Will you take me so I can text?
The traditional quest to get a driver's license at 16 is on the wane, as a generation hooked on texting, Facebook, and being driven around by parents no longer sees independent mobility as critical to their social lives. Just 30.7 percent of 16-year-olds got their licenses in 2008, down from 44.7 percent in 1988. - The Washington Post
The Always, Always, Always-On Generation
It's hardly news that young people are fascinated with social media, video games, TV, and iPods, but a new study finds the average young person from 8 to 18 now spends literally every waking moment outside of school on the Internet, watching TV, listening to music on MP3 players, texting, or using some other electronic device. That comes to kids spending an average of seven and half hours daily consuming media in some form, AND, when you include multitasking, kids actually consume close to 11 hours' worth of content in that time. Study co-author Donald Roberts said, "This is a stunner."
- The Kaiser Family Foundation
What happened with Google, something about China?
The Internet giant announced last week that it would stop censoring its Chinese search engine, after suffering what it called a "sophisticated cyber-attack" on the private Google email accounts of Chinese dissidents. Google stopped short of blaming Beijing directly for the attack, but the company's actions speak volumes. Since 2006, Chinese users searching for "Tiananmen Square massacre" or "Dalai Lama" have come up empty. Now, says Google, all searches will be unfiltered, even if it means the company's expulsion from China and the loss of around $600 million in annual revenue. - The Week
Privacy Watch: The FBI Illegally Snooped
The FBI illegally gathered records of more than 2,000 domestic telephone calls between 2002 and 2006, by invoking nonexistent terrorist threats or by simply asking phone companies for the information. The bureau often justified the privacy violations by issuing approvals for its record-collecting after the fact. Calling their methods "good hearted but not well thought-out," FBI General Counsel Valerie Caproni said, "We should have stopped those request from being made that way." Records show that FBI managers continued to approve requests for records for two years after bureau lawyers raised concerns. - The Washington Post
How the Feds Actually Helped Spies and Hackers
Google made headlines recently when it announced that computer hackers, presumably from China, had broken into its servers, said Bruce Schneier. What is less well known is that the U.S. government inadvertently aided the hackers. After 9/11, at Washington's request, Google created a backdoor access system that allows the feds to spy on email and other Internet transactions. This feature is what the Chinese hackers exploited to gain access, and it's not just foreign spies who are sneaking through the backdoor: U.S. intelligence agents have been caught using their access to spy on wives, girlfriends, and notables such as President Clinton. Criminals have broken in to steal credit card and back account information. Far from making us more secure, these systems put us all at greater risk. - CNN.com
The CES in Vegas was a Success
A comprehensive keynote address from Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and innovative product announcements from top technology companies fueled excitement at the 2010 International CES, the world's largest tradeshow for consumer technology. Owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association, the show this year featured the world’s most innovative new technologies, from android products and apps to tablets, eReaders, netbooks and smartphones. View a list of the new products announced at the 2010 CES here.
Is the iPad another game changer?
Like other revolutionary products by Apple, the industry is buzzing about how the iPad could change the way people use media. Apple CEO Steve Jobs described the iPad as "a third category of device" that falls between a laptop and a smart phone. Known as a tablet, or netbook, publishers are betting the device and its bright 10-inch screen, will renew interest in reading books online (which are conveniently available at Apple's new iBooks store ;-) Read more here.
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