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Don’t settle for buffering —this lil gadget is here to help

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This may sound like heresy, but WiFi isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, it’s nice not having wires everywhere and it makes you feel like you’re living in the future, but WiFi can also have drawbacks. It can be painfully slow, has a limited range of coverage, and opens up your network to all kinds of security issues. It’s like trying to power an SUV with a sundial and wondering why it’s taking forever and doesn’t go very far. 

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Obsessively checking social media during a crisis might harm your mental health

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Survivors of three recent disasters — the northern California fires, the Las Vegas mass shooting, and Hurricane Maria — used social media and texting as lifelines to connect with loved ones, seek aid, and search for the latest developments. 

A new study, however, suggests that people who get updates during a major crisis from unofficial channels like random social media accounts are most exposed to conflicting information and experience the most psychological distress. 

The study, published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, surveyed 3,890 students whose campus was locked down after a shooter fired on people. Since it’s difficult, if not impossible, to begin a scientific study during a life-threatening disaster or crisis, the researchers asked students about their experience a week after the incident and analyzed five hours of Twitter data about the shooting. (Details about what happened were anonymized at the university’s request.)  Read more…

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If you use a non-Gmail email account, you can finally use the Gmail app

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Does anyone out there still use an email other than Gmail? 

Google announced today that it’s testing a new feature that will allow select users to check their emails on the Gmail iOS app. It’s compatible with email addresses from services such as Yahoo, Live, and Outlook (yes, that’s still a thing). 

Anyone who has a non-Google email can apply to join the beta program: You just need to have an iPhone, and to make sure you’re using iOS 10 or later. 

It’s an exciting opportunity, but remember that as with any beta feature, there’s a chance it won’t work as well as you’d like.  Read more…

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5 tips to transforming your career with Jean Case

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Wattpad’s storytelling app, now with 60M monthly users, adds a subscription service

 Wattpad, the company behind a suite of apps for reading and sharing stories – including a fairly popular “chat fiction” app Tap, a rival to Hooked – is today adding its first ever subscription plan for its flagship application. The option, called Wattpad Premium, will remove the ads from Wattpad’s otherwise free app – a feature users have been requesting… Read More

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While you were doing, whatever, the world’s first giant robot duel happened

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Where were you on the day of the world’s first giant robot duel? 

Maybe you were working at your desk, brushing your teeth, labouring over your tax return, ironing the perfect pleat in tomorrow’s pants.

Meanwhile, giant robots were chainsawing other to shreds in a Japanese shed.

The world’s first giant combat robot duel just happened on Tuesday, Oct. 17, pitting America and Japan against each other in a Twitch-livestreamed battle for the ages.

Representing the United States, two epic robots from MegaBots Inc., founded by Matt Oehrlein and Gui Cavalcanti. Representing Japan, pilot Kogoro Kurata from Suidobashi Heavy Industry. The challenge was issued two years ago, on one condition: Japan wanted to fight hand-to-hand combat. Oh. Man. Challenge accepted. Read more…

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Google Lens on Pixel 2 still has a long way to go

 The reveal of Google Lens at I/O was one of the most exciting moments of the conference, with the tool promising to be a new type of visual browser identifying the world around users and giving them easy access to a web of information and context. I’ve taken a look at a beta of Lens on the Pixel 2 XL and it’s clear that we’re a long way from realizing its true utility. Read More