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Submission + - Australian Govermant launch "cyber-safety" button (zdnet.com.au)

Techman83 writes: Weighing in at approximately 930kb, consuming approximately 30mb of memory, requiring both Adobe Flash and Adobe Air, is Senatory Conroy's "cyber-safety" button. The panic button has attracted ridicule amongst the industry and at a cost of AUD$136,000 have left many of us asking why? Even still Senator Conroy has stuck to his guns and launched the little red button, that resides in the taskbar and floats over the top of all the other applications just waiting to be double clicked in an emergency. If you wish to check it out for yourself, it is available for download here
Social Networks

The New Reality of Gaming 122

Hugh Pickens writes "Video games used to be about fighting aliens and rescuing princesses, writes Rohin Dharmakumar in Forbes, but the most popular games today have you tilling your farm, hiring waiting staff and devising menus for your restaurant or taking your pets out for walks while maintaining cordial relations with the neighbors. 'Reality, it would seem, is the new escapism.' Video games of the pre-social network era were mostly played by boys or young men but 'now the core audience of social network games are girls and young women,' says Alok Kejriwal, founder and CEO of games2win, an online gaming company. The tipping point in the US came in 2008 when women outnumbered men on the Internet. Combined with millions of parents and grandparents who're new to the Internet, the traditional face of the gamer is changing from that of a 25-year-old male to a band stretching from 16 to 40 years comprising men and women in almost equal numbers, says Sebastien de Halleux, one of the co-founders of Playfish, who predicts that someone is going to create a social game very shortly that pulls in a billion dollars a year. Gaming for this new set of players is less about breathtaking graphics, pulsating sound or edge-of-the-seat action and more about strengthening existing real world relations through frequent casual gaming. 'Think of these games as a sandbox where everybody has the same tools, yet everyone achieves different results,' says de Halleux."

Submission + - QuiBids - Auction or Gambling Site? (notmytribe.com) 1

Nocuous writes: There's eBay, and then there are other auction sites which use a breathtaking business model. Here's a good review of QuiBids, a so-called "penny auction" site, which charges 60 cents per penny-increment bid. People may put in hundreds of bids to "win" the right to purchase items like iPads at up to 90% or even more off the "value price", which is supposed to represent normal retail. But each bid resets the auction timer, prolonging the action as long as anyone is willing to outbid the current "winner". If an item is bid from $0.01 to a final price of $130.00, that's 13,000 bids; at 60 cents per bid, that comes to $7,800 for the bid fees, plus the $130, plus shipping and handling! That's one profitable iPad sale. From the article:

"Imagine musical chairs except you pay 60 cents for every successive measure, an unlimited number of party-goers circling a solitary chair. So long as somebody pays the piper, everyone gets to stay in. Except they’re not “in” are they? Only the last person who put money in gets to take the chair. "

Submission + - Why WikiLeaks is good for America (wired.com)

Kickassthegreat writes: Evan Hansen, Editor-in-Chief of Wired.com, has taken the bold move of standing up for WikiLeaks in an editorial posted tonight on Wired.com. Will more media outlets follow their lead, or will we soon see Wired.com denounced by American politicians for 'providing material aid to terrorists'?

Submission + - verizon iphone (theverizoniphone.com)

theverizoniphone writes: TheVerizonIphone.com is your destination to get the latest news and information on Verizon becoming the operator for Apple's Iphone just now. Verizon iPhone with its CDMA service may make CDMA users around the world very happy. Verizon iPhone would be released in second quarter of 2011.

Submission + - Sugar Free Chocolate | High Protein Bars (wheychocolate.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Whey Chocolate is a patent pending formula, made with organic dark chocolate and grass fed cows' whey protein. It’s 100% natural, high in protein, low glycemic and tastes phenomenal, equivalent to only the finest chocolates.

Submission + - Google Cloud Picker (techknackblogs.com)

techknackblogs writes: Google has a cloud storage product and calling it ‘Cloud Picker’. The tool is linked with Google accounts login. The service would allow people to store images and documents on the web, and would tie into Google services like Docs, Apps and Sites.

Comment We are actually aware of this up here... (Score 3, Informative) 457

As a native to the Pacific Northwest, this is something you are constantly aware of. Every time there is a major earthquake or tsunami, the local news posts stories about how the "Big one" is due to hit in the next 50 years. Every time a volcanic eruption becomes major news, we get reports about how Mount Rainer is going to erupt and bury my hometown. I was born a year after our last major volcanic eruption, so you could say that this has been something I have been aware of my entire life.

More interesting than when the big one is going to hit is how well we are setup to handle it when it does. I was in a building rated only for a 7.0 Ricter magnitude quake during our last major quake (which measured 6.8), and there were major fears that the building was going to collapse either during or just after the quake. Luckily for me, it weathered the quake with only minor damage.

However, after the Chile quake last year, I heard a report from our local NPR affiliate comparing the infrastructure of the NW with the infrastructure of Chile (our buildings are built to roughly the same standards, and are around the same age), and mentioning that the state governments up here were taking interest in learning from the lessons of that quake to prepare better for our next big quake.

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