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Archive of 'July, 2010'

Having spent over 10 years in the restaurant industry, I can’t even imagine how things got done before the implementation of touch screens.  Running around with little pieces of paper, hoping the cooks can read your handwriting, praying one of those slips doesn’t get lost, calculating people’s bills, and if a group of 6 wants to split the bill…f***!  Thanks to touch screen technology, I was able to punch in the drink orders, appetizers, main courses, desserts and coffees for huge groups of people in seconds. Once I pressed “Send,” the information was then printed in the kitchen, the bar and the dessert counter, complete with table and client number, so that not only does everyone know where the items are going, but which client gets what.  The bills were calculated automatically, and you could split the price of a pizza 12 ways if you needed to.
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In the four years that I’ve had a Facebook account, their system and interface has probably undergone more surgery than Carrot Top. In these few short years, I’ve had to change my privacy settings several times. I’ve had to familiarize myself with whatever new interface Facebook has decided to launch on its users. I’ve found myself, time and time again, having to adapt to their changes in order to use their services. Which is funny to me, considering that in an interview with Tech Crunch founder, Michael Arrington, and Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, Zuckerberg says that Facebook is “constantly innovating and updating its system to reflect the current social norms”. To me, it seems Facebook has become one of the driving forces affecting our social norms.
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A few months ago, I wrote a post about the Top Tech Inventions Shaping 2010. Number six on that list was Microsoft’s Project Natal for Xbox. Revolutionizing the way video games are played, players need only make use of their arms, legs, feet and hands to control the console. Project Natal, now officially called the Microsoft Kinect, is available for pre-orders on its website for $149 US. It is scheduled to launch worldwide, starting with North America on November 4, 2010.
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Everyone knows kids can be cruel and bullies are certainly nothing new but with ubiquitous technology and unprecedented access to the Internet, bullying has been seriously upgraded. Cyberbullying, as it is has come to be known, is different from regular bullying. Internet and social networking have enabled bullies to extend their sphere of influence outside the walls of your local school and into the walls of your home. Today, kids spend a large chunk of time everyday in front of their computers. If they’re not watching videos on YouTube, playing online games or checking their Facebook accounts, they are tapping away on their cells phones and firing text messages off to their friends. Between smartphones and laptops, your child can stay connected every waking hour of the day. This can leave your child continuously exposed to attacks from cyberbullies who use computers and cell phones as their digital weapons. Lobbing insults electronically can be done anonymously and hateful messages can spread instantly. Cyberbullies catch on to this all too quickly.
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