Now that Facebook has gone public and seems to have hit a wall ensnaring new users, the social network is apparently chasing a new demographic: preteens. According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is considering allowing kids under 13 to have their own profiles on the social network.Getting kids onboard should be the easy part. The real challenge might be getting the rest of us to stick around when Mark Zuckerberg cranks open the floodgates. Here’s why allowing kids on Facebook could begin the slow decline of Facebook as we know it.Didn’t we already learn this lesson?Allow me to take you back in time, to a point when the concept of sharing on the Internet was just taking shape. People were signing up to this new site where it was dead easy to create your own little slice of the Web. You could customize the background on the page, post pictures, and write missives about what you’ve been up to since you left college/high school/prison.Anyone you ever had contact … [Read more...] about Opinion: Why Facebook is better off without preteens
Why mobile phones should be allowed in school
closed its remaining 567 retail outlets on March 8, 2009, sending a total of 34,000 former employees into the jobless ranks. Circuit City posted losses in seven of its final eight quarters, a familiar scenario in the consumer electronics sector during one of the most brutal economic downturns in history. Tower Records, once an international icon in the music biz, went kaput in late 2006. Specialty audio-video shop Tweeter filed for bankruptcy protection in 2006 and met its maker two years later, the same year electronics and gifts retailer The Sharper Image also crashed and burned. Into this epidemic of closures, layoffs, and assorted recessionary evils, you, the innocent consumer, wade. You’re aware of the economic climate, you’ve quite likely been impacted yourself, and your thoughts are with those who’ve been most personally affected. Yet you know life goes on, and you wonder if this is a good time to procure one or two or more of those electronic gadgets … [Read more...] about Buying Tech & Gadgets in a Recession
If you participate in a NCAA Tournament pool each year, you’ve probably spent many a work hour obsessively refreshing scores. TPS reports be damned! You have to keep your eye on potential bracket busters as games come down to the wire.Thankfully, those days are done, as the NCAA’s March Madness Live website and associated iOS and Android apps now allow you to watch any game, anytime, anywhere, on any connected device capable of streaming video. And the best part of all is: It’s free! … sort of.“Within 5 years I anticipate that more than half of our customers will be watching the majority of their video in over-the-top fashion.”In the past, streamers needed to pay a small fee ($5 in 2012) to access the games, but this year fans with a cable subscription can tune in to any game at no extra charge. Fans without one can get any game broadcast on CBS for free, but after a four hour preview, they’ll be prompted to provide their subscription … [Read more...] about Why do sports fans get all the live streaming love?
When we think of virtual reality at the moment, we think most often of video games and extreme sports videos. But a hidden storytelling power lies deep within the medium. It offers a more valuable form of escapism for those who really need it, and an immersive educational experience that can raise awareness of issues that may otherwise go unnoticed. Fugitives Editorial and StoryUP are two creative agencies producing immersive content for these very purposes, putting VR to work not just for entertainment, but for social good.Digital Trends recently spoke with both companies, and each offered a unique perspective on creating VR content. StoryUP has worked almost exclusively in the medium since the company’s founding, whereas Fugitives Editorial comes from a traditional video background and just completed its first VR project.Putting people in someone else’s shoesStoryUP got its start producing immersive videos of World War II memorials, allowing veterans too old or too ill to … [Read more...] about How VR can help humanity by putting you in someone else’s shoes
The first cell phone I ever purchased was the original Motorola Razr. I actually resisted the cell phone revolution until 2004 when Motorola’s super-thin phone lured me in, but I was already in my late twenties by then. These days, no one waits until they’re on the brink of 30 years old to get a phone. Cell phones and smartphones are becoming a must-have item on every kid’s wish list. It’s not about making phone calls; it’s about having a camera, audio player, gaming device, web browser, and the ability to access social media and send texts.Mobile phones are an important invention for the human race. They have definitely changed the way the world communicates and they will continue to do so. Most of us own some kind of mobile phone. According to The World Bank‘s fairly conservative estimate, 75 percent of the world’s population has access to a mobile phone. So how old should a child reach — what milestone — before its … [Read more...] about How old should you have to be to own a smartphone?
Mobility, intuitive cloud-based tools, iPads, iPhones, and social media have forever transformed the sales ecosystem. Across all industries and sectors, salespeople are no longer chained to a desk or landline, and managers and executives agree that integrated technology makes selling more efficient. The biggest challenge is getting salespeople to adapt to new technologies and finding tools that tackle tedious tasks and make time for more deals.Where there's WiFi, there's a way to communicate with and learn about clients both professionally and personally, and capture and input data. However, salespeople want tools that eliminate the burden of re-entering the same information. Most sales managers believe that a deal is owned by both the client and the salesperson, but there's mixed opinion when it comes to monitoring employees. Some say it's spying, while others see it as accountability, and most salespeople spend a good deal of time on social media or other tools that reveal their … [Read more...] about EXPERT ADVICE It’s an Intuitive, Integrated, Cloudy, Mobile World
The iPad 2 has made its entrance, and by next week it'll go up for grabs. There's been a lot of anticipation for what Apple would do with its next tablet now that rivals have showed up with their own tablets that beat the original iPad's specs -- granted, they were mostly demo units.Steve Jobs himself showed up to kick off the proceedings. They opened with a reference to iBooks and how Apple just signed on Random House as a participating publisher. Could be a bid to reassure customers who are worried that its strict purchasing rules will squeeze Kindle out of the App Store. Or maybe I'm just paranoid.Anyway, the new iPad's chassis is lighter and thinner than the previous model's, and Apple finally included a couple of cameras, front and back. iPad 2 also does 1080p HD video output, but not through an HDMI port on the body. You actually have to plug an auxiliary cord into the standard dock to do HDMI out. Cord goes for 40 bucks.As for the its guts: There's a new dual-core A5 chip, which … [Read more...] about WEEKLY RECAP Tablet Wars Begin in Earnest
U.S. military service members who want to keep up with friends and family back home have often turned to social networking Web sites to stay in touch. But the Department of Defense hasn't quite made up its mind whether these kinds of sites are friends or enemies.It definitely loves social networking when it comes to recruiting -- you can follow or friend any and all branches if you're thinking about joining up. Once you're in, though, you might find yourself a little -- or a lot -- more restricted. The DoD's concerns center on security, but it seems that different branches currently have different stances on the matter.Just this week, the Marine Corps banned the use of military computers for cyber-socializing. Meanwhile, service members in other branches still have access. Policies could become more uniform by October, after the DoD finishes reviewing the security risks associated with the sites. One of the big concerns, as always, is the risk that someone may unintentionally spill … [Read more...] about THIS WEEK IN TECH Security, Sanity and Social Networking in the Ranks
Cisco isn't content to just sell products for the deepest, darkest innards of the data center. It's also got its eye on consumer technology.It already has Linksys, which sells stuff like home network routers, and Scientific Atlanta, which does set-top boxes. Soon it will add Pure Digital Technologies, the company that makes the Web-friendly Flip Video camera.Cisco has agreed to pay US$590 million for the relatively young company, and it's also shelling out $15 million in bonuses to make sure Pure Digital employees stay put. So what's an outfit like Cisco going to do with a pocket-sized video camera designed for the YouTube crowd?Well, it's just one more piece in the puzzle -- if they have your home router, your set-top box and your camera, maybe they can give you live chat on the big screen. Home use? Enterprise use? Who knows? Really, any kind of use is good for Cisco, because as more and more data-heavy video files go flying around the Internet, companies need to buy more big … [Read more...] about WEEKLY RECAP Merger Madness: Love Is in the Air