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So, a big and controversial story circulating at the moment is a study by Aptiquant, where 100,000 people were invited to take an online IQ test, and their results correlated with the make and model of Web-browser that they were using. The results played into popular prejudices, indicating that users of Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 had IQs in the ‘moron’ range.

A juicy story indeed, with graphs and charts and all-sorts. Except that it took less than one minute to determine that the company behind the study, Aptiquant, doesn’t appear to exist.

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Got your attention, have I?

Okay, so not all of you are a major let-down. Some of you, I’ll grant, are not. Mistakes do happen – we all make them. Nobody’s at their best when they have to write an article about something that they know nothing about, surely.

But for pity’s sake, make an effort! The fact is that if what you know about virtual worlds is based on what you read in the media, you probably know less than nothing about them.

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Jun 26 2009

What’s like crack? Apparently darn near everything technological is “like crack.”

By this stage of the game, I think we can safely file comparisons of technology to crack in the media, in with other leading indicators that signal “You can stop reading now.”

Saying “it’s like crack” is like crack for tech media. There you go, you can stop reading now. 🙂

May 18 2009

Novel H1N1 (otherwise known as swine flu) caused quite the stir and a fair bit of fear. I’d hardly call it a panic, though there are plenty of others who are referring to what happened as one. More like apprehension and trepidation.

While twitter and blogs are getting the primary blame for spreading ‘panic’, the reach of it and the demographics that appear to have been the most affected seem to lay the blame on television, and to a lesser degree newspapers and related services.

Whatever social media might or might not have had to say about novel H1N1, television was saying it louder, more sensationally, more frequently and in prime-time. By contrast, the CDC was feeding far more subdued and less sensational reports into twitter, which were being spread around in turn.

Fear. It’s about attention.