At the 2007 Tokyo auto show, automotive equipment maker Denso demonstrated technology for cars that monitors a driver's gaze. The system uses a camera to scan the driver's face and will continuously monitor where the driver is looking. The technology also employs cameras to monitor the car's surroundings, and will alert the driver to anything significant he or she might have missed. For example, if you are looking off to the right, and a kid runs into the street from the left, the car can alert you, or even hit the brakes. Denso's technology can also … Read more
NEW YORK--Facebook appears to be making peace with New York's aggressive attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo.
At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon at Cuomo's office in downtown Manhattan, the attorney general along with Facebook vice president and chief privacy officer Chris Kelly unveiled a joint plan to address concerns about sexual predators on the fast-growing social-networking site.
"This did start out as an investigation," Kelly explained to the room full of reporters and photographers, "but it has turned into a great cooperative effort that we hope the whole industry will follow."
Cuomo had … Read more
Anne Milgram, the attorney general for the state of New Jersey, issued a subpoena on Monday against popular social-networking site Facebook, requesting that the company turn over information as to whether registered sex offenders have profiles on the site. The return date for the subpoena is October 12.
Milgram's office has additionally sent letters to 11 other social networking sites, asking that they release similar data. It's unclear as to which social-networking sites those are; representatives for the attorney general's office were not immediately available for comment.
"This is a matter of public safety, and more … Read more
A couple of weeks ago, I gave you some of the top antivirus apps for your PC. The programs I listed were my picks for reliable free and shareware antivirus software that you could use right away.
Though having a good virus program is crucial to online safety, it's not enough to stop all intruders. Another extremely important line of defense is the software firewall. Some believe you need a hardware firewall (like as a function of your router, for example) to keep all intruders away from your system. But for most people (me included), a good software firewall offers plenty of protection against attacks and also against software on your hard drive that might be trying to contact "the mother ship" without your knowledge.… Read more
The office of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has stepped up its warnings against social-networking site Facebook, with a representative from the office saying the company may face a consumer fraud charge for misrepresenting how safe the site is for minors. The problem, according to an Associated Press story, is that Facebook claims its closed-site model makes the service safer for minors than other social networks, and that privacy and harassment concerns receive prompt responses.
The attorney general's office says those asserations simply aren't true. "We expect an immediate correction eliminating the dangers exposed by our … Read more
A recent AAA survey names some of the most common -- and potentially dangerous -- auto ailments. Fortunately, all of these maladies can be prevented with a little care and attention. Here are the top culprits:
5. Worn-out windshield wiper blades. Old, torn, or cracked wiper blades can greatly reduce visibility when driving in bad weather. Experts recommend changing blades at least once a year, or when streaking begins.
4. Low or dirty oil. Low oil levels can cause overheating and severe engine damage, since there is not enough fluid to lubricate all of the engine's moving parts. Dirty … Read more
When you look at technological generation gaps, the ubiquity of cell phones is one of the dividing lines between youth and "elders." Today's teens can't imagine life without cell phones, and if you walk across a college campus you'll see students glued to their phones seemingly at every waking moment.
On the adult authority figure side of this divide, some school districts, including Cleveland and New York City, are trying to ban cell phones outright. Now I can understand an "out-of-sight, out of trouble" approach, but the strictest bans prohibit the devices anywhere on campus, even in the bottom of a backpack or a locker. Kids are ingenious in their attempts to come up with creative ways around the ban, everything from hiding a phone in a sandwich roll to parking the devices for a fee at a nearby store. … Read more
Information is the new currency. When it comes to social-networking sites and many other online enterprises, your attention is the product that is being sold. So it is not surprising that data mining, particularly efforts to link your online behavior to specific opportunities to market to you, is an exploding trend.
Data mining in itself is not inherently good or bad, but it raises many social issues whose implications we all need to understand and include in our ongoing dialogue. Data mining has benefits, including an opportunity to create a customized online experience that truly serves you better. Misuses can lead to serious breaches of privacy. I encountered several stories on data mining Tuesday that caught my attention.… Read more
It's back to school time, and Internet safety expert Linda Criddle has come up with homework for schools, students and parents: Do a safety checkup of your school's Web site to ensure that it is not making too much personal information publicly available.
She has created Guidelines for Safer School Web Sites to help schools cope with the new realities of our information society. News that can be appropriately shared within a school community--student names, team affiliations, sports practice times, and photos, for example--can expose students to considerable risk for misuse when shared with the whole world online.… Read more
Like the GPS-enabled school uniforms we wrote about earlier this month, the notion of bulletproof backpacks for students is sure to provoke mixed reaction.
Some people will call the invention an overreaction, while others will view it as a wise protective gadget. It's sad--and sobering--to think that a bulletproof backpack could prove a practical back-to-school purchase, but it's not so far-fetched an idea in these days of campus violence.
MJ Safety Solutions, a Massachusetts company run by three dads, has developed what it says is the first full-size, lightweight ballistic protection backpack that's affordable and practical for … Read more