Thursday, March 30, 2006

Monday, March 27, 2006

More on MMORPGs and Credit Cards

Makezine thinks that online games and credit cards will combine, similar to what I wrote about it a few weeks ago.


Very soon, credit card companies and game makers will reward their customers who spend money in the real world using private label "rewards" credit cards. They will use gifts of virtual currency such as Blizzard's World of Warcraft gold and Second Life's Linden dollars.


Link

Thursday, March 23, 2006

NYTimes on Adopted in China, Seeking Identity in America

There's a (somewhat) interesting article in today's New York Times on adopted Chinese children. I have to say that my experiences with adopted Chinese children and their parents here in Pittsburgh have been highly positive. The children are all wonderful, and their parents go to extraordinary lengths and sacrifices for their children. Shelley and I (along with others) have been helping to teach the children basic Chinese and a little about Chinese culture, and everyone is so excited to keep learning.

I also can't help but think that this will help the United States' relation with China in the long term. When there is greater awareness here in the United States (that China is more than Chinese food, the Great Wall, and martial arts), as the young girls go back to visit China, as we strengthen our connections between our two countries, we have a better and more grounded understanding of each other rather than the stereotypes and caricatures often presented in the media.



Since 1991, when China loosened its adoption laws to address a growing number of children abandoned because of a national one-child policy, American families have adopted more than 55,000 Chinese children, almost all girls. Most of the children are younger than 10, and an organized subculture has developed around them, complete with play groups, tours of China and online support groups.

Molly and Qiu Meng represent the leading edge of this coming-of-age population, adopted just after the laws changed and long before such placements became popular, even fashionable.

Molly was among 61 Chinese children adopted by Americans in 1991, and Qiu Meng was one of 206 adopted the next year, when the law was fully put into effect. Last year, more than 7,900 children were adopted from China.


Link

Thursday, March 09, 2006

PhD Comics Creator Coming to CMU

Jorge Cham, creator of the PhD comic strip, will be on campus as the keynote speaker for the Graduate Student Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, April 5, 2006. The time for the event is still being set up but should be around 5:30pm in Kresge Auditorium in CFA. The Award Ceremony and Jorge's keynote speech will be followed by a reception and book selling/signing in the CFA Great Hall. We will be providing publicity about this event in the next couple of weeks. This is one of the main events in Graduate Student Appreciation Week- April 3-7.

[HCI] InfoViz maps

A huge collection of different kinds of infoviz maps. Very cool, some of them look like Jackson Pollock created them.

http://www.visualcomplexity.com/vc/