1 Kids and social networking: Pros and cons Doc 1 Post this, comment on that. Social media are a part of the daily routines of many adults and children. And the identifiable pros and cons of social networking among kids are beginning to emerge, according to a presentation at the American Psychological Association meeting. "While nobody can deny that Facebook has altered the landscape of social interaction, particularly among young people, we are just now starting to see solid psychological research demonstrating both the positives and the negatives," said Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D., professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, and technology researcher. Rosen says ongoing research and preliminary results of studies suggest a few trends in kids. On the plus side: In a world full of distractions, social networking and technology can provide tools for teaching in a way that engages and captivates young minds. Online social networking can also help young people learn how to socialize with their peers; users also show more "virtual empathy." "It's almost like social networks are training wheels for life in a lot of ways - it teaches you to express empathy and see how people respond," Rosen said. "It teaches you to also just develop your sense of self of who you are. You float things out on a wall post on Facebook and then sit back and look at the comments that you get. It's a place where you can grow and develop." However, the downside is becoming apparent, too. According to studies, middle school, high school and college students looking at Facebook at least one time during a 15-minute study break made lower grades. In addition, many young Facebook users show more tendencies to be narcissistic. "It's a continual onset of I, me, mine," he said. "Your comments back and forth to people all reflect on you, not them." The new research suggests that overuse of media and technology can negatively affect health of children and teens, especially with psychological disorders- making users more likely to experience anxiety and depression. "Everything you do on social networks, you're doing behind the safety of a screen," he said. "You're not paying attention...there's a real flesh and blood human being at the other end of cyberspace and your words might have consequences for that person." Rosen suggests not having a computer program to monitor the child's social networking behaviors. He says parents who have such programs are wasting their time. "As soon as you start monitoring your kids electronically, two things are going to happen," he said. "One- they are going to stop trusting you. Two- within five seconds, they'll find a workaround on the Internet to get around whatever electronic device you have installed." "If you establish trust with your kids, which you do by having discussions with them about technology and about what they're doing, then they will come to you when something comes up that they're uncomfortable with," Rosen said. But he says parents need to be aware of the latest technologies and trends in websites and applications that kids use.
2 Dr. Bryan Vartabedian, assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and attending physician at Texas Children's Hospital, writes often about social media. "As a parent, probably the best thing we can do for our teens is try to provide a solid example of how to balance our personal and our digital lives," Vartabedian said. "I think this technology is all here to stay. It's not going anywhere but the relationship that we share with that technology is something that we can influence and we can influence early on in life." Vartabedian says it is OK to put software on a computer to monitor social networking. He says parents have a responsibility to know what their kids are doing. "There will always be ways for kids to get around what we do to watch and listen to them," he said. "But we still have a responsibility as parents to put our best foot forward and openly discuss what's appropriate, online and off." Post by: Georgiann Caruso -- CNN Medical Producer CNN August 6th, 2011
3 Facebook Says Hackers Breached Its Computers Doc 2 By NICOLE PERLROTH and NICK BILTON February 15, 2013, 6:22 pm Facebook admitted that it was breached by sophisticated hackers in recent weeks, two weeks after Twitter made a similar admission. Both Facebook and Twitter were breached through a well-publicized vulnerability in Oracle s Java software. In a blog post late Friday afternoon, Facebook said it was attacked when a handful of its employees visited a compromised site for mobile developers. Simply by visiting the site, their computers were infected with malware. The company said that as soon as it discovered the malware, it cleaned up the infected machines and tipped off law enforcement. We have found no evidence that Facebook user data was compromised, Facebook said. On Feb. 1, Twitter said hackers had breached its systems and potentially accessed the data of 250,000 Twitter users. The company suggested at that time that it was one of several companies and organizations to be have been similarly attacked. Facebook has known about its own breach for at least a month, according to people close to the investigation, but it was unclear why the company waited this long to announce it. Fred Wolens, a Facebook spokesman, declined to comment. Like Twitter, Facebook said it believed that it was one of several organizations that were targeted by the same group of attackers. Facebook was not alone in this attack, the company said in its blog post. It is clear that others were attacked and infiltrated recently as well. The attacks add to the mounting evidence that hackers were able to use the security hole in Oracle s Java software to steal information from a broad range of companies. Java, a widely used programming language, is installed on more than three billion devices. It has long been hounded by security problems. Last month, after a security researcher exposed a serious vulnerability in the software, the Department of Homeland Security issued a rare alert that warned users to disable Java on their computers. The vulnerability was particularly disconcerting because it let attackers download a malicious program onto its victims machines without any prompting. Users did not even have to click on a malicious link for their computers to be infected. The program simply downloaded itself. After Oracle initially patched the security hole in January, the Department of Homeland Security said that the fix was not sufficient and recommended that, unless absolutely necessary, users should disable it on their computers completely. Oracle did not issue another fix until Feb. 1. Social networks are a prime target for hackers, who look to use people s personal data and social connections in what are known as spearphishing attacks. In this type of attack, a target is sent an , ostensibly from a connection, containing a malicious link or attachment. Once the link is clicked or attachment opened, attackers take control of a user s computer. If the infected computer is inside a company s system, the attackers are able to gain a foothold. In many cases, they then extract passwords and gain access to sensitive data.
4 Facebook said in its blog post that the updated patch addressed the vulnerability that allowed hackers to access its employees computers. Hackers have been attacking organizations inside the United States at an alarming rate. The number of attacks reported by government agencies last year topped 48,500 a ninefold jump from the 5,500 attacks reported in 2006, according to the Government Accountability Office. In the last month alone, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post all confirmed that they were targets of sophisticated hackers. But security experts say that these attacks are just the tip of the iceberg. A common saying among security experts is that there are now only two types of American companies: Those that have been hacked and those that don t know they ve been hacked.
5 Dog Reunited With Family After 900-Mile Journey Doc 3 By Ashley Jennings Apr 9, :46pm An Italian greyhound who went missing eight months ago found his way back home this week. Dauz, short for the family name Dausman, lived with his original owners in Collinsville, Ill., when he was stolen from their front yard last July. Almost a year later, Alicia Dausman received a call from a Fairfax, Va. animal shelter 900 miles away, saying they had found her dog. I was shaking. I was crying. I ve never been so happy. It was like a dream getting that call, Dausman told ABC News. I can t believe they found Dauz. Dausman says a day after the pet went missing, she contacted police and began a frantic search for him. The 35-year-old mother of three posted pictures on Facebook, put up ads on Craigslist, handed out flyers and contacted shelters and Italian greyhound rescue groups. She said the family had all but given up hope when the Virginia shelter called her. They immediately took a trip to retrieve the dog. They ran Dauz s microchip and saw that he was reported missing, Dausman said. They called me immediately, before the people who took him could go try to claim him. We re just so ecstatic. He s my 6-yearold daughter s best friend. Dausman says the stolen dog was given to a man who lived in Virginia, who gave the dog to his wife as a birthday gift. The couple, who called him Bruno, took care of the dog, but Dausman says the dog is a littler thinner than what she remembers. He escaped and found his way back to us, Dausman said. My kids would always say Yeah mom he s coming back. He loves us. It s a dream come true.
6 Will we care about online privacy in 20 years? Doc 4 By Stephanie Busari, CNN updated 12:48 PM EDT, Tue April 9, 2013 STORY HIGHLIGHTS Sharing personal information online has become the norm Editor of "Wired" David Rowan thinks privacy has become a "20th century idea" Experts worried we don't know implications of how our data is being used online London, England (CNN) -- The launch of the Facebook Home app has reignited the privacy debate over whether the social networking site is becoming too integrated in our lives. Unveiled last week, Home integrates all of the social network's services into the operating system of Android phones. Instead of having to download apps to use Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook Camera, access to these features is consolidated into Facebook Home, which appears on the user's home screen. Typically for a Facebook launch, it has attracted fierce criticism. CNN contributor Andrew Keen, an expert in the digital economy, said: "Facebook wants to know everything we do, so they can sell more advertising. It shows that Facebook has absolutely no respect for our privacy." "They are by definition creepy, untrustworthy and they've proven that time and time again," he added. The internet needs to learn how to forget. All it knows is how to remember. That's not very human. Andrew Keen, author and expert on the digital economy Facebook has responded to the criticism following the launch in a blog post to say that the data Home would collect is no different from what the social networking site already tracks and that it is used internally to improve the user experience. For tech-savvy digital natives, who share personal information frequently and tend to see value in such personal disclosures, the polemic around Home could be seen as a non-issue. It also could be argued that privacy is a long-dead illusion that is fast becoming an outdated concept. David Rowan, editor of technology magazine "Wired," thinks so. "Our concept of privacy is very much a 20th century idea," he told CNN at Names not Numbers, an idea-sharing and networking conference held in the UK recently. "All that personal data you are giving to these private companies they are making money on and they decide how it's going to be used. You lose control of that data." Commentators say that we should be asking tougher questions about that information is being used. Data distribution and the invasion of our privacy is the pollution of the big data age. Andrew Keen, author and expert on the digital economy
7 In his upcoming book "Who Owns the Future?" digital pioneer Jaron Lanier discusses how the world's biggest online services such as Google and Facebook are not in fact "free" because in return we are duly handing over information about ourselves that can be turned into big money. But can we really move beyond privacy? Keen thinks that if we don't act soon, we could. In his latest book, "Digital Vertigo", he argues that in California's Silicon Valley there are people who "have already discarded privacy as if it's like gas lighting -- an archaic thing which humans will move beyond." Keen urges us to consider what privacy really means in the "Big Data Age." He talks in apocalyptic terms about a "scary, nightmarish, dystopian future," where we live in a world of "radical transparency". Technology seems to be moving ever closer to a world where every aspect of our existence is recorded, both at our will and not, and Keen argues that humans are not ready for this, this ability "to press the rewind button on your life". "The internet needs to learn how to forget. All it knows is how to remember. That's not very human," he says, arguing that forgetting is as essential to the human condition as remembering. But, in today's world, the documentation of our every move and every desire is becoming increasingly inescapable. According to Rowan, "anybody who is using any kind of electronic device is giving up the practical ability to be untrackable." So pervasive is the power of internet giants that the U.S. government launched an official "National Data Privacy Day" -- a drive to raise awareness among teenagers and young adults about the importance of maintaining what little privacy they may have left. Keen draws similarities between the negative impacts of the industrial revolution and those of the digital world order, which, he says, "is in some ways more profound and far-reaching". Just as "the downside of industrialization was pollution, data distribution and the invasion of our privacy is the pollution of the big data age."
8 Smartphone users check Facebook 14 times a day Doc 5 By Chris Taylor updated 11:26 AM EDT, Thu March 28, 2013 Filed under: Mobile Americans spend, on average, a half hour a day visiting Facebook via their phones, according to a new survey. STORY HIGHLIGHTS New survey tracks Americans' mobile phone habits and Facebook use Respondents check Facebook an average of almost 14 times a day Peak Facebook use is in the evenings just before bedtime Survey also found 50% of users admit to checking Facebook while at a movie (CNN) -- Think you use your phone to look at Facebook a lot? Unless you're doing it at least 14 times a day, you're actually below average. That's just one of the surprising revelations in a research report by IDC released Wednesday. The study tapped 7,446 iphone and Android users in the U.S. between 18 and 44 representative of the 50% of the population that uses smartphones and asked them questions about their phone usage across one week in March. Depending on your perspective, many of the results are either depressing or confirm what you knew all along. For example, it seems that 79% of smartphone users reach for their devices within 15 minutes of waking up. A clear majority 62% don't even wait 15 minutes, and grab their phones immediately. (Among 18- to 24- year-olds, the numbers rise to 89% and 74%.) Given that the survey was sponsored by Facebook, most of the questions focus on the social network. Which is, it seems, only the third most popular app on your smartphone, after and the browser. Still, 70% of smartphone users are frequent Facebook visitors, with more than half of them checking it every day. Peak Facebook time is during the evening, just before bed. But any time's good: on average, we visit the Facebook app or the site 13.8 times during the day, for two minutes and 22 seconds each time. Our average total daily mobile time on the site and remember, this is just via our smartphones is half an hour. That's roughly a fifth of all the time we spend communicating; it's only slightly less time than we spend texting. On weekends, we check Facebook more than we text. Any place seems to be good to check Facebook, too. Some 46% of us check it when we're shopping or running errands; 48% use it at the gym. Even preparing a meal gives 47% of us no respite from the social network. (Well, what else are you going to do while you're waiting for the microwave to ping?) Perhaps the most unpardonable sin: 50% of smartphone users admit to checking Facebook while at a movie. We hope they mean only during the ads. So what are we spending all that time doing? Well, for about half of that daily half-hour on the social network, we're simply browsing our News Feed. The rest of the time is divided fairly evenly between Facebook messaging and posting updates. Half of Facebook users play games via the service on their phone a few times a day. Does the smartphone survey ring true to you? Share your thoughts in the comments.
9 Study: Facebook has pros, cons for job seekers Doc 6 By Dorrine Mendoza, CNN updated 12:21 PM EDT, Fri March 15, 2013 Filed under: Social Media Using Facebook can bring support and encouragement to job seekers, but also pressure and stress. STORY HIGHLIGHTS Facebook surveyed 3,000 people about major life events Study found Facebook friends provide much-needed emotional support Some users felt pressured by close ties to find jobs (CNN) -- Do a quick search on Facebook, and you're sure to find job talk. A friend who got laid off. A family member turned down for a promotion. Or an old high-school pal celebrating their dream job. On Facebook, employment status is just one more thing people feel free to share openly, not just with those they're closest to. While sharing a job loss or termination may make some cringe, Facebook data scientists say there might actually be some advantages to it. Highlights of a Facebook study, "Facebook use by job-seekers," were posted on the site's data science blog on Thursday. The study tracked several thousand people over three months with monthly check-ins. Of the 3,000 surveyed, 169 were unemployed at some point during the study. Authors Moira Burke and Robert Kraut intended to measure stress levels and support from close friends and family on Facebook during major life events. Burke is a data scientist at Facebook and Kraut is with the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. To determine how connected people were, Facebook was given permission to track participants' time spent on the social network and some of their actions, but not the content of their actions. For example, they tracked whether participants left comments on their friend's photos, but not what was said. In short, everyone who engaged directly, and a slightly more than average amount, with close family and friends experienced more support and were more motivated. They were also less stressed and were generally able to expand their networks. The study also found that people who regularly engaged on Facebook found jobs much faster than those who didn't, although researchers said they did not have enough information to know where they found out about these jobs or if anyone in their networks played a direct role. But the study also found that for a small subset of job seekers, stress levels increased when close friends or family members would repeatedly ask, "So how's the job search going?" Stress also increased when participants received unwanted advice or pushed the job seeker to "try harder." "I feel worse about my job when using Facebook," one participant wrote. "I find it really hard to connect with people who care about me/my life. I get a lot of pity comments on Facebook."
10 Although social networks can be ideal places for support during a crisis, participants found there are limits to online compassion. One study participant said she felt worse during her unemployment, especially when reading News Feed updates about celebrations. "No one really shares sad or depressing stuff," the study quotes the participant as saying. "They must have some concerns but most of my contacts act as if they do not. So in comparison, I feel worse." There's a lot of debate about whether the Internet is "good" or "bad" for us; this study shows that the effects really depend on whom you're talking to and what's happening in your life," said Burke in an . "In this way, the online world is much like the offline. For the job-seekers out there, recognize that this is a stressful period, but you're not alone and your close friends may be able to help."
11 A Call for Opening Up Web Access at Schools Doc 7 By WINNIE HU Published: September 28, 2011 Students at Silver Creek High School in Longmont, Colo., held a graffiti debate on censorship on Wednesday: Should schools block Web sites? On sheets of white butcher paper hanging in the library, they wrote lists of the pros and cons of online access. New Trier High School in the Chicago suburbs surveyed students about blocked Web sites after loosening its own Internet filters this year. And in New York City, students and teachers at Middle School 127 in the Bronx sent more than 60 s to the Department of Education to protest a block on personal blogs and social media sites. These were some of the efforts marking the first Banned Websites Awareness Day, organized by the American Association of School Librarians as an offshoot of Banned Books Week. Carl Harvey, the association s president, said that as more schools had embraced online technologies, there had been growing concern over schools that block much of the Internet. But some school leaders and education advocates have argued that the Internet can be a distraction in the classroom, and that blocking social media is also a way to protect students from bullying and harassment at school. I think students should have unfettered access to the library, said William Fitzhugh, editor of The Concord Review, which publishes history papers written by high school students, adding that many children already spend too much time on the Internet. Phil Goerner, a Silver Creek librarian, said the focus on banned Web sites encouraged students to wrestle with the thornier issues of censorship. He asked his students to consider whether schools should block sites espousing neo-nazi or racist ideas. It makes them think about it in deeper ways than if they were just to say, No, don t block it, he said. Mr. Goerner said he decided to organize the graffiti debate as a reminder to students that censorship takes away a person s voice or, in this case, online privileges. Silver Creek unblocked many social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, two years ago after recognizing that they could provide learning opportunities, he said. Similarly, New Trier High School stopped blocking many sites this year after teachers voiced concerns that the filtering had grown oppressive. Entire categories of Web sites had been blocked, including those that involved games, violence, weapons, even swimsuits, said Judy Gressel, a librarian. It just got to the point that it became hard to conduct research, she said, adding that students could not read sites about, say, military weapons for a history paper. Deven Black, a librarian at Middle School 127 in the Bronx, also said that filters had blocked a range of useful Web sites. YouTube and personal blogs where educators share resources can have value, he said. Our job is to teach students the safe use of the Internet. And it s hard to do that if we can t get to the sites.
12 New Canaan High School, in Connecticut, cut off all access to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter just for the day to show solidarity with schools without access. It s not even lunchtime, and I m already dying, said Michael DeMattia, 17, a senior, who carries a laptop to school. In his Advanced Placement Biology class, where lab groups have created a Facebook thread to collaborate and share data, he could not log in. In honors comparative literature, his classmates were unable to show a YouTube video during a presentation. The Internet, Michael said, has made cooperation and collaboration inside and outside of class much better and faster, adding, It s really has become an integral part of education.
13 MDs warn teens: Don't take the cinnamon challenge Doc 8 By LINDSEY TANNER, Associated Press NBC News Don't take the cinnamon challenge. That's the advice from doctors in a new report about a dangerous prank depicted in popular YouTube videos that has led to hospitalizations and a surge in calls to U.S. poison centers. The fad involves daring someone to swallow a spoonful of ground cinnamon in 60 seconds without water. But the spice is caustic, and trying to gulp it down can cause choking, throat irritation, breathing trouble and even collapsed lungs, the report said. Published online Monday in Pediatrics, the report said at least 30 teens nationwide needed medical attention after taking the "challenge" last year. The number of poison control center calls about teens doing the prank "has increased dramatically," from 51 in 2011 to 222 last year, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. "People with asthma or other respiratory conditions are at greater risk of having this result in shortness of breath and trouble breathing," according to an alert posted on the association's website. Thousands of YouTube videos depict kids attempting the stunt, resulting in an "orange burst of dragon breath" spewing out of their mouths and sometimes hysterical laughter from friends watching, said report co-author Dr. Steven E. Lipshultz, a pediatrics professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Cinnamon is made from tree bark and contains cellulose fibers that don't easily break down. Animal research suggests that when cinnamon gets into the lungs, it can cause scarring, Lipshultz said. Dr. Stephen Pont, a spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatrics and an Austin, Texas pediatrician, said the report is "a call to arms to parents and doctors to be aware of things like the cinnamon challenge" and to pay attention to what their kids are viewing online. An Ypsilanti, Mich., teen who was hospitalized for a collapsed lung after trying the cinnamon challenge heartily supports the new advice and started her own website - - telling teens to "just say no" to the fad. Dejah Reed, 16, said she took the challenge four times - the final time was in February last year with a friend who didn't want to try it alone. "I was laughing very hard and I coughed it out and I inhaled it into my lungs," she said. "I couldn't breathe." Her father, Fred Reed, said he arrived home soon after to find Dejah "a pale bluish color. It was very terrifying. I threw her over my shoulder" and drove to a nearby emergency room. Dejah was hospitalized for four days and went home with an inhaler and said she still has to use it when she gets short of breath from running or talking too fast. Her dad said she'd never had asthma or breathing problems before. Dejah said she'd read about the challenge on Facebook and other social networking sites and "thought it would be cool" to try. Now she knows "it's not cool and it's dangerous."