CA may ban teen tech use in cars

California is one of 11 states considering a law banning teens' use of cellphones and other electronic devices while driving. "At least 15 states and the District of Columbia have passed bans," the Associated Press reports. California has already passed a law that will require adults to use hands-free phones and takes effect next July, […]

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If Gandhi had a MySpace profile

"What would Gandhi have done if he had a MySpace account?" Stephen Carrick-Davies, CEO of Childnet International, asked social networkers at a talk he gave this past weekend in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. He asked them to use social networking to "channel their creativity, energy, idealism and vision in creating and promoting peace across cultures […]

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Calif video game violence law

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has appealed a federal court's injunction against a law banning violent videogame sales to minors, the Associated Press reports. "The law, signed by the governor in 2005, prohibits the sale or rental of violent video games to anyone under the age of 18 and requires that such games be clearly labeled. […]

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Laws & child exploitation

The Vancouver Sun cites some outdated research from the US and confuses chatrooms with social-networking sites, but this about Canadian law and online child exploitation is notable: Because Canada's age of consent is 14, "under Canadian law, a 54-year-old man from Berlin can fly to Vancouver to have consensual sex with a 14-year-old girl he […]

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Hacking ethics

A Sydney Morning Herald commentator looks at the ethical questions around 17-year-old George Hotz's iPhone hack. There's no question it's a great story: "In a quest for a car that will win all the girls, some no-name kid in the US devotes his last summer before college to unlocking the seemingly impenetrable iPhone. Corporate giants […]

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Students: Portable is good

For students shopping for computers these days, "it's clear what most will be opting for: anything that can be packed up and taken to go," CNET reports (adding that 90% of Amazon's top-selling computers right now are notebooks). They also want style and convenience features, of course: "like Bluetooth connectivity, integrated Webcams, and fast boot […]

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Facebook more public

Soon anyone will be able to search for a Facebook user, whether or not he or she is a registered user. The social site will be preparing users for the change for the next 30 days, telling them they can set their privacy settings so their profiles can't be searched for from the public Web, […]

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Videogamers & the ‘game of life’

Parents of gamers (and gamer parents) might be interested in a thoughtful piece in the Ottawa Citizen by education technology Prof. Constance Steinkuehler at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Referring to the perception gaps between gamers and politicians and between gamers and people over 35, Professor Steinkuehler cites Pew Internet statistics ("more than eight out of […]

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Not ‘the new Dr. Spock’

The headline of a recent CNET interview with MIT professor Henry Jenkins suggests he might be, but – though he isn't a pediatrician or child development specialist – he is one of the US's top experts on social media. So he knows a lot about how young people's social producing and creative networking with digital […]

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Cellphone parental controls available

It was a gleam in some early adopter parents' eyes back in 2004 when I first wrote about phone controls; now a reality. This week AT&T launched a service that might make for a little more cellphone-related family harmony: "Smart Limits" for $4.99 a month. "Many parents want their children to have access to cellphones […]

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