The Null Device


Pop singer Kirsty MacColl has died after a powerboat accident. MacColl has had hits on her own, and has also sung backing vocals on a number of others' songs, including The Smiths' Ask.


You've heard of video games contributing to shortening attention spans? Well, a new video game, developed using neural feedback technology used by NASA to train astronauts, allegedly improves players' attention spans. The game, named Attention Trainer, uses a bright yellow plastic helmet fitted with brainwave-measuring sensors to monitor the player's attention, and responds according to how well the player is concentrating. One game involves a bicycle race, with the performance of the cyclist on the screen being determined by the player's level of concentration.

Myself, I wonder whether it works, or whether it just looks like it works. This also ties into the question of how much the perceived shortening of attention spans is pathological, and how much it is a natural adaptation to the more information-rich environment of the modern world (sort of like multitasking in computer operating systems).


Far-out rumour of the day: Is Saddam buying up PlayStation 2 consoles to convert to supercomputers and missile guidance systems, neatly bypassing the UN embargo on computer sales (which doesn't count video game systems) and striking the infidels where it hurts -- with a pre-Xmas video game shortage? (via Slashdot)

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