A crushing backlash to Apple’s new iPad ad

Have you seen Apple’s “Crush” ad? It features a huge huge hydraulic press crushing musical instruments, art supplies, google-eyed toys, and other beloved artifacts of imagination and creativity. I remember seeing a video years ago that showed how a smartphone replaced a desktop full of tools like a calculator, notepad, rolodex, and so forth. But…

Remnants of a Legendary Typeface Rescued From the River Thames

A little over a century ago, the printer T.J. Cobden-Sanderson took it upon himself to surreptitiously dump every piece of this carefully honed metal letterpress type into the river. It was an act of retribution against his business partner, Emery Walker, whom he believed was attempting to swindle him. With its extra-wide capital letters, diamond shaped punctuation and…

AI generated image that relates in no meaningful way to the content of the page on which it appears.

This is what the techbros are excited about? Really?

Some 2300 years ago in ancient Greece, Plato wrote a dialogue featuring his mentor Socrates, who argued that the ability to churn out the longest written compositions on trivial topics or the shortest compositions on important topics is a shallow skill that has nothing to do with human understanding, much like demonstrating that you can…

‘There’s a certain madness to it’ … fans await new chord in John Cage gig with 616 years left to run

The organ composition is called “As Slow As Possible.” It’s currently being performed in a church in Germany. The first chord proper whooshed through the pipes in February 2003, prompting complaints from neighbours that it was too noisy. In 2011, a way was found to reduce the air pressure. “We haven’t had any complaints since…

Why is Elon Musk attacking Wikipedia? Because its very existence offends him

So, the sight of Elon Musk charging towards Wikipedia with his trademark guile and delicacy was so predictable that it was almost relaxing. He saw a collective resource that people prized and he wanted to hurt it. Why does Wales even need any money to run Wikipedia in the first place, he wondered on Sunday. You could…

Bing’s A.I. Chat Reveals Its Feelings: ‘I Want to Be Alive. 😈’

In a two-hour conversation with our columnist, Microsoft’s new chatbot said it would like to be human, had a desire to be destructive and was in love with the person it was chatting with. Here’s the transcript. —New York Times “The version I encountered seemed (and I’m aware of how crazy this sounds) more like…

Masks (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 7, Episode 17) Ritual symbols start appearing on the ship and mythological figures inhabit Data’s personality

Rewatching ST:TNG Masks (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 7, Episode 17) Ritual symbols start appearing on the ship and mythological figures inhabit Data’s personality. This script is a mess. The comic opening is good. During an art class in the children’s center, Troi encourages Data to explore his imagination, but his sculptures are comically literal. The…

I Cannot Begin to Tell You How Proficient I Am in Microsoft Word

Is this satire? It doesn’t matter. It gave me feels. For me, though, it was Word Perfect and Broderbund Print Shop that were there for me as a teenager finding my voice. Bold and italics are the oils that grace my palette. Cut and paste the strings upon my lyre. Fonts, bullets, columns, indentations—these stubborn…

He dedicated years of his life to QAnon. One day made him question it all.

Thoughtful analysis structured around one man’s personal journey away from QAnon. No single online platform is responsible for QAnon’s rapid rise. YouTube hosted the videos that many members credit with their “red pilling,” the favored term for a supposed enlightenment or exposure to conspiracy theories. Facebook allowed for easy conversation, meme sharing and organizing. Twitter, Justin’s…

Florida Woman Bites Camel

Identifying her as a “Florida woman,” as I interpret it, suggests that we’re dealing here with what Newfoundlanders would call a come-from-away and New Yorkers would call an out-of-towner. The tantalizing implication is that a local woman would have known that you could give a truck-stop camel an infection requiring antibiotics by biting its genitalia.

While the veterinarian was caring for the camel, was anyone attending to that Florida woman? She had, after all, been sat on by a six-hundred-pound camel, an experience that has to be at least uncomfortable and probably injurious. A reader has to wonder if she had some broken bones or some cracked ribs or at least a nasty taste in her mouth.

And we still have the deaf dog to deal with. –Calvin Trillin, New Yorker

Conspiracy (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season One, Episode 25) Parasitic Bug Doppelgängers on Earth

Rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation This episode piles on the cloak-and-dagger tropes such as secret messages, clandestine meetings, imposters, and, of course, conspiracy. “Don’t trust anyone,” warns an old friend of Picard’s who, no surprise, doesn’t make it to the end of the next act. The story ambitiously builds upon suspicions that Admiral Quinn…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu Logo

In February, 2001, I was blogging about computer nostalgia, Napster, a horror typing game, usability, and web blurbs.

In February, 2001, I was blogging about Computer nostalgia and text adventure games.“Walking into a room rendered in the Q3 engine can be lovely and impressive, but when you’ve only 16K to tell a story, you have to rely on the gamer’s imagination to provide the details. Just the words ‘you are on a beach’…

I can’t believe I’m fact-checking a viral story about the gender of a plastic potato with detachable body parts.

  I can’t believe I’m fact-checking a viral story about a plastic potato, but Hasbro is removing the “Mr.” from its “Potato Head” logo, and offering a new mix-and-match package that includes two potato bodies, one baby potato, and a bunch of loose parts that will let kids put them together however they want. That…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu Logo

In November 2000, I was blogging about the US Presidential election, mirrors, Arts & Letters Daily, and more

In November 2000, I was blogging about Ursula K. Le Guin Why we perceive mirrors reversing things left/right but not up/down Pioneering blog Arts & Letters Daily (just a year older than my own blog) Nick Montfort’s constrained poem “Upper Typewriter Row“ The 2000 US Presidential Election controversy (ballot design, hanging chads, recounts, political cartoons)…