1. Tech

    Are Emoticons the Future of Language? PBS Off Book’s New Video Explains

    Don't be thrown off by this PBS Off Book video's title — this isn't a diatribe about how language is devolving to make way for GIFs and chat speak. Linguist Ben Zimmer explores the history of emoticons and writing and how they might combine to create a more reflective representation of the human experience — like punctuation, but more poignant.

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  2. Entertainment

    Popularity of Rage Comics Dwindling, Internet Actually Displaying Some Taste

    Rage Comics are a lot like that obscure, off-the-radar television series that offered you unadulterated bliss until it got swept up in the vicious current of the mainstream: The humor starts becoming lowbrow, practically everyone and your grandmother is watching it, and the thing you once cherished most is now an unrecognizable abomination catering to the masses instead of its once dedicated niche audience. The Internet community must be sharing this same animosity since a drastic decline in the number of visitors to Reddit's Rage Comics subreddit has been reported. Given the innumerable amount of poorly drawn comics that were being churned out on a regular basis, we're really not all that surprised.

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  3. Tech

    Samsung, RIM Sued Because There’s A Patent For Buttons That Write “:)”

    Patents are aimed to protect innovators and make sure they get their due. When you invent something, a non-obvious something, you patent it and these wonderful laws will make sure that, for a limited time at least, you alone reap the benefits of your genius. After all, it was your idea. It's all great in theory, but patent trolls have been turning it on its head for a while, and the ever increasing amount of things that can be patented isn't helping. Someone patented menus and buttons that assist users in writing emoticons, for instance, and RIM and Samsung are being sued over it.

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  4. Tech

    USB Emoticon Keypad

    The above is a prototype for a USB emoticon keypad, perfect for when holding the shift key and pressing one-to-three buttons is just too much effort, produced by manufacturer Lavatelli (though it was mentioned that the keypad may be released under a different name). Aside from alleviating the excruciating effort of pressing the colon key for all of our emoticon needs, the bubbly keys will supposedly also sport customizable glow options. Cute novelty gadget, waste of a USB slot, or totally necessary saver of precious, invaluable seconds?

    ( via Oh Gizmo via Uber Review via Geekologie)

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  5. Weird

    Should You Put a Smiley in Your Online Job Application?

    While our natural response to this question might be, "no, what are you talking about, why would you even suggest that," the folks at The Annals of Improbable Research alert us to a study by a group of professors on this very topic. Titled "E-Screening: The Consequences of Using ‘Smileys’ when E-Mailing Prospective Employers," there are two key conclusions to keep in mind:

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