Yet again, gaming is shown to be good for you.

My wife never believes me when I tell her this, but gaming can be good for you.  On average, it seems that gamers can tune out distractions better than non-gamers.

Before you assume gadgets and video games fry the minds of the future, consider this: Canadian researchers are finding evidence that the high-speed, multitasking of the young and wireless can help protect their brains from aging.

A body of research suggests that playing video games provides benefits similar to bilingualism in exercising the mind. Just as people fluent in two languages learn to suppress one language while speaking the other, so too are gamers adept at shutting out distractions to swiftly switch attention between different tasks.

[tags]Gaming, Games[/tags]

Help make the world wireless

OK, you really need to know enough about your computers and security to protect yourself, but the FON project is trying to make wireless internet access available pretty much everywhere.  If you are one of the first 3000 to sign up, you can get a Linksys WRT54GL router, flashed with the FON firmware upgrade, for $25 plus shipping.  I’m already signed up, and have received confirmation that I’m in the 3000.

[tags]FON, WRT54GL, WRT54G, Wireless, Free internet[/tags]

Who helped the NSA illegally spy on Americans?

A well-written article over at about the companies who helped our government illegally spy on us.

Under federal law, any person or company who helps someone “intercept any wire, oral, or electronic communication”–unless specifically authorized by law–could face criminal charges.

. . .

A survey by CNET has identified 15 large telecommunications and Internet companies that are willing to say that they have not participated in the NSA program, which intercepts e-mail and telephone calls without a judge’s approval.

Twelve other companies that were contacted and asked identical questions chose not to reply, in some cases citing “national security” as the reason.

[tags]NSA, Spying[/tags]

Telecom bigwig makes moronic statement

Really hard to explain all the potential problems with his desired outcome.  Thus spoke AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre on the concept of charging content providers for running their content over “the telecoms’ pipes:”

That ought to be a cost of doing business for them. They shouldn’t get on [the network] and expect a free ride.

Ummmm, aren’t we, the customers of the telecom companies, already paying for the pipes?  This is a bad idea, and if you agree, you should visit Common Cause and help in their fight against this.

[tags]Telecom, Greed[/tags]

The whipped cream game?

Um, this is just so wrong.  I don’t understand people like this.

A former substitute teacher was sentenced to one year in jail and five years probation for encouraging several young boys to lick whipped cream off their toes as part a game he filmed.

Michael Codde, 44, will have to register as a sex offender and will no longer be able to teach as the result of Friday’s sentence handed down in Santa Cruz County Superior Court.

That second paragraph makes me feel better, at least.  The whole article is only a few more paragraphs.  Get over there and read it.

[tags]Bad teacher, Poor judgement[/tags]

Blizzard and the whole GLBT thing

Very nice post at Joystiq that consolidates a lot of the information and discussion on Blizzard’s shutting down a GLBT guild.

Sara Andrews was recruiting players for her gay-and-lesbian-friendly guild when she received a warning from Blizzard that if she didn’t stop doing that, she’d be banished from the game.

Blizzard’s argument in making this threat: bringing up such touchy subjects in the game world ultimately devolves into a nasty shouting match that creates a negative atmosphere for all players. By forbidding public discussion of such topics, Blizzard believes the game will be a more pleasant place for everyone.

I don’t know where I stand on this, really.  I believe Blizzard really is trying to prevent harrassment of the people who would join this guild, but I also think the proper way to handle this is by going after the harrassers, and not the harrassed.  Blizzard seems to be trying to prevent griefing, but doesn’t seem to be doing it in the smartest way.  Read more of the Joystiq commentary and the other web sites linked off of that post for a better understanding of the whole affair.

[tags]GLBT, WoW, Warcraft, MMO[/tags]

Stick to your beliefs, get fired. Woohoo!

I’m not talking about fringe religions, or sexual practices, or anything potentially odd to some.  In this case, Inga Chernyak was fired from her job as a legal clerk at an intellectual property law firm in midtown New York because she gave an interview in which she took a view of DRM which differed from her employer’s.  She was assured of her right to hold her view, and then fired for them.  Thankfully, she held her view of DRM problems to be more important than her job.

As an active member of, and the president of the NYU chapter, I feel both obligated and prepared to stand behind the organization’s stance on where copyright is headed, and where it should be. I can not, in good conscience, renounce my beliefs in the hopes of gaining a rung on the corporate ladder. Still, I would like to say a few words in my own defense.

[tags]DRM, Legal, Intellectual Property[/tags]