Ghost writing online

When Stars Twitter, a Ghost May Be Lurking
“Many online commentators are appalled at the practice of enlisting ghost Twitterers, but Joseph Nejman, a former consultant to Ms. Spears who helped conceive her Web strategy, said there was a more than a whiff of hypocrisy among critics. “It’s O.K. to tweet for a brand,” he said, remarking how common it is for companies to have Twitter accounts, “but not O.K. for a celebrity. But the truth is, they are a brand. What they are to the public is not always what they are behind the curtain. If the manager knows that better than the star, then they should do it.””
NYTimes.com

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Virtual star-gazing

Humble Telescope
“Inside the telescope exists a 3D simulation of our entire known universe. Pointing the telescope in any direction immediately shows us what exists in that area of space, so now we can get a greater understanding of where the planets are and where we live in the Milky Way.”
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FreshMoCo

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Helping you get off the internet

Support Radio: Internet walkie-talkie concept is like audio Twitter
“For the computer users who have decided to reduce time spent online I created Blink, a product that refers to cognitive behavioural research to ease the transition to a life less dependent on the computer. A miniature camera that takes snaps at twelve random intervals throughout the day. The timer gives a three second warning when it is about to go off causing the wearer to take stock of their current activity. Another snap of the computer? At the end of each day the person is required to put all the photos into an album to display their progress.”
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CrunchGear

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The blackboard blog

All the News That Fits: Liberia’s Blackboard Headlines
“The man behind what is surely the most widely read report here in the capital is a self-taught newshound with little more than a high school education and a nose for a good scoop. He is Alfred Sirleaf, the 33-year-old managing editor of The Daily Talk, a white plywood shed trumpeting the latest headlines along Tubman Boulevard, one of the capital’s main thoroughfares. “Those who don’t have opportunity to buy newspaper, go on the Internet, who can’t afford to buy generator to buy TV,” he said, describing just about everyone in this battered city, “I do all the dirty work for them, and I just give them exactly what they want.” ”
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New York Times

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Tongue control

Experimental tongue music
“The Tongue Music system is an experimental instrument using the tongue, rather than the hand, to generate sounds. There is one person performing in front of projector, which displays an abstract video image consisting of hundreds of dots. The performer controls the mouse with his tongue to simultaneously manipulate the video images (the color and size of dots are changed along with music), the piano sound, as well as the presence or absence of a beat.”
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Make

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Wiki activity

WikiRank: Graphing What is Popular on Wikipedia
WikiRank [wikirank.com] shows a series of sparklines to denote those Wikipedia articles that are the most read, and those pages that are gaining in popularity. In addition, one can explore each article’s detail page via search, which includes an article excerpt, traffic numbers and a web-embeddable traffic chart that compares the relative popularity of up to 4 other topics.”
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information aesthetics

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3D visualizations

Vis/Space: A Client-Server System for 3D Visual Data Exploration
“Seemingly conceptually similar to the iFree3D system that has been blogged earlier this week, Vis/Space [hfbk.net] is a client-server system to visually explore data-structures in 3D virtual space. It allows the placement of various data sources in a three-dimensional environment. Custom search terms can be entered into a query field, or can be navigated to and from an existing object. All objects like images and “text screens” can be moved around. A single click on an image shows the full-resolution version in the foreground. Whole collections of images can be moved with a orange cube handle. A click to the cube also toggles among several different possible layouts”
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information aesthetics

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Shutting down virtual worlds

Teleportation, the last battle, and the Creator talks: How the world ends inside an online game
Asheron’s Call 2 was the one of the first really big modern MMO worlds to shut down, so when the world actually came to an end, not much happened: The logged-in players got a perfunctory note from the developers, and then they were booted offline. But now that economic hard times are here, more online worlds are dying, and here’s the interesting thing: They’re realizing that they owe it to their long-time players to make it into a sort of event. Game designers are realizing that ending their world in a dramatically satisfying way is actually a very interesting logistical, ludogical, and emotional trick. In essence, we’re slowly seeing the emergence of eschatology as a design challenge.
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collision detection

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Getting the screen right

F.lux: Location Based Computer Lighting Control
“Designed to help moderate the negative effects of constantly staring at a bright computer screen, F.lux is software that will change the brightness and temperature of your monitor to be appropriate for your location, time of day and ambient lighting situation.  It was created to help soften the biorhythm disrupting nature of the computer screen – if you’ve ever stayed up late doing computer work and had trouble getting to sleep, or waking up in the morning, F.lux could help.”
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PSFK.com

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