This week’s What I’ve Been Reading has some interesting stuff: bots on the Internet; gold-producing bacteria; video game review scores; and more.
- A new study by Solve Media finds that 10% of all Internet traffic now comes from bots. It looks like this blog is actually 10% less popular than I thought it was. (“90% of 0 is still 0,” says the little voice in my head.)
- Destructoid user crackedbat reacts to Nintendo’s “I’m not a gamer” ads. Or, to be more specific, he or she reacts to the reaction to those ads. crackedbat finds the vitriol lobbed at them silly and wonders why people can’t accept advertisements not aimed at them. I have to agree. People are way too concerned about the “gamer” label and what it means, and gamer elitism is what keeps people who might otherwise be interested in video games from playing them. Just shut up and play video games, I say, and stop worrying about what you are or aren’t.
- Jesus Diaz of Gizmodo reports on a recently-discovered species of bacteria that can transform toxic gold chloride into pure gold. I doubt we’ll ever see gold production like this on a massive scale, but it’s cool nonetheless.
- College Humor has a list of the 25 dumbest fashion trends, as voted on by readers. I have to agree with them: shutter shades are pretty awful.
- Ben Kuchera of the Penny Arcade Report explains how review scores can influence both sales and players’ reactions to a game. Not only do higher-reviewed games sell better, but experiments have shown that players react more positively to higher-reviewed games. I don’t believe any of the bullshit conspiracy theories about how publishers supposedly pay video game news sites for good reviews, but I do think that video game reviews could stand to move away from the traditional numerical rating scale. Kotaku, Gameological, and Rock Paper Shotgun do it right. If more reviewers follow suit, then maybe we won’t have to worry about how Metacritic scores influence sales.
- Finally, are you tired of adding C every time you compute an indefinite integral? Then try these handy tips, courtesy of Spiked Math.
That’s it for this week. Feel free to leave comments below.