Move over iTunes, the United Statesgovernment is now offering free apps for
iPhones, Android phones and Blackberrys. While only a few such apps are available
at this time, more are sure to come. In the meantime, they are all free and
cover such things as My TSA (offering security wait times at airports), Product
Recalls, the FBI’s Most Wanted, US Postal Service Tools and Find Your Embassy
(for when you are abroad). Check it out!
In its annual future
of social relations survey, the Pew
Internet & American Life Projectasked 895 experts how
e-mail, social networking sites and video conferencing among other applications
are redefining the way we think of relationships. Some of the most interesting
feedback was on online reputations. Here is one thought that you might leave
with kids … “For better or worse, technology makes the citizenry its own Big
Brother. Some will welcome this as transparency; others will feel oppressed.” -Stuart Schechter, a researcher for Microsoft.
Interested in the
latest iPhone apps? Then you may want to download the Big App
Showto your iPhone. It is the
latest brainstorm of Adam Curry, who as a podcaster in the 2000s, became known
as The Podfather. On the show Curry delivers breezy two- to four-minute
features on "really cool" apps. He plays with the app on an iPhone so
users can see how it works, rather than forcing them to stare at static
screenshots. It is estimated that consumers will download nearly 15 billion
apps this year alone.
It’s summer vacation time, but it’s also time for kids to
work on skills they’ll need for success. No kid wants to do worksheets, but
many enjoy learning through fun areas online. Math tutor and writer Rebecca
Zook offers these suggestions for great math sites to visit: Multiplication
Hip-Hop for Kids, a rapping way to learn the multiplication tables; Rockin’ the
Standards, fun sing-a-longs for math learning; DreamBox Learning, over 500 math games for
K-3; and KidCalc
7-in1 Math Fun, animated calculator and flashcards for iPhone and iPad.
Curious about whether kids would want to head to these sites or apps over
vacation, I went to each of them and tried one of the activities. Well, I admit
I’m not exactly a kid, but I had a great time and I think the kids will as
well. I’m still singing some of the songs.
A nationwide campaign is on
to recruit young techies into careers defending the Internet. Everybody
from the federal government to education gurus and giant military contractors
are trying to recruit a new cadre of techies specially trained to go after data thieves, online scammers and cyberspies.
And just how are they going about doing this? Competitions that pit tech-savvy
youths in mock warfare against professional hackers are one popular way to
gauge young techies expertise. Training at both the university and community
college level are also much more widely available, as are initiatives to
attract grade schoolers to the career track. For example, new math exercises
ask elementary students to calculate the total permutations of a four-digit