Category Archives: Technology

silicon valley & technology news

WWII Shipwreck Found off Alaska, Sunk After Only Battle on US Soil

Scientists have used multibeam sonar and a remotely operated craft to locate the remains of the USS Abner Read, which was sunk nearly 75 years ago after hitting a Japanese mine off Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. The ship had been sent to look for Japanese submarines following the only World War II battle to be fought on North American soil. VOA’s Jill Craig has more.

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Facebook Bans 2nd Quiz App on Concerns User Data Misused

Facebook banned a quiz app from its platform for refusing an inspection and concerns that data on as many as 4 million users was misused.

 

The social media company said Wednesday that it took action against the myPersonality app after it found user information was shared with researchers and companies “with only limited protections in place.”

Facebook said it would notify the app’s users that their data was misused. It’s only the second time Facebook has banned an app, after it blocked one linked to political data mining firm Cambridge Analytica that sparked a privacy scandal.

 

The company said myPersonality was “mainly active” prior to 2012, and it wasn’t clear why Facebook was taking action now.

 

The app was created in 2007 by researcher David Stillwell and allowed users to take a personality questionnaire and get feedback on the results.

 

The Cambridge Analytica scandal sparked a wider investigation in March by Facebook, which said it had investigated thousands of apps and suspended more than 400 apps over data sharing concerns.

 

Cambridge Analytica obtained data on up to 87 million users. It was collected by an app, “This Is Your Digital Life,” created by researcher Aleksandr Kogan, which Facebook banned after it found out.

 

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Facebook Bans 2nd Quiz App on Concerns User Data Misused

Facebook banned a quiz app from its platform for refusing an inspection and concerns that data on as many as 4 million users was misused.

 

The social media company said Wednesday that it took action against the myPersonality app after it found user information was shared with researchers and companies “with only limited protections in place.”

Facebook said it would notify the app’s users that their data was misused. It’s only the second time Facebook has banned an app, after it blocked one linked to political data mining firm Cambridge Analytica that sparked a privacy scandal.

 

The company said myPersonality was “mainly active” prior to 2012, and it wasn’t clear why Facebook was taking action now.

 

The app was created in 2007 by researcher David Stillwell and allowed users to take a personality questionnaire and get feedback on the results.

 

The Cambridge Analytica scandal sparked a wider investigation in March by Facebook, which said it had investigated thousands of apps and suspended more than 400 apps over data sharing concerns.

 

Cambridge Analytica obtained data on up to 87 million users. It was collected by an app, “This Is Your Digital Life,” created by researcher Aleksandr Kogan, which Facebook banned after it found out.

 

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Study: Many Teens – and Parents – Feel Tethered to Phones

Parents lament their teenagers’ noses constantly in their phones, but they might want to take stock of their own screen time habits. 

A study out Wednesday from the Pew Research Center found that two-thirds of parents are concerned about the amount of time their teenage children spend in front of screens, while more than a third expressed concern about their own screen time. 

Meanwhile, more than half of teens said they often or sometimes find their parents or caregivers to be distracted when the teens are trying to have a conversation with them. The study calls teens’ relationship with their phones at times “hyperconnected” and notes that nearly three-fourths check messages or notifications as soon as they wake up. Parents do the same, but at a lower if still substantial rate – 57 percent. 

Big tech companies face a growing backlash against the addictive nature of their gadgets and apps, the endless notifications and other features created to keep people tethered to their screens.

Many teens are trying to do something about it: 52 percent said they have cut back on the time they spend on their phones and 57 percent did the same with social media. 

Experts say parents have a big role in their kids’ screen habits and setting a good example is a big part of it. 

“Kids don’t always do what we say but they do as we do,” said Donald Shifrin, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, who was not involved in the Pew study. “Parents are the door that kids will walk through on their way to the world.” 

The study surveyed 743 U.S. teens and 1,058 U.S. parents of teens from March 7 to April 10. The margin of error is 4.5 percentage points. 

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Study: Many Teens – and Parents – Feel Tethered to Phones

Parents lament their teenagers’ noses constantly in their phones, but they might want to take stock of their own screen time habits. 

A study out Wednesday from the Pew Research Center found that two-thirds of parents are concerned about the amount of time their teenage children spend in front of screens, while more than a third expressed concern about their own screen time. 

Meanwhile, more than half of teens said they often or sometimes find their parents or caregivers to be distracted when the teens are trying to have a conversation with them. The study calls teens’ relationship with their phones at times “hyperconnected” and notes that nearly three-fourths check messages or notifications as soon as they wake up. Parents do the same, but at a lower if still substantial rate – 57 percent. 

Big tech companies face a growing backlash against the addictive nature of their gadgets and apps, the endless notifications and other features created to keep people tethered to their screens.

Many teens are trying to do something about it: 52 percent said they have cut back on the time they spend on their phones and 57 percent did the same with social media. 

Experts say parents have a big role in their kids’ screen habits and setting a good example is a big part of it. 

“Kids don’t always do what we say but they do as we do,” said Donald Shifrin, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, who was not involved in the Pew study. “Parents are the door that kids will walk through on their way to the world.” 

The study surveyed 743 U.S. teens and 1,058 U.S. parents of teens from March 7 to April 10. The margin of error is 4.5 percentage points. 

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Study: Many Teens — and Parents — Feel Tethered to Phones

Parents lament their teenagers’ noses constantly in their phones, but they might benefit from taking stock of their own screen time habits.

A new report from the Pew Research Center says two-thirds of parents are concerned about the amount of time their teenage children spend in front of screens.

But more than half of teens said they often or sometimes find their parents or caregivers to be distracted by screens when trying to have a conversation with them. And more than a third expressed concern about their own screen time.

The study surveyed 743 U.S. teens and 1,058 U.S. parents of teens from March 7 to April 10. The margin of error is 4.5 percentage points.

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Study: Many Teens — and Parents — Feel Tethered to Phones

Parents lament their teenagers’ noses constantly in their phones, but they might benefit from taking stock of their own screen time habits.

A new report from the Pew Research Center says two-thirds of parents are concerned about the amount of time their teenage children spend in front of screens.

But more than half of teens said they often or sometimes find their parents or caregivers to be distracted by screens when trying to have a conversation with them. And more than a third expressed concern about their own screen time.

The study surveyed 743 U.S. teens and 1,058 U.S. parents of teens from March 7 to April 10. The margin of error is 4.5 percentage points.

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New Technology Aims to Prevent Newborn Deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa

An internship at a hospital in Malawi was an eye-opening experience for Sonia Sosa.

“Sometimes, there are tons of babies, and there are not that many nurses, so they’re understaffed. It was really hard to work there, but then it also challenged me to really go back and work really hard to be able to provide this care that is accessible to them,” said Sosa, who studied biomedical engineering and is a global health fellow at Rice 360° Institute for Global Health in Houston. 

The purpose of the institute, through various programs, is to design and implement new technologies to combat global health problems. 

One of the institute’s efforts is the Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies project also known as NEST360°. The collaborative, multinational effort aims to reduce the number of newborn deaths in sub-Saharan Africa, a region with one of the highest neonatal mortality rates in the world. NEST aims to develop a collection of medical technologies that would be appropriate for a harsh and challenging environment and make them sustainable through educating clinicians and developing distribution systems for this technology. 

The devices are being developed or being tested, such as a light weight incubator, a diagnostic device for jaundice and respiratory rate monitor. 

Made for the environment

In total, 17 technologies have been identified, and together, engineers say they can help prevent the top causes of newborn deaths such as pneumonia and preterm birth in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Our students developed a solution that would cost on the order of hundreds of dollars and not only address the fact that it needed to be robust and cost-effective, but also easy to maintain and repair should something happen,” said Yvette Mirabal, executive director of Rice 360° Institute For Global Health.

Countries such as Malawi have received donations of medical equipment in the past, but they were not always helpful.

“I saw that all the devices come in as donations from First World countries, they didn’t fit in there. People used it differently, put them in weird places, and when they broke, there were no spare parts,” said global health fellow and engineer Jack Wang.

The devices ended up collecting dust and becoming useless because they were not right for the environment. There is also the issue of a lack of knowledge about the first world equipment. 

“The engineers, doctors, nurses, aren’t necessarily familiar and or trained with them, unless they had gone to a Western school where they’ve been exposed to some of these technologies, but maybe even in more complex forms. So, there was a systemic change that needed to be addressed,” said Mirabal.

Understanding the harsh dusty environment in Malawi and inconsistent electricity will help engineers build better devices, suitable for that part of the world. 

“We’re, in some cases, incorporating battery power where it’s appropriate. And then in other cases, we’re testing out backup power or including sort of with the NEST bundle of technologies, a package of solar power so that when there are those blackouts, there’s a backup system,” Mirabal said.

Of the 17 technologies, some are commercially available. Others are either in clinical trials or in early prototypes. A $15 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation is a start at achieving the goal of developing the technologies, scale them and roll them out first in Malawi, and eventually to other countries that need them.

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