The annual video game report card came out this week. It’s the thirteenth year for the influential report from the National Institute on Media and the Family, which has consistently criticized the violent nature of some games. This year the Institute gives good grades, saying game makers and retailers are taking effective measure to limit kids’ exposure to violent and inappropriate content.
Archives for November 2008
Many Americans mistakenly conclude they have a rare illness after attempting self-diagnosis on the Internet, according to a new study by researchers are Microsoft. The company conducted the study to improve its own search engine.
Microsoft studied health-related Web searches on popular search engines and surveyed 500 of its employees about their health-related searching.
Web search engines can increase our health-related anxieties and lead us to believe worst-case scenarios, said Microsoft’s Eric Horvitz, an artificial intelligence expert and medical school graduate.
In a recent story in USA Today, Byron Acohido reports that malicious hackers recently broke into the computer network of a large Houston-based technology company, infecting more than 300 work stations with a virus that harvested company documents, sending the data to a gang of thieves in Turkey.
Acohido says the heist underscores a shift in computer crime, where criminals are going after corporate users instead of individuals.
For years YouTube has championed user-generated videos over Hollywood-style programming, and steadfastly avoided obtrusive advertising.
But recently YouTube announced it will sell search terms as part of an advertising program, and acqired the rights to post full-length movies from a major Hollywood studio. And that’s probably just a taste of what’s to come for a site that’s captured the world’s imagination but has yet to figure out the money thing, according to Greg Sandoval of CNET News.
Fifteen percent of people who had some piece of technology break down in the previous year were never able to get it repaired, according to a new survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. That figure is even higher for cell phones – as one in four people report an unresolved problem.
Security experts who helped shut down a shadowy Silicon Valley Web hosting company this week say the result is an instant 40 percent drop in spam. But that won’t last, according to Paul Ferguson of security firm Trend Micro.
Popular online classified ad site craigslist has introduced new rules aimed at reducing ads placed by prostitutes and pimps. The San Francisco company is now charging a small fee and requiring credit card verification for postings in the “erotic services” section of the site. Advertisers must also supply a working phone number. CEO Jim Buckmaster says he expects that very few ads for illicit services will remain. Craigslist promises to donate revenue generated from ads to charity.