|Ken Novak's Weblog
Purpose of this blog: to retain annotated bookmarks for my future reference, and to offer others my filter technology and other news. Note that this blog is categorized. Use the category links to find items that match your interests.
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Thursday, May 29, 2003
Video-Game Killing Builds Visual Skills
: "And now, the news that every parent dreads. Researchers are reporting today that first-person-shooter video games -- the kind that require players to kill or maim enemies or monsters that pop out of nowhere -- sharply improve visual attention skills. Experienced players of these games are 30 percent to 50 percent better than nonplayers at taking in everything that happens around them, according to the research, which appears today in the journal Nature. They identify objects in their peripheral vision, perceiving numerous objects without having to count them, switch attention rapidly and track many items at once. Nor are players simply faster at these tasks, said Dr. Daphne Bavelier, an associate professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Rochester, who led the study. First-person action games increase the brain's capacity to spread attention over a wide range of events. Other types of action games, including those that focus on strategy or role playing, do not produce the same effect." 10:02:23 PM
The stench over Mahawil
: "now the extent of the regime's cruelty is becoming clear. The decomposed remains of more than 2600 victims have already been exhumed at Mahawil, according to US officials, and thousands more remain in the ground, spread over a series of mass graves.. Mahawil is near the city of Hilla, where public killings by Saddam's security forces occurred in the aftermath of the First Gulf War. Troops in the city who refused to attack their countrymen were also put to death." "In a 14-page report
, The Mass Graves of Mahawil: The Truth Uncovered, [Human Rights Watch] cited eyewitness accounts that confirm the victims were killed during the suppression of the Shiite uprising. According to some estimates, as many as 15,000 bodies are believed to be buried in graves discovered several weeks ago near the Mahawil military base" 8:25:39 PM
Can Human Ideals Survive the Internet?
: First chapter of a book on the influence of networks on society. Good comments on "the scattered self" that arises from use of media, especially online media. "The correlate of the mechanism or automaton is the scattered self. To understand this, it may help to think of the psychoanalyst's couch. It is just when the patient abandons his conscious functioning in favor of the most automatic, reflexive responses, that his "output" becomes helter-skelter, scattered, irrational, yet predictable in the merely associational terms characteristic of a lowered consciousness In other words, the level where we act most mechanistically and unconsciously is the level where coherent meaning is shattered into those suggestive shards that the analyst (from a higher and more conscious viewpoint) must painstakingly try to reassemble into a meaningful story. The effort is not always successful. And even if it is, it does the patient no good unless he, too, can eventually arrive at something like the analyst's higher understanding, begin to integrate his life around it, and then choose his future in full responsibility." Like "losing" hours online surfing the net (and lately, blogging...) The author's FAQ
looks interesting. 5:49:02 PM
Applications at Vovida.org
: "The Vovida Open Communication Application Library (VOCAL) is an open source project targeted at facilitating the adoption of VoIP .. The software in VOCAL includes a SIP based Redirect Server, Feature Server, Provisioning Server, Policy Server and Marshal Proxy along with protocol translators from SIP to H.323 and SIP to MGCP." Listed in a directory
of VOIP products and applications. 4:35:00 PM
Environmental Groups Gain as Companies Vote on Issues
: "Last year, [stockholder] resolutions concerning global warming won about 18 percent of shareholders' support at a dozen or so companies, according to the United States Public Interest Research Group, which has helped organize efforts for the resolutions. This year, they have averaged more than 25 percent at more than twice the number of companies, the group said. .. Ms. Voorhes of the Investor Responsibility Research Center said, "What we're seeing with these vote results creeping up is that people are saying maybe there is something to this idea that global climate change is a risk and the companies aren't preparing for it, they aren't discussing it forthrightly or in detail."" 9:36:13 AM