Mar 5, 2009 | 3
Concerned that Christians are not entering the Lenten season (which began last week on Ash Wednesday) with the proper spirit, some clergy are calling on their flock to nix text messaging for the next six Fridays leading up to Easter on April 12. Christians are annually asked to refrain from eating meat on Fridays and to pray more regularly during Lent, but the church has apparently gotten hip to the hold that technology has on its brethren. The diocese of Modena-Nonantola in Italy in particular is calling for text-messaging-free Fridays as a way for the faithful to at least temporarily rid themselves of reminders of "material wealth," but the church is also calling for such digital abstinence in the name of human rights.
The diocese, in a statement on its Web site (translated from Italian to English using Google's translation software) notes that 80 percent of the mineral coltan—a metallic ore used to make used in consumer electronics products such as cell phones, DVD players, and computers—comes from Kivu, the war-ravaged eastern region of the Congo, where "civil war has caused more than 4 million deaths in the last ten [sic] years." The diocese says that the extraction and trade of coltan by Western industry has helped fuel warfare in this region of Africa (a statement, they say, backed by a 2003 United Nations report).
Jan 5, 2009 | 5
More than half of teens on MySpace discuss or post images on their profiles of sex, drugs and violence, new research shows. But another study finds that reminding kids the info is public may tame the content they publish on the social-networking site.
Some 270 (54 percent) of 500 MySpace profiles referenced risky behavior, according to the first study in today's Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Of those, 24 percent mentioned sex, 41 percent drugs and 14 percent violence. The findings are based on reviews by researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle and the University of Notre Dame of profiles whose users said they were 18.
The researchers acknowledge that there's no way of verifying the ages or information of the users. But they note that social-networking sites have been used by cyber-bullies and online predators to target unwitting users. And whether or not the profiles reflect the truth, other teens will take the online information literally, magnifying the peer pressure that already exists in real life, says co-author Megan Moreno, now an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Dec 5, 2008 | 16
The "Koobface" software worm tormenting Facebook and MySpace users is still going strong, prompting them to download bogus software that infects their computers, sends spam out to their friends and allows hackers to redirect their Web searches.
The worm is activated when a person logs into his or her Facebook or MySpace account, creating and sending spam messages to listed friends via the Facebook or MySpace sites. The messages and comments include sophisticated fare such as "Paris Hilton Tosses Dwarf On The Street" and "My friend catched [sic] you on hidden cam" as well as a purported link to a video of the advertised content, according to security software maker Kaspersky Lab, based in Woburn, Mass. Clicking on that link delivers a message telling the user to download the latest version of Flash Player.
Jul 11, 2008 | 2
The wait is over. Apple's new iPhone 3G goes on sale today, promising to download information twice as fast as its predecessor, featuring a built-in global-positioning system (GPS) and running hundreds of new software programs, including one from the Associated Press that uses the GPS to determine the iPhone owner's location and automatically send him or her local news articles. Other software includes eBay Mobile, which allows iPhone users to shop and to track bids on any items they are selling as well as programs from Facebook, MySpace, Sega and Travelocity specifically designed to work on the device's touch screen. Also, unlike its predecessor, which debuted in June 2007 retailing at $599, the new iPhone will cost a more reasonable $199 for the eight-gigabyte model and $299 for the 16-gigabyte model, if your sign a two-year contract with network provider AT&T (the only phone company licensed to support the iPhone in the U.S.).
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