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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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Fair use prevails as Supreme Court rejects Google Books copyright case

Fair use is a concept baked into US copyright law, and it’s a defense to copyright infringement if certain elements are met. The US Copyright Office says the defense is decided on a case-by-case basis. “The distinction between what is fair use and what is infringement in a particular case will not always be clear or easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may…

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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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The Minecraft Generation

It’s a world of trial and error and constant discovery, stuffed with byzantine secrets, obscure text commands and hidden recipes. And it runs completely counter to most modern computing trends. Where companies like Apple and Microsoft and Google want our computers to be easy to manipulate — designing point-and-click interfaces under the assumption that it’s best to conceal from the average user how the computer works — Minecraft encourages kids…

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Recent SHU journo grad, upon the hiring of an even more recent SHU journo grad: “Many times she’ll say, ‘that’s why he did that to us’ 😀 And then be grateful.”

A couple weeks ago I posted about a recent graduate and former Setonian editor-in-chief who said that skills she wasn’t at the time exactly thrilled I made her learn in the new media journalism program helped her land her first full-time job with benefits. Today I heard from a different former editor-in-chief, who was thrilled to learn her company hired this very student. Of her new colleague, she writes: “I…

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ink: Inkle’s open source scripting language for writing interactive narrative

Gearing up to teach “Digital Storytelling” this summer. Not sure whether I have time to add this tool to the syllabus, but I’m definitely going to play with it. ink is a scripting language built around the idea of marking up pure-text with flow in order to produce interactive scripts. At its most basic, it can be used to write a Choose Your Own-style story, or a branching dialogue tree.…

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What Twitter Can Be

Hardcore Twitterers have the savvy and patience to continuously tune the array of accounts they follow. They even train the nuances of their visual attention to notice only what they care about when scrolling rapidly. However, new users usually get lost in the rough before they have a chance to find any diamonds. The next few hundred million Twitter users will want to know that they are always seeing the…