The New York Times has a generous policy of letting you look at the entire paper online for free, assuming you’ve registered, of course. But after a certain amount of time (a week?) all the articles go into an archive mode, and you have to pay to read anything more than a quick summary. For instance, if you’re reading this soon after I post it, you can link to and read this nifty article on the uses of GPS receivers during the war in Iraq:
On the Ground in Iraq, the Best Compass Is in the Sky.
On the other hand, there’s a much more interesting article I wanted to share with you about the relationship between computer gaming, army training, and actual combat. But if you go there now, you’ll just find a lame lead paragraph: More Than Just a Game, but How Close to Reality? I have wondered for some time what will change in the world given the incredible capabilities of computer games, and the effect on the army looks to be enormous. There have been, for example, 800,000 downloads of the U.S. Army-backed computer game America’s Army, a game whose explicit goal is to train gamers in realistic and effective combat techniques. And indications are that people do better in combat who have played, er… been trained on, these games. The reasoning goes like this: By God, if they’re going to play shoot-’em-up games, they may as well be learning how to be good soldiers! It’s easy to mock, but it seems to be working like a charm.
Unfortunately I can’t show you that article in the Times, because I waited too long to blog it. I would swear that the Times changed its policy recently, but I went Googling for news about it and drew a blank. So I’m guessing I’m just getting slower to blog. The moral of the story is, at least as far as the New York Times is concerned, if you don’t blog it fresh, don’t blog it at all. And I have to admit, it’s hard to blame them for wanting to make some money off the site.