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The five most commented stories of the week

The news that got out readers fired up

It's been a busy week in technology, from finding out that nearly two in five nine to 12 years use Facebook despite being below the social networks minimum age limit to the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook in the US. Our readers have had plenty to stay on the week's stories, so here's a look at some of the article that's really got you fired up this week.

1. 38% of 9 to 12 year olds use social networks

EU Kids Online revealed this week that nearly two in five (38 percent) nine to 12 year olds use social networking sites. According to the research project's Social Networking, Age and Privacy report, 20 percent of the age group have a Facebook account despite the fact the social network has a minimum age limit of 13 years old. Davidjcheyne admitted he was surprised by the figure. "38 percent is to low, I would expect that number to be a lot higher," he said. Meanwhile, AvoidFacebook believes the social network "should make considerable efforts in preventing it [kids from signing up].

2. 10 things killed by the smartphone

Following the news that Cisco is killing of its Flip camcorder business, we took a look at some of the other gadgets that could be at risk of being killed off thanks to the smartphone, including paper roadmaps and satnav devices. "I can't remember my roadmap ever running out of power though! :-)," said Owen Gingernuts Lucas.

3. Five free utilities to save businesses time and money

We rounded up our five favourite utilities from the PC Advisor downloads section that help save small businesses time and money. Slavba told us about one he loves – iCalledU.

"It's a phone messages management solution for businesses (mainly for the front-desk) and it's also free," he said.

4. Do not track: The great ad-tracking debate

Much has been made about the 'do not track' features being introduced into web browser by Microsoft and Mozilla along with tweaks to an EU directive, which requires firms to tell web users what information is being stored, and explain the concept of behavioural advertising or adverts tailored to web users based on their browsing activities. We looked at both sides of the story to discover whether 'do not track' technology will have a positive or negative effect on the web.
Al said: "Very few people are going to pay any attention to the do not track features as the majority of web users wouldn't dare poke around in their browser settings without a very good reason."
"I think people should have the right to be able to stop advertising companies following them online just as they would have the right to call the police if someone were stalking them 24/7 watching every single thing they do but some people just don't care, I suspect it will only be a minority of people."

Meanwhile, Jurman questioned whether collecting and storing personal data comes under the Data Protection Act and should the "ICO be enforcing this act?".

5. The BlackBerry PlayBook in action

The BlackBerry PlayBook launched in the US this week, although there's still no exact date for when it'll hit UK shelves. Fear not though, as we've managed to get a sneaky peek at the RIM's tablet PC in action this week. Robert said he likes the fact the tablet PC tethers with his BlackBerry smartphone rather than needing it's own data plan. "Also not to have yet another email client to setup keeps it simple and clean. For non-BB users I can see this wouldn't be good though," he said.

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