The bully you don’t believe exists: Your own kid

Professional cyber bullyingfootball players do it. White House officials probably come closer than they should to doing it. But could your “sweet” kid also be involved? Or, even more heartbreaking, be a victim?

The digital world has become a haven for cyberbullying—bullying that takes place with the help of smartphones and computers and via methods including email, social media and text messaging. What’s more surprising is how widespread this behavior has become—and the gravitational effect it has on children who might otherwise not be part of the bullying process. While parents may think they understand how modern bullying works, their kids beg to differ.


10 strangest data findings you need to know

While strange big databig data is fast becoming an essential tool for businesses and marketers, it can still be hard for the average consumer to grasp. Faced with dense data sets and jargon-like “Hadoop,” people’s attentions tend to quickly wander elsewhere.

But big data isn’t all about optimizing shipping routes and streamlining customer support calls. Sometimes, it reveals details about the world we might never have suspected. As data scientists crunch more and more numbers, they’re finding a few startling trends— and they’ve managed to conclusively prove some long-held beliefs.


My Status, Myself

While facebook findingsoversharing on Facebook is nothing new, we might be giving a lot more information than we realize in our posts. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania recently did a deep dive into Facebook status updates and found that the social media site offers a new lens through which to analyze personalities. While some of their findings were “face valid” — i.e., people who live in the mountains talk about mountains — this large study did yield some new hypothesis and insights about men, women and certain personality types.


Following massive user drop, Zynga folds its gambling plans

New zynga-poker-top630Zynga CEO Don Mattrick has a lot of work ahead of him.

As the company continues to see users abandon its games at an alarming rate, it has reversed course on its plan to pursue real-money casino games in the U.S., a combination that led to investors punishing the stock Friday.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Is Facebook gaming dying?

Not farmville2-top630too long ago, many people believed Facebook was the Next Big Thing in gaming. Developers debated it — sometimes ferociously — at conventions, while venture capitalists couldn’t fund the companies making those games fast enough.

But over the past few months, the air seems to have been let out of Facebook’s tires. Major publishers are withdrawing their support. Pop culture breakouts like Farmville are far and few between. Most damningly, players seem to have moved on to other diversions.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Did EA Bust the Social Gaming Bubble?

When sims-socialElectronic Arts bought social games maker Playfish for $300 million—plus a $100 million buyout—in 2009, it sent shock waves throughout the videogame industry. Spurred by growing speculation about the value of then-private Zynga, some tech pros say it was the beginning of a bubble for developers who specialize in Facebook games.

On Monday, EA once again surprised the tech world – this time by announcing plans to axe several games on the social network, including The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society. When those titles shut down on June 14, Playfish may not have any active games—thus raising questions about its fate. (EA declined to discuss the future of Playfish, saying it was “not commenting on individual teams.”)


Farmville is coming soon to a television near you

If farmville-ratner-tv-show-top630you thought the idea of an Angry Birds movie was ridiculous, how about a cartoon based on Farmville?

Zynga’s long-in-the-tooth Facebook hit is being transformed into a half-hour animated series, and it has managed to snag bigwig Hollywood director Brett Ratner to lead the effort.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Zynga and Facebook: Are the naysayers wrong?

In farmville2this op-ed, Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris tries to figure out why investors are so down on what could be a good thing for Zynga.

So Zynga and Facebook have agreed to see other people — and Wall Street is freaking out about that.

Zynga shares were down 8 percent in early trading Friday after the companies restructured their working agreement. And while those investors certainly have a right to be mad at Zynga in general, I think they might be getting it wrong this time.

Read more at Gamasutra

America’s Radio News Network – Nov. 27, 2012

Every arnnThursday, I join Chris Salcedo and Rick Roberts on the mid-day edition of America’s Radio News Network to discuss trends and news in the technology and video game space. This week’s topics were the launch of Nintendo’s Wii U, a widespread hoax regarding Facebook’s privacy policy (and a look at their actual privacy practices), and a gift guide for technically inclined kids.

Listen Here

Amazon launches a game studio

For years, Amazon has been a looming figure in the video game industry. On Monday, it finally pulled the trigger.

The retail giant has launched a new division, called Amazon Game Studios, which will focus (initially, at least) on social games, though expect it to branch into other areas in the months and years to come.

Read more at Yahoo! Games