When should you purchase your child’s first smartphone?

children smartphone

It’s the time of year when kids are thinking about their holiday wish lists. So what’s a parent to do when a child, possibly a very young child, asks for a smartphone?

We hear that smartphones can be addictive, that screen time can hurt learning, but can’t these minicomputers also teach kids about responsibility and put educational apps at their tiny fingertips?

Read Article:  https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/11/21/564057632/deciding-at-what-age-to-give-a-kid-a-smartphone



Useful things you can do with your smartphone when you have time to kill.


Standing in line at the pizza place, you’ve got a couple of minutes to kill, so you stare down at your phone, and fire up. Rather than browsing through a long list of inane tweets or matching jewel colors up against each other, you can actually be using that time productively.

Learn something new

Image: Duolingo

Apps like Duolingo and Memrise, put a complete set of foreign langualearning tools in your pocket. A ton of language learning apps are available, but what we like about those two in particular is they let you dip in and out of exercises, and set you small challenges that you can tick off each day.

Read Entire Article:http://fieldguide.gizmodo.com/7-ways-to-use-your-spare-smartphone-time-productively-1819833436


This unassuming robot could sneak into your home


Ghost Minitaur‘ is a 4-legged robot that can traverse tough terrain, jump, climb stairs, open doors, and even climb fences.

The company hopes it could be used as a platform for “developing commercial unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), advanced gait and locomotion research, and machine learning and training applications.”

Watch Video:  http://mashable.com/2017/10/11/ghost-minitaur-robot/#Fn2revNR65qd



THIS WEEK, ALL eyes are on Saturn and, more specifically, the Cassini spacecraft which circled the planet one last time before crashing into its murky surface on Friday. It left behind thousands of images, including some final shots like the photo of Saturn’s clouds near the terminator, which is the boundary between night and day. It also took the awkwardly named “goodbye-kiss” image of Titan. The moon’s gravity gave Cassini one final push around Saturn before its dramatic end.

Read Article:  https://www.wired.com/story/space-photos-of-the-week-so-long-cassini-thanks-for-all-the-pics?mbid=social_twitter

Why you should turn off BlueTooth on your smartphone when not in use:


Minimizing your Bluetooth usage minimizes your exposure to very real vulnerabilities. That includes an attack called BlueBorne, announced this week by the security firm Armis, which would allow any affected device with Bluetooth turned on to be attacked through a series of vulnerabilities. The flaws aren’t in the Bluetooth standard itself, but in its implementation in all sorts of software. Windows, Android, Linux, and iOS have been vulnerable to BlueBorne in the past. Millions could still be at risk.

Read Article:  https://www.wired.com/story/turn-off-bluetooth-security/

How to avoid using cash by using your smartphone to pay for almost anything.

sm cashless

Mobile payments are the future, so we’re told. Apple, Google, and Android all want you surviving on nothing but their products—your financial data safely stored on an NFC chip inside. While not every store in the US supports it, most of them do. Same with the banks. We’ve run though everything, from which banks and stores support smartphone pay to which app to use. So read on so you can stop reaching for your wallet every time you want a coffee.

Read Article:  http://fieldguide.gizmodo.com/how-to-set-up-your-phone-to-buy-almost-everything-wit-1797743960

Read about the history and success of the very popular WhatsApp?


Just yesterday, WhatsApp celebrated yet another milestone: one billion daily active users. According to its blog post, there are now 55 billion messages, 4.5 billion photos, and one billion videos being sent and shared every day amongst WhatsApp users. Indeed, what started out as a simple idea between two former Yahoo employees has become a global phenomenon. But what exactly makes this messaging app so great?

Read Article:  http://www.androidauthority.com/one-billion-people-use-whatsapp-790269/



























































































































































































































































































































































































































Advice on what to if your smartphone gets stolen.

All it takes is a moment of carelessness, an open handbag or an opportunist pickpocket and your smartphone can disappear from right under your nose. Here are some of the things you should do if your smartphone gets stolen this summer.

Act quickly
It’s highly likely that your smartphone was stolen while it was switched on and ready to use. Quickly call your mobile operator to get your line blocked before the thief has the time to use it. That will prevent any  ..

Read more at:

Read about a smartphone keyboard created for the blind.


A few things stand out about [Vijay]’s braille keypad for smartphones. One is how ergonomic the plans for the final result are, sitting on the back of the smartphone such that you hold the phone much as you often normally would. Another is that it plugs in just like any other USB keyboard. And the last should make any vi user smile — you don’t have to move your fingers to type. You just press combinations of buttons already under your fingers.

It consists of a custom circuit board with an AtMega32U4, a 16 MHz oscillator, a Micro-USB connector and eight pushbutton switches.  The AtMega32U4 allows him to use the Arduino HID library. After mapping the braille button combinations to keys, the HID library sends the key values over a USB-OTG cable to the smartphone to be accepted as if they were coming from a normal plug and play keyboard.

We have to give kudos to [Vishay] for testing with blind people experienced with braille. For example, he’s learned that if the user presses [Dots 1 2] for ‘b’ followed by [Dots 1 4] for ‘c’, they prefer to not have to remove their finger from the 1 in between the two characters, for more rapid typing.  He also learned that battery management is problematic and that may be why he’s since abandoned the option of communicating over Bluetooth, leaving just USB, and thereby eliminating the need for a battery.

Read Entire Article:  http://hackaday.com/2017/06/29/hackaday-prize-entry-a-braille-keypad-for-smartphone/

How technology based on moth eyes could help design smartphones and tablets that are easier to read outside.


A stealth trick used by moths to avoid predators could lead to smartphones and tablets that are easier to read outside.

Moths’ eyes are covered with tiny structures that prevent them reflecting light and alerting night-time hunters looking for a meal. They also help the insects see in the dark.

Scientists have copied the moth nanotechnology to produce an anti-reflective film that allows words and images to show up clearly on mobile devices even in bright sunlight.

Read Entire Article:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/22/moth-eye-technology-could-help-read-smartphone-sun/