"Foursquare retained the Dodgeball idea of location check-ins, but took it a step further. It added gaming elements like earning badges and points, so you could compete against your friends to see who was more socially active in a particular week. It also introduced the idea of mayorships -- for those who checked in the most at a specific spot -- which has since become one of Foursquare's most recognizable features. While Dodgeball's only incentive for checking in was to hang out with your buddies, Foursquare encouraged users to check in pretty much everywhere. Checking in wasn't just about telling your friends where you were -- it was also about exploring new places and documenting your whereabouts."
4. There is some heavy, em-dash-laden thinking going on to understand what it means to run an economy on attention.
"How are the ways we understand subjective experience –not least cognitively – being modulated by political economic rationales? And how might artists, cultural theorists, social scientists and radical philosophers learn to respond –analytically, creatively, methodologically and politically– to the commodification of human capacities of attention? This theme issue of Culture Machine explores these interlinked questions as a way of building upon and opening out contemporary research concerning the economisation of cognitive capacities... this special issue proposes a contemporary critical re-focussing on the politics, ethics and aesthetics of the ‘attention economy’, a notion developed in the 1990s by scholars such as Jonathan Beller, Michael Goldhaber and Georg Franck. This notion –and the related conceptualisations such as ‘experience design’, the competition for ‘eyeballs’, ‘click-throughs’ and so on– animates contemporary digital media production, advertising and the online, multitasking, near-pervasive media milieu in which they develop."
+ The theme issue: Paying Attention.
5. Ballerina feet are crazy technology.
"Self-treatment is the norm. Some is benign: wrapping feet in tape, or lamb's wool, or stuffing chamois leather and old pairs of tights into pointe shoes. Some dancers have more eccentric rituals, such as blowing into shoes before putting them on, or covering their feet in glue and other chemicals to make them stick. More dangerously still, many attack their feet with scissors and razor blades. The question of pain management raises a laugh from almost every dancer I speak to."
Today's 1957 American English Usage Tip
billion, trillion, quadrillion, &c. It should be remembered that these words do not mean in American (which follows the French use) what they mean in British English. For the British they mean the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, &c., power of a million; i.e. a billion is a million millions (1,000,000,000,000), a trillion a million million millions, &c. For Americans they mean a thousand multiplied by itself twice, three times, four times, &c.; i.e. a billion is a thousand thousand thousands (1,000,000,000) or a thousand millions; a trillion is a thousand thousand thousand thousands or a million millions, &c.
This is scarcely believable! A billion can not refer to two different numbers in English! And yet: it is true, Oxford agrees. The British gave up the ghost officially in 1975.
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