I understand you’re an accomplished World of Warcraft player, too. Again, the majority of people who play World of Warcraft are working-class people—a lot of them are illiterate. It brings an enormous amount of diversity from all around the world together. In my World of Warcraft guild, I have bartenders and nurses and soldiers in Afghanistan, and we all play together. (via Hubbub with Joi Ito – Boston Magazine

)


T F m
August 31, 2011

In the world of technology, “crowdsourcing” means inviting a group to collaborate on a solution to a problem, but that term didn’t yet exist in 2003. It was coined by Jeff Howe of Wired magazine in 2006 to refer to the widespread Internet practice of posting an open call requesting help in completing some task, whether writing code (that’s how much of the open-source code that powers the Mozilla browser was written) or creating a winning logo (like the “Birdie” design of Twitter, which cost a total of six bucks).


T F m
August 31, 2011

In the world of technology, “crowdsourcing” means inviting a group to collaborate on a solution to a problem, but that term didn’t yet exist in 2003. It was coined by Jeff Howe of Wired magazine in 2006 to refer to the widespread Internet practice of posting an open call requesting help in completing some task, whether writing code (that’s how much of the open-source code that powers the Mozilla browser was written) or creating a winning logo (like the “Birdie” design of Twitter, which cost a total of six bucks).


T F m
August 31, 2011

Business models like this depend on “network effects,” where the more clients you have, the more your service is worth. Software developers want to write apps for the iPhone because there are a lot of iPhones. There are a lot of iPhones because people want to be able to choose from among a lot of apps. Once a business reaches a tipping point of market share, network effect logic takes over and everyone gets rich. Similarly, the value of ConnectEDU to high schools rises as the number of colleges accepting applications from the company’s data system goes up, and the value to colleges rises with each new participating high school. There are other players in this market, including the Common Application and a company called Naviance, which offers electronic college planning tools for high school students. The virtue of ConnectEDU, though, is that it spans the entire process, from late middle school into college and beyond. The company’s first foray into the market came in 2006, when it signed up three colleges and fifteen high schools. In 2007, it was up to thirty-five high schools and 300 colleges. It began signing up school districts instead of individual schools, then moved to contracts with entire states, starting with Michigan. The number of high schools increased to 700 in 2008, 1,700 in 2009, and 2,500 in 2010. That amounts to about 2.5 million students. The Miami-Dade County school system joined the network last year. The state of Hawaii signed up in May 2011.


T F m
August 31, 2011

Higher education is what economists call an “experiential good,” something you can’t fully understand until after you purchase and experience it.


T F m
August 31, 2011

Most admissions directors don’t lose any sleep over the number of brochures they send out. The more applications, the lower the admission rate, the better the college looks. But Brenzel’s Jesuit training and philosophical education gnawed at him. Inducing unqualified students to apply seemed ethically suspect. What if, because of him, they failed to apply to a good school that would have them? What if he prevented them from making the right match?

He also knew that, by definition, he was missing the most brilliant, interesting, and multidimensional students who happened to fall just short of the threshold SAT. They were out there, somewhere. But he couldn’t see them, and they didn’t know that he was looking.


T F m
August 31, 2011

Most admissions directors don’t lose any sleep over the number of brochures they send out. The more applications, the lower the admission rate, the better the college looks. But Brenzel’s Jesuit training and philosophical education gnawed at him. Inducing unqualified students to apply seemed ethically suspect. What if, because of him, they failed to apply to a good school that would have them? What if he prevented them from making the right match?

He also knew that, by definition, he was missing the most brilliant, interesting, and multidimensional students who happened to fall just short of the threshold SAT. They were out there, somewhere. But he couldn’t see them, and they didn’t know that he was looking.


T F m
August 31, 2011

Media Archeology Festival

Rewind – Play – Fast Forward

September 15-17, 2011

All Events are FREE

Aurora Picture Show presents the 8th annual Media Archeology Festival Thursday, September 15 through Saturday, September 17, 2011 in Houston. Taking place at venues across the city, including The Orange Show and Menil park, the festival is presented in collaboration with the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. This multi-media festival showcases artists who use, manipulate, recycle and reinvent electronic media to create live multidisciplinary performances.

This year, the festival explores the ideas of games and play from the past and present. Games are social tools for interaction, community building, and entertainment that have traditionally permeated media in various ways—all the way from chess, charades and hula-hoops, to role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons and now to the World of Warcraft, one of the most successful multi-player role playing video games of recent times. This year’s festival Rewind – Play – Fast Forward examines new forms and contexts of performance-based art informed by games through visuals, interactivity and strategy.

The three nights of the festival include the following:

Thursday, September 15, 8PM
Sniff with Karolina Sobecka
Location: Chick and Chica, 3710 Main Street
For the opening night of Media Archeology, Aurora invites everyone to midtown Houston for a unique shop window display sure to entertain. Sniff is an interactive projection where an animated CG dog follows the viewer, responds to gestures and forms a relationship based on the history of their interaction. Sniff was created with Unity3d Game Engine, which renders the dog in real time and allows it to dynamically change his behavior based on the video tracking data. READ MORE

Friday, September 16, 8PM
Performing and Playing in Bits with Robert Thoth
Location: The Menil Collection front lawn
For the second night of the festival, we invite you to another memorable night of Media Archeology at The Menil Collection with multiple projections of video games of the past and a live performance. Houston artist Robert Thoth will present the live cinema performance “The Chip Tune Crooner” during which he will perform popular songs from the 1960s to 1980s which are accompanied by a low tech 8-bit orchestra created from vintage computer parts, complete with large pixel-art music videos projected behind him. In addition to Robert’s performance, Aurora will present a cornucopia of video games available to audiences to play and compete in a festive and larger than life capacity out under the stars. READ MORE

Saturday, September 17, 8PM
Wizard Takes All with Eddo Stern
Location: The Orange Show, 2402 Munger Street
Commissioned specifically for Media Archeology, media artist Eddo Stern presents Wizard Takes All, for the final night of the festival. This is a live computer game performance that explores the relationships between scripted time and space, role playing, acting, audience/performer relationships, computer simulation and the boundaries between narrative and game-play. A single player/performer plays an all-powerful wizard who possesses boundless audiovisual powers. The wizard stands above a large group of avatar minions, uses hand gestures and chants which are analyzed by software and activated into visuals representing “magical powers” for the purpose of the game. Members of the audience, through the use of simple custom game controllers, control the actions of the mob. The wizard and the mob are engaged in an epic computer game battle that gradually builds in intensity as the performance develops towards a spectacular synesthetic climax. READ MORE

(via Media Archeology Festival) via Rex Koontz.


T F m
August 30, 2011

Training children to use Microsoft Office is the contemporary equivalent of the touch-typing courses that secretarial colleges used to run for girls in the 1940s and 1950s – useful for a limited role in the workplace, perhaps, but not much good for life in the modern world.


T F m
August 29, 2011

Training children to use Microsoft Office is the contemporary equivalent of the touch-typing courses that secretarial colleges used to run for girls in the 1940s and 1950s – useful for a limited role in the workplace, perhaps, but not much good for life in the modern world.


T F m
August 29, 2011