeatedly criticized the student newspaper for using…

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When Robert Pinsky Wrote a Video Game

[F]or a brief time in the mid-nineteen-eighties major literary publishers, including Simon & Schuster and Random House, opened software divisions, and major bookstores stocked works of “interactive fiction.” Popular writers, including Douglas Adams and Thomas M. Disch, turned their capable hands to the burgeoning form. It was in the midst of this excited moment that the future three-term U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky wrote a video game called “Mindwheel,” which,…