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Computers can tame bullies

The research conducted by the University of Kent involved students aged 12-13 and their use of ‘avatars’.

world Updated: Nov 26, 2012 02:23 IST

The research conducted by the University of Kent involved students aged 12-13 and their use of ‘avatars’

Mediation by computers including ‘avatars’, or computer-generated images of oneself, could bring down incidence of bullying at schools, researchers at the University of Kent have found. An avatar is the graphical representation of the user or the user’s alter ego.

It may take either a 3D form, as in games or virtual worlds, or a 2D form, as an icon in Internet forums and online communities.

It concluded that the latest gesture and facial recognition technology helps pupils become more positive towards other students, the journal “Computers in Human Behaviour” reports.

Hotel settles over ‘carcass removal’ listing
Helena: A phone book company has settled a lawsuit filed by a Montana barbecue restaurant that was listed in a section of the yellow pages for “Animal Carcass Removal.”

The owner of Bar 3 Bar-B-Q sued Dex Media Inc. after the listing appeared in the 2009 phone book and was reprinted in other directories in 2010, 2011. It gained notoriety after it was featured as a joke on Jay Leno’s show in 2011. The petition claimed the listing was published after he refused to buy their advertisement. Ap
poor in math?

Just get a smart desk
London: An interactive smart desk project, involving over 400 pupils, shows that collaborative learning increases both fluency and flexibility in mathematics.

An interactive ‘smart’ desk can enable one to tackle math better than doing it on paper, according to Durham University researchers who have designed and tested the concept. Using multi-touch desks in the new classroom, under a three-year project, the children were able to solve problems using inventive solutions. ians

Short DNA strands key to Alzheimer’s
Washington: Short snippets of DNA found in human brain tissue can help understand human cognitive function and risk for developing certain neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and autism, according to a new study.
Researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that many of the sequences with human-specific epigenetic characteristics, until recently, considered to be “junk DNA” - with no particular function - can present new leads on how the human brain has evolved, and a starting point for studying neurological diseases. There are nearly 40 million positions in the human genome with Deoxyribonucleic acid sequences that are different that those in human primates.

Chocolates that don’t melt in scorching heat
London: New ‘temperature-tolerant chocolates’ that don’t melt even at 40 degree Celsius have been developed by confectionery giant Cadbury, which will soon be available in hot-weather countries like India.

Scientists at Cadbury’s research and development plant in Bourneville, in the UK said the new chocolate bars stay completely solid even when exposed to temperatures of 40 degree Celsius for more than three hours.

Cadbury engineers have set out the method for making breakthrough “temperature-tolerant chocolate” in an 8,000-word patent application, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

While standard chocolate has a melting point of 34 degree Celsius, the new bars are ideal for warmer weather. PTI