Research has found a link between ‘technoference’ and poor child behaviour. The need for light relief is very human, but perhaps we can find a happier balance
Criminal group that broke into servers of Lithuanian clinic demands bitcoin ransom payments from clients after releasing 25,000 pictures
“Los jóvenes que pasan más de dos horas al día en redes sociales como Facebook, Twitter o Instagram son más propensos a sufrir problemas de salud mental, sobre todo angustia y síntomas de ansiedad y depresión”, informa el estudio realizado por la Royal Society of Public Healt y la Universidad de Cambridge.
Si no puedes alejarte de Facebook, Twitter o Snapchat no estás solo. Estas compañías ofrecen diferentes terapias para superar una adicción que algunos califican de “peor” a la del tabaco o al alcohol.
Negative emotions and anxiety exist for a reason. The rancid sense of rising terror that we often feel in response to the current news cycle is a crucial early-warning system that things are indeed not right. Rather than trying to ignore and appease those feelings of anxiety by disengaging, we should be listening to what they are telling us. We need to be more vigilant, not less.
Your medical data is for sale – all of it. Adam Tanner, a fellow at Harvard’s institute for quantitative social science and author of a new book on the topic, Our Bodies, Our Data, said that patients generally don’t know that their most personal information – what diseases they test positive for, what surgeries they have had – is the stuff of multibillion-dollar business.
“DeepMind/Google are getting a free pass for swift and broad access into the NHS, on the back of persuasive but unproven promises of efficiency and innovation,” said Ms Powles. “We do not know——and have no power to find out——what Google and DeepMind are really doing with NHS patient data, nor the extent of Royal Free’s meaningful control over what DeepMind is doing.”
“La mayoría lo percibe como una tecnología más limpia al no tener cables, pero esta radiación recibida de manera directa y constante en las manos y la cabeza por el contacto con dispositivos como celulares, tabletas, computadoras portátiles y otros, representa un riesgo silencioso que impacta en el sistema nervioso central”, aseguró el geobiólogo Joan Carles López.
Sexual harassment has been a feature of online and gaming communities from the earliest days of the internet. Until now, the abuse has been largely limited to verbal and visual messages, but as virtual reality technology becomes more immersive, the line between our real bodies and our digital bodies begins to blur.
The fear that the human brain cannot cope with the onslaught of information made possible by the latest development was first voiced in response to the printing press, back in the sixteenth century. Swap “printing press” for “internet” and you have the exact same concerns today, regularly voiced in the mainstream media, and usually focused on children.But is there any legitimacy to these claims? Or are they just needless scaremongering?
This year, a German businesswoman arrived in Washington DC and promptly developed a painful sinus infection. She searched online and found a local doctor, Suzanne Doud Galli. But instead of ordering a taxi to visit Dr Galli’s office, the patient arranged a virtual consultation via her smartphone from the comfort of her hotel room, with the help of an app called HealthTap.
El parlamentario, que representa a la región de La Araucanía e integra la Comisión de Salud de la Cámara de Diputados, anticipó que votará en contra de ratificar el Acuerdo Transpacífico que será discutido, probablemente, a partir de abril próximo en el Congreso Nacional. Rathgeb se suma a la lista de parlamentarios y senadores de diversas tendencias políticas que rechazan el acuerdo.
Don’t put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington. But in 2016, what if the stage is YouTube, and your daughter (or son) is demanding to be put on it, playing Minecraft?That’s the dilemma facing a growing number of parents, whose children aren’t just watching YouTube Minecraft channels like The Diamond Minecart, Stampy and CaptainSparklez – they want to follow in their blocky footsteps.
More than 1 million Syrians have fled to Lebanon since the start of the conflict and as many as one-fifth of them may be suffering from mental health disorders, according to the World Health Organisation.But Lebanon’s mental health services are mostly private and the needs of refugees – who may have lost loved ones, their home, livelihood and community – are mostly going unmet.Hoping to support the efforts of overworked psychologists in the region, the Silicon Valley startup X2AI has created an artificially intelligent chatbot called Karim that can have personalised text message conversations in Arabic to help people with their emotional problems.
a masterclass on faking cancer in the modern age. She fooled Apple, Cosmopolitan, Elle and Penguin. She fooled the hundreds of thousands who bought her app, read her blog and believed that her story could be their story.ow would you fake cancer? Shave your head? Pluck your eyebrows? Install a chemo port into your neck? These days you don’t need to. Belle Gibson’s story is
Diagnosed with a brain tumour aged 20, Gibson had four months to live. She blogged her journey of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, treatments she shunned after eight weeks. Instead, she cut gluten and dairy and turned to oxygen therapy, craniosacral treatments and colonic irrigation. Against all odds, she made it. Her followers were inspired. If Belle could make it, maybe they could too.
Gibson launched The Whole Pantry app in 2013, filled with healthy living tips and recipes. She promised a third of proceeds from the 300,000 downloads ($3.79 per download) to charity. Elle named her “The Most Inspiring Woman You’ve Met This Year”, Cosmopolitan awarded her a “Fun, Fearless Female award” and Penguin published her cookbook. Apple pre-installed her app on Apple Watch and flew her to its Silicon Valley launch.
Then cancer re-emerged, and Gibson announced on Instagram: “It hurts me to find space tonight to let you all know with love and strength that I’ve been diagnosed with a third and forth [sic] cancer. One is secondary and the other is primary. I have cancer in my blood, spleen, brain, uterus, and liver. I am hurting.”
Millions of kids are obsessed with Mojang’s crafting game, but understanding it rather than fearing it is a good first step for parents
A lot of people are getting hot under the collar about the BBC’s article on Minecraft, children and parenting, written by journalist Jolyon Jenkins.
Should parents ever worry about Minecraft? asks whether Minecraft is entirely healthy for kids, from addiction and lessening interest in the real world through to the prospect of “children being digitally mugged” by other players.
Jenkins clearly knows that he’ll have critics, referring to “Minecraft’s champions”, “the other side” and “the opposition” in the piece when suggesting how they might try to counter his arguments, setting this up as a battle.
At this point, as someone who writes regularly about children and technology – Minecraft included – I’m probably expected to saddle up and charge into battle, laying waste to Jenkins’ arguments.
He does make some points worth talking about in a much more balanced and less adversarial way. But my main response boils down to this: wouldn’t it be better for parents to understand Minecraft rather than worry about it?
Because once they understand the game and what their children are getting out of it, they’ll have a much better base of knowledge to make parenting decisions about and around it – from setting time limits to ensuring it’s complemented by other activities.
Hyperactivity disorders are now the second most diagnosed childhood conditions in the US behind asthma, with 20% of college students sufffering
The internet might make you feel hyperactive, but do you really have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?
Michael Pietrus PsyD, coordinator of the ADHD assessment protocol at the University of Chicago, explains how the internet encourages behaviour that at least mimics ADHD, and can exacerbate the condition in people who have it already.
Pietrus looks after many students at the college who feel the effects of academic and social pressure. In the US, 11% of children between four and 17 now have a diagnosis of ADHD and the rates have been going up by 5% every year from 2003 to 2011. It’s now the most commonly diagnosed condition for children in the US after asthma. Twenty per cent of the US college population now have ADHD, which appears as hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity, and are at higher risk of substance abuse and self medication, depression and a host of other consequent conditions.
“People with ADHD are hardwired for novelty seeking, which until recently was an evolutionary advantage,” said Pietrus, speaking at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. ADHD sufferers have fewer dopamine receptors, which means that a normally interesting activity seems less rewarding or even boring.
No one can explain the increase in ADHD in the US, Pietrus said. “People engage in compulsion for all sorts of reasons and often because of the way their personality extends into the online space. But compulsive behaviour is reinforced and rewarded, and that has an impact on the ability to plan and organise as well as focus on tasks and self regulate our behaviour.”
Smartphones are psychologically addictive, encourage narcissistic tendencies and should come with a health warning, researchers have said.
A study by the University of Derby and published in the International Journal of Cyber Behaviour, Psychology and Learning found that 13% of participants in the study were addicted, with the average user spending 3.6 hours per day on their device.
The majority of participants said their smartphone use caused distraction from many aspects of their lives, including employment, hobbies and studies.
Co-author Dr Zaheer Hussain, from the University of Derby’s psychology department, said he was not suggesting the harmful effects were on a par with cigarettes or alcohol but that nevertheless the devices should carry a health warning.
“People need to know the potential addictive properties of new technologies,” he said. “It [the warning] could be before they purchase them or before they download an app. If you’re downloading a game such as Candy Crush or Flappy Bird there could be a warning saying that you could end up playing this for hours and you have other responsibilities [that could be neglected].”
The study examined the responses of a self-selected sample of 256 smartphone users who were asked about how they used their device as well as questions intended to establish their personality traits.
Social networking sites were the most popularly used apps (87%), followed by instant messaging apps (52%) and then news apps (51%).
Video games are often labelled as just another hobby, but often, they can be much, much more.
Our games writer Keith Stuart spoke in depth about the positive influence Minecraft has had on his son, who was diagnosed with autism. For him, its creator Markus “Notch” Persson helped give his son a voice:
But most important was the way in which, after talking to each other while playing, they came to talk to us. Zac never really tells us much about what he does at school; his short-term memory isn’t great and a lot of it doesn’t seem to filter through. Or perhaps he doesn’t want us to worry. We know he doesn’t play with other children at break times or lunch, he sits by himself – the other kids grew tired of the fact that he couldn’t deal with team games. But he talks to us about Minecraft. He talks and talks. We were getting bored of it, to be brutally honest, but then my wife read an article that said if you listen to your children when they’re young, they’ll tell you more when they’re older. It’s sort of an investment of care. So we always listen, even though we don’t really get what the ender dragon is, or why it matters.
With so many playing video games today, there are bound to be more stories out there: and we’d like to hear them. How was video gaming changed your life? Have games improved it in some way? Or perhaps they’ve introduced you to a new community?
Google is changing the way it displays search queries to pull medical facts directly into its results.
The medical information is being added to the company’s Knowledge Graph, which underpins Google’s instant search results and powers Google’s Now personal assistant and app. It will allow health questions to be answered directly, without a user having to click.
Google already does this with dictionary definitions, schedules for big sporting events and Wikipedia extracts for famous people. Knowledge Graph is essentially a built-in encyclopaedia, which pulls in facts, data and illustrations from various sources.
One in 20 searches on Google are health-related, according to the company. “We’ll show you typical symptoms and treatments, as well as details on how common the condition is – whether it’s critical, if it’s contagious, what ages it affects, and more,” said Prem Ramaswami, a product manager for Google’s search.
In an era of email, text messages, Facebook and Twitter, we’re all required to do several things at once. But this constant multitasking is taking its toll. Here neuroscientist Daniel J Levitin explains how our addiction to technology is making us less efficient
Our brains are busier than ever before. We’re assaulted with facts, pseudo facts, jibber-jabber, and rumour, all posing as information. Trying to figure out what you need to know and what you can ignore is exhausting. At the same time, we are all doing more. Thirty years ago, travel agents made our airline and rail reservations, salespeople helped us find what we were looking for in shops, and professional typists or secretaries helped busy people with their correspondence. Now we do most of those things ourselves. We are doing the jobs of 10 different people while still trying to keep up with our lives, our children and parents, our friends, our careers, our hobbies, and our favourite TV shows.
Our smartphones have become Swiss army knife–like appliances that include a dictionary, calculator, web browser, email, Game Boy, appointment calendar, voice recorder, guitar tuner, weather forecaster, GPS, texter, tweeter, Facebook updater, and flashlight. They’re more powerful and do more things than the most advanced computer at IBM corporate headquarters 30 years ago. And we use them all the time, part of a 21st-century mania for cramming everything we do into every single spare moment of downtime. We text while we’re walking across the street, catch up on email while standing in a queue – and while having lunch with friends, we surreptitiously check to see what our other friends are doing. At the kitchen counter, cosy and secure in our domicile, we write our shopping lists on smartphones while we are listening to that wonderfully informative podcast on urban beekeeping.
But there’s a fly in the ointment. Although we think we’re doing several things at once, multitasking, this is a powerful and diabolical illusion. Earl Miller, a neuroscientist at MIT and one of the world experts on divided attention, says that our brains are “not wired to multitask well… When people think they’re multitasking, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly. And every time they do, there’s a cognitive cost in doing so.” So we’re not actually keeping a lot of balls in the air like an expert juggler; we’re more like a bad amateur plate spinner, frantically switching from one task to another, ignoring the one that is not right in front of us but worried it will come crashing down any minute. Even though we think we’re getting a lot done, ironically, multitasking makes us demonstrably less efficient.
Para mucha gente es uno de los mejores momentos del día: acostarse tranquilamente a leer antes de dormir. Pero este hábito podría afectar tu salud si usas dispositivos electrónicos. Te contamos por qué.
Si eres de los que se acurrucan en la cama con un libro electrónico para una buena sesión de lectura antes de dormir, podrías estár dañando tu patrón de sueño y en consecuencia tu salud.
Si puedes, mejor agarra un libro tradicional, aunque te parezca un rollo eso de pasar hojas…
Esa es la advertencia que acaba de hacer un equipo de investigación de la escuela médica de Harvard, en Estados Unidos.
Encontraron que las personas que utilizan libros electrónicos con luz integrada o retroiluminados tardan más en dormir, lo cual deriva en una peor calidad del sueño durante la noche y en un mayor cansancio por la mañana.
El hallazgo no sólo se aplica en el caso de los libros electrónicos sino también en computadoras, tabletas y celulares, que producen una luz similar.
La clave está en lo que se denomina “luz azul”, el tono con el que percibimos la longitud de onda de la iluminación de los dispositivos electrónicos y las pantallas LED.
Los resultados de la investigación fueron publicados en la revista especializada Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Company exploring creation of online ‘support communities’ that would connect users suffering from various ailments
Facebook already knows who your friends are and the kind of things that grab your attention. Soon, it could also know the state of your health.
On the heels of fellow Silicon Valley technology companies Apple and Google, Facebook is plotting its first steps into the fertile field of healthcare, said three people familiar with the matter. The people requested anonymity as the plans are still in development.
The company is exploring creating online “support communities” that would connect Facebook users suffering from various ailments. A small team is also considering new “preventative care” applications that would help people improve their lifestyles.
In recent months, the sources said, the social networking giant has been holding meetings with medical industry experts and entrepreneurs, and is setting up a research and development unit to test new health apps. Facebook is still in the idea-gathering stage, the people said.
The Greater Manchester chief constable, Sir Peter Fahy, has told the Guardian that the police want quick and easy access to medical and other confidential records without the consent of the individual concerned. In the light of other recent revelations about state incursion into private data, one is tempted to note that it’s nice of them to ask.
Before stating the obvious – that this sounds horribly Kafkaesque – it’s worth mentioning the positive side of all this. It’s a good thing the police now recognise that the majority of the people who come to their attention are vulnerable and find it hard to do what’s best for themselves, let alone what’s best for those around them. It was only 20 years ago, after all, that even Britain’s prime minister, John Major, was claiming “society needs to condemn a little more and understand a little less”. So this development signals a huge change in attitudes.
However, far from being an indication that the police need more power, it’s a sign that they are now straying too far from their remit, which is to maintain law and order. Fahy himself talks of having an ability “to solve the problem without a criminal justice system approach”.
On this, he’s dead right, even though his solution is an unwelcome one. The difficulty is that the police are already too embroiled in complex cases that may involve mental health problems, learning disabilities or addictions. That is the job of social workers. Fahy says the police do not have the manpower and resources they need to deal with the problems they are being asked to become involved in. The last thing we need is for them to have less clarity of purpose.
The issue is that other agencies – primarily mental health and social work services – are even more starved of investment than the police. Fahy, in essence, is allowing his thoughts to be guided by instincts of professional closure. He understands the police are involved in matters for which they are not equipped. But his answer is to equip them, not to call for others to become equipped. He does not see that his proposal would make the vulnerable even more so.
The dangers of this approach are most clear when considering Fahy’s most controversial example – that the police should be alerted to people suffering from domestic violence even if it isn’t what they want. If a person does not want the police involved, and the involvement of health professionals may trigger that anyway, then in some cases that’s going to make them reluctant even to turn to their GP.
That’s the trouble with passing on information without people’s consent. They become more reluctant to share any information at all, even when it is dangerous for them to keep things to themselves. On the contrary, people need to be able to get help before the police become involved. Too often, matters are allowed to reach a crisis before there is much in the way of societal intervention.
Es los tiempos actuales es muy común que los menores de edad desarrollen adicciones a los dispositivos tecnológicos. Celulares, consolas de videojuego, notebooks y tablets han pasado por encima de los clásicos regalos como las bicicletas o las muñecas, incluso por sobre el desarrollo común de un niño y su relación con el entorno.
La pregunta ahora es ¿esto es positivo o negativo? Estudios recientes han demostrado la diversidad de beneficios que tienen estos gadgets y, al mismo tiempo, los efectos negativos que podrían llegar a causar.
Muchos pasaron tardes divertidas jugando Atarai o Nintendo, otros prefirieron el fútbol o “las princesas”. Y las razones varían, desde lo económico a la posibilidad de socializar. Sin embargo, lo que produce en los niños cualquiera de estas dos actividades es algo muy distinto, según un estudio de Andrew Przybylski, psicólogo del Instituto de Internet Oxford publicado en la revista médica Health News.
En la investigación participaron más de 5.000 niños británicos de entre 10 y 15 años. Los menores debían decir el número de horas que jugaban ya sea frente a una consola o un computador.
El horario y sus efectos
¿Cuánto juegan los menores versus cuánto deberían jugar? En la investigación descubrieron que quienes pasaban menos de una hora con sus videojuegos eran “más propensos a ser felices, a ayudar y a ser emocionalmente estables”.
Por otro lado, estar tres horas o más produce un resultado totalmente diferente y perjudicial para la salud de cualquier menor. “Son más propensos a estar malhumorados, infelices y a portarse mal”, señala la publicación.
Y quienes juegan entre una hora y tres no sufren ningún efecto. De hecho, el equipo de investigación determinó que jugar dentro de esos rangos horarios no produce características positivas o negativas, y que los pequeños se desarrollan “más o menos como un niño que nunca juega”.
Tu teléfono no sólo es tu mejor amigo: ahora también es tu entrenador personal, instructor, nutricionista, monitor de la calidad del sueño, laboratorio médico e incluso además tu doctor.
La “salud digital” se ha convertido en la nueva Meca de la industria de la tecnología. Tanto las modestas nuevas empresas dedicadas a crear aplicaciones para móviles como las grandes compañías del sector están buscando la forma de sacar provecho a las preocupaciones sobre la salud y el bienestar.
Mientras se multiplican las aplicaciones que miden la frecuencia cardíaca, la presión arterial, la glucosa y otras funciones fisiológicas, los gigantes Google, Apple y Samsung han lanzado plataformas que facilitan integrar los servicios médicos y de salud.
“Hemos llegado al punto en que tenemos sensores en nuestro teléfono o accesorios usables (como pulseras, relojes, zapatos y cintos) capaces de recopilar información que antes era imposible obtener sin acudir a un centro médico”, dijo Gerry Purdy, analista de Compass Intelligence.
“Puedes revisar tu frecuencia cardíaca con electrocardiogramas en los móviles. Los costos están bajando y estos sensores se están volviendo socialmente cada vez más aceptables”, agregó.
La consultora Rock Health estima que 143 empresas dedicadas a la salud digital han ganado 2.300 millones de dólares durante el primer semestre de 2014, cifra que sobrepasa el total del año pasado.
Además, un análisis de la consultora mundial Deloitte sugiere que las firmas que venden gafas y relojes inteligentes, así como pulseras y cintos que rastrean la actividad física, venderán unas 10 millones de unidades para fin de año, creando un negocio de más de 3.000 millones de dólares. Para 2017, adelanta, la venta de estos aparatos alcanzará las 170 millones de unidades.
Call it a social media stay-cation: I’m not shutting down my Twitter account, but I’m uninstalling the app
There are plenty of studies and books pointing out the many ways technology is damaging the way we live our lives. We’re less connected to our kids, we’re attached to our screens, we’re burned out. Every year around this time you read another treatise about someone who has taken a long hiatus from the internet just to get some peace, quiet and perspective. I’m not quite ready for anything that serious – and hey, I work on the internet – but I am desperate for a change.
Writing on predominantly feminist issues brings out a certain … element, shall we say, in comments, emails, and on social media. And as resistant as I’ve become over the last 10 years by doing this kind of writing and public work, there’s a toll that comes with being told daily that you’re a slut, or a bitch, or that you should be raped all because you had the temerity to have an opinion and a vagina at the same time.
But taking my ball and going home isn’t an option – after all, this is my game, too. This is where I work and socialize, communicate with friends and colleagues. Why should I have to leave if I’m not the one behaving badly? Then last week, I came up with a more moderate solution than swearing off technology and comments sections: I took the Twitter and Facebook apps off my phone. It was glorious.
I know – hardly a huge sacrifice. But I’ve been shocked at how much of a difference it’s already made. I’m no longer “just checking” to see what people are talking about, only to come across some random person telling me he’d like to be my tampon for a day. (Yes, that is a real thing that happened.)
Since paring down my social media use, I’ve also become less likely to get drawn in to a conversation when I should be eating dinner with my family, or tweeting when I should be relaxing before bed. (There’s nothing worse for an insomniac than a flashing screen in your face, minutes before you try to get some shut-eye.) Less crap on my phone means more time for everything else.
Daniel Sieberg, periodista y ejecutivo de Google, es autor de ‘La dieta digital’, un plan para desintoxicarnos de los excesos con la tecnología
Fue en un encuentro de Navidad de 2009. Daniel Sieberg, que se había forjado una carrera sólida como corresponsal de tecnología para las cadenas estadounidenses CNN y CBS, se reunía con su familia en la costa oeste de Canadá. “Probaba todas las innovaciones, estaba en las redes sociales, pensaba que vivía muy conectado con los míos y con el resto del mundo”, explica el ahora director de Relación con los Medios de Comunicación de Google de visita de trabajo en Madrid, y para su intervención en la celebración del aniversario de la empresa GMV. Sin embargo, cuando los parientes conversaron sobre las noticias de bodas, nacimientos o divorcios de aquel año, él se dio cuenta de que no se había enterado de ninguna de ellas. Y el momento navideño se transformó en otro “de Epifanía” para Sieberg. “Me había convertido en un gran presentador, pero un pésimo comunicador, era socialmente incompetente. Continuamente miraba algún tipo de aparato… ¡Mi mujer me llamaba ‘luciérnaga’ porque en la cama mi cara siempre estaba iluminada por la luz de algún tipo de pantalla!”.
De ese momento nació La dieta digital, un plan de cuatro pasos para romper con la adicción a la tecnología y llegar a un equilibrio, publicado en Estados Unidos en 2011. Con la proliferación del uso de los teléfonos inteligentes en los últimos 10 años, de perfiles en redes sociales o la presencia del wi-fi, Sieberg piensa que tiene aún más relevancia lo que propone: dar un paso atrás y pensar en nuestra relación con los aparatos que nos rodean, y, con eso, mejorar la salud de nuestros lazos familiares, ser más productivo en el trabajo, y hacer que la tecnología trabaje para el individuo, en lugar de lo contrario.