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Why Hoboken is Throwing Away All of its Student Laptops

Untrained teachers. Damage-prone machines. OS bogged down with ineffective security software. The whole town clogged the school’s WiFi. What an expensive disaster! “There is no more determined hacker, so to speak, than a 12-year-old who has a computer,” said Crocamo. All this security software also bogged down the computers. Teachers complained it took 20 minutes for them to boot up, only to crash afterwards. Often, there was too little memory…

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The Myth of Multitasking

Psychology Today summary of research that debunks the myth of multitasking, with a nifty little practical test. Much recent neuroscience research tells us that the brain doesn’t really do tasks simultaneously, as we thought (hoped) it might. In fact, we just switch tasks quickly. Each time we move from hearing music to writing a text or talking to someone, there is a stop/start process that goes on in the brain.…

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How We Read

I feel a little nerdier than usual when I blog something related to typography, but A List Apart had a good one. Type and typography wouldn’t exist without our need to express and record information. Sure, we have other ways to do those things, like speech or imagery, but type is efficient, flexible, portable, and translatable. This is what makes typography not only an art of communication, but one of…

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Operation War Diary

One hundred years ago today, Britain declared war on Germany, and the world found itself sucked into a vortex of conflict which centred for many on the battlefields of the Western Front. Every unit which slogged its way through the awful years which followed kept a war diary describing their experiences. Official accounts of movements, actions and casualties, their authors often allowed something of themselves into the pages as well,…

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I accidentally started a Wikipedia hoax

Hoaxes roam the Information Superhighway, camouflaged as factoids. Consider this one: “Amelia Bedelia was a maid in Cameroon.” The “Amelia Bedelia was a maid in Cameroon” factoid had been cited in a lesson plan by a Taiwanese English professor. It was cited in a book about Jews and Jesus. It was cited in innumerable blog posts and book reports, as well as a piece by blogger Hanny Hernandez, who speculated that Amelia…