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Online ‘friending’: Nothing that new

A commentator who used to be a "pre-Facebook teen" makes an excellent point about today's social networking: Things haven't changed much since pre-social-Web days. "Categorizing and ranking friends existed long before these social-networking sites came around," writes L.A.-based writer and editor Sara Libby in the Christian Science Monitor. "Adults baffled by the proliferation of MySpace […]

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Teen-distributed child porn

This is a nightmare I wish we could help all children avoid: Last fall in the state of Georgia, 15 high school students aged 15-17 were identified as victims in what is basically a child-pornography distribution case. The distributors were their classmates, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) reported this week. In […]

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Tech first aid for ’08 & onward

Filtering, monitoring, and other parental-control technology can be useful items in the family Internet first-aid kit, depending on kids' ages and maturity levels. But the most effective, always-age-appropriate tools these days are information and communication – as kids' knowledge of workarounds and malicious hackers' use of social engineering grow. Ideally, parents and kids are working […]

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Social networkers = spin doctors?

Let's hope a growing number of young social networkers understand that, on the social Web, personal communications is pretty much public relations. In "Net users are becoming their own reputation managers," a CNET commentator provides a good reminder. What our parents shared in private diaries, letters and phone conversations and we shared in all the […]

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The social Web & 2007-’08

This past year was "when the Internet's potential as a transformative force expanded. This was the year we understood that the Internet is more than just another medium. It is an emerging society," reported the Times of India in an editorial, "The Year of Facebook." I agree that 2007 was the year we all saw […]

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2008: Whose info is whose?

One of the things we'll all need to sort out on the social Web is what content belongs to who. Is your profile your content or that of the service hosting it? Are your friends' comments in your profile your content, theirs, or the host's? Sound complicated? It is. But it needs to be worked […]

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Generation gap on copyright, P2P

When New York Times tech writer David Pogue gives talks on copyright law and ethics he has a little interactive segment where he describes lots of situations involving copying songs, CDs, DVDs, broadcast movies, etc., and asks for a show of hands from people who think this or that situation is ok, Pogue writes. He's […]

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The ‘IWWIW’ generation?

"I definitely think [technology] is a divider," Jane Buckingham told Rachel Abramowitz at the Los Angeles Times, "and it's something that will continue to be a divider. If you don't text message, if you don't twitter, it will change your day-to-day reactions. I don't think [technology] is horrific and negative. At some point, technology will […]

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Videogame misconceptions

This news story about Wisconsin legislation to put a tax on videogames reflects the widespread misconception in the US that videogames are a "kids thing." That's how the bill's author, state Sen. Jon Erpenbach, described them to WISC-TV. The motivation is good – to raise money to have youth "who commit non-violent crimes" tried in […]

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Young adults biggest library users

Americans 18-30 are public libraries' biggest fans. "And people are going to libraries not only for the Internet-enabled computers there but also for library reference books, newspapers and magazines," reports the Associated Press, citing a new study by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Pew/Internet director Lee […]

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