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Open Source College Math Book

One day last year, David Lippman got an interesting Google Alert. 1,300 miles away, fellow math professor James Sousa had created free video tutorials for almost every example question in David’s basic math textbook. James did all of that without asking for David’s permission: David had already given permission by licensing his work under a Creative Commons license. David loves getting that kind of news. He’s dedicated his career to…

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High Schooler’s Fake Story of Stock Riches Fools New York Editors

“If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” In the most recent edition of New York, its annual Reasons to Love New York issue, the magazine published this story about a Stuyvesant High School senior named Mohammed Islam, who was rumored to have made $72 million trading stocks. Islam said his net worth was in the “high eight figures.” As part of the research process, the magazine sent…

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7 Tips for Budding Mobile Journalists

“Mobile journalism is … not something you’re going to succeed at super quickly,” Richardson said recently in a Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the practice. Mobile journalism is a process with a learning curve, she said. | Richardson trains youth to report the news using only smartphones, MP3 players and tablets. She is also creating an online video tutorial platform that will…

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Rehearsing ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ is like trying to herd cats onto a grid and make them walk it perfectly.

I’m really enjoying the experience. I’ve made a playlist of all the numbers I’m in, and as I drive or do laundry I’m mentally practicing the choreography. What do we do again after the sunburst? Am I supposed to cut in front of or behind Travis when we zip our two separate lines into a single ring around the ghostly, curse-shrieking, ladder-mounted Fruma Sara? Rehearsing ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ is…

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The Sentence That Knocked Down the Berlin Wall (But Almost Didn’t)

Words that defined Ronald Reagan’s presidency, as remembered by the White House speechwriter. As a speechwriter you spent your working life watching Reagan, talking about Reagan, reading about Reagan, attempting to inhabit the very mind of Reagan. When you joined him in the Oval Office, you didn’t want to hear him say simply that he liked your work. You wanted to get him talking, revealing himself. So you’d go into…

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Homeownership in America Has Collapsed—Dont Blame Millennials

Yes, the article is interesting, but I’m blogging it for the Jane Austen reference. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a journalist in possession of a negative statistic must find a way to blame Millennials for it. In 2012, Jordan Weissmann and I observed that young people were turning away from homes and cars, the twin engines of the economy. Two years later, the homeownership rate is still declining…

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The joy of text – the fall and rise of interactive fiction

Although the IF community first formed around Inform, a tool for creating parser-based games of the popular sort released by Infocom (Zork, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy game, and A Mind Forever Voyaging), tools today are numerous, and many of them bypass the compelling but fricative parser language entirely. For example, in recent years, a free text tool called Twine has exploded onto the creative scene, offering entry-level designers…