17/12/2011 Click


Marc Cieslak asks whether you should let your toddlers loose on your tech, or should they use kit strictly designed for kids? Plus tech news and web reviews.

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spread of child sex images is ever more difficult, according to a law


This week on Click, tablets and tantrums as we ask whether you


should let your toddlers was on your technology. Forget words,


think pictures. We look at how the Web is recognising the world around


it. All of that plus the latest tech news and we show you how to


become a jack-of-all-trades on your new Windows phone in webscape.


Welcome to Click. It is often said that today's children can take to


technology like ducks to water. It is simply a part of the world that


they are growing up in. Today's toddlers will probably never buy a


CD. To them, the Internet has always been there. He is a question,


how best to teach your kids about technology. Should you just give


them your tabloid or should you give them something made for


children specifically? It's a question that's becoming


increasingly important to me personally. My son is 20 months old,


and, perhaps unsurprisingly, he's fascinated with buttons, flashing


lights and tech. He loves the magic black piece of glass that reacts to


his touch, as well as the buttons on top of the camera. And I swear,


I didn't teach him how to do this either. Seeing his love for buttons,


we bought him his own toy phone and laptop. But he still prefers mine.


There are a ton of brightly coloured and ruggedized gadgets to


choose from. With everything from junior laptops to imitation


smartphones and even Blackberrys, these age appropriate devices are


marketed as a safe way for kids to come face to face with tech. I'm


just trying to get my head around this child's laptop. Obviously not


a proper laptop - you've got a basic black and white LCD screen


and you can click through to different educational games. If I'm


honest I don't think it's as intuitive as you would expect it to


be for 6-8 year olds. I'm actually finding it quite difficult to work


out what to do. There are an awful lot of buttons that you can press


here and a lot of options that you can click through to, but it does


have a full QWERTY keyboard and a working mouse which drives the


pointer on the screens, so it gets your kids used to using the


keyboard & the mouse which obviously they're going to be using


a lot of in later life. Now, if you want to introduce your children to


the idea of taking digital photos here is a kids' camera - as you can


see it's fairly ruggedized and bright pink obviously a toy but it


does have 2 view finders to get them used to looking through the


viewfinder before they take a picture and it's got 2 viewfinders


instead of one, so they don't have to work out that they have to close


one eye or the other. But it does take proper photos and proper


videos, which you can sync to computer using a USB. As with much


of this kids' tech, the actual technology inside isn't


particularly cutting edge. With just a 2 mega-pixel camera, the


price you're paying also goes on the attractive packaging, and the


ruggedization. But this one does come complete with games and the


ability to add silly faces to photos. That's all very well but,


as you can see, the lens just swivels up and down, so if you if


it's accidentally pointing up, when you take the picture, although the


viewfinder says you are looking over there, you actually end up


with a picture of the ceiling which could be a bit confusing. But when


it comes to toys for us grown ups, there's no doubt what this year's


big trend has been. Kids haven't been left out of the tablet


equation. These kids tablets are obviously just toys, not real


tablets. They do have brightly coloured touch screens and you can


select from a number of different educational apps and games. You can


listen to music, that sort of thing. You can add more games and apps to


these tablets they both have slots for cartridges which you can buy to


load extra games onto it. And they do both have their own online app


store. The tablets themselves don't have Internet access - you buy and


download the apps using your PC, and then transfer them to the


tablet via USB. Which means your kids can't get online, and you can


keep tabs on what they've been doing. One thing to note about


these is unlike grown up tablets they're not rechargeable, they run


on double AA batteries, so, parents, stock up, and again they're very


slow to respond; if they respond correctly at all, as you can see as


this art package tries to track where my finger is drawing a


picture. My question is, would a child have the patience and the


understanding to wait for thing to catch up with some basic finger


strokes like that? Adults are used to leading edge technology and I'm


an early adopter of gadgets myself and I absolutely understand that,


but for children of the age group of LeapPad for example which is 4-9


years old, we designed this product specifically with them in mind, and


therefore the speeds are appropriate for them. So it might


not be leading edge technology for you and I as adults but it's


certainly leading edge technology for children who are 4 years old


price is certainly a part of the mix when we put it together, what


we don't want to do is to make it out of the reach of most people cos


that would be the wrong thing to do, however at the same time we want to


make sure we've got leading edge technology for children


incorporated in the product. the makers of this kids tablets


from Canada have a completely different approach. Vinci created a


tab that not only looks and feels like the real deal, but at around


$400 it costs the real deal too! It runs on the Android OS and the


touch screen is very responsive. Like the other kids tabs though


there is no internet access and all the apps and games are specifically


designed for children. Now your other option is that you give your


child your tablet. Yes, I know what you're thinking, these things are


not kid-proof out of the box, but you can get a variety of ruggedized


cases and screen protectors which give this thing a degree of


protection. One UK nursery though has taken the plunge - the children


here are using an iPad to do anything from colouring in to


reading interactive stories. feel that the eco system behind the


adult technology, whether it's through iPads or whether it's


through Android tablets, is much more supportive and conducive and


more of a future proof technology as well. A lot of the children's


technology that's out there is great by its own right but it


doesn't offer the same level of interaction on a long term scale.


We don't offer children a dumbed down version of the personal


computer. They use the same computer that their mums and dads


use, so why are we trying to look at that in a different way with


touch screen devices? If you look at young children when they are


born into this world, everything is new to them and they are born into


a world where digital technology is part of everyday life, and so to


them an iPad is no more a novelty than a banana, because its just


somehing that's always been there. In fact if you think about it touch


screens are more intuimore intui buttons, keyboards or mice. Take


this 1-year-old girl who is so used to swiping on a tablet that she


can't understand why her finger strokes don't work on this magazine.


With new technology I think there's this very real fear that because


they can be so motivating they can become a little bit addictive


because you get this fast response. But it's also helping children to


get used to using them because they are a part of lives and not


something that is going to take over a kind of critical sense that


they are really not useful for because little children are still


much more awed by three dimentional things by human contact by a pop up


book that does things that's always going to facinate them more than a


two dimentional thing. There are many educational apps available for


iPad and Android tablets - and many of these are cheaper than the apps


for the child-only tablets that we saw earlier, or in some cases they


are even free. Kids tabs makers though would argue their own apps


have unrivalled quality control. For a price, some tablet apps come


with accessories. For example this car has capacitive sensors on the


bottom allowing the accompanying app to turn the tablet into a


virtual playmat. And this special stylus becomes a digital crayon.


It's a far less messy way of colouring in. So, parents,


guardians and tits, let us know, would you rather you something


that's brightly coloured and made for children but using older and


slower technology? -- and kids. Or, would you prefer to use something


that's more expensive but has more and cheaper apps. The Dutch? Let us


22 apps have been pulled from the Android store after being found to


contain fraudulent software. Malware has doubled in the past six


months. In a cheeky move, Microsoft is running a competition offering a


free Windows phone for Android users willing to go public about


their malware experiences. However, online security blocks are


reporting that new SMS malware disables the new Windows 7.5 system


known as Mangle. You know what they say about people in glass houses...


-- Mangle. In response to Groupon's dominance, PayPal is launching its


own rival service. It says that it service, which is due to launch


next year, will happen to existing users' buying habits and locations.


Users will see all for as Pol Pot on their phones as they pop -- as


they pass by shops. I am sure that but not be annoying. YouTube has


put together appeal -- playlets of the educational videos according to


subject matter and age limits. It will block other videos without the


school's explicit permission. Keyboards, track pants and mice are


not the most natural things for humans to use. -- track pants. That


is changing. As technology gets more powerful, it is possible to


should command at your mobile phone or control a games console using


speech. It means that it is now possible to ask questions of the


Internet in new ways. For example, simply by showing that an image


that you want to know more about. Richard Taylor has been


investigating. The Web has changed beyond recognition. It is rich,


interactive and incredibly visual. The way that we interface with it


seems a bit stuck in the past. Keyboards, keywords, at the picture


is worth 1,000 words, there has to be a better way for man to talk to


my shame. As the Web matures, it is encouraging us to think more


visually. -- man to talk to machine. It is no surprise that there is a


revelation. Visual search allows me to take a photograph of, for


example, football, and then it will match the pattern is too similar


images online. It is a lot less hit and miss than searching for the


word "ball." Google really kicked in the ball into the mainstream in


2009 with Goggles, and app that scanned a photograph you had taken


into you're smart phones. We have worked to me could recognise more


things. We have added new features. Last week, we introduced a new


version of Google Goggles that leads you point your camera and it


works in continuous mode. This principle of image recognition can


do a lot more than just returning search results. It can generate


entirely new experiences like augmented reality, creating digital


The EDL is not the most data friendly use of your mobile, so to


reduce waiting times, acts like this look at your location and


preload information. So at White Hart Lane, Spurs fans can enjoy


highlights. It is enough to get the faithful buried sidled -- excited.


As a Tottenh a Tottenh fan, it is brilliant. You have the club with


you all the time. You can access the latest polls and highlights,


wherever you laugh. Their goals from games Tucci you up. I find


myself watching the goals from the Arsenal game over and over again


and that puts me in a different frame of mind. The possibility is a


marketing and content delivery are mind-boggling. One area we are


likely to see this technology made money ride away is in retail.


Already, it is a way to access your views and information about


something without a bar code. Let's say I am shopping and I stumble


across a product that I'm interested in buying, for example,


a nice perfume. With his smart phone, I tensed take a snap of the


product in question, and it will scour the way and return relevant


information. These acts can handle shapes that conform to a stereotype,


logo is and buildings, no problem. But once you get into soft items


like clothing, which will look different on different people,


specialist algorithms need to be written, designed to do just one


particular ING. Such as mind the perfect pair of shoes for and


heartbeat. -- an outfit. But this Act, due out early next year, will


be able to scan a photo from a magazine and then find a similar


item of clothing from about 70 basic principles are the same every


company. The user gives you a picture with no other data and you


must extrapolate all of your information from a bunch of pixels.


Some computers, by combining images and words, they make the search


more appropriate. Other people try and put the image into context and


look around it and try and look at an image as a person would.


developers like this and their crust with a click through


advertising and commission on sales, so they can keep the service free


to us and users. It is already becoming a crowded space and


innovation will be key to grabbing attention on the verge will high


street of the future. -- said well. It means the lacing a body shape


analyzer up alongside the shopping system that no enemy recommends


items of clothing, but will even tell you when you are looking at


something that you really should not which brt which brle new level


of meaning to the question - Does My bum Look be in this? An


interestingly, when I Ash tried the app, this is what it suggested


would look best on mate. Intelligent technology. Lovett.


Only joking. Let's move on to webscape. We start this week with


blocks. These days, it seems that everyone and his dog is riding one.


quickly, run out of ideas on what to write. Is staring at a blank


pages doing your way in, Kate Russell has drafted in a little


help from the professionals. Word press. Just a handful of the


blocking plat forms hosting a conservative estimate, more than


100 million active Bloggs. What an Eartha they're all talking about.


If you feel the need to block are stuck for something today, it could


be the company that you are waiting for. Is that mixes mime group


lobbying with content aggregation from your Twitter, a Google reader


accounts. Your imagination will be sparked, ended is a stylish


platform. The site is still in double secret testing mode. Well,


blew the lid off it. But you will have to register and wait for an


invitation if you want to join in. It has been in testing for quite a


while and there is a great community already. It is definitely


worth the wait if you have the patience. To connect with other


users, like any other social network, and start building a


conversation. It is similar to tumbler. But there is a lot less


pressured to create content if you just want to dip in occasionally or


I used Facebook most when I'm travelling, posting photographs and


updates on my adventures. But since Gecko.com launched their Facebook


page, I am taking in before I go travelling. It is one of the best


travel booking sites out there and Facebook seems like a natural


evolution for the platform. Where else will you get reliable tips


about the best places to stay, if not from yout from you Use it posed


questions about where to stay and what to do. Or, explore the


discounts and deals that hotels, bars and restaurants are opening to


the users. You can even request a deal, if you find a venue that you


like, perhaps asking for a discount for a group booking. And it allows


the venue owned up to respond with a targeted deal specific to you,


without having to roll it out to the world at large. Windows find


users are not exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to enable them


at sea. But called Fools is a need free download that gives you a


handful of Piedad heads rolled into one. Things like a countdown timer,


flashlight, ruler, conversion tables and a volume Twigger for all


of the things that you listen to. There is even a tips And random


number generator. The hi-tech alternative to drawing straws.


Google has had a busy week, introducing a new recommendations


engine, which is still in Invite mode. And an online magazine app,


current on and read, and a new release says Picasso, with Google


plus tagging and sharing and 24 new SX. And going Live With find my


face, a facial recognition and on for Google class. Tagging dodos of


people who have opted into the Beecher. Importantly, they have


learned from Facebook's somewhat bungled roll-out of a similar


technology earlier in this year, making it up in rather than a


default, so you don't have to worry about being tagged if you do not


want to be. If you are still having trouble with your Christmas wish-


list, this is a free Social book marking Tell, designed to help


people collaborate on wish lists. Instead of Santa clause giving you


a whole load of junk that you don't want, make a list of what you do


not -- do want and send it to the North Pole, or share it with your


family and friends. It is also a really good way to share ideas of


buying something be with other people, like a holiday, so you can


discuss, a rate and decide together online. As this is the last fresh


webscape of 2011, how about a look back week is that looks back at the


year. A gracefully executed skin through the year, including seminal


current affairs events as well. And all played to a backing track of


uplifting music. As always, Kate's links are put our website. You can


get in touch about those reports. That's all for this week. There the


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