Tuesday, December 04, 2007



Now that I know more about Neopets, I fear for the productivity of the world.

The Web site is all about virtual pets that you customize and take care of. We’ve all heard of these concepts before, but Neopets has developed quite a large following online. Players use a currency called Neopoints to buy food, toys, and other virtual goodies for their characters. You can participate in a variety of games and contests to win these Neopoints for your collection of digital pets. More than likely, Neopets will be a fun Web site for the kids in your life, but if you’re interested in creating an account as well, then go ahead. Your secret is safe with me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Online safety push for children

By Angela Harrison
Education reporter, BBC News
Online safety push for children

The UK police body which works to stop child sex abuse has launched a new campaign aimed at helping young children to stay safe online.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) has designed a new programme for teachers and parents.

It is targeted at children aged from eight to 11 and covers all kinds of internet and text activities.

Chief Executive of CEOP Jim Gamble says the body receives 10 reports a month about children in this age group.

"Children as young as eight are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their use of the internet," he said.

"But where the natural, innocent naivety of children collides with the open and often unrestricted nature of the virtual world, then their safety is always going to be called into question.

"We see that danger first hand all the time."

8 - 11 year olds (source: Ofcom)
41% regularly use the internet
32% regularly use a mobile phone
56% play computer games
7% of 10 year olds have a web cam

He said there was a growing trend of children going online.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre works to catch paedophiles, many of whom use chat, messaging and social network sites to find victims.

It has designed a series of online activities, resources and lesson plans for children, parents and teachers.

Children can play a series of games in a "Cybercafe" on CEOP's Think U Know website, advising characters on what to do in various online or text scenarios.

'Exciting place'

The programme was developed with Becta, the organisation charged by the government with improving the use of technology in learning. Teachers and children were involved in designing it.

Stephen Crowne, chief executive of Becta said: "The internet provides a world of possibilities and is an exciting and informative place for young people to explore and enjoy, but we must do everything we can to make sure that this is a safe environment.

They were telling her she was beautiful, they said she should come to their house
Mother of nine year old

"This means that there is a duty of care on parents and education practitioners when children are at school or at home."

Last September, CEOP launched a campaign for secondary schools and reached more than a million students.

The team say they want to "empower" children by giving them safe surfing guidelines and by telling them how to report online abuse. With so many internet-aware children online, this will make the web a hostile environment for paedophiles, they say.

The new campaign is aimed at pupils from Year 3 upwards and the plan is to have one for even younger children next year. The organisation thinks it is vital children are made aware of the possible dangers.

Don't give your real name on gaming sites
Best not to have anyone on your IM (instant messaging) list that you don't know in the real world
You can block people in IM and chat areas
Best not to meet people you meet online, they might not be who they say they are
Tell an adult you trust if an online friend asks to meet you
Report a contact to CEOP if you think they might be an adult

A CEOP spokeswoman said: "We receive over 400 online reports a month from children, young people and adults and we are seeing reports from younger and younger children, some as young as seven."

Schools which opt to take part can access resources, including games and lesson plans, to help give children safe guidelines on e-mailing, mobile phones, cyber-bullying, social networking and online "stranger danger".

In secondary schools, the approach of the Think U Know campaign was to go into schools directly - but to let children take the lead and speak about their experiences.

Helen Penn, head of CEOP's education team, said: "We have been rolling the Think U Know campaign for more than a year now and have reached over one million young people with the message on how to report a problem online and the message is getting through.

Personal information

"In October last year, we went into school after school and saw a big increase in the reporting of online abuse. There were significant peaks."

Although the approach with younger children is less hard-hitting than that aimed at teenagers, many safety tips are similar: not giving out personal information such as names, ages and addresses, where they go to school, their instant messaging address.

The body also works with partners in the internet industry to make web sites "safer by design", for example in encouraging them to give users automatic anonymity unless they choose to publish their personal information.

Mick Brooks, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, says the issue of children and internet safety is one of "constant anxiety".

"It's a bit like sending your children out anywhere - there are dangers.

"The two main ones are that they might access sites and experiences not appropriate to young children and that they are vulnerable to predators."
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/10/22 23:37:39 GMT


Think U Know
Get Net Wise

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Common Sense Security

This site is designed to give an overview of what we can do to keep our computers safer and more secure while we are on the Internet. I have known the owner (Mark Rider) for a long time and confirm that his site is secure AND gives out some very useful advice. I can  recommend it highly.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Retro64 Great Games Site


Small, independent developers have historically had a rough time competing in the computer games industry. But take my word  for it when I tell you that Retro64 can compete with AND outdo most if not all of the big boys.

Retro64, Inc. was created by a professional game developer, Michael W. Boeh, to revive the creative spirit of the C64. There games aren't Quake 3, and they don't want them to be! In There words:-

"We strive to make small, fast, polished games that take no time to learn, yet are fun to play over and over again. And while we do look back longingly at yesteryear, we understand that we want our games to play like those great games of the past- but not look that way! We use the latest hardware 3D accelerated graphics and digital stereo music to create game environments that are pleasing to the eye and ear. Sure, our games are based on concepts that are 10 years old, but they look great and are a complete blast to play."


"We also feel that with today's Internet technology, there is no reason for a small company to sacrifice service and support. At Retro64, we partner with only the finest services to keep our gamers happy. When you buy a game from Retro64, you can rest assured that your order is safe, and you will get your game right away. We also stand by the quality of our games and provide free technical support, even if you haven't purchased our games."

Retro64 has only begun to create great games, so look out!

Monday, January 01, 2007

A Happy New Year

A Happy New Year to one an` all.
May the year ahead bring all that you desire and more.
If that includes a substantial lottery win my address is available on

Best Wishes