Family

  • Some months ago, TechCrunch reported that, on High-Tech cruise ships like the Quantum Of The Sea, “Wi-Fi is fast and it’s everywhere” for one specific reason that I really don’t like .“The real goal here is to offer… constant connectivity for always-on passengers – namely the kids of older passengers. While Mom and Mom enjoy a fine tipple on the fo’c’s’le, kids can keep texting. It’s a sad compromise but one necessary to keep nervous gadget lovers happy on vacation.
  • A while ago I asked Italian blogger Francesca Sanzo if she was interested to meet via Skype, to exchange ideas. The result was, if I may say so, interesting in a much more general way than I had imagined. For clarity, I’ve reformatted and synthesized our talks in two parts: the first presents Francesca’s background and work. The second sums up her answers on cyberbullying, which impressed me because, even if I had sent the questions weeks before, by pure chance the actual conversation took place only hours after the Sandy Hook tragedy.
  • Background: straight from my “digital diary” vault, here is something I wrote in September 2002 (that is before smartphones, Facebook, the Internet of Things and so on), marking it with the following tagline: “there has never been so muchcommunication technology as today, yet as little communication among people“ In the last two years, many news agencies have announced several times that for the first time data traffic has superated voice traffic.
  • Following several requests, I am making available for download a PDF versionof the 2007 edition of my Family Guide to Digital Freedom, with the following notes and conditions: Please note that the same text is also available here on this website, in a format /one page per chapter) that makes it much easier to link it and, even better, add feedback (please do it!). If you want to signal a chapter of the guide to your friend, find the corresponding page in the index and link that one, not the PDF file.
  • The adjective resilient means (among other things) “tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”. That’s an excellent capability to have in though times like these, isn’t it? You may think that resiliency means roughing it like Rambo or the Amish, or that it is a lifestyle that only very rich people who can buy their own ranch can afford. That’s not true. Resilience, especially in the current economical situation, may be both a smarter way to live and a necessity for everybody, especially people with very, very normal lifes and jobs (or lack thereof…).
  • Groupons, that is Group Coupons, are special offers with very high discounts, valid only if a minimum number of buyers accept to buy whatever was the object of the offer. These offers are only made online from portals like Groupon. According to Italian newspaper Repubblica, all offers on groupon portals follow two basic rules: first, the more people declare they want to buy the same thing, the less they pay; second, the more a good or service and its purchasers are geographically closer to each other, the greater the savings.
  • Every year italian families must spend hundreds of Euros in textbooks for every child, while the cost limits set by the government are regularly violated in spite of denounces and warnings from consumer associations. In order to solve this problem, Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini proposed to deduce cost (and weight!) of textbooks by encouraging schools to adopt digital textbooks starting from 2011.
  • You’ve surely seen, at least once in your life, one of those very romantic, hearth-breaking movies in which some John or Mary die but, just one moment before passing away says to whoever is tenderly holding his or her hands something like: “Promise that you will look after my X after I’m gone”, where X normally is children, parents, spouses, pets or family mansions. Invariably, no matter how serious their condition are, John (or Mary) resist until Mary (or John) does answer with some variant of “Yes, of course.
  • When it comes to computers, many parents and teachers feel they are not competent enough to judge if the way their children use computer is the best possible one. Sometimes, they simply ignore that there is more than one way. Luckily, none of these hypotheses is true. Keep reading and you’ll know why this is one of the best moments to discover why and find alternatives.