Gaming addiction classified as disorder by WHO

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Gaming addiction is to be listed as a mental health condition for the first time by the World Health Organisation. Its 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD) will include the condition “gaming disorder”. The draft document describes it as a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour so severe that it takes precedence over other life interests. Some countries had already identified it as a major public health issue. Many, including the UK, have private addiction clinics to “treat” the condition. The last version of the ICD was completed in…

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The technology industry needs to think more seriously about device addictions

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Mobile programmers have the ability to build software that provides deep layers of penetration to the end user through sophisticated targeted notifications. Consumers with their chosen apps, have hundreds of notifications turned on and thus are brought back to their phones at an alarming frequency. A recent study shows that many people consult their phone as much as 150 times a day. Everyone is screaming to the consumer and doing whatever they can to get their attention while not considering the long term ramifications of such excessive stimuli. With the…

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Gym-As-You-Go wants to let you pay per exercise

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Wish you didn’t have to pay as much if you rarely went to the gym? Gym-As-You-Go wants to offer pricing based on usage rather than monthly subscriptions. The project uses NFC to let you check in at work-out machines. You’re then charged a fee for how long you use the machine, and Gym-As-You-Go keeps a percentage. Pay-as-you-go pricing could give lazy people who rarely work out a way to waste less money, and gyms a way to attract a different type of customer. Especially popular machines could be surge priced…

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Parking Insider is a mobile wallet dedicated to helping you avoid parking tickets

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Parking Insider is a smart app with a mobile wallet expressly dedicated to enabling its users to quickly and seamlessly pay for parking spots by the minute. The app also invites users to earn free minutes of parking by snapping pictures of free parking spaces, photos that it will use to create a heat map that enables others users to find open parking spots. It’s the second go at this idea by two of Parking Insider’s three creators. Shruti Kuber  and Advait Kumar are both getting their master’s degrees in…

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Google faces mass legal action in UK over data snooping

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Google is being taken to court, accused of collecting the personal data of millions of users, in the first mass legal action of its kind in the UK. It focuses on allegations that Google unlawfully harvested information from 5.4 million UK users by bypassing privacy settings on their iPhones. The group taking action – Google You Owe Us – is led by ex-Which director Richard Lloyd. He estimates the users could get as much as “several hundred pounds each”. The case centres on how Google used cookies – small pieces…

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Robot automation will take 800 million jobs by 2030

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Up to 800 million global workers will lose their jobs by 2030 and be replaced by robotic automation, a new report from a consultancy has found. The study of 46 countries and 800 occupations by the McKinsey Global Institute found that up to one-fifth of the global work force will be affected. It said one-third of the workforce in richer nations like Germany and the US may need to retrain for other jobs. Machine operators and food workers will be hit hardest, the report says. Poorer countries that have less…

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Coinbase ordered to give the IRS data on users trading more than $20,000

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Most digital currencies exist in a sort of twilight state just beyond the grasp of federal regulators, but the U.S. tax authority is starting to get savvy to this whole bitcoin thing. On Wednesday, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that Coinbase must supply the IRS with identifying information on users who had more than $20,000 in annual transactions on its platform between 2013 and 2015. After noticing that the number of tax returns claiming gains from virtual currency didn’t line up with the emerging popularity of digital currencies like…

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Google Can Tell if Someone is Peeping at Your Phone

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Your days of peeking at someone else’s text conversations on the train might be numbered. At the Neural Information Processing Systems conference in Long Beach, California, next week, Google researchers Hee Jung Ryu and Florian Schroff will present a project they’re calling an electronic screen protector, where a Google Pixel phone uses its front-facing camera and eye-detecting artificial intelligence to detect whether more than one person is looking at the screen. An unlisted, but public video by Ryu shows the software interrupting a Google messaging app to display a camera…

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Schillinger’s substitute phone helps overcome smartphone addiction

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We’ve all been there: fiddling with your smartphone because it’s there, or reaching for it when you hear a text message notification. Austrian designer Klemens Schillinger created the Substitute Phone as a way to help smartphone addicts cope in its absence. Schillinger says that more and more, phones are becoming an addicting object in our lives. Users constantly play with them, even if they’re not looking for a message or expecting a call, and he was inspired to design “a tool that would help stop this ‘checking’ behaviour.” Schillinger designed…

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People Playing Pokemon Go caused Millions in damages in 148 days in an Indiana County

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For a brief, shining period last summer, Pokémon Go reigned supreme. It brought obsession, joy, and, according to a new paper, injuries and death. This working paper, appropriately and evocatively titled “Death by Pokemon Go,” shows the darker side of the massively popular augmented reality game. Purdue University economists Mara Faccio and John McConnell combed through accident reports from Tippecanoe County, Indiana, in the first 148 days after the game was released in July 2016. In that county alone, the total value from injuries, damage, and the two lives lost…

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