Just a handful of links have come round recently! Hopefully that’s not because everyone is a little shy about them going on the blog…

Jim sent this link around that followed on from Ben’s talk on looking at what new programmers struggle with. It’s an article on Ars Technica, that asks if maybe not everyone is cut out to be a programmer?

Ben suggested that some of us might like to look at the UMAP 2013 Doctoral Consortium. UMAP is the international conference on User Modelling, Adaptation, and Personalization, and next year it is in Rome in June.

Ellie sent round a couple of really rather long links on gestures, with the following description:

The blogger (Dan Hill) has started out by mapping gestures he’s noticed have become common in conjunction with technology – e.g. the “Wake-up waggle” – shaking the mouse to wake the screen. It’s quite a long article but I thought it was an interesting set of observations.


Then he’s recently found a 1963 book on Italian gestures, called a “Supplement to the Italian dictionary”. I like the way the gestures are captured in both cases, and it’s something that I would forget to observe in participants I think. (This one has more pictures than text, I promise!)


Lesley sent a link to a project from the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) on technoprogressive solutions in Africa.

Edgar sent us a video about the Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead.

And finally Ellie sent another couple of links:

The first is about some research a 12-year-old did (with some prompting from his psychologist dad). He managed to show that people look for eyes on creatures, rather than just at the middle of faces, which actually follows on from shared attention by following where someone is looking.


The second is about something the (slightly controversial?) One Laptop Per Child project have tried. They left a box of laptops with no instructions in an Ethiopian village, and in the course of the next 5 months the kids of the village learnt how to use them, some English (reading and spoken I think), and how to hack the laptop permissions settings. I think the software they left installed on them for teaching English sounds intriguing, and like I ought to read Neil Stephenson’s “The Diamond Age”!