Newswise: Need a Mental Break? Avoid Your Cellphone, Researchers Say

Newswise: Need a Mental Break? Avoid Your Cellphone, Researchers Say . “Using a cellphone to take a break during mentally challenging tasks does not allow the brain to recharge effectively and may result in poorer performance, Rutgers researchers found. The experiment, published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, assigned college undergraduates to solve challenging sets of word puzzles. Halfway through, some were allowed to take breaks using their cellphones. Others took breaks using paper or a computer while some took no break at all.”

Wired: Anxiously Seeking the Perfect Anti-Anxiety App

Wired: Anxiously Seeking the Perfect Anti-Anxiety App. “When I’m having a bout of anxiety, or even just an avoidant feeling (that is probably the precursor to a bout of anxiety), I pull out my phone to distract myself. In bed, when I can’t sleep (which is often) I’ll scroll through Instagram. In the morning, to stave off errands or work, I’ll scan Twitter. At some point, when I’m scrolling and liking, any app I have opened to relieve anxiety begins to give me anxiety of its own.”

TechCrunch: Google discloses its acquisition of mobile learning app Socratic as it relaunches on iOS

TechCrunch: Google discloses its acquisition of mobile learning app Socratic as it relaunches on iOS. “Google publicly disclosed its acquisition of homework helper app Socratic in an announcement this week, detailing the added support for the company’s AI technology and its relaunch on iOS. The acquisition apparently flew under the radar — Google says it bought the app last year.”

Digital Trends: Google flags preinstalled malware as hidden threat on millions of Android phones

Digital Trends: Google flags preinstalled malware as hidden threat on millions of Android phones . “Maddie Stone, a security researcher on Google’s Project Zero and a former tech lead on the Android Security team, flagged preinstalled malware on millions of new Android smartphones as a hidden threat that requires more attention.”

The Verge: You may be owed up to $500 if you owned a Pixel or Pixel XL

The Verge: You may be owed up to $500 if you owned a Pixel or Pixel XL. “Earlier this year, Google agreed to settle a class action lawsuit that claims the company knowingly sold first-generation Pixel phones with defective microphones. Now, the final approval has gone through, meaning if you bought an original Pixel or Pixel XL before January 7th, 2017, you’re probably eligible for some money.”

Motherboard: Google Hackers Found 10 Ways to Hack an iPhone Without Touching It

Motherboard: Google Hackers Found 10 Ways to Hack an iPhone Without Touching It. “While the iPhone is one of the most secure consumer devices on the market, it’s certainly not infallible. Security researcher Ian Beer drove that point home just about a year ago when he found 30 different iOS vulnerabilities while working for Project Zero, Google’s team of elite hackers tasked with finding vulnerabilities in competitors’ (and Google) products. Project Zero has returned with a new report by researcher Natalie Silvanovich highlighting 10 new ways that the iPhone can be covertly compromised by hackers.”

New York Times: Make Your Own Animated Movies, Frame by Frame

New York Times: Make Your Own Animated Movies, Frame by Frame. “Creating a stop-motion clip can be a great way to jazz up a presentation, dabble in moviemaking basics or keep the children busy with a time-consuming project. All you need is something to animate — paper cutouts, Lego figures or other toys, for example — along with a camera, the right app and patience. Here’s how to get rolling.”