"Knowledge is good."
At least it was at Faber College, and around any household that contains one or two teenagers.
Teenagers test the legal limits of speech in online diaries such as Xanga, and parents and school districts try to take a hard look at what s being said.
Their reactions vary.
An Eastern Iowa school district, unable to filter the popular blogging tool off campus, recently blocked Xanga bogging in school (these students have time to blog during school?).
A New Britain, Connecticut high school drum major called on the American Civil Liberties Union for help after being disciplined for a profanity-laced entry in his online journal.
Sometimes kids say nice things, and sometimes they say inappropriate things.
Since Xanga subgroups are fairly interlocked, kids are reading their classmates entries fairly closely, and will (or should) check or chastise a classmate when someone gets too far out of line.
Lamenting the lost art of letter writing? Don t think that kids are reading and writing as much as their parents used to? You d be surprised.
Xanga allows teenagers to work out issues, vent, and learn a ton of information about their peers. It can also allow savvy parents and school officials a heads-up, and to steer kids teetering toward the edges back into productive patterns.
Should parents use any means necessary to find information that can thwart trouble?
Unlimited privacy spells danger for teenagers. There s a time and a place for everything, and that place is college.
Would you rather have a clue as to trouble brewing, or would you rather be surprised?
I like surprises, but knowledge is good.
Websense, a web filtering company, warns that hackers are baiting blogs with malicious software and programs to avoid traditional security measures. The company says that it has seen examples of hackers creating a blog loaded with keylogging software or viral code accessed by an address sent out through instant messenger or spam.
Again, heads up on unsolicited IM or e-mail.
Websense estimates that bad blogs might number a mere 200 (out of 8 million in existence), but it s a trend to watch.
Glasgow-based Franz Ferdinand is about to give fans a look at their upcoming second recording. The band s Web site contains a video diary where fans will have "access to the recording process." The band says that it will update the diary and release exclusive tracks from their new recording, ahead of the official release date. An idea 30 years past due that we would have traded to view your average out-of-control 70s set of Spinal Tappers.
Some eye-catching numbers from the Carnegie Corporation s "Abandoning the News" study of 18-to-34-year-old news consumers:
19% read a newspaper daily
17% read it once a month or less
12% said they "never" read a paper to get their news.
44% visited a Web news portal every day
37% watch local TV news daily
14% called the newspaper their most important source.
31% called local TV newscasts their most important source.
25% called the Internet their most important source.
For the third consecutive week, the most-searched American Idol contestant is Constantine Maroulis, who was No. 32 on last week s Lycos 50, pulling ahead of Bo Bice in search activity. The most-searched American Idols in order:
1. Constantine Maroulis
2. Bo Bice
3. Carrie Underwood
4. Nadia Turner
5. Scott Savol
6. Mikalah Gordon
7. Anwar Robinson
8. Anthony Fedorov
9. Lindsey Cardinale
10. Vonzell Soloman.
Don t bet the farm on Fedorov or Soloman. They received the same amount of search activity as former Idol contestant William Hung.
Only 52 days remaining before the June 18 Grandma s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota. Training partner Lorrie only thought she was repaired, and will have to resort to cycling for any chance at a comfortable marathon in eight short weeks. Goofy weather plagued The Dart Frog Dash 5K last Saturday at the Toledo Zoo. Wearing shorts to run in rain/sleet/snow was painful but productive as my goal evolved into finishing the course as fast as possible in order to get warm.