"I've always assumed that this reading style is a perverse personal habit, a symptom of a flawed literary intelligence. It turns out, though, that I was just ahead of the curve, because spoilers don't spoil anything. In fact, a new study suggests that spoilers can actually increase our enjoyment of literature. Although we've long assumed that the suspense makes the story—we keep on reading because we don't know what happens next—this new research suggests that the tension actually detracts from our enjoyment..."
"Too much gear for collaboration, social networking and communication tools is making people ruder, according to a new survey from some ginks working for a “social email provider” harmon.ie. The study found that during face-to-face meetings, 41 per cent of UK workers remain glued to their communication devices, sending instant messages, responding to texts, listening to voicemails or checking their emails. This figure rises to a staggering 70 percent during virtual meetings and webcasts.
"In a nice break from Google‘s slick-but-cute explanatory videos and ads, someone at Microsoft has unleashed a rather vicious attack video targeting Gmail. The video shows Gmail Man, a delivery guy who has the creepy habit of scanning your mail for keywords and then showing you a related ad. You may be fine with that when you’re online, but when dramatized in real life, it might make you question the practice. If nothing else, the attack video makes a compelling case for going with Office 365 instead."
"Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has added streaming movies to its website as the world's largest retailer attempts to grab a bigger share of the online movie market from rival service Netflix Inc.
The decision to offer movie sales and rentals through Walmart.com comes just two weeks after Netflix raised prices for the majority of its customers. The price hike provoked howls of protest from consumers and disappointing subscriber growth projections, leading to a significant drop in Netflix's stock price.
"The worldwide web has made critics of us all. But with commenters able to hide behind a cloak of anonymity, the blog and chatroom have become forums for hatred and bile..."
"GfK Group is one of the largest market research companies in the world and is often used by the movie industry to carry out research and studies into piracy. Talking to a source within GfK who wished to remain anonymous, Telepolis found that a recent study looking at pirates and their purchasing activities found them to be almost the complete opposite of the criminal parasites the entertainment industry want them to be.
"They say celebrity endorsement is often the best way to advertise your product and attract new users. However, it seems Google this week accidentally snubbed a celebrity that was trying to check out its newest social venture. William Shatner yesterday complained via his Twitterfeed that he had been booted from Google+ for 'violating standards.'
"My Google+ account was flagged for violating standards," Shatner tweeted. "Saying hello to everyone apparently is against the rules maybe I should say goodbye?"
"Once hugely popular, MySpace has been struggling to remain relevant for a long time. Sold to News Corp in 2005 for nearly $600 million dollars, the company's fall from grace has been slow but steady. A recent redesign attempted to revitalize the service but, for the most part, the company can't seem to regain its footing. Still, change could be on the horizon as the social network now has a new owner. Specific Media this week announced that it had purchased MySpace for just $35 million. MySpace's previous owner, News Corp, will hold onto a five percent stake in the company.
"By harnessing a new sphere of science called 'lovotics', Hooman Samani, an artificial intelligence researcher at the Social Robotics Lab at the National University of Singapore, believes it is possible to engineer love between humans and robots. Samani's robots have artificial psychological and biological systems that mimic the human brain and endocrine systems, and use movements, sounds, and lights to show their mood and level of affection for a human."
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