Christmas is getting close, and if you have any kids in your family they've probably spent the last month (or lifetime) asking you for video games. Not all games are created equal, though, and some simply shouldn't be given to your 10-year-old son, daughter, niece, or nephew. Many of the top-rated and most popular games this year are rated "M" for Mature by the ESRB. That means those games are bloody, violent, and can contain Objectivist overtones. On the other hand, there are still plenty of games rated E for Everyone that your kid will really … Read more
Kids who want to play CSI can use a kit that shows how to dust for fingerprints, blowing away excess powder in the process. The play dust, however, contains enough asbestos to trigger cancer later in life, according to the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, which tracks toxic ingredients in consumer products.
The powder was found to contain as much as 7 percent of tremolite, one the most fatal forms of asbestos. One-time exposure has been linked with developing lung disease and mesothelioma years or decades later. The toxicant was found in six of eight samples tested by the Asbestos Disease … Read more
Microsoft is apparently on a bi-generational education campaign.
This weekend at the national conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in San Francisco, the software giant hosted an exhibit designed to educate pediatricians on answering parents' questions about children's online safety. More than 750 doctors took Microsoft's 10-question quiz about kids and the Internet to receive a free copy of Vista, according to Adrienne Hall, the company's senior director of Trustworthy Computing.
"Physicians are getting a lot of questions from parents about Net safety, and through this (exercise), their awareness goes up," Hall said.… Read more
WASHINGTON--Tired of their antipiracy messages being ignored by the teen- and college-age set, the entertainment industry is attempting to indoctrinate far younger disciples.
Representatives from the Entertainment Software Association, the video game industry's trade group, and the Canadian Recording Industry Association shed some light on their strategies at an antipiracy summit hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce here.
"In the 15- to 24-year-old (range), reaching that demographic with morality-based messages is an impossible proposition...which is why we have really focused our efforts on elementary school children," said Ric Hirsch, the ESA's senior vice … Read more
The upcoming reality show Kid Nation was designed to show what happens when 40 children, ages 8 to 15, are thrown together in a desert "ghost town" to manage their own community for 40 days. Parents and commentators across the country are appalled by the idea that the kids were left largely unsupervised, and that some were injured in mishaps including four children who drank bleach and one who was burned in the face with hot grease.
There aren't enough down-to-earth, Web-based tools to help you visualize a greener home. The Green Building Studio is for architects, while Lucid Design Group's energy dashboard is found only in a slim number of buildings. Yahoo's Green House is pretty, yet it can't be personalized.
But I just wasted a fine chunk of the afternoon playing with a kids' Web site that makes a great model for what I'd like to see for adults. My Abodo is an excellent, Flash-based interface that walks you through building a virtual green home. Created in part by the … Read more
Two important, if somewhat cliche, online public service videos warn teenagers about the dangers of putting photos and personal information online. My question is why it took so long for someone to come up with an educational effort to help kids understand the privacy implications of sharing their images and lives with the world online, something many of them do every day?
The videos can be viewed on the Google Blogoscoped blog. Sponsored by the Ad Council, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Project Safe Childhood in the U.S. Department of Justice, they are part of … Read more
It's depressing, but the steady growth of asthma sufferers worldwide has given rise to more everyday products to deal with the disease. A few months ago, for example, we even saw a snorkel made for those with the affliction. Now, taking some design (and marketing) cues from the gadget world, a U.K. creative team has come up with the "Apod," a line of cases for the pocket inhalers used by those with the chronic respiratory ailment. The brightly colored Apods could prove especially important in de-stigmatizing the inhalers because so many asthma sufferers are children.
"Do as I say, not as I do," probably summarizes the financial advice of many parents. Intuit, by contrast, aims for its new, Web-based Quicken Kids & Money to teach young children fiscal discipline while demanding attention from parents in the process. This $99 yearly subscription includes browser-based interfaces for parents and their 5- to 8-year-olds. The time seems ripe for an interactive service like this, given advertisers' colossal efforts to capture the hearts and minds of children along with the wallets of their parents.
Designed for integration into household habits rather than as a babysitting tool, Quicken … Read more
Sometimes, when parental fogyism gets the better of us, we just have to ask why. Why, for example, would you want to encourage a child to learn text messaging before they need to? Won't they be retreating to their secluded corners with device in hand soon enough?
Mattel apparently wants to accelerate adolescent isolation by introducing the $65 "IM-Me," kind of a training-wheels version of a texting phone or SMS device that we spotted on Gadgets Weblog. About the only good thing we can see is that it doesn't require a two-year contract, working instead only … Read more