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Jun 13 2012

A scene from Habbo. Several avatars cluster around a table containing stylised foods, while one person holds a giant sparkling carrotJust last night, UK’s Channel 4 aired an investigative piece about Sulake’s Habbo Hotel (or just “Habbo”), the social virtual environment for kids.

The investigation alleges (among other things) that sexual predators are using the service to groom children for sex, despite Habbo’s couple of hundred live moderators – and it isn’t the first time these sorts of allegations have been made about Habbo, or about a number of other virtual environments.

Another UK channel (that I won’t name) went so far as to fabricate a scandal involving Second Life a few years ago.

What strikes me about the Habbo incident is how sudden it has been.

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Apr 20 2011

Elisabeth Sladen in Doctor Who, season 13: Terror of the Zygons. As you’ve probably heard by now, actress Elisabeth Sladen has passed away from complications relating to cancer at age 63.

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Dec 24 2010

A few weeks ago, ratings organisation Nielsen selected us for their national television ratings panel and installed one of their boxes in our home.

The box (or ‘peoplemeter’) is actually two boxes. One connects to your media equipment, and the other is placed out of the way and periodically calls back to the Nielsen data centres. The boxes basically listen to the audio on your TV, sample it, and then that is used to determine what you’re watching, and whether it’s time-shifted or not. You’re given a remote to log in (or out) for residents, or guests. That supplies Nielsen with demographic data, as well as determining what other uses you might be putting your television to other than actually watching television.

The whole thing has made me much more aware of our television watching habits and has gotten me thinking about the business model of broadcast television generally.

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Avatar Dancers land on ABC TV

International Broadcast Premiere screenings of Entanglement Theory

– a ‘mixed reality’ dance film by Richard James Allen, Karen Pearlman and Gary Hayes which seamlessly combines real life and Second Life dancing –

on ABC2 (Sunday October 31, 8:25pm 8:20pm) and ABC1 (Sunday November 7, 4:25pm 4:20pm)

Entanglement Theory

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