Tag Archives: technology

Why Are Men Leaving The American Workforce?

Why Are Men Leaving The American Workforce?

“…As might be expected, economists don’t agree on why so many men have left the workforce. Some possible factors they cite: There’s less of a stigma today if a man doesn’t work. Union clout has declined. More men are in early retirement receiving disability benefits. New technology has eliminated manufacturing jobs. And competition from abroad moved others overseas.

Autor says many service sector jobs that remain — in restaurants and retail, for example — don’t pay as well as the factory jobs that disappeared.

And with so many men in the prime of life missing from the workforce it can’t help but take a toll on the economy, Eberstadt says.

“The country is going to be less rich. They’re going to be less rich. Growth is going to be slower. It’s going to have really bad effects on wealth differences in the United States,” he says.

So what can be done? Certainly more education and better education would make a difference. But that’s a profound, long-term challenge. David Autor says there’s one smaller fix that would help — expand the earned income tax credit. It’s a subsidy that supports low-income workers when they find jobs and keep them. Right now, it primarily benefits women and children rather than single men.”

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The App to Stop Food Waste

The App to Stop Food Waste

“Why you should care

This is just one simple way to use technology to solve an age-old problem: getting good food to people at a reasonable price.

The U.S. wastes up to 40 percent of its food. This is not only sad, considering how many people struggle to feed their families, but also costs America’s economy an estimated $165 billion a year.

But don’t despair just yet; PareUp has a plan.

This New York-based app developer aims to prevent food waste by letting its users connect with restaurants and grocery stores to buy their excess product before it’s thrown away. PareUp’s online marketplace is launching in early August and the mobile app will be available on Apple Store by mid-September.

“We want to change the cultural conversation around what it means to consume food and the life cycle of food,” says co-founder Margaret Tung. “Because we’re throwing out a lot more than needs to be.”

Together with Jason Chen and Anuj Jhunjhunwala, the PareUp creators have designed what aims to be a win-win system that benefits businesses and clients alike.

Using PareUp’s platform, food retailers can showcase inventory and indicate excess items together with a discounted price and the time when they’ll be ready for sale.

This helps stores and cafés make money by selling products that they could not donate anyway, either because of food safety regulations or because they don’t meet the minimum weight required to arrange a pickup with a food bank or shelter.

Meanwhile, people using PareUp can call dibs and get 50 percent off their favorite treats, from chocolate cookies and artisanal baguettes to BLT sandwiches and quinoa salads.

Trial users claim it’s also a way to explore the city. “I’ve found one of my new favorite spots in Williamsburg because of PareUp,” says Sinead Daly. “I went there with friends to buy handpies after we got a PareUp notification. My two friends lived across the street from the place and had never been! Now they go there every morning.”

PareUp makes a profit by taking a small fee from every transaction, but the app is free to download for both users and retailers.

Still, getting people to eat food that was previously doomed for the trash might take some convincing. Tung admits to a perception problem. “The key is to stop labeling such items as ‘leftovers,’” she says, adding that no products are actually expired.

The startup is looking to create a network of businesses including both mom-and-pop grocery stores and trendy retailers like Breads Bakery, Pushcart Coffee and Oslo Coffee Roasters.

For now, PareUp will only be available in New York City but its creators are looking to expand as soon as possible. The next destination will likely be Chicago, Los Angeles or Washington, D.C., but the team says it’s received interest from retailers in London, Sydney and Toronto.

Of course, an app won’t end food waste, but it might help reduce the volume. And it easily beats dumpster diving.”

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The Real Reason Your Old iPhone Seems to Fail So Quickly

The Real Reason Your Old iPhone Seems to Fail So Quickly

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My Students Don’t Know How to Have a Conversation

I have so many problems with this article and those that tout the similar argument of; “kids these days! all this newfangled technology is ruining them!”

Back in March, I posted an article that uses this argument (10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12), but, since then, I came across the above Atlantic article which sparked my anger enough to make me contribute to the comment thread. 

What was particularly interesting about this comment thread (and what kept me dedicated to getting my comments on public record) was that my comments with website links as citations, as proof of the evidence I was using in my arguments, kept being tagged and deleted as “Spam.” It’s nearly impossible to know for sure whether they were being tagged by an automatic computer program simply because I was using so many links in my comments, or whether they were being tagged by an administrator of the site with personal biases. But I can say that other comments of mine on other Atlantic articles with a similar amount of website citation links were not being deleted from the same comment board system (Disqus). Additionally, not only did my comments get deleted once, but one comment in particular (even though I reworded it each time) got deleted three times. Only when I worded the comment with my link as “news(dot)discovery(dot)com” was it finally allowed to stay. Paranoid conspiracy theory? Perhaps.

Either way, I feel like the above discrepancy is enough to warrant a discussion of the topic and article on a platform where the commentator makes the rules. 

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First off (even before I begin my argument for children’s use of new technology), I would like to examine the article itself and the logic pattern that the author uses.

The author uses contradicting information as “evidence” within the article itself:

In the 5th paragraph from the end: “Online discussion boards and Twitter are useful tools for exchanging ideas. But they often encourage a “read, reflect, forget about it” response that doesn’t truly engage students in extended critical thinking or conversation.”

In the next paragraph, literally two sentences later: “In a New York Times column, Turkle wrote, “Face-to-face conversation unfolds slowly. It teaches patience. When we communicate on our digital devices, we learn different habits … we start to expect faster answers.”

So, according to the author, digital communication encourages “a ‘read, reflect, forget about it’ response” while simultaneously “expecting faster answers”?

And the author is a teacher attempting to “school” teenagers in the art of communication? Shouldn’t they be able to, I don’t know, write a logically coherent article?

Now, onto my arguments:

Okay, yeah, kids should not be spending a lot of time watching mindless tv shows and playing mindless games. But what about toddlers that use laptops, ipads, iphones, etc. to skype with family? What about Leap Frog games? What about Reading Rainbow and Mister Rogers??

In the Huffington Post article, the American and Canadian Societies of Pediatrics recommend banning, and then strictly limiting later on, the use of all “new” technology for kids of various ages:

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I couldn’t believe that these supposedly reputable organizations ignore the fact that there are useful and educational technologies out there for infants and children.

If they’re skyping with grandparents, or playing music, or making art in an app, or the like, then I don’t think it’s damaging. The Huffington Post article annoys me so much because I hate the concept of “banning” anything. People, and families, should be encouraged to learn the facts and make their own decisions. But when the “bans” are coming from the American and Canadian Societies of Pediatrics, then there’s a high chance of concerned families blindly imposing the “bans” without considering the situation thoroughly. They’re even banning pornography for children 13-18 years old, which brings up soo many problems. First, what is considered pornography (see: paintings of Cupid & Psyche and Courbet’s Origin of the World)? Second, if they’re banning it to “protect young minds,” did you know that sexual violence is more likely to occur in places that have sexually repressed atmospheres—including the banning of pornography and sex education? And did you know that there’s no sociological data that clearly links pornography to sexual violence? Don’t take my word for it. Just look it up.

Critical thinking, as defined by The National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking (Canada), is “the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skilfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.”

Those who want to ban and/or strictly limit the use of technology by children often site statistics that correlate the formation of ADHD to television consumption. However, they rarely engage their critical thinking skills to ask: What if it’s the type of television shows, and the interruptions of commercials, that are the cause of the ADHD? What if it’s how we consume television in the US?

 

And, yes, while I understand the need to be “better safe than sorry,” I am all for opening up the world for exploration for children. The more access they have to people, and culture, and knowledge, the better. And more often than not these days, people, cultures, and knowledge come from iPads and iPhones: “new” technology.

It would be like if, back in the day, they banned toddlers from listening to a-tracs and records as modes of consuming music and culture. It’s just a new technology used to connect with the world outside the home.

An NPR story put it succinctly:

“Why not integrate the devices into family time?

“There’s no reason whatsoever that a caregiver can’t use an app with their child,” he says. “It’s a great opportunity for what we call ‘joint attention’ — the interactions between a child and a caregiver, the back-and-forth, which is critical not just to language development, but brain development.

Sound familiar? It should. This, says Christakis, isn’t much different from sitting down and reading a book with your child.”

Furthermore, Harvard clinical psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair recently wrote “The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age”. And what she found in her interviews was the overwhelming consistency of children complaining about having to compete with technological devices for their parents’ attention.

The problem isn’t if children are exposed to “technology.” The problem is how much and in what way people (not just children) are using technology. Critical thinking is a lost art these days apparently. Semantics make all the difference when it comes to studies and statistics.

Case in point, one great example of children, and people in general, benefiting from children’s use of technology is a BuzzFeed Article: “A Toddler Used FaceTime To Save His Mom After She Was Attacked By A Dog.” If the toddler hadn’t know how to use FaceTime on an iPhone, the mother wouldn’t have had access to immediate medical attention.

Many “adults” are so eager to blame children’s shortcomings and growing-phase awkwardness, when really it’s just a continuation of the age-old “when I was your age…” or “kids these days don’t respect their elders…” and other similar complaints.

I also found a great article listing “15 Historical Complaints About Young People Ruining Everything.” A few relevant examples:

“CORRUPTED THE MORALS OF MANY A PROMISING YOUTH

In the 1790 book Memoirs of the Bloomsgrove Family, Reverend Enos Hitchcock wrote,

‘The free access which many young people have to romances, novels, and plays has poisoned the mind and corrupted the morals of many a promising youth; and prevented others from improving their minds in useful knowledge. Parents take care to feed their children with wholesome diet; and yet how unconcerned about the provision for the mind, whether they are furnished with salutary food, or with trash, chaff, or poison?'”

And…

“THE TOTAL NEGLECT OF THE ART OF SPEAKING”

In the preface to the 1780 book A General Dictionary of the English Language, Thomas Sheridan wrote:

‘The total neglect of this art [speaking] has been productive of the worst consequences…in the conduct of all affairs ecclesiastical and civil, in church, in parliament, courts of justice…the wretched state of elocution is apparent to persons of any discernment and taste… if something is not done to stop this growing evil …English is likely to become a mere jargon, which every one may pronounce as he pleases.'”

When criticizing a new thing, whether it’s technology or an idea, just think that maybe, just maybe, there might be some advantages to counteract the disadvantages.

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by | May 6, 2014 · 9:35 pm

Parenting In The Age Of Apps: Is That iPad Help Or Harm? : Shots – Health News : NPR

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/03/16/290110766/parenting-in-the-age-of-apps-is-that-ipad-help-or-harm?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=npr&utm_campaign=nprnews&utm_content=03162014

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10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12

This is ridiculous. Okay, yeah, kids should not be spending a lot of time watching mindless tv shows and playing mindless games. But what about toddlers that use laptops, iPads, iPhones, and the like to skype/face time with family? What about the Leap Frog games? What about Reading Rainbow and Mister Rogers? You can’t just ban all technology. I can’t believe that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics would ignore the fact that there are useful and educational technologies out there for infants and children.

What about using technology, specifically hand-held devices, for creative endeavors such as music and art? 

I guess why this annoys me so much is because I hate the concept of “banning” anything. People, and families, should be encouraged to learn the facts and make their own decisions. But when the “bans” are coming from supposedly reputable organizations like the ones below, then there’s a high chance of concerned families imposing “bans” without thoroughly considering the situation thoroughly. 

And, yes, while I understand the need to be “better safe than sorry,” I am all for opening up the world for exploration for children. The more access they have to people, culture, and knowledge, the better. And more often than not these days, people, culture, and knowledge come from iPads, iPhones, and the like.

That’s like if, back in the day, they banned toddlers from listening to a-tracks or records as a mode of consuming music and culture. Or if they banned books. Music often comes from the internet these days, as do books in the form of e-books on Kindles and the like.

Laptops, iPads, e-readers, etc. are just the new forms of technology used to connect with the world outside the home.

 

 

 

10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12

Posted: 03/06/2014 3:35 pm EST Updated: 03/09/2014 3:59 pm EDT

by Cris Rowan 

“The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics state infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day (AAP 2001/13, CPS 2010). Children and youth use 4-5 times the recommended amount of technology, with serious and often life threatening consequences (Kaiser Foundation 2010, Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012). Handheld devices (cell phones, tablets, electronic games) have dramatically increased the accessibility and usage of technology, especially by very young children (Common Sense Media, 2013). As a pediatric occupational therapist, I’m calling on parents, teachers and governments to ban the use of all handheld devices for children under the age of 12 years. Following are 10 research-based reasons for this ban. Please visit zonein.ca to view the Zone’in Fact Sheet for referenced research.

1. Rapid brain growth
Between 0 and 2 years, infant’s brains triple in size, and continue in a state of rapid development to 21 years of age (Christakis 2011). Early brain development is determined by environmental stimuli, or lack thereof. Stimulation to a developing brain caused by overexposure to technologies (cell phones, internet, iPads, TV), has been shown to be associated with executive functioning and attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and decreased ability to self-regulate, e.g. tantrums (Small 2008, Pagini 2010).

2. Delayed Development
Technology use restricts movement, which can result in delayed development. One in three children now enter school developmentally delayed, negatively impacting literacy and academic achievement (HELP EDI Maps 2013). Movement enhances attention and learning ability (Ratey 2008). Use of technology under the age of 12 years is detrimental to child development and learning (Rowan 2010).

3. Epidemic Obesity
TV and video game use correlates with increased obesity (Tremblay 2005). Children who are allowed a device in their bedrooms have 30% increased incidence of obesity (Feng 2011). One in four Canadian, and one in three U.S. children are obese (Tremblay 2011). 30% of children with obesity will develop diabetes, and obese individuals are at higher risk for early stroke and heart attack, gravely shortening life expectancy (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2010). Largely due to obesity, 21st century children may be the first generation many of whom will not outlive their parents (Professor Andrew Prentice, BBC News 2002).

4. Sleep Deprivation
60% of parents do not supervise their child’s technology usage, and 75% of children are allowed technology in their bedrooms (Kaiser Foundation 2010). 75% of children aged 9 and 10 years are sleep deprived to the extent that their grades are detrimentally impacted (Boston College 2012).

5. Mental Illness 
Technology overuse is implicated as a causal factor in rising rates of child depression, anxiety, attachment disorder, attention deficit, autism, bipolar disorder, psychosis and problematic child behavior (Bristol University 2010Mentzoni 2011Shin 2011,Liberatore 2011, Robinson 2008). One in six Canadian children have a diagnosed mental illness, many of whom are on dangerous psychotropic medication (Waddell 2007).

6. Aggression 
Violent media content can cause child aggression (Anderson, 2007). Young children are increasingly exposed to rising incidence of physical and sexual violence in today’s media. “Grand Theft Auto V” portrays explicit sex, murder, rape, torture and mutilation, as do many movies and TV shows. The U.S. has categorized media violence as a Public Health Risk due to causal impact on child aggression (Huesmann 2007). Media reports increased use of restraints and seclusion rooms with children who exhibit uncontrolled aggression.

7. Digital dementia
High speed media content can contribute to attention deficit, as well as decreased concentration and memory, due to the brain pruning neuronal tracks to the frontal cortex (Christakis 2004, Small 2008). Children who can’t pay attention can’t learn.

8. Addictions
As parents attach more and more to technology, they are detaching from their children. In the absence of parental attachment, detached children can attach to devices, which can result in addiction (Rowan 2010). One in 11 children aged 8-18 years are addicted to technology (Gentile 2009).

9. Radiation emission
In May of 2011, the World Health Organization classified cell phones (and other wireless devices) as a category 2B risk (possible carcinogen) due to radiation emission (WHO 2011). James McNamee with Health Canada in October of 2011 issued a cautionary warning stating “Children are more sensitive to a variety of agents than adults as their brains and immune systems are still developing, so you can’t say the risk would be equal for a small adult as for a child.” (Globe and Mail 2011). In December, 2013 Dr. Anthony Miller from the University of Toronto’s School of Public Health recommend that based on new research, radio frequency exposure should be reclassified as a 2A (probable carcinogen), not a 2B (possible carcinogen). American Academy of Pediatrics requested review of EMF radiation emissions from technology devices, citing three reasons regarding impact on children (AAP 2013).

10. Unsustainable
The ways in which children are raised and educated with technology are no longer sustainable (Rowan 2010). Children are our future, but there is no future for children who overuse technology. A team-based approach is necessary and urgent in order to reduce the use of technology by children. Please reference below slide shows onwww.zonein.ca under “videos” to share with others who are concerned about technology overuse by children.

Problems – Suffer the Children – 4 minutes
Solutions – Balanced Technology Management – 7 minutes

The following Technology Use Guidelines for children and youth were developed by Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist and author of Virtual Child; Dr. Andrew Doan, neuroscientist and author of Hooked on Games; and Dr. Hilarie Cash, Director of reSTART Internet Addiction Recovery Program and author of Video Games and Your Kids, with contribution from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Pediatric Society in an effort to ensure sustainable futures for all children.

Technology Use Guidelines for Children and Youth

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Please contact Cris Rowan at info@zonein.ca for additional information. © Zone’in February”

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by | March 10, 2014 · 5:26 pm

How Hackers Tapped Into My Cellphone For Less Than $300

July 15, 2013 3:04 AM

“In the wake of the National Security Agency cyber-spying revelations, you may be worrying about the government keeping track of your digital life. But, for less than $300, a group of ordinary hackers found a way to tap right into Verizon cellphones.

This is a group of good-guy, or “white hat”, hackers. They hacked the phones to warn wireless carriers that the phones have a security flaw.

I got to experience having my phone broken into. I met the hackers at a hotel room in downtown San Francisco. A moment after I stepped in, Tom Ritter pulled me over to look at a computer screen. Ritter is a security consultant for iSEC Partners, which specializes in helping companies locate technology security flaws.

As I looked down at Ritter’s laptop screen, he pointed to a number.

“Is this your phone number?” he asked.

It was. The minute I’d walked into the room Ritter had gotten into my phone.

Then, he showed me how he could listen to my conversations. I called up Nico Sell, who works with Ritter. We had a brief conversation. After I hung up, Ritter played a recording of the entire call for me.

Ritter said he was able to tap into my call with something called a femtocell, also known as a wireless network extender. The one he used was made by Samsung for Verizon and cost about $250. The femtocell is about the size of a wireless router. You can buy one at Best Buy.

And, Ritter said, “Everything we did can be done with free software you can download online — nothing terribly special.”

He says companies like Verizon support these devices for customers who live in rural areas or high-rise buildings and have poor cellphone reception.

“You can get these from carriers to give yourself a better signal,” he said.

Ritter explained that the femtocell is basically cell phone tower; that’s why it’s able to pick up all the phone signals around it. In case you were wondering, it also intercepts your text messages, including photos and if you use the browser to sign into your bank’s website, the device will be able to get your login and password. Yikes!

Ritter says someone has to be within around 40 feet of the femtocell for it to tap into their phone. But, given that it can fit in a purse Ritter imagines a lot of situations where getting close enough would be easy.

 

Ritter painted a scenario in which “a lady goes out to … a bar in downtown DC … At this place a whole bunch of congressman are hanging out.” In her purse, this “lady” had a femtocell.

“She happens to pick up a whole bunch of picture messages,” Ritter said. “It doesn’t take a whole lot of stretch of the imagination to see that there’s a lot of potential here for targeting high-profile individuals or just ordinary people.”

In case you’re wondering, the lady with the purse could be in a different room. The femtocell will pick up a signal through most walls.

This particular femtocell taps into Verizon phones. However, Ritter believes it might be possible to find a similar problem with femtocells that work with other providers.

Ritter is trying to help these companies. So, he told Verizon about the hack. David Samberg, a Verizon spokesman, says the company patched the flaw in the femtocells without customers realizing it.

“It was an over-the-air software push,” he said. “All of the devices received the software upgrade.”

Samberg claims it’s no longer possible to do what Ritter and iSEC did. Samberg said that anyone who tried to block the fix on their femtocell would be disconnected from the network. However, he could not explain how Ritter and iSEC were still able to tap into my phone.

Ritter and other security analysts don’t agree that the problem has really been fixed. Ritter will be part of a presentation at Def Con, one of the world’s largest gatherings of hackers. iSEC and Ritter were chosen to present because Def Con organizers have always believed that these femtocells, which have been on the market for a few years, were vulnerable because they mimic cellphone towers.

Chris Wysopal, the chief technology officer of the security firm Veracode, says that “with the way that these devices work, you know, mimicking a cell tower, looking like a trusted connection to your phone, it is a point of vulnerability.”

The femtocell may electronically look like a cell tower to your phone, but to a hacker Wysopal said, it’s a lot easier to get into than a real cell tower. “It’s a physical device that an attacker can get their hands on they can open it up,” he said. “That’s not something you can do with a cell tower, obviously, because it’s a locked building with fences around it.”

For its part, Verizon says it has its own team of security experts who are regularly looking for vulnerabilities in its hardware and software. But the company says it’s a constant battle. Like building a better safe at a bank, it will deter more people but nothing is perfect, Verizon says.

Ritter of iSEC says there are much better fixes than what Verizon has done, but they cost a lot more money.

“I make sure that I don’t send anything over the phone that I wouldn’t be comfortable with someone else seeing,” Ritter said.”

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by | July 18, 2013 · 9:53 pm