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[This post comes several months late. Richard Gray, aka Knyte Trypper, passed away last November. His legacy lives on in his contributions to chatbots.]

Our worlds of fan-author-reader texts are lead by the dedicated workers who host our forums, feature our galleries, or post on particularities. The late Richard Gray was a dedicated member of the chatbot community, among others. He was particularly helpful to me when I was conducting my survey of botmasters and bot users. May this post celebrate his memory.

According to his online obituary in the Encyclopedia of Speculative Fiction:

Richard Gray, a.k.a. Knyte Trypper, passed away Saturday evening, November 25, 2006 at home, in his sleep. Born on July 10, 1950, he was just 56 years old and lived in Sheffield, Alabama. A friend to many, he will be missed by us all.

He was perhaps most notable for his AI Nexus Forum site, but he he was also an active member of many creative community bulletin boards. Here’s his AOL members page. Gray’s handle, Knyte Trypper, references not from his late night botmaking but rather alludes to his love fore the Grateful Dead. Perhaps that music link gives us a glimpse at the idealism of this generous botmaster.


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Much has been made of the viral outbreak of Michael Wesch’s “Web 2.0…The Machine is Us/ing Us” (first noticed on Frank Gruber’s Somewhat Frank) Some of the reactions, including my initial one, have suggested that the piece is overly optimistic. However, we should not let the pulsing soundtrack, speed, and magically moving text and images distract us to miss his playfulness with these ideas, a montage of reactions to the notion of Web 2.0 more than a manifesto for it. Matt Kirschenbaum has commented on one of these moments, the use of the WayBack Machine. Below is a further analysis (or annotation) of the first 26 seconds or so of the film:


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Jabberwacky, a chatbot system which learns continuously from its conversations with web users, has won a Loebner prize for the second year in a row. A competitor in the Loebner contest for simulated human conversation since 2002, the chatbot system has sported both incremental improvements and some recent dramatic facelifts.
Last year, the Jabberwacky chatbot winner […]

Blogs in Space


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Anousheh Ansari plans to write some very unusual blog entries. The Iranian born Texas telecommunications tycoon may be only the fourth person to pay millions for a flight…
…but she will be the first person to blog from space:
Ms Ansari says she will write the first blog from space. She says that her ultimate goal is […]


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TADS 3, a “robust, modern programming environment specially designed for creating Interactive Fiction,” is officially out in General Release 3.0.12. The freeware release comes in author and player kits for Windows, Unix, and Mac OS X, and is complemented by an admirably packaged bookshelf of documentation, including Getting Started, a Tour Guide, and system, technical, […]






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