links for 2010-01-09

  • Members of the Virginia State Crime Commission refused Tuesday to recommend legislation concerning sexting, but the issue is likely to come before lawmakers next month.
    Currently, it’s up to commonwealth’s attorneys whether to charge teens and young adults who send sexually explicit pictures or videos through text messages or e-mails with possessing or transmitting child pornography. Several have done so, and some lawmakers say there should be laws to ensure the issue is dealt with uniformly across the state.
    But others, like Del. David Albo, R-Fairfax, said taking the discretion away from the state’s 120 elected prosecutors could result in a teen being punished for a stupid mistake while allowing a serious predator to receive a mere slap on the wrist. Albo called possible legislation “a total minefield.”
  • I get a lot of email and am often frustrated when I miss an important message, just because it slipped down and out of sight into page two of my inbox. I also have a ritual of emptying my inbox and getting to inbox zero (or at least close to zero) twice a year, before my trips to visit my family for the holidays and again in July. There is something so satisfying about starting a trip with a clean inbox, and I’ve been able to get to inbox zero twice a year for many years now. However, this time I wanted to keep it at inbox zero.
    (tags: email)

  • For parents who want to keep their kids from sexting — or just texting at the dinner table — new cellphone software called Protector keeps them in the loop.
    Protector, which debuts Thursday at CES, is made by Taser International, a company that’s best known for its series of electronic stun guns (watch the video below, from CES 2009, to see The Journal’s Andy Jordan test one out for himself).
    Protector uses GPS so that a child’s calls, texts, emails and photos are first routed to the parent’s phone, where they can be screened and blocked if desired. It also monitors a child’s location and can even track driving habits, Taser said. (In case you’re wondering, it emphasized that Protector is not a stun gun.)
  • Call it the airport embrace felt around the world.
    The man who sneaked past a Newark Liberty International Airport security checkpoint Sunday when a guard briefly stepped away walked arm-in-arm with a woman into the secure area, according to surveillance video released Thursday.
    The incident caused a terminal shutdown that delayed flights across the globe and called into question just how secure the nation’s airports really are.

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