Adware Targets Kids , via my friend Dan.
Mainstream children’s Web sites host a glut of adware, a security firm said this week, proof that spyware makers are targeting kids in an attempt to slip by parents and get their software onto home computers.
Replacing Parents With Technology, a post at Trendyblog, is worth a read for two reasons.
First it links to an article that talks about an invention that allows kids to watch a limited amount of TV based on the evidence that the kids were active. They use a specially designed sneaker that has a build in pedometer that can later transfer the information to a device that controls the TV.
The second thing J.W. touches on is how parents can essentially solve the same problems using low-tech means that have existed long before the TV was even invented. He refers to the parental ability to set limits and to be able to firmly say “no” to their kids.
I’m involved in projects (1, 2),which involve the overlap of kids, computers, and parenting. I often hear criticisms along the lines of “Great! Another parental replacement because parents are too lazy to do their job.” Sometimes the comments come even harsher.
Thankfully, J.W. understands what many critics do not — that these high-tech solutions can be used as a tool by parents. Some parents may choose to limit their kids television or computer use by using an egg timer. Yet, they aren’t criticized in the same way.
Some families have two working parents, and when these parents come home from work at 5:30, their kids may have been home for a couple of hours unsupervised. If you don’t provide some type of way of limiting the devices from being used, or at least monitoring their use, then how can a parent manage these tools reasonably? Some parents (like myself) are working from home. We leave our kids to take care of their homework and chores, and expect that they’ll play games, read books and use the computer and television responsibly. When we are working from home, we can’t always check on them every 30 minutes. I see nothing wrong with implementing a software monitor or timer to assist in doing that job. One added benefit of having an impartial, reliable tool to do the job of telling the kids when it’s time to get off the computer: Far fewer conflicts and negotiation. The kids are far more willing to accept being shut off of the computer by the computer itself. They get up, walk away and are mentally ready to do something other than have an argument with the parent.
What kinds of experiences have you had with your kids and their use of technology? Leave a comment…
I had blogged about How technological advances will shape your grocery shopping experience not long ago.
It does appear that there will be some usefulness in the computerized Shopping Buddies. Navigation to help you locate things, and if enter your shopping list via your computer at home, when you get to the store, you can load the shopping list into the device and it will alert you to the fact that you’re near the items as you navigate the aisles.
But as pointed out earlier:
“The whole model is driven by advertisers’ need to get in front of consumers,” said Springboard spokesman Michael Alexandor. “They’re not watching 30-second TV ads anymore.”
I wonder if these people are about 10 years behind. Yes, we’re ignoring advertising on TV, but we’re also ignoring advertising on our computer screens as well. People have gotten quite good at tuning out the ads on web sites and popups and such. These Shopping Buddies are simply another form of computer interface.
If it’s just another form of interrupt advertising, then it will either be useless for that purpose, or it will ruin the usefulness of the device for consumers.
Read the whole story here.
I’ll follow up when I get a chance to try one.