Videogames increasingly social

Increasingly, experts are saying that banning a teen's use of social networking is like banning (or more likely inhibiting) his or her social life. That's increasingly true with videogames too. "People tend to play with friends and family more often than they play by themselves, contrary to the stereotype of the anti-social gamer that stays […]

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Trend: Exclusive social networking

Business Week calls them "online country clubs," and they're becoming a trend: not just niche social-networking sites, but exclusive niche sites. "Membership in these networks, not unlike the exclusive country clubs where the rich and powerful hobnob, is carefully guarded," Business Week says. For example, at one such site, aSW (short for aSmallWorld), "only a […]

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Online eating-disorder communities

Eating disorder communities have been with us as long as there were eating disorders. When I was in high school, long before anyone but a handful of innovative researchers used the Internet, some of the cheerleaders would support each other while they binged and purged. The "community" was geographically limited. After the Web came along, […]

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Social networking’s impact on RL

How is online social networking changing socializing in real life? It's a very interesting question that people – from researchers to social networkers themselves – are beginning to look into. For one thing, UK professors have found, "online social networks tend to be far larger than their real-life counterparts," Science Daily reports – "the average […]

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CA teen-driver law signed

Just a quick update to last week's item about teen drivers using tech: "Signed into law Thursday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the bill by Democratic state Sen. Joe Simitian bans teenagers from using an electronic device, such as cell phones, pagers, laptops, and handheld computers, while behind the wheel," Information Week reports. It adds that […]

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The kitchen computer

A family doesn't really need HP's $1,700 touchscreen computer for the kitchen (to keep coffee and cereal-milk spills off of keyboards), but the idea of a centrally located kitchen computer – harking back to the days of the family hearth – is a great one. Obviously it carries out that cardinal rule of kids' online […]

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Yahoo’s new social site

Called Mash, Yahoo's social-networking site is still being tested (people join by invitation only right now), the Times Online in London reports. "Mash has already been dubbed 'an homage to Facebook' – but with a difference: users of the new Yahoo site can edit each other’s profiles." As a New York Times blog puts it, […]

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Schools, state laws & cyberbullying

A Texas schools superintendent said that any online behavior that detracts from learning in school is going to get school action, and his schools have detailed but one-page Internet-use contracts students have to sign. State legislators are taking action too. Rhode Island is considering one of the toughest anti-cyberbullying laws, the Chicago Tribune reports. "Under […]

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Social networking & school

The US's 14th-largest school district believes social-networking tools have instructional value. Ted Davis, director of enterprise information services for Fairfax County Public Schools in the Washington, D.C., area told that to Christopher Heum of SchoolCIO.com. Even though MySpace is "public enemy No. 1" to many schools, he writes, "now, as more social-networking tools like blogs […]

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Oz panel to study social-site safety

Australia's federal government announced it has appointed a task force "to investigate the safety of social networking sites and the danger they pose to Australian children," Australia's ABC News reports. "The Social Network Consultative Group is part of the Government's $189 million NetAlert program." The panel will also consider "strategies," including legislation, that might make […]

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