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Is too much technology turning your kid into a digital drug addict? Expert thinks so

When it comes to digital technology, how much is too much for young children?

Kids are getting cell phones, tablets, laptops, Xboxes, and other digital technology at a younger and younger age. They’re using the technology in classes at school, then coming home and using it more.

>> Read more trending stories

Psychotherapist and author Dr. Nicholas Kardaras has written about how addictive technology can be for children, in fact he calls it “digital heroin.”

Kardaras said the sensory overload of digital technology can have a negative effect on the brain development of young children. He said it can lead to depression, anxiety, and other behavioral disorders, like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.  

Kardaras said the brains of tech addicted kids look similar to those of drug users.  He suggested waiting until children are at least 10, before allowing them to use all the digital devices that are so prevalent these days.

Other groups, like the American Academy of Pediatrics, have said education programs and limited amounts of screen time can benefit children.

How to go live on Instagram: New feature allows users to stream live video

Instagram rolled out its “Live” video-streaming feature Monday, allowing users to go live on the photo and video sharing network.

The app is still being released, but according to the company, everyone will be able to stream live video on Instagram within the next few days.

The feature allows users to share 10-second video clips with the videos disappearing after 24 hours. You can live-stream an event using the feature for up to one hour.

Live is built on Instagram’s Stories feature. To go live with videos, you swipe right from feed to open the camera and tap the “Start Live Video” button.

You can send a notification to friends when you go live so they can tune in. And according to the company’s press release, “While you’re live, you can pin a comment for everyone to see or turn comments off altogether.”

The company first announced the feature in November.  

Here’s a tutorial to show you how to do it.


Man hacks Alexa device with talking fish, hilarity ensues

A man has given Alexa, Amazon’s virtual personal assistant device, a hilarious makeover.

Developer and instructor Brian Kane hooked up Alexa with a Big Mouth Billy Bass talking fish figure. When Kane says the usual prompt, “Alexa,” the fish’s head turns. When he asks, “What’s the weather,” the fish’s lips move as Alexa provides the weather report.

the futurePosted by Brian Kane on Thursday, October 27, 2016

>> Read more trending stories  

While the video has generated a lot of chuckles, it was created for a serious science project.

“This was made as an in-class demo on rapid prototyping for my new artificial intelligence design course at Rhode Island School of Design in the industrial design department. We're looking at AI through the lens of artists and designers, to make new experiences for people that are engaging emotionally,” Kane wrote in a message on his Facebook page.

so by now many of you have seen the fish video :)  here's the story:this was made as an in-class demo on rapid...Posted by Brian Kane on Sunday, November 6, 2016

Self-driving truck makes 120-mile trek, delivers beer

Otto and Anheuser-Busch announced Tuesday that the two companies have completed the world’s first commercial shipment by self-driving truck.

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>> Watch the video here

Otto’s self-driving truck hauled a fully loaded trailer of Budweiser beer more than 120 miles on I-25 from Fort Collins, Colorado, through Denver, to Colorado Springs.

A professional truck driver was in the vehicle for the entire route, monitoring the delivery from the sleeper berth as the truck completed the route entirely on its own, without any driver intervention.

>> Read more trending stories

The load originated at Anheuser-Busch’s facility in Loveland, Colorado, and departed for its journey from the Fort Collins, Colorado, weigh station.

This milestone marks the first time in history that a self-driving vehicle has shipped commercial cargo, making it a landmark achievement for self-driving technology, the state of Colorado and the transportation industry, according to Anheuser-Busch.

iOS 10 released today; more Siri, new iMessage, photo, music features

The newest version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 10, is available for download Tuesday with an impressive list of upgrades.

The free download will give Apple device owners a host of new features including the addition of popular virtual assistant Siri in most every app, and an Apple map system that offers traffic alerts and alternative routes.

Perhaps the most talked-about addition comes in iMessages where you can now send “Tapback” reactions, add larger emojis and use “emojification” in which the app looks at what you have written and allows you to substitute emojis for certain words.

>> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here  

The news app has been redesigned for easier reading, and Apple Pay is now online and easier to use.

Here are some other upgrades included in the download:

  • Apple Photos now has face recognition as well as smart grouping for location, topics and other categories. The new system is called “Memories,” and it will be done automatically.

  • Look for more 3D-touch enabled apps

  • Apple Music has been overhauled. It is easier to get to and edit. It’s easier to control what goes into your music library. You can also get lyrics.

  • Notifications have changed. You no longer have to open the app to reply,  just tap on the notification to launch the app. It’s easier to  clear all notifications now, too.

  • A new setting for your lockscreen lets you set your phone to light up when you lift it. 

  • The Control Centre has two panels now. The first shows the same quick controls, the second shows music, the app that’s playing, volume and playback controls. There  is also a drop-down to select the output device.

  • A new app call Home lets you turn on lights and unlock doors when you are away from home.

  • In iMessages, “Invisible ink” allows you to send a message or photo that remains hidden, then is revealed when the recipient swipes it.

The iOS 10 update is available for the iPhone 5 and newer,  iPad mini 2 and newer, iPad 4 and the sixth generation iPod touch.

Click here for more on what’s new and to download iOS 10.

Apple iPhone 7 has two cameras, a faster processor and no headphone jack

It’s reveal day at Apple as the company is expected to introduce the iPhone 7 to the world.

The next generation of the smartphone is rumored to have some cool new features while losing a couple of the old ones.

A major change is said to be the disappearance of an earbud jack. The move, some think, is a signal of the company’s new commitment to wireless communication.

Here’s what we expect from the announcement today:

When: The event is set for 10 a.m. local time in the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. That's 1 p.m. ET.

What: While Apple has not said what will happen, plenty of other people have guessed. Citing “leaks” about what will be revealed, tech bloggers say look for the new iPhone to be presented, along with a possible look at a new Apple Watch. (For some rumors about  what the phone will do and new features for the watch, click here.)

How can I watch: You can tune into a live stream of the event on Apple’s website

When can I get the phone: The phone will likely hit retail stores on Sept.16 or 23.

How much does it cost: The price of the iPhone 7 is rumored to start at $649.

Live updates from the Apple event

<iframe src="//;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//;border=false"></script>[View the story "Apple iPhone 7 event updates" on Storify]

New Earth-like planet found orbiting nearby star

A new planet has been discovered that may be Earth-like, and it's really, really close. If we're ever going to look for life outside our solar system, this is probably where we'll start. Here's what scientists say about it.

>> Watch the video from Newsy

The planet might have liquid water, which is crucial to life as we know it. It's in the habitable zone, that sweet spot where it's neither too hot nor too cold to have water on its surface.

The planet orbits the closest-known star to ours, Proxima Centauri, which is about 4.25 light years away. It's in the southern sky, but it's too dim to see with the naked eye.

Four light years is nothing in space terms, but it's still too far to travel to any time soon. Our most pie-in-the-sky technology would still take decades to carry a probe there.

If we do ever travel there, it should feel somewhat familiar. The planet is about the same size as Earth, meaning gravity would be close to what we're used to. But its days and nights would be strange. It circles its sun every 11 days.

>> Read more trending stories

It's tempting to get excited about an Earth-like planet that couldn't be any closer, but there are some big unknowns. It's not clear yet whether the planet has an atmosphere or a magnetic field. Without those, the odds of finding life are pretty much zero.

Luckily, we don't have to wait too long to learn more. NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is set to launch in 2018, and it will be able to look for an atmosphere. And Stephen Hawking is supporting a plan to send a probe to nearby Alpha Centauri.

Extremely rare 2,500-pound T. rex skull arrives at Seattle museum

An extremely rare 2,500-pound Tyrannosaurus rex skull discovered by Seattle paleontologists arrived at the Burke Museum Thursday.

>> Read more trending stories

Burke paleontologists found the fossil remains of the 66.3-million-year-old dinosaur -- including the 4-foot-long, 2,500-pound skull, as well as lower jaw bones, vertebrae, ribs and teeth -- in the Hell Creek Formation in northern Montana.

The area is world-famous for its fossil dinosaur sites.

A team of more than 45 people helped excavate the T. rex over a month this summer. They first found large fossilized vertebrae that indicated that they belonged to a carnivorous dinosaur.

Before they could excavate the fossils, the team first needed to remove about 20 tons of rock from the hillside, so they could create a ledge at the level of the fossils. The difficult task took a team of eight to 10 people nearly two weeks of continuous digging with jackhammers, axes and shovels.

Once the ledge was in place, they switched to smaller hand tools and uncovered more bones. The skull was found several feet away.

"The combination of the skull features, the size of the bones, and the honeycomb-like appearance of the bones tell us this is a T. rex," said Burke Museum Adjunct Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology and University of Washington associate biology professor Dr. Greg Wilson.  "This was a very exciting moment for us."

So far, about 20 percent of a full skeleton has been excavated and scientists say there's likely more to discover.

The T. rex is the first major specimen in Washington.

The skull is one of only 15 reasonably complete T. rex skulls ever discovered.

The massive skull, which is encased in plaster for protection, was moved with a forklift from a flatbed truck to the Burke Museum loading dock.

The public can see the plaster-covered T. rex skull, along with other T. rex fossils and paleontology field tools, in a lobby display at the Burke Museum -- the Washington State Museum of Natural History and Culture -- beginning Saturday, August 20, through Sunday, October 2, 2016. 

Self-driving Uber cars to debut in Pittsburgh

A handful of self-driving Uber cars will ferry passengers around Pittsburgh starting this month. 

The semi-autonomous cars will pick up customers and -- since the technology is still in testing -- those who try it will get the ride for free. 

The fleet consists of a modified version of a Volvo XC90. A driver will be in the front seat with their hands on the wheel so they can take over if anything goes wrong, and an engineer will be in the passenger seat to take notes on the drive. 

Testing the technology with real customers is a big step toward Uber's aim of a completely driverless service. 

CEO Travis Kalanick said cutting the driver out of the equation could potentially make the service much cheaper for riders -- possibly even cheaper than a private car. 

Right now, however, self-driving cars are still under intense scrutiny. As of yet, there aren't any fully autonomous vehicles on the road. 

Tesla has started to roll out limited autopilot features, but a deadly crash involving its autopilot mode has regulators investigating its safety

Google's autonomous car has also had a few accidents, but none of them were serious -- likely because the car is capped at 25 miles per hour. 

Uber and Volvo just announced a partnership to develop a completely autonomous car by 2021, but it's not clear when they plan to roll out a driverless ride-hailing service.

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