9 great reads from CNET this week

first_img Tech Industry Apple Pay Mobile payments GDPR Valve 5G Virtual Reality Disney Space Star Wars Facebook Wi-Fi 0 Post a comment 5G is the real deal, a notion that grew even clearer this week as Sprint became the third US carrier to turn on its next-gen network. CNET put Sprint’s network to the test in Dallas and was impressed. Meanwhile, Apple is readying for its developers conference next week, which won’t be about splashy device unveilings so much as clues to hardware in the works.Here are some of the week’s other stories you don’t want to miss: Watch out, Apple Pay. Tap-to-pay cards are coming on strongThese cards could speed up how we shop and commute every day. Ben Fox Rubin/CNET Building a rocket in a garage to take on SpaceX and Blue OriginGilmour Space Technologies is a plucky startup in the new space race. Its first mission: sending a powerful hybrid rocket to the edge of space.gilmourspacetech-1 Ian Knighton/CNET Disney’s Star Wars land review: Galaxy’s Edge from every angleEver wanted to visit a Star Wars planet or sit in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon? This new Star Wars-themed land comes close to making those dreams a reality.star-wars-land-vanessa-preview-night-16 Vanessa Hand Orellana/CNET Europe’s GDPR has accomplished a lot in its infancyAt just a year old, the General Data Protection Regulation has already forced big tech firms to make significant changes to their privacy policies. And its real effects are still to come.A computer screen covered with illuminated ones and zeros; some are darker and form silhouettes of people. Saul Gravy/Getty Images The internet is changing Africa, mostly for the betterCheap smartphones are flooding Africa, giving many of its citizens access to the internet for the very first time.screen-shot-2019-05-24-at-2-21-52-pm Andela Valve Index’s new VR controllers feel like the future of gamingThe most interesting feature in Valve’s new virtual reality system is how its controllers work in your hands.26-valve-index Sarah Tew/CNET Facebook quietly killed a map for discovering live videosSome users want the map back.facebook-live-map Facebook screenshot by Andrew Hoyle/CNET First to 5G? For smartphone users, the race is kind of meaninglessEE is the first UK carrier to jump to 5G. But for most consumers, the upgrade just isn’t worth it yet.Light Trails On Road In London City At Night5G has arrived in the UK today. Jaromir Chalabala/EyeEm ‘First 10 years were very tough’: Aladdin star on being an Iranian actor in HollywoodIt hasn’t always been easy for Navid Negahban, but Amazon, YouTube and Netflix are changing Hollywood for the better, the Sultan says.sultan Daniel Smith Share your voice Tagslast_img read more

Economy in focus as PM Modi begins second term without key aide

first_imgPM Modi won a massive mandate in the general election that ended this month after focusing his campaign on national security.ReutersPrime Minister Narendra Modi will take his oath of office on Thursday along with his ministers, though he suffered a setback at the start of his second term when key aide and finance minister Arun Jaitley opted out of the next government.The swearing-in ceremony at the forecourt of the colonial-era presidential palace Rashtrapati Bhawan will be attended by thousands of guests including Bollywood stars and leaders of neighbours including Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.PM Modi won a massive mandate in the general election that ended this month after focusing his campaign on national security, as tension with old rival Pakistan shot up over a deadly militant attack on security forces in the disputed region of Kashmir.Pakistan was not invited to the inauguration.India is proud of all those brave men and women martyred in the line of duty, PM Modi said after visiting a war memorial near parliament on Thursday. Our government will leave no stone unturned to safeguard India’s unity and integrity. National security is our priority.Many ministers who are also senior members of the ruling alliance are expected to keep their place in the government. But changes in their departments are likely, especially after Arun Jaitley wrote to PM Modi on Wednesday asking to be kept out due to health reasons.Narendra Modi and the chief of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Amit Shah, could also promote many fresh faces to reward good electoral performance, mainly in the east of the country where they have traditionally been weak.Amit Shah himself is tipped to take up a role in the government, though some political analysts say he could stay on as BJP president to steer the party towards a majority in the upper house of parliament after dominating the lower house.Nearly 8,000 people, including leaders of the decimated opposition bloc, are expected to attend the ceremony that will fete the incredible rise of 68-year-old Modi, the son of a tea seller.The BJP now controls 303 of the 545 seats in the lower house of parliament, paving the way for Modi to possibly attempt controversial land and labour reforms amid concerns that Asia’s third-largest economy is faltering.This week, two major industrial bodies called on the new government to urgently take steps to bolster the economy, which grew 6.6 per cent in the three months to December — the slowest pace in five quarters.PM Modi pushed through important reforms such as a unified goods and services tax and bankruptcy law in his first five years in power but faced flak for failing to create enough jobs for millions of people seeking employment, rising farm distress and lacklustre economic growth. India’s main opposition Congress party, meanwhile, is fighting to stay relevant after being overwhelmed in two straight general elections.Its president, Rahul Gandhi, has offered to resign and on Thursday, the party said it would not send its spokespeople on television debates for a month as it analyses its latest defeat.last_img read more

Analysis 10 Ways We Can Prevent School Shootings Right Now

first_img Share Photo by Carlos Garcia Rawllins/ReutersA woman holds a placard during a candlelight vigil for victims of yesterday’s shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida.After a shooter killed 17 people at a Florida high school, many have expressed frustration at the political hand-wringing over gun control and calls for prayer.As a parent, I understand the desire for practical responses to school shootings. I also absolutely believe the government should do more to prevent such incidents. But the gun control debate has proven so divisive and ineffective that I am weary of waiting for politicians to act.I study the kind of aggressive childhood behavior that often predates school shootings. That research suggests what communities and families can start doing today to better protect children.Here are 10 actions we can all take while the federal government drags its heels.What schools can doBecause educators observe students’ emotional and behavioral development daily, they are best positioned to detect troubled behaviors and intervene. In Los Angeles, for example, schools have successfully used outreach and training to identify potentially violent students before problems occur.1. Teach social and emotional skillsChildren learn social skills from everyday interactions with each other. Playtime teaches young people how to control their emotions, recognize others’ feelings and to negotiate. Neighborhood “kick the can” games, for example, require cooperation to have fun – all without adult supervision.Today, frequent social media use and a decrease in free play time has reduced children’s opportunities to learn these basic social skills.But social and emotional skills can – and should – be taught in school as a way to prevent student violence. Students with more fluent social skills connect better with others and may be more able to recognize troubled peers who need help.2. Hire more counselors and school resource officersDue to budget cuts, many schools have few or no trained school psychologists, social workers or adjustment counselors on staff. These mental health professionals are society’s first line of defense against troubled students – especially with the current increase in adolescent depression and anxiety.In my opinion, school resource officers – trained police officers who work with children – are also helpful for students. While untrained officers may pose a threat to students, well-trained school resource officers can connect with kids who have few other relationships, acting as a support system. They are also on hand to respond quickly if crime or violence erupts.Putting trained school resource officers and counselors in every school will cost money, but I believe it will save lives.3. Use technology to identify troubled studentsTechnology may challenge kids’ social development, but it can also be harnessed for good. Anonymous reporting systems – perhaps text-message based – can make it easier for parents and students to alert law enforcement and school counselors to kids who seem disconnected or disturbed. That enables early intervention.In Steamboat Springs, Colorado, one such tip appeared to prevent extreme violence in May 2017. Police took a young man who’d threatened to harm his peers into protective custody before he could act on his words.What communities can doCommunities also help raise children. With many eyes and ears, they can detect often smaller problems before young people grow into violence.4. Doctors should conduct standard mental health screeningsExtreme violence is almost always preceded by certain behavioral problems. These typically include a propensity toward aggression, a marked lack of social connectedness, indications of serious mental illness and a fascination with violence and guns.Doctors could detect these problems early on with a standardized screening at health checkups. If concerns arise, referrals to counseling or other mental health professionals might follow.5. Enlist social media companies in the effort to detect threatsMost young people today use social media to express their feelings and aspirations. In the case of school shooters, these posts are often violent. A single violent post is hardly a guarantee of homicidal acts, of course. But evidence strongly indicates that repeated expressions of this nature can be a sign of trouble.I would like to see companies like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat create algorithms that identify repeated online threats and automatically alert local law enforcement.What parents can doParents and guardians are often the first to detect their child’s emotional struggles. Here are some tips for monitoring and promoting healthy emotional development at home.6. Think critically about your child’s social media useFrom virtual war games to cruel trolls, the internet is full of violence. The relationship between violent content and aggression hasn’t been consistent in research: Some studies see no relationship at all, while others find some correlation between violent video games and violent behavior.This mixed evidence suggests that online content affects children differently, so parents must assess how well their child handles it. If your daughter likes “Assassin’s Creed” but is gentle, socially successful and happy, the onscreen violence may not be strongly impacting her.But if your child is drawn to violent games and tends to be aggressive or troubled, discuss the situation with your pediatrician or school counselor.7. Consider what your child is missing out onIs your child sleeping properly? Do your kids socialize with other young people? These two behaviors are linked to mental health in children, and excessive screen time can reduce or diminish the quality of both.Make sure digital devices aren’t disrupting your kids’ sleep, and schedule play dates if your kids don’t make plans on their own.8. Assess your child’s relationshipsLike adults, children need confidants to feel invested in and connected with their community. The trusted person can be parent, a family member or a friend – just make sure someone’s playing that role.For children who struggle to make friends and build relationships, there are programsthat can help them learn how.9. Fret productively about screen timeResearch shows that excessive screen time can damage kids’ brains. That’s alarming in part because parents can’t realistically keep kids entirely off devices.So rather than just fret over screen time, focus instead on how children can benefit from a variety of activities. Evidence shows that children who experience different pursuits over the course of their day – from sports and music to an after-school job – are happier and healthier for it.10. Talk with your childThis is both the easiest and hardest way to make sure your kids are doing OK. Children, especially teenagers, don’t always want to talk about how life is going. Ask anyway.My research shows that simply asking children about their friends, their technology use and their day is an important way to show you care. Even if they don’t respond, your interest demonstrates that you’re there for them.Try this one now. Ask your children what they’re thinking about the shooting in Florida and how they like their friends and school. Then listen.Elizabeth Englander, Professor of Psychology, and the Director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC), Bridgewater State UniversityThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.last_img read more

Human fear of spiders draws scientific focus

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Female comb-footed spider (family Theridiidae), Enoplognatha ovata. Photographed in the wild at DuPage County, Illinois, USA. Size = 15mm. Credit: Bruce Marlin/Wikipedia/CC BY 3.0 , Cognition Some dangerous spider species may have been common during our evolutionary history. A number of species with potent venoms populated Africa before hominoids and have co-existed there for tens of millions of years. A black widow spider bite in the ancestral world even if not fatal could leave one incapacitated for days or weeks.Joshua New, Department of Psychology, Barnard College and colleague Tamsin German, wrote “Spiders at the cocktail party: an ancestral threat that surmounts inattentional blindness,” which has been published in Evolution and Human Behavior. The paper stated that the human visual system may retain ancestral mechanisms uniquely dedicated to the rapid detection of immediate and specific threats, such as spiders and snakes, which persistently recurred throughout evolutionary time. The authors concluded that “Spiders may be one of a very few evolutionarily-persistent threats that are inherently specified for visual detection and uniquely ‘prepared’ to capture attention and awareness irrespective of any foreknowledge, personal importance, or task-relevance.”New and German asked their participants to look at abstract shapes and data on computer screens. Among those images were needles and flies. Results, as reported in the Daily Sun: “Of the 252 people reviewed in the study, most recognized the spiders much quicker than other images known to induce fear, such as flies and needles.” Spider images got more attention; the viewers spotted them and knew what they were. The authors reported that, “Despite their highly marginalized presentation, iconic spiders were nonetheless detected, localized, and identified by a very large proportion of observers.” Their test, said the authors, made use of the “inattentional blindness paradigm” in which an unexpected, peripheral stimulus is presented coincidentally with a central task-relevant display. Last year, Inside Science turned to the spider study which had been published online. Inside Science described how the study was designed: “To see if there is something special about spiders, the researchers showed people a cross shape that flashed in the middle of a screen for an eighth of a second. The participants’ task, as far as they knew, was to judge which of the two bars on the cross was longer. During the first three trials, only the cross appeared. On the fourth trial, another image appeared at the same time. The possible images included a spider, a hypodermic needle, a housefly, and abstract shapes made by rearranging the lines of the spider.” People were asked if they saw anything other than just the cross and, if so, in which part of the screen. They also tried to identify the image by selecting it from a lineup.New’s study reflects a question that scientists have posed before about human reactions to spiders: In 2008, the study “Do infants possess an evolved spider-detection mechanism?” appeared in Cognition. Babies looked at spiders longer than they looked at other images. Authors David Rakison and Jaime Derringer talked about “an evolved predator recognition mechanism that specifies the appearance of recurring threats.”The results, they said, supported the hypothesis that humans “may possess a cognitive mechanism for detecting specific animals that were potentially harmful throughout evolutionary history.”Rakison said in Inside Science that “At least with children, there’s very little conflicting evidence that spiders and snakes have some kind of privileged nature in human visual processing.” More information: Spiders at the cocktail party: an ancestral threat that surmounts inattentional blindness, Evolution and Human Behavior, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.08.004 A fear of spiders, arachnophobia, is in our DNA. You don’t learn to freeze at the site of these creatures; you’re born with the fear. Even the sight of hypodermic needles and houseflies does not trigger a similar response. Scientists pin that fear on survival instinct. The theory goes like this: Humans evolved in Africa where being able to spot a spider was of necessity. Spiders found able to custom build webs to trap best food source Explore further Journal information: Evolution and Human Behavior © 2015 Phys.org Citation: Human fear of spiders draws scientific focus (2015, April 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-human-spiders-scientific-focus.htmllast_img read more