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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

Technology Trends

Military allows Twitter, other social media
Yahoo! News, 2/26/2010

The Pentagon announced on Friday it has authorized the use Twitter, Facebook and other so-called "Web 2.0" sites across the U.S. military, saying the benefits of social media outweighed security concerns.

The decision, which comes at a time of growing concern over cyber-security, applies only to the military's non-classified network.

But it could mean big changes for large portions of the armed forces, including the Marines, which had selectively banned social media on work computers.

[read on]

Google book settlement draws fire in court
CNET, 2/18/2010

The disparate and dissenting constituencies that showed up to federal court here on Thursday to comment on Google's plan to create a digital library illustrated just how polarizing and far reaching the effort has become.

The gallery at the federal court house here filled not one but two rooms (one room watched the proceedings via close-circuit TV). Foreign dignitaries squeezed onto benches with cane-wielding advocates for the blind, college professors, literary agents, authors of children's books, and, of course, lots and lots of lawyers.

[read on]

Feds push for tracking cell phones
CNET, 2/11/2010

Two years ago, when the FBI was stymied by a band of armed robbers known as the "Sarecrow Bandits" that had robbed more than 20 Texas banks, it came up with a novel method of locating the thieves.

FBI agents obtained logs from mobile phone companies corresponding to what their cellular towers had recorded at the time of a dozen different bank robberies in the Dallas area. The voluminous records showed that two phones had made calls around the time of all 12 heists, and that those phones belonged to men named Tony Hewitt and Corey Duffey. A jury eventually convicted the duo of multiple bank robbery and weapons charges.

[read on]

Justice Dept. Criticizes Latest Google Book Deal
New York Times, 2/4/2010

In another blow to Google's plan to create a giant digital library and bookstore, the Justice Department on Thursday said that a class-action settlement between the company and groups representing authors and publishers had significant legal problems, even after recent revisions.

[read on]

Apple Blurs Lines Between Devices
New York Times, 1/27/2010

After months of feverish speculation, Steven P. Jobs introduced Wednesday what Apple hopes will be the coolest device on the planet: a slender tablet computer called the iPad.

For all the hoopla surrounding it, however, the question is whether the iPad can achieve anything close to the success of the iPhone, which transformed the cellphone and forced the industry to race to catch up.
[read on]

Amazon, Apple to Lead the E-Reader Race
TheStreet.com, 1/19/2010

The Edge, Alex, Nook, Skiff... no, it's not some retro boy band, these are a just few names amid the volumes of new electronic readers hoping to bump Amazon's Kindle off its shelf.

Forrester Research predicted that more than 900,000 e-readers would be sold over the holiday season and it expects to see sales double by the end of this year.
[read on]

Want It or Not, TV Goes 3-D
New York Times, 1/13/2010

At the end of each season of "The Amazing Race," the host always says something like: "Five continents, 14 countries, 21 days, 25,000 miles. You are the official winners of 'The Amazing Race!' "

At the end of each year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, he really ought to be there at the airport to greet you: "Five days, 2,500 exhibitors, 2 million feet of floor space, 110,000 journalists and industry reps. You are an official survivor of C.E.S.!"

[read on]

Apple Plans to Unveil Tablet
BusinessWeek, 1/5/2010

Apple Inc. (AAPL), seeking to win a larger share of the market for handheld computers, is planning to unveil a tablet computer this month, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The mobile device is scheduled to go on sale in March, said the person, who declined to be identified because details of the product are private.
[read on]

BlackBerry Breakdown Puts Users in Uproar
New York Times, 12/11/2009

Given their dependence on the device, it is no surprise that many BlackBerry owners are quick to complain when their smartphone fails to deliver on its promise of offering e-mail anywhere, at any time.

But will a major disruption of BlackBerry e-mail and Internet service from Tuesday night to Wednesday morning -- the second failure in a less than a week -- prompt any of them to make the switch to another smartphone, threatening the BlackBerry's market-leading position?

[read on]

Forecast for 2010: The Coming Cloud 'Catastrophe'
BusinessWeek, 12/11/2009

Cloud computing enthusiasts be warned. Next year, computing services handled remotely and delivered via the Internet may undergo some kind of "catastrophe" that alerts companies and consumers to the risks of relying on the so-called cloud, says Mark Anderson, chief executive of Strategic News Service

[read on]

Smaller Computers, Bigger Profits
The Motley Fool, 11/27/2009

Technology moves in huge leaps and bounds. We're standing at the threshold of yet another huge revolution in how high-tech gadgets touch our lives, and the best trinkets we have today will soon look clunky and downright quaint.

[read on]

Home Sweet Networked Home, Part 1
TechNewsWorld, 11/25/2009

Putting a WiFi router in your home is great for being able to use your laptop on the front porch as easily as you can in your living room, but a home network complete with wireless capabilities offers much more than just laptop mobility. There's a whole new world of consumer electronics available for every part of the house.[read on]

More on toxic and tainted toys, beware!
Examiner.com, 11/24/2009

According to the most recent data from the CPSC, toy-related injuries sent more than 82,000 children under the age of five to emergency rooms in 2008. Nineteen children died from toy-related injuries that year.
[read on]

School libraries key in teaching information skills
eSchool News, 11/20/2009

When school media specialists and educators make an effort to become familiar with the social-networking web sites and technologies that today's students use each day, they can forge important learning connections with their students: That was one of the key messages to come out of the American Association of School Librarians' annual conference, held Nov. 5-8 in Charlotte, N.C.
[read on]

Google targets Chrome OS for 2010 holidays
Associated Press, 11/19/2009

Consumers will have to wait until next year's holiday shopping season to find out if Google Inc.'s new operating system can deliver on its promise to make low-cost computers run faster.

Google set the late 2010 target date Thursday during its first preview of a much-anticipated operating system that eventually may mount a challenge to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows — the foundation for most personal computers since the 1990s.
[read on]

Microsoft brings Web data to Bing results
Associated Press, 11/11/2009

Microsoft's Bing search service will pull more information and tools from other Web sites as the company tries to distinguish itself as part of its challenge to market leader Google.

Traditionally, search engines from Google and others respond to users' queries by offering links to other sites that Web surfers can go to for information.
[read on]

Mouse Meets Multi-Touch
MacNewsWorld, 11/9/2009

If Apple has its way, buttons will become a thing of the past. After slowly emaciating the mechanical controls on its wildly popular iPod media players and obliterating them from the touchpads on its notebook computer line, it now wants to purge them from every keyboard jock's favorite rodent.[read on]

Technology can bridge the gap between parents and schools
The Independent, 11/6/2009

Parental engagement is vital to a child’s learning and known to help raise attainment. Good communication with schools enables parents to learn more about their child’s progress, lesson plans and grades whilst also helping to identify any development or performance issues early on.
[read on]

Virtual Classrooms Could Create a Marketplace for Knowledge
The New York Times, 11/5/2009

In the autumn of 1963, the American magazine Popular Mechanics heralded an innovation that seemed bound to change the world: the “teacherless classroom.”

The magazine told of a new building at the University of Miami, doughnut-shaped and carved up into 12 rooms. Professors stood in the hole and had their image projected into every room simultaneously.
[read on]

Will the Digital Divide Close by Itself?
The New York Times, 10/30/2009

On the subject of tech and education, academics and executives are worried about many divides.

There's the growing divide between kids who have access to technology and those who don't; kids who participate in creating content with technology at home and school, and those who can't; and the kids who know a lot about technology, and the parents who fear them.

[read on]

Harvard Medical School Develops Swine Flu iPhone App
The New York Times, 10/27/2009

Want to know if you've got the swine flu? There's an app for that.

Harvard Medical School is selling an iPhone application for US$1.99 with a variety of information and services related to the flu.
[read on]

How to upgrade to Windows 7
PCWorld, 10/20/2009

Upgrading your operating system is always fraught with problems and anxiety, and quite often with disaster. But by taking the right precautions, gathering the needed materials, and hoping for the best while preparing for the worst, you can upgrade your PC without losing functionality or gaining gray hairs.

[read on]

Libraries and Readers Wade Into Digital Lending
The New York Times, 10/14/2009

Kate Lambert recalls using her library card just once or twice throughout her childhood. Now, she uses it several times a month.

The lure? Electronic books she can download to her laptop.

[read on]

As Google and Microsoft Vie, Twitter Could Turn Tweets into Dollars
AbcNews.com, 10/9/2009

With Google and Microsoft both looking to ink a deal with Twitter for its real-time data, the microblogging company could have finally found a way to turn tweets into dollars.

At the same time, the titans of tech may have found a way to boost their real-time search efforts in the midst of their raging search war.

[read on]

In Choosing a New Phone, Online Research Goes Only So Far
The New York Times, 10/7/2009

Buying a new cellphone is about as much fun as buying a used car.

A device can have vastly different prices depending who is selling it, and since retailers offer a limited selection of phones, it’s hard to trust a salesperson who recommends a certain device, especially when carriers introduce new handsets weekly.
[read on]

Beware, Humans. The Era of Automation Software Has Begun
The New York Times, 9/28/2009

The dominant story in the technology services industry in recent years has been the rise of massive, low-cost Indian workforces. And, now, according to Hewlett-Packard, we're ready for a new mega-trend in services: the rise of automation software.

[read on]

Foreign Airlines Ahead of U.S. on Cellphone Use
The New York Times, 9/28/2009

Cellphone use on airplanes, it would seem, is on extended hold in the United States.

The national union representing flight attendants wants Congress to ban in-flight phone calls, and survey after survey of airline passengers shows strong opposition to allowing cellphones on planes.

[read on]

Job Hunt Express: A Helpful App for Catching the Employment Train
TechNewsWorld, 9/22/2009

Even in the best of times, job hunting is a taxing task, but in these economic conditions, it can be a crushing experience. Fruitless replies to job notices, dead-end interviews and inhuman human resource departments can grind a job seekers' resolve to dust.

[read on]

Bad behavior? Blame the Internet!
MSNBC, 9/18/2009

Oh how I long for the halcyon days of last week, when we texted with our pinkies in the air and referred to each other as Sir and Ma’am in each and every social transaction.

Of course, that was when Civility was amongst us, hale, hardy and ruddy-cheeked, attending 90-minute Bikram yoga classes 3 times a week and consuming at least 30 grams of fiber each and every day.

[read on]

Apple's iTunes 9 Makes it Easier to Share, Organize
The Wall Street Journal, 9/17/2009

Apple's iTunes program is one of the most popular software products in the world. The company says hundreds of millions of copies of iTunes have been downloaded, far exceeding the 220 million iPod music players it has sold. That's because many people use iTunes to organize, play and buy music and videos on their computers, or to burn music CDs, even if they don't own iPods or iPhones.

[read on]

Top 5 Web Trends of 2009: Internet of Things
The New York Times, 9/11/2009

This week ReadWriteWeb is running a series of posts analyzing the 5 biggest Web trends of 2009. So far we've explored these trends: Structured Data, The Real-Time Web, Personalization, Mobile Web / Augmented Reality. The fifth and final part of our series is about the Internet of Things, when real world objects (such as fridges, lights and toasters) get connected to the Internet.

[read on]

Got a dream but no cash? The Internet can help
Reuters, 9/4/2009

Chris Waddell wants to climb Kilimanjaro in a wheelchair; George Del Barrio wants to make a film in Cambodia; Jeff Edwards wants to write a book about a science fiction writer: they want you to fund their dreams.

[read on]

Mad consumers take it to the Net
MSNBC, 9/4/2009

Hell hath no fury like an Internet user scored.

Today, when consumers feel wronged, they have a serious weapon at their disposal: the Internet. With it, they can turn a bad moment by a low-level employee into an Internet sensation, ruining millions of dollars in marketing and sending a public relations team into crisis mode.

[read on]

Study: US a Nation of Night Surfers
TechNewsWorld, 9/3/2009

It's 11 p.m. Do you know where your neighbors are?

Chances are they're online. According to a study, North Americans have been staying up late to do their Internet surfing this summer, so late that the peak usage for the whole day has been at 11 p.m. Eastern time.

[read on]

Cool green gizmos for back to school
MSNBC, 8/28/2009

The kids at school will be green — not with envy — but with environmental awareness when they see you with some of these gadgets. "The trends for teens and the green tech industry are definitely behind the phenomenon of buying more efficient products, products that are more 'green,' " said Shawn DuBravac, the Consumer Electronics Association's economist and director of research.[read on]

Can Yahoo Make E-Mail Pay Off?
BusinessWeek, 8/24/2009

Yahoo! may have thrown in the towel on the business of searching for information online. But the company is doubling down on a technology where it already has the lead over search king Google: in free e-mail service offered over the Web.  [read on]

Apple vs. Google vs. Microsoft: World War 3 Cometh
TechNewsWorld, 8/17/2009

Apple, Microsoft and Google are all taking their gloves off, and each company will be entering what could be a raging battlefield in the second half of 2009 with a different set of weapons and weaknesses. If each could hold onto what it does well while emulating its competitors' strengths, maybe an all-out tech WW3 could be averted.[read on]

Bing continues to gain ground against Google
Associated Press, 8/17/2009

Microsoft Corp.'s souped-up Internet search engine gained a little more ground on industry leaders Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. in July, according to data released late Monday.

Despite the progress, Microsoft's search engine still remains a distant third in the United States — the main reason that the world's largest software maker plans to team up with Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo next year.

[read on]

Sony Plans to Adopt Common Format for E-Books
The New York Times, 8/12/2009

Paper books may be low tech, but no one will tell you how and where you can read them.


For many people, the problem with electronic books is that they come loaded with just those kinds of restrictions.

[read on]

Windows 7: The good, the bad, the unknown
PCWorld, 8/12/2009

For most people who are considering moving to Windows 7, Oct. 22 is D-Day. On that date Microsoft's newest operating system lands on store shelves, both as a shrinkwrapped upgrade and preinstalled on new PCs. For some folks, though, D-Day has already arrived.

[read on]

Family tech battles can have lots of byte
MSNBC, 8/5/2009

Parents who mess up their kids' iPod music library. Children who hog up the DVR with hours of their own programming. Spouses who borrow each other's camera memory card and battery without letting their partners know.

And those are just some of the family tech turf wars from the same household in Orlando, Fla.

[read on]

Kids want cell phones? Here’s how to proceed
TODAY, 8/5/2009

Whether you’re considering a first cell phone for your tween or teen or trying to limit various functions on your child’s existing cell phone, it’s important to understand the various controls and technologies available today. [read on]

New GPS Devices Help Parents Track Their Children
North American Press Syndicate, 7/28/2009

Parents can keep an eye on their youngsters' comings and goings these days, even when they're not together.

That's because new GPS technology provides the peace of mind that parents of school-age children need. A small, easy-to-carry electronic device helps parents know when children arrive at school and back home.

[read on]

Structure your résumé for success
Computerworld, 7/21/2009

In today's IT job environment, candidates must capitalize on every possible advantage over the competition. But many job seekers who agonize over the content of their résumés give relatively little thought to the way that content is organized — or they use the same structure for every job application. As a result, many potentially viable résumés are discarded by hiring managers, who typically have only a few minutes to review each résumé. [read on]

Microsoft, in Search of an Edge
Newsweek, 7/13/2009

For years Microsoft has watched in frustration as Google dominated the online-search market, raking in billions of dollars in search-related advertising. No matter what Microsoft tried, it seemed, Google just got stronger and stronger, gaining ever more market share. All this was driving Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer a little bit crazy. [read on]

Google’s Chrome OS: Reaching for the Cloud
New York Times, 7/12/2009

You probably can’t live without your PC. But do you love it?

PCs can be clunky and difficult to maintain. They’re slow to start up and prone to crashing, wiping out precious files and photographs. They are perennially vulnerable to virus attacks and require frequent upgrades. And if you lose your laptop, or worse, it’s stolen, you lose not only your machine but everything stored in its circuitry that’s not backed up — those files, contacts, e-mail messages, pictures and videos.

[read on]

Trying to turn the page on a Kindle
CNETNews.com, 7/2/2009

The first time I tried to physically turn the page of the book I was reading on my Kindle DX, I realized the mistake and chuckled at myself.

The second time I did it, I chuckled, too. But a little bit less.

And the third time? I thought to myself that perhaps I have a problem.

[read on]

Our Kids Aren't Web-Addicted, Says Study. Are We?
Fast Company, 6/30/2009

A new Nielsen study says that adults use the Internet more than teenagers do. Is that actually a surprise?

The Wichita Eagle summarizes the study as disputing "several popular notions about teens, including the idea that teens 'use 10 media screens at a time.'"

[read on]

Microsoft Vista buyers to get free Windows 7
Associated Press, 6/25/2009

Microsoft said Thursday that prices for the Windows 7 computer operating system are largely in line with those for Vista, and that people who buy PCs before the new system goes on sale in October will get free upgrades. [read on]

Peeking Under the Hood of the iPhone 3G S
The New York Times, 6/19/2009

By now, we know that the “S” in the name of the new iPhone stands for speed.
But what exactly does that mean?

Aaron Vronko, co-founder of Rapid Repair, an online repair shop for portable electronics based in Kalamazoo, Mich., flew to Paris to find out. Mr. Vronko scooped up the iPhone 3G S shortly after it was released there and took the device to a nearby shop to take it apart.

[read on]

Teen cheating morphs with new tech, poll shows
CNETNews.com, 6/18/2009

Parents have yet another reason for a long, hard talk with their kids. More than half of teens admit to using the Internet to cheat, a new poll shows, while 35 percent say they've used their cell phones.

The results were released Thursday by Common Sense Media, which commissioned research firm Benenson Strategy Group to conduct the poll.

[read on]

Pre and new iPhone: new iPhone wins
MSNBC, 6/9/2009

For a few days, it seemed the new Palm Pre might have a chance at challenging the iPhone as the smartphone to buy. But with Apple's announcement Monday of the iPhone 3GS, which matches the Pre in price at $199, but has more memory, a video camera and a faster Web-browsing experience than the Pre, the 3GS is the victor for now. [read on]

US broadband ranking: Does it matter
The New York Times, 6/5/2009

Statistics that show the U.S. behind many other countries in broadband deployment don't tell the whole story and may not be as important as some critics suggest, a group of broadband experts said Friday. [read on]

Palm Pre, Elegant Contender
The New York Times, 6/3/2009

You’ve seen that movie, right? The one where a pair of lovable sad-sack losers team up to defeat the smug athletic golden boy?

If not, you’re about to. It’s called “Palm Pre vs. iPhone.”

The star of this summer blockbuster is Palm.

[read on]

Forget Netbooks; Now Mini-Laptops Are Smartbooks
The New York Times, 5/27/2009

Just when consumers were starting to understand the concept of the netbook — those smaller-than-laptops PCs — the electronics industry is lobbing another category of computer at them.

Now a group of electronics companies that use the ARM processor have banded together to turn netbooks into smartbooks.

[read on]

The Phone at Home Gets Smart
The New York Times, 5/20/2009

“Nobody” has home phone lines anymore. “Nobody” reads printed newspapers. “Nobody” wants books on paper.

Is anybody else getting tired of all the “analog is dead” proclamations by 28-year-old new-media hotshots?

[read on]

Cellphone Makers Hope for a Blockbuster Summer
The New York Times, 5/17/2009

The hype machine started months ago. Opening weekends are upon us. High up in executive suites, the hope is that this summer’s new releases will cause lines to snake around the block.

The cellphone industry looks a lot like the movie industry nowadays.

[read on]

Even in Mobile Video, the Action Is on the iPhone
The New York Times, 5/15/2009

The iPhone has only a tiny share of the vast market for cellphones. Even among smartphones it is still outsold by Research in Motion’s BlackBerry line and, by some counts, the aggregation of phones using Microsoft’s Windows Mobile software.

But a conversation like the one I had the other day with Jeremy Allaire, the founder and chief executive of the online video technology company Brightcove, is a reminder that what Apple has created is in a different orbit than other phones.

[read on]

Are you ‘app-noxious’?
MSNBC, 5/13/2009

With an app for this and an app for that, iPhones and other smartphones are now capable of all kinds of amazing feats. But while our technology has developed by leaps and bounds, human nature — specifically our tendency to become obsessed with shiny new toys — hasn’t changed a whit.  [read on]

Next iPhone Going To Be Video Powerhouse?
InformationWeek, 5/1/2009

In an opinion piece, BusinessWeek conjures images of a video recording and editing powerhouse in the next version of the iPhone. We're talking much more than shooting 30-second snippets here, we're talking about on-device video editing. Will it happen? [read on]

When the Cellphone Teaches Sex Education
The New York Times, 5/1/2009

THE special cellphone, set on vibrate, begins to whir. Throughout North Carolina, anonymous teenagers are texting questions to it about sex.

If you take a shower before you have sex, are you less likely to get pregnant?” asks one.

[read on]

Cool car technologies you can't have now
MSNBC, 4/27/2009

Want your car to automatically brake to avoid a crash, fly high over traffic-clogged roads or get 100 miles per gallon? Too bad, because while all of those things are technically possible, they are impractical for legal or financial reasons, which means you can't have one anytime soon.[read on]

Microsoft shows first-ever revenue decline
MSNBC, 4/23/2009

Microsoft Corp. on Thursday posted the first decline in quarterly revenue in its 23-year history as a public company, but met Wall Street's lowered profit forecasts.

The world’s largest software maker said its quarterly profit dropped 32 percent to $2.98 billion, or 33 cents per share, from $4.39 billion, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier.

[read on]

Google News, and More, on a Timeline
The New York Times, 4/20/2009

Google on Monday unveiled a new experimental product called Google News Timeline that displays news and related search results on an interactive timeline. It offers interesting possibilities for exploring stories, especially older ones, that are largely hidden in newspaper and magazine archives. [read on]

How’s My Driving? Ask My Car
MSNBC, 4/16/2009

Using gadgets while you're driving can be a very bad thing, but an expert on automotive distractions says using a gadget that watches you while you're driving can be a very good thing.

"People don't always understand the degree of distraction they may be exposing themselves to ... so the idea is to help people understand that distraction by providing them with feedback," John D. Lee, a professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at the University of Iowa, told me today.

[read on]

Plans for a Paid Online Media Service
The New York Times , 4/14/2009

Three longtime media executives are building an automated system to allow newspapers and magazines to charge for online access, including an “all you can read” subscription that would allow access to multiple publications, the executives said on Tuesday.[read on]

Bad Cellphone Coverage? It’s Your Own Fault
The New York Times, 4/7/2009

You still experience dropped phone calls. You get static. Your text messages sometimes don’t go through. But you don’t drop your side of the bargain: you dutifully continue to pay your monthly phone bill. [read on]

Changes take effect in Apple's iTunes prices
Associated Press, 4/6/2009

The era of one-price-fits-all-songs on iTunes came to an end Tuesday as Apple Inc., the Internet's dominant digital music retailer, began selling some of its most-downloaded songs for $1.29 apiece.

Apple said in January that it would end its practice of selling all individual songs for 99 cents each and begin offering three tiers: 69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29.

[read on]

How schools fail students on technology
Computerworld, 3/31/2009

The education crisis is bad and getting worse. The US spends more on education than any other nation, so the problem is not (as commonly portrayed) a funding crisis. The causes for this sorry state of affairs are many, but one major failure is that too many teachers, schools, and districts reject powerful, free technology solutions that are handed to them on a silver platter.[read on]

Gartner expects global tech spending to decline
Associated Press, 3/30/2009

Dragged down by the weak economy, global spending on technology products and services will likely decline nearly 4 percent this year, research firm Gartner Inc. said Tuesday.

Gartner expects a broad-based slowdown, leading to a 3.8 percent decline from 2008, to $3.2 trillion.

[read on]

Move Over, Kids: Boomers Catching Up in Tech War
PCMag, 3/23/2009

When it comes to buying consumer electronics, Baby Boomers are catching up to their Generation Y counterparts, according to a Monday report from Accenture.

Tech acquisitions by adults ages 18 to 24 (or Generation Y) leveled off in the last year, but those ages 45 or older – the Baby Boomers – increased their uptake of new technology by 50 percent.

[read on]

Windows Internet Explorer 8
PCMag.com, 3/19/2009

Times are tough for Microsoft, with job cuts, the European Union breathing down its neck again, and Firefox slowly but steadily encroaching on Internet Explorer. More than ever, Microsoft needs IE8 to succeed if it wants to maintain its dominant position. The browser adds some unique, convenient new ways to access Web resources, with Accelerators and WebSlices. [read on]

Apple launches smaller, 4-gigabyte iPod Shuffle
Associated Press, 3/11/2009

Apple Inc. unveiled a minuscule new iPod Shuffle on Wednesday that takes its "smaller is better" mantra to a whole new level.

The third-generation Shuffle, a slim aluminum rectangle less than 2 inches (5 centimeters) long,
takes up about half as much space as the previous version even as it doubles music storage space to 4 gigabytes.

[read on]

Will Twitter Be Google's Next YouTube?
E-Commerce Times , 3/9/2009

Everyone's talking about Google's next big acquisition, but whether the company will actually make it is far from certain. The services the potential target offers are not quite in line with what Google does -- but then again, Google has never followed a straight linear product development road map. [read on]

Does Technology Stunt Children’s Social Development?
The Real Truth, 3/6/2009

An increasing number of top scientists and researchers are questioning the effects on children of spending excessive amounts of time using modern technology, particularly social networking websites and cellphone text messaging and their influence on the formation of basic skills of human interaction. [read on]

Virtual schools rapidly building online education foothold
Network World, 3/4/2009

The nation’s kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) public schools are no longer simple brick-and-mortar buildings with teachers and kids but are fast evolving into “virtual schools” where students surf in for their courses from outside.  [read on]

Top 15 Tech Toys
Digital trends, 2/24/2009

It's funny (funny ironic, not funny ha ha) that some of the most serious technological innovations are advancing the funniest (the other funny) products. Here are 15 of our favorite tech-powered toys. [read on]

How to Reach Baby Boomers with Social Media
ReadWriteWeb, 2/20/2009

A new report from Forrester Research revealed some surprising information: apparently Baby Boomers aren't exactly the technology Luddites that people think they are. In fact, more than 60 percent of those in this generational group actively consume socially created content like blogs, videos, podcasts, and forums. What's more, the percentage of those participating is on the rise. [read on]

Microsoft Jumps Into Mobile Mall Melee
TechNewsWorld , 2/17/2009

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT)  CEO Steve Ballmer took the opportunity at the Mobile World Congress to announce three new ventures the company will take in the smartphone space. Microsoft will offer a new, upgraded Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system, a new Windows Mobile application store, and a Web-based service for accessing, transferring and backing up smartphone-based information. [read on]

Cellphone Makers Start Offering ‘Green’ Models
The New York Times, 2/15/2009

Is it better to save the earth, or to save money?

As the world economy drops further into crisis, more cellphone users may be confronting that choice.

Until now, there have been few models available of so-called green, or environmentally friendly, mobile phones, so consumers have been able to dodge the question.

[read on]

Google lets Gmail give away your location
Computerworld, 2/13/2009

Google Inc. certainly is focused on where you are and letting others in on that information.

A week after unveiling Google Latitude, which enables people to track the exact location of friends or family through their mobile devices, the company today announced that its Gmail software can now show the location of e-mail writers.

[read on]

Microsoft to open own retail stores
Associated Press, 2/12/2009

Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced plans to open its own stores despite the economic downturn that has left many retailers struggling. [read on]

Twitter? It’s What You Make It
The New York Times, 2/11/2009

Writing can be solitary work, but not when you write a tech column. Feedback pours in so quickly — by e-mail, on blogs, in online comments — that it’s almost real-time performance art.

For the longest time, my readers kept nagging me to check out this thing called Twitter. I’d been avoiding it, because it sounded like yet another one of those trendy Internet time drains.

[read on]

Can Bluetooth tech save teen lives?
Discovery, 2/5/2009

Teenagers are notorious for bad driving and animated cell phone conversations, and doing the two simultaneously is an especially deadly mix. Now in an effort to reduce the number one killer of teens, a Utah company is using Bluetooth technology to create a special driving mode that makes it impossible for a driver to talk or text when the car is on.  [read on]

Soon, Majority of Web Users Will No Longer Use IE
ReadWriteWeb, 2/2/2009

It might take a few more years, or it might happen suddenly, but trends appear to indicate that the time when Internet Explorer is used by the majority of people on the web will soon come to an end.
New numbers from analytics firm Net Applications put IE at a mere 67.5%, having dropped more than 7% last year.

[read on]

Despite iTunes Accord, Music Labels Still Fret
The New York Times, 2/1/2009

Last month the music industry and Apple, long uneasy partners, seemed a picture of harmony when they agreed on new terms for pricing on iTunes, Apple’s online music store.

Behind the scenes, however, the relationship remains as tense and antagonistic as ever.

[read on]

Technology Gets a Piece of Stimulus
The New York Times, 1/27/2009

The time-tested way for governments to create jobs in a hurry is to pour money into old-fashioned public works projects like roads and bridges. President Obama’s economic recovery plan will do that, but it also has some ambitious 21st century twists. [read on]

Alternative-Alternative Energies: What's Next?
TechNewsWorld, 1/26/2009

Gone are the days when "fringe technologies" meant things like solar energy and wind power.

Those and other alternative energy approaches have all gone mainstream, to one degree or another, and they're gaining more steam each year.

However, the fringe is still out there, and so-called alternative-alternative energy technologies are in development.

[read on]

Apple Without Steve Is Like Disney Without Walt
TechNewsWorld, 1/19/2009

Steve Jobs and Apple are too deeply intertwined to be separated, writes TechNewsWorld columnist Rob Enderle. With Jobs recently announcing that he's taking a medical leave of absence, the tech world is pondering Apple without Steve, and it just isn't the same.[read on]

Technology to stop phone use in cars isn't perfect
USA Today, 1/19/2009

Many parents would love to be able to give their teenagers a cellphone that couldn't be used while driving. Now some inventors say they have come up with ways to make that possible, but they appear to be relying on wishful thinking.[read on]

With an Ultrathin Film, a Big Step Forward for Flexible Electronics
The New York Times, 1/19/2009

Flexible electronics — the kind that might be used in “smart” clothing, say, or in foldable displays that could make reading news online more like reading it in print — are still far from an everyday reality. But scientists in South Korea are reporting a significant advance toward the development of such devices. [read on]

Eight bad tech habits to quit in the new year
MSNBC, 1/16/2009

Bad habits are hard to break. But as 2009 ushers in a new year, it's time to usher out some of our bad technology-based behavior.

After all, tech moves forward at a rapid rate, and so should we. Yes, I know, some of these habits are awfully difficult to say goodbye to. They’re comforting and familiar, like a blanket that keeps us warm in the coldest depths of our digital lives. But look at it this way, the next 12 months will provide us with plenty of time to embrace a fresh batch of bad habits.

[read on]

Can Apple Fill the Void?
The New York Times, 1/15/2009

It has been in the air for some time, but Apple can dodge the question no longer: How important is Steven P. Jobs to its future?

By all accounts, Mr. Jobs’s perfectionism, autocratic managerial style and disregard for conventional wisdom are at the heart of Apple’s remarkable streak of success.

[read on]

Safety council: Ban cell phones while driving
Associated Press, 1/11/2009

A national safety group is advocating a total ban on cell phone use while driving, saying the practice is clearly dangerous and leads to fatalities. [read on]

Obama urges delay in digital TV transition
Associated Press, 1/8/2009

President-elect Barack Obama is urging Congress to postpone the Feb. 17 switch from analog to digital television broadcasting, arguing that too many Americans who rely on analog TV sets to pick up over-the-air channels won't be ready. [read on]

Want to Copy iTunes Music? Go Ahead, Apple Says
The New York Times, 1/6/2009

In moves that will help shape the online future of the music business, Apple said Tuesday that it would remove anticopying restrictions on all of the songs in its popular iTunes Store and allow record companies to set a range of prices for them. [read on]

In Silicon Valley, Venture Capitalists Turn Cautious and Focus on the Short Term
The New York Times, 1/4/2009

Venture capitalists make their fortunes, or lose them, on the strength of their predictions. As they hunt for barely hatched ideas and nurture them with money and advice, they are hoping that the new idea grows into the next Google.

On Sand Hill Road, the wide boulevard here where investors study ideas in offices tucked behind palm trees and redwoods, the recession has tempered their optimism with caution.

[read on]

Ten tech predictions for 2009
VentureBeat, 12/31/2008

Everyone’s predicting doom and gloom for the tech industry next year, and hey, who are we to argue? New Year’s Eve may be coming up, but when VentureBeat’s writers were feeling far from festive when we pooled our thoughts about the year ahead. The verdict: Dark clouds for startups, venture capitalists and the tech industry as a whole. Still, 2009 won’t be bad for everyone, so we tried to bring out some silver lining, too. [read on]

Microsoft says Zune players working again
msnbc, 12/30/2008

Many of Microsoft's Zune media players that froze up on the last day of 2008 because of a glitch involving their internal clock were functioning properly Thursday as the new year was ushered in, according to the company. However, a few people were still complaining of problems operating the devices.  [read on]

Obama’s ‘Net-work key to pushing his agenda
Associated Press, 12/30/2008

President-elect Barack Obama's top asset in pushing his agenda will not be his Cabinet secretaries or aides, but rather his online network.

Obama's political e-mail list tops 13 million names, a digital force that the incoming White House can tap to push for his legislation, tamp down critics or bolster popular support. It's also a way for Obama to reach into every state, every city, and every neighborhood.

[read on]

What future is in store for Microsoft?
InfoWorld, 12/29/2008

It's been six months since Bill Gates retired from Microsoft, though he remains an adviser, and the Redmond giant is chugging away as if business were usual. Work continues on Windows 7, Internet Explorer 8, Windows Mobile 6.5, the Azure cloud development platform, and so on. The path looks to be unchanged.

But that stability may be misleading.

[read on]

The InfoWorld news quiz: The year in review
InfoWorld, 12/26/2008

What a long, strange year for tech it's been. From Microhoon't to broken atom smashers to further adventures in DRM, InfoWorld quiz master Dan Tynan has been there to test how well you've kept on top of the latest news. So stretch your memory and your mousing finger and prove you had what it takes to be a true tech news hound in 2008. Five points for each correct answer. Zilch for having hit the snooze button on any meme that caught fire in this year's news.  [read on]

The Most Magical, Excellent, Almost Perfect Products of 2008
TechNewsWorld, 12/26/2008

This year was likely the last of an era where vendors could afford to shotgun out products and services and hope that buyers would take them. 2009 will be much harsher on practices like this, as funding will be very short and misses will be career limiting, severely for some. Looking back, there were a number of products we covered that stood out as being amazing, and one I can't picture living without at the moment. [read on]

Obama: Full-on geek or just 'nerd-adjacent?'
Associated Press, 12/24/2008

Get ready for the geek-in-chief.

President-elect Barack Obama used to collect comic books, can't part with his BlackBerry, and once flashed Leonard "Mr. Spock" Nimoy the Vulcan "Live Long and Prosper" sign.

That and other evidence has convinced some of Obama's nerdier fans that he'll be the first American president to show distinct signs of geekiness.

[read on]

Read This and Cost Your Company Dough
The New York Times, 12/22/2008

The question is not whether the nation is overwhelmed with checking e-mail and RSS feeds, answering calls, exchanging instant messages, surfing the Web, watching YouTube and playing that one game where you try to organize the falling blocks.

The question is how much money all of this costs.

[read on]

The Web Masters
Newsweek, 12/22/2008

Think of 2008 as the year the Internet got greedy. As the recession goes digital, it's no longer enough to have an easy-to-use social-networking site, or blog software that corners the market on 13-year-olds. Now, companies like Facebook and Twitter are betting their futures on the proposition that it's time to become a hub, a place from which all other Internet activities stem. In creating our list of the men and women leading the Web, we looked to those who've courted customers and held on: [read on]

A Generation With More Than Hand-Eye Coordination
The New York Times, 12/20/2008

AS the father of an 11-year-old son, I often wonder what’s wrong with kids today. With my child as an exception, of course, they do not seem very bright. They appear to be shamelessly narcissistic, apathetic and lacking in social skills. [read on]

The Year of the Simpler Gadget
The New York Times, 12/20/2008

THE National Bureau of Economic Research hardly stunned the nation this month when it announced that the United States had been in recession since December 2007.

And, as it turns out, the buyers of consumer electronics could very well have been a leading economic indicator.

[read on]

Social Media in 2009: Our Predictions and Desires
ReadWriteWeb, 12/18/2008

Over the past year, we've been inundated with social media. We've seen Twitter go mainstream, lifestreaming take over blogging, and we've tried what felt like a million different applications.  We've joined then abandoned new services recklessly, leaving our accounts to wither away on platforms long forgotten. What more could we possibly do in 2009? [read on]

Last-minute Web sites to save your holiday
msnbc, 12/17/2008

Well, look at that, you’ve done it again. The holidays are here and you are behind in everything — gifts, cards and even coming up with a plan to deal with the season’s inevitable pitfalls and finding company for the winter blues. Never fear, the Internet is here to save you. [read on]

Watch Out WiFi, Here Comes MiFi
ReadWriteWeb, 12/13/2008

Novatel Wireless last week announced it will release the MiFi, a portable wireless router that will deliver wireless 3G data network access to multiple users in a small area. Much the same size as a credit card, the sleek looking MiFi will let users select access to EVDO or HSPA high speed data networks.

This "cloud" of high-speed Internet connectivity that MiFi offers can be shared not only between users, but between devices such as laptops, cameras, gaming devices and multimedia players.

[read on]

2008's Top 10 Gadgets for Easier, Simpler, Better Living
TechNewsWorld , 12/11/2008

I've played with dozens of cool gadgets this year, as well as with a bunch of duds.
So as I crafted a list of the year's best tech goodies, I had two criteria:
Did the product deliver what was promised?
Did the product make life easier, work simpler and home life better?
These items are fun, family-friendly and have few wires.
Here are my Top 10 gadgets of 2008, in random order:

[read on]

Is the storm over for the Storm?
MSNBC, 12/10/2008

A major operating system upgrade that makes badly needed improvements to the troubled BlackBerry Storm has been released, making the smartphone much smoother to operate and to use. [read on]

Survey Asks: Internet Access or Sex?
The New York Times, 12/10/2008

Intel came up with a novel way to show how important the Internet and computing have become in the lives of Americans. In conjunction with Harris Interactive, the company conducted a survey of adults in the United States under the prosaic-enough banner “Internet Reliance in Today’s Economy.”  [read on]

Report: People Unwilling To Pay For Ad-Free Sites
WebProNews, 12/8/2008

Some individuals will, without thinking, spend $40 on a single meal.  Others will buy a few DVDs they'll watch only once each.  But the results of a new survey indicate that a lot of folks aren't willing to pay 40 bucks in order to see ad-free versions of their favorite sites for a whole year.[read on]

The Freedoms That Technologies Help Bring
The New York Times, 12/7/2008

AMONG international outrages, depriving citizens of personalized maps seems far down on the list.

Still, that was the condition put on the introduction of Apple’s 3G iPhone in Egypt. The government demanded that Apple disable the phone’s global-positioning system, arguing that GPS is a military prerogative.

[read on]

Hands-Free or Hands-On, Cell Talk More Distracting Than Passengers
TechNewsWorld, 12/2/2008

If you're conversing behind the wheel, you'll drive more safely if your partner is sitting next to you rather than speaking from the other end of a cell phone.

That's because passengers will adjust a conversation in response to traffic conditions and will even break to remind the driver of hazards, according to new research by University of Utah psychologists. In other words, friends don't let friends use a cell while on the road.

[read on]

FCC to vote on free broadband Internet across
USA Today, 12/1/2008

Free broadband for America has inched closer to reality: The plan, after two years of debate, is finally on the calendar for a full vote by the Federal Communications Commission.
Assuming the plan is approved at the FCC's Dec. 18 meeting, one of the agency's last before President-elect Barack Obama takes office, free broadband could become reality within a year.

[read on]

IBM: Talking Web Will be Commonplace in 5 Years
ReadWriteWeb, 11/27/2008

Every year IBM releases a "Next Five in Five" list, a list of innovations that "have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years". This is the third such list, and it mentions a "Talking Web" among the 5 items. [read on]

Top Five Blackberry Storm Reviews
WebProNews, 11/27/2008

The new BlackBerry storm mobile device hit store shelves on Friday and sold over 100,000 units over the weekend according to InformationWeek. Not all of us are so eager to plop down our hard earned money without getting to know a device a little better though. Thankfully, there are plenty of people to review it and give us walkthroughs of the device's capabilities, five of which are the subjects of this article. [read on]

E-Commerce Shrinks for First Time, Research Firm Says
The New York Times, 11/25/2008

Just as many Web retailers feared, online shoppers are being unusually frugal this holiday season.

During the first 23 days of November, according to a report to be released later on Tuesday by the research firm comScore, consumers spent $8.19 billion online, a 4 percent drop from the same period last year. That marks the first annual decline since e-commerce took off.

[read on]

Microsoft Examines Causes of ‘Cyberchondria’
The New York Times, 11/24/2008

If that headache plaguing you this morning led you first to a Web search and then to the conclusion that you must have a brain tumor, you may instead be suffering from cyberchondria.

On Monday, Microsoft researchers published the results of a study of health-related Web searches on popular search engines as well as a survey of the company’s employees.

[read on]

Poll: Internet Now Considered More Reliable Than TV, Radio News
The New York Times, 11/21/2008

Don't trust what you read on the internet? That's no longer the dominant sentiment in the US, according to a new poll by Zogby International. A survey of more than 3000 people performed in the two days after the US Presidential Election found that 37.6% of respondents considered the Internet the most reliable source of news, 20.3% consider national TV news most reliable and 16% said that radio is the most reliable source. [read on]

Pew study: Tech failure should not be an option
Msnbc.com, 11/17/2008

Feel discouraged or aggravated when your home Internet connection goes on the blink or your cell phone fritzes out, and you don’t know what to do?

Take heart, you’re not alone, according to a new survey, "When Technology Fails," from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which says that many consumers find it difficult to set up devices, are frustrated when technology breaks down and often need help from someone else to fix the problem.

[read on]

Obama to tape weekly address for Web
Associated Press, 11/14/2008

President-elect Barack Obama plans to tape a weekly address not just for radio listeners, as presidents have for years, but for YouTube Internet viewers, too. [read on]

Eight Reasons the Internet has Changed Politics Forever
WebProNews , 11/10/2008

The Internet forever has changed national politics, and this election year has made the point crystal clear. Below are eight game changers that have made the Internet more important since the last election. [read on]

15 new technologies that will change everything
PCWorld, 11/8/2008

The Next Big Thing? The memristor, a microscopic component that can "remember" electrical states even when turned off. It's expected to be far cheaper and faster than flash storage. A theoretical concept since 1971, it has now been built in labs and is already starting to revolutionize everything we know about computing, possibly making flash memory, RAM, and even hard drives obsolete within a decade. [read on]

Election Coverage from Scholastic’s Kids Press Corp
School Library journal, 11/3/2008

While most people will be glued to their TVs and computers following today’s election coverage, you and your students may want to check out the reporting of a lesser-known media group—the eight-member Scholastic News Kids Press Corp.

The kid reporters—who range in age from 9 to 14—have been on the campaign trail since last January’s primaries and are covering today’s historic event like seasoned pros. 

[read on]

Campaigns in a Web 2.0 World
New York Times, 11/2/2008

Shortly after 9 a.m. on Oct. 19, Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama for president during the taping of “Meet the Press” on NBC. Within minutes, the video was on the Web.

But the clip was not rushed onto YouTube; it was MSNBC.com, the network’s sister entity online, that showed the video hours before television viewers on the West Coast could watch the interview for themselves.

[read on]

Microsoft: Next Windows won't be as annoying
Associated Press, 10/28/2008

The next version of Microsoft Windows, the software that defines the computing experience for most people, will nag users much less than its much-maligned predecessor, Vista. PC users will be able to begin testing the new edition early next year. [read on]

Google’s HTC dream phone -- That’s it?
CNN.com, 10/27/2008

It's been a little more than a year since Google Android was announced and rumors of a little device called the HTC Dream started to leak onto the Web.

We think it's fair to say that the Dream stirred up as much anticipation and hype as the Apple iPhone, not only because it would be the first smartphone to run Google's mobile platform but also because of the potential to overtake Apple's darling.

[read on]

Microsoft unveils cloud computing project
MSNBC.com, 10/27/2008

Microsoft Corp. is taking another step into the world of Web-based computing with a new system it's calling Windows Azure.
Microsoft says it's joining Amazon.com Inc. and other rivals in selling information storage space and computing power "in the cloud," distributed across massive data centers worldwide. That will let companies build Web-based programs without having to manage their own data centers.
[read on]

Study Underscores Family Value of Technology
TechNewsWorld, 10/20/2008

Technology is helping families stay connected, despite fears of it bringing in a corrupting influence or driving people apart. It's the pace of modern life that makes technology a necessity in order to remain up-to-date, researchers say. [read on]

Gadgetry Takes a Hit as Nervous Consumers Plan for Lean Holidays
The New York Times, 10/14/2008

With his retirement account devastated by the plunging stock market, Henry Vicenteno is feeling poor — poor enough to play the Grinch this holiday season.

Mr. Vicenteno, 31, an aircraft mechanic in Cleveland, said his 9-year-old son had asked for a copy of Skate, a skateboarding video game by Electronic Arts. “I told him I’d buy it for him, but really I’m just going to Blockbuster to rent it,” Mr. Vicenteno said.

[read on]

Software holds your calls while you're driving
Associated Press, 10/13/2008

When David Teater's 12-year-old son, Joe, was killed in 2004 by a driver who was talking on a cell phone, he tried to cut back on his own habit of driving and talking. It turned out to be very difficult.

"You have to remember to turn the phone off ... which you never remember to do. Or you have to ignore a ringing phone, which is incredibly hard," Teater said. "We've been conditioned our entire lives to answer ringing phones."

[read on]

10 ways to waste time on the Web
MSNBC, 10/12/2008

Want to idle away a few minutes -- or hours? These sites will help you test your knowledge, name that tune, or write a haiku. You'll wonder where the time went. [read on]

LeapFrog Scores With New Pocket-Sized Tool for Studying On the Go
PR Newswire, 10/7/2008

Kids can now study a ton without getting weighed down, using a new pocket-sized device from LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., a leading developer of technology-based learning products. The company today announced that the Crammer Study & Sound System, a homework and study device for students in grades three through eight is now available at major retailers and at http://www.leapfrog.com/crammer. [read on]

Mother Load: Technology vs. traditional toys
The Record, 9/30/2008

I can’t remember what skill my older two kids learned first: how to operate a computer mouse or how to use a Phillips screwdriver to pry open a toy and put in a new set of AA batteries.

What kid over the age of 6 doesn’t know that the negative sign is where the flat end of the battery goes and the plus sign is where the bumpy end goes?

[read on]

Study: Girls' electronic entertainment use up
Playthings, 9/23/2008

Girls ages 2 to 14 are spending more time this year on entertainment-related activities than they did in 2007, according to a new NPD Group study.

Other insights from NPD’s Girl Power: Understanding This Important Consumer Segment study, which surveyed more than 1,500 girls or their mothers, include:

[read on]

As Text Messages Fly, Danger Lurks
The New York Times, 9/19/2008

Senator Barack Obama used one to announce to the world his choice of a running mate. Thousands of Americans have used them to vote for their favorite “American Idol” contestants. Many teenagers prefer them to actually talking. Almost overnight, text messages have become the preferred form of communication for millions. [read on]

Here's the Word on less expensive software
MSNBC, 9/19/2008

For many, part of the back-to-school ritual includes buying a new computer and the accompanying software students need for writing reports, creating spreadsheets and making presentations.

Microsoft Office remains the giant in that field, dominating corporate and home computers. (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.) But with a younger generation living more of its life on the Web, from Facebook to YouTube, free and Web-based productivity programs from companies like Google and Zoho have growing appeal.

[read on]

Time Warner Offers Photo Sharing on TV
RNews, 9/17/2008

Time Warner Cable announced the launch of a free service that allows sharing of photos and video right on your television.

Roxio PhotoShowTV is available to subscribers of both Time Warner digital cable and Road Runner High-Speed online.

[read on]

Youth sway family tech purchases—even after they move out
ars technical , 9/11/2008

It's no surprise that young people tend to adopt new technology into their lives more quickly than older generations, but those crazy kids tend to influence how older folks use technology, too. Many "Millennials," young people between the ages of 16 and 27, report that they actively influence their parents adoption of various technologies, Motorola found in a recent survey, even if they don't live at home.

[read on]

Classrooms are virtual, but diplomas are real: Half of high-school courses to go online by 2019
TMC.net , 9/1/2008

High school classrooms will undergo vast makeovers in the next decade -- and you'll have to visit cyberspace to check out the updated looks.

By 2019, 50 percent of all high-school courses will be taken online, according to a report published in the summer issue of Education Next by researchers from Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

"The economy and necessity have driven virtual high schools all across the nation," said Michael Smith, chair of the educational technology department at Victor Valley College

[read on]

Henson's educational puppetry goes next-gen with Sid the Science Kid
The Tech Herald , 9/1/2008

Looking to maintain its lofty position as a forerunner in the world of preschool edutainment, The Jim Henson Company is pushing the international positioning of its new Sid the Science Kid show via a dedicated two-hour block of programming on PBS KIDS.

[read on]

Microsoft Faces New Browser Foe in Google
The New York Times , 9/1/2008

This time, Microsoft's opponent is Google, a familiar foe.

On Tuesday, Google will release a free Web browser called Chrome that the company said would challenge Microsoft's Internet Explorer, as well as the Firefox browser.  The browser is a universal doorway to the Internet, and the use of Internet software and services is rapidly growing.

[read on]

Tracking the 39 Clues
Publishers Weekly , 9/1/2008

One million dollars in cash, or the first clue in a globe-trotting treasure hunt that may lead to untold power. Which would you choose? No, it's not the pitch for a reality show. It's the opening premise of The 39 Clues, a multi-platform action-adventure series that Scholastic is simultaneously launching this month in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Aimed at kids 8–12, The 39 Clues combines reading, online gaming and card collecting into a unique interactive experience.

[read on]

It's official! Comcast caps Internet use
Associated Press, 8/28/2008

Comcast Corp., the nation's second-largest Internet service provider, Thursday said it would set an official limit on the amount of data subscribers can download and upload each month.

On Oct. 1, the cable company will update its user agreement to say that users will be allowed 250 gigabytes of traffic per month, the company announced on its Web site.

[read on]

Ask.com Launches All-New Ask Kids Search Engine
MarketWatch, 8/27/2008

With school back in session and families gearing up for the nightly homework grind, Ask.com announces the upgrade and expansion of its popular children's and tweens' search engine, Ask Kids. Built with Ask.com's proprietary search technology, Ask Kids delivers a search experience unlike anything for kids on the Internet today – including more relevant, kid-friendly search results presented in the most graphically vivid display of any major search engine.

[read on]

A good find: GPS to locate the kids
MSNBC, 8/25/2008

As cell phones move into younger hands, various GPS locator services are being used by parents to follow those hands as children go from home to school, or to friends' houses or after-class programs.

Several wireless carriers have such locator programs, generally for a fee of about $10 a month. And if you're not ready to give your child a mobile, there are other devices that provide tracking, but monthly costs are generally higher than for similar cell phone services.

[read on]

Preferring the Web Over Watching TV
The New York Times, 8/24/2008

Parents who worry that their children watch too much television can take heart: a bigger concern may be children spending too much time online.

For children ages 10 to 14 who use the Internet, the computer is a bigger draw than the TV set, according to a study recently released by DoubleClick Performics, a search marketing company.

[read on]

Survive the drive! Great gear for kids (and you)
TODAYShow.com, 8/20/2008

Dear parents: This one’s for you. According to the AAA, this upcoming Labor Day weekend will be part of the summer’s “Big Three” of summer travel weekends (July 4th and Memorial Day are the others). For many, therefore, this coming Labor Day represents the last big road trip opportunity of the summer. Experienced parents also know it means you’re almost certain to get stuck in traffic, listen to your kids go crazy in the back seat, and feel your blood rise to the bursting point …

[read on]

Welcome, Freshmen. Have an iPod.
The NewYork Times, 8/20/2008

Taking a step that professors may view as a bit counterproductive, some universities are doling out Apple iPhones and Internet-capable iPods to students.

The always-on Internet devices raise some novel possibilities, like tracking where students congregate. With far less controversy, colleges could send messages about canceled classes, delayed buses, campus crises or just the cafeteria menu.

[read on]

Stranger in children’s digital land
JSOnline, 8/18/2008

I found out recently that I’m an immigrant. I live in a country where I know only a few words of the language, where the customs are unfamiliar and where I’m definitely an outsider — even though I was born in the United States.

I went to Wisconsin Education and Technology Association conference, an event focused on bringing educators all the newest technology, and that’s where I discovered my status. The students I’m teaching are “digital natives,” all born in the culture of the computer. Anyone raised before computers dominated home and school, I learned, is an immigrant.

[read on]

Tips for raising kids in today's technology age
Thousand Oaks Acorn, 8/14/2008

Technology invades every aspect of daily life for today's children, from the moment they wake to cellphone alarms until they fall asleep to tunes on their iPods. Unlike their TV-age parents, tweens and teens can't imagine life without instant access to everything from online entertainment to merchandise to other people.

Parenting, however, has become a bigger challenge in this age of instant gratification, with the generation gap a huge crater separating parents from children.

It doesn't have to be this way. The same technology that surrounds kids can be used to help educate and socialize them.

[read on]

Hacker technology is getting cheaper, easier
Associated Press, 8/11/2008

Want to break into the computer network in an ultra-secure building? Ship a hacked iPhone there to a nonexistent employee and hope the device sits in the mailroom, scanning for nearby wireless connections.

How about stealing someone's computer passwords? Forget trying to fool the person into downloading a malicious program that logs keystrokes.

[read on]

Wireless services add more parental controls
MSNBC, 8/8/2008

Pencils? Check. Notebooks? Check. Cell phone? Checkbook.

Nearly three-quarters of 13- to 17-year-olds in the United States have cell phones, according to the Yankee Group, and "tweens," children between ages 8 and 12, are the next age range that wireless companies hope will carry a mobile in their back-to-school backpacks.

[read on]

Search the Internet — all the kids are doing it!
Associated Press, 8/7/2008

The search box is everywhere online these days. It's built into Web browsers. It's incorporated into Web sites of all sorts. And it's a major driver of traffic and revenue for Google Inc. and the like.

So it should come as no surprise that nearly half of Internet users conduct a search on a typical day, up from about a third in 2002, the Pew Internet and American Life Project said Wednesday.

[read on]

In Maine, a laptop for every middle-schooler
MSNBC, 8/4/2008

Does a child learn better when he or she has a laptop to use in the classroom?

In the United States, Maine has led the way with its laptop program, which has made students more enthusiastic in the classroom, but not necessarily resulted in better test scores.

The state started its laptop program for 7th-graders in 2002, and later expanded it to 8th graders and to one-third of the state's high schools.

[read on]

AudibleKids.com Offers 4,000 Kids' Books
School Library Journal, 7/29/2008

Audible.com now has a kid-centric offshoot. Launched this spring, Audiblekids.com has about 4,000 titles, categorized by age, grade, and subject.

Parents create profiles for themselves and their kids, who are then free to browse titles that are created within parameters set by their caretakers. The audiobooks—which cost either under $5 or between $10 and $20—are playable on a range of digital devices, including phones, PDAs, and iPods.

[read on]

Five Real Solutions to Your Kids Technology Clutter
iStockAnalyst, 7/27/2008

The trucks, teddy bears, dolls and Barbie Dream House may be history. But their fading from favor doesn't mean you're off the hook.

Next comes the hard-core electronics. Desktop and laptop computers. Video games. CDs. DVDs. Xbox. Nintendo's Wii. Cables and more cables.

Your child's room or playroom can be as much of a mess with electronic gear as it was with toys. So how do you set up a system to get things organized and have them stay that way?

[read on]

Medpedia brings Wikipedia model to health, but with pros
Los Angeles Times, 7/23/2008

Internet entrepreneurs are teaming with doctors, researchers and other medical professionals to create what they hope will be the Web's largest body of health information.

Modeled on the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, but written and edited only by trained professionals, the Medpedia Project will gather the kind of knowledge usually confined to academic circles and make it understandable and available to consumers.

[read on]

Disney Taps Into Blu-ray's Interactive Technology
The New York Times, 7/14/2008

LOS ANGELES — The Walt Disney Company, along with the broader entertainment industry, is counting on "Sleeping Beauty" to help awaken interest in Blu-ray DVDs.

In October, the company will release a 50th anniversary edition of the classic animated movie in the high-definition Blu-ray format. But Disney is not stopping there. "Sleeping Beauty" will also come with unusual features geared toward a generation of viewers that embraces interactivity and social networking.

[read on]

In Overhaul, Disney.com Seeks a Path to More Fun
The New York Times, 6/25/2008

LOS ANGELES — The Walt Disney Company, concerned that its main Web site is not entertaining enough, is moving once again to overhaul Disney.com.

It will be the second recent makeover for the company's marquee site, which is still the top Internet destination for children's entertainment but faces increasing competition from players like Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and WebKinz.
[read on]

Disney to "Blur" Lines Between Toys & CE
TWICE, 6/20/2008

Burbank, Calif. - Disney Consumer Products, marketer of Disney-themed CE for kids, is building up its technology toy line and launching its first robotic toys in an attempt to "blur the lines even more between toys and consumer electronics," consumer electronics VP Chris Heatherly told TWICE. Traditional Disney-themed consumer electronics for 3- to 12-year-olds remain in the line, including small LCD TVs, MP3 players, portable media players (PMPs), digital cameras, boomboxes and portable DVD players. [read on]

Study: Teens Dropping Rags, Radio for Web, Games, and TV
ars technica, 6/20/2008

A new study reminds us of a trend we'd rather not think too much about: teens and "tweens" are reading less, instead spending more time surfing the web, playing games, and watching TV. The Tween & Teen Lifestyle Report is conducted twice a year (spring and fall), with the most recent study carried out in March 2008 (the results were just published). This time around, 1,182 teens (ages 13 to 17) and tweens (ages 8 to 12) were interviewed in-person, and the results confirm a continuing three-year trend of kids putting down the magazines and books, and picking up the mouse, controller, and remote. [read on]

Talk to Me, Fridge
BusinessWeek, 6/20/2008

Imagine a world where our things could talk back, where exchanges such as the following are the norm. Sprinkler: Hey, horticultural genius! Did you realize you're using 20% more water in your garden than last year? It's costing you an extra $50 per month! And by the way, it's raining and the Internet says you should expect 4 in. tomorrow. So why am I still on? Me: O.K., bring up the map of the garden with the current watering schedule and we'll change it. Before long, you won't have to imagine it. Interactions like this one represent-if you'll pardon the expression-the Internet's next big flowering. We'll soon witness the emergence of what's come to be known as the Internet of Things, a confluence of technologies and tools that gives us the ability to interact virtually with most of the objects in our lives. [read on]

Teens Are Wired...And, Yes, It's OK
CBS News, 6/13/2008

For 16-year-old Rae Tyree, a junior in Ann Arbor, Mich., hanging out with friends often means "just sitting and watching each other talk online." Sometimes they make definite plans to actually do something in person, like going to a movie. But mostly their friendships are online. "It was an addiction," Rae's mother Karen says, referring to her daughter's frequent need to be online during her middle-school years. Karen says Rae could not get her homework done because she was always online. "One time she spent the night with a friend whose father had computers networked in his house and they spent the evening in separate rooms on IM," Karen says. [read on]

Cell Phones Still Hot; More Mobile Advertising Proposed
MediaPost Publications, 6/12/2008

Although a new Harris Interactive study reveals that over one-third of consumers say the dire economy will not affect their spending habits, the 60 percent of consumers who will limit their discretionary spending will curtail going out to restaurants (74 percent) and limit their purchase of electronics (71 percent). 41 percent of consumers, however, have no plans to stop or cut-back on the purchase of cell phones, making it an increasingly viable advertising channel.[read on]

So Young, and So Gadgeted
The New York Times, 6/12/2008

EVERYONE knows that babies crawl before they walk, and that tricycles come before two-wheelers. But at what age should children get their first cellphone, laptop or virtual persona? These are new questions being faced by 21st-century parents, and there is no wisdom from the generations for guidance. You can't exactly say to your teenager, "When I was a boy, I didn't have an unlimited texting plan until I was in high school." [read on]

The $100 Laptop May Be A Glimpse Of The Future
Computerworld, 6/6/2008

You've no doubt heard of the "$100 laptop" project. The idea is to help poor kids around the world by providing them with simple, durable, usable and wireless laptops for downloading and using textbooks and educational software, playing games and communicating. The first iteration, the XO 1.0 -- a.k.a. the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) laptop - looks like a toy for baby aliens (fluorescent green with two antennas). Besides a few innovations, including mesh networking and a water-resistant rubberized keyboard, the laptop is largely comparable to today's ordinary low-cost laptops. [read on]

Dallas Starts High-Tech Monitoring of Special-Ed Students
WFAA.com, 5/30/2008

DALLAS -- Imagine a school bus that ‘knows' which kids it's carrying and exactly when and where each got on. It's not science fiction. It's a new hi-tech tool DISD will start using this summer - to monitor students who need a little extra help. Students like 13-year-old Amber Ramos. She's a special education teenager in a wheelchair who requires a lift to get on the bus at Stockard Middle School in Oak Cliff. "She's doing great," says school bus driver George Douglas. But soon, Amber will have another safety net to ensure she gets where she's going. [read on]

Qwerty is the next big thing
CNET News.com, 5/16/2008

BlackBerry maker RIM has been very busy this week hosting the Wireless Enterprise Symposium in Orlando, Fla. One of the announcements causing the biggest stir was the BlackBerry Bold--touted by some as the device to rival the iPhone. At the conference, co-CEO Mike Lazaridis caught up with Silicon.com reporter Natasha Lomas to tell us why he believes smartphones are the future, why Qwerty is so exciting, and why the Bold has nothing to do with the iPhone. [read on]

Spam Moves to Cellphones and Gets More Invasive
The New York Times, 5/10/2008

If you thought spam on your computer was a bother, brace yourself: spammers want to find you on your cellphone. Cellphones have become consumers' most personal technological devices. Some industry executives, along with consumer groups and security experts, are concerned that unwanted text messages on phones will be an even greater headache than unwanted computer messages. [read on]

Writing, Technology and Teens
PewResearchCenter Publications, 4/24/2008

Teenagers' lives are filled with writing. All teens write for school, and 93% of teens say they write for their own pleasure. Most notably, the vast majority of teens have eagerly embraced written communication with their peers as they share messages on their social network pages, in emails and instant messages online, and through fast-paced thumb choreography on their cell phones. Parents believe that their children write more as teens than they did at that age. This raises a major question: What, if anything, connects the formal writing teens do and the informal e-communication they exchange on digital screens? [read on]

We Want It, and Waiting Is No Option
The New York Times, 3/31/2008

The Virgin Megastore in Times Square was bustling last Thursday during the lunch hour, but with two remarkably different universes of consumers. One group of shoppers - none of whom appeared to be under 40 - was browsing manually through CDs, no doubt some of them drawn by Virgin's profit-killing $10 price. A few feet away, with their backs literally turned, clusters of young people were trading headphones at listening posts as they riffled their way through songs that they would no doubt go home and download later (legally, of course). [read on]

KidZui Promotes Itself as a Kid-oriented Internet
STLtoday.com, 3/19/2008

It's called KidZui, a network of child-appropriate and parent-approved websites accessible through a similarly named browser. The service debuted and the browser was released for public download Wednesday. According to KidZui CEO Cliff Boro, the service offers more than 500,000 sites, images and videos customized for children ages 3 to 12, with access to additional content available as users mature. For security's sake, KidZui prohibits downloading content from the wider Web. [read on]

Text Generation Gap: U R 2 Old (JK)
The New York Times, 3/9/2008

AS president of the Walt Disney Company's children's book and magazine publishing unit, Russell Hampton knows a thing or two about teenagers. Or he thought as much until he was driving his 14-year-old daughter, Katie, and two friends to a play last year in Los Angeles.[read on]

Media's So Very Social For College Kids
MediaLife.com, 3/6/2008

Socializing has been a major part of college life since the first kegger, and now hanging out with friends is even seeping into students' media usage. A new quarterly pop culture survey from Youth Trends, the Ramsey, N.J., research firm, finds that among college kids, social media of all sorts are hot. Social networking, of course, has long been a college pastime, but the trend is also being seen across other media.[read on]

The Charms of Wikipedia
The New York Times Book Review, 2/20/2008

Wikipedia is just an incredible thing. It's fact-encirclingly huge, and it's idiosyncratic, careful, messy, funny, shocking, and full of simmering controversies-and it's free, and it's fast. In a few seconds you can look up, for instance, "Diogenes of Sinope," or "turnip," or "Crazy Eddie," or "Bagoas," or "quadratic formula," or "Bristol Beaufighter," or "squeegee," or "Sanford B. Dole," and you'll have knowledge you didn't have before. It's like some vast aerial city with people walking briskly to and fro on catwalks, carrying picnic baskets full of nutritious snacks.[read on]

If You Can't Let Go, Twitter
New York Times, 2/14/2008

SOMETIMES, you just have to trust your relatives. You have to be willing to let them leave the house unchallenged. Suspend disbelief and let them take the car. That's what I tell my three daughters, anyway. But it never works out like that. They just can't let me go. "where r u?" one daughter texted to my phone the other day before I even turned the corner. "whats 4 dinner?" a second one buzzed seconds later. "cant find black cardigan ... did u take it w/o asking?" messaged the third[read on]

Keeping Watch For Burglars (And Tabs On The Kids)
Wall Street Journal, 2/13/2008

As a police officer in southern Florida, Greg Varley was dispatched to investigate as many as 10 false alarms a day at residents' homes. He was frustrated to discover that most people didn't disarm their security systems properly.

So after retiring and moving to Cookeville, Tenn., Mr. Varley three months ago looked for a home-security system that would give him more control over arming the sensors, helping him avert false alarms. He soon came across a company called InGrid Inc., a security system that he could install himself and control using the Internet.
[read on]

High-Tech Invitations Take Your Mind Off Road
New York Times, 2/12/2008

Drivers have never had so many distractions tempting them to take their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel.

Talking on cellphones and typing text messages while driving has already led to bans in many states. But now auto companies, likening their latest models to living rooms on the road, are turning cars into cocoons of communication systems and high-tech entertainment.
[read on]

Consumer Tech: High-Tech Upgrades For Low-Tech Cars Mean A Smooth Road Ahead
Seattle PI, 2/11/2008

If you already own a tremendously expensive automobile, you're likely all set for onboard technology: GPS, integrated Bluetooth communications, tire pressure monitoring, peekaboo gun turrets -- the works. For the rest of us, this author included, we need to supplement the meager technological offerings our cars came with to enjoy a proper 21st-century ride.[read on]

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Tweens and Facebook:
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