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All the world’s an app

A review of three books — The App Generation, Status Update, and It’s Complicated — that explore and critique the function of social media in our lives. I used to ask the internet everything. I started young. In the late 1980s, my family got its first modem. My father was a computer scientist, and he used it to access his computer at work. It was a silver box the size…

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We Got A Look Inside The 45-Day Planning Process That Goes Into Creating A Single Corporate Tweet

The professionals don’t always spend 45 days designing a single tweet, but this one got just two favorites. Shortly after, Lindsay met with a copywriter and graphic designer to brainstorm tweet ideas for the next month. It was then that the copywriter suggested a tweet centered around the idea that Camembert, a French cheese popular during the spring, was best served at room temperature. The copywriter and designer met the…

Amazon’s Tactics Confirm Its Critics’ Worst Suspicions

This week, as part of a contract dispute with the publisher Hachette, we’re seeing Amazon behaving at its worst. The company’s willingness to nakedly flex its anticompetitive muscle gives new cause for concern to anyone who cares about books — authors, publishers, but mainly customers. Here’s the back story: In an effort to exert pressure on Hachette, Amazon began taking down preorder buttons for many Hachette titles. It has also…

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Effects of Internet use on the adolescent brain: despite popular claims, experimental evidence remains scarce

Big difference between the clickbaity verson on BoingBoing (“Everything you know about teenage brains is bullshit“) and the dry, academic version on cell.com: [C]urrent evidence suggests that typical Internet activities do not impair social development during adolescence. | Both adolescents and adults are now using the Internet more than ever. Evidence increasingly suggests that time spent online does not displace time spent doing other activities associated with health and well-being.…

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Adam Savage’s 10 Commandments Of Making

Adam Savage took a few minutes today at the Maker Faire Bay Area to share what he feels are the 10 Commandments of Making. Make something Make something useful Start right now Find a project Ask for help, advice, and feedback Share Recognize that discouragement and failure is part of the project Measure carefully Make things for other people Use more cooling fluid. Adam Savage’s 10 Commandments Of Making |…

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Microsoft Research Launches Code Hunt Game to Teach Programming

Another item for the “when I’m finished with my current to-do list” list. Instead of presenting you with a problem and comparing your solution to a set of fixed test cases, Code Hunt presents an empty slate and a set of constantly changing test cases. It thus teaches coding as a side consequence of solving a problem by matching inputs and outputs, Microsoft explains. Let’s be honest, learning certain aspects…

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Why do so many small US newsrooms shun innovation? “The goat must be fed.”

We started this report to assess the use of digital tools and provide a road map for the work of the Reporters’ Lab at Duke University’s DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy. Along the way, we discovered that despite all the hype we’ve heard in the past five or 10 years, there is still a wide gap between digital haves and have-nots in the use of data reporting and…

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Times photo staffer’s invention: the streaming backpack

“From a photographer’s perspective it makes our photography process more similar to the days of film, where you went out you did your assignment, dropped off your roll of film, and went off to do another assignment. Now you download your cards, color correct and caption it. It takes away from the creative process of photography.” There’s certainly an entrepreneurial opportunity if the newsroom gets the smaller iteration down pat,…

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Rediscovering Infocom Games With My Kids

  Call it the Familyhood of the Traveling Interactive Fiction Pants. Even though we all have very different needs, the games fit each of us perfectly. It is not unusual to find all three of us sitting on the sofa, exploring a world and arguing over which direction to go. Every afternoon, it’s like getting to go on a really great family trip except with no laundry to do afterward.…