Monthly Archives: May 2009

Sexting: Child pornography or self-expression?

A researcher at the annual meeting of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences argues that ‘sexting’ (sending nude or provocative pictures to a boyfriend or girlfriend via cellphone) is “is really just a modern variation on playing doctor or spin the bottle.”

“Technology does change things, and there can be very serious consequences,” Prof. Cumming said. “But that obscures the fact that children and young people are sexual beings who have explored their sexuality in all times, and all cultures and all places. A distinction has to be made between nudity and child porn,” he added.

“When a teenage girl knowingly sends provocative pictures of herself to friends or a boyfriend, is she guilty of child pornography or simply practising self-expression?”

Thinking twice before hitting "send"

Think twice before hitting "send"

 

 

 A complicated issue – which side do you fall on?

Original article

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Zeebo ready to launch in Brazil

Zeebo – a new download-only gaming console is set to launch in Brazil this June.

Although the system does not offer the same level of technology as current generation systems (the chipset has been compared to a high end smartphone),  the creators hope that the system will find a market based on pricing and the ease downloading games.

“Brazil is a videogame savvy marketplace and is the perfect place to launch the Zeebo videogame console and its completely wireless distribution system.”

Coming soon to 200 million people

Coming soon to 200 million people

The  Zeebo will launch for about the same price as a PlayStation 2 (the dominant system in Brazil right now). However, because legal PS2 games can cost as much as $100 there is a huge market for pirated games which sell for about $10. Legal Zeebo games will cost approximately $12. 

 

 This will be interesting to watch.

One in twelve gamers “addicted”

Another study on gaming addiction – this time by researchers in Australia. The team surveyed close to 2000 online gamers and determined that approximately 8% would be considered addicted (according to their definition of “addiction”).

Familiar stats on gaming addiction

Familiar stats on gaming addiction

 “Their whole lives revolve around this activity and there  certainly seems to be a problem there – there is an addiction.”

Once again we see a finding very consistent with the estimate that 5%-10% of gamers have excessive habits that may be considered an addiction.

However, it is worth noting that this was an online survey with self-selected respondents – which inevitably introduces a degree of bias into the study. Still, this finding is quite consistent with other research. The 5%-10% estimate is starting to look pretty accurate.

I think the next logical step would be to break down these stats into the type of game being played. If  the number collapsed across all games sits at 8%, my guess is that it would be significantly higher for MMORPGs and quite a bit lower for most other genres.

On a positive note, according to this study 92% of gamers have relatively healthy gaming  patterns!

Mind control game arriving in October 2009

“Mindflex” a brain-controlled game by Mattel is set to arrive in stores this October.

For those who have perfected juggling the old-fashioned way
For those who have perfected juggling the old-fashioned way

It’s not often that a Mattel toy targets the 18 – 128 demographic, but we’ll be frank — the Mindflex has us all sorts of intrigued. Originally introduced at this year’s CES, said game is a brain-powered fun-fest that relies on intense mental activity to control the height of a ball suspended in a column of air.

I’m not sure how much fun this will be beyond 10 minutes or so, but the technology is quite interesting. Is it worth $100? If it actually works I think we could be looking at the “hot” item for Christmas 2009.

Full story

Most promising new technologies

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post on the worst tech inventions, today the most promising tech of tomorrow is highlighted.

I like the fact that this list mostly contains tech that already exists in some form and will simply be improved on in the coming years. These advancements seem pretty plausible – and most are probably inevitable.

No extraterrestrial life found yet, but we are still looking...

No extraterrestrial life found yet, but we are still looking...

This is a good example of TAB’s goal to present fair and hopefully non-biased info about life online. That is, in addition to stories about the potential downside of tech use (e.g., internet & videogame addiction, crime, etc.) it is important to give credit where it is due.

The ability to speak English into a device and have it instantly and seamlessly translate it into another language? Pretty handy for travel. Sign me up.

The full list is here.

Dumbest technologies of all time?

For every iPhone, Wii, and Facebook (i.e., innovate technologies that are actually successful), there are thousands of hardware and software ideas that must have seemed like goods ideas at the time…at least for the inventors.

Really, how many people want to smell the Internet?

The creators of DigiScents apparently thought that this was a piece of tech that we just couldn’t wait to get our hands noses on.

DigiScents: Experience the odor of a crowded E3 showfloor.

DigiScents: Experience the odor of a crowded E3 showfloor.

Shockingly, this business venture was not successful.

For the full list including the VirtualBoy (“Failure to comply with instructions may result in permanent eye injury”), a remote control for your car stereo (for those who don’t want to reach an extra 5 inches), and the Apple mouse that resembled a urinal puck, check out the original article.

“But sometimes those selfsame gizmos and services, despite all the headlines, hype and millions of man hours poured into their creation, turn out to be steaming piles of excrement instead – hence the list we have here.”

 

Welcome to the TechAddiction Blog

The TechAddictionBlog (TAB) is a companion to the primary TechAddiction website.

Whereas the main site is quite serious, “clinical”, and recovery-focused (the “idealist” in the TechAddiction family), TAB is a bit less serious, a little more scattered with regard to topics, and hopefully, a bit more fun (the “realist” perhaps?).

Just like TechAddiction, TAB does not rant that the internet, videogames, or technology in general are things that need be eliminated from society (kind of hypocritical to have this stance when you are reading this online right now, don’t you think?).

Quite the opposite in fact. TAB recognizes and appreciates the fact that the internet and videogames are a part of life for millions of people and that this is not going to change any time soon (nor should it).

What TAB does admit (and TechAddiction certainly agrees) is that for some people their tech use gets out of control and that this is something that should change.

So, TAB is about acknowledging the seriousness of true tech addictions, while at the same time appreciating the fact that most people can and do use the technology responsibly.

This means that in addition to postings about serious topics like internet and videogame addiction, fair credit to the online and gaming world will also be given when it is due.

The goal is to present a balanced, fair, and occasionally amusing look at life online.

We are all plugged in.

                  We are all plugged in.

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