La verdad sobre los niños y las redes sociales – El Mostrador

Hace unas semanas, un informe sobre el impacto de las redes sociales en la salud mental de los niños británicos me llamó la atención. En una encuesta realizada a 1,500 jóvenes de todo el Reino Unido, la Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) exploró cómo las plataformas como Instagram, Snapchat y Facebook alimentaban la ansiedad, la depresión y la falta de sueño de los niños.

Fuente: La verdad sobre los niños y las redes sociales – El Mostrador


Is our smartphone addiction damaging our children? | Rowan Davies | Opinion | The Guardian

Research has found a link between ‘technoference’ and poor child behaviour. The need for light relief is very human, but perhaps we can find a happier balance

Fuente: Is our smartphone addiction damaging our children? | Rowan Davies | Opinion | The Guardian


Reuben Paul, el niño de 11 años que hackea ositos de peluche y ya tiene su propia empresa de ciberseguridad – El Mostrador

Este joven estadounidense, un prodigio de la informática, se llama a sí mismo “ciberninja” y a través de su propia empresa quiere “educar a la gente, enseñarles cosas nuevas” sobre la seguridad en el mundo cibernético.

Fuente: Reuben Paul, el niño de 11 años que hackea ositos de peluche y ya tiene su propia empresa de ciberseguridad – El Mostrador


My Friend Cayla: la muñeca prohibida en Alemania que espía a tu familia

La línea de muñecas “My Friend Cayla” ha sido prohibida en Alemania, luego que el gobierno del país europeo descubriera que éstas eran utilizadas para grabar y guardar datos de sus usuarios sin su consentimiento.

Fuente: My Friend Cayla: la muñeca prohibida en Alemania que espía a tu familia


A cellphone is no substitute for a midwife, African tech prodigy warns | World news | The Guardian

Since the information platform launched in 2012 the young entrepreneur has been heralded as a saviour of Cameroon’s mothers and children, but he is very clear that a mobile phone can never replace a midwife. Nor should governments stop investing in energy infrastructure because people are using solar lanterns, or stop supporting teachers because children are learning with ebooks.

Fuente: A cellphone is no substitute for a midwife, African tech prodigy warns | World news | The Guardian


Is the internet killing our brains? | Education | The Guardian

The fear that the human brain cannot cope with the onslaught of information made possible by the latest development was first voiced in response to the printing press, back in the sixteenth century. Swap “printing press” for “internet” and you have the exact same concerns today, regularly voiced in the mainstream media, and usually focused on children.But is there any legitimacy to these claims? Or are they just needless scaremongering?

Fuente: Is the internet killing our brains? | Education | The Guardian


Facebook backs down from ‘napalm girl’ censorship and reinstates photo | Technology | The Guardian

“After hearing from our community, we looked again at how our Community Standards were applied in this case. An image of a naked child would normally be presumed to violate our Community Standards, and in some countries might even qualify as child pornography. In this case, we recognize the history and global importance of this image in documenting a particular moment in time.”

Fuente: Facebook backs down from ‘napalm girl’ censorship and reinstates photo | Technology | The Guardian


Twitteracción: Tenemos 5 días hábiles para solicitar el veto del Presidente, ayudanos! – Blog Parlamento Abierto

El proyecto de ley “De protección de los niños, niñas y adolescentes contra contenidos nocivos en internet” busca instalar filtros que bloqueen “contenidos nocivos” para la niñez en las redes de acceso público a internet, lo que podría resultar en el alza de la censura previa y la imposibilidad de que adultos accedan a material al que sí están facultados a ver.

Fuente: Twitteracción: Tenemos 5 días hábiles para solicitar el veto del Presidente, ayudanos! – Blog Parlamento Abierto


Unicef propone usar WhatsApp para identificar fácilmente a los refugiados

La idea es tener acceso a los números de teléfono con los que se registraron en la aplicación, considerando que es el sistema que todos utilizan para seguir en contacto con sus familiares y amigos en sus países de origen.

Fuente: Unicef propone usar WhatsApp para identificar fácilmente a los refugiados


Jueza acude a Tribunales para que bajen su video de YouTube – FayerWayer

Constanza Feilú exige el retiro de un video en el que se le acusa de vulnerar los derechos de los niños, a raíz de una decisión que no gustó a uno de los miembros de la agrupación.

Fuente: Jueza acude a Tribunales para que bajen su video de YouTube – FayerWayer


Child porn suspect jailed indefinitely for refusing to decrypt hard drives | Ars Technica

A Philadelphia man suspected of possessing child pornography has been in jail for seven months and counting after being found in contempt of a court order demanding that he decrypt two password-protected hard drives.

Fuente: Child porn suspect jailed indefinitely for refusing to decrypt hard drives | Ars Technica


Your kids want to make Minecraft YouTube videos – but should you let them? | Technology | The Guardian

Don’t put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington. But in 2016, what if the stage is YouTube, and your daughter (or son) is demanding to be put on it, playing Minecraft?That’s the dilemma facing a growing number of parents, whose children aren’t just watching YouTube Minecraft channels like The Diamond Minecart, Stampy and CaptainSparklez – they want to follow in their blocky footsteps.

Fuente: Your kids want to make Minecraft YouTube videos – but should you let them? | Technology | The Guardian


Una plataforma gratuita para mejorar el rendimiento escolar en un solo click – El Mostrador

Cursos acerca de “cómo se enlazan los átomos”, “el cálculo de derivadas”, “el ajustes de las reacciones químicas”, o “la impresión en 3D”, son algunos de los que se pueden encontrar en la plataforma de educación digital gratuita StembyMe (http://www.stembyme.com); una página dirigida a jóvenes de entre 14 y 18 años que cursan la enseñanza media y que quieren mejorar su rendimiento escolar.Esta iniciativa de Fundación Telefónica fue estrenada en 2015 en España, Colombia y Perú. Y ahora está lista para su lanzamiento en Chile.

Fuente: Una plataforma gratuita para mejorar el rendimiento escolar en un solo click – El Mostrador


PDI lanza campaña de prevención contra el grooming – El Mostrador

PDI lanza campaña de prevención contra el grooming – El Mostrador.

El grooming es una práctica de la que son víctimas miles de niños y jóvenes alrededor del mundo, donde un adulto se hace pasar por alguien más joven con el fin de ganar su amistad y posteriormente cometer abusos en su contra. En la campaña lanzada por la PDI y en la que el actor Augusto Schuster es rostro, se busca crear conciencia sobre los riesgos que corren los menores en internet.


La red social para madres donde los niños solo son la excusa | Verne EL PAÍS

La red social para madres donde los niños solo son la excusa | Verne EL PAÍS.


Unos dos millones de personas visitan cada mes Charhadas, una plataforma para compartir consejos y consultar dudas sobre la maternidad

Una madre intenta ordenar el salón con la excasa colaboración de su hija
Una madre intenta ordenar el salón con la excasa colaboración de su hija

 

Carmen Escalona y Belén Martí Junco aglutinan desde 2009 los consejos de madres para madres que se pierden en la maraña de internet y de la memoria. El contenedor tiene forma de red social y se llama Charhadas. A este espacio acuden cada mes dos millones de usuarios en busca de la solución a los piojos, la tienda donde comprar leotardos aunque haya empezado la primavera o el mejor lugar para celebrar el cumpleaños de un bebé, entre otras muchas dudas que surgen con la maternidad.  “Es una comunidad para mujeres, no para niños”, especifica Escalona, y se organiza en foros, grupos y blogs autogestionados por algunas de las 200.000 personas registradas, una mayoría de mujeres.

Charhadas apareció en la red cuando el fenómeno de las madres contando sus buenas o malas experiencias de primerizas en formato blog comenzaba. Seis años después, creen que la clave para la que han sobrevivido al boom está en haber acompañado a las mujeres en la siguiente etapa de la maternidad: “Nos dimos cuenta de que había mucha información sobre el recién nacido, pero nadie hablaba del resto de la infancia hasta la adolescencia”.


Gaming: don’t think it’s all bad for kids. It can be a step to a creative future | Technology | The Guardian

Gaming: don’t think it’s all bad for kids. It can be a step to a creative future | Technology | The Guardian.

The journey from playing to designing and making games can be a short one, and brings rich educational rewards for children

Project Spark
An image from Project Spark, a program that can be used to design and make games.

Despite their ubiquity, despite the vast sales and the increasing calls for the medium to be recognised as an artform, video games – that most obviously visual of media – still have an image problem. And it is more than superficial, it goes to the heart of the home, where concerned parents worry about the deleterious effect on their sons and daughters. However, while the evils of gaming rhetoric may make the most noise, parents who have fears may be intrigued to know that it is not the only story in town.

Children themselves are now refuting the stereotype that gaming is a mindless, pointless hobby, as the flexibility of the medium allows them to grow from player to creator. And the game-makers agree: “Games as a medium always involve creativity on the player’s part,” says Benjamin Donoghue, creative director at Blackstaff Games. “Creativity is about exploring what you can do within a defined set of rules.” Blackstaff is currently working on DogBiscuit: The Quest for Crayons, a drawing game for mobile devices in which the player designs parts of the game world.


Should the UK age restrict porn – and if so, is it even viable? | Technology | The Guardian

Should the UK age restrict porn – and if so, is it even viable? | Technology | The Guardian.

 pornAge verification of hardcore pornography is likely to damage free porn sites and may not be effective at stopping minors from accessing the adult content. But is it right to try? Photograph: Alamy

Access to pornography is recurring subject of much debate and strong views, and it’s back in the news again. The Conservatives have vowed to take existing filtering one stage further if they win the 2015 general election – if the party wins they plan to force adult content sites to employ strict age verification or be blocked from the internet. But is it possible, should it be done and is such a strict practice really needed?


Parents! Focus less on worrying about Minecraft and more on understanding it | Technology | The Guardian

Parents! Focus less on worrying about Minecraft and more on understanding it | Technology | The Guardian.

Millions of kids are obsessed with Mojang’s crafting game, but understanding it rather than fearing it is a good first step for parents

Children love Minecraft, but is that something to worry about?
Children love Minecraft, but is that something to worry about? Photograph: Voisin/Phanie/Rex

A lot of people are getting hot under the collar about the BBC’s article on Minecraft, children and parenting, written by journalist Jolyon Jenkins.

Should parents ever worry about Minecraft? asks whether Minecraft is entirely healthy for kids, from addiction and lessening interest in the real world through to the prospect of “children being digitally mugged” by other players.

Jenkins clearly knows that he’ll have critics, referring to “Minecraft’s champions”, “the other side” and “the opposition” in the piece when suggesting how they might try to counter his arguments, setting this up as a battle.

At this point, as someone who writes regularly about children and technology – Minecraft included – I’m probably expected to saddle up and charge into battle, laying waste to Jenkins’ arguments.

He does make some points worth talking about in a much more balanced and less adversarial way. But my main response boils down to this: wouldn’t it be better for parents to understand Minecraft rather than worry about it?

Because once they understand the game and what their children are getting out of it, they’ll have a much better base of knowledge to make parenting decisions about and around it – from setting time limits to ensuring it’s complemented by other activities.


La innovación se sale del mapa | Planeta Futuro | EL PAÍS

La innovación se sale del mapa | Planeta Futuro | EL PAÍS.

Unicef utiliza la tecnología móvil para mejorar la vida de los niños. En todo el mundo existen ahora unos 270 proyectos en desarrollo

 

 

 

 

En un mapa interactivo que se actualiza casi a diario, Unicef da cuenta de cómo aprovechan la tecnología móvil y el uso de la información en tiempo real para mejorar la vida de los niños en todo el mundo. A día de hoy se desarrollan 270 proyectos y hay muchos más en fase piloto o incluso tomando forma en la cabeza de sus creadores. Casi siempre hay un teléfono móvil muy básico implicado y un tráfico de datos más lento de lo que toleraríamos en los países desarrollados, pero estas herramientas, usadas con altas dosis de creatividad, son suficientes para solucionar problemas de salud, educación, infraestructuras, logística o educación.

 

La clave es facilitar el acceso de información a las poblaciones vulnerables que de esa manera podrán tomar las mejores decisiones sobre asuntos claves para su supervivencia.

 

Veamos algunos ejemplos:


ADHD and the relentless internet – is there a connection? | Technology | The Guardian

ADHD and the relentless internet – is there a connection? | Technology | The Guardian.

Hyperactivity disorders are now the second most diagnosed childhood conditions in the US behind asthma, with 20% of college students sufffering

A young boy at a computer
‘Our brain grows and changes according to our experiences.’ So is the effect of the internet mimicking ADHD? Photograph: Alamy

The internet might make you feel hyperactive, but do you really have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?

Michael Pietrus PsyD, coordinator of the ADHD assessment protocol at the University of Chicago, explains how the internet encourages behaviour that at least mimics ADHD, and can exacerbate the condition in people who have it already.

Pietrus looks after many students at the college who feel the effects of academic and social pressure. In the US, 11% of children between four and 17 now have a diagnosis of ADHD and the rates have been going up by 5% every year from 2003 to 2011. It’s now the most commonly diagnosed condition for children in the US after asthma. Twenty per cent of the US college population now have ADHD, which appears as hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity, and are at higher risk of substance abuse and self medication, depression and a host of other consequent conditions.

“People with ADHD are hardwired for novelty seeking, which until recently was an evolutionary advantage,” said Pietrus, speaking at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. ADHD sufferers have fewer dopamine receptors, which means that a normally interesting activity seems less rewarding or even boring.

No one can explain the increase in ADHD in the US, Pietrus said. “People engage in compulsion for all sorts of reasons and often because of the way their personality extends into the online space. But compulsive behaviour is reinforced and rewarded, and that has an impact on the ability to plan and organise as well as focus on tasks and self regulate our behaviour.”


Privacy fears over 'smart' Barbie that can listen to your kids | Technology | The Guardian

Privacy fears over ‘smart’ Barbie that can listen to your kids | Technology | The Guardian.

Hello Barbie toy
 Hello Barbie listens to children using cloud-based voice recognition technology, to understand them and talk back. Photograph: Mattel

A “smart” Barbie doll that can have “conversations” with children should not go on sale, privacy advocates have said.

Billed as the world’s first “interactive doll”, the toy uses voice recognition technology similar to that employed by Apple’s Siri and Google’s Now digital assistants to understand what a child is saying to Barbie and respond.

However, privacy advocates are worried about the use of voice recognition technology that sends recordings of children to third-party companies for processing, potentially revealing his or her intimate thoughts and details.

“If I had a young child, I would be very concerned that my child’s intimate conversations with her doll were being recorded and analysed,” said Professor Angela Campbell of Georgetown University law school.

“In Mattel’s demo, Barbie asks many questions that would elicit a great deal of information about a child, her interests, and her family. This information could be of great value to advertisers and be used to market unfairly to children.”


My husband looks at pornography while he’s taking care of our baby girl | Life and style | The Guardian

My husband looks at pornography while he’s taking care of our baby girl | Life and style | The Guardian.

 

Annalisa Barbieri Problem Solved photo‘He will look at porn on his phone when I am in another room.’ Photograph posed by model: Getty Images

I have been with my husband for five years and we have just had a baby. He has always used pornography and he has quite specialist sexual tastes. At the start of our relationship, he was very honest and we tried to incorporate this into our sex life quite successfully.

However, over recent years, his use of pornography and masturbation has come at the expense of our sex life. He rarely instigates lovemaking yet masturbates and uses porn daily. He will look at it on his phone when I am in another room. He also confessed recently that he had been masturbating to porn at work.

Things came to a head with our new baby; he would hold her and still have his phone with him. I asked him not to look at porn when he was with the baby. He said of course not, but over the following weeks would still constantly have his phone with him when looking after her. Last week, he admitted he was looking at porn while he was looking after our daughter.

I was horrified and there were rows and tears. He was very sorry and ashamed and I have pushed him to go to counselling. I cannot move forward until I understand how he could do this.

I am angry and ashamed of his behaviour. We did have a very good relationship outside of his porn problems; it was loving, respectful and supportive but now I fear I can never see him in a sexual way again as I am haunted by the image of him making himself sexually aroused with our sleeping daughter feet away from him.


Un portátil para cada alumno | Planeta Futuro | EL PAÍS

Un portátil para cada alumno | Planeta Futuro | EL PAÍS.

El gobierno argentino completa el reparto de 4,7 millones de ordenadores en escuelas públicas, pero arrecian las críticas por las roturas y porque la mayoría no se usa en clase

Hace cinco años, solo el 47% de los hogares argentinos tenía ordenador. / Ministerio de Educación de Argentina

Todos los estudiantes de secundaria de escuelas públicas de Argentina ya tienen un ordenador portátil pequeño, o netbook, en sus manos. La presidenta Cristina Fernández de Kirchner anunció en diciembre que el plan Conectar Igualdad había completado la entrega de 4,7 millones de equipos, incluidos también los que han ido a manos de los docentes y los alumnos de profesorados. Hasta los críticos del plan, que comenzó en 2010, reconocen que ha sido un éxito como medio para reducir la brecha digital. Hace cinco años, solo el 47% de los hogares argentinos tenía ordenador. Con Conectar Igualdad, un 33% de las familias con hijos en la secundaria estatal, que antes en su inmensa mayoría carecía de equipo, ha recibido un portátil.

Algunas críticas residen en que parte de los ordenadores ya se ha roto y la reparación, a cargo del propio Estado, se demora. Un exconsejero asesor de Conectar Igualdad, Alejandro Artopoulos, que dejó hace un año su cargo, advierte de que un tercio de las computadoras entregadas no funciona y, por tanto, no se ha cerrado la brecha digital, como ha anunciado la presidenta argentina. Artopoulos denuncia que se amontonan en los despachos de los directores de las escuelas, a la espera de que el servicio estatal las recoja para reparar, o se aparcan en manos de los técnicos. Las autoridades del programa responden que solo un 3,5% de los portátiles se encuentra fuera de servicio, aunque admiten la necesidad de mejorar el sistema de reparación.

“Pero la mayor crítica es la ineficacia en incorporar tecnología en la escuela”, embiste otra vez Artopoulos, que es profesor de la Universidad de San Andrés, en la periferia de Buenos Aires, la misma donde daba clases la directora ejecutiva de Conectar Igualdad, Silvina Gvirtz. Artopoulos menciona que encuestas a las que él accedió como exfuncionario revelan que solo el 10% de los ordenadores se usa en clases. En cambio, Laura Penacca, que coordina el plan en el Ministerio de Educación, responde que sus sondeos demuestran que se utiliza más del 30%. Es decir, aún menos de la mitad.


Piden sacar las señales WiFi de colegios españoles por temor a enfermedades – BioBioChile

Piden sacar las señales WiFi de colegios españoles por temor a enfermedades – BioBioChile.


Fundación Vivo Sano

Fundación Vivo Sano

Publicado por Eduardo Woo
Una agrupación en España ha solicitado a los establecimientos educacionales retirar las señales WiFi, ante el riesgo de posibles daños a la salud que suponen estos aparatos de radiofrecuencia.

Se trata de la Fundación Vivo Sano que ha montado una campaña online con el fin de conseguir adeptos para hacer realidad la idea, de la que muchos padres, profesores y autoridades “no son conscientes”.

“Exigimos que se retiren las instalaciones WiFi de las aulas tan pronto como sea posible, pero no el apagón de la red. Abogamos por un uso racional de la tecnología, y por un acceso a Internet seguro y saludable”, explicó al diario ABC el responsable del área de contaminación electromagnética de la Fundación Vivo Sano, Raúl de la Rosa.

Lee tambiénAprueban polémica ley en España que permite cazar perros y gatos

La petición es justificada en la resolución 1815 de la Asamblea Parlamentaria del Consejo de Europa, donde se pide: “Adoptar todas las medidas razonables para reducir la exposición a los campos electromagnéticos, especialmente las radiofrecuencias emitidas por los teléfonos móviles y, en especial, la exposición de los niños y jóvenes, que al parecer corren un riesgo mayor de sufrir tumores en la cabeza”.


PlayStation Network back online, while Lizard hacker group basks in limelight | Technology | The Guardian

PlayStation Network back online, while Lizard hacker group basks in limelight | Technology | The Guardian.

The PlayStation Network, which provides the online infrastructure for Sony’s games consoles, is back online after a cyber assault on Christmas Eve. Photograph: Chesnot/Getty Images

The PlayStation Network is back online … for now.

The global gaming service used by 110m people was brought down on Christmas Eve, seemingly by a hacking group calling itself Lizard Squad. On Sunday however, Sony assured customers via its PlayStation blog that the system was now functioning.

The company also admitted for the first time that the disruption was caused by hackers who used a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack to flood the PlayStation servers with traffic, bringing access to a halt.

“As you probably know, PlayStation Network and some other gaming services were attacked over the holidays with artificially high levels of traffic designed to disrupt connectivity and online gameplay,” read the post. “This may have prevented your access to the network and its services over the last few days.”

Microsoft’s Xbox Live infrastructure was also attacked, reportedly by the same group, which revelled in its achievement via a series of tweets throughout Christmas day. However, the Xbox online infrastructure was functioning again by Boxing Day.

Formed in mid-2013, Lizard Squad has been stepping up its media profile in the wake of the Christmas attacks. In a series of interviews, two self-declared founding members have claimed that their motivations are amusement, and to highlight the security weaknesses of the systems.

“If I was working [at Microsoft or Sony] and had a big enough budget, I could totally stop these attacks,” “Ryan Cleary” (a pseudonym borrowed from an infamous LulzSec hacker) claimed to tech news site Daily Dot. “I’d buy more bandwidth, some specific equipment, and configure it correctly. It’s just about programming skill. With an attack of this scale, it could go up to the millions. But that’s really no problem for Sony and Microsoft.”

Speaking to Sky News, “Cleary” added, “These companies make tens of millions every month from subscriber fees and that doesn’t even include purchases made by their customers.

“They should have more than enough funding to be able to protect against these attacks.”

Lizard Squad has claimed that its actions against Sony and Microsoft were more sophisticated than standard DDoS attacks, which don’t usually require hackers to gain access to the target’s online infrastructure.

“There’s plenty of people saying we’re not hackers and DDoS isn’t hacking. For attacks of this scale, you can’t really do them without either having access to insane amounts of funding or being able to gain access to the computers via hacking,” “Cleary” said to Daily Dot. “You can’t just do DDoS attacks from your home computer. It doesn’t work.”

The group has even suggested that it has access to undersea cables that facilitate internet connections between the US and Europe.

But its appetite for fame may prove to be Lizard Squad’s undoing, after security journalist Brian Krebs claims to have uncovered the possible true identities of at least two members, both of whom have conducted TV interviews in the wake of the attacks.


Xbox live and Playstation attack: Christmas ruined for millions of gamers | Technology | The Guardian

Xbox live and Playstation attack: Christmas ruined for millions of gamers | Technology | The Guardian.

Millions of gamers could not use their PlayStation 4 after an apparent cyber-attack at Christmas

 Millions of gamers could not use their PlayStation 4 after an apparent cyber-attack at Christmas. Photograph: Chesnot/Getty Images

Millions of people could not use their games consoles for a second day as disruption on the Xbox Live and Sony Playstation networks continued after an apparent cyber-attack.

A group calling itself Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for bringing down both networks on Christmas Eve, which could have affected nearly 160 million gamers.

Even an intervention by eccentric internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, who offered the hackers free lifetime use of his file storage service, does not appear to have ended the attack. Known as a distributed denial of service, or DDOS, the attack is overloading the systems of both services by generating fake access requests.

Such an attack can prevent people from playing games even when they have a physical copy as newer consoles often require online authentication as an anti-piracy measure.


Un video muestra la verdadera Apple: explotación infantil y trabajadores exhaustos

Un video muestra la verdadera Apple: explotación infantil y trabajadores exhaustos.

Escrito por RT.com
Sábado, 20 de Diciembre de 2014 14:04

La BBC ha llevado a cabo una investigación en una fábrica de productos Apple en China y en Indonesia, que reveló las condiciones extremadamente malas del trabajo, como también el empleo de niños que ponen en riesgo sus vidas. Según la investigación, en Indonesia los niños sacan estaño de pozos de barro, donde los deslazamientos de tierra pueden cobrar sus vidas.

El documental de la BBC mostró cadáveres de mineros que trabajaban para Apple en Indonesia. Mientras extraían estaño de profundos pozos, muchos perecieron por deslazamientos de tierra. Según el informe, muchos niños trabajan allí con sus padres.

Apple tiene islas artificiales ilegales en Indonesia, cuenta el documental. Dragas de la compañía rastrillan la arena y el coral del fondo del mar para conseguir estaño. El coral no vuelve a crecer, dijo un científico marino en el programa documental.

El equipo también filmó en secreto a empleados de la fábrica en China y descubrió que Apple de forma rutinaria violaba los derechos de los trabajadores. El reportero vio cómo los obreros tenían que trabajar 18 horas al día sin descanso, muchos de ellos fueron grabados dormidos en sus puestos.


‘Dark web’: GCHQ and National Crime Agency join forces in hunt for child abuse | Society | The Guardian

‘Dark web’: GCHQ and National Crime Agency join forces in hunt for child abuse | Society | The Guardian.

David Cameron to announce creation of specialist unit to find identities of paedophiles sharing child-abuse images

 

 

David Cameron speaks at the #WeProtect Children online global summit in London

 

David Cameron will place Britain’s GCHQ eavesdropping agency and the National Crime Agency (NCA) at the centre of a fight to eliminate “digital hiding places for child abusers”.

 

A new joint NCA-GCHQ specialist unit is to be established to crack down on paedophiles who are using the so-called “dark web” to disguise their identities and to encrypt illegal images of children that they share with peers in what the prime minister describes as a “horrific crime”.

 

In a speech on Thursday to the #WeProtect Children online global summit in London, Cameron will say that the new joint unit will combine the technical skills of GCHQ with the investigatory expertise of the NCA to analyse child abuse images hidden on the “dark web”.


Violent video games research: consensus or confusion? | Pete Etchells & Chris Chambers | Science | theguardian.com

Violent video games research: consensus or confusion? | Pete Etchells & Chris Chambers | Science | theguardian.com.

A new paper arguing that there is consensus that violent video games cause aggression highlights the pitfalls of peer review

 

Destiny video game
Do researchers agree whether violent video games cause aggression? We don’t seem to be any closer to answering that question. Photograph: PR

 

It seems like a simple question to ask, but it is one that is apparently very difficult to answer: what are the effects of violent media on our behaviour? It’s also a question that regularly produces heated debates, both in scientific journals and in the mainstream news. However, a new study published this week in the Psychology of Popular Media Culture (PPMC) argues that there shouldn’t be a debate at all. Instead, they claim to have found a “consensus” among media researchers, paediatricians and parents, that violent media can cause aggression in children.

 

The study, by Brad Bushman and Carlos Cruz at Ohio State University, and Mario Gollwitzer at Philipps University Marburg, asked participants to complete an online survey asking them how much they agree with the statement “violent X can increase aggressive behaviour in children”, where X included a number of different types of media, ranging from comic books and literature to movies and video games. They were also asked the extent to which they agree with two other statements: one asking whether there is a causal relationship between exposure to violent media and aggression, and another asking whether media violence is a factor in real life violence.

 

According to Bushman and his team, the results pointed to a broad consensus that exposure to media violence had a negative effect on children. In a related press release, Bushman states that they “found the overwhelming majority of media researchers, parents and paediatricians agree that violent media is harmful to children.”

 

What consensus?

 

We don’t think the data are anywhere near as clear-cut as Bushman and colleagues make out. Let’s take the statement “there is a causal relationship between exposure to violent media and aggression”. Here are the results for the four groups of people:

 

data visualisation from Bushman et al 2014
Data responses to the statement “there is a causal relationship between exposure to violent media and aggression”. Data taken from Bushman et al., 2014. Figure produced by Pete Etchells. Photograph: Pete Etchells

 

As you can see, of the researchers that are potentially active in this area, 61% of media psychologists and 56% of communication scientists agree or strongly agree with that statement. Averaging across all four groups of people, 66% agree with the statement, whereas 19% don’t, and 15% are on the fence. As Meatloaf would no doubt agree, two out of three ain’t bad, but it is hardly a “consensus”.


Cops Are Handing Out Spyware to Parents—With Zero Oversight | WIRED

Cops Are Handing Out Spyware to Parents—With Zero Oversight | WIRED.

Mere days after a government crackdown on a spyware manufacturer comes the startling revelation that law enforcement agencies have been purchasing commercial spyware themselves and handing it out to the public for free.

Police departments around the country have been distributing thousands of free copies of spyware to parents to monitor their children’s activity, a fact that’s come to light in the wake of a federal indictment this week against the maker of one commercial spyware tool on wiretapping charges.

The tool being distributed by agencies, known as ComputerCOP, has been purchased in bulk by more than two hundred police departments in thirty-five states as well as by sheriff’s offices and district attorneys. It’s designed to search computers for files and videos based on a keyword dictionary that comes with the software and also can log every keystroke on a computer, sending some of that data—in an unsecured manner—to a server belonging to the company that makes the software.

But according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which examined the spyware and uncovered the arrangement with law enforcement agencies, the spyware works badly and there is nothing to prevent parents who receive it from using it against other adults.

Computer Cop Promotional Poster

Computer Cop Promotional Poster EFF

“It’s certainly ironic that law enforcement agencies are going after spyware makers while also distributing software that could be used for the same purposes,” says Dave Maas, an investigator with the EFF. “Obviously there’s a difference in how these were marketed by the maker. But certainly law enforcement needs to train their magnifying glasses on their own operations.”


Lanzamiento del libro “Generación APP” en Centro para la Vida y la Familia, 2 de octubre

Lanzamiento del libro “Generación APP” en Centro para la Vida y la Familia, 2 de octubre.

generacionapp

Los cambios de paradigma siempre provocan miedo, incertidumbre, desazón. Cuando apareció la imprenta se pensó que los seres humanos perderían la memoria; cuando surgió la televisión, los más pesimistas auguraron la muerte de la radio. Pero nada de eso pasó…

Generación App de Mónica Bulnes revisa una de las grandes preocupaciones sociales: el efecto que tendrá el uso masivo de internet y las redes sociales en las relaciones interpersonales y en la formación de niños y adolescentes. Es normal ver a jóvenes sumidos en las pantallas, pendientes de sus teléfonos y ansiosos por revisar su computador o tablet con el fin de no perderse nada, lo que genera enorme inquietud en padres que no saben cómo guiar o educar a sus hijos en este nuevo contexto. ¿Cómo entender estas nuevas formas de relacionarse? ¿Cómo educar al adolescente y advertirle de los peligros y bondades de la tecnología? Esta nueva entrega de la psicóloga Mónica Bulnes ayudará a perderle el miedo a estos avances tecnológicos y a entender que lo que motiva a los jóvenes es lo que nos movió a todos en nuestra juventud: contactar con el otro.


¿Deberíamos aprender a programar en las escuelas? | El Blog de Educación y TIC

¿Deberíamos aprender a programar en las escuelas? | El Blog de Educación y TIC.

Eduard Muntaner

Ingeniero informático experto en cooperación al desarrollo, autor del blog Com gotes a l’oceà. Actualmente combina su trabajo en UdiGital.edu en el Parque Científico y Tecnológico de la UdG, con el trabajo de cooperante voluntario en escuelas del sur de la India. Recientemente ha fundado el proyecto global Inventors4Change.

En la actualidad vivimos un boom de iniciativas que intentan acercar la programación a los niños. Algunos ejemplos podrían ser campañas como las de code.org (respaldadas por nombres como Bill Gates o Mark Zuckerberg), grandes proyectos como Codecademy, o la reciente incorporación de la asignatura obligatoria de programación web en la Comunidad de Madrid. La aparición de entornos de programación tan intuitivos como Scratch, App Inventor, plataformas abiertas como Arduino, y kits de robótica tan fáciles de usar como los LEGO Mindstorms, han creado un entorno favorable y han vuelto a poner sobre la mesa un tema que en realidad lleva estudiándose desde finales de la década de los 70: ¿Puede la programación ayudarnos a aprender de nuevas maneras y a tomar control consciente de nuestro propio aprendizaje?

Programar en clase | Tiching


Forcing a generation to code is unprecedented, says Codecademy chief | Technology | theguardian.com

Forcing a generation to code is unprecedented, says Codecademy chief | Technology | theguardian.com.

The training company claims the school coding curriculum will improve England’s digital literacy – but it all depends on the skill of teachers

Codecademy’s Zach Sims: ‘We’ve struck oil and we want to make sure we get all of it’
Codecademy’s Zach Sims: ‘We’ve struck oil, and we want to make sure we get all of it’

When US-based website Codecademy was founded in 2011, its emphasis was on adults taking online courses to learn programming skills.

Three years and 25m users later, the company has found that it is not just useful for adults. In fact, one of its big pushes in 2014 is around children and coding.

That is partly because it realised lots of children were taking its existing courses but also through partnerships with schools. Particularly in England, where from this month, coding is part of the new computing curriculum for children as young as five.

“What’s going on here is unprecedented. It hasn’t happened in any other G8 or major economy: forcing an entire country to learn programming,” says Zach Sims, Codecademy’s chief executive.

“The results will be pretty extraordinary. You’ll solve a couple of problems pretty much immediately: the IT skills gap and, hopefully, the gender gap in technology. And hopefully, you’ll raise a more digitally literate generation.”

Obvious caveats: Codecademy wants to work with more schools, so it is hardly surprising that it would talk up the curriculum changes. Meanwhile, if these changes are going to solve skill and gender gaps for the UK workforce, that is a long-term rather than immediate effect.

Still, Sims’ enthusiasm provokes some important talking points. “There’s been this persistent voicing of ‘no one really needs to learn to program’, and we always said that someday it would be in schools, but we never assumed it would be required,” says Sims.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for students to learn a skill that isn’t being taught effectively anywhere else in the world at this scale. And for us, it’s very interesting in so much as it’s the first time a state has mandated blended learning.”

Blended learning is education involving students studying courses online at their own pace, alongside traditional classroom teaching.

“It’s impossible to scale teachers at the rate at which this policy requires them to scale. So it’s the first real at-scale test of [whether] you effectively have teachers acting as facilitators with an online tool,” says Sims.


Coding at school: a parent's guide to England's new computing curriculum | Technology | theguardian.com

Coding at school: a parent’s guide to England’s new computing curriculum | Technology | theguardian.com.

From the start of the new term, children as young as five will be learning programming skills in the classroom

Coding is on the curriculum for primary and secondary school pupils in the UK.
Coding is on the curriculum for primary and secondary school pupils in the UK.Photograph: Alamy

Getting more kids to code has been a cause célèbre for the technology industry for some time. Teaching programming skills to children is seen as a long-term solution to the “skills gap” between the number of technology jobs and the people qualified to fill them.

From this month, the UK is the guinea pig for the most ambitious attempt yet to get kids coding, with changes to the national curriculum. ICT – Information and Communications Technology – is out, replaced by a new “computing” curriculum including coding lessons for children as young as five.

This has been coming for a while: the new curriculum was published in September 2013 to fanfare within the technology industry. But it seems many parents will be surprised when their children come home from school talking about algorithms, debugging and Boolean logic.

A survey of 1,020 parents of 5-18 year-olds in England commissioned by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, found that 60% were unaware or unsure about the changes to the curriculum. Similar surveys by tech firms O2 and Ocado Technology yielded similar results: 64% and 65% of parents (respectively) who were unaware of the changes.

If you’re one of those parents, here’s a guide to what your children will be studying under the new computing curriculum; why there is more of an emphasis on programming skills; how teachers have been preparing for the changes; and how you can support your children and their schools over the coming months.

Why is this happening?

The shakeup of computer studies in schools has been trailed for a while, after criticism from ministers and technology companies of the existing ICT curriculum. The education secretary (at the time), Michael Gove, outlined the political rationale for the changes in a speech this January:

“ICT used to focus purely on computer literacy – teaching pupils, over and over again, how to word-process, how to work a spreadsheet, how to use programs already creaking into obsolescence; about as much use as teaching children to send a telex or travel in a zeppelin.

Our new curriculum teaches children computer science, information technology and digital literacy: teaching them how to code,and how to create their own programs; not just how to work a computer, but how a computer works and how to make it work for you.”

This plays directly in to the complaints of technology companies that the UK has not been producing enough graduates qualified to fill vacancies. Microsoft and Google, along with BCS and its Computing at School working group, and the Royal Academy of Engineering were all involved in the new curriculum.


Online music videos to carry age rating from October, says David Cameron | Media | theguardian.com

Online music videos to carry age rating from October, says David Cameron | Media | theguardian.com.

PM announces pilot to protect children from graphic content, saying rules for online videos should be in line with content bought offline

 

 

David Cameron

David Cameron said: ‘We shouldn’t cede the internet as some sort of lawless space where the normal rules of life shouldn’t apply.’ Photograph: Christopher Furlong/PA

 

Online music videos will carry an age classification from October as part of a pilot scheme by YouTube, Vevo and the British Board of Classification to protect children from “graphic content”, David Cameron has announced.

In a speech to the Relationships Alliance on Monday, the prime minister said the rules for online videos should be brought into line with content bought offline as he admitted that he had banned his own children from viewing some videos.

Cameron said: “Helping families with children and parenting shouldn’t stop at childbirth. To take just one example – bringing up children in an internet age, you are endlessly worried about what they are going to find online. So we’ve taken a big stand on protecting our children online. We’re making family friendly filters the default setting for all new online customers, and we’re forcing existing customers to make an active choice about whether to install them.

“And today we’re going even further. From October, we’re going to help parents protect their children from some of the graphic content in online music videos by working with the British Board of Film Classification, Vevo and YouTube to pilot the age rating of these videos.”


Uruguay consolida la escuela digital | Sociedad | EL PAÍS

Uruguay consolida la escuela digital | Sociedad | EL PAÍS.

Llevar la tecnología a los más pobres y dar ordenadores a los alumnos no han mejorado por ahora los resultados académicos

Estudiantes de una escuela pública en Montevideo reciben un nuevo portátil. / andres stapff  (reuters)

Los niños del Colegio 180 de Montevideo llegan corriendo a clase, vestidos con la bata blanca y la corbata azul reglamentaria, cargados con sus mochilas de colores y un ordenador de plástico blanco y verde con asa, un portátil que recibe gratis cada alumno de los centros de enseñanza públicos de Uruguay desde 2007. Se llama XO y está dotado de un sistema operativo adaptado a los niños con propuestas didácticas como concursos de matemáticas, una biblioteca, cámara de fotos y juegos.

El Estado uruguayo lleva invertidos 400.000 dólares en el denominado Plan Ceibal, con el que se han entregado 1.200.000 ordenadores y se ha sufragado la instalación de conexión a Internet y fibra óptica en todos los centros escolares del país y en muchas plazas públicas. De hecho, Uruguay es el país con mayor conectividad de América Latina, según el índice de la Unión Internacional de Telecomunicaciones, dependiente de la ONU. Sin embargo, en estos nueve años de aplicación los resultados académicos de los colegios e institutos de secundaria uruguayos se han estancado o han retrocedido. Los portátiles han llegado a los pobres, pero no han mejorado la calidad de la educación. Una triste realidad que admiten también las autoridades.

El Colegio 180, con sus locales vetustos y sus pasillos gélidos, sin calefacción en pleno invierno, ofrece un insólito contraste entre precariedad y futurismo de pantalla. Aquí estudió primaria el cantante Jorge Drexler, en un barrio de clase media. Pero hace ya años que los hogares privilegiados de Montevideo han desertado de los colegios públicos, y la escuela igualitaria que vio Drexler no ha resistido a los sucesivos recortes presupuestarios, los salarios de miseria de los profesores y el anquilosamiento de la educación que fue el orgullo del país hasta los setenta.

La directora del centro, María del Carmen Vonella, asegura que la distribución de ordenadores “es un avance que globaliza la cultura, que también está en las manos de nuestros niños de todas las clases sociales”. En Uruguay no existe la brecha digital en la escuela. Tanto en las ciudades como en las zonas rurales más remotas, todos los niños y adolescentes pueden acceder a la informática y, de haber una discriminación, sería, paradójicamente, la de los alumnos del sector privado, que no tienen acceso a los ordenadores gratuitos. Pero esta generalización de la tecnología conlleva sus dificultades, como explica Vonella: “Todo depende del gusto del profesor por la informática y de cómo logra dosificarla e integrarla a la educación tradicional”, asegura. La mayoría de los docentes tiene problemas para sacarle partido a los ordenadores y muchas veces rechazan usarlos en clase.


Los beneficios y desventajas de los videojuegos para los niños – BioBioChile

Los beneficios y desventajas de los videojuegos para los niños – BioBioChile.

 

Leo Hidalgo (@yompyz) (CC)Leo Hidalgo (@yompyz) (CC)

 

Publicado por Marcial Parraguez

 

Es los tiempos actuales es muy común que los menores de edad desarrollen adicciones a los dispositivos tecnológicos. Celulares, consolas de videojuego, notebooks y tablets han pasado por encima de los clásicos regalos como las bicicletas o las muñecas, incluso por sobre el desarrollo común de un niño y su relación con el entorno.

La pregunta ahora es ¿esto es positivo o negativo? Estudios recientes han demostrado la diversidad de beneficios que tienen estos gadgets y, al mismo tiempo, los efectos negativos que podrían llegar a causar.

Muchos pasaron tardes divertidas jugando Atarai o Nintendo, otros prefirieron el fútbol o “las princesas”. Y las razones varían, desde lo económico a la posibilidad de socializar. Sin embargo, lo que produce en los niños cualquiera de estas dos actividades es algo muy distinto, según un estudio de Andrew Przybylski, psicólogo del Instituto de Internet Oxford publicado en la revista médica Health News.

En la investigación participaron más de 5.000 niños británicos de entre 10 y 15 años. Los menores debían decir el número de horas que jugaban ya sea frente a una consola o un computador.

El horario y sus efectos

¿Cuánto juegan los menores versus cuánto deberían jugar? En la investigación descubrieron que quienes pasaban menos de una hora con sus videojuegos eran “más propensos a ser felices, a ayudar y a ser emocionalmente estables”.

Por otro lado, estar tres horas o más produce un resultado totalmente diferente y perjudicial para la salud de cualquier menor. “Son más propensos a estar malhumorados, infelices y a portarse mal”, señala la publicación.

Y quienes juegan entre una hora y tres no sufren ningún efecto. De hecho, el equipo de investigación determinó que jugar dentro de esos rangos horarios no produce características positivas o negativas, y que los pequeños se desarrollan “más o menos como un niño que nunca juega”.


Tech-savvy kids, don’t become a digital obsessive like me | Keith Stuart | Comment is free | theguardian.com

Tech-savvy kids, don’t become a digital obsessive like me | Keith Stuart | Comment is free | theguardian.com.

I’m glad my sons – aged six and eight – are digitally literate and handy with a tablet. But I don’t want the tablet to use them
Boy with digital tablet
‘My own sons were smearing mashed banana all over iPad screens and Xbox controllers before they could talk.’ Photograph: Alamy

As a “tech-savvy” parent (I write about video games, for heaven’s sake), I was probably slightly less perturbed by the revelation from Ofcom’s consumer survey that six-year-olds understand more about digital technology than 45-year-olds. I actually think that’s incredibly positive. My own sons (aged six and eight) had the latest gadgets to hand from birth, due to my inability to put anything away. Their inquisitive, sticky fingers were smearing mashed banana all over iPad screens and Xbox controllers before they could talk. There have been many occasions where I’ve sat in my home office happily slaughtering enemies in Call of Duty only to turn around and find my boys staring open-mouthed from the doorway (“Daddy, what are you doing?”). Now games like Minecraft and Terraria are part of their daily lives. They text their nan, they download apps, they can take a photo and make it a smartphone wallpaper. That’s all fine; they are going to need that level of digital literacy to survive – that’s what I tell myself.

But there are some elements of my digital lifestyle that I’d rather protect them from; some routines I hope don’t become inveterate to them. I mean, imagine if their daily lives started to work like mine – a digital obsessive with a compulsive need to share everything. They wouldn’t just be able to go out into the garden for a casual kickabout – they’d need to set up a live stream over Twitch, with ongoing commentary – then edit the funny bits into a YouTube video, promoted via Twitter. Playing hide and seek in the park would involve GPS tracking. I’d think I had geo-located one of them, only to find that he’d attached his smartphone to a squirrel. I don’t want to deliver their bedtime stories via a series of Snapchat mimes.


Violence, video games and fun – a beginners' guide for parents | Technology | theguardian.com

Violence, video games and fun – a beginners’ guide for parents | Technology | theguardian.com.

The Guardian Games’ session at Camp Bestival this weekend explained some of the benefits and ground rules of video games for mystified parents

Camp Bestival performers
Not Keith Stuart and Jemima Kiss talking to Camp Bestival parents about video games Photograph: Caitlin Mogridge/Redferns via Getty Images

A festival is not a natural place to think about video games. At Camp Bestival this weekend, the sun was out, the crowds were swarming between stages; there were circus acts, acoustic sets, storytelling sessions for children. Everybody was enjoying being outside, surrounded by friends, music and the Dorset countryside – there were very few screens, apart from at the Skylanders Trap Team promotional area which drew excited kids and wary parents, mumbling to each other that they’d wanted to escape that kind of thing …

But for an hour on Sunday, in front of a surprisingly large audience at the Guardian’s tent, I talked about video games on stage with Jemima Kiss. What we wanted to do was place games in a cultural context to show how they’ve evolved, what they have to offer and why the newspaper covers them. We wanted to show that games have a place at this table.

The history of games

Sometimes people are surprised by just how long these things have been around – since 1958, in fact – so we started there. The sports sim Tennis for Two was programmed on an ancient analog computer by William Higinbotham at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. It ran on an oscilloscope screen.

From here, our talk took in landmark titles in the history of games as an industry; from Pong through to Candy Crush Saga. There was Space Invaders, which popularised the shoot-em-up genre and introduced reactive sound, the looping four-note background music speeding up as the alien invaders neared your ship. We considered Pac-Man, one of the first marketable game protagonists, which introduced the idea of merchandising to the sector.

We talked about Tetris and its perfection of “tidying up” as a game mechanic, and Street Fighter 2, and the way an error in the game’s character animation had the unexpected benefit of revolutionising the fighting game genre. Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, also figured, the former for kickstarting the open-world action adventure, the latter for, well, becoming the biggest entertainment franchise in the world.

Games and violence

Aware that there were lots of parents in the audience, we wanted to talk about violence. A myth I still encounter from non-players is that most games are about shooting and graphically depicted death. Actually, although shooting obviously remains a vital game mechanic, 75% of games released during 2013 were suitable for children under 16, and less than 10% were rated 18. However, we were keen to emphasise that 18 means 18; it’s not a casual suggestion, titles with this rating are absolutely unsuitable for children. Games aren’t a bogeyman but parents have a role in ensuring that children are protected from graphic violence. That’s a message people don’t often want to hear.

As for the long-term link between game and real-world violence – after 30 years of interrogation, none has been scientifically established. Research into the matter is often limited (and, arguably, flawed) in its methodology and focus; short term spikes in aggression can be given undue prominence, while meaningful studies are often misrepresented by tabloid newspapers looking for something easy to blame the latest gun tragedy on. It is impossible to apportion specific blame when violence happens – myriad socio-cultural influences are involved.


Por qué algunas iniciativas contra la pornografía infantil en la red son una mala idea – ONG Derechos Digitales

Por qué algunas iniciativas contra la pornografía infantil en la red son una mala idea – ONG Derechos Digitales.

Hace algún tiempo hay una peligrosa tendencia mundial que, por cierto, tiene cabida también en Latinoamérica: regulaciones que bajo el atendible pretexto de combatir la pornografía infantil en Internet, terminan afectando los derechos humanos de una enorme mayoría de usuarios. Argentina nos trae un nuevo caso.

Un nuevo proyecto de ley contra la pornografía infantil se presentó en Argentina. Foto CC BY(Lars Plougmann)-SAUn nuevo proyecto de ley contra la pornografía infantil se presentó en Argentina.
CC BY(Lars Plougmann)-SA

El año pasado les contábamos las iniciativas en Inglaterra y Perú que buscaban perseguir la pornografía infantil de maneras que solo ponían en riesgo los derechos de los ciudadanos. Chile tampoco es ajeno a esta tendencia: hace algunos años se aprobó un proyecto de ley buscando obligar el registro de usuarios de cibercafés con la excusa de combatir la pornografía infantil (artículo que después de la intervención de Derechos Digitales fue declarado inconstitucional).

La última muestra de esta tendencia se produjo hace solo algunas semanas en Argentina, donde la senadora Sandra Giménez presentó un proyecto de ley que busca obligar a las empresas proveedoras de Internet (ISPs) a la instalación de filtros que permitan bloquear el acceso a sitios con pornografía y que serán determinados por la Comisión Nacional de Comunicaciones.


Dónde está el engaño de las aplicaciones “gratuitas” – El Mostrador

Dónde está el engaño de las aplicaciones “gratuitas” – El Mostrador.

La Comisión Europea aseguró que firmas como Apple no están haciendo lo suficiente para proteger a los consumidores de que realicen compras inadvertidas en aplicaciones que afirman ser gratuitas.

1

¿Alguna vez descargó un juego “gratuito” y descubrió que, en algún momento de la diversión, usted debía pagar para conseguir algo que quería?

Ya sea para avanzar más rápidamente y saltarse fases o para alimentar a esa mascota virtual que nos quita el sueño, los expertos advierten que cada vez más aplicaciones que se califican de gratuitas nos proponen sacar nuestra billetera virtual y dejarnos dinero real en el proceso.

Es por ello que la Comisión Europea decidió emitir una serie de recomendaciones para que compañías que lidian con pagos como Google y Apple introduzcan medidas que prevengan los gastos involuntarios.

Y aunque parece que Google hizo los deberes, la respuesta de Apple no pareció ser muy satisfactoria.

“No es que no les creamos, es que no nos han dicho claramente cómo ni cuándo van a implantar las medidas que prometieron”, aseguró a BBC Mundo David Hudson, portavoz de políticas del consumidor de la Comisión Europea.

Google dejó claras las medidas que implementaría (entre las que figuran sacar la palabra “gratis” de aplicaciones que permiten pagos) y que lo haría a finales de septiembre.

“Desgraciadamente Apple no ha hecho nada hasta la fecha para abordar estas cuestiones, especialmente las que tienen que ver con la autorización de los pagos”, afirma la Comisión en un comunicado.

La compañía de la manzana mordida se defendió asegurando que es una de las que más protege a los consumidores y al grupo especialmente vulnerable en este caso: los niños.


Apple lets parents down over in-app purchases, says EU | Technology | theguardian.com

Apple lets parents down over in-app purchases, says EU | Technology | theguardian.com.

Apple hits back at claim it has offered ‘no concrete and immediate solutions’ to problem of unauthorised spending

 

 

 

Children's use of tablets and apps has sparked concerns over in-app purchases.
Children’s use of tablets and apps has sparked concerns over in-app purchases. Photograph: Voisin/phanie/Phanie Sarl/Corbis

 

The European commission (EC) has praised Google but criticised Apple over the steps both companies are taking to ensure children don’t spend money on in-app purchases (IAP) without their parents’ permission.

The EC has been working with consumer protection bodies in its member states, as well as app store owners, to improve their policies following controversies and concerns around the use of IAP in apps and games played by children.

The commission has set out rules for the app store owners to follow, including not advertising games as “free” and misleading people about the true costs; and banning “direct exhortation to children to buy items in a game or to persuade an adult to buy items for them”.

It has also demanded that in-app purchases should not be made “through default settings without consumers’ explicit consent”, and insisted that apps firms provide email addresses so that they can be contacted with queries and complaints.

A statement released by the commission praised Google for a series of changes that will be put in place by the end of September.

“These include not using the word “free” at all when games contain in-app purchases, developing targeted guidelines for its app developers to prevent direct exhortation to children as defined under EU law and time-framed measures to help monitor apparent breaches of EU consumer laws. It has also adapted its default settings, so that payments are authorised prior to every in-app purchase, unless the consumer actively chooses to modify these settings.”

Apple, meanwhile, is on the end of some sharp words from the commission over its response since the new rules were communicated at the end of 2013:

“Although, regrettably, no concrete and immediate solutions have been made by Apple to date to address the concerns linked in particular to payment authorisation, Apple has proposed to address those concerns. However, no firm commitment and no timing have been provided for the implementation of such possible future changes. CPC authorities will continue to engage with Apple to ensure that it provides specific details of changes required and put its practices into line with the common position.”


Will digital eat the children's media world? 'It's totally going to happen!' | Technology | theguardian.com

Will digital eat the children’s media world? ‘It’s totally going to happen!’ | Technology | theguardian.com.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean printed books and linear television will die out by 2020, suggest experts

Toca Boca's most recent app is Toca Mini.
Children’s apps by companies like Toca Boca – Toca Mini pictured – are still much less lucrative than mobile games like Clash of Clans

Are these the best of times or the worst of times for the children’s entertainment industry? A panel session at the Children’s Media Conference explored the question, concluding… well, it might be both.

The key topic: how television companies, book publishers and other children’s brands can adapt to changing digital habits of their young audiences.

“TV is pretty mature: the growth is on tablets, mobiles, it’s in gaming, it’s in online video, and that ultimately is going to change the way the market operates,” said Jon Watts, director of research firm MTM London, who chaired the session.

Kate Wilson, managing director of book and apps publisher Nosy Crow, said this feels like the best of times for creating great work, but “arguably the worst of times in terms of consumers’ willingness to pay” for that work.

Rob McMenemy, CEO of book publisher Egmont’s international division, agreed that these are tough and exciting times in equal measure. “Life cycles seem to get ever sorter: the time that you have to make your business and make your money gets ever more condensed,” he said.

“Yet there has never been a better time for the amount of content and rights out there to go for… And of course you can get quickly get to mass audiences. That’s something we’ve never really had before.”

The panel talked about business model struggles, with Tina McCann, SVP and managing director of Nickelodeon UK and Ireland, admitting that: “Advertising is very challenged right now: kids are watching less linear TV. They are still sampling lots of content, but it’s across a proliferation of platforms.”

McMenemy said Egmont makes the vast majority of its money from its traditional business: printed books and magazines. “Actually making money from other forms is extremely difficult, whether they be apps or online communities or whatever it may be,” he said. “How much do you risk? It’s not easy to get the money out, and it’s fairly small.”

Wilson talked about pressure on reading time for children, and her company’s attempts to prove that “reading is not the most boring thing you can do on a touchscreen”, while Alice Taylor, chief executive of startup Makielab, addressed the challenges of making mobile games for children.

“We’re seeing that digital games that are smash hits that produce a crapton of money, generally started on computers and consoles. If they’re ported to or start in app stores, maybe not so much,” she said.

“There’s a real pressure in the ecosystem of app stores which means kids can’t pay, because they don’t have credit cards, and parents don’t want them to buy stuff… You can count the number of games that are smash hits that are for kids, not just played by kids, on the fingers of one hand.”

By that, she meant that a lot of the most popular and lucrative games being played by children are actually meant for adults: Supercell’s Clash of Clans, for example, which she suggested is being played by children as young as five years old.

Even the most successful children’s app companies, like Toca Boca, can’t expect to ever make the kind of money that a Supercell or King (the publisher of Candy Crush Saga) is. “If you compare Toca Boca’s success to Supercell’s success, it’s an order of magnitude tinier,” said Taylor.

The session also explored four potential scenarios for children’s media by 2020, challenging the panel to say whether they will come true or not.