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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.!"
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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).
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.
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.
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.
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]