Homeland Security busts child porn ring on Tor network

The US Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that it has arrested 14 men who were allegedly operating a child pornography Web site on the anonymous Tor network.

The arrests were the culmination of one of the agency's largest ever online child exploitation investigations -- dubbed "Operation Round Table." The authorities have identified 251 victims who were exploited on the site. The majority of the victims, 243, were male and their ages ranged from 3 to 17; they were identified as being from 39 US states and five foreign countries.

The underground subscription-based Web site was allegedly … Read more

Beautiful Child of Light gets release date, deluxe edition

Ubisoft's Ubi Art engine, which allows hand-painted art to be transferred directly into a game, has tremendous potential, and we've been waiting with bated breath for Child of Light, a single-player or cooperative two-player fantasy adventure about a fairy princess who wields a giant sword.

Ubisoft has announced that the game will be available as a digital download for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Windows PCs starting April 30.

On the same day, a special deluxe edition will be available from retail outlets.… Read more

Sexting teen convicted of child pornography

At what point is it possible that hurtful, juvenile attempts at humiliating a fellow teenager can be defined as child pornography?

A court in Canada seems to have taken a very firm attitude in the case of a teenager from Saanich, British Columbia, who was in possession of naked images of her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend and disseminated them.

As CBC News reports, a judge in Victoria, BC, offered a literal interpretation of the teen's actions.

It didn't matter that her boyfriend had voluntarily shown her the pictures. It also didn't matter that there was little age difference … Read more

Google, Microsoft ramp up fight against online child pornography

In response to the longtime, alarming proliferation of photos and videos containing child pornography on the Internet, Web search giants Google and Microsoft plan to introduce measures to block the content from their search results.

The modifications will prevent more than 100,000 search terms from generating results that link to images and videos associated with child sex abuse and instead trigger a warning that the associated content is illegal. The restrictions, which apply to English-speaking countries, will be expanded to more than 150 languages in the next six months, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt wrote in an article for the … Read more

Meandering child? Why not put a GPS on 'em?

It can happen to anyone -- just one glance in the other direction and you've lost your child. Well, there's a fix for that: wire them with a GPS locator.

A Swedish-based startup called Wonder Technology Solutions announced Tuesday the release of its "Trax GPS Tracker for Children and Pets," which the company touts as being able to let users "locate their children and pets at any time and from anywhere."

Apparently, Trax is one of the smallest GPS locator products on the market. It uses both GPS and sensor fusion technology and comes … Read more

Reduce the risk of TVs falling on children (podcast)

When we think of the "dangers" of TV and children, we're reminded of studies about kids watching too much TV or TV shows that encourage violence, overeating, or bad habits. And while there is some controversy about those issues, there is little doubt that TV becomes a real danger to kids if a set falls on them.

A study published in July by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that "more than 17,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency departments each year for a TV-related injury, equaling one child every 30 minutes."

Flat-screen … Read more

Man gets fake FBI child porn alert, arrested for child porn

As far as I am aware, the FBI doesn't usually send you a pop-up online notice, asking if you could kindly pay a fine for child pornography.

Perhaps I should check with Edward Snowden to be sure.

Still, 21-year-old Virginian Jay Riley was sufficiently stunned to receive a pop-up "FBI Warning" telling him to pay a fine for child pornography that he went to his local police station in Prince William County.… Read more

TVs injure a child every half-hour

It seems that people don't think carefully about where they put their televisions these days.

The more televisions there are around the house, the more small children risk being injured -- or even killed -- by them.

Indeed, 215 children in the U.S. were killed by televisions between 1990 and 2011.

These and other troubling statistics are included a report published in the journal Pediatrics.

An average of 17,313 children have been treated every year for TV-related injuries over the last 20 years. One child is injured every 30 minutes.

The researchers surmise that many houses now … Read more

Fluid-filled ChildVision specs let kids do the adjusting

Simple kids' eyeglasses that let wearers tweak the lenses could help solve a problem that has complex implications for young people in the developing world who lack access to the eyewear they need.

The key to the prototype specs, called ChildVision glasses, is their special lenses, made of two clear plastic membranes filled with silicone fluid. Adjusting the lenses via a small dial on the side of the glasses controls the amount of fluid that's pumped between the covers. Depending on the volume, the curvature of the lenses changes, adjusting the strength. More fluid means more curvature, and more power. When fluid is pumped back out, the lens curvature flattens, making for a weaker prescription.

Designed for children between 12 and 18, the glasses earlier this month nabbed the inaugural Visitor Vote award (PDF) at London's Design Museum. Since June, visitors to the institution have voted for their favorite design from 99 nominations displayed at a pop-up installation. … Read more

It's no stretch: Kid's rubber band gizmo could save lives

Sadly, one doesn't have to look far to find a story of an adult who accidentally left a child in a hot car. Young inventor Andrew Pelham has heard such tragic tales, and he decided to do something about it.

Pelham, 11, invented a simple device meant to remind tired or overwhelmed parents that a baby's onboard. The "E-Z Baby Saver" just nabbed a $500 runner-up award in the science and engineering division of the University of Akron's 2013 Rubber Band Contest, which tasked inventors in grades 5 through 8 with creating something made mostly from rubber bands.

Pelham's invention follows the old model of putting a rubber band reminder around the wrist.

One end of the device attaches to the back of the driver's seat by looping a rubber band around a head rest or handle. When parents click a child in, they flip the E-Z Baby Saver to the front seat, get behind the wheel, stretch the device across the driver's seat door, and hook it on the handle. … Read more