College Dropouts Blamed on WoW

Sure, World of Warcraft is addictive. It’s the centerpiece for all of those news stories about game addiction, and it might even be responsible for eating babies and their puppies.

Regardless, the game is now responsible for (get ready) a high number of college dropouts. Federal Communications Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate spoke out on the game, stating that:

You might find it alarming that one of the top reasons for college drop-outs in the U.S. is online gaming addiction – such as World of Warcraft – which is played by 11 million individuals worldwide.

That was all she stated, and there doesn’t seem to be any stat to back it up. Although, 42% of facts on the internet are true after all…

(The new) Kindle eReader

The Irish Times August 14, 2010 | TOM KELLY Go Gadgets: Ah, the smell of competition! The launch of Apple’s iPad, with its powerful ebooks app, has prompted a swift reaction from Amazon, with the imminent release of a new Kindle, its own popular electronic book reader.

In case you missed the arrival of the Kindle’s predecessors and its e-cousins, this is a hand-held device that lets you read digital versions of books downloaded from Amazon. It’s one of several similar non-paper readers which, while not delivering the tactile pleasure of turning the printed page, do allow you tote around a virtual bookshelf with hundreds of publications as easily as you would a well-thumbed paperback.

In the case of this new, third generation Kindle, that’s a veritable Dr Johnson-esque library of 3,500 books, double its previous page count. Moreover, it bookends these into a smaller, lighter body reflecting that hoary old cheese puff about the electronics business that was so successful, they’d had to move to smaller premises.

The body has had a once-over too, with a new buffed, graphite finish and a claimed longer battery life. This Kindle still mimics the printed word with its black and white e-ink rather than iPad’s full colour offering. This certainly gives the Kindle the edge when holiday reading in sweltering sunlight, but that may not be enough to make it an iPad ekiller. bobble water bottle

Of course, they do get another bite of the ebook cherry as their own app for the iPad lets punters eread Amazon downloads there too. And they are obviously not ones to worry about killing off their babies, with this simply being called a Kindle, with no sequel- suggestive numerals or a Ludlum-esque Kindle Librarium, for example. here bobble water bottle

As admirable as all their technical nips and tucks are, it’s at the pricing end where Amazon has sharpened up, with the WiFi-only Kindle just $139 (Irish customers are still being sent to the US site to buy).

Cost WiFi model $139 ([euro]106), WiFi 3G $189 ([euro]144), Pod a Porter Neckband Perhaps the only inelegant note struck by this otherwise beautifully executed piece of product design is the pretension of its rather puntastic name. Almost as pompous as that opening line. Anyway, this is a very cool accessory, even jewellery, for an iPod Shuffle – the stamp-sized MP3 player from Apple. It’s an ultralight neckband to hold your Shuffle and neatly channel the headphones around so they don’t get twisted and tangled up in your clothes. These are crucial, because the player’s extreme buttonism means the headphone cables have the Shuffle’s controls built-in to them. Bust them and it’s not so much Shuffle as muffle.

At the same time, the PaP holds the Shuffle itself of course, for when you’re togged down to your exquisite basics for the beach or poolside. You can hardly tuck it in your thong after all: two wrongs won’t make a right.

Designer Michiel Cornelissen has one more twist: each Pod a Porter is individually produced by a 3D printer in polyamide when you order online. In black, white and a range of iPodista colours.

Cost [euro]25, Water Bobble Not a typo, but a smart, eco-positive solution to getting filtered water on the move. So the travelling middle classes everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief. See, the good-looking Bobble Water Bottle has an active carbon filter that’s good for 300 dechlorinated, decontaminated fill-ups. So it helps neutralise the environmental WMD that is bottled water. Plus, the Bobble itself is BPA-free, 100 per cent recycled and recyclable, for an all-round feelgood factor. Of course, there is the small matter of shipping it over here.

Cost $10 ([euro]7.50), filters $7 ([euro]5.50), and TOM KELLY