Fake Reviews: Loads More Tacky

It was bad enough when R.J. Ellroy posted fake-user reviews aggrandizing his own books (and trashing his competitiors’), but now the power of fake (or at least unethical) reviews has grown exponentially: according to Patrick Coffee on PR Newser, a group of anti-circumcision activists flooded the Amazon page of best-selling book “Tinderbox” with bad reviews, sinking its […]

The Danger of “Digital Decay”

Matthew Ingram on GigaOm has an excellent post on what’s been called “digital decay,” citing a study showing that as time goes on, substantial amounts of digital data (websites, tweets, etc.) are simply lost. While there is certainly the consideration that not all information needs to be archived – see any random Facebook user’s wall […]

Who’s Driving Endeavor Through L.A.?

I’m fascinated with the journeys our decommissioned space shuttles have taken, and will take, to their permanent homes. Right now, Space Shuttle Endeavor is on its way to LAX, where it will wait in a hangar until it is transported via a specially-modified vehicle through the streets of L.A. to the California Science Center Oct. […]

Tuesday’s Tips: Semi-Colons Made Simple

Semi-colons are pretty simple punctuation marks; they only do two things. 1. Semi-colons join two independent clauses (complete sentences): I didn’t like her cooking; I just ate it to be polite. “I didn’t like her cooking” is a complete sentence, as is “I just ate it to be polite.” Therefore, they can be joined with […]

Book Review: “The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness”

(note: this is cross-posted from OverMediated) The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness by Brianna Karp is a bit of a Horatio Alger story: girl becomes homeless, starts blogging about it, blog gets noticed, girl gets fame and a book deal from it, a la “Julie & Julia.” I don’t begrudge her that; she’s a great writer. […]

More “Crowdsourcing” the English Language

As discussed in a previous post, the trend among dictionary publishers seems to be inclusion by committee; that is, adding words to the dictionary because they’re popular. CollinsDictionary.com has taken this to its logical conclusion, literally “crowdsourcing” words to be included in its online dictionary. Of the eighty-six new inclusions, here are some of what […]