This week’s 4cast:
1. Don’t Be Afraid of the Internet…
A new report from the National School Board Association finds that in spite of widespread fears about predators, porn, and potty language, social networking websites are actually pretty safe for children. Furthermore, teachers should be creating more educational opportunities for students to use them.
- Study: Fears over kids’ online safety overblown (Ars Technica)
- Schoolboards: net dangers over-rated; bring social networks to school (TECH.BLORGE)
- Teach Your Children (YALSA)
- A Timely Report in Time for School (Stephen’s Lighthouse)
2. … Unless You’re Running for Office
A U.S. Senate Committee recently approved the Child Safe Viewing Act of 2007, which would require the development of V-chip-like filtering technology for the Internet, cell phones, and just about any device that displays or relays electronic content.
- It’s super V-chip to the rescue of kids (Reuters)
- Senate Committee Votes to Expand TV Ratings Technology To Internet (Threat Level)
- “Child Safe Viewing Act of 2007” (“V-chip 2.0”) (Infothought)
- Mr. Rogers (not that MisterRogers) Dirty Neighborhood on the Web (LISNews)
3. Anything You Can Do, I Can Do More Privately
All of the major search engines are aggressively engaged in a so-called “privacy war” as they try to win over customers. According to a report by the Center for Democracy and Technology (PDF), each one has made recent, significant policy changes that allow users to search the ‘Net more anonymously.
- Study: Search Engine Privacy Policies Improving (PC World)
- Privacy winning search engine war (Press Esc)
- How search engines rate on privacy (CNET)
- Privacy and Alternatives (hakia Blog)
4. Woe is Broadband?
In recent months, observers have begun to realize that when compared to much of the industrialized world, broadband Internet access in the United States is expensive, slow, and still unavailable to far too many people.
- The $200 Billion Rip-Off: Our broadband future was stolen. (I, Cringely. The Pulpit.)
- FCC Commissioner: US playing “Russian roulette with broadband and Internet” (Ars Technica)
- Broadband Commentary from the Pew (Stephen’s Lighthouse)
- why the digital divide is a library issue (librarian.net)