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Parenting and the Cyber World

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How often do we know what our kids are doing online?The risks that your kid will probably be exposed to vulgar language and promiscuous pictures – are parents okay with this? Most parents will say, "My kid would never do those things! He just uses Wikipedia to do his homework and talk to his friends on chat." Which is fine, but a kid will be a kid – kids get curious, kids get peer pressured. We have seen the language and photos of kids who were "angels" go from clean language to innocent photos to a complete 180 degrees change – why?

Facebook: Bulldozing the Social Landscape?

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Does Facebook flatten out reality?I feel like Facebook flattens out reality. As I said, obviously it's not meant to replace real social interaction – but it kind of distorts truth and one's way of thinking of the world. People you never talk to and those you are super close to show up equally on your NewsFeed. Everyone's words sound neutral and monotone, without that landscape of emotion and range that it would have if said in person. Every mountain and valley of differing social experiences, social circles, perceptions, and biases one has for others is flattened out on the Internet. We find ourselves dealing more with certain people online than we ever do in real life. We find ourselves joking around with someone online who at school we sort of barely make awkward small talk with. Each "emotional” or "deep" status message seems empty and repetitive when blasted online for the world despite how much meaning it would have if whispered to you by your friend during a late night talk. We skim through people’s successes and "FML"s, their engaged/married statuses, and their copy-pasted quotes like we skim through YouTube videos and Google News. I think that makes it easier to judge rather than to empathize.

There's an (Islamic) App for That

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AlQuranMany Qur'an apps are hard to navigate, but this one makes it easy while offering tons of features. You can look up any verse from any chapter instantly, with the Arabic text and English translation appearing right away. You can also download the audio of any Sura by a number of reciters.

Divine Wrath Goes Techno?

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Chain mail curse?A god who monitors cyberspace to see which of his net-minions passes on a specific mail is not a god worth worshipping. Allah's will cannot be not confined to the Web and He manifests it with good reason only. Sending forward a chain-mail might indicate a mindless servitude that may invoke His Wrath in the long run, rather than fend it off!

Finding the Right Match-Making Site

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Each site has its pros and consSome studies suggest nearly 1 out of 5 marriages now occur between people who first met online, but there are apparently no studies that have looked specifically at Muslim marriages. Is it a good option for you?

Top Five News and Analysis Websites

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With this increase in popularity comes an influx of news websites reporting hundreds of stories daily. However, while the amount of websites has increased, their biases have also, and it's difficult to come by a website that isn't hawking an agenda (or two).

Cyber Misinformation: Think Before You Hit "Forward"

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Stop and think!Rarely do we ever think to check the veracity of the stories before passing them on. We enjoy disparaging a "bad guy" so much that we don't even question if the disparagement is warranted or true.

Technology Rising: A Look Back at the Last Ten Years

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Video games have come a long way since those original Atari consoles.In 1999, people wore worried about the millennium bug. For those too young to remember, some were worried that at the turn of the new millennium, all the computerized clocks would reset, and set the date to 1st January 1900, instead of 2000.

Facebook Foolish or Cyber-Gheebat?

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Facebook has a tendency to change a lot of views, shape a lot of opinions, and make apparent what people otherwise do not reveal. But is it Gheebat when you find out something negative about one user through another, either from their photos, wall posts or comments? Or is the onus on each individual user for what they post, publish, or upload?

eReader Wars: Sony PRS vs. Amazon Kindle

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Sony PRS
Imagine that instead of having to carry around several hundred printed books, you carry just one. The portability is an eReader's strongest suit: everywhere you go, your full library goes with you. Trees like eReaders too. Millions of trees are cut down to provide paper for printed books. What's worse – burning a few electrons for a book or cutting down trees that can take hundreds of years to grow? eReaders win again.

Best Free Software of 2009

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ImageEven if you do manage to find a free program, chances are it's going to be almost useless. Well, not always.