Online Insights on fiveAA, Sunday, July 29, 2007

July 29, 2007

Safety on MySpace
Since we last spoke, there has been a lot of chatter in the US about the risk that teenage MySpacers are exposing themselves to from sexual predators. Apparently, according to research by criminologist professors, claims that teenagers are publicising too many personal details about themselves are “overblown”. On the My Social Networking News blog (, it reports that researchers randomly selected 9282 MySpace profiles, of which 2433 were owned by people aged 18 or younger. Almost half were set to private, and of the rest, a tiny percentage shared information that could make it easy for predators to identify the writer. Most users just used their first name, and virtually none published phone numbers or direct email addresses, etc. They also found that about a third of the profiles owned by teenagers, had not been logged into by their owners for three months, some even longer.
On a safekids blog entitled, Online victimization: Facts emerging, Anne Collier summarises the findings of recent research which shows that posting personal information does not lead automatically to kids being vulnerable to predators. Instead, victimisation mainly results from “talking about sex with people met online and intentionally embarrassing someone else on the Internet”. It also found that teens most likely to get into trouble online, were most likely to be troubled “offline”. Lastly, the blog points out that most perpetrators of abuse are peers, not adults.
Other facts raised during this most recent coverage of the issue, is that many teenagers have multiple MySpace profiles, one that is fine to show to parents, and at least another profile where they let their hair down and “let it all hang out”.

The 10th annual South Australian Living Artisits Festival gets underway this week (August 4-19, 2007) and will showcase work of 1500 visual artists at more than 400 venues around the state.
There are exhibitions, open studios, waling tours, bus tours, and digital and moving image events. The event website has a daily diary, and you can also download some self-guided walking tours around clusters of galleries in key regions. One of those regions is the Port. There are 10 galleries all within a few blocks, so now might be a good time to go for a wander around the Port, and take in some art at the same time.
The Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley both have self-drive maps, and the Fleurieu region has a wine and art tour – I think the art gets better as the tour progresses!
The Digital and Moving Image events will be interesting – they’ll be projected onto city buildings, shown on the website and broadcast on Channel 31.
Although I found the site a bit ugly and a bit slow to load (I think it tries a little too hard to be “cool”), there is good content on it. The scrolling thumbnails of artworks are clickable – click on them to view a small gallery of work by the artist. That was a most pleasing feature.

Standby Cars
This is a site to visit if you want a cheap rental car for a few days, or to move interstate. I’ve had friends move from Melbourne to Adelaide using this site to get a huge campervan for $1 plus some petrol money. The site is used by rental companies to get their stock moved around economically. Some bargains I found today included:

  • Adelaide City Perth City 12 Sept 23 Sept 2B4WD 6 $1/day $150 fuel / 3500km allowance
  • Alice Springs Adelaide City 02 Aug 06 Aug 6BST 4  $5/day $250 fuel / 2090km allowance
  • Alice Springs Adelaide City 15 Aug 18 Aug 2B4WD 4 $1/day $250 fuel / 2200km allowance

If you want deals like this, click on the Hot Deals button. You can also browse discounted car hire or email them for quotes. They only work on a 3-week window, so don’t pin your family holiday hopes on the site, however, its worth a visit if you have time flexibility.

William KamKwamba
William KamKwamba is a nineteen year-old who lives in Malawi and decided to build a windmill to power his family home. He is documenting the whole process on his blog and in photos. It is an inspiring story and well worth visiting. He is accepting donations via an online giving site, TipIn. He talks frankly about his life in Malawi (which is in the South Eastern area of Africa, surrounded by Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania. This is a great example of how emerging technology is helping to connect us – worldwide.

The 30-Second Bunnies Theatre Library
This is the site where a troupe of bunnies parodies a collection of movies by re-enacting them in 30 seconds, more or less. It is simple Flash animation (in the style of South Park) but very creative audio and scripting. I particularly liked the parodies of Casablanca, Brokeback Mountain, and the James Bond medley. There are dozens of movies in the library.
The bunnies are currently working on Saw, which promises lots of bunnies with their eyes bugging out of their heads with fright and madness. It’s gonna be gory!