Ominous Darkness Descending On Webpage Portends Grim Age Of Autoplaying Ad To Come

Fortune’s fool, I wagered I would be spared and forsook my ad blocker, and now a pitiless gloom that will abide for 30 seconds has descended. No X in the corner will succor me. No five-second opt-out will rekindle the embers beneath this wicked mist. Lo, the Mazda Summer Sales Event nears. Stop my ears with wax! Forgive me! Forgive me! –The Onion

The Distracted Classroom: Transparency, Autonomy, and Pedagogy

I don’t ban technology in my classroom, even though I know some students can’t manage the potential distraction. (An early assignment in my freshman writing class demonstrates that multitasking is a lie — we can only pay attention to one thing at a time,,and though we can do something routine like fold laundry while also watching TV, we stop watching TV if we lose a sock, and we stop folding…

Facebook’s Instant Articles restore subscription options they previously stripped

The ability to serve content faster than where it originated is the privilege of the platform on which people find it. Facebook, Google, and Apple have all been exploiting this privilege, which, while it does lower load times, is not conducive to a single, standardized web. And it deepens content providers’ dependence on those platforms — which in turn increases the latter’s leverage. Not good. It’s nice that Facebook is…

Twitter is testing a tool for reporting fake & offensive content

It’s risky to get your news from a social media algorithm. Facebook and Twitter exist to make money for themselves, not inform the public with accurate, fair, and thorough news. Facebook is the big culprit here, and it’s admitted it needs to take steps to improve, but Twitter isn’t far behind. While the company has yet to pledge to take action, it appears at least internally they’re testing one solution:…

Explore Geotagged Wikipedia Pages as a Text Adventure Game

For humans who like browsing through Wikipedia and also like playing old-school text adventure games, this is awesome. Wikipedia: The Text Adventure was written in June 2017 by Kevan Davis. Its map is pulled live from the Wikipedia API, and it uses all articles which have specified geo-coordinates. (If two articles share an exact location they get nudged in random directions.) The way the map is rebuilt on the fly…