Beware Internet Privacy


You may want to evaluate how you use social media.

Jeff Rubin, an information technology professor at Syracuse University, said privacy is a bigger concern for the everyday person than cyber security.

People may want to brand themselves through Twitter, or LinkedIn, but creating a balance between over sharing information and branding is key.

“Treat everything you put online as if everyone can see it,” said Doug Crescenzi, a graduate assistant for the School of Information Studies.

Everything is assessable without security settings. In lecture, Rubin showed the information of a random student from class. The information gathered was through a simple Google search. Not only were pictures of underage drinking free game, but starting with that simple search and connecting dots Rubin could find information about the value of their parents’ home.

Rubin said one way to monitor your image is to set up a Google Alerts for your name, or just Google yourself. Creating a positive image with blogs, or other content, can also push down unfavorable results in Google.

So, next time a picture from that party you went to last weekend is put online think twice.





The Future of Mobile Gaming

Research firm, Flurry Analytics says, by the end of 2011, 58 percent of U.S. portable game software revenue will be from games played on Android or Apple products. Critics are now wondering if gaming giants, Nintendo and Sony will be able to handle a significantly lower market share than mobile platforms.

What critics haven’t thought about is the audience. Many people have a smart phone or plan to get a smart phone in the near future, however these people aren’t necessarily Nintendo and Sony’s audience for their systems.The average Joe is going to download Angry Birds, but he probably won’t hand over $250 dollars for the Vita. Logically, more people are going to download casual games on their phone than buy the Nintendo DS or Vita.

It goes the same way for gamers. I would never play Star Ocean: First Departure on my phone, even if it was there, so I would need my PSP to play it. However, I would rather play Fruit Ninja on my phone, so even I am contributing to the mobile game market. Critics need to keep in mind what games are available on which platform, and who is going to play those games. It is quite simple there are fewer gamers than there are regular people, so the games for mobile phones are going to outsell the traditional gaming handhelds.

As technology grows, companies that were leaders in an area may shift, because the new technology appeals to a greater mass of people.

Don’t worry about Nintendo and Sony, portable gaming is here to stay—unless they’re stupid and try to shape their product around this craze.

Top 5 Casual Games

Some people love to play video games, but their life gets in the way. They can’t spend the whole year playing an Elder Scrolls game and remember where they left off a month ago. So, for people with this problem casual games dominate their time. They can pick up and play and not have to worry about story line. Here are the top five casual games, both new and old, mobile and not. To feed your gaming addiction when life doesn’t allow you to sit for 24 hours straight.

Angry Birds is on the list for launching a mobile revolution. Catapulting birds and demolishing their enemy is the only goal of the game. This simple game has its own challenges, but what makes it successful is that it can be understood and played by anyone. Good mobile games existed before Angry Birds but this game created a phenomenon and now Angry Birds merchandise can’t be avoided. Smart phone and tablet gaming became a serious threat to traditional handhelds after this game.

Like slashing fruit carelessly? Fruit Ninja is the perfect time waster for you. Similar to Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja has solidified the mobile gaming market into a formidable force against traditional gaming. They are cheap, many times offering free versions, and fun. Games for mobile devices must remain simple and easy to use. Fruit Ninja’s simple finger swiping controls attracted Microsoft as a great game to port to Kinect. Fruit Ninja’s success inspired developers to make games with the same concept. Veggie Samurai emerged after Fruit Ninja success, making two changes, one instead of fruit you slice vegetables, and two, you can dice, which is cutting your vegetables more than once. These are reasons Fruit Ninja is one of the best games for your mobile device.

Words With Friends, is Scrabble for idiots. Why? You can sit there and try every letter combination to make the most insane and mysterious words possible, or you can go on the Internet and look up words. No one needs to spell well to excel at this game. Words With Friends, playable on mobile devices and Facebook, has exploded onto the scene. College students sit with their laptops and play this during class. Zynga has expanded the brand to Hanging With Friends, which is a Scrabble and Hang Man hybrid. Hanging With Friends still allows for an easy outlet for cheating, if not easier, so next time you lose to a friend who can’t spell their way out of a paper bag, remember they probably cheated.

Zuma Blitz, especially on Facebook, is the perfect game to unwind after a long day of work or school. A balance between friendly competition and not thinking about what you’re doing makes this game peaceful and exciting at the same time. On Facebook PopCap holds weekly tournaments to see who of your friends gets the highest score. The skin is changed every week and scores are reset. Zuma offers powers to boost performance, but you can only use them if you have enough mojo. On Facebook the game offers a life system, which allows for about an hour of uninterrupted game play, perfect for lunch breaks. It has a great leveling up system making you feel accomplished and actually good at the game. A classic in a new skin.

Bejewled is a classic. No list on casual gaming is complete without it. Similar to Zuma, Bejeweled has a Facebook version perfect for besting your friends. Bejewled innovated the puzzle game world. The idea of matching colors paved the way for great games like Zuma, and a personal favorite Lumines.