John Lister

Tue
13
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Congressman Calls For Second Life Ban In Schools

A member of Congress who campaigns for tighter controls on how children access the Internet says it should be illegal for schools and libraries to provide access to the online game Second Life. Described as a 'virtual world', Second Life allows ... players to create their own characters and interact with others in a surprisingly wide range of activities. Some comedians and singers have given performances 'inside' the game, while one computing firm held Second Life job interviews for a real-world post. But it's more adult activities such as (entirely fictional) drug dealing and prostitution which ... (view more)

Mon
12
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Video Gaming Trade Group Struggling

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the video game industry's trade body, suffered a significant blow recently when two leading companies quit the group. They also pulled out of a major gaming showcase. Activision, producers of Guitar Hero ... and Call of Duty, and Vivendi, which owns the World of Warcraft series, both decided not to renew their membership with the ESA. They'll also be no-showing July's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which the ESA organises each year. The two firms (which are merging later this year) are the first major players to quit the group. It appears the ... (view more)

Fri
09
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Texas Refuses Facebook Friend Request

Facebook has made a deal with state attorney governors to better protect child members from online predators. The site is developing a system to ensure new members are telling the truth about their age, and they'll also add in an automatic warning ... to under-18s whenever they are about to give personal information to an adult. In addition, they'll crack down on members who change the date of birth listed on their profile. As with a similar agreement made earlier this year by rivals MySpace, only Texas decided against signing-up. It's not yet clear why they've opted out this time, but in the ... (view more)

Thu
08
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Adobe Hopes To Make Flash Master Of The (Mobile) Universe

Adobe, Inc. is dropping most restrictions on the use of its Flash technology on mobile devices. The firm hopes the move will help boost the technology's appeal on cellphones, handheld PCs and set-top television boxes. Flash, which allows developers ... to produce interactive content and animations that appear the same way on all computers, is already widely popular on the web: around 98% of desktop computers with an Internet connection have the software installed. There's already a cut-down edition called Flash Lite for mobile devices, but licensing restrictions mean the full-scale Flash software ... (view more)

Wed
07
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Yahoo Adds Security Warnings To Search Results

Yahoo is to follow Google's leads in highlight potential security risks in sites which show up in its search results. There are several differences between the two systems. Google highlights the most serious cases -- sites which exploit flaws in ... browser software and automatically download viruses -- with a warning. In Yahoo's case, the sites will automatically be deleted from the list of results. Yahoo will also highlight pages which appear to include downloads which are likely to include viruses, spyware (programmes which collect information from a user's computer without their knowledge) ... (view more)

Tue
06
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Movie Downloads To Match DVD Release Dates

The movie download market got a big boost this week with two major players signalling an end to the gap between DVD and download release dates. Apple has completed deals with most of the large film groups, meaning they can now sell movies through ... the iTunes store on the same day DVDs hit shelves. New releases on iTunes will cost $14.99 while older titles will cost $9.99. Meanwhile, Warner Brothers is to axe its rental-only period for movie downloads. Internet users will now be able to buy a downloaded movie on the same day as it becomes available for online rental. Apple will likely use its ... (view more)

Tue
06
May
Dennis Faas's picture

New HP Circuit Could Change Technology Forever

Hewlett Packard has uncovered a new form of electrical circuit which could allow them to make even smaller memory chips that consume less power than existing chips. The discovery could allow cell phones to run for weeks on a single charge, or give ... PCs the chance to start-up in an instant. Though the chips would be smaller, they will be able to store information once the power is turned off, similar to the Flash system used in camera memory cards or USB sticks. The advancement is tied to the way an electrical circuit works. Scientists have always known a circuit involves three basic components ... (view more)

Thu
01
May
Dennis Faas's picture

OMG! Chatroom Speak Infects Homework

American teachers are increasingly finding Internet chatroom and forum-style abbreviations are showing up in their pupils' assignments. A survey of 700 teenagers found more than one-third say they have used abbreviations such as LOL (Laugh Out Loud) ... in schoolwork. A quarter said they'd even used emoticons, the combinations of punctuation marks which represent different emotions and are traditionally used in online writing to replicate the tone and body language which accompanies spoken language. More than 40% of those surveyed said programs such as Microsoft Word encouraged poor grammar and ... (view more)

Thu
01
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Third (And Final?) XP Update Imminent

The latest major update for Windows XP was due for release this week, though a last-minute hitch appears to have caused some problems. XP Service Pack 3 was originally scheduled for download through Microsoft's update service on Tuesday. However, ... the firm temporarily halted the updates after finding compatibility problems with Microsoft Dynamics RMS. That's a software package that helps small and medium businesses manage their supply chains. Microsoft is now putting a filter on the download service to identify which computers are running the Dynamics software. They'll then re-release the ... (view more)

Wed
30
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Loophole Keeps XP On Shelves This Summer

Three major PC sellers have found a way to continue offering Windows XP after it's officially withdrawn from sale on June 30. Dell, HP, and Lenovo have all found loopholes in the terms of the Microsoft license which, in theory at least, imposes the ... deadline on supplying PCs with the system installed. Dell is using a clause in its license to supply Windows Vista, the successor to XP. The license means they have to sell machines with Vista installed as standard. However, they will be able to allow customers to downgrade their package. HP is going to operate a similar system until July 2009. In ... (view more)

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