Purdue News: AI tool automatically reveals how to write apps that drain less battery. “Purdue University researchers have created a new tool, called ‘DiffProf,’ that uses artificial intelligence to automatically decide for the developer if a feature should be improved to drain less battery and how to make that improvement.”
Columbia Journalism Review: Spyware hijacks smartphones, threatens journalists around the world. “IN MAY 2016, the Mexican investigative journalist Sebastián Barragán was working on an explosive story. An anonymous source had sent Aristegui Noticias, the investigative outlet where he worked, a grainy video that appeared to show a scene of brutal torture; in it a group of police officers surround a man handcuffed to a chair; they strike him over and over again, and pull a plastic bag over his head. One of the men in the video is wearing a jacket with the letters PGJEM, The Prosecutor General for the State of Mexico, a state that surrounds Mexico City like a horseshoe. Barragan called the PGJEM and the Mexican Attorney General’s (PGR) office for comment.”
Washington Post: Study links restricting screen time for kids to higher mental performance. “Parents who possess the resolve to separate their children from their smartphones may be helping their kids’ brainpower, a new study suggests. Children who use smartphones and other devices in their free time for less than two hours a day performed better on cognitive tests assessing their thinking, language and memory, according to a study published Wednesday in the Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.”
The Verge: Android At 10: The World’s Most Dominant Technology. “Android has taken the place in smartphones that Windows once held with desktops: dominant market share. Worldwide, IDC pegs Android’s share at about 85 percent. We can argue about regions and whether enough of those customers are willing to spend money on apps and many other things, but that number is almost too big for nuance. Android is the dominant computing platform on the planet. Not only has Android prevented some version of Windows from taking over mobile, but it has actually eclipsed Windows as the most popular operating system, period.”
Small Pond Science: Updating pedagogy for the mobile phone era. “When I last taught this lab, shortly after the start of the Obama administration, it wasn’t entirely routine for students to whip out their phones to look up information. I designed the lab for students to consult materials, with some self-directed inquiry, to be able to answer the questions. The lab provided context, of course, but I wanted them to use textbooks and other available reference material, to piece things together. I thought it worked rather well. Students were compelled to think critically about some concepts and had to seek out new information to answer the question being posed. That’s good, right?” Big thanks to Jonathan B. for sending me this link.
CNET: Almost half of US cellphone calls will be scams by next year, says report. “Many of us are already conditioned to ignore phone calls from unknown numbers. A new study seems to validate that M.O. By next year, nearly half of the mobile phone calls we get will be scams, according to a new report from First Orion, a company that provides calls management and protection for T-Mobile, MetroPCs, Virgin Mobile and others.”
MakeUseOf: The iPhone Cheat Sheet: Every iOS Shortcut You Should Know About. “The more you use iOS, the more you get used to its time-saving tricks—and the more you take them for granted. That’s why we’ve produced a cheat sheet that will help you get acquainted with both touch-based and keyboard-based shortcuts for iPhone and iPad.”