By timothy from Slashdot's why-would-you-think-that-was-creepy? department
nonprofiteer writes "A University of Texas-Dallas developmental psychology professor has used a $3.4 million NIH grant to purchase Blackberries for 175 Texas teens, capturing every text message, email, photo, and IM they've sent over the past 4 years.Half a million new messages pour into the database every month. The researchers don't 'directly ask' the teens about privacy issues because they don't want to remind them they're being monitored. So many legal and ethical issues here. I can't believe this is IRB-approved. Teens sending nude photos alone could make that database legally toxic. And then there's the ethical issue of monitoring those who have not consented to be part of the study, but are friends with those who have. When a friend texted one participant about selling drugs, he responded, 'Hey, be careful, the BlackBerry people are watching, but don't worry, they won't tell anyone.'"
This sounds like an American version of the "Seven Up" series
.Read Replies (0)
By Roblimo from Slashdot's everybody-loves-Larry department
In this exclusive video interview, Slashdot chats with Leisure Suit Larry
creator Al Lowe
, who is working with Replay Games
to bring Larry Laffer to a whole new generation of computers. They'll maintain the original Larry style of being naughty without crossing the line into porn, which is appropriate for an 80s game about a 70s dork who wears a (shudder) leisure suit
. You can donate to this effort through Kickstarter if you like. (We aren't getting paid to say this, and it's a labor of love for Al, too, who is more recently famous for running the hokey daily comedy email newsletter, CyberJoke 3000
.)Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's do-you-beat-your-electric-car department
thecarchik submits this interesting bit of flame: "Many are keen on the concept of open source electric cars — that is, electric cars where the built-in software can be tweaked, parameters can be changed, and in theory, the cars can be improved. Only it's a really, really bad idea. ... Even carmakers themselves have trouble with software--Fisker has issued a recall and apology recently with its Karma — so allowing average Joe to tweak the car's inner workings seems like a bad idea. Changing the characteristics of an electric car isn't as simple as re-jetting the carbs or swopping out the air filter."
Whether software is controlling electric
cars or not seems to me beside the point; access to the underlying software doesn't guarantee improvements, but blocking access to it doesn't stop car makers from making software mistakes — it only ensures that those few interested hackers who might be able to work around them have a harder time of it. (Not that tweaking car software
is new, or going away.)Read Replies (0)