Job prospects dim? You’re not the only one depressed.

Freshmen are reporting record levels of stress in an annual survey involving more than 200,000 students.

You can still profit from your college experience by following these “tips for getting student discounts long after graduation.” via Byline

This would be a lot cooler if Dustin O’Conner hadn’t already done it in my Creative Networks class.

Is there anywhere JavaScript can’t go? (Via Bruce Sterling)

*Another lash-up. They’re coming thick and fast. I’ve never seen a tech-development scene work like this before — so virally. This is not “Augmented Reality,” it’s more of a gestural interface… but c’mon, it’s 2011 and they’re websurfing by waving their hands.

DepthJS from Fluid Interfaces on Vimeo.

Here’s your chance to repurpose those sketches from that game design class. via Byline Want to make a game? You might have a hard time finding the money if you don’t have a multimillion dollar studio. Or a trust fund. Or a rich uncle. That’s why Geoff Gibson created 8-Bit Funding, a site that helps finance indie game developers.

If the Yes Men were the “Da Men,” they would have been locked up long ago. I hope Plutser-Sarno has a better travel agent than Julian Assange.

Aleksei Plutser-Sarno has been on the run since Russian law enforcement has been working to shut down Voina, the radical Russian art collective he belongs to….

For three years, Voina, which means war, has been playing cat-and-mouse with Russian law enforcement, staging street actions that ranged from the obscure (throwing live cats at McDonald’s cashiers) to the monumental (a 210-foot penis painted on a St. Petersburg drawbridge, so that it rose up pointing at the offices of the F.S.B., the security service).

Last September, Voina launched its most audacious project: “Palace Revolution,” which involved running up to parked police cars and flipping them over — a commentary, the group explained, on police corruption…

But Voina did not need art-world connections — YouTube, LiveJournal and Twitter gave it access to young Russians who shared the group’s sense of humor and rage at the police. Its plans got bigger, riskier. Before painting the penis on the bridge last June, the group practiced for a month before concluding that nine people could do the job in 30 seconds. As it turned out, guards barreled after them and they had only 23 seconds.

The image stood for a few hours before the authorities scrubbed it off; by then it had exploded onto the Internet. It was, Mr. Plutser-Sarno said, Voina’s most perfect act.

Just when you thought slime molds, which alternate between individual and collective organisms, couldn’t get any weirder.

If amoebas can grow their own food, you have even less of an excuse for not doing so yourself. And no, Farmville doesn’t count.

Slime Molds Are Earth’s Smallest, Oldest Farmers via Byline Colonies of a bizarre microbial goo have been found practicing agriculture at a scale tinier than any seen before….

When food is short, hundreds of thousands of amoebas come together, fusing into a single entity. It may crawl off as a slug in search of richer pastures, then form a stalk topped by a “fruiting body” that bursts to disperse a few lucky amoebas-turned-spores. Or it may form the stalk right away, without crawling.

It’s been thought that slime molds simply scavenge, eating bacteria they like and oozing out the rest. In laboratories, researchers “cure” slime molds of their bacteria by allowing them to purge themselves on Petri dishes. But Brock, who studies how slime-mold cells communicate and self-organize, kept finding bacteria in the fruiting bodies of some slime molds and not others….

They found that some strains didn’t gorge themselves and “lick the plate clean” of bacteria, but instead saved some inside of the colony. They were farmers, and fared better in some soils than their nonfarming counterparts.

From the original article:

“The behavior falls short of the kind of ‘farming’ that more advanced animals do; ants, for example, nurture a single fungus species that no longer exists in the wild. But the idea that an amoeba that spends much of its life as a single-celled organism could hold short of consuming a food supply before decamping is an astonishing one. More than just a snack for the journey of dispersal, the idea is that the bacteria that travel with the spores can ‘seed’ a new bacterial colony, and thus a food source in case the new locale should be lacking in bacteria.”

Just when you thought it was safe to use a Mac. Well, I guess it’s still pretty safe if you don’t click on that suspicious Facebook link.

Java: write once, spam everywhere.

(via Bruce Sterling)

“The bot was discovered spreading over Facebook posts that planted the following message on infected users’ Facebook pages: “As you are on my friends list I thought I would let you know I have decided to end my life.” An included link leads recipients to a cross-platform JAR, or Java Archive file that can run on Windows, Mac, or Linux. Once the recipient is infected, his Facebook page carries the same dire warning.”

“Known as Trojan.Jnanabot, or alternately as OSX/Koobface.A or trojan.osx.boonana.a, the bot made waves in October when researchers discovered its Java-based makeup allowed it to attack Mac and Linux machines, not just Windows PCs as is the case with most malware. Once installed, the trojan components are stored in an invisible folder and use strong encryption to keep communications private.

“The bot can force its host to take instructions through internet relay chat, perform DDoS attacks, and post fraudulent messages to the victim’s Facebook account, among other things….”

Record labels agree to settle a class-action lawsuit by paying songwriters $47.5 million for tracks the labels themselves pirated. Oh, and Sony et al. didn’t make the 300,000 copyrighted songs (which they didn’t own) freely available on a filesharing network–they *sold* them. via Byline “Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc., EMI Music Canada Inc., Universal Music Canada Inc. and Warner Music Canada Co. have agreed to pay songwriters and music publishers $47.5 million in damages for copyright infringement and overdue royalties to settle a class action lawsuit. ‘The 2008 class action alleges that the record companies “exploited” music owners by reproducing and selling in excess of 300,000 song titles without securing licenses from the copyright owners and/or without paying the associated royalty payments. The record companies knowingly did so and kept a so-called “pending list” of unlicensed reproductions, setting aside $50 million for the issue, if it ever arose, court filings suggest.’”

Not to be outdone, Microsoft is trying to patent the idea of a “fan.” via Byline theodp writes “A USPTO filing made public Thursday reveals that Microsoft is seeking a patent for something it calls ‘One-Way Public Relationships’ in social networks and other online properties, lawyer-speak for what’s more commonly known as being a ‘fan’ of something online. It’s unclear whether it’s a goof on Apple, but Microsoft curiously used the example of a U2 fan named Steve to explain its ‘invention’ to the USPTO. Purported patent reformer Microsoft, which has called for the US to change from a first-to-invent patent system to a first-to-file system, filed the patent application in July 2009. Microsoft is a partner with and investor in Facebook, which first established its fan pages back in November 2007.”

Maybe these old media companies should be looking at newer, “free-to-play” business models. via Byline Last June, Turbine made the decision to switch Lord of the Rings Online from a subscription-based business model to a free-to-play model supported by microtransactions. In a podcast interview with Ten Ton Hammer, Turbine executives revealed that the switch has gone well for the company, with game revenues roughly tripling. The active player base has also grown significantly in that time. Executive Producer Kate Paiz said, “This really echoes a lot of what we’ve seen throughout the entertainment industry in general. It’s really about letting players make their choices about how they play.”

If this research is to be believed, your professor’s ugly PowerPoint fonts make you more likely to remember his lectures, and you’re gonna forget that book you read on your Kindle or iPad because the screen is too crisp.

Is the takeaway that good graphic design leads to bad education? Or is it that anything that gets students to participate more actively–even if only to squint their eyes–stimulates learning more than passive edutainment? via Byline When students read books printed in hard-to-read fonts like Comic Sans, they retain information from them better than material printed in traditional fonts.

Meanwhile, on Slashdot: via Byline New research suggests that the clear screens and easily read fonts of e-readers makes your brain “lazy.” According to Neuroscience blogger Jonah Lehrer, using electronic books like the Kindle and Sony Reader makes you less likely to remember what you have read because the devices are so easy on the eyes. From the article: “Rather than making things clearer, e-readers and computers prevent us from absorbing information because their crisp screens and fonts tell our subconscious that the words they convey are not important, it is claimed. In contrast, handwriting and fonts that are more challenging to read signal to the brain that the content of the message is important and worth remembering, experts say.”

A documentary Film

For many of us our parents encourage us to attend college and get a higher education so that we can have a choice of what we would like for ourselves in life an not just have to settle for what we can get. When i first when to college I was filled with the idea when I got out I’d have a leg up on the rest of the world, that I’d have to beat employers off with a stick and choosing a my career would be like choosing which gift to first unwrap at christmas; exciting, somewhat expected, and always with careful and thoughtful deliberation. A year out of school and I quickly found out that was not the case at all. Instead of exploring new areas and growing into adult hood I found myself back in my old room and in many ways back into adolescence. Now don’t get me wrong I would not change my college experience for anything, not only was I expose to classes of people I wouldn’t normally interact with and create strong bonds and important relationships, college helped me view the world beyond myself, brought my attitude and intelligence to a higher level, and help form me into a daring, risk taking, creative person. Still I wish my income could reflect those four years that help me grow so much.  Though I understand that times are tough and I am not the only person with such ‘after college shock’ and what’s helping me get through this difficult time for our nation is in fact my background in higher education.  I’m realizing that to be an adult is to tackle responsibilities that may not make you happy  while still pursuing that thing that motivates you.

The link above is a link to my blog for a documentary film I’m working on about this very subject. Titled: Overqualified At first this film was going to be a broad documentary about what it means to be a college graduate in todays economy but as things evolved it has become more to focus about a certain individual named Rachel. Rachel graduated top of her class in both high school and college, she is driven, smart, articulate and struggling, like may of us are.  I won’t go into more detail because that is what the blog is for. If you have the time check it out, give me some feed back and hey if you feel like supporting a local filmmaker and fellow black bear, donate a dollar or two.

Ever wonder how our failing economy is staying afloat?

China is lending US gov’t money…because we gave that money to our failing banks who have used that money to pay lobbyists to stop the government from regulating their actions.  Puzzled?  Check out common sense economist Richard Wolff as he explains Why the Economic Crisis Deepens

Tired of bad news?

YES! Magazine reframes the biggest problems of our time in terms of their solutions. Online and in print, we outline a path forward with in-depth analysis, tools for citizen engagement, and stories about real people working for a better world.

Powerful Ideas, Practical Actions

2010 yes magazine covers

Today’s world is not the one we want—climate change, financial collapse, poverty, and war leave many feeling overwhelmed and hopeless.

YES! Magazine empowers people with the vision and tools to create a healthy planet and vibrant communities.

Some people will do anything to pass NMD102. At least when Variable Media students recreated Pacman in the university parking lot, no one ended up in the hospital ;)

BigSes writes “A 23-year old man has been hospitalized after police in South Carolina say he was hit by an SUV while playing a real-life version of the video game Frogger. Authorities said the 23-year-old man was taken to a hospital in Anderson after he was struck Monday evening. Before he was hit, police say the man had been discussing the game with his friends. Chief Jimmy Dixon says the man yelled ‘go’ and darted into oncoming traffic in the four-lane highway. Has it come time to ban some of the classics before someone else goes out and breaks a few bricks with their heads after eating a large mushroom?”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

You’ve spent your winter break tricking out your Arduino board and now you’re planning to bring it back to school on the plane. Whoops! You forgot that your custom art installation looks just like a homemade bomb to the airport scanner.

Here’s a handy guide to getting your gizmos through security without ending up on the terror suspect watch list.

(via Bruce Sterling)

Hmmmm, this sounds familiar… (January 7, 2011)
The super-stylish GL20 Camera Glasses contain a camera and 1.5-inch OLED screens that can capture and display images and video to people around you.

The GL20 shades have a USB key in the earpiece so imagery can be transferred to a computer and uploaded to the Internet. The shades will be released later this year at an unspecified price.

A veiled, black-clad Lady Gaga, Polaroid’s creative director, demoed a prototype of the specs on a mannequin, calling the shades the first of their kind. (April 2010)

The iGlasses are a hands free camera located in a pair of sunglasses. They are designed for users who find themselves moving around too much to stop and take pictures.

The glasses can take up to 1,200 1.3 mega pixel photographs over the course of 8 hours. The photographs are automatically streamed online to Flickr when plugged in to a computer via USB.

Obviously they are a little different. Her glasses incorporated a portable printer, and are “super-stylish”

Lady Gaga Camera Glasses
The iGlasses

Your parents probably are more likely to talk nice about family, while you’re probably more likely to cuss about music or sex. And that’s why you’re more likely to be popular on Facebook, according to one read of Facebook’s recent statistical correlation of user comments and number of friends.

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