Internet Use/New Technologies

20 April 2007

Ultra violent games are 'no threat' The Times

The British Board of Film Classification isn't the first place that gamers expect to find research on video games and the reasons that people play them, but the BBFC has just released such a report as part of its attempt to better understand the attitudes of gamers and those who don't play them. The BBFC's even-handed report also delves into the question of game violence, but always with an eye to understanding rather than judgment. Their findings? Despite some parental fears, gamers consistently understand the distinction between the real-world and an onscreen fantasy, and don't confuse the two.

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17 April 2007

The Coming Virtual Web - Tech Special Report Business Week

In the future, the Internet is almost certain to look more realistic, interactive, and social -- a lot like a virtual world

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Invention: All-knowing browser New Scientist

Ever given false information when prompted for personal details by a website? Don't worry, the US copying and computing company Xerox hopes to eliminate that kind of questioning because it believes it can get the information without even asking. Even if you choose not to reveal who you are, Xerox says it can determine demographic information such as your age, sex and perhaps even your income by analysing the pattern of pages you choose to access on the web and comparing them to a database of surfing patterns from other users with a known background.

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16 April 2007

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees? Independent on Sunday

It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail. They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon - which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe - was beginning to hit Britain as well.

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13 April 2007

Muslim Bloggers and Journalists Speak Out Der Spiegel

Muslim journalists and bloggers across the Arab world are speaking out to promote civil society and women's rights in Islamic societies. But it is a hard struggle at times, with societal pressure and even fines to contend with.

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Survey: Google draws 64 percent of search queries ZDNet

The number of search queries on Google rose to 64.1 percent in March, compared with 63.9 percent in February and 58.3 percent a year ago, according to Hitwise, which bases its report on the surfing habits of 10 million U.S. Web users. A more conservative survey by online measurement firm comScore Networks from February also showed how Google's U.S. market share grew to 48.1 percent in February from a 47.5 percent share in January. On a global basis, comScore estimates Google held a 65.7 percent share of the Web search market.

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China seeks to 'limit game hours' BBC

The Chinese government is clamping down on what it sees as a growing problem of gaming addiction.

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Women dominate US web use Sydney Morning Herald

A study released on Thursday indicates that more women than men go online in the United States, defying the perception of the internet as a male-dominated realm. Approximately 97.2 million women use the internet in the United States, compared to 90.9 million men, according to research by eMarketer.

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12 April 2007

The blogosphere risks putting off everyone but point-scoring males - comment The Guardian

The revolutionary public space that online debate represents is in danger of becoming stale and claustrophobic: So you're at a public meeting on, say, the war in Iraq and the main speaker has just sat down. Someone in the audience rises to declare the speaker is talking crap, but that's typical of him because he knows nothing and it's a scandal that he's paid for the rubbish he turns out. A second man agrees that the speech was trash, but tells the first man he should crawl back under his stone because he never says anything worth listening to. A third man wonders why the speaker didn't mention Israel, especially given his Zionist-sounding last name.

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au: Tech threatens family bonding: study Sydney Morning Herald

About 40 per cent of Australian parents believe their children's fixation with technology is robbing the family of precious face-to-face time, a study has found. The research by telco AAPT has revealed that 16 to 20-year-olds spend an average of 3.2 hours a day using technology.

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11 April 2007

China moves to tackle Internet gaming addiction Sydney Morning Herald

China's growing band of young Internet gamers will face virtual penalties if they stay online for more than three hours, under a new set of rules to combat cyber addiction published on Tuesday.

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uk: Are you surfing away your life on random searches? The Times

A survey shows that millions of Britons are wasting swaths of their lives surfing the web without any real purpose.The research by YouGov found that seven in ten of Britain's 34 million users fall into the habit of Wilfing -- What Was I Looking For? -- both at work and at home. One in four internet users spends nearly a third of internet time Wilfing -- equivalent to spending an entire working day a fortnight randomly browsing the net.

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Bloggers debate need for code of conduct International Herald Tribune

Is it too late to bring civility to the Web? The conversational free-for-all on the Internet known as the blogosphere can be a prickly and unpleasant place. Now, a few prominent figures in high technology are proposing a blogger code of conduct to clean up the quality of online discourse. Last week, Tim O'Reilly, a conference promoter and book publisher who is credited with coining the term Web 2.0, began working with Jimmy Wales, creator of the communal online encyclopedia Wikipedia, to create a set of what to many would be common-sense - though already controversial - guidelines to shape online discussion and debate.

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10 April 2007

Social networking - Joined-up thinking: Social-networking sites are not just for teenagers. They have business uses too The Economist

The most avid users of social-networking websites may be exhibitionist teenagers, but when it comes to more grown-up use by business people, such sites have a surprisingly long pedigree. LinkedIn, an online network for professionals that signed up its ten-millionth user this week, was launched in 2003, a few months before MySpace, the biggest of the social sites. Consumer adoption of social networking has grabbed most attention since then. But interest in the business uses of the technology is rising.

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07 April 2007

How the web became a sexists' paradise The Guardian

Everyone receives abuse online but the sheer hatred thrown at women bloggers has left some in fear for their lives. Jessica Valenti, editor of, reports.

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06 April 2007

Web-Browsing Habits Enforce Gender Stereotypes PC World

When it comes to Internet use, men tend to devote more time each week to playing games and researching techie gadgets, while women log on to chat with friends, shop and plan vacations. Forrester Research's most recent study of how Europeans use technology surveyed 22,662 consumers in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden to learn more about what drives men and women to the Internet. The survey found that while women have been catching up with men in their Internet use -- 54 percent of European women use the Internet compared with 62 percent of men -- the activities they partake in vary widely from those of their male counterparts.

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05 April 2007

uk: More than half of adults have broadband The Guardian

More than half of all adults in the UK now have broadband at home, according to a new report by the telecoms regulator, after growing competition helped to push down prices by as much as 75% over the last few years.

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France caters to market for the most simple of computers International Herald Tribune

The Minitel, a French government-sponsored minicomputer that was wired into 14 million French homes at its peak in the mid-1990s, had a limited service offering, a black-and-white screen and slow connection speeds that doomed it to near-extinction in the face of the Internet. Now, a French Internet service provider, Neuf Cegetel, has taken inspiration from the Minitel to develop a computer based on a similar low-cost model, aimed at people who are unable or unwilling to buy a computer. In a gesture to high-technology enthusiasts, however, the system uses the open-source software beloved by many engineers and programmers.

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How Webkinz is getting children hooked on the Web Computer World

If you have or know a child around 6 to 8 years old, then you have probably heard of Webkinz, and chances are you too may have been bitten by the bug. Webkinz are small plush toys that virtually live in the online Webkinz World created by a tightlipped toy company called Ganz. Vaughan, Ontario-based Ganz declined to answer any of our technical questions about the security of its Web site or the network infrastructure used to support it. The company did say it has sold more than 1 million Webkinz.

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04 April 2007

uk: Broadband kills off consumer ISDN BBC

BT is to withdraw ISDN services from consumer use later this year. ISDN proved very popular with people working from home who needed access to data connections faster than available dial-up modem speeds. ... But there is one group for whom ISDN has not lost its lustre - broadcasters. Although slow by broadband speeds, ISDN is proving usefulFor them it has proved to be a boon when filing reports away from base. Unfortunately the technology is being discontinued all over the world leaving many broadcasters with a problem of what to replace it with.

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Brilliantly boring The Guardian

A website that shows a large piece of cheese as it (very slowly) matures is getting thousands of hits a day. What is it about dull- as-ditchwater webcam footage that can be so strangely gripping? Oliver Burkeman dissects the cult of banality on the net while Alexandra Topping picks some of the classics of the genre

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Internet advertising to overtake radio next year The Times

Global spending on internet advertising increased from $18.7 billion in 2005 to $24.9 billion last year, as world takes UK's lead

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03 April 2007

uk: Web ad spend overtakes newspapers BBC

Spending on UK internet advertising surged in 2006, overtaking newspaper ads for the first time, a report says. Online advertising expenditure jumped 41.2% to £2.01bn during the year, the report by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers said.

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02 April 2007

It may start as innocent flirtation, but be warned, you too could become a lonely MySpace addict by Peaches Geldof (daughter of Bob!) The Guardian

MySpace is ruining my social life. I have become a serial blogger. It started as a flirtation, something innocent, like a fleeting summer romance. My little sister Pixie was on the computer. As is the custom, I moaned at her to get off (feigning non-existent A-level work I had to do "before it's too late"), then noticed a page full of pictures of her. "Hah! Ego-surfing again, are we?" I cried jubilantly. "No, Peaches, you're the only one who does that," she said. "I'm just uploading some photos on to my MySpace, actually."

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01 April 2007

IBM helps blind 'see' web video BBC

IBM has developed a multimedia browser to make content accessible to vision impaired people

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