Newswise: Automated Texting System Saved Lives Weekly During First COVID Surge. “A life was saved twice a week by an automated text messaging system during the fraught early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and, overall, the patients who enrolled in that system were 68 percent less likely to die than those not using it. These insights about Penn Medicine’s COVID Watch – a system designed to monitor COVID-19 outpatients using automated texts and then escalate those with concerning conditions to a small team of health care providers – were published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine.”
CNET: Fake or for real? How to know if a text from your bank is legit. “In a world in which fraudsters are increasingly finding new ways to steal from our accounts, my guard’s instantly up when I receive a text from my bank. But hackers are becoming much savvier at their game. So much so, that I almost fell for a scam this month. Here’s what happened — and the (somewhat embarrassing) lessons I learned.”
Mashable: People are freaking out over this iPhone cursor trick. “This quick trick makes texting way easier, and people can’t believe it’s existed this whole time. Trying to drag the iPhone cursor is always a hassle; no matter how precise you try to be, your fat thumbs will always get in the way of typing. It’s almost less effort to delete the text and start from scratch.” I didn’t know about this either. If you did, great. If you didn’t, check it out.
New York Times: N.S.A. Purges Hundreds of Millions of Call and Text Records. “The National Security Agency has purged hundreds of millions of records logging phone calls and texts that it had gathered from American telecommunications companies since 2015, the agency has disclosed. It had realized that its database was contaminated with some files the agency had no authority to receive.”
The Verge: Facebook admits SMS notifications sent using two-factor number was caused by bug. “Facebook this evening clarified the situation around SMS notifications sent using the company’s two-factor authentication (2FA) system, admitting that the messages were indeed caused by a bug. In a blog post penned by Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, the company says the error led it to ‘send non-security-related SMS notifications to these phone numbers.’”
Phys.org: Punctuation in text messages helps replace cues found in face-to-face conversations. “Emoticons, irregular spellings and exclamation points in text messages aren’t sloppy or a sign that written language is going down the tubes—these ‘textisms’ help convey meaning and intent in the absence of spoken conversation, according to newly published research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.”
TheEdWire: 73% of Teachers Think Social Media and Texting is Bad for Grammar and Spelling. “According to a study released today by Dictionary.com, the leading online and mobile English-language resource, a vast majority (73%) of teachers think social media and texting are bad for grammar and spelling but half (50%) use it to better understand their students. Perhaps the online world is making both teachers and students apathetic to these skills because one-third (32%) of teachers say they see their students struggle with grammar, yet admit they care very little about it (15%) in comparison to other skills, like meaning and comprehension (64%).”