What's This World Coming To? The Future of Massively Multiplayer Games
Of all the games in the world, the group loosely classified as "massively multiplayer" or "persistent world" games have the most unexplored potential. They're among the oldest of multiplayer games; the very first networked computer users played adventure games similar to EverQuest, but comprised entirely of text. And with the advent of graphical interfaces, these massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs for short) may someday change the way we live and communicate online!
...at least, that's the promise. In the meantime the genre is trying to find legs. Are these products games or are they services? Should they be complex or simple? Should they cater to niches or mainstream audiences? How should people access them? The Game Developers Conference gives game developers the unique opportunity of stepping away from their current projects for a couple of days to put their heads together and hash out the answers to these problems.
Beyond Skepticism: The Rise of 9-11 Conspiracy Theories and the Discourse of Armchair Sleuths
Thanks to the Internet, evocative information spreads faster than kudzu. Whereas in the past only the most dedicated would take the time to spend hours in that dark library microfiche room, it now is remarkably easy to become an amateur stay-at-home sleuth finding what may appear to be inconsistencies in official stories. We no longer need to get close to that strange man on the corner to read his placard or take a pamphlet. The Internet again becomes the whipping boy of modernity, exacerbating the old customs of gossip and credulity as only it can.
One of the first photos from ESA's new Envisat satellite is of the Antarctic ice shelf collapse. They also have a nice animation of the progressive shrinking of the shelf over the last 16 years.
See also: 'Green' satellite calls home
Filtering Software: The Religious Connection: Nancy Willard from CATE's Responsible Netizen examines the relationships between eight companies which produce internet filtering software and conservative religious organizations. [via BookNotes]