Posted tagged ‘Wired’

Education and the new media

September 8, 2008

There’s a pair of good articles up today on the educational possibilities of my two favorite vices.  The Times has an interview with comics expert Scott McCloud (via Linda Braun) on his recent Google Chrome tutorial.  Then on Wired Clive Thompson has written a nice editorial on how video games teach the scientific method.

Free Use for All

August 21, 2008

As reported by Threat Level, a judge has just ruled that copyright holders must consider free and not be allowed to indiscriminately send out take down notices.  You wouldn’t think that people would need a legal ruling to reiterate the basic innocent until proven rule, but there you go.

In a similar rulling this week, a federal judge has thrown out the gag order on a group of MIT students who had prepared a presentation on security vulnerabilities in the Charlie Cards used for the MBTA in Boston.  Sadly this came about far too late for the students to give their planned presentation, but at least future researches can feel a little safer when it comes time to present their unpopular findings.

Accessing Secrets

July 3, 2008

Wired has a nice article up on the controversy surrounding Wikileaks, a site for posting classified information.  This site perfectly illustrates some of the ethical dillemas inherant in a profession that deals entirely with the distribution of information.  Wikileaks has done some incredible things, releasing information on conditions in Guantanamo and actually affecting the results of Kenya’s national election.  However, the site doesn’t discriminate in the information it posts, and some of its releases such as social security numbers cross the line.

So, is this a site that should be promoted or not?  I’m very curious what people think.

Games and Design

June 17, 2008

Clive Thompson posted a great article on Wired today that looks at games as a means of teaching high-end technical skills.  The main focus of the article is the upcoming game Spoor, the eagerly anticipated follow-up to the Sims, which will allow players to design their own lifeforms.  Thompson had the chance to demo it recently and sees the game as a means of “democratizing 3D design”, which I find really exciting.

Then he takes his argument one step further to analyze the skills sets that various games are capable of teaching.  The Sims is the world’s best CAD tutorial, World of Warcraft teaches online management skills, and any D&D game you could possibly mention can be used to make database management kind of fun.

But according to Thompson, what is even more important than the rudimentary skill set these games can teach is the basic understanding of how these things work.  Next time a young gamer goes to see the latest Pixar movie they will have a feel for how the movie was made, and maybe a few will say to themselves “I can do that”.

And Neutrality for All

May 20, 2008

OK I have to start coming up with better post titles.  Anyway, Threat Level has a nice little piece on the Times’ editorial on Net Neutrality, the need for transparency, and the opinions of the Presidential Candidates on the subject.  It’s a great overview of the issue that doesn’t have to rely on the insanity of Ted “a series of tubes” Stevens to make its point.