LEGO Fortnite, Snapchat Deaths, and Some Good Tech News for a Change

Words by
Jake Cutler

JAN 18, 2024

LEGO Fortnite, Snapchat Deaths, and Some Good Tech News for a Change

Here’s your weekly roundup of recent tech news. Let us know if we missed anything in the comments.

LEGO Fortnite Promises Safety

Epic Games has teamed up with LEGO to create a new version of their popular game. This partnership aims to provide a secure and safe environment where children can express their creativity freely while enjoying the game.

Given the popularity of both Fortnite and LEGO, there’s a good chance you might hear requests for it from your kids. Read our full article on safety concerns with Fortnite, which includes a full review of LEGO Fortnite.

Yahoo: LEGO Fortnite Launches, Promises a Safe and Secure Environment for Kids

How About Some Tech Optimism?

We talk a lot about the dangers of technology but technology offers us so many opportunities as well. Several areas of technology have the potential to positively impact our lives in the near future. Here’s a quick preview:

  • Household robots could free people from mundane housework and provide more time for meaningful activities.
  • Battery technology could improve the environment through use in renewable energy storage, electric vehicles, and drones.
  • Biotech could make huge healthcare strides through mRNA vaccines to combat diseases like malaria and pancreatic cancer, genetic engineering for treating conditions such as sickle cell anemia, and more.

Noahpinion: Techno-optimism for 2024 by Noah Smith

Kelly Clarkson Makes News for Social Media Ban

Kelly Clarkson first gained fame by winning the inaugural season of American Idol in 2002. She’s made plenty of headlines since but just last week made some more when openly discussing her parenting approach in an interview, stating she has implemented a strict “no social media” rule for her children while they live under her roof.

Every family is different and tech rules should be tailored to the specific needs of your kids. But the dangers of social media are so real that we don’t allow social media apps on any of our devices, so we’re on board with this idea.

People: Why Kelly Clarkson Won’t Let Her Kids on Social Media Until They’re 18: ‘Not Allowed Under My Roof’ (Exclusive)

Bruh, why are you calling me bruh?

The term “bruh” has evolved to become a popular slang term among teenagers and even younger kids (especially if they have older siblings). Originating from the African American Vernacular English (AAVE) word for “brother,” it’s now often used to express disbelief, annoyance, or exasperation (“bruh, seriously?) or a casual way to address friends, similar to “dude” or “mate.”

Much of kids’ online activity is about communication so understanding teen slang can be an important part of keeping them safe.

Today: Why does your kid call you ‘bruh?’

Snapchat Blamed for Child Deaths

Snapchat faces a lawsuit from relatives of over 65 victims who died from overdoses linked to fentanyl-laced pills bought on the platform. The plaintiffs argue that Snapchat’s features, including disappearing messages and geolocation, enable drug sales, allow dealers to target young users, and worsen the crisis by failing to prevent such illegal activities.

The Guardian: Their kids died after buying drugs on Snapchat. Now the parents are suing

Another Day, Another Online Scam Tactic

The basics behind online scams remain pretty consistent but new variations are popping up all the time. The most recent scam to grab headlines is happening on Facebook. It uses BBC branding and headlines like “I can’t believe he’s gone, I’ll miss him so much” to entice users to click on a link.Clicking the link triggers multiple redirects, potentially allowing scammers to collect data about your browser, location, and browsing history.

Malwarebytes: “I’ll miss him so much” Facebook scam uses BBC branding to lure victims

The Latest on AI

AI is in the limelight lately. Here are just a few of the AI stories from this week:

NY Times Suing OpenAI

The New York Times recently sued OpenAI for copyright infringement but the artificial intelligence start-up claims iit collaborated with news organizations and the lawsuit was without merit.

NY Times: OpenAI Says New York Times Lawsuit Against It Is ‘Without Merit’

AI Spreading Misinformation

NewsGuard, an organization tracking misinformation, has so far identified 651 AI-generated news and information sites operating with little to no human oversight — a 1,000% rise.

NewsGuard: Tracking AI-enabled Misinformation: Over 650 ‘Unreliable AI-Generated News’ Websites (and Counting)

Using AI Against AI

Researchers developed a method to exploit ChatGPT and other AI chatbots to ‘jailbreak’ each other, revealing potential security weaknesses and suggesting the need for stronger protection measures.

NTU Singapore: Using chatbots against themselves to ‘jailbreak’ each other

Publishers Pushing Back On AI

In a survey of over 1,000 news publishers, it was found that over half of them have instructed OpenAI, Google AI or the non-profit Common Crawl to stop scanning their sites.

Palewire: Who blocks OpenAI, Google AI and Common Crawl?

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