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Mobile Technology News, March 28, 2015

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • VIDEO: 1980s games reviewed by six-year-olds
    Children try out some 1980s games at the new National Videogame Arcade in Nottingham and see how they compare to their modern equivalents.
  • Crossing the Chasm to Coding: Three Career Backgrounds That Might Help You Convert
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    Marc Andreessen declared famously in 2011 that “Software is eating the World.” With smart phone proliferation, the explosion of cloud services and disruptive innovation running rampant everywhere, his words ring truer today than ever. Companies like Uber and AirBnB are able launch full frontal assaults on the established market leaders because of the computing power we all carry with us all day, everyday.

    At the heart of our interconnected emerging reality are billions of lines of code which direct computers of all shapes and sizes to perform their functions and enable our interactions. Like the scribes and the clergy and aristocracy of the medieval times who held the power because of their ability to communicate through the written word, a new literacy is emerging in the form of computer code and those who have the literacy, have the keys to a new kind of power.

    Efforts are being made across the educational spectrum to spread the new literacy, from coding in kindergarten to “teaching grandma to code.” While some future generation of children can look forward to a gaining a solid foundation in coding, the rest of us who have already passed through the system have to fend for ourselves when it comes to acquiring these key skills for the modern era.

    To tackle the challenge, disruptive models of education are emerging; at one end of the spectrum exist free, self-help resources like CodeAcademy and Udacity, and on the other end, coding bootcamps like the Software Craftsmanship Guild , Dev Bootcamp, and Hack Reactor have emerged. With recent endorsements from the White House, these new modes have quickly begun to move into the mainstream as a solution to the projected shortage of 1M developers by 2020.

    At the Software Craftsmanship Guild, with a nice track record of operations under our belt, we’ve begun to see some interesting leading indicators emerge in our applicant pool, further validated by our proprietary aptitude test, and ultimately confirmed by those who have successfully graduated from the program and are engaged in fulfilling new careers as software developers. In our quest to make coding more accessible, here are three examples of skills and backgrounds that may make a career in coding a great direction for you to explore:

    1) Mastering Code and Making Music
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    As it turns out musicality is a powerful predictor of coding success.”There’s no strange coincidence here” says Jennie Zamberlan, Guild co-founder and CEO of software consultancy Avantia,”we’ve got enough musicians on our development team to have a battle of the bands!”

    Tad Melton always loved making music, so much so that he made a career out of it. He rose to the top of a music instruction business and became their director of operations overseeing a team of music instructors and teaching thousands of guitar lessons to fledgling performers. As a guitarist, Tad also played in a band, they gigged at events and weddings, whatever paid. The glamour of achieving rockstar status eluded him though, and he began to ask himself”what’s next?” On learning about coding botcamps he decided to apply to the Guild. He recently finished the intensive 12 week program and even better with a job offer in hand to work as a Junior Developer at a Cleveland- based insurance company.

    “It was hard at but I loved it,” said Tad.”Composing and coding, rely on many of the same fundamental principles so it felt like I had a headstart entering into the program. Now software development becomes my career, and music, which I’ll always love, becomes my hobby.”

    2) From Cooking to Coding
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    A good cook recognizes that they are a problem solver, and problem solvers make good coders. Where others might see and pile of raw ingredients, they can see a delicious meal.
    The inherent abilities that allow someone to be successful as a chef lend themselves well to creating great code. In an excellent article posted on Mother Jones titled “Is coding the new literacy?“, author Tasneem Raja writes “seeing the culinary potential in raw ingredients is like computational thinking, you might think of a software algorithm as a kind of recipe: a step-by-step guide on how to take a bunch of random ingredients and start layering them together in certain quantities, for certain amounts of time, until they produce the outcome you had in mind.”

    Rob Helvey came to the Software Craftsmanship Guild most recently from South Carolina. With 20 years of working in the restaurant industry, he had held the full range of roles from executive chef to operations manager, and with a brother in the software field, couldn’t ignore the parallels he kept observing when the two talked careers. “The pace, pressure, and time constraints under which I typically worked have helped me manage my time and adapt to challenges as necessary” said Rob about adjusting to a new discipline. And he’s excited to embark on his new career, “I look forward to having a “normal” life, that life of working weekdays, actually getting health benefits…. all of those things that people who have never endured the hospitality business take for granted.”

    3) Parlez vous Java? Language Learning and Coding Competency
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    The rise in the popularity in computer coding in our education systems has lead politicians to promote the idea that foreign language credits be given students who take courses in computer programming. However, while the Spanish that you learnt in college is largely relevant today, and still might help you navigate the streets of Madrid, anyone who was taught FORTRAN will tell you that the same doesn’t hold true in today’s world of software development. That said, there’s evidence that mastering a foreign language does have a significant impact on an individual’s cognitive ability.

    In his published paper on bilingualism in Canada, Wally Lazuk states,”Cognitive research associates bilingualism with heightened mental flexibility and creative thinking skills, enhanced metalinguistic awareness, and greater communicative sensitivity.”

    While the nuances of foreign language communication don’t always directly correlate with the precise communication required of crisp and concise code writing, the mental flexibility to master syntax and translate intent into meaning suggest that language mastery is a good indicator of a more friction-less pathway to learning to code.

    Christopher Becker gained a PHD in Linguistics and mastered one of the hardest languages, Russian. His career in academics saw him developing curriculum, lecturing and working in Michigan, Ohio, and California. He began to become increasingly interested in learning code and took the initiative on his own to teach himself the basics of Python through books and online resources.”Many of the same principles used in coding are used in linguistics: variables, scope domains, functions, recursion, nested relationships, hierarchies, set relations, etc.” said Christopher,”but I recognized that in the same way that I had to move to Russia to master that language, I needed to take an immersive approach to learning to code. It wasn’t easy, but I know my background accelerated my understanding.” Christopher entered into our Java cohort in January and returns now to opportunities in Michigan with a new and valuable skill set.

    Language skills, musicality and cooking each lend themselves well to learning to code. At the Software Craftsmanship Guild we recognize that at a high level good coders tend to be natural problem solvers, they have attention to detail and they relish the opportunity to develop themselves and master new concepts. We are continually surprised by the wide variety of backgrounds of our students and thrilled to see them successfully make a fulfilling career change.

    If you’re curious to know if your natural aptitude lends itself to this exciting and rapidly growing career field, take a few minutes and try our mini aptitude test to quickly uncover if this is the path for you!

    Good luck!

  • Next Windows 10 for Phone Build Covers The Entire Range of Lumia Devices

    According to a blog post by Gabe Aul, if you own a Lumia device you will likely have the next Windows 10 for Phone preview available on your device.  The news is certainly welcome to everyone who was disappointed by the limited number of devices the original preview was available for in January.  That seems to be resolved thanks to the partition stitching process that had to be resolved on many devices and within the next couple of weeks we should see a new build. Shortly after the original Windows 10 for Phone preview, Gabe Aul blogged that the main

    The post Next Windows 10 for Phone Build Covers The Entire Range of Lumia Devices appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • Silicon Valley firm wins bias case
    A California jury has found that a venture capital firm did not discriminate against a female employee in a closely watched case in Silicon Valley.
  • Ellen Pao Loses Gender Discrimination Suit Against Kleiner Perkins
    By Sarah McBride and Dan Levine

    SAN FRANCISCO, March 27 (Reuters) – Silicon Valley powerhouse venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers was cleared on Friday of claims it short-circuited the career of a former partner because she is a woman, in a gender discrimination trial that shook the tech world.

    A California jury also rejected a claim that Kleiner, the firm that backed Google Inc and Amazon.com Inc , had retaliated against its former partner, Ellen Pao, by firing her after she sued in 2012.

    Despite days of courtroom drama about affairs, books of erotic poetry and office flirting, juror Steve Sammut, who mostly voted for Kleiner, said the decision came down to Pao’s effectiveness at her job.

    “We were focused on the performance,” he said.

    The verdict dashed Pao’s hopes for personal vindication, but the trial revealed embarrassing disclosures about how Pao and other women were treated at Kleiner and Silicon Valley’s corporate culture and its lack of diversity.

    “Ellen Pao’s loss is anything but a win for Silicon Valley’s status quo. The challenges she raised about the male-dominated culture that controls the heart of the innovation economy can’t be dismissed,” the San Francisco Chronicle wrote in an editorial after the verdict. It described tech firms “huddling” to review promotion plans.

    In a statement, Kleiner thanked the jury and said it was committed to supporting women in venture capital and technology. “There is no question gender diversity in the workplace is an important issue,” it said.

    Supporters of Pao sent Twitter messages tagged #ThankYouEllenPao immediately after the final verdict. Pao shone a light on the “toxic culture” of Silicon Valley and “empowered other women in tech,” some tweets said.

    Pao remained composed as the decision on each claim was delivered. As the crucial decisions on gender bias were read, her two lawyers gently patted her on the back.

    After the jury was dismissed, Pao told reporters in the courthouse that people around the world had reached out to her and told her that they had stories similar to her own.

    “If I’ve helped to level the playing field for women and minorities in venture capital, then the battle was worth it,” she said.

    The California Superior Court case laid bare the personnel matters of the firm, with Pao’s lawyers painting Kleiner as a quarrelsome pressure cooker where a former male partner used business trips as opportunities to make advances to female colleagues.

    BRIEF AFFAIR

    Pao, now interim chief executive at social-news service Reddit, claimed her standing at Kleiner crumbled after she ended a brief affair with partner Ajit Nazre. Her career deteriorated after he and Kleiner started retaliating against her, amid a climate that was overall unfriendly toward women, her lawyers argued.

    The firm disputed those charges, presenting evidence that Kleiner went out of its way to hire women.

    Pao sought to illustrate her point with testimony during the five-week-long trial from former Kleiner partner, Trae Vassallo, who said Nazre appeared at her hotel room on a business trip, wearing a bathrobe and carrying a glass of wine.

    Kleiner countered that it investigated Nazre after Vassallo complained, after which he quickly left the firm.

    Some witnesses, including Pao’s onetime mentor John Doerr, testified that Pao’s lack of advancement stemmed from subpar performance, not discrimination or retaliation.

    Juror Sammut said jurors believed the firm was ready to let Pao go years before her lawsuit but that Doerr intervened. “Doerr was definitely in her corner,” Sammut said.

    Pao’s attorneys had argued she laid the groundwork for the firm’s highly successful investment in RPX, the patent company, and suggesting an investment in Twitter, an idea more senior partners rejected at the time.

    Pao herself testified for five days and faced tough questions both from Kleiner’s legal team and from jurors. One juror asked if it was “professional to enter into an affair with a married partner?”

    “Going back I would not have done it again, but I didn’t think it was inappropriate at the time,” Pao said, emphasizing that Nazre had told her he was separated.

    The case is Pao v. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC, CGC-12-520719, in California Superior Court, in the County of San Francisco. (Additional reporting by Noel Randewich and Jim ChristieEditing by Peter Henderson and Grant McCool)

  • Digital Trust Foundation Seeking Proposals on Digital Abuse Programs
    The Digital Trust Foundation is seeking grant proposals around digital abuse. As the Request for Proposals (RFP) states, “The Foundation has found several gaps in digital abuse research and action” and is addressing that concern by seeking to fund “empirical research to understand the prevalence of various forms of digital abuse,” as well as “implementation and evaluation of digital abuse prevention strategies.”

    The Foundation will also fund organizations that provide direct services to victims and projects that contribute to the digital abuse policy debate. The RFP and other supporting materials are available on the Foundation’s website. The deadline for submitting a proposal is 11:59 PM PT on May 7, 2015.

    Grants will range from between $50,000 and $200,000, although exceptional projects outside that range will be considered. Non-profits, universities, private companies, and individuals are eligible to apply.

    There are three funding categories: research, prevention and support. Here is a brief summary, but please see the RFP for more detail.

    Context

    The grant program is quite timely considering what is going on today. The recent conviction of Kevin Bollart for operating two “revenge porn” sites is but one of many recent examples of how some have used digital technology to abuse others. There are also numerous cases of online harassment on Twitter and other social networks. Young women are particularly vulnerable, but men and women of all ages have been affected. Even domestic violence and dating abuse now have their digital components. And, while most online young people are respectful of others, there are certainly cases of cyberbullying.

    What is needed are prevention and support strategies that are based on the latest and most credible research that address the emerging problems. We also need more research to better understand the prevalence and impact of different types of digital abuse and how to address the problems effectively. The last things I think we need is exaggeration, “moral panics” and overly restrictive policies, nor do we need to violate Internet users’ right to free expression. We do need to develop some rational and research-based understanding and responses to the real issues that confront online

    Research projects:

    The Foundation is interested in projects that examine the prevalence of cyberbullying, cyberstalking, or digital domestic violence and is especially interested in those that compare digital abuse prevalence across age groups, including both youth and adults. Proposals that fill a research gap may be prioritized, which is especially important regarding cyberbullying of youth, as a lot of research on that topic has already been conducted.

    Prevention projects:

    The Foundation expects to fund several projects with diverse budgets up to $100,000 that will both implement and evaluate an “evidence-based digital abuse prevention program.” The projects can test new prevention strategies, but proposals must include a theory of change or evidence base to support the proposed strategies.

    Support projects:

    The Foundation is looking for “Supporting Digital Abuse Victims” proposals that provide information and or support to digital abuse victims, as well as projects that provide digital abuse training or educational materials to stakeholders, including those within the criminal justice system. Proposals should include information on how the project will serve digital abuse victims, why your approach is important, and a brief summary of the evidence base for this approach and/or past program evaluation results.

    Where the money comes from & my role as a Foundation board member

    Do you remember Facebook’s Beacon program? Back in 2007, Facebook came up with a plan for users to share purchases and other web activities on their Facebook newsfeed. It didn’t go over well with privacy advocates and was eventually scrapped. But, in the interim, there was a class action lawsuit that resulted in Facebook agreeing to fund a Foundation to spend about $6.7 million to fund projects that advance the cause of privacy, safety and security.

    I am one of three members of the Foundation board of directors along with U.C. Berkeley Law Professor Chris Hoofnagle and Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan.

    If you have any questions, please contact the Foundation staff. I am not in a position to discuss or respond to emails about the RFP or the proposals.

  • Ellen Pao Jury Didn't Have Enough Votes For A Verdict And Will Resume Deliberations [UPDATED]
    SAN FRANCISCO, March 27 (Reuters) – A California jury ruled Friday to clear venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers of gender discrimination in a lawsuit brought by a former woman partner, but the judge ordered jurors to resume deliberations on a claim of retaliation.

    The jury in California Superior Court decided that gender was not the reason Kleiner did not promote the partner, Ellen Pao. The jury cleared Kleiner on three claims and voted eight to four in favor of Kleiner on a fourth claim by Pao that the firm retaliated against her after she sued in 2012.

    To deliver a verdict, at least nine jurors must agree and the judge ordered jurors to resume deliberations.

    The case laid bare the personnel matters of the firm that backed Google Inc and Amazon.com Inc, with Pao’s attorneys painting Kleiner as a quarrelsome pressure cooker where a former male partner used business trips as opportunities to make advances to female colleagues.

    Pao, now interim chief executive at social-news service Reddit, claimed her standing at Kleiner crumbled after she ended a brief affair with partner Ajit Nazre. Her career deteriorated after he and Kleiner started retaliating against her, amid a climate that was overall unfriendly toward women, her lawyers argued.

    The firm disputed those charges, presenting evidence that Kleiner went out of its way to hire women.

    Pao sought to illustrate her point with testimony from former Kleiner partner, Trae Vassallo, who said Nazre appeared at her hotel room on a business trip. He wore a bathrobe and carried a glass of wine, according to testimony.

    Kleiner countered that it investigated Nazre after Vassallo complained, after which he quickly left the firm.

    Some witnesses, including Pao’s onetime mentor John Doerr, have testified that Pao’s lack of advancement stemmed from subpar performance, not discrimination or retaliation. [ID: nL1N0W51M6]

    But Pao’s attorneys argued she laid the groundwork for the firm’s highly successful investment in RPX, the patent company, and suggesting an investment in Twitter, an idea more senior partners rejected at the time.

    Pao herself testified for five days and faced tough questions both from Kleiner’s legal team and from jurors. One juror asked if it was “professional to enter into an affair with a married partner?”

    “Going back I would not have done it again, but I didn’t think it was inappropriate at the time,” Pao said, emphasizing that Nazre had told her he was separated.

    The case is Pao v. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC, CGC-12-520719, in California Superior Court, in the County of San Francisco. (Editing by Peter Henderson and Grant McCool)

  • The Funniest Autocorrect Fails Of March 2015 (NSFW)
    What the duck?

    The invention of autocorrect (and its evil twin sibling, “Voice to Text”) has provided us with month after month of ridiculous texting mishaps. Luckily, Damn You Autocorrect corrals them all so you can relish in other people’s phone-based fails from the comfort of your own device.

  • New WiFi Threat for Hotels – Security Tips for Travelers
    It’s never a good idea to connect to the public WiFi network at a hotel (or anywhere else for that matter), but here’s yet another reason why travelers should be careful — a new report found that the WiFi router used by most hotels is vulnerable to hackers.

    Typically, hotel patrons who use a public WiFi connection are at risk of getting snooped on, because criminals could set up a fake network, call it “Hotel Guest WiFi,” and wait for suckers to connect. Once they do, the criminal could read everything that person does online, unless it’s encrypted.

    But with this new threat, guests who use the real hotel WiFi network can also fall victim to very serious attacks. This can include snooping on your online activity, stealing passwords and logins, reading emails, etc. Even worse, hackers could infect your laptop or mobile device with malware just by connecting to the network. And a really good hacker could go even further by using this security flaw to burrow more deeply into the hotel’s business systems, potentially stealing guests’ credit card information.

    The problem in this case is with a specific piece of networking equipment (ANTlabs’ InGate device) that’s widely used in the hotel industry to set up a guest WiFi network. In fact, it’s found in 277 hotels worldwide, including many of the top 10 hotel chains. Unfortunately for travelers, it turns out this device is vulnerable to hackers. The manufacturer has since fixed the problem, but hotels will have to install the security patch or else they — and their guests — will remain vulnerable.

    So what can you do?

    First of all, it’s important for travelers to stop using public WiFi altogether — unless they are using a virtual private network (VPN) tool, like OpenDNS. A VPN encrypts your online traffic, so that even if an attacker is able to spy on you, all they’ll see is a bunch of gobbledygook.

    However, if you don’t have a VPN, which most don’t as they’re not that easy to use, then revert to a cellular signal whenever you’re out of your home or office — and tether that to any other devices you’re trying to connect to the web. Admittedly, it’s not an ideal solution and you will run up your data usage — but this is the best way to protect your data without using a VPN.

    Next, never pay at a hotel with a debit card. Use credit cards only, since they come with greater protections. Even prior to this security warning, hotels have been leaky ships when it comes to customer credit card data. According to Verizon’s 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report, the accommodation industry (which includes hotels, casinos and restaurants) had the highest rate of point-of-sale breaches of any industry — 75 percent of all security incidents in 2013 were due to this. The next closest was retail at just 31 percent.

    Change your online banking password. We’re not sure how long this vulnerability has been around, but it’s possible some cyber-criminals already knew about it. If you’ve traveled in the past 12 months, it’s a good idea to change your banking password — and be sure to make it 10+ characters long, using both upper and lower case letters, as well as numbers and special symbols.

    However, even without this latest threat, traveling and staying in hotels does increase a person’s chances of getting hacked. Here are a few more steps people should take to protect themselves:

    • Don’t do online banking while on the road. Any computer or tablet that’s used to surf the web, check emails and especially log into public WiFi at hotels, airports and coffee shops is likely to have some type of malware on it. That means it can’t be trusted to perform sensitive tasks like logging into a bank account. For travelers who must do online banking, a better option is to use a mobile banking app — but, again, only use the cellular signal, not WiFi hotspots. Ideally, consumers should have a dedicated laptop at home that they only use to log into their bank account, and nothing else. Sounds paranoid perhaps, but in today’s growing cyber-crime climate, it’s essential.
    • Protect your devices against theft. Every device taken on the road should have two things: a lock-out password that you’re required to enter to access the device itself, and a remote wiping or disabling capability so if the device is stolen the personal data it contains won’t be accessible.
    • Use a password manager. Most people have 12 or more online accounts they access on a regular basis. It’s essential to use strong unique passwords for every one of them, and to change those passwords regularly, and the best way to ensure this actually happens is to use a password manager tool. This provides safe online storage of all your passwords so that you don’t have to remember them — you simply login to the password manager and it takes care of the rest.
    • Set up two-factor authentication. Whenever you have the option of adding two-factor authentication (or 2FA) to an online account, do it. 2FA makes it a lot harder to hack a person’s account, as the attacker will have to get the password and the temporary code sent to that person’s mobile phone. For travelers who are checking their online accounts from all types of vulnerable access points, this is one important way to raise your security level.
    • Foreign travel risks. For those who travel to Asia (particularly China), as well as Eastern Europe and Russia, it’s strongly advised that you bring temporary devices with you as the chances of a malware infection are greater. In spy lingo, these are known as “burner” phones, but you don’t have to be carrying state secrets to want to be safe. Temporary phones, tablets or laptops are recommended, that way you don’t bring an infected device back into your work or home.
  • Five Things I Love About Research
    I know just enough about research to be dangerous. That’s mostly a joke, but not entirely. As an undergraduate, graciously allowed to take Ed School graduate courses (thank you, Gerry Lesser!), I learned how to read and interpret research, and some rudimentary study design. But, that was so long ago that we gathered and processed data on punchcards, and our math capabilities were limited because we hadn’t yet evolved opposable thumbs. You wouldn’t want me writing the questions or moderating the interviews.

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    At this week’s Sandbox Summit, we released a PlayScience study of parents, platforms and preferences, with just a teaser for another study we’ve fielded, on the children’s VOD market, that will be issued quite soon. Here are the slides we presented.

    More than much of the client-based work we do, I’ve had a chance to be involved in this from start to finish, and it’s reminded me that one of the great pleasures and privileges of my job is to listen to our research team as they develop, execute, analyze and report studies. Here are five reasons I love collaborating on research.

    It’s never finished.

    Every study not only provides insights, it poses new questions. As soon as our report was shared, in the hallways at Sandbox and on social media, many other researchers came to us with questions and suggestions for deeper dives into the existing data, follow-up or ongoing tracking studies. Given how quickly the family technology environment is changing, PlayScience could track this study every six months for the foreseeable future and get useful longitudinal insights. Our forthcoming VOD study was conducted just weeks before YouTube Kids was launched. That makes it a unique and valuable snapshot of a moment, and a baseline for change in a shifting field.

    It’s coding.

    With all the attention right now to teaching young people how to code, my feeling is that what we really mean by this is that they should learn how to think logically and analytically, and to review a sequence of steps or events to find and correct flaws.

    A good research designer does just the same. At the data gathering stage, that involves identifying what questions need to be asked and in what sequence, establishing a narrative to help those being surveyed to respond with clarity and get meaningful results. When it comes to analysis, there has to be a consistent and logical structure to the presentation. If some findings are among all families and some just among those who fit a particular condition, this has to be clearly delineated and honestly revealing of the information being sought. As when writing code, if there’s an inconsistency that affects clarity, it has to be traced back to the source and addressed up and down the line.

    It’s connective and collaborative.

    Studies can mesh to reveal even more. Just shortly after we posted our “platforms and preferences” study, other researchers – both academic and from industry, began commenting on research they’d done or data they held that might pair with ours. For example, Jessica Taylor Piotrowski, a leading academic researcher based in the Netherlands, posted to Facebook of a study she and her Ph.D. student had just finished, with 600 Dutch parents, “to identify what they consider the main ‘needs’ they (and their children) have when it comes to apps, and what specific ‘features’ of apps can meet these needs. We are analyzing this based on both demographic characteristics as well as parenting style.” This will add multiple dimensions to the PlayScience report, such as an international perspective as well as a drill down into specific content for the devices we explored.

    It’s additive – one work inspires others.

    The research world is a Tetris game where every new study fits into a history, both of findings and methods. A project may begin with a review of past literature on the subject, building a framework from what we already know, the strengths and weaknesses of that knowledge base, what’s changed since the previous studies. Children and media research rests on studies done over 50 years, but primarily on television. Today, without abandoning that history, we’re asking new questions and forging new methodologies in order to understand the unique new world of digital, interactive, mobile devices and their particular affordances.

    It’s creative.

    As families’ lives get more complex, so too do the challenges of understanding them. In recent years, PlayScience has generated all sorts of innovative methods for specific times, places and questions, like getting families to install time-lapse programmed digital cameras on top of their TV sets to capture the who, how, when and where of family viewing. Every new study begins with a brainstorm of best practices for getting the needed information in ways that are accurate, timely, non-intrusive and – especially in the case of research with kids – fun and engaging.

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    Whether inside PlayScience, in academic settings worldwide, at conferences, or on the Children and Media Professionals group on Facebook, researchers are naturally curious people, ever asking “what if…” questions and proposing “yes and…” studies. They’re improvisers, innovators, inquirers and inspirers, and I love the chance to work with them.

    A version of this post first appeared in Kidscreen.

  • The Price That You Pay for Rocking the Boat
    Last month, I gave this tribute to Aaron Swartz, an internet activist, when I hosted a special Capitol Hill showing of the documentary Killswitch. Aaron was targeted for prosecution for his political views and, facing decades in prison, he killed himself. The documentary not only demonstrates how modern technology threatens our privacy and freedom, but it also recognizes the sacrifices that Aaron Swartz and Edward Snowden made on behalf of those fundamental principles. Aaron used to work for me. So when I introduced the film, I had a few personal things to say:

    I’d like to begin by sharing my war experience with you. I remember when I was under fire … Confederate fire. And Oliver Wendell Homes turned to me, and he said to me, “Get down, you fool.”

    I’m sorry, no, that wasn’t me; that was actually Abraham Lincoln. I’ll confess: I’m not Abraham Lincoln, nor am I Bill O’Reilly. But the nice thing about living at this point in time, in the early 21st century, is that you can actually check my story, right? You can go on the Internet, and find out whether Oliver Wendell Holmes actually ever said that to me. (By the way, he did say it to Lincoln.)

    We need to do what we can to preserve that freedom, the freedom to find things out. The freedom to have that magical machine that people started to write about in the mid-20th century, that magical computer where you could ask any question you wanted, and out came the answer.

    That’s a magnificent accomplishment for humanity. But there is another even more important, magnificent accomplishment, which is that the Internet lets us find each other. Not just find out facts, not just find out numbers, but find other spirits, other souls who, in some way that matters to us, are like us. Kindred spirits. That’s a space humanity has created for itself now, that never existed before. It lets you connect with somebody in Bombay, or Tokyo, on very deep levels, when just a short time ago, they were not even a part of your imagination. And that’s something that we have to work hard to protect, because it will always be the case that selfish interests — whether it’s multinational corporations, the military-industrial complex, the spying-industrial complex, whoever it might be — they will try to take that freedom away from us. It’s happening right now. That’s what you’re about to see [in this documentary].

    Now, we’re going to hear about two people. I never met Edward Snowden, but I did know quite a bit about Aaron Swartz. In fact, he worked for me, for a period of time, a few years ago. And he was brilliant, as you’ll see for yourself. I’m sure that whatever this film may say about him, it can barely do justice to what a special human being he was.

    There were a couple of things about Aaron that, I have to tell you honestly, I found disconcerting. One was that Aaron would always come up with better assignments than any assignments that I could come up with. I’d tell Aaron, “Would you please do this?” And Aaron would say, “Well, sure, but do you mind if I also do that?” And always, ‘that’ turned out to be much more important than ‘this.’ Every single time.

    Another interesting thing that disturbed me about Aaron was that he really got things done. Now here, in Washington D.C., that’s a lost art. People really don’t know how to do that anymore. Time after time, after time, we wait ’til the very last minute, and we somehow manage, often but not always, to somehow get through it, without actually accomplishing anything, but actually just barely avoiding disaster. Aaron wasn’t like that at all. Aaron would think of this amazing thing — I was stunned by his audacity that he’d even think of it — and then a few weeks later, it’d be done. He was magnificent that way.

    And over time I realized that my reluctance that I had, my frustration that I couldn’t give him assignments that were better than what he’d come up himself, it really reflected more on me than on him. So I stopped thinking about it, entirely.

    Now he had a very special quality, which some of you may have, yourselves. Aaron liked to rock the boat. He didn’t mind rocking the boat. And that’s a unique quality in human beings. All over the world, I think, you’ll find that there’s a deep resistance and hesitation to rocking the boat. I’ve said that there are roughly 2,000 human languages on this planet, and I would venture to say that in every single one of those languages, there’s an idiom for the phrase: “Don’t rock the boat.” Well, he rocked the boat. Not only by creating Reddit at the age of 19, something which by itself would have given him the freedom to stay in bed for the rest of his life, and order in pizzas, to be delivered, never having to move beyond the bathroom. He could have had that life. But instead he wanted more. He wanted to go out and, as you’ll see, he wanted to imprint on the world his own sense of freedom — the freedom I just talked to you about — the freedom to be able to connect with other people.

    Now, here’s the funny thing about what happens when you rock the boat. Sometimes when you rock the boat, the boat rocks you. It rocks back. And Aaron actually understood that, and he took it in good spirits. You have to pay a price for orienting your life in that manner. For some of us who try to rock the boat, we lose our family. For some of us who try to rock the boat, we lose our property. Some of us go to prison. In Aaron’s case, he lost his life. But he always understood that that’s the price that sometimes you must pay if you were that kind of person; if you have the impulse to go ahead and make a difference.

    He was a person of enormous talent. And sometimes we are very hard on people with enormous talent. At a memorial service for Aaron, I mentioned Alan Turing, whose story since has become famous in a Hollywood movie. I think that there is a very deep and important point in talking about Aaron, in talking about Alan Turing, in talking about Oscar Wilde, who suffered for his greatness, too. In talking [about such people] all the way back to Socrates. These are people whom we made to pay a price because they were so good at what they did that it disturbed us, it got under our skin. We look at them with some degree of, I don’t know, maybe you could call it guilt. Maybe you’d call it jealousy. But we took their lives, and we crushed them. They became human sacrifices, as you are about to see [in the documentary].

    And that’s a pity, because people of talent make our lives better. And although we may think that we have to protect ourselves from them, in reality, it’s they who need protection from us, as we’ll see in this movie. And far from our needing protection from them, they’re the ones who make our lives better. If Alan Turing had lived, he would have won two or three Nobel Prizes after cracking the Nazi codes, and inventing the Turing machine, which is the basis for all of modern computing. If Oscar Wilde had lived, we’d not be enjoying only three or four major plays, we would be enjoying ten, or twelve or fifteen of them. And of course if Socrates had lived, then Plato wouldn’t have been such a bad guy after all.

    So we have to learn to cherish those people who stand out; not to hate them, not to be jealous of them, not to punish them, not to ridicule them; and for sure, not to kill them. But rather to understand that the things that make us special are in fact the things that make us different, not the things that make us the same. And that any well-organized society takes advantage of our differences; doesn’t try to undermine them or hide them; doesn’t try to get over them, or overcome them; but rather seeks to cherish them. And make sure, in any event, that the prosecution that Aaron faced doesn’t become a persecution for the way he was.

    Because, as Margaret Meade said, it’s people like that, those few people who can organize, who can assert themselves, who actually achieve advancement for all us, the entire human race. It’s the only thing that ever has.

    So with that, I’d like to turn you over to the film. I would like to mention that you’ll be enjoying a Q&A after the film with Professor Lessig. Professor Lessig actually joined me in that memoriam for Aaron Swartz a few years ago. Here’s a couple things you may not know about Prof. Lessig. Unaccountably, Christopher Lloyd once depicted him in a film, but not me. I don’t know why. It seems that he’d be a natural to [portray] me, but that’s never happened yet. Professor Lessig is also the sixth most famous former University of Chicago law school professor. Who can name some of the others? Anybody? Barack Obama, yes. Barack Obama, three Supreme Court justices and Judge Douglas Ginsburg — my thesis advisor at Harvard — who somehow neglected to invite me to any of his pot parties. I feel very bitter about that to this day, obviously.

    Anyway, understand that the film that you are about to see, which focuses on two incredible people, focuses not only on their personal bravery and the sacrifices they made, but also is a hallmark for our time. It is a landmark, on the road to either heaven or hell. And that decision is ours. Thank you very much.

    Courage,
    Rep. Alan Grayson

    Killswitch – Documentary Trailer (Official) from Akorn Entertainment on Vimeo.

  • Best Teen Tweets Of The Week! (3/27/15)
    Every week, we round up the best 140-character quips and insights from our esteemed blogging team — and other equally awesome teen tweeters. Scroll down to read the latest batch and share your own suggestions by following @HuffPostTeen!

    pisses me off when I type “tru” and it autocorrects to “try” like can you not just let me be 2 Chainz

    — 2 Langz (@_tiffanylang_) March 23, 2015

    I have a real big fear over hurdles but I’m proud to say I got over it

    — Luke Brooks (@luke_brooks) March 23, 2015

    I think I spend more time with my friends animals then actually with them

    — Katie Gaskill (@katie_gaskill98) March 22, 2015

    my grandma is telling me how zayn isn’t that attractive i don’t care if you’re my grandmother i will actually fight you

    — ⠀ (@SEMlPROBLEMATIC) March 26, 2015

    All I want is a 4.0 GPA, a perfect body, $100,000 in my bank account, and an unlimited supply of burritos.

    — kassi (@kassidy_langham) March 26, 2015

    i’ve got 99 problems and summer would solve all of them.

    — Eva Willming (@ew212021) March 24, 2015

    Am I getting sick or is this spring allergies: an ongoing internal struggle

    — KAMI BAKER (@Peeta_is_aBAKER) March 23, 2015

    i’m selling my brother for $200 he can cook grilled cheese feel free to dm me for details k thx

    — not karina (@karininanana) March 24, 2015

    All these super cute promposals, but I can barely get 2 bucks for an ice cream cone from chickfila.

    — Chloe Aiken (@AikenChloe) March 24, 2015

    wow spring break 2k15 so crazy all this Netflix and layin in bed by myself is wild yo!!!!!!!!!!!

    — Taylor Roberts (@tayroberts_) March 22, 2015

    I take my horoscope so seriously like if that thing told me I need to eat nachos in order to be happy I’m gonna go eat some nachos

    — chloe (@chloestigen) March 24, 2015

    I’m fourfiveseconds from being done with school

    — Andy Liang (@andyliang97) March 27, 2015

    On this episode of True Life.. pic.twitter.com/ClWXcGlwpW

    — Swain (@brody_ivins) March 24, 2015

    Followed P Diddy on Instagram for about 15 seconds before my dog grabbed my phone from me, unfollowed him and put me back in my cage

    — Celeste Yim (@celesteyim) March 22, 2015

    im a lot nicer than my “walking to class” face i promise

    — Sammi (@sammilandsman) March 26, 2015

    can they make a zayn hologram like they did at Coachella with tupac that’s all I need right now

    — I love you z (@astralstyles) March 27, 2015

    Follow HuffPost Teen on Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pheed |

  • The Stats On Women In Tech Are Actually Getting Worse
    Google just hired Ruth Porat, a former Morgan Stanley executive, to be its chief financial officer, and is paying her a reported $70 million. You’d think that’s a sign that things are looking up for women in the tech industry.

    Not quite.

    The percentage of computing jobs held by women has actually fallen over the past 23 years, according to a new study.

    In 2013, just 26 percent of computing jobs in the U.S. were held by women, down from 35 percent in 1990, according to the study released Thursday by the American Association of University Women, a nonprofit that promotes gender equality. During that same period, the number of women earning computing degrees also declined.

    tech women

    The decline is striking but not entirely surprising. A recent flurry of reports from some of the most prominent tech companies, ones that did not exist in 1990, offer some depressing numbers.

    At Google, women make up 30 percent of the company’s overall workforce, but hold only 17 percent of the company’s tech jobs. At Facebook, 15 percent of tech roles are staffed by women. At Twitter, it’s a laughable 10 percent. For non-technical jobs at Twitter (think marketing, HR, sales), the gender split is 50-50.

    It’s not like this in other parts of the so-called STEM professions (that’s science, tech, engineering and math). In 2013, more than half of the biological scientists in the U.S. were women, compared to 42 percent in 1990, according to the AAUW’s report. That’s because women tend to gravitate to biology and because the stereotype of men being superior to women in life sciences is going away, report co-author Christianne Corbett told The Huffington Post.

    In computing, the stereotype of male superiority has proved more stubborn. “The number one thing holding women back is stereotypes,” Corbett said. “The stereotype is that girls and women are not as good at math and science as boys and men are.”

    “There’s evidence that by first grade, most kids already associate math with boys,” she said. “This is just a belief most of us have. It’s a reflection more of our culture than anything individual.”

    Those prejudices tend to make their way into the hiring process. Both male and female hiring managers often view women as less competent in math or tech.

    Men are twice as likely as women to be hired for a job in mathematics when the only difference between candidates is gender, according to a study published in a recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    For women who do choose computing, and who wind up in technical jobs, companies need to make a “welcoming environment” for them, said Corbett. Part of that is setting up a process that deliberately encourages diversity in hiring and retention.

    Some companies are trying. Google is devoting resources to workshops on unconscious bias. Recently, Judith Williams, Google’s diversity manager, called out company Chairman Eric Schmidt for behavior that seemed biased.

    But experts argue that workshops aren’t enough. Rather, they say, diversity needs to be made a clear priority at companies. That happens when diversity moves out of workshops and becomes factored into the hiring managers’ bottom lines.

    Managers at Chevron, for example, are rated in their performance evaluations on their ability to reach diversity goals, said Executive Vice President Michael Wirth at a Thursday conference in New York focused on diversity in the workforce. At Procter & Gamble, managers’ stock options are tied to diversity goals, according to the company’s chief diversity officer, William Gipson. P&G does robust hiring for tech and engineering positions, and more than half the people it now hires are women, according to the company.

    “Women are underrepresented,” said Corbett. “But it doesn’t have to be that way.”

    Unfortunately, many prominent firms in the tech industry aren’t there yet. Indeed, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of the most high-profile venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, is currently awaiting a decision in a major gender discrimination case filed by a former female partner.

    There’s a pressing need for talent in computing and engineering. Such positions represent 80 percent of available STEM jobs and are a hugely growing area, according to the AAUW report.

    “There will be a war for technical talent,” General Motors CEO Mary Barra told attendees at Thursday’s conference. Barra said it is crucially important to get more women into tech roles, and suggested that parents and teachers start encouraging girls early on to stick with math and science.

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook 'Deeply Disappointed' In Indiana's New Anti-Gay Law
    Apple CEO Tim Cook is the latest tech exec to take a stand against Indiana’s new anti-gay law.

    Cook took to Twitter Friday to criticize the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was signed into law in Indiana on Thursday and will allow business owners to refuse to serve LGBT customers on the grounds of religion.

    Apple is open for everyone. We are deeply disappointed in Indiana’s new law and calling on Arkansas Gov. to veto the similar #HB1228.

    — Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 27, 2015

    Arkansas is considering a similar bill that would protect individuals and corporations from denying service to members of the LGBT community.

    Tim Cook came out as gay in October. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Following news of the Indiana law on Thursday, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff canceled all of the company’s events in the state.

    “Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination,” Benioff tweeted.

    The National Collegiate Athletic Association also expressed concern over the law on Thursday.

  • 4 Steps for Etsy to Keep Sellers Happy in a Post-IPO World
    Etsy’s path to its IPO has been about tremendous user growth. Etsy currently has 20 million active buyers and 1.4 million active sellers, from which it pulled in close to $200 million in revenue last year.

    But for Etsy to succeed as a public platform company it will need to get more creative about how it generates revenue.

    There are really two ways for Etsy to make more money:
    1. Increase the number of users
    2. Increase average order size and/or sell more value-added services to sellers

    Users will likely continue to increase as the company plans to spend more on marketing in 2015. More buyers will increase revenue and build investor trust. But given the company’s niche market, its ability to attract more and more users long term is still uncertain.

    The economics are not in Etsy’s favor.

    As a platform, Etsy makes money when its sellers make money. However, the most successful sellers often “graduate” from the Etsy platform and open up their own independent shop.

    Moreover, the company’s culture and value proposition places a natural limit on its growth. There are only but so many hands to make and sell handmade goods.

    Currently there is one active seller for every 20 active buyers on the Etsy platform. This ratio has increased over the last few years, as the increase in buyers has outpaced seller growth, which has mostly stagnated. Etsy has limited options for increasing supply to match this increased demand.

    Etsy mentions sellers 474 times and buyers 202 times in its SEC S1 filing. It’s clear where the company’s priorities lie. But sellers are also its largest problem area.

    In the past, Etsy has allowed for manufactured goods to be sold on its marketplace, which was met with resistance. The company’s culture is built around enabling cottage industries to thrive, not allowing larger companies to destroy them. As one angry seller put it, Etsy had lost its soul.

    With these limitations in mind, what can Etsy do to grow its revenue while also keeping its sellers happy? How can Etsy create the supply to match increasing demand moving forward?

    Step 1: Develop a more complete suite of business management tools for sellers
    Etsy sellers, like most mom-and-pop companies, will need business management tools as they grow, including CRM, shipping, marketing, production, pricing, inventory management, customer service, accounting and analytics services. Etsy should incorporate more of these services into its platform and sell them to its sellers.

    Etsy already has traction in selling business services (45 percent of total revenue in 2014) in areas like shipping and marketing. These seller services will improve the potential value Etsy can provide to sellers and make its platform stickier.

    Step 2: Take a page out of the Shopify book

    Shopify is an ecommerce solution that allows you to set up an online store to sell your goods, and it’s a serious competitive threat to Etsy.

    Shopify’s gross merchandize volume (GMV), a common KPI for product marketplaces, outgrew Etsy’s GMV in 2013 – $1.6 billion compared to Etsy’s $1.3 billion. Etsy annual GMV growth has slowed 50% while Shopify has managed to maintain 100%+ YOY GMV growth.

    So how can Etsy respond?

    As a public company, Etsy will need to expand its scope. One way to achieve this is by relinquishing some control to its top sellers. A white label/microsite option could be made available to sellers who hit a certain revenue threshold in order to keep them on the platform.

    Etsy already encourages its sellers to user their Etsy storefronts as their website, so providing a more complete solution here is a natural fit. The most successful sellers could create their own “powered by Etsy” sites, which would increase the platform’s reach beyond its own website and prevent seller churn.

    Step 3: Better leverage data to empower sellers

    Etsy needs to better leverage data on behalf of its sellers.

    One way is to use available data to identify credit-worthy sellers. Etsy could extend microloans to these sellers for them to grow their business. Alibaba has a similar and hugely successful program for sellers on its Taobao marketplace.

    Another potential application of data would be to provide sellers with actionable insights on what items are in high demand, both now and in the future.

    Step 4: Reward Etsypreneurs financially for keeping their business on Etsy

    Etsy must experiment with retention bonuses for their top sellers. Youtube has a similar program. Etsy Wholesale is an example of financial motivation geared towards sellers. This type of subsidization is critical because sellers will be the lifeblood of the Etsy platform as a public company.

  • Where To Place Your Router To Get The Absolute Best WiFi Connection
    We’ve all felt that agonizing moment of WiFi-lessness when the connection drops out unexpectedly. Turns out, there’s a right and wrong way to set up a WiFi router, and the wrong way can leave you waiting longer for pages to load or Netflix to buffer.

    Jason Cole, a PhD student in physics at Imperial College London, used math to figure out the best spot to place a wireless router. Cole solved the Helmholtz equation — which is used to map electromagnetic fields like the ones your router emits — for his apartment. What he discovered was that tucking a router away in an inconspicuous corner is not ideal for a good connection, even though that’s the way most of us do it.

    Speaking with The Huffington Post, Cole offered a number of tips to help your WiFi router send a strong signal all over your home or apartment and reduce the amount of Netflix buffering you have to sit through.

    1. Place the router in a central location.

    We know the wires you plug into the router are probably set up in the corner of the room, but it’s better to run them over to a more central spot. Ideally, it’ll be within sight of wherever you sit and use the Internet most.

    Here’s what your WiFi setup is probably like right now:

    In this illustration, the WiFi signals are actually traveling from the router throughout the entire apartment in about one ten-millionth of a second. You can see how the signal bounces off walls to fill a room with delicious Internet. Dead zones, where the signal doesn’t quite reach, are also visible and become more common further from the source, as walls and other obstacles absorb more signal energy.

    2. Avoid surrounding it with metal objects.

    “Metal dissipates electromagnetic energy quite efficiently,” Cole told HuffPost in an email. So the kitchen is not the best place for your router to live.

    3. Concrete or brick walls are the enemy, too.

    “All materials reflect a portion of radiation. Some absorb it quite strongly, especially concrete,” Cole said. Enclosing the router with concrete or brick on a couple sides won’t help your signal reach the furthest corners of your home.

    Additionally, floors and ceilings tend to be more transmissive than walls, Cole noted.

    4. Don’t keep the router near a microwave.

    If you’ve noticed the Internet slowing down whenever you’re heating something up in the microwave, it’s not just you. Microwaves operate around the same frequency as wireless routers, and even the tiny bit of radiation that escapes the microwave can disrupt your signal.

    5. Set it up high.

    WiFi routers emit radio waves, which spread out and down from their source. Mounting the router to a wall or setting it on a high shelf can give you a better signal, especially if you live in a two-story house and want a good connection on both floors.

    6. Position the antenna upward for a better horizontal reach, or sideways for vertical reach.

    In a multi-story home, positioning a router’s antenna sideways can help you get a better signal upstairs. Pointing an antenna up helps the router reach farther laterally.

    If your router has two antennas, though, take care of all possibilities by pointing one antenna up and the other to the side. And if you’ve got a router without any antennas, make sure you stand it the way it’s made to go. That is, don’t lay a vertical router on its side.

    7. Think twice about putting a router somewhere with a lot of people.

    Water inhibits WiFi signals. Since humans are mostly water, a bunch of us hanging out in a room together can interfere with the signal. You may have noticed getting worse Internet connections in crowded spaces. And yes, you probably want a good WiFi signal in the room where people like to gather, but all those bodies might slow it down in other parts of the house.

    BONUS: Use Cole’s app, which lets you visualize the WiFi connection in your own house.

    If you’re so inclined, Cole created an app for Android phones that lets you upload a floorplan to see how electromagnetic waves propagate throughout your own home. (Some math required. Sorry.)

  • Smart meter 'IT disaster' warning
    The government’s £11bn scheme to roll out energy saving smart meters could be an “IT disaster”, the Institute of Directors warns.
  • OneDrive for Windows Phone Sees a Minor Update

    The OneDrive for Windows Phone app has seen another small update with the focus on the vague “bug fixes and performance improvements” category.  The update, version 4.9.0.0 for those keeping score at home, does not list any other updates or changes as part of the update.  I appreciate these types of updates are not super exciting but it is good to see developers, particularly Microsoft, continue to improve and tweak their apps. If you have auto updates enabled on your Windows Phone then you have likely already had this update pushed to your phone.  If not, go to the Store,

    The post OneDrive for Windows Phone Sees a Minor Update appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • Check Out These 4 Must-See YouTube Channels For Gay And Lesbian Parents
    By Alexandra Temblador | The Next Family

    Every minute, 300 hours of video are uploaded to this site by more than one billion users: YouTube. YouTube was a new innovation when it hit the web in 2005, and it has grown exponentially every year. As a video sharing site, YouTube allows individuals from all over the world to create a channel and upload their own videos. With this ability has come many great things, such as YouTube personalities.

    YouTube personalities, celebrities of the online self-produced and self-created video world, are men and women of all ages and types who share videos, usually on a specific subject. Some are beauty enthusiasts, personal trainers, comedians, or activists. So it’s no surprise that over the years some of these YouTube personalities just happen to be gay parents that focus on parenting. Take a look at the channels of these awesome men and women and the amazing parenting advice they have to offer.

    OliviaHas2Moms

    OliviaHas2Moms features Ebony and Denise and their beautiful daughter, Olivia. Ebony and Denis have been married for three years. They started their YouTube channel in 2011 and since then it has grown to 64,637 subscribers and has had 3,462,468 views.

    Their channel features a variety of things such as “MoMday Tips” which gives such tips as how to get toddlers in bed, how to make family time come before technology, and how to maintain natural hair for children with naturally curly hair. This channel also features personal video confessions and explanations by the mothers that all parents can relate to such as being stressed when your child is sick. OliviaHas2Moms is a great YouTube channel for parents looking for advice or needing assurance on all aspects of parenting.

    Gay Family Values

    Gay Family Values began in 2006 and currently has 35,705 subscribers and has had 6,959,204 views. Jay and Bryan, a gay couple, are the adoptive fathers of Daniel and Selena and are based out of California. Their YouTube channel is separated into a few categories. “Ask A Gay Family” began as a response to Prop 8. In these videos the entire family responds to personal questions, sent in by viewers, about their family, their personal views, or what it means to be a part of a gay family. Such questions have ranged from Daniel, the son, and his disabilities, to God & religion.

    “Gay Adoption Story” is another section of the YouTube channel where Bryan and Jay discuss the adoption process of their own children to help parents-to-be. In addition to these two main sections, Gay Family Values also features videos about the family’s everyday lives. This YouTube Channel has amazing information for any parent-to-be on adoption or parents looking for guidance. More importantly, it beautifully depicts an average American family.

    JiMONiC19

    JiMONiC19 is an interesting YouTube channel because it features Jing and Monica, a lesbian couple, who have vlogged (video blogged) the entire process of making their family which came to be in 2014 when their daughter Estelle was born. Jing and Monica chose insemination as a means to start their family and explain the entire process of how they did a home insemination in a couple of blog videos. This can be very helpful for gay and lesbian couples who are looking to do the same thing.

    Most of the videos feature Jing and Monica documenting their lives as they went through pregnancy and how they parent their daughter, however, they also provide some Q&A videos. With 7,913 subscribers and 964,919 views, Jing and Monica and their daughter Estelle will most likely rise even farther into YouTube stardom in the coming years.

    Michael and Luigi

    Michael and Luigi is a YouTube channel that documents the life of Michael and Luigi, gay fathers to Logan, their son. They currently have 2,993 subscribers and 132,249 views. For the most part, this YouTube channel has videos that show the lives of the family from their vacation to Disneyland to what the family did on Father’s Day.

    Michael and Luigi does have a video in which the fathers share their adoption story. If you are looking to be inspired by a documentary type YouTube channel of a gay family, check out Michael and Luigi and this family’s everyday adventures.

    Perhaps what makes these YouTube channels so amazing is that they not only depict gay and lesbian parents and give advice on parenting but they also depict how diverse the modern family is today. So if you are looking for inspiration, are looking for information on how to create your family, or want to see a family like your own, look no further than these four YouTube channels and be inspired by the love that these YouTube personalities have for their families. The Next Family was inspired by these couples and we started a channel of our own featuring two moms, gay dads and featured interviews in the LGBT community.

    Thank you for being an inspiration to so many!

    More on The Next Family:

    Same-Sex Military Spouses Refused Benefits in Texas

    In Response To Dolce & Gabbana: All Families Have The Right To BE

    Lesbian Moms and Their Getaway Without The Kids

    Alexandra Temblador is a writer and celebrity correspondent for The Next Family.

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