Three-Quarters of the World's Messages Sent by Mobile


According to TNS Global, 74% of the world's digital messages were sent through a mobile device in January 2009, a 15% increase over the previous year. However, the popular impression created largely by the media, is that text message shorthand is weird. It has been described as alien, foreign and outlandish, and this lingo is viewed so much as a new language that texters have been called bilingual. Parents are concerned because they don't know what their kids are texting. Educators are concerned because text message shorthand is infiltrating schoolwork. Meanwhile, we're all doing it, and most of us love it, especially for short quick messages. Face it, worldwide communication in the future will be done through mobile devices and NetLingo will continue to track the new text terms and how this style of communication impacts our lives. We're here to dissect the pictograms and logograms, the initialisms, and the omitted letters, the shortenings and the acronyms, and even the popular non-standard spellings, so you can make sense of it all. NetLingo adds new acronyms every single day!
See also: texting, text messaging, instant messaging, SMS, leetspeak, acronyms, and the largest list of acronyms & text message shorthand on the Internet.
Be sure to sign up for the Acronym of the Day newsletter (not suitable for all audiences ;-) NetLingo is the talk of the net: You can keep up, just keep coming back!
CUL8R,
Erin



Sexting: 14 -year-old Girl Arrested for Porn


In a bizarre case in New Jersey, a 14-year-old girl was arrested and charged with child pornography after posting nude photos of herself on her MySpace page. Known as sexting, the case comes as prosecutors nationwide are pursuing cases resulting from tweens sending nude photos to one another over cell phones and e-mail. What happened was The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children tipped off a state task force, which alerted the Passaic County Sheriff's Office. The Associated Press then reported "This is a wake-up call to parents" because "she wanted her boyfriend to see these very explicit photos." The girl, whose name has not been released because of her age, has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography. She was released to her mother's custody. If convicted of the distribution charge, she would be forced to register with the state as a sex offender under Megan's Law and go to jail.

It's bizarre because at that point the law has been flipped to punish the very people that it was designed to protect, as pointed out on Buzzle.com. It's controversial because concerned parents and citizens are criticizing the trend of prosecuting teens who send racy text messages or post illicit photos of themselves. They do not want to charge teens under laws that were designed to protect them, including Maureen Kanka, the mother of the girl that inspired Megan's law. "This shouldn't fall under Megan's Law, this girl needs counseling because the only person she exploited was herself." The legal question up for debate is when a teen chooses to exploit him or herself online or on some other platform, can authorities then claim that the teen is committing a crime? Prosecutors in states including Pennsylvania, Connecticut, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin are trying stop it by charging teens a fine who send and receive the pictures because they "knowingly" do so.

Get real. The lesson comes back to where it always leads: family. Parents need to communicate values to their children, engage with them in their lives, and keep tabs on who they're communicating with... there is such a thing as a digital footprint. The challenge is that many teens and tweens are far more technically savvy than their parents, teachers, and even authorities. This is why next month NetLingo is announcing a special series called "Get With the Program" to help bridge the digital generation gap between adults and kids. It will teach parents and educators how to empower kids to use the Internet productively, and it will teach everyone about current Internet trends and technology, highlight the important issues you need to know, and keep you up-to-date on all of the Internet terminology used in our online world.

You can keep up, keep coming back,
Erin


Read more here...

I'm Here to Make You Feel Better

Meet Bandit-II a "socially assistive" robot being developed at the University of Southern California. Robots can already perform surgery and track your meds. Now, new models aim to provide therapy and support. Before consumers send their Roombas for repair, they sometimes etch their names on the machines in the hopes of getting their own robots back. Somehow, they grow attached to the squat, disk-shaped sweepers and worry that a new robot will have a different personality. "People are grateful that the Roomba improves their lives, so they reciprocate by giving it attention like they would a pet. Many owners who gave their Roombas names also paint them, dress them in costumes or turn them on to entertain friends.Difficult as it is to design a robot that can assemble a Toyota or handle toxic waste, researchers are working on making machines that can coach, motivate and monitor people with cognitive and physical disabilities -- machines that are "socially assistive." As seen in The Washington Post, read more here...
Film @ 11,
Erin

Becoming Web Dead: How to Erase Your Online Identity in 10 Steps


Because what happens in Vegas, stays online.

I've talked to you before about your digital doppelganger and your digital footprint, now it's time to find out how to delete your online identity and personal data if you should so choose. Fortunately there are some practical steps a savvy surfer can take to prevent (and reverse) the "morning after" effects associated with putting TMI on the Web. Here are the 10 steps, click here for the complete explanation on how to be Web dead!
1. Delete What You Can First
2. Use Webpage Removal Request Tools
3. E-mail Webmasters Directly
4. Employ ReputationDefender
5. Hide Your Ass (proxy service)
6. Always Use Pseudonyms
7. Contact ChillingEffects.org
8. RemoveYourName
9. Pull the Old Switch-a-Roo
10. Stay Offline
So there you have it, 10 rays of hope in an online world of ever-increasing threats and decreasing privacy rights. Pass it on.
IJWTK,
Erin

Privacy and Google


It's not a winning combination. First came the use of Google search engine results as evidence in court to convict a man of murder because they revealed he searched for information on the weapon used to kill his wife. Then came news about Google disclosing the viewing history of everyone who has watched videos on YouTube. Face it, the stuff people look at online can be pretty embarrassing. Next came the revelation that Google's Gmail program scans your email messages to deliver relevant ads. Now privacy advocates are alarmed over Google's new browser Chrome, which gives Google the ability to collect users' Web addresses and therefore track your complete surfing history on the Web.

Privacy is our right to freedom from unauthorized intrusion. People are starting to wonder if the dawn of the Internet era foretells the doom of personal privacy, due to the widespread use of e-mail, cookies, cell phones, and spyware, as well as checkout scanners, electronic tollbooths, closed-circuit surveillance cameras, and other monitoring technologies. For more on privacy, see also: consumer profiling, digital footprint, EPIC, keylogger opt-out, and watch the CNBC documentary "Big Brother, Big Business."

Keep it P&C,
Erin

Lessons from the Online Job Front

Checking out job sites? Surfing around looking for possible new career opportunities? Don't become the victim of an online scam in the process! The term phishing first emerged as an email trick in which a legitimate looking message (appearing to be from a respected company such as Citibank, eBay, PayPal, AOL, etc.) says it needs your personal and financial information to update their files; instead it is a false attempt to get your private information to later use for identity theft. Nearly 50% of adult Americans have received these bogus e-mails; I get at least one every day! To see an example and understand how it works, and to learn what you should never do, read this.

Now phishers are on the attack in the online job front. If you're launching an online job hunt for the first time in awhile, be cautious. Most legitimate job-search sites screen postings, but bad listings slip through the cracks. What to watch for? Listings that are vague about the hiring company or position, specifically ads that are pretending to offer a job but are really trying to get you to give up personal information, such as a Social Security number. Even if you think the ad is the real deal, don't hand over your personal information or your credit card. Legitimate jobs don't come with a price tag.

DBEYR,
Erin