Virtual monitors keeps children happy!

Virtual worlds for children and teenagers websites like Neopets, Club Penguin and Habbo are a big business. On these sites, children create an avatar and, with it, explore an imaginary universe. They can play games, chat and decorate virtual rooms or other spaces.

By the end of this year, there will be 70 million unique accounts – twice as many as last year – in virtual worlds aimed at children under 16.

As the number of these virtual world’s grows, so, too, does the demand for sophisticated monitoring software and people, called moderators, who can act as virtual playground monitors. Tamara Littlleton, chief executive of eModeration, a company based in London that provides moderation services, says the most common dangers that children and teenagers face online are bullying and young people’s own efforts to share personal information that could enable strangers to contact them in the real world.

The software is integrated into a virtual world’s site. If the technology uncovers slang or other patterns matching signs of bullying or sexual predation, it sends an alert to a moderator, who can then go through the entire conversation, as well as at every posting from either participant.

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Fructose is bad sugar

A 10-week study has thrown up evidence that consumption of fructose-sweetened, not glucose-seeetened beverages, can adversely affect both sensitivity to insulin and how the body handles fats, creating conditions that invite heart attacks and strokes. In the study, conducted by Peter Havel and colleagues at the University of California-Davis, overweight individuals consumed glucose or fructose sweetened beverages that provided 25 percent of their energy requirements for 10 weeks, said a UCD release. During this period, individuals in both groups put on about the same amount of weight, but only those who consumed fructose-sweetened beverages exhibited an increase in intra-abdominal fat.

Further, only these individuals became less sensitive to the harmoneinsulin( which controls glucose levels in the blood) and showed signs of dyslipidemia( increased levels of fat-soluble molecules known as lipids in the blood). It is not known whether these effects would persist over the long term or whether they would occur in normal-weight folks. The fructose-glucose debate has been percolating for a while.

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Nooyi in top 5 woman CEOs

The Fortune 500 may be dominated by male CEOs, but Ms Indra Nooyi, the Indian American CEO of Pepsico is listed fourth among “15 women show what it takes to lead” some of America’s biggest companies.

The Fortune 500 Women CEOs listing of the US business magazine notes that since becoming CEO in 2006, Ms Nooyi, 53, has grown the company’s top line-revenue from 10 per cent in 2008 to $43.3 billion – and raised its profile in some goodwill engendering arenas. Ms Nooyi, who gets $13.4 million in compensation, has pushed PepsiCo to target health-conscious and female consumers, resulting in such new products as Smartfood’s low-fat popcorn clusters, low-calorie Trop 50 and Starbucks Frappuccino Lite.

“While Pepsi was forced to cut 3,500 jobs and close six plants last year, Ms nooyi had announced big expansions abroad: $500 million in India, $1 billion in China and $3 million in Mexico,” Fortune said. The list of woman leaders of firms from sectors such as health care, food, retail and technology, is topped by Ms Patricia Woertz, 56, chairman, president and CEO of Archer Daniels Midland, who spent three decades working in the oil industry before joining ADM. She gets a compensation of $17.5 million.

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