New Study Shows Time Spent Online Important for Teen Development [MacArthur Foundation] – “Results from [a] … US study on teens and their use of digital media show that America’s youth are developing important social and technical skills online – often in ways adults do not understand or value. “It might surprise parents to learn that it is not a waste of time for their teens to hang out online,” said Mizuko Ito, University of California, Irvine researcher … . “There are myths about kids spending time online – that it is dangerous or making them lazy. But we found that spending time online is essential for young people to pick up the social and technical skills they need to be competent citizens in the digital age.” […] Significant findings include – There is a generation gap in how youth and adults view the value of online activity; Youth are navigating complex social and technical worlds by participating online; Young people are motivated to learn from their peers online.” [Full Report]
Musicians Get Meta in Guitar Hero and Rock Band [Waxy.org] – “There’s something satisfyingly self-referential about watching talented musicians try to play their own music in Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Especially when they’re worse than you.” (So, the connection between Rock Band, Guitar Hero and actual instruments seems … tenuous at best! :P)
Google iPhone app baffled by foreign accents [The Age] – “A new voice-recognition search tool for the iPhone has problems understanding British accents, leading to some bizarre answers to spoken queries, reports say.The free application, which allows iPhone owners to use the Google search engine with their voice, mistook the word iPhone variously for sex, Einstein and kitchen sink, said London’s Daily Telegraph…. But British iPhone owners had less luck when speaking the word iPhone into the application – a Scottish user was offered a porn website after it mistook his search for sex, the Telegraph reported.” (What’s all this about the AmericaniZation of English? :P)
Warfare game throws down gauntlet to Iran [The Age] – “A Sydney-based Jewish businessman bankrolling a shoot-’em-up warfare game pitting Israeli troops against Iranians says the aim is to “throw out a challenge to Iran” after its President vowed to wipe Israel off the map.
But Kevin Bermeister, world renowned for being sued by the music industry in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit over the Kazaa file-sharing program, said his intention was also to take the war between Jews and Muslims out of the real world and into cyber space. The online multiplayer game, Rising Eagle – Gaza, was officially released as a free download less than a week ago. It earns revenue through advertising billboards peppered throughout the game environment. The game, which contrary to its setting does not include any Palestinian fighters, is an update to earlier versions of the game set in Paris and China. It pits the Iranian Revolutionary Guard against Israel’s elite Golani Brigade in a first-person shooter setting.”
A history lesson in video games [BBC NEWS | Technology] – “The UK’s first official national video game archive has been launched in a bid to preserve the history of gaming. The archive has been set up in partnership between Nottingham Trent University and the National Media Museum in Bradford in the north of England. The gaming industry is now worth an estimated £22bn globally and steps are needed in order to record its development. The archive will be housed at the National Media Museum in Bradford and will include consoles, cartridges and advertising campaigns. “We are going to be archiving video games but it’s not just about the games themselves, it’s also about gaming culture,” said James Newman, from Nottingham Trent University’s Centre for Contemporary Play, a research group dedicated to video games.”
Editor furious over Bishop plagiarism explanation [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “A plagiarism row between deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop and the editor of a book on the party, Peter Van Onselen, has flared again. Ms Bishop’s chief of staff has taken responsibility for plagiarising a speech by a New Zealand businessman when he wrote a chapter for the book, called Liberals and Power; The Road Ahead, on Ms Bishop’s behalf. Now Mr Van Onselen says he is angry with Ms Bishop for saying that the footnote crediting the businessman was forgotten. “It’s not just a matter of them having forgotten to send through footnotes,” he said.
“Even once they belatedly sent those footnotes through they didn’t cover the plagiarism. “Footnoting doesn’t cover the fact that there weren’t quotation marks around exact lifting of words without attribution that came from this New Zealand businessman’s speech.”” (It seems no one’s buying the Bishop defense!)
Online Streaming Adds Millions of Viewers for ‘Heroes,’ ‘The Office’ [TV Decoder Blog – NYTimes.com] – “How many consumers stream TV episodes on the Internet? How many download the episodes on iTunes? How many watch the episodes using video on demand? How many view the episodes on mobile phones? NBC is trying to tell by adding together all the exposure of its episodes on five platforms in a rubric they call the TAMi, short for “Total Audience Measure index.” The TAMi was first used for the Olympics and is now being released on a weekly basis for NBC’s prime time shows.” (the TAMi seems like a very clear admission that Neilsen ratings and similar eyeballs on tv screen measures are simply out of date!)
Sickie faker busted by Facebook [The Age] – “A Sydney telco employee has learned the hard way the perils of sharing too much information on Facebook after he was caught by his boss faking a sickie after a big night out. The manager then sent Doyle a screen grab of Doyle’s Facebook profile, highlighting a status update written on the leave day in question. […] “Kyle Doyle is not going to work, f— it i’m still trashed. SICKIE WOO!,” it read. Sprung and with no room left to move, Doyle replied to the boss: “HAHAHA LMAO [laughing my ass off] epic fail. No worries man.” In an email exchange doing the rounds of office blocks, Kyle Doyle was asked by his employer, AAPT, to provide a medical certificate verifying a day of sick leave in August.”
Backlash over Microsoft’s anti-piracy tactics [The Age] – “Chinese internet users have expressed fury at Microsoft’s launch of an anti-piracy tool targeting Chinese computer users to ensure they buy genuine software. The “Windows Genuine Advantage” program, which turns the user’s screen black if the installed software fails a validation test, is Microsoft’s latest weapon in its war on piracy in China, where the vast majority of 200 million computer users are believed to be using counterfeit software, unwittingly or not. “Why is Microsoft automatically connected with my computer? The computer is mine!” one angry blogger wrote on popular Chinese web portal Sina.com. “Microsoft has no right to control my hardware without my agreement.” Another blogger railed over the cost of authorised versions. “If the price of genuine software was lower than the fake one, who would buy the fake one?” he wrote.”
Dutch teens convicted of virtual theft [The Age] – “A Dutch court has convicted two teenagers of theft for stealing virtual items in a computer game and sentenced them to community service. Radio Netherlands reports that the two teenagers – a 15 and a 14-year-old – were found guilty of using violence to rob a 13-year-old classmate of virtual property in the multiplayer online game RuneScape.”
Hell hath no fury like the ‘ex’ files [The Age] – “It was the wedding present from hell. In the middle of his Pacific island honeymoon, a Melbourne finance executive discovered that a woman claiming to be his ex had branded him in cyberspace as a dud lover and serial cheat. Along with his name and picture, the anonymous “ex” posted his mobile phone number, address and car registration on the “love rat” site dontdatehimgirl.com. … The executive is one of more than 200 Australian men whose profiles have been posted on dontdatehimgirl.com or datingpsychos.com — US sites now being used by Australian women to post anonymous rants against men who have supposedly done them wrong, and to warn other prospective partners. Other women — also anonymous — then add “comments” which may include their own experiences of the same man. Men named — and often also pictured — in the profiles may deny the accusations.” (What happens when citizen justice decends into the digital lynchmob!)
Obama in-game advertising [The LAMP Watercooler] – “The Obama campaign has made strong use of the internet for fundraising, organising and spreading the message. The campaign has gone to a new level with the release of in-game advertising as illustrated in this screen-shot published on Gigaom recently.”
Digital switch timetable [TV Tonight] – “[Australian] Senator Conroy has mapped out the switch from analog to digital television …” Perth will have to switch to entirely digital television broadcast by January – June 2013; regional WA by the end of 2013. Follow the link for the timeline for the rest of Australia.
Giant database plan ‘Orwellian’ [BBC NEWS | Politics] – “Proposals for a central database of all mobile phone and internet traffic have been condemned as “Orwellian”. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the police and security services needed new powers to keep up with technology. Details of the times, dates, duration and locations of mobile phone calls, numbers called, website visited and addresses e-mailed are already stored by telecoms companies for 12 months under a voluntary agreement. The data can be accessed by the police and security services on request – but the government plans to take control of the process in order to comply with an EU directive and make it easier for investigators to do their job.” (Apparently you’ll need a passport to buy a mobile phone in the UK, too.)
The Long Tail Wags the Dog [Technorati Weblog] – “Nowhere have we seen a bigger impact of blogging and social media on the American political landscape than on the 2008 presidential election. Candidate appearances formerly confined to a small town are uploaded to YouTube and seen by millions.”
Big Brother’s vault for all net use, calls and emails [The Age] – “A digital vault containing information about every email, internet visit and phone call made in Britain is to be created in a European bid to battle terrorism. The plan, …has alarmed civil libertarians who are already anxious about a proposed ID card”
Teenage burglar snapped on cameraphone [PerthNow] – “A teenage boy is facing burglary charges after being photographed on a mobile telephone after allegedly breaking into a Thornlie house. A woman took a snap of the 17-year-old as he rode away on a BMX bike …”
In a seven-minute special filmed for the Children in Need Appeal in the UK, the current Doctor, David Tennant meets his earlier, fifth, incarnation Peter Davison. The episode is largely fan service, but it’s still a good little clip. Check it out here: