Stealing personality?!

First there were identity theft and cut 'n' plagiarism. Now there's cut 'n' paste personality theft, the Wall Street Journal reports. It's more sad than threatening. "These identity thieves don't want your money. They want your quirky sense of humor and your cool taste in music." The Journal says people are not just stealing others' […]

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Right age for cellphones?

The age group more and more parents are asking about is 8-to-12-year-olds, "the fastest-growing segment of the US cellphone market," the Houston Chronicle reports (already, 72% of 13-to-17-year-olds have mobile phones). The Chronicle cites experts as saying that, generally children around 10 or 11 can handle responsible use of a cellphone. But it really does […]

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Phone-based ‘icebreaker’

A new "real-space social networking" product for iPhones, iPod Touch devices, and laptops called iFob is a sign of the way social networking is going. It's marketed as being "simple, fun, and gamelike," and it probably is in the right hands. "Instead of logging onto a social networking site and searching through lists of far […]

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‘Mom-tested’ sites for tweens

It's hard to find out much about MomLogic on the Web (couldn't easily find an About Us page), but the site put its stamp of approval on five sites for preteens: Stardoll (digital paper dolls + social networking), the Whyville virtual world, Imbee blogging, Allykatzz social networking for girls 10-15, and Yamod (a kind of […]

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Ukrainian parental controls got top spot

To mark the fifth-annual Safer Internet Day today, the European Union unveiled a three-year study it sponsored of parental controls software and services. In the study, the big-name brands in the US "were all beaten to the top spot by a small partnership that employs no more than 50 people, mostly designers and developers in […]

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Self-produced child porn: Good discussion

It's good to get the thinking of three legal scholars on this growing problem (I first picked up on it way back in 2004). They spoke at a University of Virginia Law School event entitled “Self-Produced Child Pornography: The Appropriate Societal Response to Juvenile Self-Sexual Exploitation,” Virginia Law Weekly reports. The professors talked about this […]

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Library bans social sites for PC security

The Lexington County Public Library is banning social-networking sites, but not for the reasons most people would probably come up with. "The primary reason for the decision was research that shows social-networking sites can make computer systems vulnerable to viruses," reports The State in Columbia, S.C. "The sites are becoming prime targets for malicious hackers," […]

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New game ratings for UK

Britain is working on a new game-ratings system to replace its old, unworkable one, The Guardian reports. "A legally enforceable cinema-style classification system is to be introduced for videogames in an effort to keep children from playing damaging games unsuitable for their age." The system will make it illegal to sell a game to a […]

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Social networking in the classroom?!

There was a debate going on recently over at The Economist, and the pro-social-networking side won. For parents or anyone interested in social networking's benefits and not just its risks, let me zoom you in on a very meaty discussion, starting with points from the Economist debate's opening arguments, both pro and con (not answers, […]

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Teens posting personal info: Study

For their safety online, kids have been cautioned for years not to give out personal information online. Well, we now know from researchers at the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center that giving out such info isn't in itself a safety risk (see "New approach to online-safety education suggested"). We now have […]

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