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August 12th, 2013
01:49 PM ET

How to fight online bullies

What can be done to fight an outbreak of online threats and bullying in the UK?

British Prime Minister David Cameron has called for a boycott of sites that allow cyberbullying, while asking for website operators to "step up to the plate" and show some responsibility.

A number of companies have pulled their ads from Ask.fm, the site where 14-year-old Hannah Smith was bullied before she committed suicide.

British MP Barry Sheerman wants to take action. On News Stream he said, "I would set up a commission and look at the responsibility of people who own and manage sites like Twitter and Ask.fm because they have responsibility."

"I would look at a range of options like a red button if you're being bullied, so immediately it flags you to a counselor - if you are a child - who can give you information, guidance and advice."

"Also, what we need to do is prosecute these people who cause an enormous disturbance to others as much mentally as physically."

Click on to hear more from Sheerman. What he reveals could be the beginning of one country's legislated approach to online abuse.

August 7th, 2013
02:06 PM ET

Wikipedia's next frontier

10 years ago, I filed my first report on Wikipedia.

The topic of that report, Hong Kong's Wikipedia outreach and community, will be revisited at Wikimania 2013 – taking place here in the territory this year, from August 7 to August 11.

It was Andrew Lih, now an associate professor at American University, who first introduced me to Wikipedia.

Now back in Hong Kong for the conference, he tells me the core challenges ahead for Wikipedia are introducing more video and interactive features to the site, and broadening its base of contributors.

Shockingly, Lih says some 90% of Wikipedia's contributor population is male. How does Wikipedia plan to bridge the gender gap?

Watch the video above to find out.

July 12th, 2013
10:21 AM ET

Google's balloon-powered Internet: Coming to a sky near you?

(CNN) – There's both poetry and promise in the humble balloon.

It delivered escape and adventure in Pixar's "Up," friendship to a small boy in the classic short film "The Red Balloon," and - delving into real-world history now - military messages for Chinese strategist Zhuge Liang back in 220 AD.

Now Google plans to use a network of high-flying balloons to deliver low-cost Internet access to remote and under-served places around the world. It's called Project Loon, the latest initiative from the tech giant's innovation lab, Google[x]. FULL POST

June 14th, 2013
09:06 AM ET

Game Faces: Brian Provinciano

There are festivals dedicated to independent film. Indie musicians are celebrated. But what about independent game developers?

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Filed under: Game Faces • Games • General • Technology
June 14th, 2013
03:20 AM ET

Game Faces: Cliff Bleszinski

Cliffy B. Dude Huge. Or just Cliff Bleszinski. Whatever you call him, he's one of the closest things there is to a celebrity video game designer.

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Filed under: Game Faces • Games • General • Technology
June 13th, 2013
04:59 PM ET

Game Faces: Ken Levine

Like most forms of media, video games are linear. They have a beginning and an end. But the path doesn't necessarily have to be a straight line. That's what makes video games unique.
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Filed under: Game Faces • Games • General • Technology
May 13th, 2013
08:56 AM ET

A year of living Internet-free

Tech blogger Paul Miller of the Verge is back online after being off the Internet for an entire year.

That's right. No surfing (not even shoulder surfing). And not a single text message was sent.

His verdict? It was "bad" for his social life, but good for building up his patience and ability to focus "in the present."

And if you're thinking about your own Internet detox, Miller has this warning. "I started wasting a lot of time later into the year," he says. "Decide what you want to do and disconnect in order to do that. Don't just disconnect for the sake of disconnection."

May 9th, 2013
09:58 AM ET

The promise and peril of 3D printing

3D printers have been around for a while, used in industry for rapid prototyping.

But the promise and peril of 3D printing really came to the fore this week, after that shocking announcement from the Texas-based "Defense Distributed" which claimed it has successfully fired the world's first gun made by a 3D printer.

Thanks to cheaper 3D printer models, the technology is available to anyone with around a thousand dollars to spare.

Here's how it works. Instead of using ink like regular inkjet printers, 3D printers use materials like plastic. They take a digital image that you can create using modeling software on a computer, and then print it out building up layer upon layer of material to create complex solid objects.

Toys, car parts, even mini human organs have been 3D printed by manufacturers and scientists who've been using the technique for decades.

How far can the technology go? What will 3D printers be able to do for us 10 years from now? And is it an advance that needs to be regulated today?

In the video clip above, News Stream contributor Nicholas Thompson of the NewYorker.com weighs in on the 3D printing debate.

May 3rd, 2013
05:17 PM ET

The hard sell for Huawei smartphones

At company headquarters in Shenzhen, I talked to Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group – the world’s third-largest smartphone vendor.

Huawei says its market priority is China, followed by Europe and Japan. But - when it comes to smartphones - it’s not ruling out the U.S. market despite security concerns and the recent back and forth about Huawei’s commitment there.

"Gradually, step by step, more and more people will trust Huawei," says Yu. "I think with a brand, the most important thing is trust."

He hopes to build that trust with products like the $500 Ascend P2 which is billed as the “world’s fastest 4G LTE smartphone.”

Watch the video above to see a walk-through of Huawei's flagship smartphones and to hear Yu's sales pitch to Huawei-wary American consumers.

May 2nd, 2013
08:15 AM ET

From MindMeld to Google Glass - can tech be too smart?

You've heard of Siri. You may be familiar with Google Now.

But what about MindMeld?

The app, built by Expect Labs, bills itself as "a smarter way to have conversations on your iPad."

It hasn't been released yet, but tech giants Samsung, Intel and Telefonica have just joined on as the startup's latest inventors.

This is how it works. When you talk, MindMeld listens so it can search and bring up information that's relevant to your discussion.

But after looking at the product demo online, it's easy to see why some call it "Siri on steroids" - a voice-activated search engine that hangs on to your every word.

There's something deeply fascinating and creepy about the technology that tracks everything you say. Why would I want to use it? And what do I give up for using it and similar tracking technologies like Google Glass?

CNN contributor Nicholas Thompson of the NewYorker.com says by using such hyper-smart technology, we are trading in our privacy in return for utility. There's always resistance at first, but eventually we grow to accept it.

What's your take?

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