Free Subscription via Email:

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Make Money with Nuffnang

Making money with Nuffnang is probably the simplest idea to generate income for any bloggers or Internet marketing newbies. Why? Because it is almost too easy.
How does it work?
Why do Nuffnang pays you and where do they get the money from? This is a basic online advertising model. As you can see on the above graph; advertisers like Feekir Co., Maxis, Digi, pays Nuffnang to get web visitors. Why? Advertisers need web visitors to sell their products.
·         Advertisers pays Nuffnang to promote their products.
·         Nuffnang pays You (bloggers) to help getting the visitors.
To summarize the whole situation. Advertisers pays Nuffnang. They take a little bit of that money and gives the rest to you. Technically, every party is benefiting from this advertising model. Advertisers get to promote their products; You and Nuffnang gets the cash.
How do you get paid? What do you have to do?
Cost Per Click (CPC) – You get paid, every each time your web visitor click on an advertisement.
Cost Per A Thousand Impressions (CPM) – You get paid for every thousand impressions. Let’s say CPM is $5, which means for every 1000th person who loads the advertisement on their computer screen; you will get paid $5.
The same idea goes to the advertisers. For CPC, they will have to pay for every click and as for CPM, they will have to pay for every 1000th views on their advertisement.
Is it difficult to make money with Nuffnang?
While the idea of making money by simply having your website visitors to click on your ads might seem too easy; the tough part is to get the system to work for you. Depending on your internet marketing style, some people might find Nuffnang to be a gold mine while others might prefer Affiliate marketing to be a better choice of generating online income.
Fun Fact: Nuffnang is a blog advertising community, perhaps the largest in Asia with 118817 bloggers mostly in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Australia.

Adsense Click Fraud

Adsense Click Fraud

Just Don't Do It

Click fraud occurs in pay per click online advertising when a person, automated script, or computer program imitates a legitimate user of a web browser clicking on an ad, for the purpose of generating an improper charge per click. Click fraud is the subject of some controversy and increasing litigation due to the advertising networks being a key beneficiary of the fraud whether they like it or not.

Use of a computer to commit this type of internet fraud is a felony in many jurisdictions, for example as covered by Penal code 502 in California and the Computer Misuse Act 1990 in the United Kingdom. There have been arrests relating to click fraud with regard to malicious clicking in order to deplete a competitor's advertising budget.

In 2004, a California man created a software program that he claimed could let spammers defraud Google out of millions of dollars in fraudulent clicks. Authorities said he was arrested while trying to blackmail Google for $150,000 to hand over the program.

Types of Click Fraud
·         1. Basic clicker cheat

This is a noob. This guy knows almost nothing about web technology or network architecture. He clicks on his ads every time he has chance. It can be a few clicks to hundreds of clicks daily. Most likely he doesn't even read the AdSense Program Policies and Terms and Conditions.
·         2. Proxy clicker cheat

She knows a thing or two about cookies and IP address. Or she doesn't know, but somehow guessed that if she use the things called anonymizer, Google will not be able to trace her, because her identity is hidden.
·         3. Multiple computer clicker cheat

He knows that somehow Google will detect if the clicks are originated from his own computer. So he will try to even out origin of the clicks. He will recruit his friends, family members, relatives, neighbors, his cats, and his dogs on single mission: to click on the ads. He will also click on the AdSense ads when he is using the library computers, or his office workstation.
·         4. Software clicker cheat

Graduate to the next step is buyers of clickbots / click-bots. These are specialized robot software to click on AdSense ads. It will browse around your websites, clicking on the ads every few minutes. The more advanced ones will cloak the IP address too, so the website seems to be very popular worldwide. To cover the track, this clickbots will browse around the advertisers sites too while continuing its "click quest".
·         5. Paid-clickers cheat

If you don't like automated things, there is always other option for you. Just pay $50 dollars a month to the professional AdSense clickers. These are groups of highly specialized Internet surfers with office in the dark rooms in street corners of India, Pakistan, and China, helping AdSense account owner to earn good amounts of money - before the AdSense account is disabled, that is. They will browse around your websites, clicking on the ads every few minutes. Because they use human eyes, they know which ads worth more. And to be more convincing they can click a link or two, or sign up free offers / newsletters on the advertiser sites.
·         6. Click-rings cheat

Network is power. So says many business gurus. Instead of taking things into their own hands, these people realize that they can join hands with those with similar goals and distribute AdSense clicks among themselves, the so called AdSense click-rings. Joining this click-ring network means that your website address will be made known to members, who will regularly browse the website and click on your AdSense ads. In exchange, you will also browse other members' sites and click on their AdSense ads. The medium used varies. Some click-ring groups use mail-list for communications. Some are using bulletin boards/forum, Yahoo groups, or Usenet. IRC is another popular way. Slightly more complicated is specialized AdSense exchange software for collecting members website address and displaying others' websites for clicking.
·         7. Other medium cheat

I have tens of thousands email address on my newsletter subscriber list. If I include AdSense ads on my newsletters, with 5% CTR, I can get a thousand clicks per one email. Not bad. Or I can pay someone to write some useful/nice/funny/cute toolbars or firefox extensions or screensavers that people can download and use for free, and display my AdSense ads there.
·         8. Visitor cheat

Simply putting "Visit our sponsors" or "Check out the ads above" on your website is cheating. This might not be very clear-cut cheat to some. But Google AdSense program policies has stated clearly, the only text allowed are "Advertisements" or "Sponsored List"
·         9. Spam cheat

This is the highest level all click-frauds, the Maestro of Fraudsters. She spams millions of emails regularly, offering to "satisfy your inner needs if you can help me check on the links on my website". Of course, email is not the only way. What IRC and instant messaging (IM) are for, after all. She will look for unsuspecting victims, offering something too-good-to-be-true "if only they will visit the website and click on the links".
·         10. Click-through-rate cheat

Whichever method(s) above used, there is one limiting condition: the CTR(click-though-rate). Any CTR that exceeds certain percentage (probably around 10%) will raise red flag in Google AdSense back room. To lower the CTR, the professional cheaters will create some pages on the same domain that attracts very high traffic. Some interesting freebies will sure do the tricks. AdSense code is pasted there, thus creating a very high page impressions. Whether or not the the ads are clicked does not matter anyway, because they are targeting low paying keyword that does not have much competition. The fake clicks are, of course, on where the big money is, the low traffic pages stuffed with high-paying keywords.
·         Source
Why You Shouldn't Cheat AdSense
If you applied for AdSense account with intention to cheat and earn fast bucks, I hope by now you have understood that you shouldn't.

Why? You say. Google is so rich, losing some pennies won't hurt.

Well. Probably. But when I say you shouldn't, trust me. You really shouldn't. These are just some reasons...

  1. You can't cheat Google

    Every once in while, someone will comes out with ingenious idea of how to get more money from AdSense in less than honorable ways. He will announce to the whole world, posting in every forum and tell people how smart he is. His idea is always untraceable by Google, it is always original, and it always gives easy money.

    What he doesn't know is, few months after that, he will get caught by Google, always. And his AdSense account will be disabled. Always. And he is banned from ever applying for AdSense account again. Always.

    Google is a giant, with 2005 revenue of almost US$ 10 billions, and profits of more than US$ 1 billion. A large chunk of this comes from Adwords / AdSense advertisements.

    More click fraud means less trust, less advertisers and less money, to the extent that if unsolved it will bring collapse to pay-per-click advertisement business. Now. Do you think Google will let you jeopardize their billion dollar business model?

    They have money and ability to bring together many of the the smartest and brightest engineers and scientists on earth, has been doing that and will continue to do so. How smart do you think you are that you can outsmart collaborative effort of the brightest brains?

    You might be able to pull through for two or three months, but eventually the fraud detection algorithm will catch up and you are caught. And you get banned from Google AdSense, among other things.

  2. Cheating = stealing

    No matter how you want to justify, face it, cheating is stealing. You are not only stealing from Google, but also from Adwords publishers. Majority of these are are not big companies, but small webmasters depending on Internet to make a living.

    Moreover, even if your morality (or lack thereof) permits stealing from your own fellow, bear in mind that stealing is illegal. Regardless of whether it is done offline or online, a crime is a crime. You might get jailed for that.

    In fact, Google has started to bring AdSense fraudsters to court a few months ago. Some were jailed, and some others were fined heavily.

  3. It is just too easy to earn more, legally

    Let's say you managed to cheat AdSense undetected. You don't use clickbot or proxy or click-ring or paid clickers. You managed to somehow get the clicks from distributed IP. You don't use pop-ups, spyware, adware. You are careful that your CTR does not exceed 10%. Still, your earning is limited. There is a cap you can't cross, else you will invite unwanted attention to your account.

    With so much effort to cover your traces, actually you will get better result if you concentrate your effort to improve the website.

    Write more content, submit articles, improve on your search engine optimisation, improve adsense placement, and you can get the same earning or even more. Sure it will take some time, but this is legitimate.

Some of the methods which Google uses to determine and detect cheating
Still thinking to cheat AdSense? Stop that. It will never get you anywhere. You might pull it off with smaller ads network, but definitely not with Google. Here are some detection methods they might use. At the very least, they have the resources to do so.
  • IP Address
    If the AdSense click is originated from the same IP Address as the one used for accessing your AdSense account, your account is flagged.
  • Cookies
    Most home users do not use static IP Address for Internet connection. In most cases just disconnect and reconnect will give you a new IP Address. But don't forget, Google has set cookies on your computer.
  • Other Google Services
    Thinking that you are safe just because you do not access your AdSense account? Think again. This time, consider these: GMail, Google Earth, Google Calendar, Google Search, Google Toolbar, Google Talk, Google Sitemap, Google Desktop, Blogger, and so on, and so on. With the wide range of services they provide, Google can trace the originator of most (or probably almost all) clicks.
  • Click Pattern 1
    Oh, why this computer / IP address / person is so trigger-click-happy on this particular website but never click on the ads on other sites?
  • Click Pattern 2
    And why is it that people accessing these sites direct (type-in URL or from bookmark) tend to be very active ad-clickers compared with those referred from search engine or other sites?
  • Click Pattern 3
    And why the ad-clickers like to hit and run, compared with non ad-clickers that surf a few pages before leaving?
  • Click-Through-Rate (CTR)
    Your CTR may range from 0.5% to 10%, but if it exceeds a certain point (probably around 10%), you are flagged.
  • Geo-Location
    Used Urchin (Google Analytics) before? Then you should know that Google can trace traffics origin down to the small town. Different IP doesn't mean much. Unless you site is really targetted to one small geo-point, a high number of clicks from nearby location will get you banned quickly.
  • Hardware address?
    MAC address of the LAN card, modem, and router works almost like a fingerprint. I'm not sure if Google can track this, but probably they do. They have rocket scientist, remember?
  • Advertisers conversion rate
    Ad click is one thing. But does it bring value to the advertisers? If none of the clicks on your site translate to conversion to the advertiser, you are in trouble. First the Smart-Pricing hits, then your AdSense account disabled.
  • Search Engine Ranking
    Your website is not indexed on any search engine, not linked by any prominent website, but get consistently high traffic? That sounds like something is in play. Regardless of whether it is an adware-embedded software, spam, trojan clickbot, or intentionally installed click-exchange network, it doesn't sound right.
  • Webpage design
    How about the "click here" or "support us"? Google has the best search engine in the world. Is it really that hard to find those words?
  • Combo
    Each of these detection methods might seem rather weak. But combine them together, and not many click-fraud can pass-through these filters. Even the smartest clickbot will have a hard time.
  • Source
How to Get Banned from Google Adsense
Keep in mind that this is a HOW TO GET BANNED list. In other words, this is a "DO NOT" list if you don't want your adsense account to be disabled.

  1. Ignore Adsense Program Policies & TOS
  2. Click on your own ads, specially those you are "genuinely interested" in. Ask people to click on your ads: your friends, your family members, your relatives, your visitors, or even your dogs or your cats. Use proxies to avoid detection.
  3. Participate in some form of click-ring. Click-rings are groups of people who gather with consensus to click each others' ads. Most commonly used methods are Yahoo Groups, instant messenger, mail list, web forum, or specially written software.
  4. Buy, write, or use click-bot software. Click-bot software will go around your site and click on your ads. Most of the times, these click-bots are using proxies to avoid detection.
  5. Pay the Indian-clickers. These are the people whose main jobs are clicking on PPC advertisements and paid by the malicious publishers. Most of them are from developing countries like India or China.
  6. "Invest" with websites that promises to deliver "adsense clicks" for your site. Whatever methods they are using, most likely it falls under one of the aboves.
  7. Extra words to make your visitors to notice your ads. Write "Click here" or "Please support us" or "Visit our sponsors". Anything other than Google-approved "sponsored links" or "advertisements".
  8. Put in as many ads as possible in every page. Put more than three units of the normal ads block, more than one unit of ads links, or more than one referral buttons for each adsense, adwords, and firefox; all in one page.
  9. Use spyware to get traffics to your site. Spyware, adware, malware, or whatever it is called can force computer users to open your website everytime they start the computer. Or even better, use some kind of specially written software, toolbar, etc to display or click on your ads.
  10. Use pop-ups on your website. Everytime your user open a page, pop-up another one, ideally with the smiley or the IQ Test advertisements.
  11. Get as much un-targetted traffic as possible, for instance using the auto-surfing programmes to rotate the members around your site and other sites.
  12. Put the adsense code in non-content pages: registration forms, term and condition, login page.
  13. Have a competitor contextual ad on same page with adsense ads, for example Yahoo Publisher Network. Please note though that non-contextual ads, e.g. affiliate links or keyword-based ads are acceptable by google and won't get you banned.
  14. Get more than one adsense account. Maybe one for your dog-site, one for your cat-site, one for the v1agra pills, one for mp3 download, etc.
  15. Put your adsense code in email, usenet, RSS, etc.
  16. Tell everyone what is your CTR, your page impressions, etc. Telling people about your total earning, unfortunately, is allowed.
  17. Put Google logo where you shouldn't, and don't put the logo where you should. In other word, ignore Google trademark.
  18. Modify Adsense code as you see fit. Modify the layout, color, URL, will be well. Just anything other than copy-and-paste the code from Google.
  19. And, this is important: if and when Google Adsense Team sends you email, ignore it.
  20. Put adsense code in pages containing banned content.
Content Banned By Google
  • Excessive profanity
  • Violence, racial intolerance, or advocate against any individual, group, or organization
  • Hacking/cracking content
  • Illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia
  • Pornography, adult, or mature content
  • Gambling or casino-related content
  • Excessive advertising
  • Any other content that promotes illegal activity or infringes on the legal rights of others
  • Pop-ups, pop-unders or exit windows that interfere with site navigation, obscure Google ads, change user preferences, or are for downloads. Other types of pop-ups, pop-unders, or exit windows may be allowed, provided that they do not exceed a combined total of 5 per user session
  • Excessive, repetitive, or irrelevant keywords in the content or code of web pages
  • Deceptive or manipulative content or construction to improve your site's search engine ranking, e.g., your site's PageRank
  • Incentives (monetary or point-based) to users or third-party beneficiaries for online activity including, but not limited to, clicking on ads or links, performing searches, surfing websites, reading emails, or completing surveys
  • Sales or promotion of certain weapons, such as firearms, ammunition, balisongs, butterfly knives, and brass knuckles
  • Sales or promotion of beer or hard alcohol
  • Sales or promotion of tobacco or tobacco-related products
  • Sales or promotion of prescription drugs
  • Sales or promotion of products that are replicas or imitations of designer goods

Life After Adsense?
Share your story with others.
Have you been booted from the Adsense Publisher Network? How did you get back in? Or if you didn't, where did you go from there?

Sony plans slimmer PlayStation 3 before year end

TOKYO (AP) — Sony Corp. is introducing a smaller, slimmer and lighter version of its PlayStation 3 home console ahead of the year-end holidays as it gears up for growing competition in games from smartphones.
The announcement Wednesday from the Japanese electronics andentertainment company comes a day ahead of the annual Tokyo Game Show, where game makers show their wares. But the iPhone 5 smartphone from Apple Inc. is hogging much of the attention, already drawing long lines for pre-orders at some retailers, and more lines are expected ahead of Friday's launch.
The new PlayStation 3, closer to the size of a laptop, is half the size of the original model, introduced in 2006. It also offers more hard-drive memory at 500 gigabytes and 250 gigabytes, up from the current 320 GB and 160 GB options.
The global rollout starts Sept. 25 in North America, where the 250 GB version will sell for $269. The other version sells for $299 from Oct. 30. In Japan, the models go on sale Oct. 4 for 29,980 yen ($380) and 24,980 yen ($316).
Tokyo-based Sony is struggling as its other electronics businesses get battered by competition from Apple's iPhones as well as by cheaper Asian rivals.
The maker of Bravia TVs and Walkman portable players posted its worst loss in its 66-year history for the fiscal year ended in March — its fourth straight year of red ink.
The company is banking on games to help steer a turnaround. President Kazuo Hirai spent much of his career leading the game division.
To woo consumers, Sony is slashing the price on its PlayStation Portable, or PSP, mobile device as it increasingly focuses on its upgraded PlayStation Vita, which went on sale last year, for on-the-go games.
The PSP, which first went on sale in 2004, comes down Thursday to 13,800 yen ($175) in Japan from 16,800 yen ($213). There is no change to the U.S. price now at about $130.
Sony plans to expand entertainment based on cloud computing, which offers storage and other computer services over the network, after recently acquiring Gaikai Inc., a U.S. game company.
The PlayStation Vita won't be getting any upgrades just yet. But it will be available in new colors, blue and red, in addition to white and black, but only in Japan.
Some speculation is buzzing about a PlayStation 4, possibly before the end of next year, but officials were mum on that topic.
The PS Vita, which has a touch-panel, allows users to live-stream video and works as an electronic book function for colorful comics, according to Sony.
But Sony has already slashed its PS Vita sales target for this fiscal year through March 2013, to 12 million units, down from 16 million that was given three months earlier.
In lowering the target, Sony pointed to the economic slowdown, especially in Europe. But it also noted the intense competition from smartphones and social-networking entertainment.
Hiroshi Kawano, who heads Sony's game business in Japan, said the networking feature of PlayStation 3 allows users to enjoy millions of tunes, karaoke at home and a growing library of movies.
"Even after six years, the PlayStation 3 has not lost momentum and continues to deliver powerful home entertainment," he said at a Tokyo hall.
Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at http://twitter.com/yurikageyama

News Summary: Sony plans slimmer PlayStation 3

CONSOLE UPDATE: Sony Corp. is introducing a smaller, slimmer and lighter version of thePlayStation 3 in time for the holiday shopping season. The global rollout starts Sept. 25 in North America.
CONTEXT: The Japanese electronics giant is struggling as its other businesses suffer from competition with Apple Inc.'s iPhone and cheaper Asian rivals. The company is banking on games to help steer a turnaround.
DETAILS: The new PlayStation 3 is half the size of the original model, introduced in 2006. It also offers more hard-drive memory. Prices start at $269 in North America.

Sony announces new smaller and lighter PlayStation 3, arrives September 25th

While we’re still waiting word on the PlayStation 4, Sony (SNE) is hoping we’ll make do with another revision of its PlayStation 3console. The company on Wednesday announced that its new CECH-4000 model, slated for release this fall, will be 20% smaller and 25% lighter than the previous model and will also ditch the slot-loading optical drive in favor of a disc-tray that slides open sideways.
The new PS3 will be available in two models: a 250GB that will sell for $269.99 and a 500GB model that will sell for $299.99. The 250GB model, which launches on September 25th, will be sold in a bundle with the game Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and come with a $30 voucher for digital content for the game DUST 514. Shoppers looking for the 500GB PS3 will have to wait until October 30th when it’s available as a bundle with Assassin’s Creed III.
Of course, users will still be able to replace the default hard drive with their own 2.5-inch drive.Sony’s new PS3 fits comfortably with its 10-year console strategy and follows the company’s tradition of reducing the volume of its consoles as the years go on (a move we’ve seen Sony pull off with the PlayStation 2 a number of times).
Related stories
Get more from BGR.com: Follow us on Twitter, Facebook

Sony announces new smaller and lighter PlayStation 3, arrives September 25th

While we’re still waiting word on the PlayStation 4, Sony (SNE) is hoping we’ll make do with another revision of its PlayStation 3console. The company on Wednesday announced that its new CECH-4000 model, slated for release this fall, will be 20% smaller and 25% lighter than the previous model and will also ditch the slot-loading optical drive in favor of a disc-tray that slides open sideways.
The new PS3 will be available in two models: a 250GB that will sell for $269.99 and a 500GB model that will sell for $299.99. The 250GB model, which launches on September 25th, will be sold in a bundle with the game Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and come with a $30 voucher for digital content for the game DUST 514. Shoppers looking for the 500GB PS3 will have to wait until October 30th when it’s available as a bundle with Assassin’s Creed III.
Of course, users will still be able to replace the default hard drive with their own 2.5-inch drive.Sony’s new PS3 fits comfortably with its 10-year console strategy and follows the company’s tradition of reducing the volume of its consoles as the years go on (a move we’ve seen Sony pull off with the PlayStation 2 a number of times).
Related stories
Get more from BGR.com: Follow us on Twitter, Facebook

How Video Game Assists the Visually Impaired

There are two things that make optometrist and neuroscientistLotfi Merabet's new computer game unusual: The various rooms and corridors in the game exactly mirror a real place, and players aren't able to navigate by looking at graphics on-screen. Instead, players must rely entirely on different sounds that tell them where doors, walls, jewels and monsters lay in wait.
Merabet and his colleagues at Harvard Medical School and the University of Chile designed the game for — and tested the game with — visually impaired people. And they found something interesting about their players when they later took the gamers to the real building on which the game was based. Although the researchers hadn't told the study participants to remember the game's layout, they found that those who played the game excelled at independently navigating the real building.
The researchers' study shows the promise of audio maps helping to solve a real problem for the blind, said Gordon Legge, who directs the Laboratory for Low-Vision Research at the University of Minnesota, is visually impaired, and was not involved in Merabet's study. "People who are visually impaired are often anxious about going to new places. That's a big issue," Legge said. "If there were software methods to explore and learn a place before they go, it could be quite advantageous." [10 Profound Innovations Ahead]
The study also hints at the possibilities of using audio games to teach visually impaired people in a way that sticks better than other methods, including a guided tour of the computer game's layout, which Merabet also studied. "Gaming sort of gives you a problem-solving sense that you don't have through directed navigation," said Merabet, who runs studies and sees patients at Harvard's Massachusetts Ear and Eye Infirmary.
Although there are still important software problems to resolve, in the future, major buildings might be able to offer audio maps or games to help visually impaired visitors prepare before they get there.
From game to real life
Starting last year, Merabet began testing his game on people aged 15 to 45 who had been blind since birth. Players wore headphones while they played the game and navigated by pressing keys on a keyboard. Whenever their avatars touched walls or doors, they heard characteristic sounds. A knock in the left ear meant a door to the left; a knock on the right, a door to the right. Knocking in both ears indicated a door in front. "The best way for you to get a sense of that room is by feeling around," Merabet said. [Video Game Improves Vision for Adults Born with Cataracts]
He told his study participants they were supposed to collect jewels hidden in the game's rooms, while avoiding monsters that would steal the jewels. Both the gems and monsters emitted sounds that increased in volume as the game players approached them — or as they approached the players. He didn't say anything about remembering the map, nor did he mention that the rooms' layout was exactly the same as the two-story, 23-room Carroll Center for the Blind, a school in Newton, Mass.
Yet when he took the game-players to the Carroll Center afterward, he found they could apply what they'd learned from the game to navigating the real building. When researchers told gamers to go from one specific room to another, the gamers could finish navigating the real-life building in about a minute and 15 seconds. When taken to a random room and told to find the nearest exit, the gamers could do so in a minute and one second.
In fact, the players performed better at the exit-finding task than visually impaired study volunteers who had taken a strict guided audio tour of the computer game's layout, sans monsters and jewels. (The gamers and the guided tour-takers performed equally well at walking from room to room.) Tour-takers generally chose longer routes than gamers did, the researchers found.
"Both groups can learn the layout of the building whether you teach them explicitly or whether they learn it implicitly through the game," Merabet told TechNewsDaily. But gamers, he said, "have a better sense of how the rooms are connected with each other."
Does it have to be a game?
Merabet's game wrapped up many characteristics that help with learning in one package: It forced people to explore independently and learn the hard way, by bumping into things. People enjoyed playing it and felt motivated to collect lots of jewels. ("I can tell you, at least anecdotally, it's remarkable how much people liked the game," Merabet said.) And the game may have forced people to walk certain paths that are important to learning a building's layout.
More experiments are needed if researchers want to pinpoint which characteristics are important to better learning from audio games and other audio maps, Legge said. It would be especially helpful to know if independent exploration by itself is enough, so that people could use software to wander through buildings virtually without having to contend with monsters every time, Legge thinks. "From a practical point of view, I'm not sure people would want to play a game every time they wanted to learn a new building," he said.
Merabet is now working to expand on his computer game research in several ways. One way is improving his software so that any building's blueprint can get automatically rendered into an audio map. Another is a brain-scan study that examines what parts of blind people's brains are activated when they play the game. He has finished the study, he said, but didn't want to reveal the results until they're published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Getting the software to work for all buildings is technologically challenging, Merabet said. Right now, his software works well for one-story buildings with straight corridors. For more complicated buildings, however, it's difficult for the computer program to remember to play sounds in the right place while users continually walk and change their position.
If Merabet is able to make an audio map generator, it could become exactly the tool Legge said would be so advantageous to those with vision impairments. Merabet compared the potential maps he could make to flight simulation software for pilots. Both would mentally prepare people for challenging tasks. "The idea of mental rehearsal is a very, very powerful one," he said.
Merabet published the results of his game navigation study yesterday (Sept. 19) in the journal PLOS ONE.
This story was provided by TechNewsDaily, a sister site to LiveScience. You can followTechNewsDaily staff writer Francie Diep on Twitter @franciediep.
Copyright 2012 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Paste This Code Below At Your Blog/Site ;)