Tag Archives: avg

Youngsters are Better at Tech than Life Skills

The more connected we become, the more connected we are forcing our children to become. Of course it’s a good idea to give Junior a leg up on the competition by making sure he’s tech-savvy at a young age. But where do we draw the line? At what point do we remember to put down the computer mouse or mobile device and get that kid outside on a bicycle? When do we remember that it’s just as important for them to tie their shoes and learn how to call emergency personnel if needed?

A recent study shows some very unsettling results: more small children can play a computer game than ride a bike. The Digital Diaries study from security firm AVG claims that 58 percent of kids ages 2 to 5 know how to play a “basic computer game” – compared with 52 percent who know how to ride a bike. More than sixty-three percent can turn a computer on and off by themselves with 69 percent able to effectively use a mouse. Sadly, though, only 20 percent know how to swim, 11 percent can tie their shoes without help and 20 percent know how to make an emergency phone call.

Other interesting findings are that 25 percent know how to use a browser, 16 percent can navigate between Web sites, 15 percent know at least one Web address, and 19 percent know how to operate a smartphone or a tablet. On the analog side of life, 39 percent know their home address, 27 percent can make their own breakfast, and 37 percent can write their first and last name.

In an interview, AVG’s Tony Anscombe said “Because we (adults) are so connected, maybe what we don’t understand is what we’re actually doing is connecting our children the same way, and it’s becoming normal for them and maybe we’re ignoring some of those life skills as well.” I find this absolutely disheartening. As I already pointed out, we all know our little darlings need to learn how to use technology at young ages. However, they also need to know how to cope with life, folks.

Many of these simple things pointed out in the study are those which should be taught by dear old Mom and Dad. I remember learning to ride my bike for the first time, with Dad holding onto that seat and running along beside me. I also remember how I felt as though I could conquer the world when I mastered shoelace-tying long before many of my friends did.

There needs to be more of a balance – MUCH more. Pull the kiddies away from the digital goodies sometimes and take them outside. Head to the local pool or park. Show them firsthand that you don’t have to bury your nose in a device in order to have fun.

Fliptop Makes RSS Feeds Work for You

Fliptop was introduced at the DEMO conference this week in Florida. This application will make you sit up and take notice. You may even gasp loudly, and trip over your fingers in your rush to grab this for yourself. RSS feeds can be a pain to manage – we all know this. Additionally, normal RSS feeds only offer you a direct feed that you have to add to a reader of some sort.

Fliptop has several interesting features that normal RSS feeds do not. The application gives you the ability to filter content by keyword, follow only certain topics or categories that interest you, and allows you to receive email digests of only the things you want to see. The service is available in two different styles. One is designed with website owners in mind. The other, of course, is geared towards the users who visit those sites.

The interface for site owners will give you a button to embed on your site. When clicked, the button will ask the user which topics they want to follow. Below that there is the option to also filter by keywords. The user then chooses how they wish to be alerted to new content: via traditional RSS feed, email, Twitter, Facebook, or text message. If you want to receive email updates, you can also tell the application how often you want to hear from them.

After reading all about Fliptop, I can admit that I will be tripping over my own fingers very soon in my rush. What about you? How fast will you be typing this into your favorite search engine?

Don’t forget to see what’s new in the software center today.