Home automation and ‘Internet of things’ is great — but think about privacy and security

This article is adapted from one that appeared in the San Jose Mercury News Your home is getting smarter and more connected, which is mostly a good thing. But, as we start to connect our homes to the “Internet of Things,” we need to be aware of the privacy. security and safety implications. Although technically the […]

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Proposed ‘rightful’ framework for Internet safety

Internet safety is a basic right of Internet users. But it’s not the only one. There are other fundamental rights that Net users of all ages have, and I propose that Internet safety will actually serve all Internet users better – and have much more relevance to the younger ones in our homes and schools […]

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Social media in Saudi schools … sort of

In the US, social media is banned in most schools but ubiquitous in the rest of students’ lives. In Saudi Arabia, social media is banned but will be taught in school. Maybe we could learn something from each other. “The textbook for [Saudi Arabia's] first year secondary students, entitled Computers and Information Technology, would contain […]

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Textbook case of what NOT to do in teen sexting cases

The Washington Post has done some important reporting on a teen sexting case in Virginia, spotlighting what could (should) go down in history as a textbook example of how police can abuse rather than enforce child pornography law in the digital age. A 17-year-old boy “is facing felony counts of manufacturing and distributing child pornography,” […]

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Time for public to weigh in on ‘net neutrality’

In May, the Federal Communications Commission issued a proposed new rule on network neutrality that critics say would open the door to fast and slow lanes on the Internet. The reason I’m writing about it now is because Tuesday is the deadline for posting comments on the proposal. You can comment on other people’s comments […]

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Breadth of videogames’ benefits to kids may surprise

It being summertime here in the global North, there may be a little extra videogame play going on in households with kids. So it may be helpful for parents to know about a mother lode of the latest wisdom on videogames’ effects on kids’ learning, social development and futures. It’s MindShift’s “Guide to Games & […]

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The ‘real world’ is a lot more dangerous than cyberspace

This post first appeared on Forbes.com The media is full of horror stories about online dangers, but — in all but a few categories — offline risk dwarfs its online equivalent. Stranger danger vs. trusted adults Let’s start with children. Every parent worries about their kids being harmed by strangers, but – whether offline or on — children are at far […]

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The anti-EDIs social norm: A counterargument

They’re more like DEDIs (digitally enabled displays of insensitivity) than EDIs (electronic displays of insensitivity), because the behavior on display is human not electronic. But that’s beside the point. This NPR commentary suggests that EDIs are becoming a social norm. It cites an unscientific survey of 2,000 newsletter subscribers as finding that this insensitive behavior – […]

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LG’s new tracking device for young children

There are lots of apps that can allow a parent to track their child’s phone. Assuming the phone and kid are together and the phone is turned on and in range, you can also use those apps to track your kid. But now there’s a wearable device from LG just for that purpose. The KizON wristband, […]

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Tips for Smart Cellphone Use

Cellphones are increasingly full-blown handheld computers, and everything that can be done on the Web via computer – photo-sharing, Web browsing, game playing, tune-swapping, real-time text or video chat, and (oh yeah) talking – can be done on a phone. Here are some basic ideas for keeping mobile phone use safe and constructive: Share with care. Use […]

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