Archives February 28, 2018

Young people would rather have an Internet connection than daylight

The average young person in Britain think having access to the internet is more important than daylight, according to a new poll.

British youths aged between 18 and 25 were asked to identify five things which they felt were important to maintain their quality of life.

Freedom of speech topped the list, picked by 81% of the 2,465 surveyed. Nearly seven in 10 (69%) chose internet connect, followed by 64% saying daylight and 57% hot water.

Only 37% said a welfare system – including the NHS – was important, with a measly 11% choosing a good nights’ sleep.

The respondents who identified an internet connection as one of the most important aspects were asked how many times they used the internet every day. The average answer was 78 times.

The youths were also asked to identify what they would most like to change in order to improve their quality of life. The majority (34%) stated holidays, followed by more sleep (28%) and “having a bigger following on social media” (14%).

Children struggle to hold pencils due to too much tech, doctors say

Children are increasingly finding it hard to hold pens and pencils because of an excessive use of technology, senior paediatric doctors have warned. An overuse of touchscreen phones and tablets is preventing children’s finger muscles from developing sufficiently to enable them to hold a pencil correctly, they say.

“Children are not coming into school with the hand strength and dexterity they had 10 years ago,” said Sally Payne, the head paediatric occupational therapist at the Heart of England foundation NHS Trust. “Children coming into school are being given a pencil but are increasingly not be able to hold it because they don’t have the fundamental movement skills.

“To be able to grip a pencil and move it, you need strong control of the fine muscles in your fingers. Children need lots of opportunity to develop those skills.”

Payne said the nature of play had changed. “It’s easier to give a child an iPad than encouraging them to do muscle-building play such as building blocks, cutting and sticking, or pulling toys and ropes. Because of this, they’re not developing the underlying foundation skills they need to grip and hold a pencil.”

Although the early years curriculum has handwriting targets for every year, different primary schools focus on handwriting in different ways – with some using tablets alongside pencils, Prunty said. This becomes a problem when same the children also spend large periods of time on tablets outside school.

Facebook silently enables facial recognition abilities for users outside EU and Canada

Facebook is now informing users around the world that it’s rolling out facial recognition features. In December, we reported the features would be coming to the platform; that roll out finally appears to have begun. It should be noted that users in the European Union and Canada will not be notified because laws restrict this type of activity in those areas.

With the new tools, you’ll be able to find photos that you’re in but haven’t been tagged in; they’ll help you protect yourself against strangers using your photo; and Facebook will be able to tell people with visual impairments who’s in their photos and videos. By default, Facebook warns that this feature is enabled but can be switched off at any time; additionally, the firm says it may add new capabilities at any time.

While Facebook may want its users to “feel confident” uploading pictures online, it will likely give many other users the heebie-jeebies when they think of the colossal database of faces that Facebook has and what it could do with all that data. Even non-users should be cautious which photos they include themselves in if they don’t want to be caught up in Facebook’s web of data.