A new study using sophisticated brain scans found an association between screen use and the development of young children’s brains, especially in areas related to language development, reinforcing the messages about minimizing screen time for preschoolers.
Let’s start with full disclosure: I know some of the authors of the research, which was published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics. The lead author is Dr. John S. Hutton, the director of the Reading and Literacy Discovery Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. I wrote about some of his research a few years ago, when he looked at how young children’s brains react to hearing stories, and have even collaborated with him in writing about children and reading, one of my favorite topics (the world of pediatricians obsessed with picture books is small and closely, well, networked).
Google is gathering detailed health record information from millions of Americans — and it has not informed patients or doctors, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to WSJ, St. Louis-based Ascension, the second-largest health system in the US, is sharing lab results, diagnoses and hospitalization records, as well as health histories complete with patient names and dates of birth, with Google.
The effort has been dubbed “Project Nightingale,” and a person familiar with the matter told WSJ that at least 150 Google employees have access to data on tens of millions of patients. Google is reportedly using the data to design new, AI-driven software.
iPhone owners, beware. It appears Facebook might be actively using your camera without your knowledge while you’re scrolling your feed.
The issue has come to light after a user going by the name Joshua Maddux took to Twitter to report the unusual behavior, which occurs in the Facebook app for iOS. In footage he shared, you can see his camera actively working in the background as he scrolls through his feed.
The problem becomes evident due to a bug that shows the camera feed in a tiny sliver on the left side of your screen, when you open a photo in the app and swipe down. TNW has since been able to independently reproduce the issue.
Samsung knows a thing or two about memory technology and the company always puts that expertise to good use. It announced at the annual Samsung Tech Day event today that the mass production of the industry’s first 12GB LPDDR4X-based uMCP has now begun.
What that means in English is that Samsung has now made it possible for mid-range smartphones to have more than 10GB of RAM. That’s going to provide a significant improvement in user experience for customers who don’t get a flagship device.
This will be a game-changer for mid-range smartphones
The uMCP or UFS-based multichip package utilizes Samsung’s 24-gigabit (Gb) LPDDR4X chips. This allows Samsung to offer the highest mobile RAM capacity of 12GB for both flagship and mid-range devices. This is made possible by combining four 24Gb LPDDR4X chips with an ultra-fast eUFS 3.0 NAND storage into one single package. So it breaks through the existing 8GB package limit and allows for 10+ GB RAM to be put in mid-range devices.
I’ve opened and closed foldable phones hundreds of times by now. But even after reviewing the Galaxy Fold (twice), playing with Huawei’s Mate X and bending slim concept designs, nothing has prepared me for TCL’s prototype dual-hinged phone, which folds in three parts and opens into a huge, 10-inch tablet.
The most remarkable thing about TCL’s phone is that the hinges themselves move in different directions. The DragonHinge fold in, like a book, or like the Galaxy Fold, while the Butterfly Hinge folds the opposite way.
The two hinges create a zigzag shape as you open and close the device, a silhouette in Z. It looks like an accordion. Or a taco holder. And I have to get my greedy hands on it to give it a fold, one panel at a time: Open. Folded over once. Completely folded up into a triple-stacked sandwich so that the exposed panel becomes the TCL phone’s “outer” screen. With this design, a single uninterrupted screen does it all.
Google is standing by its claim that it’s achieved quantum supremacy — marking a major milestone in computing research. The company first made the claim back in September, and while disputed by competitors, Google’s research paper has now been published in the scientific journal Nature.
Quantum supremacy is a big deal, because it encapsulates the ability of quantum computers to solve problems that current technology couldn’t even begin to attempt. Google’s paper explains how its 53-bit quantum computer — named Sycamore — took just 200 seconds to perform a calculation that would have taken the world’s fastest supercomputer 10,000 years.
In theory, this capability opens a lot of doors to future technologies, such as designing better batteries and medicine, or minimizing emissions from farming chemicals. It could also help to advance existing technologies such as machine learning. However, Sycamore’s feat has almost no practical use at this stage — it was designed simply to show that a quantum computer could perform as expected.
Honor announced the Band 5i a couple of days ago, and now its parent company Huawei also unveiled a fitness tracker, dubbed Band 4, which is essentially a re-branded Band 5i with a pill-shaped button.
The Huawei Band 4 sports a 0.96″ 2.5D TFT color screen having a resolution of 160×80 pixels. It shows information like time and date, fitness data, and app notifications.
Huawei Band 4 arrives with a color display and USB-A charging port
The Band 4 comes with heart rate and sleep monitoring, and it can track different activities like walking, running and cycling.
The fitness tracker is water-resistant up to 50 meters and can sync with devices running Android 4.4 and iOS 9.0 and above. It comes with Bluetooth 4.2 for connectivity but has NFC missing.
The Honor Band 4 is offered in three colors – Graphite Black, Sakura Pink, and Amber Sunrise. It packs a 91 mAh battery which Huawei claims can offer 7-9 days of power autonomy. The fitness tracker comes with a USB-A connector, meaning you can plug it to the regular USB-A port for hassle-free charging.
Apple CEO Tim Cook had some choice words when asked about Facebook’s controversial blockchain project Libra, with the chief executive openly characterizing the company’s plans to launch a cryptocurrency as a blatant power grab. Speaking with the French newspaper Les Echos, Cook shot down any notion that Apple might be considering launching a digital currency of its own, given its recent investments in digital wallets, mobile payments, and consumer credit with the new Goldman Sachs-backed Apple Card.
“No. I really think that a currency should stay in the hands of countries. I’m not comfortable with the idea of a private group setting up a competing currency,” Cook told the publication in an interview published today. “A private company shouldn’t be looking to gain power this way.”
Cook’s comments were published just prior to PayPal announcing today that it was backing out of the Libra Association, the 28-member nonprofit group (of which Facebook is a part) that was formed to oversee the currency’s creation and the technical, financial, and regulatory hurdles it faces. The two events are unrelated, but PayPal’s withdrawal and its aftereffects will no doubt deal a significant blow to Libra’s ongoing development and the prospects of its regulatory approval.
Less than two weeks ahead of the Pixel 4 flagship smartphone’s debut, Google is temporarily pulling the plug on a controversial “field research” program that offered subjects in US cities a $5 gift certificate in exchange for a scan of their face — after a New York Daily News report that one Google contracting agency was actively targeting homeless people in Atlanta and tricking unwitting college students into participating by pretending they would merely be testing a new app.
Originally, the company told us, the idea was to make sure the Pixel 4’s new Face Unlock feature would recognize a diverse array of faces, which could keep it from being biased against people of color — a legitimate concern for facial recognition tech.
Google now tells The New York Times and The Verge that it has immediately suspended the program, and opened an investigation, after reading the Daily News’ story. It wouldn’t confirm individual allegations, but did say it’s true it hired contractors from Randstad for the research, the same contractor named in the Daily News’ expose, and Google has reportedly called the alleged details “very disturbing.” Google tells The Verge that it made sure to provide directions to its researchers to be transparent with people they approached for a facial scan, so it sounds like Google will be able to dodge some of the blame if the allegations about its contractor are true.
Attackers are exploiting a zero-day vulnerability in Google’s Android mobile operating system that can give them full control of at least 18 different phone models, including four different Pixel models, a member of Google’s Project Zero research group said on Thursday night.
There’s evidence the vulnerability is being actively exploited, either by exploit developer NSO Group or one of its customers, Project Zero member Maddie Stone said in a post. NSO representatives, meanwhile, said the “exploit has nothing to do with NSO.” Exploits require little or no customization to fully root vulnerable phones. The vulnerability can be exploited two ways: (1) when a target installs an untrusted app or (2) for online attacks, by combining the exploit with a second exploit targeting a vulnerability in code the Chrome browser uses to render content.
“The bug is a local privilege escalation vulnerability that allows for a full compromise of a vulnerable device,” Stone wrote. “If the exploit is delivered via the Web, it only needs to be paired with a renderer exploit, as this vulnerability is accessible through the sandbox.”