IN THE BEAUTIFUL YEARS AHEAD : You all  -you the students of the world, will turn into one terribly fearful lot. Fearing even your shadows......

Alexa, Google Home, Dropcam and anything that has real-time access to your home, is going to scare you to death. And you are likely to stay petrified of any free music, games or entertainment services    for fear catching a devastating virus.

You are also likely to stay far from  any app  that has not been vetted by Google Play or Apple.  It's disturbingly easy for cybercriminals to design apps that mimic a benign, mainstream product then-

Plant it in third-party app stores. Once downloaded, these apps potentially have access to every critical piece of information you store on your smartphone, by which I mean everything. 

There was a case this year of a seemingly benign flashlight app in the Goggle's play store that was stealing user's banking information. 

And another flashlight app the year before that was recording audio from users smartphones and sending it to Beijing. That is a pretty much the worst-case scenario or someone taking control of your cellphone.........

And with these kinds of thoughts burdening you, you best not use your phone as you walk the world's very busy traffic loaded streets. 
FOR CELLPHONE ZOMBIES : A number of cities have come up with creative ways to help protect so called students/cellphone zombies-

Who talk, text, listen to music, read Sam Daily Times : The Voice of the Voiceless, check registrations on The World Students Society, check their email, and keep snapping selfies.

Initiatives include low-tech efforts like edgy signs in Hayward, Calif -.........
{ '' Heads Up! Cross the Street. Then Update Facebook ''} and no-selfie zones in Mumbai, and-

Specially designed traffic-lights in Europe and several pieces of legislation in reaction to Honolulu's new law.

Last month, the board of supervisors in San Mateo Calif, unanimously passed a resolution prohibiting pedestrians use of cellphones while crossing streets.

It is not enforceable, as state law governs such issues, but David Canepa, who introduced the measure, said it was an important springboard, the resolution is expected to go to the California Legislature for statewide consideration in January.   

As children, he said, we are taught to look both ways when crossing a street, but  ''you can't look both ways when you're looking down and texting.''

Critics are concerned about personal freedom and slow to adjust to new ideas, Mr. Canepa said. 

''But at the end of the day, people understand the value of public safety.'' he added. ''The legislation is practical and is common sense. It will save lives.''

At least 10 states have debated similar legislation dealing with distracted pedestrians or bicyclists; none of it has passed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Municipal laws are not tracked in the United States, but Rexburg, Idaho, may have been amongst the first to adopt a citywide ban, in 2011. 

The city recorded 5 pedestrian deaths in a short period in a concentrated area. It was high toll, given the city's size : about 30,000 residents.

''It was a shock to our system,'' said Stephen Zollinger, Rexburg's city attorney.

Distracted walking was suspected. Along with the other safety measures, Rexburg barred pedestrians from using hand-held devices -except while talking -while crossing public streets, he said, and  ''we've not had a pedestrian fatality since.''

Bodegraven, a small town south of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, tried a different approach.

This year it embedded LED-illuminated strips in the crosswalk at a busy intersection -right in the line of sight of people staring at their phones. When the traffic turns red or green, so do the lights at the ground level, alerting pedestrians when it's safe to cross.

The pilot program aims to anticipate trends, not reverse them, said Dolf Roodenburg, the project leader and a traffic engineer in the Netherlands. if it's successful, the town hopes to install the lights at more intersections and on bike paths, and offer them to other cities.

In Augusburg, Germany, similar lights were installed last year after after a teenager using her  smartphone was struck and seriously injured by a tram when she walked into the tracks.

There are, of course, contrary points of view on the effectiveness of legislating pedestrian behavior.

Janette Sadik-Khan, a former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation and now transport principal at Bloomberg Associates, which advises mayors around the world, said laws against texting and walking were not the answer.

They have no basis in any research, are poorly conceived and distract from the road design and driver behavior issues that are responsible for most crashes, she said.

''It's an easy way out. Engineering is a lot more difficult, but a lot more efficient.'' Ms. Sadik-Khan said.

''Traffic safety is very serious business in government, based in sound analysis.''    

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Technologists, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' World Offline '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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