Study Claims Men Play Female Avatars to 'Win'

Interesting article from Slashdot:
mytrip writes to mention a News.com article about the rationale behind male players playing female avatars in online games. The article says that, while some players are probably exploring 'gender roles, many just want free stuff. From the article: "Kathryn Wright, WomenGamers's consulting psychologist, earlier this decade found that 60 percent of male players who don female avatars, or on-screen personas, do it to gain an advantage in game play. An enthusiast with the online handle Jackpot649 nailed the zeitgeist in his response to the About.com query: 'I'm a guy, but if I gotta look at an avatar all day, I'd sooner look at a female avatar. Plus, people give you more free stuff.'"
I tend to play female avatars, depends on the game and race/class. Like on WoW, I've got female Troll and Night Elf Hunters, Forsaken Warlock and Human Mage, but I also have male Tauren Druid and Dwarf Paladin. (I know, it's quite a stable but I like playing a variety of roles.) The choice of female avatars like was mainly made for the eye candy, I cannot say anything else really went into it. And I don't think I get any more "free" stuff with my females than my males....


2.5Gb/s Internet For French Homes

Jaw-dropping news gleaned via Slashdot and gamersloot.net/:
Presence-pc at reports that France Telecom just announced they are offering 2.5 Gb/s Internet connections to select cities in the Paris region. For ... $85(70 Euros) a month you also get free phone and TV. From the article (in French): 'The historical operator opted for a GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) FTTH architecture (Fiber To The Home). This technology allows up to 2.5 Gbits/s download and 1.2 Gigabits/s upload.
Gentlemen, start your envy. And I'm still maxed out at 768/128 at home...


It's Official - AMD Buys ATI

Breaking news via Slashdot on what could be an exciting new merger... or a powerful disturbance in the force...
It's been a rumour for several weeks, but now it's confirmed: AMD buys ATI. What implications is this merger going to have for the hardware market?
Linkage ensues: Aside from AMD's release, there's
plenty of coverage out there.

Must-Have Gadgets: Talking Security System

From Slashdot comes a story on just about the coolest (and I'm sure one of the priciest) gadgets for home security.
Themeaddicts, owned by a Hollywood animatronics guru famous for doing the T-rex in Jurassic Park, has created a home security system with a talking mirror (complete with floating head), talking pirate skull, and talking toucan. It informs the homeowner of things like a car coming up the driveway or the jacuzzi reaching the right temperature, and it turns into a surveillance camera.

I mean, you just can't get much geekier than this (unless you have some sort of Enterprise-style hologram room makeover...).


CEO Calls For AOL Paradigm Shift

Article via Slashdot from 7/10:
The New York Times is reporting that Jonathan Miller, AOL's chief executive, is calling for the effective dismantling of marketing for their dialup service. In a new plan to be presented to the Time Warner board in a couple of weeks, Miller outlines a new direction for AOL which moves towards using advertising as the main source of revenue while offering most everything they have (software, AOL.com email addresses, etc) for free.
(BTW, apologies for the extended hiatus. My eldest daughter got her tonsils removed, and she's been quite the handful ever since...)


Switching from Apple to Ubuntu?

Article from Slashdot on 7/3. The recent switch of two lifelong Mac nerds to Ubuntu hasn't escaped Tim O'Reilly's radar. He cites Jason Kottke:
'If I were Apple, I'd be worried about this. Two lifelong Mac fans are switching away from Macs to PCs running Ubuntu Linux: first it was Mark Pilgrim and now Cory Doctorow. Nerds are a small demographic, but they can also be the canary in the coal mine with stuff like this.'