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Apple Watch is ugly and boring (and Steve Jobs would have agreed)

I am not feeling the love for Apple’s iWristBrick. What do most contemporary smartwatches have in common? They’re mostly squarish, clunky, bulky, flat things with a screen that go on your wrist. They mostly do things your phone does, and they mostly rely heavily on your phone for a good portion of their functionality. They’re fairly expensive, and it’s not really clear that they do anything amazing that your other…

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What Twitter Changes Might Mean for Academics

This is one of the reasons I still consider my blog to be my main presence on the internet. Twitter and Facebook and all the other commercialized social media platforms regularly change their algorithm in oder to suit their business model, without warning and without the consent of their user bases. Even though I am dependent upon WordPress (and my blog host, and several free plugins, and to Google for…

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News Feed FYI: Click-baiting

It’s hard for me to think of Facebook as the “good guy” in any situation, but I am pleased to learn that FB is adjusting its algorithm to penalize click-bait headlines. A small set of publishers who are frequently posting links with click-bait headlines that many people don’t spend time reading after they click through may see their distribution decrease in the next few months. We’re making these changes to…

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Reading Literature on Screen: A Price for Convenience?

Because all of my Seton Hill students get iPads and MacBooks, I try to assign ebooks whenever possible, though students are welcome to use paper, too. This study suggests that students who choose the ebook option have a harder time reconstructing the a timeline of plot events. I’ll keep that in mind as we discuss our texts. In most respects, there was no significant difference between the Kindle readers and…

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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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RIP Flash: Why HTML5 Will Finally Take Over Video and Web in 2014

I am not a fan of Adobe Flash, which is a closed, proprietary system that requires your users to install a specific, resource-intensive player. Don’t build your business on someone else’s property. Long live HTML5. Cassette tapes, 8-tracks, and … Flash. All three of these mediums need a player to work, and all three mediums are either dead or dying. Just as CDs replaced tapes as a more efficient means…