Penn researchers find social media usage increases feelings of depression, loneliness

laptops

A new study by Penn psychologist and Associate Director of Clinical Training Melissa G. Hunt established a causal relationship that Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram usage increases feelings of depression and loneliness.

The study, co-authored by 2018 College graduates Rachel Marx and Courtney Lipson, as well as College senior Jordyn Young, monitored the social media usage of 143 undergraduate Penn students over a four-week span.

No previous studies had gone beyond establishing an association or correlation between social media usage and well-being.

Additionally, many previous studies relied on self-reported measures concerning the amount of time participants used social media, while Hunt’s study had students submit iPhone battery screenshots which measured time spent on each active app.

In the study, one control group was allowed to continue with regular Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat usage while another intervention group was instructed to limit their usage to 10 minutes per app per day.

To measure well-being, Hunt’s team then had participants complete a subjective weekly survey that used seven scales including loneliness, depression, anxiety, fear of missing out, social support, self-esteem, and autonomy and self-acceptance.

Out of these categories, the study’s results showed both a clinically and statistically significant decrease in loneliness and depression for the group that limited their social media time to ten minutes per app daily. Slight decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out were also observed.

Young said the Penn study was unique due to its more conclusive relationship between social media and negative effects.

“We were actually able to prove a causal link between the two, meaning that if you use less social media, it will make you less depressed and less lonely,” Young said. “As opposed to just saying ‘if you use less [social media], you are more likely to be less depressed and less lonely.’”

Hunt and Young emphasized that the study did not intend to eliminate social media usage entirely among the intervention group.

“We recognize that social media is an integral part of our daily lives, and it’s unreasonable to have them stop using it completely,” Young said.

The study acknowledged it was limited in its ability to monitor students’ social media usage beyond their iPhones. It also only focused on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, whereas social media entails a number of other platforms.

Despite these limitations, Hunt said the study offers important insights regarding the impact of these apps.

“Some of the existing literature on social media suggests there’s an enormous amount of social comparison that happens,” Hunt told Penn Today. “When you look at other people’s lives, particularly on Instagram, it’s easy to conclude that everyone else’s life is cooler or better than yours.”

Young shared Hunt’s sentiments.

[“source=forbes]

Weekend PC Game Deals: Tactical free events, Bundled Warhammer, and more

The Warhammer universe has descended upon the Humble Store with a new bundle featuring seven of its games and some expansions. Total War is sadly missing, however.

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War and Talisman: Digital Edition arrive with the $1 or above tier. The Blood Moon, Harbinger, and Sacred Pool expansions for Talisman are also included.

Admittedly, the ‘pay more than average’ second tier is probably the most worthwhile of the three, with it bringing Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine Collection, as well as Blood Bowl 2. Opting for this will set you back $6.65 at the time of publishing this feature.

The final $12 tier adds on Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, and the Stromdorf expansion for the original Vermintide.

Sticking to the Humble theme, the Day of the Devs Bundle that features games like RiME and Hotline Miami 2 still has a couple of days left on its counter. Don’t forget that the Humble Monthly Bundle is meanwhile offering Metal Solid Gear V Definitive Experience and Cities: Skylines plus an expansion for $12 as early unlocks.

Free Events

It’s another massive free event filled weekend featuring games from a variety of genres, and up first are three military simulators, but vastly different ones.

The combined arms modern tactical shooter Squad – which just received a new early access alpha update adding tanks and more – is currently having a free weekend. The next tactical shooter that’s gone briefly free to play is Post Scriptum, however it is set in World War II. This game also just received a new update, adding the US Airborne to it.

VR headset owners aren’t left behind either, as the early access game Onward is available to try out for tactical shooter fans who want a more ‘in your face’ experience.

Moving on, ARK: Survival Evolved is also having a free weekend promotion, giving everyone a chance to try out its dinosaur taming multiplayer world. Of course, we can’t end without a battle royale free event as well, and the Mad Max style vehicle-based early access title Fractured Lands steps up to the task this time.

Big Deals

With the beginning of the weekend arrives a wide assortment of sales from all sorts of stores, and below, we have a selection of handpicked games that are near or below their historical discount rates. Note that the Destiny 2 base game giveaway that kicked off last week is still going strong, so be sure to pick it up through Battle.net if you haven’t yet.

[“source=neowin]

The 50 best video games of all time, according to critics

You could look at impact on the medium, or highest sales. You could write down your personal favorites on pieces of paper, then throw them into the air. Where the pieces land? That’s your list!

But what we’ve got here is something slightly more scientific. Reviews aggregation site Metacritic compiles all reviews of games, then it averages those scores into an overall average. What you’ll find below is the top 50 highest-rated games of all time, based on the averages obtained by Metacritic. We made one small change: Since there are a handful of duplicates on the list (multiple versions of the same game, released on multiple platforms), we’ve just taken the highest-ranked version of the game to make room for a handful of games that wouldn’t have otherwise made the list.

Without further ado, these are the 50 best video games of all time:

50. “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4”

Activision

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 8.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Build your skills, earn respect, and show that you’ve got what it takes to Go Pro. 190 progressively harder goals. No time clock, no constraints. Pro-specific challenges. Evolving levels. Interact with other skaters. Multi-player modes. Customize your game…Your career is what you make of it.”

Platforms: GameCube, Xbox, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Tapwave Zodiac, OS X, PC

 

49. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2”

Activision

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 6.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “‘Modern Warfare 2’ continues the gripping and heart-racing action as players face off against a new threat dedicated to bringing the world to the brink of collapse. An entirely new gameplay mode which supports 2-player co-operative play online that is unique from the single player story campaign. Special Ops pits players into a gauntlet of time-trial and objective-based missions. Rank-up as players unlock new Special Ops missions, each more difficult. Missions include highlights from the single player campaign, fan favorites from ‘Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’ and all new, exclusive missions. Setting a new bar for online multiplayer, ‘Modern Warfare 2’ multiplayer delivers new capabilities, customization, game states and modes, including: Create-a-Class Evolved. Secondary Weapons – Machine Pistols, Shotguns, Handguns, Launchers. Riot Shields. Equipment – Throwing Knives, Blast Shield, Tactical Insertion. Perk Upgrades. Bling (Dual Attachments). Customizable Killstreaks – AC130, Sentry Gun, Predator Missile, Counter-UAV, Care Package. Accolades (Post match reports).”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, OS X

 

48. “Final Fantasy IX”

Square Enix

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 8.9/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “The last ‘Final Fantasy’ for the PlayStation, ‘Final Fantasy IX’ returns to the pure fantasy roots that spawned the series. This latest installment features highly detailed characters, vehicles, and environments, and breathtaking cinema-graphics. The addition of brand new features such as the story-enhancing Active Time Event system and the return of mini-games that grant additional gameplay make ‘Final Fantasy IX’ not only a memorable gaming experience, but also a significant step forward in the series.”

Platforms:  PlayStation, iOS, Android, PC, PlayStation 4

 

[“source=ndtv”]

How to enable Android Pie’s new dark mode and save battery life

Android users have been begging Google to add a dark theme, or mode, to the mobile platform for years. With Android Oreo, Google added a dark mode that activated based on the wallpaper you were using. Google then removed the feature, saying it was accidentally released.

Starting with Android Pie not only is dark mode back but now there’s a manual way to switch to it on demand.

Outside of looks, why would you want to use a dark mode on your Android device? According to Google, it saves battery life. It turns out, all of that empty white space that Google (and Apple) has been using over the past few years uses more power, which in turn drains your battery. A darker interface requires less power and is less taxing on your battery.

android-p-dark-mode
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

To switch to dark mode in Android Pie, open the Settings app and select Display. Next, tap Advanced and scroll down until you find Device theme; tap it, followed by Dark.

That’s all there is to it. Now when you view your app drawer or the quick-settings card (swipe down from the top of the screen), it’ll be in dark mode.

[“source=forbes]

Oppo R17 Neo launches in Japan: its first phone with in-display fingerprint reader

Japan often gets cool tech gadgets first, but not this time – it just got its first phone with an in-display fingerprint reader and it’s late to that particular party. The phone itself is quite interesting – the Oppo R17 Neo.

It’s a version of the Oppo K1 and R15X, which are partially based on the Oppo R17. That means a 6.4” AMOLED display with a teardrop notch and 1080p+ resolution, which houses the fingerprint reader in question. The back is painted in two new gradient colors.

The computational power of the phone took a bit of a hit. The Oppo R17 Neo has a Snapdragon 660 chipset (down from S670) with 4GB of RAM (down from 6-8GB). The storage remains at 128GB and the microSD card slot is still here.

The camera changed too – the main module on the back still has a 16MP sensor, but the depth sensor is now at 2MP (down from 5MP). Not a huge loss, but note the different design. The selfie camera remains a 25MP shooter.

Oppo R17 Neo (left) and Oppo R17 (right)

This could be a mistake but the Neo is much lighter than the vanilla R17 – 156g vs. 182g. That’s even though it has a slightly larger battery, 3,600mAh. It could be a mistake on the seller’s page, otherwise it would mean that Oppo changed the phone’s construction (which seems unlikely).

The Oppo R17 Neo is available on contract for JPY 3,218 a month or JPY 38,988 total ($345/€305). That’s quite a discount on the vanilla R17.

Japan often gets cool tech gadgets first, but not this time – it just got its first phone with an in-display fingerprint reader and it’s late to that particular party. The phone itself is quite interesting – the Oppo R17 Neo.

It’s a version of the Oppo K1 and R15X, which are partially based on the Oppo R17. That means a 6.4” AMOLED display with a teardrop notch and 1080p+ resolution, which houses the fingerprint reader in question. The back is painted in two new gradient colors.

The computational power of the phone took a bit of a hit. The Oppo R17 Neo has a Snapdragon 660 chipset (down from S670) with 4GB of RAM (down from 6-8GB). The storage remains at 128GB and the microSD card slot is still here.

The camera changed too – the main module on the back still has a 16MP sensor, but the depth sensor is now at 2MP (down from 5MP). Not a huge loss, but note the different design. The selfie camera remains a 25MP shooter.

Oppo R17 Neo (left) and Oppo R17 (right)

This could be a mistake but the Neo is much lighter than the vanilla R17 – 156g vs. 182g. That’s even though it has a slightly larger battery, 3,600mAh. It could be a mistake on the seller’s page, otherwise it would mean that Oppo changed the phone’s construction (which seems unlikely).

The Oppo R17 Neo is available on contract for JPY 3,218 a month or JPY 38,988 total ($345/€305). That’s quite a discount on the vanilla R17.

 

[“source=TimeOFIndia”]

Apple expected to unveil facial recognition feature for its Mac and iPads

Apple Inc on 30 October is expected to unveil updates to its Mac computers and iPads that include facial recognition features that have been available in the iPhone lineup at an event in Brooklyn.

Analysts expect a new versions of Apple’s iPad Pro, its higher-end tablet computer that competes with the Microsoft Surface, with thinner bezels and more screen space, along with the face unlock system found on Apple’s newer iPhones. They also expect updates to the firm’s Mac lineup such as redesigned MacBook Air, Apple’s $999 entry-level laptop.

Apple introduced new iPhones and Apple Watches last month, but the older product lines accounted for $45 billion in sales in the most recent fiscal quarter. In comparison, iPhones brought in revenue of $141.3 billion.

“They really wanted to show the world they haven’t forgotten about the iPad and the Mac,” said Mika Kitagawa, a senior principal research analyst at Gartner.

Macbook Pro.

Representational image.

Apple declined to comment.

In July when Apple reported its most recent quarter, the company had its worst quarter of Mac sales since 2010, with unit volumes down 13 percent year over year. And iPad unit sales were up only 1 percent versus a year earlier, and revenue for both was down 5 percent from the prior year.

But some of that dip in Mac sales was explained by timing  Apple waited to release new Macs until July when it had in previous years offered them in June. More broadly, Macs sales growth has outpaced the PC market and the iPad has been the most successful tablet in a market that simply turned out to be smaller than Apple hoped when it released the device in 2010.

While Apple has held prices down on some items like its entry-level iPads for schools, analyst do not expect it to do so with iPad Pros or Mac laptops. With Mac laptops in particular, consumers increasingly use phones or tablets for quick computing tasks and only reach for a full-fledged computer when they need extra horsepower. Apple is unlikely to cut corners to drop the price of its entry-level laptops, analysts said.

“With Apple, ‘cheap’ is always more expensive than everybody else,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies. Apple is likely to pick a price where “you don’t feel like you’re breaking the bank, but you don’t feel like you’re compromising your experience.”

[“source=forbes”]

Intel’s Hades Canyon NUC And Ubuntu Linux 18.10 Are Perfect Together

Intel’s Hades Canyon NUC is deceptively powerful given its diminutive size. It’s quite capable of 1080p/60FPS gaming (and typically on Medium to High quality settings) thanks to Intel’s Kaby Lake G processor which bakes in AMD’s Radeon Vega M GH graphics. I can tell you from experience it makes a fantastic Steam Big Picture console on Windows 10. But Windows and I recently broke up. I’d love to use Hades Canyon as a semi-portable Linux music studio or Steam Play console. On Ubuntu 18.04, that goal wasn’t attainable for the average user, but Ubuntu 18.10 and Hades Canyon are practically best friends.

Hades Canyon NUC and Ubuntu 18.04: Best FriendsJason Evangelho

How did this all come together? NUC resellers contacted Canonical (Ubuntu’s parent company) about having “out of the box” support for Hades Canyon, so Canonical employee (and Ubuntu Podcast host) Martin Wimpress ordered one, figured out what was required to make Ubuntu and Hades Canyon play nice together, and rallied for the necessary updates to be included in Ubuntu 18.10.

For months, Linux users struggled with Hades Canyon, reporting things like power management issues and problems with graphics drivers among other minor snags which would be large hurdles for the average user. So today I eagerly slapped Ubuntu 18.10 on a USB stick today and installed it on my own Hades Canyon NUC, and I can report that it runs flawlessly out of the box.

Intel Hades Canyon NUC

Intel Hades Canyon NUC on the leftIntel

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In my case, flawlessly means a carefree install, great gaming performance without any post-install updates or command line tweaking, perfect HDMI audio (plus my wireless LucidSound LS30 headphones were detected and sounded awesome), and generally stable, expected operation.

To clarify, all flavors of Ubuntu (such as Ubuntu Studio, Kubuntu and Ubuntu Budgie) offer this same level of compatibility with Hades Canyon since they’re built on the same base and Linux kernel. Additionally, Wimpress says that Ubuntu 18.04.2 — scheduled for release February 2019 — will also support Hades Canyon, as well as laptops coming to market that feature Intel’s powerful Kaby Lake G processor and Radeon Vega M graphics.

Fresh Ubuntu 18.10 install on Hades Canyon NUC.Jason Evangelho

In general, Linux kernel 4.18 seems to offer vast improvements for Hades Canyon NUC and specifically AMD’s Radeon Vega M graphics hardware. I’ve seen reports of success from Arch and Fedora users who’ve upgraded, so it’s wonderful news that slick devices like the Hades Canyon NUC — and by extension future products featuring Radeon Vega M graphics — should be well supported going forward.

And of course I’m going to let Ubuntu 18.10 stick around on my Hades Canyon NUC for a bit. I’m currently benchmarking some games using the Phoronix Test Suite and will be posting those results shortly so stay tuned!

[“source=forbes”]

How to enable favicons in Safari on iOS 12 and macOS Mojave

In iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, Apple added support for Safari favicons. Having these little visual indicators on your tabs is a super handy feature for when you have a ton of tabs open at once, giving you a quick way to distinguish tabs. Follow along to learn how to enable Safari favicons in Apple’s new operating systems….

How to enable Safari favicons in iOS 12

Enabling Safari favicons on iPhone and iPad is fairly straightforward process, but do note that on iPhone, you’ll have to be in landscape mode to see Safari tabs.

  1. Head into Settings > Safari.
  2. Scroll down until you see the Show Tab Bar option.
  3. Tap that radio button to enable and you’re set.

enable safari favicons

How to enable Safari favicons in macOS Mojave

The process to enable Safari favicons on macOS is just as simple as iOS — but you’ll of course be finding your way into the Safari preferences directly through the Safari app rather than the iOS settings app.

  1. Open Safari
  2. With Safari selected, tap on Safari in the menu bar, and then Preferences.
  3. Click Tabs from the list, and then Show website icons in tabs.

enable safari favicons

Previously, favicon were limited to pinned tabs in Safari in macOS. Now, they’re available everywhere and are fantastic tools to easily distinguish tabs.

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles:

[“source=forbes”]

iOS 12.1 brings Group FaceTime and new emoji to iPhone and iPad

Depth Control in Camera Preview and Dual SIM Support Comes to iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR

A Group FaceTime screen with five people.
iOS 12.1 will be available Tuesday, October 30, bringing Group FaceTime and more than 70 new emoji to iPhone and iPad. FaceTime changed the way people communicate and share important moments, and now with Group FaceTime, it’s easy to chat with more people than ever before — from 2 to 32 people. iOS 12.1 also brings Depth Control in real-time preview and Dual SIM support to iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR customers.

Group FaceTime

With iOS 12.1, FaceTime is more fun and flexible, with simple ways to add another person, join an active FaceTime call, or use the same camera effects available in Messages to add stickers, filters or appear to friends and family as an Animoji or Memoji. When an invitation is received, people can choose to join using audio or video from iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Additional features coming to FaceTime:
  • Automatic detection of active speakers: FaceTime uses on-device intelligence to display the most prominent speakers on the call, automatically highlighting the current speaker by bringing them to the forefront. It automatically sizes each person’s image depending upon how active they are in the conversation, based on duration of speech, volume and even motion. Participants who are not active will appear at the bottom of the screen until they speak. A simple tap also brings a participant front and center.
  • Ringless notification: When calling more than one person, FaceTime displays a notification that lets you instantly join a call without being disruptive.
  • Messages integration: Group FaceTime is integrated into the Messages app, making it easy to start a Group FaceTime right from a group iMessage chat. If people in a conversation have already started a FaceTime session, Messages shows the active call in the conversation list and inside your conversations.
  • Private: All FaceTime conversations, both one-to-one and multi-person, are encrypted end to end so they remain private and viewable only by the participants.
A GIF featuring the new emoji featured in iOS 12.1.
More than 70 new emoji come to iPhone and iPad with iOS 12.1, including new characters with red hair, gray hair and curly hair, a new emoji for bald people, more emotive smiley faces and additional emoji representing animals, sports and food. New emoji will also be available on Apple Watch and Mac with a free software update.
Emoji are used by people all over the world to communicate and iOS 12.1 brings even more characters to the keyboard that better represent global users, including new emoji for moon cake, red gift envelope and nazar amulet. Sports fans will celebrate the addition of new emoji for softball and lacrosse, while outdoor adventurers will enjoy new characters for luggage, compass and a hiking boot. Beautifully designed characters for the llama, mosquito, kangaroo and lobster, and new food emoji, including a bagel, salt, cupcake, leafy greens and mango, are now available.
Depth Control allows users to dynamically adjust the depth of field both in real-time preview and post-capture.

Depth Control in Camera

Advanced depth segmentation in Portrait mode enables more sophisticated portraits with professional-level bokeh. With iOS 12.1, users can now dynamically adjust the depth of field in real-time preview in addition to post-capture, enabling more control to create portraits with a beautiful background blur. Portrait mode with Depth Control is also available on the TrueDepth camera for selfies, which includes Memoji and faster face tracking support for third-party ARKit apps.
[“source=forbes”]