A psychology researcher explains how social media is changing us

(Credit: Getty/GaudiLab) On your smartphones, tablets, and computers, there is a war going on, as we speak. The war isn’t violent, at least not in the literal sense, but is rather a war for your attention — for what feeds the modern maw of Silicon Valley is your eyeballs. The business path that the internet has carved is a model whereby the viewers of videos and readers of information are the product, rather than the consumer. This is how social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are able to provide their services for free: they observe your viewing habits and then sell your data to advertisers. The side effect… Read More

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A psychology researcher explains how social media is changing us

(Credit: Getty/GaudiLab) On your smartphones, tablets, and computers, there is a war going on, as we speak. The war isn’t violent, at least not in the literal sense, but is rather a war for your attention — for what feeds the modern maw of Silicon Valley is your eyeballs. The business path that the internet has carved is a model whereby the viewers of videos and readers of information are the product, rather than the consumer. This is how social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are able to provide their services for free: they observe your viewing habits and then sell your data to advertisers. The side effect… Read More

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Sphero lays off dozens as it shifts focus to education

Sphero was ready to conquer the world last year. The company quintupled its product release schedule, flying high with the help of a Disney licensing deal that gave the world several Star Wars droids and talking Spider-Man and Lightning McQueen robots. But following a holiday season that failed to live up to expectations, the company recently laid off 45 staff members globally, TechCrunch… Read More …read more Source:: TechCrunch – Startups

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Sphero lays off dozens as it shifts focus to education

Sphero was ready to conquer the world last year. The company quintupled its product release schedule, flying high with the help of a Disney licensing deal that gave the world several Star Wars droids and talking Spider-Man and Lightning McQueen robots. But following a holiday season that failed to live up to expectations, the company recently laid off 45 staff members globally, TechCrunch… Read More …read more Source:: TechCrunch

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Beau Biden and the burn pits: Are these toxic military waste sites making soldiers sick?

Burn pit in Afghanistan (Credit: Getty/Andrew Burton) Last week former Vice President Joe Biden reignited national interest and concern surrounding the use of burn pits, a common way to get rid of waste at military sites in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a recent PBS Newshour interview, Biden concedes for the first time the link between these burn pits and the brain cancer that killed his son, Beau Biden. The former Vice President said, “You take everything from the fuel oil, the plastic furniture, to all the waste and we just burn them . . . and a lot of work is being done [to prove the link between burn pits… Read More

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Beau Biden and the burn pits: Are these toxic military waste sites making soldiers sick?

Burn pit in Afghanistan (Credit: Getty/Andrew Burton) Last week former Vice President Joe Biden reignited national interest and concern surrounding the use of burn pits, a common way to get rid of waste at military sites in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a recent PBS Newshour interview, Biden concedes for the first time the link between these burn pits and the brain cancer that killed his son, Beau Biden. The former Vice President said, “You take everything from the fuel oil, the plastic furniture, to all the waste and we just burn them . . . and a lot of work is being done [to prove the link between burn pits… Read More

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Verizon’s Go Unlimited plan will soon work in Mexico and Canada

In August, Verizon split its unlimited data plan into three new options with some annoying limits and restrictions on video streaming. The basic of those three plans, Go Unlimited, will soon work in Canada and Mexico. But there’s still some annoying restrictions. If you’re a Verizon customer on the basic plan, you won’t have to pay for an additional data plan if you travel overseas, according to Droid Life (via Engadget), and the changes to the plan kick on on January 25th, 2018. The change brings Go Unlimited up to speed with the company’s other unlimited offerings, Beyond Unlimited and Business Unlimited Plans, which already included the international calling, texting… Read More

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Space Startup Rocket Lab Has Reached Orbit For the First Time

The six-year-old startup Rocket Lab has successfully put a rocket into orbit, and deployed a payload of three satellites. The launch started from New Zealand at 2:43 Sunday afternoon, or 8:43 p.m. Saturday U.S. Eastern Time. The mission, dubbed “Still Testing,” was the second using the company’s lightweight Electron rocket. Rocket Lab streamed its launch live, and it can still be viewed on YouTube, complete with informative commentary. Rocket Lab aims to lower the cost of access to space, in a way parallel to, but distinct from, the mission of Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Where SpaceX seems near mastering the art of landing and reusing large rockets, Rocket Lab wants to… Read More

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Is San Jose winning its war on illegal dumping?

SAN JOSE — Two years ago, the city of San Jose got serious about the problem of illegal dumping by offering free trash pickups, easing the complaint process and imposing stiff fines on violators. The result: 2,443 mattresses, 2,250 tons of debris, 1,900 shopping carts and more than 500 gallons of human waste. And yet the streets are still dirty. Tenley Corpus lives near San Jose’s Martial Cottle Park and loves walking its trails. Lately, though, her walks have been spoiled by an eyesore just across the street: a giant pile of garbage on Chynoweth Avenue. Nearby Hellyer Park and Branham Lane also are dotted with garbage piles and yard… Read More

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South Korea prosecutors are investigating Apple’s iPhone battery controversy

Add the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office to the growing list of government units around the world that are investigating Apple over the reduced performance of iPhones with older batteries inside. The company’s poor messaging about an iOS update intended to prevent unexpected shutdowns — a change that required throttling the processor and slowing performance of iPhones with chemically-aged batteries — led to widespread controversy and customer frustration late last year. As reported by Apple Insider, the new probe comes after Seol’s Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty filed a complaint against Apple that claimed the company is really slowing down iPhones to sway consumers towards upgrading sooner than would otherwise… Read More

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Startups, high-speed rail and California’s infrastructure future

California is home to two very different innovation worlds. For the readers of TechCrunch, there is the familiar excitement of the startup world, with startups working on longevity and age extension, rockets to Mars, and cars that drive themselves. Hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs, engineers, and product managers are building these futures every day, often on shoestring budgets all in… Read More …read more Source:: TechCrunch

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Bitcoin’s Lightning Network Upgrade Gets Some Hands-On Testing

Lightning Network, a technology that many hope will make the Bitcoin payment network substantially more efficient, is becoming a reality. Standards have been adopted, Lightning transactions were first demonstrated in early December, and late last week, the VPN service TorGuard touted what might have been the first purchase of physical goods using Lightning. Was this the first physical item purchased on Lightning Network? https://t.co/tSq8mOcCSX — TorGuard (@TorGuard) January 19, 2018 For the many still trying to figure out exactly what Bitcoin itself is, understanding why Lightning matters might be tough. At the bottom is Bitcoin’s scaling challenge, which has kept it from fulfilling its promise of rapid, cheap money transmission.… Read More

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Why a Bitcoin future will always end up in centralization

Let’s imagine Bitcoin has accomplished the unthinkable — it’s become the one true currency used for peer-to-peer payments around the world. In this Bitcoin Valhalla, let’s imagine that all non-cash payments are conducted with Bitcoin. Instead of credit cards, people whip out theifavoritete Bitcoin hardware or mobile wallets in coffee shops and hair salons across the world. Just how many of these non-cash payments would there be in this perfect world? Today, non-cash payments account for approximately 522 billion transactions per year worldwide, and that number seems to be increasing in quadratic fashion, meaning it’ll be a lot bigger by the… This story continues at The Next Web …read more… Read More

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Why a Bitcoin future will always end up in centralization

Let’s imagine Bitcoin has accomplished the unthinkable — it’s become the one true currency used for peer-to-peer payments around the world. In this Bitcoin Valhalla, let’s imagine that all non-cash payments are conducted with Bitcoin. Instead of credit cards, people whip out theifavoritete Bitcoin hardware or mobile wallets in coffee shops and hair salons across the world. Just how many of these non-cash payments would there be in this perfect world? Today, non-cash payments account for approximately 522 billion transactions per year worldwide, and that number seems to be increasing in quadratic fashion, meaning it’ll be a lot bigger by the… This story continues at The Next Web …read more… Read More

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