The week of Reuters

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Gamers are used as guinea pigs in a new social experiment on epidemic outbreaks. In a game like environment, specialist are trying to predict the consequences of a next pandemic. Initial idea came from the accidental outbreak of a virus in World of Warcraft in 2005, whereby the maker of the game introduced a virus as a challenge for high level gamers. As in real life the virus escaped, causing a high mortality rate among the players. The game needed to be reset to get rid of the virus.

The researchers will investigate human behavior such as ‘stupid behavior’, near instant international travel’ and ‘infection by pets’.

In the meantime other researchers have calculated that Facebook might costs your boss billions of non-productive hours. “People love being there and telling people what they are doing right now, what their thoughts are right at this second,” SurfControl chairman Richard Cullen told Australian radio.  Banning Facebook from the computers might not be the right decision since people are happier when they can socialize and stay longer to do that.

Sick of playing CoD, BF2142, WoW? Or you are part of the female population of this world and are not ‘into’ these games? Disney is listening to you. With the introduction of  ‘High School Musical: Making the Cut’ the introduce a girly videogame for the Nintendo DS. They believe there’s a market for that (and if Disney says there’s a market for that, there is…)

The Long Tail in optima forma: niche e-tailers are attracting bargain hunters. “Think of a retail boutique with a very, very limited range of products and bargain basement prices. Now, put that on the Internet and you have the next big thing in online shopping”, according to the article. They describe three examples: Goldstarevents.com (offer discounted tickets for live entertainment events), Woot.com (selling a productpriced well below retail price for only 24 hours) and Travelzoo.com (finding the best deals on airfare, hotels, car rental, cruises and package trips for its 11 million users)

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