According to a recent pilot study, students that use Facebook regularly spend less time studying and have lower grade point averages than those that haven’t even signed up for the site.
“We can’t say that use of Facebook leads to lower grades and less studying – but we did find a relationship there,” stated Aryn Karpinski, a doctoral student in education at Ohio State University and a co-author of the study. According to the report, hardcore Facebook users have GPAs between 3.0 and 3.5, while non-users are packing a GPA in the range of 3.5 and 4.0.
However, more than three-quarters of Facebook’s users maintain that their use of the site doesn’t get in the way of their important study time.
A 3.0 isn’t bad, but if having a Facebook account is the difference between a 3.0 and a 4.0, I’ll be the first to close out my account! Though, I get to keep playing WoW, right?
How about an iTunes-style interface that shows web page or content thumbnails in the main pane with media libraries, browsing history, surflists, and statistics in the left pane? Or, how about tabs, applications, and work spaces in the left pane to take full advantage of today's widescreen displays? Either way, the once-sharp distinctions between a web browser interface and an operating system management interface like Windows Explorer have become very blurry. While the jury's still out on the Firefox of the future's interface, it looks as if the Ubiquity command-line interface will definitely make it into Firefox by version 3.6.
Are you ready for a new browser experience? Take a look at the prototypes, mockups, and demos, then join us after the jump for your chance to sound off.
Over this past weekend a reported glitch caused 57,310 books, primarily those with gay and lesbian themes, to lose their important sales ranking on Amazon. The sales ranking, which allows users of Amazon to find best sellers easier, is important not only to potential readers but to authors as well. And, while according to Amazon it was “an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error” that caused the removal, a hacker is taking credit as well.
While Amazon maintains that the error was caused by a “glitch in our systems,” a (yet unnamed) hacker took credit for it, claiming that he used bugs on Amazon to trick people into flagging gay-themed books as inappropriate. The whole issue even caught the attention of Twitter users, who began using the hash tag “#amazonfail.”
Though, according to Mark R. Probst, author of “The Filly,” a gay western romance aimed at young adults, “I believe it was an error. I don’t think it was anything malicious they were trying to do.”
However, others aren’t so easily convinced. Author Daniel Mendelsohn, whose memoir “The Elusive Embrace” lost its ranking, says, “There are mistakes and there are mistakes. At some point in this process, which I don’t understand because I’m not a computer genius, the words gay and lesbian were clearly flagged, as well as some kind of porno tag. I say, do I want my book in anyone’s mind to be equivalent to a porno? And the answer is no.”
We cubicle warriors have it pretty easy – spending all day surfing the internet and filing TPS reports is easy on our puny man-child bodies. But lurking workplace hazards still threaten our nerdy well being. At least, that’s how MacLife sees it. Our sister publication calls out 10 startling office space threats and prescribes safety tips to avoid an encounter with the Aflac insurance duck. From poking your eyes out with lasers to blanketing your keyboard with delicious Cheeto dust, MacLife’s fear-mongering feature is a worthwhile read for any student of geeky office culture. With so much danger ready to strike any moment, we nerds might even need our own workplace safety video (NSFW).
As it turns out, the rumors were true; Microsoft does plan on releasing its Office 2010 software suite in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors, says ArsTechnica, who received confirmation from a Microsoft spokesperson via an email exchange.
"Yes, Office will have two separate 32-bit and 64-bit versions," the spokesperson wrote. "Office 2010 will be the first to do this."
While the benefits of running Office natively in a 64-bit environment might not be particularly exciting, making the popular software suite available as such could help expedite 64-bit adoption among other vendors. Love it or hate it, this also means a certain debt of gratitude is owed to Vista, the first mainstream Windows OS to really push 64-bit onto the masses.
Appropriately enough, look for Office 2010 to be released sometime next year.
The summer looks bright for Acer, who has announced a pair of new notebooks, one of which it plans to release in June. Sitting at opposite ends of the spectrum, the thin and light Aspire 3935 will ship as a 13.3-inch notebook, with the 8935G checking in at a much larger 18.4 inches.
Packed into the smaller 3935 will be Intel's Core 2 Duo T7350 (2GHz, 3MB L2 cache, 1066MHz frontside bus) processor on the chip maker's GM45 chipset, 3GB of DDR2-1066 RAM, integrated 4500MHD graphics, a 250GB SATA hard drive, 8X DVD burner, Wi-Fi, touch sensitive hotkeys, and various other goodies adding up to a 4.18-pound laptop.
Moving up to the 8935G adds a larger display, one of several Intel Core 2 Duo processors, discrete ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4670 graphics, a combo 4X Blu-ray drive and DVD burner, four USB 2.0 ports, up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, and up to 1TB of hard drive space. The added horsepower and screen real estate means the 8935 will weight more than twice as much as the 3935, checking in at 10.1 pounds. Interestingly, neither laptop comes with an SSD option.
Acer says the Aspire 3935 is available now at major retailers nationwide starting at $900. The Aspire 8935G will be available stateside in June with pricing and further specifications still to be determined.
If you're to take Intel at its word (and earnings report), then forget any talk of the PC industry continuing to decline. According to CEO Paul Otellini, the immediate future looks bright, especially for the No. 1 chip maker.
"We believe PC sales bottomed out during the first quarter and that the industry is returning to normal seasonal patterns," Otellini said in a statement. "Intel has adapted well to the current economic environment and we're benefiting from disciplined execution and agility. We're delivering a product portfolio that meets the needs of the changing market, spanning affordable computing to high-performance, energy-efficient computing."
Backing up his claims, Intel reported a first quarter profit of $647 million, or 11 cents per share, on revenue of $7.1 billion. Wall Street was expecting earnings of 2 cents on revenue of $6.98 billion.
But does Intel's success translate to a recovery in the PC market as a whole? While Intel has been riding high on sales of its Atom processors and managed to beat expectations for Q1, the company wasn't as forthcoming when it came to forecasting Q2.
Don't worry if you weren't voted Mr. or Ms. Popular in your high school yearbook, you're making up for it now whether you realize it or not. You see, there exists a vast underground economy where several individuals are interested in learning everything there is to know about you, such as what credit cards you carry around, your full name, address, and date of birth, and any other personal information specific to you.
The problem is (well, one of many) you're not alone. According to the annual Symantec Internet Security Threat Report (PDF), the market for stolen personal information has ballooned so much in the past year that a price war has erupted. Full personal identities, the report claims, can be had for "less than a can of cola" (or a can of 'pop' if you live in the Midwest or parts of the South).
"This recession-proof underground economy is reaching such a level of growth and maturity that there are signs of a price war developing, as online criminals find it increasingly easy to steal private details, and barter to sell them for bargain prices," said Guy Bunker of Symantec.
The report found that credit card information remains the most prominent underground commodity fetching anywhere from $0.06 to $30. Bank account credentials run considerably higher, up to $1,000, and was the second most stolen data in 2008.
File this away as a rumor until more details emerge, but for the time being, word on the web is that Microsoft is shopping for an ad agency to help launch and promote Zune for mobile phones. Codenamed 'Pink,' the project has made the rounds on the web before and refers to Zune software on mobile phones, which is somewhat less exciting than a Zunephone rumor coming true.
But is this all Microsoft has planned for Zune? As news site Engadget points out, "you don't audition three huge ad agencies just to launch a Zune app on busted ol' WinMo, so there could be something big cooking." Engadget surmises that we could end up seeing a consumer-oriented edition of Windows Mobile that integrates Zune services not just on the Zune HD, but on several third-party phones as well.
Any guesses as to what Microsoft is planning? Hit the jump and share post your predictions.
If you've been eyeing the iPhone ever since it came out but have been reluctant to switch from your cellular service provider to AT&T, then you may want to rethink that approach. That's because AT&T, who struck gold when it inked a deal with Apple to be the exclusive iPhone carrier, is in discussions to extend its contract until 2011, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
When asked to comment on the talks, an Apple spokeswoman offered little other information, saying only "We have a great relationship with AT&T."
And vice versa. According to AT&T, it has added 4.3 million iPhone subscribers in the second half of 2008, many of which -- about 40 percent -- were new to AT&T. But if AT&T is going to secure exclusivity rights to the iPhone for at least a year after its initial deal comes to an end, it's going to have to make sense for Apple as well, who will face increased pressure from Google's Android platform as the open-source OS starts to spread beyond T-Mobile's G1. And with Android 1.5 adding a bevy of new features, things could get awfully interesting in round 2.