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  Monkeys, Shakespeare, etc.  
 
 
Posted 2003-05-09 by
 
 
     
 
An apparently bored group of London researchers decided to test the infamous theory that monkeys would eventually type out Shakespeare's works through random chance... so they gave them a computer.

At first, said Phillips, "the lead male got a stone and started bashing the hell out of it.

"Another thing they were interested in was in defecating and urinating all over the keyboard," added Phillips, who runs the university's Institute of Digital Arts and Technologies.


You can read the whole fascinating tale here. I'm sure that, given just a little more time, the primates would have at least come up with something on par with a Joe Eszterhas script.
 
     
 
   
 
  1 comments  
  Kids:  Copying Files Is Illegal  
 
 
Posted 2003-05-05 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
America's Business Software Alliance recently launched www.playitcybersafe.com, a site that aims to teach parents, teachers, and kids the legality and ethics of handling online material.

The Alliance's dogma, "Play It Safe in Cyber Space," encourages parents and teachers to:
  • "Remind kids that even when a friend offers to copy software it may be illegal to do so."
  • "Define cyber-ethics terms such as 'copyright,' 'license agreement,' and 'software piracy,' and discuss them routinely with your children. Show them what a copyright symbol ((C)) looks like and what it means."
  • "Establish ground rules. Establish the rule -- 'Don't copy.' Whether at home, at school, or at a friend's house, turn respect for copyright law into family policy."


  • Or, if you're a a little less robotic and dull-witted than the Business Software Alliance would like you to be, why not also educate your kids on the joys of "Fair Use," or alternatives to standard copyright, such as "Copyleft" or the "Creative Commons."
     
         
     
       
     
      1 comments  
      Patriotic Education Through Ignorance  
     
     
    Posted 2003-03-26 by
     
     
         
     
    A teacher in inner-city Detroit has a blog entry worrying about the disappearance of an Iraqi student and his family. Fellow teachers have noticed that other Middle Eastern students have gone missing, too. Have they fled the US, been deported, or been abducted by black helicopters? Perhaps there's something sinister afoot or maybe there's a reasonable explanation. But two other things in the blog make me queasy. The first is that the state is removing social studies from school curriculums except for American History (World History has already been tossed). I suppose that makes sense as the Global Village becomes Americanized. The second is, according to this teacher, all school faculty and staff have been ordered not to speak against the war or the American government in front of students. Good thing the students don't know World History or this policy would sound frighteningly familiar. [spotted by orneryboy]
     
         
     
       
     
      5 comments  
      Thomas The Tank Engine: Derailed  
     
     
    Posted 2003-03-12 by Tony Walsh
     
     
         
     
    Thomas the Tank engine shows tots so many rail crashes that the precious little monkeys are likely to become dreadfully fearful of trains. This, according to Brian Young, a psychology lecturer at Britain's Exeter University. [source]

    It's not unusual for TV shows targetting children to be accused of making them crazy. Read "Barney vs. Individuality" or "Education, Commercialism and Barney" by Terrell Henry. Or recall Jerry Falwell's Tiny Winky obsession. Or the seizure-inducing Pocket Monsters. It's a madhouse! A madhouse!
     
         
     
       
     
      2 comments  
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    Dinozoiks wrote:
    Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
    in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


    yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
    in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


    I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
    in More iPhone Gestures, Please


    Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
    in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


    Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
    in More iPhone Gestures, Please


    It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
    in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


    @GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
    in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


    ...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
    in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


    The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
    in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


    Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
    in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


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