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The kitchen computer

A family doesn't really need HP's $1,700 touchscreen computer for the kitchen (to keep coffee and cereal-milk spills off of keyboards), but the idea of a centrally located kitchen computer – harking back to the days of the family hearth – is a great one. Obviously it carries out that cardinal rule of kids' online […]

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Yahoo’s new social site

Called Mash, Yahoo's social-networking site is still being tested (people join by invitation only right now), the Times Online in London reports. "Mash has already been dubbed 'an homage to Facebook' – but with a difference: users of the new Yahoo site can edit each other’s profiles." As a New York Times blog puts it, […]

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Schools, state laws & cyberbullying

A Texas schools superintendent said that any online behavior that detracts from learning in school is going to get school action, and his schools have detailed but one-page Internet-use contracts students have to sign. State legislators are taking action too. Rhode Island is considering one of the toughest anti-cyberbullying laws, the Chicago Tribune reports. "Under […]

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Social networking & school

The US's 14th-largest school district believes social-networking tools have instructional value. Ted Davis, director of enterprise information services for Fairfax County Public Schools in the Washington, D.C., area told that to Christopher Heum of SchoolCIO.com. Even though MySpace is "public enemy No. 1" to many schools, he writes, "now, as more social-networking tools like blogs […]

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Oz panel to study social-site safety

Australia's federal government announced it has appointed a task force "to investigate the safety of social networking sites and the danger they pose to Australian children," Australia's ABC News reports. "The Social Network Consultative Group is part of the Government's $189 million NetAlert program." The panel will also consider "strategies," including legislation, that might make […]

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Parent-teen connectedness, online & off

Pediatrician Trish Hutchison and ob-gyn Melisa Holmes, authors of the "Girlology" books for girls 11-16, say that "leaders in the field of adolescent health" call parent-child connectedness a "super-protector" for teens. They say it can have positive effects like fostering teen self-esteem and coping skills, reducing violence and drug use, and improve social relationships. In […]

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Innovative child-protection tech

Its creator, Adam Hildreth, 22, calls it the Anti-Grooming Engine, The Guardian reports. "He claims the product is 99.9% effective in identifying adults online with a sexual motivation," and it's not keyword filtering. "The software is designed to look out for conversation patterns, typing speed, use of grammar and punctuation, and any aggressive or bullying […]

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YouTube scene in RL

This Washington Post article offers insights into what you might call the YouTube scene, the one populated by YouTube celebrities and their fans. It tells about a recent gathering of YouTubers in "real life." An example of the former: SXePhil. That's " the alias of 21-year-old University of South Florida student and Web heartthrob Philip […]

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Adult’s view of 3 social sites

San Jose Mercury News columnist Dean Takahashi wondered "which social network [was] worth joining" among three biggies: MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The three "all make it easier for you to express yourself and meet people with shared interests, but each focuses on a different area." You'll want to read the article for details on each, […]

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Increasingly connected online kids

For a long time in online safety talks, we've been stating what is probably obvious but deserves some family discussion: The number of devices on which and access points (friends' houses, wi-fi hot spots, etc.) at which youth can social network and otherwise use the Net is growing fast. The newest iPod is yet another […]

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