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YouTube 'Fire Challenge' Burns 40% of Boy's Body

Youngsters have been taking part in dangerous online stunt for years

(Newser) - A 12-year-old boy from Queens, NY, suffered third-degree burns on more than 40% of his body after trying to simulate a YouTube challenge in his bathtub Tuesday night, Gothamist reports. The horrifying-sounding "fire challenge" that the unnamed preteen tried goes basically like this, per CBS New York : Pour a... More »

At Oxford Dictionary, It's Now 'Wine O'Clock'

'Manspreading,' 'butt-dial' also new additions to Oxford's online dictionary

(Newser) - Manspreading is so widespread it's now a word. The term, coined by commuters, refers to men on public transportation who splay their legs wide and encroach on neighboring seats—and it's now been added to . The free online dictionary of current usage, created by the publishers... More »

Gamers Who Harass Women Actually Suck

Poor-performing males who stand to lose status take it out on ladies: study

(Newser) - Like low-status Neanderthals, contemporary men who aren't exactly winners—literally, when it comes to playing video games—are more likely to harass women online, new research cited in the Washington Post finds. Scientists who conducted the study published in Plos One played 163 games of Halo as either male-voiced... More »

Florida to Citizens: Rat Out Your Terrorist Neighbors

iWATCH allows people to report terror-related activities online

(Newser) - Expect a few Big Brother! cries around this one. A group of northeast Florida counties have introduced a way for its residents to report on fellow residents who they believe may be engaged in terror activities: an online system called iWATCH . The iWATCH site explains what kinds of things should... More »

Wallpaper Goes High-Tech

Soon surfaces will go online, block Wi-Fi thieves, or recharge devices

(Newser) - Why flip open a laptop when your wall can do the computing? A design firm in Madrid has launched a project that aims to make any surface in your home an online interface, the Financial Times reports. Using motion-sensor technology, webcams, and projectors, it will turn walls and counters into... More »

Americans Spend Equal Time Online, Watching TV

It's first time Internet has caught up; average is 13 hours a week

(Newser) - The Internet is officially as popular as TV: In a first, Americans spent the same amount of time online (an average of 13 hours a week) as they did watching television this year, says a new report on consumer habits. Email remains the most popular online activity, with 92% of... More »

The Internet Actually Makes People Happier

Research links web use to well-being, especially in women

(Newser) - Turns out the hours you spend online might be helping, not hurting , you. Research from Britain's Chartered Institute of IT finds a link between internet use and well-being. "Put simply, people with IT access are more satisfied with life," one researcher tells Time . "IT has an enabling... More »

TV Viewers Migrate to Web

Americans are more and more likely to have watched shows online

(Newser) - More and more Americans are watching television exclusively online and ditching their cable or satellite service. One-quarter of families have tuned in online, and 25% of those viewers have watched a full-length show on a computer—a 67% jump just since 2007. “The idea that you come home and... More »

Online, Everyone's a Critic—but Not So Critical

Customer reviews tend to be positive

(Newser) - Online reviewers are a little like T-Ball parents: To them, everyone’s a winner. Though the Internet is laden with snark and meanness, customer reviews are a bastion of the positive, with the average grade sitting at about 4.3 out of 5 stars, according to Bazaarvoice, a company that... More »

Americans Watch TV, Go Online More Than Ever

Simultaneous use of Internet and TV up, studies show

(Newser) - More Americans are vegging in front of the TV and relaxing online these days, the Chicago Tribune reports. While most Americans use the Internet to keep up with the latest economic news, about 74% of that group also go online to chill out. Meanwhile, the average American is watching a... More »

Emoticons Invade Academia

Teaching millennials causes new frustrations for college writing professors

(Newser) - College professors have lamented the state of student writing for centuries. But today’s Internet-obsessed culture brings new, infuriating errors to Writing 101 as students brazenly use colloquialisms like “:-)” and “LOL” in essays. “Occasionally, I've seen someone using the number 4 for the word 'for,'”... More »

Fans Want Nobel Peace Prize for Jackson

(Newser) - Fans of Michael Jackson are pushing for a Nobel Peace Prize nod for the late pop star. 12,000 have signed various online petitions putting the singer up for the honor because of his “lifelong dedication to the well-being of humanity,” and one organizer hopes for 100,000... More »

Obama's Pot Answer Too Dismissive

(Newser) - President Obama drew chuckles today for his comments about legalizing marijuana—it's not a "good strategy to grow the economy"—but critics say he was too dismissive of a serious issue. "His answer was a non-answer," writes Andrew Sullivan in his Daily Dish blog at the... More »

Obama Holds Online Town Hall

(Newser) - President Obama held a unique “online town-hall” today, answering questions submitted and voted on at An aide acted as a moderator, calling it a “new experiment in getting questions from outside Washington.” The questions ran the gamut from education to the economy to health care,... More »

Prez to Answer Questions Online Tomorrow

Obama to host first 'e-town hall' meeting since taking office

(Newser) - Barack Obama will host his first online town hall meeting as president tomorrow, the Atlantic reports. The White House "community-moderated online town hall" website invites Americans to submit questions on the economy and vote on other participants’ entries. The president will answer from among those voted most popular. More »

In Online Traffic, It's Truly Madness

(Newser) - Despite a lack of surprises on the court, the first day of March Madness saw a huge jump in visits to the CBS website as well as a bump in TV ratings, the Business Insider reports. The 2.7 million viewers of streaming video online represented a 56% increase over... More »

Web Dictionary Plans to Outdo Print Cousins

New features and bigger capacity make Wordnik a revolution in lexicography

(Newser) - Ever stumbled across an unfamiliar word and wondered not only what it means, but what it looks and sounds like? Or what other words it appears alongside most often, and how many times it’s been used in print this year? The revolutionary new dictionary Wordnik, set to go online... More »

Shoppers Embrace Coupon Clipping 2.0

Digital discounts improve buyer tracking, make coupon use easier

(Newser) - The recession has more Americans clipping coupons, sort of. While coupon use has jumped 10% since October, more of those discounts were downloaded to smart phones and supermarket rewards cards—not cut out from the newspaper. And digital advertising, still a 1% sliver of the discount pie, seems to benefit... More »

Baseball Strikes It Rich With Online Content Pitch

MLB web presence adds to—not detracts from—fans' TV, ballpark experiences

(Newser) - Major League Baseball’s full-bore embrace of the internet is paying off for its online service, Jay Yarow writes in BusinessWeek. Most professional sports leagues limit web content for fear of encroaching on TV ratings, but MLB’s Advanced Media allows streaming video of full games, downloadable highlights from every... More »

Green Cafe's Crowdsourcing Doesn't Spoil the Stew

DC eatery relies on the masses to define it

(Newser) - When Elements, a vegetarian and raw food restaurant, opens in DC next year, it will have one owner, but almost 400 people who conceived and developed the idea, the Washington Post reports. An online (and offline) community is helping with everything from designing a logo to greening the building. But... More »

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