Curb your teenage tearaway with Ford's MyKey


New MyKey technology, developed by Ford, will be rolling out next year. The development will allow parents to put limits on their kids’ driving. They can put speed restrictions in place, give fuel warnings, or prevent kids from using the radio until their seatbelt is fastened.

The full listing of features is over the jump, but as someone who has never driven, teenage or otherwise, the only message this sends is mistrust of your poor kids. Unless you have a particularly troublesome kid, this seems remarkably unnecessary. Speeds artificially limited? Reduced radio volume? If you don’t trust them not to exceed 80mph, then why let them drive at all?

Microsoft's innocence: teens won't download illegally if they know the law

home_taping_is_killing_music_logo.gifHats off to Microsoft for believing in teenagers. They’re not a bad bunch after all, are they?

Far be it from me to tarnish “all teenagers” with the same stereotypes, but I still had to laugh a little at the results of Microsoft’s latest survey, which suggests that teens wouldn’t download stuff illegally off the Net if they really knew what the laws were.

Nearly half of the seventh-to-tenth graders said that they weren’t familiar with the rules and guidelines for downloading images, literature, music, movies and software from the Internet.

Opinion: Yet another MP fails to understand the positive role of new media amidst human tragedy

gone_too_soon_website.pngMy Tech Digest columns are usually fairly whimsical, so this one has been quite difficult to write. It touches on a sensitive and topical issue which is still being investigated — that of the recent suicides of seven young people in and around Bridgend, South Wales.

None of us know — and perhaps we’ll never know — exactly what motivated those teenagers to take their own lives, and I’m not for one moment suggesting that the Internet couldn’t have played a role in it, if indeed those suicides are connected in some way. However, many other methods of communication could also have contributed to them.

The local MP, Madeleine Moon, is rightly concerned, but has hit out at memorial web sites which she claims “romanticise death”.

“What is concerning is that you’re getting Internet bereavement walls. That’s not going to help anyone,” she told the Reuters news agency.

I’m sorry, Ms Moon, but that is a gross oversimplification of the situation. While I can’t profess to understand the modern teenager, I am probably of a generation somewhere in between theirs, and yours, and I do understand the positive power of online tributes.

Survey reveals 7-year-old girls hooked on Nintendo DS, not Barbie

nintendo_ds_pink.jpgA new survey by the kids gift wish list web site shows that a lot of young girls are no longer interested in the likes of Barbie – gaming technology is definitely the way to go if you want to remain a popular parent with your little darlings.

Boys tend to develop an interest in Gameboys and other hand held consoles from the age of four onwards, with girls latching onto the Nintendo DS by age seven.

From there on in, games consoles rule their lives until the teenage years, when technology had better consist of iPods, mobile phones, and computers, so that they can keep up with their hectic 21st century social life.