By BeauHD from Slashdot's contrary-to-popular-belief department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Economist: Many parents and grandparents will grumble about today's screen-obsessed youth. Indeed, researchers find that millennials look at their phones more than 150 times a day; half of them check their devices in the middle of the night; a third glance at them immediately after waking up. And yet, when all screens are accounted for, it is in fact older folk who seem most addicted. According to Nielsen, a market-research firm, Americans aged 65 and over spend nearly ten hours a day consuming media on their televisions, computers and smartphones. That is 12% more than Americans aged 35 to 49, and a third more than those aged 18 to 34 (the youngest cohort for whom Nielsen has data). American seniors "spend an average of seven hours and 30 minutes in front of the box, about as much as they did in 2015," the report says. "The spend another two hours staring at their smartphones, a more than seven-fold increase from four years ago."
Millennials have increased the time they spend on their mobile devices, but it's been largely offset by their dwindling interest in TV. As for teenagers, a report from 2015 by Common Sense Media "found that American teens aged 13-18 spent about six hours and 40 minutes per day on screens: slightly more than Nielsen recorded for 18- to 34-year-olds that year, but less than older generations."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's de-facto-news-blocking department
Zorro shares a report from The Wall Street Journal: Companies are increasingly insisting their ads do not appear near articles or videos that contain any of a long list of words. Like many advertisers, Fidelity Investments wants to avoid advertising online near controversial content. The Boston-based financial-services company has a lengthy blacklist of words it considers off-limits. If one of those words is in an article's headline, Fidelity won't place an ad there. Its list earlier this year, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, contained more than 400 words, including "bomb," "immigration" and "racism." Also off-limits: "Trump." Some news organizations have had difficulty placing Fidelity's ads on their sites, ad-sales executives said, because the list is so exhaustive and the terms appear in many news articles. Top 15 Forbidden Words: Dead, Shooting, Murder, Gun, Rape, Bomb, Died, Attack, Killed, Suicide, Trump, Crash, Crime, Explosion, Accident. "The ad-blacklisting threatens to hit publications' revenue and is creating incentives to produce more lifestyle-oriented coverage that is less controversial than hard news," reports The Wall Street Journal. "Some news organizations are investing in technologies meant to gauge the way news stories make readers feel in the hopes of persuading advertisers that there are options for ad placement other than blacklisting."
The use of lengthy keyword lists "is going to force publishers to do lifestyle content and focus on that at the expense of investigative journalism or serious journalism," said Nick Hewat, commercial director for the Guardian, a U.K. publisher. "That is a long-term consequence of this sort of buying behavior."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cut-communications department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: Masroor Nazir, a pharmacist in Kashmir's biggest city, Srinagar, has some advice for people in the region: Do not get sick, because he may not have any medicine left to help. "We used the internet for everything," said Mr. Nazir, 28, whose pharmacy is near the city's famed clock tower. He said he normally went online to order new drugs and to fulfill requests from other pharmacies in more rural parts of Kashmir Valley. But now, "we cannot do anything." As the Indian government's shutdown of internet and phone service in the contested region enters its 11th day, Kashmir has become paralyzed.
Shopkeepers said that vital supplies like insulin and baby food, which they typically ordered online, were running out. Cash was scarce, as metal shutters covered the doors and windows of banks and A.T.M.s, which relied on the internet for every transaction. Doctors said they could not communicate with their patients. Only a few government locations with landlines have been available for the public to make phone calls, with long waits to get a few minutes of access. The information blockade was an integral part of India's unilateral decision last week to wipe out the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir, an area of 12.5 million people that is claimed by both India and Pakistan and has long been a source of tension. That has brought everyday transactions, family communications, online entertainment and the flow of money and information to a halt.According to Access Now, a global digital rights group, India is the world leader in shutting down the internet. The country has blocked the internet 134 times, compared with 12 shutdowns in Pakistan, the No. 2 country.
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By msmash from Slashdot's growing-challenge department
An anonymous reader shares a report: James Wright had never worried about staying under his data cap. Then he bought a 4K TV set and started binge-watching Netflix in ultra-high definition. The picture quality was impressive, but it gobbled up so much bandwidth that his internet service provider, Comcast, warned that he had exceeded his monthly data limit and would need to pay more. "The first month I blew through the cap like it was nothing," said Wright, 50, who lives with his wife in Memphis, Tenn. With a 4K TV, he said, "It's not as hard to go through as you'd think." All that bingeing and ultra-HD video can carry a high price tag. As online viewing grows, more subscribers are having to pay up for faster speeds. Even then, they can run into data limits and overage fees. Some opt for an unlimited plan that can double the average $52-a-month internet bill.
Wright is what the cable industry calls a power user -- someone who chews through 1 terabyte of data or more each month. Though still rare, the number of power users has doubled in the past year as more families stream TV shows, movies and video games online. They should continue to grow as new video services from Disney, AT&T, Apple and NBCUniversal arrive in coming months. In the first quarter of this year, about 4% of internet subscribers consumed at least 1 terabyte of data -- the limit imposed by companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Cox. That's up from 2% a year ago, according to OpenVault, which tracks internet data usage among cable subscribers in the United States and Europe. "The percentage of subscribers exceeding this level will continue to grow rapidly," OpenVault founder Mark Trudeau said.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's tough-calls department
Networking and web security giant Cloudflare says the recent 8chan controversy may be an ongoing "risk factor" for its business on the back of its upcoming initial public offering. From a report: The San Francisco-based company, which filed its IPO paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, earlier this month took the rare step of pulling the plug on one of its customers, 8chan, an anonymous message board linked to recent domestic terrorist attacks in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, which killed 31 people. The site is also linked to the shootings in New Zealand, which killed 50 people. 8chan became the second customer to have its service cut off by Cloudflare in the aftermath of the attacks. The first and other time Cloudflare booted one of its customers was neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer in 2017, after it claimed the networking giant was secretly supportive of the website.
"Activities of our paying and free customers or the content of their websites and other Internet properties could cause us to experience significant adverse political, business, and reputational consequences with customers, employees, suppliers, government entities, and other third parties," the filing said. "Even if we comply with legal obligations to remove or disable customer content, we may maintain relationships with customers that others find hostile, offensive, or inappropriate."Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's fighting-back department
Abusers leverage high-tech tools in the oldest of crimes, stalking their victims through tools like Facebook Messenger and Apple Maps. They spy on their targets through stalkerware apps and Amazon Alexas. But hackers are now teaming up with victim advocates to catch up. From a report: In a pilot study the New York City government has been running since 2018, technologists work in collaboration with the Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence to offer practical computer security and privacy services to survivors of intimate partner violence. The program, which involves a team of academics from Cornell Tech and New York University, has already seen early success and is growing, Cornell Tech's Sam Havron said on Wednesday at the USENIX Security Symposium in Santa Clara, California. There are hundreds of apps sold on the market today that stalkers use to track a victim's location, secretly record voice audio, steal text messages, or engage in other illegal surveillance. Since November 2018, the New York-based technologists have met with 44 clients and have discovered that 23 of them may have been targeted by spyware, account compromise, or exploitable misconfigurations. Over half the victim cases have connections to digital abuse, according to a newly published paper, "Clinical Computer Security for Victims of Intimate Partner Violence."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's where's-the-beef department
Goldsmiths, a part of the University of London, is fighting climate change by taking beef off the menu. "[The university] will no longer serve beef burgers, beef burritos and the like on its campus," reports CBS News. From the report: Goldsmiths will take beef products off the menu starting in September, it announced Monday. The effort is part of a mission to become carbon neutral by 2025. Removing beef products on campus isn't the only action the university is taking. It also plans to install more solar panels, switch to a 100% clean energy supplier, plant more trees and make climate change education more accessible to students. Perhaps the biggest change the university is making aside from the elimination of beef is a fee of 10 pence (12 cents) on bottled water and single-use plastic cups. The goal is to "discourage use, with the proceeds directed into a green student initiative fund," the college's new warden, Professor Frances Corner, said.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's fountain-of-youth department
Scientists who discovered aging appears to be related to the stiffness of the environment where cells live have reversed the process in rat brain stem cells. Newsweek reports: Researchers studied oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) in young and old rat brains, and found they were affected by stiffness in the organ caused by aging. These stem cells, meaning they can turn into other types of cell, are found in the central nervous system. Researchers studied oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) in young and old rat brains, and found they were affected by stiffness in the organ caused by aging. These stem cells, meaning they can turn into other types of cell, are found in the central nervous system.
Kevin Chalut, a biophysicist at the University of Cambridge and co-author of the study published in the journal Nature told Newsweek: "The study tells us that aging, at least for stem cells we studied, is not driven by anything intrinsic to the cell. It is instead driven by the environment. This was already known to be a factor, but the true significance here is to show that it is the stiffness of the environment alone that drives the aging of the stem cells. "This is rather remarkable because it suggests an entirely new way of thinking about what controls aging in stem cells, and furthermore, since stiffness is a single factor from the environment, it suggest a means to straightforwardly reverse aging in stem cells'" Chalut explained.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's allergy-free department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: People unjustly kept away from feline companionship due to an allergy are rejoicing this week, after news resurfaced of a potential vaccine that makes cats less able to cause allergies. But while this research is promising, a finished product won't be available any time soon. The vaccine in question is being developed by Swiss-based Hypocat and is the company's lead experimental and namesake drug. This April, Hypocat published results from a study on the vaccine. And it's this news that the internet has, for reasons lost to the void, started to buzz about again.
The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, details a very clever strategy to tackle cat allergies. The vaccine doesn't try to desensitize the immune system of people allergic to cats, as other existing immunotherapies like allergy shots do. Rather, it attempts to train the immune system of cats to go after a specific protein, or allergen, that they naturally produce called Fel d 1. It's supposed to accomplish this trick by hitching a genetically modified version of the protein to a virus-like particle derived from a plant virus (only being a particle, it shouldn't be capable of causing disease). Some 90 percent of people with a cat allergy produce antibodies to Fel d 1. So if successful, the vaccine would basically turn cats hypoallergenic by greatly reducing the amount of Fel d 1 they make and eventually spew into our noses and mouths. While the company behind the vaccine says it's been in discussions with both U.S. and European drug approval agencies, Gizmodo notes that "even if these trials started today and the vaccine passed them with flying colors, you'll still have to wait years before it could hit the market."Read Replies (0)