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theEweekly Wrap

Female journalists bomb threat targets – Google Glass driving ban – Smart devices boost family time

Female journalists targeted by Twitter bomb threats

Police are investigating bomb threats made via social media to several female journalists.

Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman, Grace Dent from The Independent and Time Magazine's Catherine Mayer, were all victims of bomb scares this week as an anonymous Twitter account claimed there were bombs outside their homes and set to explode at 22.47.

The threats have occurred following a separate incident involving feminist Caroline Criado-Perez last week. Perez received abusive tweets after she successfully petitioned for Jane Austen to be the next female to feature on a bank note.

The incident inspired outrage from Twitter users, over 100,000 of whom have now signed a petition urging the social media site to change its reporting process, and monitor anonymous accounts so they can be brought to trial as they would be in the real world.

Hadley Freeman, who had written a column entitled 'How to use the internet without being a total loser' said:

" There's some kind of assumption that you have done something, that you must have written something particularly controversial.

"My great crime is that I'm a woman with some small amount of public profile - that is enough it seems."

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Call for Google Glass driving ban

Although the wearable tech is not yet available on the open market, there are calls for Google's latest innovation to be banned from use while driving.

A spokesperson from the Department of Transport has said that the imminent launch of the wearable technology in 2014 must be treated in a similar manner to the use of mobile phones on the road, and Google Glass should be banned from use while driving.

He stated: "We are aware of the impending rollout of Google Glass and are in discussion with the police to ensure that individuals do not use this technology while driving.

"It is important that drivers give their full attention to the road when they are behind the wheel and do not behave in a way that stops them from observing what is happening on the road."

Supporters of Google Glass have argued that using the technology which displays simple, monochrome information in the user's peripheral vision, is less of a distraction than satellite navigation.

Already due to be introduced in late 2013 is a fixed penalty offence for driving without due attention and care. The Department of Transport has indicated that wearers of Google Glass would be subject to this rule according to the 1988 Road Traffic Act.

Meanwhile, product manufacturers Google have stated that they are aware of issues that arise with the launch of any new product, and are working on Glass's capabilities to aid driving rather than impede it.

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More families gather around the TV than a decade ago

A study has revealed that compared to 88 per cent in 2002, 91 per cent of families now watch their main TV set once a week.

It also indicated that the attention of family members is rarely focussed solely on the program they are watching, but shared between smartphones, tablets and other devices.

The most frequent multi-tasking includes tweeting about the latest must-watch program (media-meshing), using an app wholly unconnected to the TV program or watching different content simultaneously (media-stacking).

This change in habit has brought modern families closer to the family units of the 1950s where there was most likely only one screen in the home. Rather than separating families as was expected with the rise in popularity of smart devices, more and more are sharing their down time together as technology has brought teens out of their bedrooms and back into the living room.

It is thought that a key factor to this increase is the availability of bigger and better quality television sets, particularly for watching live sports, while smart devices provide a range of opportunities for things to do while watching a program.

Daniel Knapp, director of advertising research at the IHS consultancy stated of the effect the change in media behaviour is having on advertising:

"Advertising is an extremely conservative industry, focusing on what works and where a return on investment is clear.

"Although there are changes in audience behaviour, when it comes to overall scale, on-demand still cannot compete with linear TV."

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