An article in The Times has suggested that middle class parents are buying off their kids with gadgets in an attempt to keep them happy and entertained. This has prompted Mary Bousted the secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, to suggest that it is causing bad behaviour. She says that children live isolated lives and do not know how to behave appropriately. Her comments come ahead of a conference due to be held this week which will address the powers teachers have over disruptive pupils. They are calling for a motion to cut the benefits of parents who have not brought up their children correctly and for them to attend parenting classes. Pamela Park from Parenting UK disagrees and says that parents are often under extreme pressure to provide these sorts of gadgets and that technology can actually help when it comes to learning.
Search application company Endeca and Autotrader have joined together to announce the launch of a new application for the iPhone to allow customers to search for vehicles and traders using their phone. The app will search for cars in certain areas based on a profile submitted by the user. The user can even take a photo of a number plate to find out statistics about the model, cost and performance of the car and examples of others on sale in the same area.. This will allow the user to compare cars of the same model in the same area without having to drive all over town.
The Technology Strategy Board has said that it will invest £6.5m in 6 research and development projects to help those living in assisted care and with long term health problems. They hope to be able to combine telecommunication and computing technologies to address the needs of the elderly and infirm in the 21st century. Graham Worsley from the Board has said that they want to develop new services for those living with health issues. Experts from 50 organisations have joined together to develop monitoring devices and sensors to deliver information regarding the health of the patient to a doctor instantly. The Department for National Health has contributed just £1m of the total while the rest has come from public sector investment.
Tech addicts were asked to give up their gadgets for one day on March 27 for No Tech Day. The campaign was started by Practical Action, a charity which tackles poverty in the developing world by providing simple technology. They asked tech users to experience what it is like not to have gadgets such as TV's, MP3's, phones and computers for just 24 hours and to send them their thoughts via a blog (after the day of course!). They also received hundreds of Tweets. Visitors to their website are asked to vote for the best no tech day blog and that person might win an iPad.
The government is hoping to set up an exclusive group of technology and innovation centres across the country focussing on developing the economic potential of developing technology. Lord Mandelson made the announcement at a presentation given by technology entrepreneur Herman Hauser. Hauser commented that the UK is lacking in strategy when it comes to technology and does not pay attention to business needs. Mandelson said that if they are elected again then the ideas presented will be formulated into a plan.
The Times has asked a bunch of women to test out how girl friendly gadgets really are and whether they can improve their lives. The 7 minor celebrities tested a range of gadgets from laptops to digital cameras. Peaches Geldof discovered that the Altec Lansing inMotion iPod speaker allowed her to have a party anywhere including a Mexico hotel room. TV presenter Miquita Oliver found that the size of her fingers made the Samsung Netbook difficult to use for long periods of time, while Mary McCartney thought her Olympus Digital camera was great because of the different effects such as soft focus and pop art. She also found it to be unobtrusive, a factor which is important to her as a photographer.
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