Category Archives: Teen Info

Poll: What Phone Do You Want As Your Next Phone?

 

what phone do you want 2011

So there’s this survey (by an investment bank named Piper Jaffray– who’s been known to make some, well, interesting Apple-related comments from time to time) making its way around the internet today saying that 17% of US teens own iPhones and 37% who don’t currently own one want the iPhone to be their next phone and planned to by one within the next 6 months.  The survey, which was of 4,500 teens across the country, is pretty interesting to say the least and got us thinking: what phone do you want as your next phone?

As a teen who currently uses an iPhone pretty much every waking second I’m planning to stick with it and am more inclined to go with an iPhone again when its time for me to upgrade. That said, we decided to look into this survey on our own and in our very unscientific (read: random and completely not planned) poll of our friends and classmates we found that while many are interested in the iPhone, a lot would rather go with a BlackBerry right now in large part because of its awesome keyboard and BBM (though many also were considering ditching their BlackBerrys for an iPhone because of the tons of apps available on iPhone and the much, much better internet browser). Most of our friends over the past couple of months in fact have gone to BlackBerrys as their new phones over the iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7 when they were up for an upgrade (Android also got a few mentions in our “survey,” but most were already narrowed down to iPhone or BlackBerry. Again though, this was just the group we asked).

So we wanna know readers and fellow teens, if/when you’re looking for a new phone– regardless of what carrier you’re on– what are you gonna get: Android, iPhone, Windows Phone 7, HP webOS, BlackBerry or another non-smartphone (aka “feature phone” or phones that don’t run any of the above OSes)? Take our poll or let us know in the comments.

Via All Things D

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PSA: Facebook Plans to Share Your Address and Phone Number With Advertisers

facebook logo

We all love Facebook and use it for hours daily to share so much of our lives with our friends and other people we know. And while just like everything else on the internet there are risks to all this sharing, it’s our choice and we can control what information we share, who we share it with and can stop it at any time.

As you’ve probably heard, from time to time Facebook the company has had some interesting “ideas” (for lack of a better word) on how to use all the information we put onto their site to run their business (just think about The Social Network movie for an idea on the sketchy story on how Facebook was created). Obviously, when you build your business on others info, your biggest issue is how you handle privacy, and by that I mean how do they make money without selling out all of our information to advertisers and other companies. Thankfully, privacy on Facebook has been greatly improved over the years with some much better privacy controls (such as filters for exactly who can see particular posts, better controls on how people can find you and what they see if they’re not your Friend etc.), but now some possibly much more dangerous news has come out– if you added your address or phone number to Facebook they can now share that information with advertisers.

facebook app sharing cell phone info

An example of a Facebook app that plans to get your phone number and address from Facebook

According to the Facebook developer blog this type of “sharing” will only be used in applications (such as playing a Facebook game or logging onto Facebook from a Facebook Share button on a different site to post something directly to your wall), and these apps will need to explicitly ask your permission to get access to this info (see pic above. Note: these apps only have access to your info and not any of your Friends’ phone numbers or addresses). Of course when you think of how many times we all just click “I agree” or “Allow” to something– the legal thing that comes up every time you want to create an account on a website or install a program like Word or iTunes on your computer– without reading the full fine print its easy to see this move causing a lot of unexpected trouble for people.

We’re not gonna go into all the possible legal trouble in all this (for example what goes on with the info for all the Facebook users under 18) but you can fix this in a pretty simple waygo to your Facebook page and remove this and all other info you don’t want out there for the whole world to see (and yeah, we know this may make it harder for you to stay in contact with your friends– but you could always Facebook Chat them your info). Otherwise, don’t be surprised if sometime in the future you start getting calls or letters from a “Nigerian price” asking for your credit card info so he can send you a free iPad all because he found you on Facebook.

And I think this part goes without saying, but be careful what you share online.

More info: Huffington Post.

Update Your Facebook Security NOW

facebook account security

Facebook over the past few days has begun rolling out a new security update for its users, an update that you really got to switch to ASAP! This new update allows you to connect to Facebook much more securely, reason enough for you to want to enable it ASAP.

What this new update, which can be found in Settings–>Account Settings–> Account Security, does is it turns your connection from HTTP to HTTPS (HTTP is the protocol needed to load websites, which is why you see it in your browser’s address bar on every site you go to. The “S” added to it makes your browsing much more secure and is used by sites like PayPal and Amazon to protect your info like your credit cards). Basically, this makes it much, much harder for hackers to spy on and take your information— like your password– particularly if you’re accessing Facebook from a public internet connection such as a WiFi network in your school, in a mall or at a Starbucks that doesn’t require you to enter a password to connect.

It takes literally 30 seconds to do (once you’re in Account Security all you’ve got to do is check a box saying “Browse Facebook on a secure connection when possible” and hit save– the box in the pic above). And seeing all the protection this offers, it is definitely worth it.

And if you don’t see the update on your profile yet, don’t worry, Facebook has said it should be available to all users by mid-February so check back periodically until then.

For more info on this and other new Facebook security updates, see Facebook’s site here.

In Case You Needed Another Reason Not to Text and Drive

Watch this. I know it’s long and at times really hard to watch emotionally (this is a documentary– with real people and real stories), but what AT&T has done here is something that all of us new teen drivers need to listen to. As I’m sure you’ve also heard from your parents ever since you got your permit/license, there’s really no excuse for texting and driving (let alone talking on the phone and driving). As the video says, no matter how important you think that text is– it really isn’t worth the damage it could cause.

Trust me, just watch the video. And please, for everyone’s sake– from now on when you get behind the wheel, put the phone away and focus on the road. It really never is worth it.

Net Neutrality or Net Tyranny?

 

This is a possible nightmarish outcome from Net Neutrality

Today, the FCC will vote on Net Neutrality, a law that on paper promises equality between consumer and provider, but in reality poses many disturbing results. Proposed by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, Net Neutrality hopes to create an even ground for all Internet users. However, the law is written in a way that it is up for interpretation, and that in the future, could be misinterpreted and misused for big companies to use to their unfair advantage.

Let’s start with what Net Neutrality is. Net Neutrality wants to create an even playing field for the regular people, us, and big companies. However, what the creators of Net Neutrality want is not what they shall get. The FCC, by passing this law, is giving the power of the Internet to big companies that can pay for more data, while small companies that can’t pony up the same cash will be tossed to the wayside

Why this matters to you

Imagine an Internet where you can get movies downloaded in minutes and songs in a second. This is going to be feasible and plausible but only to the big companies, that have partnerships with the Internet provider. By doing this, the FCC is putting start-up businesses and entrepreneurs at a disadvantage and soon it will be harder and harder to get your business off the ground because they will be able to get their information much faster than you ever could.

An even worse part of Net Neutrality is the watered down restrictions of wireless companies and their customers. While AT&T and Verizon still can’t control what websites you access, they will be able to control what applications you use.

Why this matters to you

With these watered down restrictions, AT&T and Verizon could control your favorite third-party apps and make you use their own paid service. For example, say you use google maps which is a great free app, Verizon could shut down google maps and make you use their own GPS app, VZ Navigator, which is a paid app and maybe worse than the free app. Also, the ambiguity of Net Neutrality could potentially allow AT&T and Verizon– in an extreme case– to cut your Facebook app off from the Internet if you say something that they don’t agree with. This loopholes Free Speech as they are only taking away your Facebook app which doesn’t serve the sole purpose of status updates. Also, they would back it up with a viable reason that doesn’t include what you said, but instead would attribute the Facebook shutdown to a bug in the app.

Not only that, but providers will be able to make certain websites paid services, by lowering the price of the Internet, and toting that you can save money

Why this matters to you

Imagine the way the Internet is one now as an amusement park. you pay a modest amount for admission and once you’re in you can go on as many rides as you want. Under Net Neutrality, the Internet would be more like a carnival, you pay a lower admission and then you pay per ride. Imagine YouTube or Google as a paid per month service. That is the Internet under the vague rules of Net Neutrality.

Have your voice heard, call your local congressman or, better yet, call the FCC and let them know how you feel about an industrialized, restricted Internet.

FCC number – 1-888-CALL FCC
Chairman Julius Genachowski email – julius.Genachowski@FCC.gov

FCC address for snail mail

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

Teen Ink: Make Yourself Heard

Want to be the next TeenTechBlog? Dont count on it lol, but for those among us who share our desire to express ourselves to the broader world despite not yet even at drinking age, we would like to inform you about about an incredible institution, TeenInk.

Founded in 1989, TeenInk publishes submitted work written by teenagers (at no charge for submission) in their national monthly magazine, their website, and if you’re good enough, their books of collected works. Sorry– they dont pay you for your work.

But if it offers any consolation, we don’t make a penny off this blog either. Check it out! And if you do write something, or have written for them in the past, let us know in the comments.

Picture of Books published by Teen Ink