Category: Text

Retweet & Sexting Are Now Words In Oxford English Dictionary

The Concise Oxford English Dictionary has added 400 words to its dictionary, including retweet, woot, sexting and cyberbullying.

The 12th edition of the dictionary is a recognition that modern technology and social media have greatly impacted the English language. Retweet, the act of resharing a message on Twitter, is our favorite addition, though sexting and woot are a close second and third.

Read the complete article at Mashable.

Deciding on a Book, and How to Read It

I just read a book!

This might not sound so extraordinary, but I didn’t just read a book in print, on an e-reader or even on a mobile phone. Instead, I read a book on dozens of devices.

I was not trying to set a Guinness world record or paying off on an obscure bet. I wanted to answer a question I often hear: which e-reader or tablet is the best for reading books?

Read the complete story at NY Times.

Feature: Barbarella World

Image source:

Written by Yong Kim

Is our society becoming like the one in the film Barbarella? For those who aren’t familiar with that film (those who are, forgive me for oversimplifying it for the purposes of this text), the world in Barbarella shows a futuristic society of people living such a clinically clean life, so devoid of human connection (though not necessarily lacking interaction or physical contact), that sex is an experience facilitated by an “exaltation-transference” pill, though still with a partner. (Did I mention the movie was made in the late-’60s?) The character Barbarella thrives on the intimate interactions she has throughout the film because such experiences are foreign to her. So, is our society becoming like the world in Barbarella, one in which protocol for human interaction will be so drastically redefined? In one respect, we already have (perhaps in more ways but I will limit myself to just the one here).

In respect to communication technology, our society today is just as advanced as the world of Barbarella. With so much of that advancement having happened within the last two decades, human interaction seems to have been drastically redefined. Redefining human interaction is not necessarily a negative change, however. As technology advances, our communication needs increase (often due to technological advances), and the mode and manner of our interactions change.

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The Art of Immersion: Why Do We Tell Stories?

What is it about stories, anyway?

Anthropologists tell us that storytelling is central to human existence. That it’s common to every known culture. That it involves a symbiotic exchange between teller and listener — an exchange we learn to negotiate in infancy.

Just as the brain detects patterns in the visual forms of nature — a face, a figure, a flower — and in sound, so too it detects patterns in information. Stories are recognizable patterns, and in those patterns we find meaning. We use stories to make sense of our world and to share that understanding with others. They are the signal within the noise.

So powerful is our impulse to detect story patterns that we see them even when they’re not there.

In a landmark 1944 study, 34 humans — Massachusetts college students actually, though subsequent research suggests they could have been just about anyone — were shown a short film and asked what was happening in it. The film showed two triangles and a circle moving across a two-dimensional surface. The only other object onscreen was a stationary rectangle, partially open on one side.

Only one of the test subjects saw this scene for what it was: geometric shapes moving across a plane. Everyone else came up with elaborate narratives to explain what the movements were about. Typically, the participants viewed the triangles as two men fighting and the circle as a woman trying to escape the bigger, bullying triangle. Instead of registering inanimate shapes, they imagined humans with vivid inner lives. The circle was “worried.” The circle and the little triangle were “innocent young things.” The big triangle was “blinded by rage and frustration.”

But if stories themselves are universal, the way we tell them changes with the technology at hand. Every new medium has given rise to a new form of narrative. In Europe, the invention of the printing press and movable type around 1450 led to the emergence of periodicals and the novel. The invention of the motion picture camera around 1890 set off an era of feverish experimentation that led to the development of feature films by 1910. Television, invented around 1925, gave rise a quarter-century later to I Love Lucy and the highly stylized form of comedy that became known as the sitcom.

Read the complete article at Wired.

For Some Travelers Stranded in Airports, Relief Is in 140 Characters

ATLANTA — Some travelers stranded by the great snowstorm of 2010 discovered a new lifeline for help. When all else fails, Twitter might be the best way to book a seat home.

While the airlines’ reservation lines required hours of waiting — if people could get through at all — savvy travelers were able to book new reservations, get flight information and track lost luggage. And they could complain, too.

Read the complete article at NYTimes

After Media (Hot and Cold)

Marshal McLuhan

Image source: KK*

Written by Eduardo Navas

The following text was originally published during the month of August, 2009 as part of Drain‘s Cold issue. The journal is a refereed online journal published bi-annually. The text is republished in full on Vodule according to an agreement for republication on Remix Theory, where it was published on October 17, 2009. Drain’s copyright agreement allows for 25% of the essay to be reblogged or reposted on other sites with proper citation and linkage to the journal at We ask that their agreement be respected by the online community.

This text is republished on Vodule because it directly relates to our mission to explore the extension of volume and modularity.

In 1964 Marshal McLuhan published his essay “Media Hot and Cold,” in one of his most influential books, Understanding Media.[1] The essay considers the concepts of hot and cold as metaphors to define how people before and during the sixties related to the ongoing development of media, not only in Canada and the United States but also throughout the world.[2] Since the sixties, the terms hot and cold have become constant points of reference in media studies. However, these principles, as defined by McLuhan, have changed since he first introduced them. What follows is a reflection on such changes during the development of media in 2009.

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In e-reader accessibility race, new Kindle, iPad in front

E-readers are becoming increasingly popular, due in part to plummeting prices and the growing availability of books in various digital formats. One area where these companies are notoriously weak, however, is accessibility—and we’re not talking about the Internet kind.

One of the big strengths of digital books should be their easy support for technologies like screen reading and large print, tools that can help the visually impaired. But as it turns out, such progress has been slow and unsatisfactory for many users.

Read the complete article at ars technica

Amazon Reveals New Kindle: $139 For Wi-Fi Version, $189 For 3G

Amazon today unveiled the new Kindle e-reader, though it was not personally revealed by Bezos, as we heard rumored. The new device has a 6″ display like the old Kindle, but is the newer type of E-ink display found in the Kindle DX Graphite. There are other differences, but the main one would be price: the brand-new Kindle will be sold at $139 for the Wi-Fi only version, undercutting even the bare bones readers out there.

In addition to the price and screen change, the redesigned body is 21% smaller and 15% lighter, down to about 8.5oz. If their press release is to be believed, it’s also got twice the storage (4GB) and significantly improved battery life over the old Kindle.

Read the complete article at Crunch Gear