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Gadget Shopping? Tech That May Put You at Risk


Connected device ownership is now ubiquitous in American culture; a recent study by the Pew Research Internet Project found that the number of Americans ages 16 and older who own tablet devices grew to to 35% in 2013. With a new wave of mobile, wearable, and smart devices rolling off the assembly lines, how does the next generation of devices rate in terms of security?

Malware Goes After Mobile

With the prevalence of smartphones and tablets growing every day, it should come as no surprise that malware developers are targeting these devices. While many analysts have hailed the iPhone 5′s new fingerprint recognition software as a revolutionary development, the reality is that it opens new opportunities for criminals. An ill-intended app may require a fingerprint scan for password protection, which could potentially be transmitted to the app developer.

While this may seem paranoid at a glance, 24/7 Wall St reports that Apple’s recent iOS 6 and 7 update patched a massive potential security concern that may have allowed hackers to intercept ostensibly encrypted iPhone communications. In the past, Apple has been criticized for its patchwork approach to personal data security. iMore even showcased a video released by a German-based hacker club just one day after the release of the iPhone 5, showing the device’s fingerprint-recognition software being fooled by a fake fingerprint. With users storing personal information inside apps and mobile wallets, it is increasingly more important to employ ID theft protection services such as Lifelock, to safeguard personal data, regardless of the security offered by the device manufacturer.

Smart” Device Security

The “Internet of Things” and wearable technology is the next big trend in devices; A recent survey by Accenture found that 46% of consumers surveyed were interested in purchasing a smartwatch, and that 42% were interested in purchasing wearable digital glasses such as Google Glass. With so many devices currently on the marker running on different and unique operating systems, security issues concerning personal data monitored by wearable and smart devices are concerning. SC Magazine reports that security professionals have already demonstrated attacks on everything from smart televisions to baby monitors.

As smart devices and wearable technology penetrate everyday life, the security concern grows. Currently, many manufacturers of devices such as fitness trackers and wearable computing systems have little power to reach consumers and update their products should glaring security issues become apparent, placing the onus of security on the end-users themselves. As many of these devices utilize new technology and sensors, the potential for digital attacks are currently unknown. Security professionals are currently unsure about the potential for a virus capable of transmitting from connected device to connected device, However, they warn users to be aware that the sparkling world of new “smart” technology is still in its infancy, and that developers have yet to face a trial by fire concerning data theft or manipulation. Many security professionals urge users to take responsibility for their own security by insuring wearable and smart devices are always up to date and password protected as these devices proliferate in the near future.

Google Fiber May Be Coming To More U.S. Cities


Selena Larson February 19, 2014 Web
http://readwrite.com/2014/02/19/google-fiber-expansion#awesm=~owEAKsqvxSVq3h

Google is in talks with 34 cities in nine metro areas across the United States to introduce Google Fiber, Internet that’s up to 100 times faster than broadband, the company announced today.

Selected cities will have to complete a “fiber-ready checklist” with information that can speed up planning and construction. In the meantime, Google Fiber will begin detailing costs and timelines for the new fiber-optic network.

Google Fiber is already rolling out in Kansas City (in both Kansas and Missouri); Provo, Utah; and Austin, Texas. Here’s the list of newly proposed cities:

  • Atlanta, including surrounding areas Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, College Park Decatur, East Point, Hapeville, Sandy Springs, and Smyrna
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Phoenix, Arizona, including surrounding areas Scottsdale and Tempe
  • Portland, Oregon, including surrounding areas Beaverton, Hillsboro, Gresham, Lake Oswego, and Tigard
  • Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, including surrounding areas Carrborro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Garner, Morrisville, and Raleigh
  • San Jose, California, including surrounding areas Santa Clara, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, and Palo Alto

Lead image by Flickr user meneame comunicacions, CC 2.0

http://readwrite.com/2014/02/19/google-fiber-expansion#awesm=~owEAKsqvxSVq3h

Adrien Broner vs Marcos Maidana


By
Updated: December 14, 2013
This post was originally published at Houndsports.com

broner-maidana

Adrien Broner and Marcos Maidana had no problems with the scale at their last press conference before getting in the ring  for their bout at the Alamodome in San Antonio , Texas. Neither boxers struggled with making weight with Broner weighing in at 144.4 pounds, and Maidana 146.2 pounds.

Things got a little heated later when Broner began to heckle the Argentine , Maidana responded and Bernard Hopkins had to go on stage to separate them.

Adrien Broner came up and spoke as usual, with the arrogance, does not fear the power of his opponent and is sure to keep him undefeated.

“Maidana never fought with me , has never seen anyone like me in the ring , I feel good , I’ve eaten lots of ice cream .”

“I have to stay focused, I will not fall into distractions , I will not lie : this is the biggest fight of my career , he will try to hurt me, so I’m ready.”

” The plan is to go out and hit Broner , keep busy. I’m ready to throw a lot of punches and push it throughout the fight . I am also ready to cut off the ring ” Maidana went on to say.

The fighters are ready and just waiting for the first bell.

 

Here is the under card for tonight

Thurman Keith 145.8 vs . Jesus Soto Karass 146.2

( Interim WBA Welterweight Title )

Leo Santa Cruz vs 121.4 . Cesar Seda 121.6

( WBC Super Bantamweight Title )

Beibut Shumenov vs 175 . Tamas Kovacs 174.4

( WBA Heavyweight Title )

Antonio Lopez

Antonio Lopez

An unapologetic Clippers fan Antonio has always been a writer and sports fan at heart but other than his love for writing, he also fancies non-fiction books, cartoons, road trips, beaches, and cats. Antonio is in charge of maintaining the HoundSports webpage and is also an editor for the site.

Turn a total stranger into a passionate customer in 30 minutes – Try.SoHelpFul.Me


This work was originally published at try.sohelpful.me

How SoHelpful Works

Just decide when you want to help others via Skype, Hangout, or phone calls. We advertise your availability and make it simple for fans of your work – those who email you for help, read your blog, or are referred to you by others – to book time with you.

After you help someone – and create a passionate fan or new customer – we ask them to give you a world-class testimonial and tell their friends about you.

Keep reading -> http://try.sohelpful.me/

Have a Hard Time Saying No? These Methods Will Change That


The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

If you find it difficult to say no, you’re not alone. Many of us find it hard to put our foot down. So much of what we’re told about success revolves around the idea of saying yes: to new ideas, new innovations, and new opportunities. But becoming a yes man (or woman) can put a real strain on your productivity, creativity, and happiness.

In fact, research by the University of California in San Francisco shows the more difficulty people have saying no, the more likely they are to experience stress, burnout, and even ultimately depression. Plenty of studies have linked stress and fatigue to reduced productivity and engagement on the job.

You need to learn when to say no — and how to say it — to ensure you don’t burn any bridges in your career. Here are 10 entrepreneurs sharing how they say no and keep themselves sane:

1. Explain Why

I find people are always impressed with honesty. Time is finite, especially as an entrepreneur. When I have to say no, I do my best to explain what my focus is and why I can’t say yes. I usually find people respect the honesty and wish me the best.

- Adam Lieb, Duxter

2. Exude Grace and Gratitude

People get it. You’re busy, it’s not a good fit and the timing isn’t right. But what makes a big difference is how you treat people. If you can be gracious and show your gratitude for the opportunities or potential client/hire’s time, people will respect your “no” so much more.

- Nathalie Lussier, Nathalie Lussier Media Inc.

3. Never Apologize

“No” should never be accompanied by “I’m so sorry, but I can’t because…” When it’s necessary to say “no” to a request (whether it’s from a client, an employee, etc.), simply explain your reasoning and leave things open for a potential “yes” down the line. Never use apology language — it assigns blame.

- Brittany Hodak, ZinePak

4. Do It Constructively

Having heard my fair share of “no” before, I believe that even though it can sometimes sting, eventually the most beneficial ones are given in an honest and constructive manner. Let me know how I went wrong and how I can improve. Only by learning can you hope to get a “yes” the next time.

- Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net

5. Be Direct and Concise

A no-response should be short, direct and to the point. It is not meant to open up a dialogue. Let the person know you are declining the opportunity, and wish him or her good luck with the project. The more details you provide in your response, the more ammunition the individual will have to forge a rebuttal argument as to why you should say yes. – Anthony Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings

6. Say No Quickly

Requests from clients, pitches or potential hires that are not right for you will thwart your ambition.

Say no quickly and politely and move on.

- Kuty Shalev, Clevertech

7. Say It Carefully

Besides being polite in saying no, try to communicate what you mean by “no.” Do you mean “not now” or “never”? This will often help those you’re saying no to have a better grasp on why you’re saying it in the first place. You will both move on quicker that way.

- Sarah Schupp, UniversityParent

8. Tell Them It’s Not a Good Fit

Business is built on win-win relationships. Relationships that are built on people who don’t have the same expectations, values or intent will result in everyone losing. It’s incredibly important that, much like a marriage, there is a good fit between the two parties. If there’s not, then you’ll do more damage by working with them than by just walking away. It’s just not a good fit, and that’s OK. – Adam Callinan, BottleKeeper

9. Accompany It With a ‘But’

As my business grows so do the number of requests hitting my inbox every day. One of my 2014 promises to myself is to say no more often. When I do have to say it, there’s usually a “but.” “No, but I know another company I can refer you to that might want to take this on.” “No, but I’m happy to recommend another speaker.” “No, I can’t meet for coffee, but I have a blog post on that topic.” – Natalie MacNeil, She Takes on the World

10. Make It So You Don’t Have to Say ‘No’

Saying no requires you to pay attention in the first place, and this requires time and resources that could be better spent saying yes. This is why we have a very specific understanding of not just who our ideal customers/employees are, but more importantly, who they aren’t. By knowing what we don’t want, we can better filter out those people before we even have to say “no.” – Liam Martin, Staff.com

About Ilya Pozin:

Founder of Open Me and Ciplex. Columnist for Inc, Forbes & LinkedIn. Gadget lover, investor, mentor, husband, father, and ’30 Under 30′ entrepreneur. Follow Ilya below to stay up-to-date with his articles and updates!

Photo: marc falardeau/Flickr

Why Rice Cookers Are Exciting


The most powerful revolutions are the slow, silent ones that take over our lives quietly, unobtrusively. No media attention, no over-hyped excitement. But one day you look up and, oops, what has happened?

Consider the kitchen and the rise of intelligent appliances, machines such as rice cookers and bread makers, coffee grinding and brewing machines, automatic tea brewers, smart toasters and grills. More and more of them use advanced artificial intelligence, more and more are connected to the internet.

Consider the everyday rice cooker. It seems rather dull: a squat box occupying space on the countertop, usually without any grace or sense of style. Yet this unimpressive appearing cooking device now simplifies the lives of tens of millions of owners all over the world. A quick search for “cooking with a rice cooker” reveals it being used to cook a wide assortment of food: chicken, fish, bread, and even chocolate cake. Take a closer look and you might be surprised at the sophistication of these devices, with high-end units containing microprocessors, multiple temperature sensors, multiple induction heaters, and displays. They use advanced artificial intelligence with fuzzy logic control systems. As one manufacturer’s description puts it: Equipped with a computer chip, the rice cooker can “think” and adjust cooking length and temperature according to the thermal sensor’s calculations.”[1] For rice, the machine figures out the soaking and steaming times, the cooking temperatures, and then, when the rice is done, switches to a safe holding temperature, where the food can be kept for many hours without affecting taste.

Why do I think rice cookers are exciting? Because they are a sign of the future, where artificially intelligent, smart devices with sensors, actuators, and displays populate our life, inhabiting not just our kitchens, but all the rooms of our home. True, rice cookers and dishwashers are not yet on the internet: they don’t communicate with one another, with the home, and with other services and people. But they will. After all, it takes time for them to complete their task, so why not alert us via a text message when the food is ready to eat. why not or synchronize the devices: the coffee machine should be told to start so that the coffee is ready at precisely the time the breadmaker has finished making coffee cake.

These same properties are now coming to all sorts of other appliances. Even countertop water heaters can have “micro computerized temperature control systems” for maintaining a variety of water temperatures along with electric pumps to dispense the water. Microprocessors in your hot water pot!

Microwave ovens have long had sophisticated processors and sensors that can tell when the food is done, but now many other kitchen appliances are adding advanced processors, sensors, and control algorithms, for example sous-vide cookers, steam ovens, and clothes washers and driers. The modern dishwasher is actually a sophisticated robot, with sensors, actuators, and its own set of complex algorithms. What? You thought a robot had to move around on wheels or legs? Or have a face? Not so. Industrial robots have none of those, but they have transformed manufacturing.

It’s amusing that the devices we call robots in the home, such as the popular floor cleaning devices, are far less intelligent than dishwashers and other home appliances. Breadmakers are clearly robots, as are the fancy coffee makers that grid, heat, pre-wet, soak, and dispose of the remnants with great precision and ease of use. Even tea makers come with processors, motors, and displays. These are just as much robots as floor cleaning machines, even though they lack the cute behavior of floor cleaners as they wander about the room. Why do robots have to be anthropomorphically cute?

It’s the simple, mundane things that signal changes: ordinary, everyday objects that we have come to take for granted such as doors and light switches, thermostats and smoke alarms, rice cookers and cooking water heaters. Nest Labs made a fortune (3.2 billion dollars, to be precise) by redoing the home thermostat and smoke alarm. Hmm, who would have every thought that thermostats were exciting? Is it a coincidence that Google has not only purchased Nest but a bunch of robot companies as well? If you want to understand where progress is taking place, look for the commonplace essentials of everyday life that have resisted change for decades or even centuries. Time to bring them into the 21 century.

[1] Zojirushi Rice Cooker Comparison Chart. Downloaded Feb. 19, 2014 from http://www.zojirushi.com/product/product_rc_01.html#r1

 

Photo: Brent Hofacker / shutterstock

Posted by:Don Norman

iOS X


Apple’s executives recently dismissed the possibility of iOS and OS X merging into a single operating system:

“We don’t waste time thinking, ‘But it should be one [interface]!’ How do you make these [operating systems] merge together?’ What a waste of energy that would be,” Schiller said.

“To say [OS X and iOS] should be the same, independent of their purpose? Let’s just converge, for the sake of convergence? [It’s] absolutely a nongoal,” Federighi said.

Dr. Drang has a nice piece on the subject where he correctly notes that touch targets on OS X would be too difficult to use on a touchscreen:

This is exactly what Federighi was talking about. Targets in Windows—which is what he was using, of course—and OS X aren’t designed to be hit with a finger. They’re designed to be hit with the much more precise tip of a mouse pointer.

But I don’t think people actually want to use a touchscreen on a laptop. Keyboards and trackpads work just fine. For example, many Windows PCs have touchscreens these days and relatively expensive MacBooks without touchscreens are consistently outperforming the PC market. If laptops with touchscreens were so desirable, people would buy them.

Instead, those who ask for iOS and OS X to merge really just want iOS to do more, especially on the iPad. The iPad is undoubtedly a beloved device and people want to use the iPad for as much as possible. While the iPad does many things better than a laptop, it is lacking in some key areas:

Keyboard and touchpad: I rarely see an iPad without a third-party keyboard. It’s absolutely necessary for serious typing. And constantly reaching up to tap the screen when using a third-party keyboard gets old pretty fast. A keyboard cover with trackpad similar to Microsoft’s Touch Cover would do the trick quite nicely. It’s shocking that Apple hasn’t released one of these yet.

Multitasking: And by multitasking, I’m referring to the pain you feel any time multiple apps or windows are required to complete a task on the iPad. The ability to view just two windows, or two apps, at the same time would be a huge improvement.

File Management: One of the biggest features missing from iOS and OS X is cloud storage and syncing for files. I know, iCloud can store and sync files for each app, but most people don’t work that way. It’s why Dropbox is so popular. Several great third-party solutions are available and generally work well, however, they aren’t baked into iOS, which can be frustrating at times.

It doesn’t appear that the recent comments from Apple’s executives preclude any of these improvements, which can all be done solely in iOS without integrating anything from OS X. It should be encouraging to Apple that people want to use the iPad for more tasks. Hopefully Apple is listening and they make iOS a little bit more powerful so we can use our beloved iPads even more.

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The Future of Tech Reviews


Or “Forget The Mechanisms, Where’s The Emotion?”

There’s been a lot of fuss about the future direction of tech reviews in traditional US media over the last couple of weeks. It’s almost as if technology is a critically important gearwheel that keeps our modern society ticking. Most of the discussion is, sadly, empty.


There’s something of a sea change going on in traditional technology writing (let’s not say “gadget reviews”, shall we? It’s more important than that) and some long-established names are changing hats and, possibly, directions. Opinions have been stated, re-stated and contradicted by players, observers and, basically, anyone with a voice and/or a modern internet-connected-gizmo-thing that lets them get the opinion out.

And before you say anything: Yes, this is my piece of that puzzle.

And before you sit back and conclude, with fixed all-knowing grin, that you know what I’m about to say, then I’ll have to pre-empt you. You don’t know. I think this entire debate is missing some very important points.


Perhaps the most strident voice in the “future of tech writing” clamor has been Dave Winer. His beautifully-written opinion piece suggests that tech writing has somewhat lost its way nowadays. One of the most interesting arguments he makes compares newspaper movie reviews with technology reviews—the former is rich with passion, opinion, great writing. Such reviews are something that the general public looks to with interest, with trust, with excitement. Dave’s suggestion is, in part, that this is what’s missing from tech writing. The mission to write about tech for the common man has strangely robbed tech writing of the ability to talk deeply, complicatedly, toothily, opinionatedly and meaningfully about things.

Hmmm.

Other opinions suggest that the “successor” to the classic tech writer/gadget reviewer (yes, I know, I said gadget) has actually been around for a while. It’s the crowd. It’s all those passionate fans of technology X or system Y who write painstaking, in-depth pieces of analysis on the various review-based social networks that are out there. The average Netizen is savvy enough, the theory goes, that nowadays they know where to look for an insight into brand new cameras/computers/health devices/etc etc etc. The reputation problem, that of being able to trust a particular review or reviewer, is probably smoothed out by the diversity of opinions available and, perhaps, by the implied quality of some of the review sites.


But here’s the thing. Technology writing is actually much more important than it’s perhaps given credit for. Tech, and gizmos, are not just the domain of geeks or nerds anymore (and can we ditch these hatefully negative descriptors, anyway?). Technology knits our lives, our minutes, our society together at deeply personal and deeply community-based levels at every scale from one’s daily emotional life through to how governments interact with each other over the biggest of diplomatic issues. Yes, it may be trivial if the public prefers this type of smartphone over that type of smartphone, but the fact that they’re now using smartphones to communicate in new ways is actually shaping the future of society. And that’s just smartphones—there are a trillion different categories of “techy, gadgety thing,” including ephemeral intangibles such as the social photography trend of “selfies,” that get lumped under the “tech” banner.

But unlike movies, which are an art and thus could be “reviewed” through the biased, opinion-led, personal view of a critic…even if that critic’s quirks are what attract his or her loyal audience…technology isn’t an “art.” It’s also not simply a science. It’s different from reviewing, say, kitchen knives. A knife either balances well in the hand or it doesn’t, it either keeps its sharp edge or loses it. “Technology” crosses such simple divisions nowadays. It is both art and science. It touches people’s emotions, their hopes and dreams and their self image just as much as it lets them accurately navigate from point A to point B at speed, or email their boss.


And this is what I mean.

I think that whatever happens in tech writing in the future will, frankly, just happen. It’s an emergent thing.

But I hope that the “next great tech reviewer” uses the opportunity to re-focus the lens a little. Remember that technology is an emotional thing. Remember that gadgets and devices have tactile, real sensations that meaningfully impact how their users’ days go (on this note, I loved how Damon Darlin described his iPad bonking him on the nose when he fell asleep watching a video on it). Remember that just as important as chip speed X or OS manufacturer Q is the fact that devices have heft and weight and unique quirks of their design in hardware or software that make people love them. Remember that the way people use/relate to/trust a type of tech in one country may be very different than the way folks in another nation use precisely the same thing. And remember that “fanboys” of a brand or gadget tend to forget the most important thing: Context. Passion is all very well, but a device or brand or whatnot also has real, scientific, measurable impact that goes far beyond a mis-quoted statistic or an overly sensational headline.


So let’s say this: Tech writing hasn’t lost its way. It is, however, in more flux than perhaps it has been in years because the pace of innovation itself seems to have picked up, and high technology has wormed its way into the fabric of our world. There’s no need to demand more “movie” like reviews. Nor is there a pressure to only look to the crowd for reviews. But a reviewer with emotional sensitivity, scientific nous, and the ability to frame a gadget’s importance in context…that’s critical. Technical details, yes. Fine critiques of the color of a UI button, maybe. How it feels, emotionally, to use stuff? Definitely.

That’s a really tricky mix.

[Image under CC via Flickr user William Warby]

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IRS Seems Ready to Give Up on Regulating Tax Preparers


February 20, 2014

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The Internal Revenue Service has suffered a series of legal defeats in its efforts to regulate the tax preparation profession, most recently this month when a federal appeals court upheld a district court decision that found the IRS lacks the statutory authority to require testing and continuing education of tax preparers.

In an interview yesterday with Accounting Today, the IRS’s new commissioner, John Koskinen, said the IRS is still looking at its options, but he seemed to accept the likelihood that the IRS is not going to win this particular battle in court (see IRS Commissioner Sees Further Appeals on Tax Preparer Lawsuit as Unlikely and Answers from the New IRS Commissioner).

“We’re disappointed with the decision, although the decision is fairly final in the sense that the only appeal would be to apply for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court,” he said in a phone interview. “And getting a writ granted by the Supreme Court is unlikely in most cases, and probably unlikely in this one as well.”

Koskinen also admitted that going to Congress to give the agency the statutory authority to impose the regulatory scheme is also a long shot, given the current climate in Congress. In recent years, Congress has continued to chip away at the IRS’s budget, despite the fact that the agency is one of the few that pays back far more than it gets in terms of contributing to the federal budget and lowering the overall deficit.

Koskinen appears to view voluntary certification of tax preparers as the most likely route. While the requirements, like those for the Registered Tax Return Preparer Program that the court invalidated, are not likely to be as stringent as those for Enrolled Agents, who have the right to represent taxpayers before the IRS, the voluntary certification could serve to provide some assurance to taxpayers that their preparer has met some minimum standards.

“My sense is we would get a reasonable percentage of people who would be delighted to take the course or courses over time, get a certification from the IRS that they’re not an Enrolled Agent, but on the other hand a certification that they’ve met sort of minimum standards that they might be able to market, or that people might be more comfortable going to them for,” said Koskinen.

The IRS will have to prove it’s ready to adapt to the challenge, and with a new commissioner in place, it’s already begun to show it’s making some changes this tax season and beyond. The IRS is facing not only budget constraints, but also new challenges like the Affordable Care Act and old challenges in which it has begun to make headway, like combating the threat of identity theft. With a new leader at the helm, it’s begun to reassess its priorities.

What do you think of the concept of a voluntary certification for tax preparers?

Michael Cohn is editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com.


Photo: Shutterstock

Posted by:Mike Cohn

Attractive teen girl using a mobile phone while driving

Tech Tools for Safe and Confident Teen Drivers


It’s natural for parents to worry for their teens’ safety behind the wheel. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for children ages 16-19. Topping the list is vehicular accidents.

Tech-savvy teens and parents have an advantage. There are numerous tools that they can use to make their driving experience less stressful and much safer. In every stage of driving, there is a resource to help teens become excellent drivers. These tech tools give teens the confidence they need while giving their parents peace of mind.

Driving-Tests.org

Passing the driving test is not the first step to getting on the road. The first step is preparation. Teens need help preparing for the test and for their first time out on the road. Driving-Test.org is a site that helps them get ready for their driving test. The company claims that it’s even better than the DMV handbook for preparing teens to take their driving test. Because they base their practice tests on the DMV manual, it really lives up to this claim. The site provides sample DMV driving practice tests that can be taken as many times as needed. They also have an app available called DMV Genius on the Apple store. The best part of all is that the site and the app are free.

SafeCell App

Most people know that texting and driving don’t mix. Texting contributes to a large portion of teen car accidents. The SafeCell app gives teens local knowledge of traffic laws and offers an incentive for teens to drive safely, and can be downloaded from the Apple store for $11.99. The app automatically reminds drivers of the local cellphone driving laws by using the GPS system in smartphones. Also, safe drivers are rewarded with gift cards from popular stores.

Faces of Distracted Driving

Many teens hold the false belief that an accident could never happen to them. Attentive driving can greatly reduce their chance of getting into an accident. The US Department of Transportation has posted a series of videos that gives teens and their parents different case studies of situations in which the driver was distracted. Some of the stories are true, while others are fictional representations, but they all drive home the point that distracted driving is dangerous.

Driver Feedback

Parents may observe that their teen is an attentive driver, but what about when their parents are not around? Do they still follow laws, obey the speed limit, and drive defensively? State Farm has created an invaluable tool for parents to see if their teen is a safe driver when no one is looking. Driver Feedback tracks the teen’s driving performance and alerts parents when and where unsafe driving occurs. There is also a tracking system that shows how the teen has improved over a period of time.

Billie BatesRetired Psychologist, Grandma, Water Aerobics Fanatic