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Researchers discover dangerous spyware being used to hack messages

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The recent hacking of a Saudi activist’s phone has alerted smartphone users to the dangers of messaging applications. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">These apps, such as iMessage or WhatsApp, are the latest software targeted by hackers to steal private information. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">All it takes is a simple call through these systems to infiltrate a device, even if the person doesn’t answer. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Apple has recently issued an update saying they intend to resolve the loophole in iMessage, but there are still growing concerns over the ease of hacking through messaging software.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The latest research into cyber security was published by Citizen Lab, after the phone belonging to the anonymous activist was hacked using the Pegasus surveillance tool.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pegasus – created by NSO Group, a global cyber security organisation based in Israel – is the world’s most powerful spyware tool.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Previous versions of Pegasus have deployed malicious software that could infiltrate devices without users needing to click on anything for the hacking to take place. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Citizen Lab researcher John Scott-Railton told </span><a href="https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/hacking/researchers-find-new-pegasus-spyware-hack-targeting-imessage-on-saudi-activists-iphone/news-story/dc5ed151272805b8a2eb62e7b5f332d6"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Washington Post</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that the hack on the Saudi activist’s phone showed that messaging apps were the weak spot. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Chat programs are quickly becoming a soft underbelly of device security,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pegasus has previously been investigated by cyber experts and journalists after political figures, business leaders and human rights activists have all been targeted. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The latest finding is expected to heap pressure on the Israeli government who have previously said they will investigate NSO Group.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Shutterstock</span></em></p>

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Meet gamer grandma Haughty Chicken

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">59-year-old Haughty Chicken is the gamer grandmother challenging the status quo.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Having gamed for most of her life, the Sydney resident has moved on from playing classics on the Atari to hosting her own live-streams on Twitch.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Her first game was Ping Pong Table Tennis, which she played on her parent’s TV.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And then one of the cousins got the Atari system so I started playing that,” she told </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://honey.nine.com.au/latest/online-streaming-twitch-grandma-gamer-haughty-chicken/5f226c20-063d-48c8-b904-ff45d6b8ef70" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">9Honey</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She even gamed in shopping centre arcades, moving with the times as games continued to evolve.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When she started her own live-stream, her twin sister hadn’t even heard of it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She looked at me for a minute. And she said, ‘Is it something to do with the cloud?’ And I said, ‘No.’”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After becoming a mum, Haughty Chicken gamed with her kids, and now with their kids.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And my mum is a gamer too,” she said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My mum’s just turned 79.”</span></p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844222/haughty-chicken1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/594cc8bfe9ed40d6950e60f5de8a0b92" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Haughty Chicken / YouTube</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Haughty Chicken enjoys online gaming, particularly as a platform for making friends. She even met her husband that way.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It started as many friendships do start in any MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game, which is what World of Warcraft is. I was playing by myself and I tended to be quite solitary back then, even though it was a multiplayer game,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And I was trying to complete a quest and another player came over in the game to help me and I said, ‘Sure’, and we played for the rest of the day. And then the next time they came on, and I didn’t know who they were at that point.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It was only when we started voice chatting that I realised he was male and around my age.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite living in California at the time, as their friendship and relationship developed the Canadian player would later move to Australia and marry Haughty Chicken, joining and forming their own gaming family.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I will game online with my mum. She plays with some of the games I play. My children tend to play different things. My son is a console player. He plays a PS5.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Haughty Chicken is also well aware of the benefits that come with playing games online, aside from fun and making friends.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And there’s been a lot of research to show that it does improve critical thinking and mental wellbeing,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though she has gamed for her whole life, Haughty Chicken didn’t start sharing her gaming with the world until the pandemic hit in 2020.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I have never had a setup to stream because streaming was something I never thought I would do,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Having set herself up with a camera and microphone and gained a following of almost 16,000 people since April 2020, Haughty Chicken admits that live streaming has changed how she plays.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Because it’s not just a solo thing,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It has to be something that I can give to my community as well. So I actually choose my games relative to my stream - I won’t choose a game that I stream that will take a lot of my attention, because then I can engage with my community.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And my community is growing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I think I’ve got about four-and-a-half thousand people in the US from streaming - a lot of followers in a short space of time. And they’ve not stopped coming since, which is lovely.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Although the majority of her followers are in their late 20s to 30s, Haughty Chicken said she does have older gamers reach out to her too.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“They’re very relieved when they do find me,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And I think that’s part of the reason why I’m growing. It’s not so much my age. It’s who I represent as an older person. It’s not a novelty. Many people come in and think it’s a novelty.”</span></p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.youtube.com/c/HaughtyChicken" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Haughty Chicken</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> streams six times a week between Tuesday and Sunday, usually taking Monday as a day-off.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Supplied</span></em></p>

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Ray-Ban and Facebook collaborate on a controversial project

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Facebook and Ray-Ban have announced the launch of a “first generation” pair of sunglasses that has divided fans of the brand. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The ‘smart glasses’ combine a sleek looking pair of sunnies that showcase the brand’s signature style, but with a very unique feature. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The glasses boast a tony 5MP camera lens in each of the glasses that can be used to capture life’s special moments completely hands free. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The glasses feature a simple touch button to start a 30-second video recording that says stored on the glasses. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When the user opens the Facebook View app, the photos and videos download onto your phone and can be shared on any social media platform. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Facebook's president of their Reality Labs Andrew Bosworth said the glasses are introducing a new way of connecting. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Ray-Ban Stories is designed to help people live in the moment and stay connected to the people they are with and the people they wish they were with.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He said, "We're introducing an entirely new way for people to stay connected to the world around them and truly be present in life's most important moments, and to look good while doing it."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While the glasses certainly seem impressive, many potential customers have questions about privacy. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Facebook predicted the hesitancy, and said the glasses were “designed with privacy in mind”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a blog post announcing the product, they say "we have a big responsibility to help people feel comfortable and provide peace of mind, and that goes not only for device owners but the people around them, too."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While Facebook assures users that the glasses are equipped with software to protect the privacy of others, it’s up to each individual customer to not abuse the new technology. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Facebook's Ray-Ban Stories are now on sale from $449 in Australia, at OPSM and Sunglass Hut or Ray-Ban online.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Check out the promotional video here.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CTm1mBSBE8i/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CTm1mBSBE8i/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Ray-Ban (@rayban)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><em>Image credit: <span style="font-weight: 400;">Getty Images / Instagram @rayban</span></em></p>

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Touch screens transmit less disease the more they’re touched

<div class="copy"> <p>You’ve probably used many public touch-screen interfaces, to withdraw cash at ATMs, check-in at airports, and in numerous other places.</p> <p>As we’ve all learned during the past 18 months, they can be prime opportunities to transmit disease.</p> <p>But new research has found a surprising result: in some cases, they’re less germy if they’re touched more.</p> <p>“It was an interesting result that seemed surprising at first,” says Andrew Di Battista, senior ultrasound research scientist at Ultraleap, a UK-based company that makes touch-free displays and interfaces, and first author on a paper describing the research, <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.210625" target="_blank">published</a> in <em>Royal Society Open Science</em>.</p> <p>“However, once you consider the full scenario it makes intuitive sense. Essentially, once a TUI (touchscreen user interface) has been contaminated there is a fixed number of pathogens available to ‘infect’ other users.</p> <p>“The next couple of people to use the screen will pick up most of the available pathogens (particularly if they have to touch the screen at a higher rate). As a result, the risk to these individuals goes up with higher touch rates, while simultaneously having the effect of shielding subsequent users.”</p> <p>The researchers, who are based at Ultraleap and the University of Cyprus, used computer simulations to examine the risk of disease transmission from touch screen interfaces.</p> <p>“The model is meant to work as a framework where you set certain parameters, run the simulation and watch what happens,” says Di Battista.</p> <p>“It turns out that TUIs have some nice simplifying features – the glass/non-porous surface correlates well with laboratory results from the literature involving touch deposit rates, pathogen survival times, etc.”</p> <p>They examined the model’s sensitivity with a simulation of touch screens at one location, changing factors like disease infectivity, cleaning rate, and the rate of people touching the screen.</p> <p>They then ran a simulation based on data from check-in and baggage drop screens at Heathrow Airport in the UK, focusing on cleaning rate and comparing use of the screens to a non-touch alternative.</p> <p>The simulations were used to predict the changes in the reproduction number.</p> <p>The reproduction number, or <em>R,</em> is the number of people expected to become infected by someone carrying a disease.</p> <p>A disease with an <em>R </em>value of 2.0 means that one person carrying it infects two other people, on average.</p> <p>This number varies for diseases depending on how transmissible they are, and how much opportunity there is to transmit – an area with lots of people in close contact yields higher <em>R</em> values than one with more space, for instance.</p> <p>The researchers found several predictable results: timing of use on the TUIs makes a difference to the <em>R</em> value, as pathogens rarely survive for a long time without a host, for instance.</p> <p>High cleaning rate of screens is also associated with low transmission.</p> <p>But surprisingly, the model suggested that multiple screen touches did the same thing as cleaning the screen.</p> <p>In a high-touch scenario, if an infected person used the screen and deposited pathogens, the next one or two users would pick all those germs up, removing them from the screen and preventing further transmission.</p> <p>“Overall, the <em>R</em> value goes down because this is proportional to the <em>total number</em> of people ‘infected’ in the simulation,” says Di Battista, “but this is only because the risk to those unlucky initial one or two users after contamination goes up.</p> <p>“So perhaps the <em>R</em> value doesn’t quite fully express all the risk.”</p> <p>Di Battista says the simulation could be used to examine other high-touch public devices, like keyboards, but these can be harder to predict because they’re made of a more diverse group of materials than touch screens, and they’re handled in different ways.</p> <p>Next, the researchers are planning to refine their touch-screen model, and see if they can use it to predict more complicated touch-screen interactions.</p> <p>“One of the things we would like to implement is the model’s ability to estimate cross-contamination, ie pathogens picked up from one surface onto fingers/hands that get re-deposited onto the next touched surface,” says Di Battista.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article was originally published on <a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/body-and-mind/public-touch-screens-transmit-less-disease-with-higher-use/" target="_blank">cosmosmagazine.com</a> and was written by Ellen Phiddian.</em></p> </div>

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Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards showcase hilarious moments

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The annual Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are an opportunity for photographers to capture the beauty of the animal kingdom, with a comedic twist. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This year’s finalists have produced images of all shapes and sizes striking unexpected and silly poses. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">From giraffes in Africa and polar bears in the Arctic, to pigeons in the city and otters in rivers, these animals have been immortalised in these hilarious photographs.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The finals for the competition will take place on October 22nd, with judges set to have a difficult time choosing from the pictures. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards began in 2015, and was established with the goal of promoting the conservation of wildlife and their surrounds through the use of positive and upbeat imagery. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The unique use of humorous images has seen the competition gain a global following, and offers a new approach to building conservation awareness. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The photographs “transcend cultures and ages to bring a smile to everyone’s face”, through these hilarious animal moments that would otherwise remain unseen. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Comedy Wildlife Awards</span></em></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Photography credits:</span></em></p> <ol> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Monkey riding a giraffe: Dirk Jan Steehouwer</span></em></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pigeon blinded by a leaf: John Speirs</span></em></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Argumentative polar bears: Cheryl Strahl</span></em></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Surprised baby otter: Chee Kee Teo</span></em></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Excitable fish: Chi Han Lin</span></em></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Stunned eagle: Arthur Trevino</span></em></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bear lazing in the dirt: Wenona Suydam</span></em></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dancing monkeys: Sarosh Lodhi</span></em></li> </ol>

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How to stay connected during lockdown

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The physical distance caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on many people. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With millions of people around the world isolated from their loved ones, technology has become the key to staying in touch. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Research has proven that this distance has had extreme mental and physical effects within elderly populations, with an overwhelming sense of loneliness troubling many individuals.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said in a publication in 2020 that social isolation risks a 50 percent associated increase in dementia, as well as a 29 percent risk of heart disease and a 32 percent increased risk of stroke. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Geriatrician Laurie Archbald-Pannone spoke to The Conversation and offered several tips for seniors to stay socially connected during periods of isolation. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Stay in touch with the people close to you, especially those who are social distancing too,” she wrote.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The CDC recommends that communities create ‘buddy systems’ to make sure vulnerable and hard-to-reach people stay connected, particularly to news about COVID-19.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Local and state governments have also introduced various programs and systems to help their local communities stay connected and engage with each other.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Victorian government introduced the Coronavirus Support for Multicultural Seniors grants program, providing up to $2000 in funding to multicultural seniors’ groups during the pandemic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This program provides assistance to support vulnerable individuals, and build strong connections with communities during a difficult time. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The federal Department of Social Services is offering its ‘Seniors Connected Program’, designed to address loneliness and social isolation experienced by older Australians aged over 55 living in the community.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">These initiatives have been a global effort, with each country finding their own ways to help their elderly citizens stay connected through technology. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Shutterstock</span></em></p>

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“You bloody fool!” The musk duck that learnt to swear

<p>A small number of animals, particularly birds, can learn to mimic other animals – including humans.</p> <p>The Australian musk duck can now be added to these ranks: a <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0243" target="_blank">paper</a> in <em>Philosophical Transactions B</em> has shown that the ducks can imitate other bird sounds and human sounds – like doors slamming, and one truly Australian phrase uttered by their keepers.</p> <p>“You bloody fool,” agreed Ripper, musk duck and subject of the paper.</p> <p>The paper, written by Carel ten Cate, a researcher at the Leiden University’s Institute of Biology in the Netherlands, and Peter Fullargar, now retired from the CSIRO, analyses two sets of recordings made by two musk ducks.</p> <p>Ripper was a male musk duck, born in 1983 and raised in captivity at the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve in the ACT.</p> <p>Records at Tidbinbilla were destroyed by the 2003 Canberra bushfires, making aspects of Ripper’s past hazy, but one thing is known for certain: he could imitate human-made sounds.</p> <p>In 1987, some researchers (including Fullargar) made recordings of these sounds, including a door slamming, human speech-like mumbles, and a repeated phrase that sounded like “you bloody foo”: this was a common refrain from his caretaker.</p> <p>Ripper was particularly likely to announce this when humans approached him.</p> <p>In 2000, the researchers also recorded calls from another male musk duck, known simply as “Duck 2”.</p> <p>Duck 2, raised in Tidbinbilla by a captive female, could mimic the sounds of the Pacific black duck.</p> <p>He also made a sound similar to Ripper’s door-slamming noise.</p> <p>“This second duck had been exposed to Ripper, which may have affected this part of the sound,” write ten Cate and Fullargar in their paper.</p> <p>The authors point out that this is the first evidence of vocal learning in a member of the <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anserinae" target="_blank">Anserinae</a> (ducks, geese and swans) family.</p> <p>“The Australian musk duck demonstrates an unexpected and impressive ability for vocal learning,” they write in their paper.</p> <p>They advocate for “a more extensive and systematic study of this and related, or other, species”, saying it could help to further understand how animals learn to make sounds.</p> <p>Check out the video here:</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MSJsKpKKBaI" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><em>Image credit: <span>Image: John Harrison / WikiCommons</span></em></p> <p><em>This article was originally written for <a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/nature/birds/you-bloody-fool-the-musk-duck-that-learnt-to-swear/" target="_blank">cosmosmagazine.com</a> by Ellen Phiddian.</em></p>

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The iconic Nokia 3310 turns 21

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It is widely known as the toughest substance on Earth, and became a staple in international households. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Nokia 3310 mobile phone was released in September 2000, and is now celebrating its 21st anniversary. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The device boasted a black and white display, enough memory to save eight numbers in call logs, and zero capabilities that smartphones offer today. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The phone became an iconic early 2000s reference with many millennials referring to the device as “a brick”, as the body seemed completely unbreakable. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some people may even remember the miraculous tale of a Nokia 3310 surviving a fall from the second storey of a building completely unscathed. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another classic feature of the device was the simple, but completely addictive game of Snake, that would keep users entertained for hours. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nokia 3310 owners could also customise their own ringtones, to play slightly different variations of the same tune when a call was incoming. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many phone users today still think of the device’s extraordinary battery life, which could last over two days: completely winning against modern day smartphone batteries that last a mere 12 hours (if you’re lucky).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The phone received so much love and attention over the years that a 4G version of the Nokia 3310 was released a few years ago, but the buzz of the revival version didn’t garner as much attention as the original. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With modern day smartphones having unlimited capabilities, it is interesting to see why the Nokia 3310 still gets recognised on a  global scale. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">From all its unique quirks and early 2000s charm, it has mostly become a pop culture staple and distinct timestamp of the technology revolution. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Shutterstock</span></em></p>

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The real meaning behind the most popular emojis

<p>Emojis can be confusing.</p> <p>Even if you’re not a regular texter, you’re definitely familiar with emoji (that’s right, the plural is the same as the singular): they appear in advertising, in captions and in videos.</p> <p>In 2015, Oxford Dictionaries even declared an emoji to be the word of the year: “face with tears of joy,” otherwise known as “crying laughing.”</p> <p>The history of emoji goes back further than you might think, and with over 60 percent of people over 35 considering themselves “frequent” emoji users, there’s no doubt that emoji are here to stay.</p> <p>However, for all the emoji flying around in our texts and captions, there’s not a whole lot of consensus on those emoji meanings.</p> <p>A 2016 study illustrated the huge misunderstandings that can happen when people use emoji: From the meaning to the emotion, misinterpretations are extremely common.</p> <p>All emoji are made with Unicode, but they all look different on different platforms, from Apple and Android to Facebook and Twitter.</p> <p>Most of the confusion in understanding seems to arise with the face emoji, which makes sense; even in real life, one person’s joyful smile is another person’s sarcastic smirk.</p> <p>Similarly, the emoji which appears to be grimacing on Apple devices is grinning on Android ones!</p> <p>However, there is some general consensus as to the use and meaning of most emoji, some of it based on the Japanese creators’ intent, and some on the way they have come to be interpreted and used here in the West.</p> <p>Be sure to bookmark this handy guide, because it could help to prevent some serious communication errors!</p> <p>😂</p> <p><strong>Meaning:</strong> This emoji is sometimes mistaken for sobbing, but the actual emoji meaning is laughter – laughing so hard you cry, that is.</p> <p><strong>When to use it:</strong> When your cat, kid, or spouse does or says something hilarious.</p> <p>🙃</p> <p><strong>Meaning:</strong> The upside-down smiling face can be used to mean silliness or playfulness, but its best use is for a thing that’s often really hard to convey over text: Sarcasm! You’re smiling, but you’re not really smiling, you know?</p> <p><strong>When to use it:</strong> Your friend asks you to pick them up from the airport, and you say “Sure!” before they tell you they get in at 5am.</p> <p>😌</p> <p><strong>Meaning:</strong> This is called “relieved face,” but we’ve always thought it’s more of a quiet, modest contentment.</p> <p><strong>When to use it:</strong> Someone lets you know they really like the gift you sent them.</p> <p>😅</p> <p><strong>Meaning:</strong> Smiling face with sweat is perfect for those times you think something will turn out OK, but you’re still a little nervous about it. Like that big presentation. It’s going to be fine.</p> <p><strong>When to use it:</strong> When the forecast for the surprise birthday picnic you’re planning switches to “chance of rain” the day before.</p> <p>😏</p> <p><strong>Meaning:</strong> The smirking face emoji can also indicate sarcasm, but be careful with its usage: This emoji is often used for flirting! To be safe, just don’t send it to anyone you’re related to.</p> <p><strong>When to use it:</strong> Bantering with that cutie. You know the one.</p> <p>😱</p> <p><strong>Meaning:</strong> According to the creators, this face is supposed to mean “screaming in fear.” It does have quite a resemblance to the painting The Scream, but we think it works for showing shock, too.</p> <p><strong>When to use it:</strong> You’re texting your spouse to come remove a spider from the bathroom.</p> <p>😎</p> <p><strong>Meaning:</strong> We all know that wearing sunglasses makes us look cool and effortless, and this emoji is used to capture that feeling: someone or something that is totally awesome.</p> <p><strong>When to use it:</strong> You just got a promotion.</p> <p>😴</p> <p><strong>Meaning:</strong> This face is used to indicate being asleep. Or being so bored you could fall asleep. Also, you snore. Sorry you had to find out this way!</p> <p><strong>When to use it:</strong> You really need to go home and go to bed.</p> <p>😪</p> <p><strong>Meaning:</strong> This emoji is technically called the “sleepy face” emoji, but is more commonly used to represent weary sadness or sometimes illness.</p> <p><strong>When to use it:</strong> It’s been a long, tough week.</p> <p>🤗</p> <p><strong>Meaning:</strong> Jazz hands? Confusion? Feeling pretty? Nope. This emoji is meant to indicate a hug!</p> <p><strong>When to use it:</strong> Someone shares good news with you!</p> <p>😋</p> <p><strong>Meaning:</strong> Although this looks like someone gently teasing you, it’s actually meant to indicate something delicious. Like, cookies delicious.</p> <p><strong>When to use it:</strong> Sometimes, you just have to post a pic of your brunch. This is the emoji for that picture.</p> <p>😒</p> <p><strong>Meaning:</strong> This is one of the most flexible emoji out there. Although its name is “unamused face,” it’s often referred to as the “side eye emoji,” and can be used to indicate annoyance, disapproval, or skepticism.</p> <p><strong>When to use it:</strong> When rumours are flying that your team is going to trade your favourite player.</p> <p>😬</p> <p><strong>Meaning:</strong> The “grimacing face” is used for a range of negative emotions: nervousness, awkwardness, embarrassment, it covers them all!</p> <p><strong>When to use it:</strong> Your phone autocorrects a word and suddenly your message is the opposite of what you meant to say.</p> <p>😶</p> <p><strong>Meaning:</strong> The “face without mouth” emoji is useful for those times you’re rendered speechless. It can also be interpreted as very deliberately not commenting, such as when you’re gossiping about someone’s outfit choice. Not that we would ever judge.</p> <p><strong>When to use it:</strong> For the (rare) times when you do judge.</p> <p>😥</p> <p><strong>Meaning:</strong> Although the two faces with small tear might look similar, they’re intended to have different meanings. This one is called “sad but relieved face” while the other is simply “crying face.” How to tell them apart? Well, this emoji isn’t crying. It’s sweating! And the eyebrows are tilted up, rather than down. It’s subtle, but it’s there.</p> <p><strong>When to use it:</strong> We still think it looks like it’s crying. Use when you’re upset, but things could have been worse. Like when you burnt the cookies, but only half of them.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared in <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/culture/the-real-meaning-behind-the-most-popular-emojis" target="_blank">Reader's Digest</a>.</em></p>

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Why China has imposed strict bans on gaming time

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Regulators in China have imposed new restrictions on young gamers. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The new laws dictate that players under the age of 18 are only allowed to play online games for one hour on Fridays, weekends and holidays. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The strict regulations come in response to growing concerns over gaming addiction in reports by the state media. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Published by the National Press and Publication Administration, the rules say that gaming hours will also be limited from 8pm to 9pm, as reported by Xinhua news agency. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Online gaming companies will be banned from providing any gaming services to teens in any form outside those hours, as well as having to enforce name verification systems that oversee China’s video games market.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">China has previously limited the total length of time minors could access online games to three hours on a holiday or 1.5 hours on other days.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The new rules have come in conjunction with a crackdown by Beijing on China’s tech giants, such as Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group, which has spooked investors and plummeted Chinese shares traded at home and overseas. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The National Press and Publication Administration also told Xinhua news agency that it would be increasing the intensity and frequency of inspections for online gaming companies to ensure they are adhering to the new laws. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is the second act of China limiting entertainment resources, as government agencies recently announced a blacklist of popular songs in the country’s booming karaoke industry. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Any song that was deemed to have “harmful content” was removed from country-wide karaoke venues, as rules outlined by the country’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism state that karaoke must not endanger national unity, sovereignty or territorial integrity.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Shutterstock</span></em></p>

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Billionaire actress Zhao Wei erased from history

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Zhao Wei, one of China’s top actresses, has all but vanished from the internet after the Chinese government scrubbed any record of her online.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Serials and chat shows featuring the actress are no longer available on Chinese streaming sites and her name has been removed from online credits for movies she has appeared in.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Wei rose to fame in the late 1990s after appearing on China’s highly popular television series, </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">My Fair Princess</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Since then, she has gone on to become a director, pop singer, and businesswoman on top of being an A-list actress.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, after Ms Wei was accused of being unpatriotic in hiring a Taiwanese actor for a leading role in a 2016 film, she began to run into trouble.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Her hiring decision was overturned and Ms Wei’s business acquisitions soon came under close regulatory and taxation scrutiny.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Last month, a public relations agency she owns was hit with a nationalistic scandal after one of its clients took a selfie during a visit to Japan’s Yasukuni war dead shrine.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Over the weekend, Chinese news sites reported that Ms Wei had fled the country and was spotted at France’s Bordeaux airport.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The crackdown on Ms Wei comes as Beijing’s Cyberspace Administration agency issued a series of instructions for social media and internet operators to “rectify” issues with fan communities.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The new instructions aim to ensure “political and ideological safety in the cyberspace as well as creating a clean internet”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This also means celebrities can no longer be ranked in terms of popularity, talent agencies must be overseen by the Community Party, and fan clubs must be licenced and officially authorised.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Previously, China’s National Radio and Television Administration ordered that actors be banished if their “morality is not noble”, are “tasteless, vulgar and obscene”, or if their “ideological level is low and [they] have no class”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Wei has also been accused by the Communist Party-controlled </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Global Times</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> of being “entangled in various scandals over the years”, but provides no official reason for her erasure.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Any discussions of why she has been erased is also being censored on social media.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images</span></em></p>

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Tesla unveils new humanoid robot at an awkward event

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk has confused people with his latest tech product launch. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At Tesla’s AI Day event, Musk announced his new humanoid “Tesla bot”, which prompted one analyst to call the project a “head-scratcher that will further agitate investors.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The entrepreneur said a 172cm, 56kg prototype robot could be ready as soon as next year. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Instead of waiting until a prototype was ready for the launch, Musk brought out a man in a  latex bodysuit that was created to look like the robot’s design. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a bizarre twist, when the “robot” came on stage, they broke out in a dance routine lasting one minute before Musk took to the stage. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Musk didn’t give many details on the Tesla bot, but insisted it will have a “profound” impact on the economy by driving down labour costs. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But not right now because this robot doesn’t work,” Musk noted, nonetheless insisting that, “In the future, physical work will be a choice.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Talk to it and say, ‘please pick up that bolt and attach it to a car with that wrench,’ and it should be able to do that,” Musk said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“‘Please go to the store and get me the following groceries.’ That kind of thing. I think we can do that.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Musk says that the robot’s primary purpose will be to complete tasks that are “boring, repetitive and dangerous”, giving more free time to individuals who can afford the robot.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After onlookers raised concerns, Musk said the robot will be designed so that humans can easily run away from or overpower it if needed. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Tesla CEO said the robot, which has been named Optimus, will run off the same chips and sensors as Tesla’s so-called Autopilot software, which has faced intense backlash from federal regulators and politicians. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Twitter users reacted to the news of the Tesla bot with an abundance of memes, saying the idea seemed to be straight out of a movie that does not end well for humankind. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Check out the unusual “prototype” unveiling below:</span></p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TsNc4nEX3c4" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Getty Images/Youtube</span></em></p>

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How the edge of space became up for interpretation

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As the billionaire space race continues between Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, many are asking questions about how far into space they actually went. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic flight on 12 July rocketed up to 86 km off the ground, while Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin flight recently reached just over 107 km. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, these figures have experts wondering if either of them truly left the planet’s atmosphere. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jonti Horner, an astronomer at the University of Southern Queensland, says the age-old questions of where the atmosphere ends and where space begins can be open to interpretation. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s one of those questions that’s a bit like saying, ‘When are you old enough to drink?’ or ‘When are you old enough to drive?’ Every country has their own version of an answer.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Where space starts and the atmosphere ends is a little bit like that, in that the atmosphere doesn’t just suddenly stop,” Horner told </span><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/exploration/where-is-the-edge-of-space/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cosmos Magazine</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in a recent interview. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The higher up you go, the thinner the atmosphere gets, and it keeps getting thinner and thinner and thinner, until eventually you can’t tell that it’s there anymore.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The official final point is approximately 10,000km above the surface, leaving no surprise why some want the line drawn a little closer to the Earth’s surface. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The US military, the Federal Aviation Administration and NASA all define the edge of space as 80 km off the ground, towards the upper part of the mesosphere.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This definition is very different to The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), an international record-keeping body for aeronautics, who have adopted their own definition in the 1960s. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Called the “Kármán line”, it marks the beginning of space at 100 km above Earth’s mean sea level.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite all these varying measurements, Horner says they are equally as good and as bad as each other. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Now that we are in this era of commercial space tourism, suddenly people want to know where [the boundary] is because they want to know that what they did was really good enough.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Shutterstock</span></em></p>

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How two Adelaide mates were inspired by their pets to create a multi-million dollar business

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In 2019, tradie Jye de Zylva noticed this pet kelpie was out of sorts. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">His dog was significantly stressed, and sometimes even missing, when his owner would return home each day from the job site. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jye teamed up with his mate and entrepreneur Davie Fogarty, and the pair created an innovative line of dog beds aimed at calming anxiety and stress in their furry friends. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 26-year-olds founded Pupnaps, which is the first of its kind and is largely inspired by a unique circular design. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The first design we settled on was one that kind of emulates a dog curling up in their mother’s womb,” Jye told NCA NewsWire.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s a really common way for dogs to sleep and it gives them comfort.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The company saw a flood of success and regularly surpasses $1million in monthly sales from selling 4,000 beds a week. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jye said the success of the company took them both by surprise. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It took us probably six to seven months and we did our first million-dollar month, which was really exciting in terms of the success and what it meant.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He said, “It was something that I didn't really expect in my wildest dreams; coming from being a chippie only six or eight months before that.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Pupnaps line included four different dog beds: the original dog calming bed, as well as an orthopaedic memory foam bed, an orthopaedic floor rug and a calming furniture couch.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jye is a firm believer that the success of the company was aided by the pandemic, and pets having increased anxiety after their owners returned to offices for work. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Anxiety can really impact a dog’s quality of life, not to mention the guilt and fear that owners have whenever they need to leave their pets alone,” Mr de Zylva said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s really rewarding to create a product that has been successful but also one that is helping dogs and their owners to live better lives.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Instagram @pupnapsofficial</span></em></p>

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The sneaky way anti-vaxx groups are remaining undetected on Facebook

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Anti-vaccination groups on Facebook are relying on an interesting tactic to avoid detection from those who don’t share their beliefs. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The groups are changing their names to euphemisms like ‘dance party’ or ‘dinner party’ to skirt rules put in place by the social media giant.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Harsher bans were put in place by Facebook to crack down on dangerous misinformation about COVID-19 and subsequent vaccines. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The groups are largely private and difficult to find on the social networking site, but still retain a large user base and have learned how to swap out detectable language to remain unseen. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One major ‘dance party’ group has over 40,000 followers and has stopped allowing new users to join due to public backlash.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The backup group for ‘Dance Party’, known as ‘Dinner Party’ and created by the same moderators, has more than 20,000 followers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Other anti-vaxx influencers on Instagram have adopted similar tactics, such as referring to vaccinated people as ‘swimmers’ and the act of vaccination as joining a ‘swim club’.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">These devious tactics have been recognised by governments internationally, as there is mounting pressure for officials to increase pressure on the social media platforms to do more to contain vaccine misinformation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">An administrator for the ‘Dance Party’ wrote that beating Facebook’s moderating system “feels like a badge of honour”, as they urged users to stay away from ‘unapproved words’. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Using code words and euphemisms is not new among the anti-vaxx community, as it borrows from a playbook used by extremists on Facebook and other social networking sites for many years.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Shutterstock</span></em></p>

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How to stay on top of your online subscription spending

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Between online video streaming, sports, delivery services, music platforms, e-books and fitness apps, it's easy to lose track of what digital subscriptions you’re paying for.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With our digital landscape pulling our attention in so many different directions, most of which need paying for, it’s not hard for our money to just disappear. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While most services can be less than $20 per month, those costs quickly add up when you rely on multiple platforms for your entertainment. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Research has shown that lots of Aussies are facing the same issues, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">with subscription services forecast to rise by more than 58 per cent between 2020 and 2024.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said Aussies were quick to embrace digital entertainment, and the pandemic has seen this trend continue to grow. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He said, “It’s not just video — it’s going to be gaming too. In the past, people would go to a restaurant or the cinema. When they’re locked up or their movements are limited, casual gaming is a huge attraction.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’re finding yourself overwhelmed by an influx of various subscription payments, there are ways to help you keep tabs on your spending. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Apple will let you check ongoing subscriptions in the menu of an iPhone or iPad under your iCloud account, for example, and you can cancel and view items from there.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Subscriptions ordered through Google can be managed in the settings of your Android phone or in a dedicated menu at play.google.com.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are also budgeting apps such as TrackMySubs.com where you can sign up for reminders on when your subscriptions need to be renewed. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Even though they’re a recurring expense, Mr Fadaghi said some subscriptions may be worth it. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It comes down to the utility of those subscriptions,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If people are using them regularly, it can make good financial sense.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Getty Images</span></em></p>

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Apple iMac computers return to colourful roots

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the latest installation by Apple, their reinvented iMac design sports a throwback to the original colourful roots from over 20 years ago.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The new desktop computers exhibit a slim-line design, while being available to purchase in seven different colours - </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, silver.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The throwback colours are a nod to the first iMac computer, which was released in 1998, and became an instant hit.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They also donned a bold all-in-one design originally released in an unforgettable blue translucent plastic body, that has become an iconic image of the technology revolution. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This design came after Apple CEO Steve Jobs wanted to reinvigorate the company’s products and global image.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This company revamp is arguably a key reason for Apple’s incredible ongoing success today.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Excited customers from all over the world have been getting their hands on the new rainbow iMacs, which is unlike anything else on the tech market today. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The new devices include a Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad, which are all rechargeable devices and colour-matched to your iMac of choice.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The desktop computers also boast a 24 inch screen, six built-in speakers and HD cameras.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The iMacs start at $1,899, with PC fans saying the price point is definitely justified by the quality of the colourful machine. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Shutterstock</span></em></p>

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Genius Aussie app idea you'll wish you'd thought of first

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When it comes to screen-time, the amount of time that kids spend on their phone has parents worried.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So the idea to force kids to do maths and English problems in order to unlock apps on their phones seems like an obvious solution, now that someone has thought of it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sydney entrepreneurs Isaac and Ann Elnekave have turned that idea into a reality through the app 1Question, which they trialled on their 13-year-old daughter Alyssa.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Of the trial, Alyssa said, ‘At first I wasn’t too sure about it.’</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">‘I didn’t want my friends to blame me if their parents made them get it,’ she continued.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">‘But, once I started using it I realised it doesn’t take that long to answer a question and it’s actually pretty cool.’</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Research has found that almost half of kids between six and 13 either own a phone or can access one. With the majority playing phone games or using apps like YouTube for an average of five hours a day, the Elnekaves hope to use that time for good.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">‘Much like sneaking veggies into cake, the 1Question app seamlessly leverages screen habits to create micro learning moments,’ Mrs Elnekave said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">‘Engagement is the holy grail of educators - if only kids were as motivated to learn their times tables as they are their TikTok moves.’</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">How many times does your child open an app each day? 5.. 10.. 20.. 50? 🥴 If you can capture even some of that energy and put it to use, imagine the impact it can have on their education. Turn screen time habits 👎 into opportunities 👍 with 1Question! <a href="https://t.co/HviU4TetLP">pic.twitter.com/HviU4TetLP</a></p> — 1Question (@1QuestionApp) <a href="https://twitter.com/1QuestionApp/status/1379643563311435776?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 7, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">‘We created a solution that blends screen time and study to maximise your child’s valuable engagement,’ she explained.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With a monthly $2.99 subscription, parents can download the app onto their child’s phone, choose their grade and curriculum subjects, and monitor their progress on a dashboard, showing each correct answer they answer to open a game or app such as YouTube.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Elnekave said, ‘We designed the user experience to be really simple, but underneath the hood is our incredibly intelligent AI engine.’</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">‘As your child learns, so does the AI, which seamlessly deciphers each child’s area of strength and weakness and autonomously charts a customised path for their learning.’</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With a base of 12,000 questions developed using the Australian, British, and American primary school curriculums, there are plans to expand the app to cater to high school students, including those taking the HSC.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since the trial launched, Mr Elnekave said they had been ‘inundated with requests for more topics almost daily.’</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The potential global growth of the app helped the entrepreneurs secure support from the Australian Tax Office, which granted the app Early Stage Innovation Company status.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To help the app take off on a global scale, the couple are looking to crowdfund $1.5 million on the OnMarket website. </span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Their target? To emulate the success of language learning app Duolingo, which has been downloaded 300 million times and is valued at $US 2.4 billion.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Rozelle couple have also garnered support from their neighbours including actor Gary Sweet. Echoing the thoughts of many parents, he said, ‘Bloody oath. Where was this app a few years back!’</span></p>

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Mum shares “life-saving” iPhone feature

<p>A woman has taken to Facebook to share a simple iPhone feature that could save lives.</p> <p>The mother based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland said she was shopping at a local Kmart when a woman became unresponsive and was in dire need of medical attention.</p> <p>“I was looking through her purse and then when I found her phone, it’s locked and needs the pin number she was unresponsive so we could not access the contacts,” she wrote on Facebook.</p> <p>While searching through the woman’s phone in the hope to find out more information, she remembered a feature she could access without needing the pin code or face time to unlock.</p> <p>“Lucky she was ok but if I could of called her nearest and dearest we could of been told of any possible illnesses and maybe they have an epipen or something,” the woman added.</p> <p>She was referencing Apple’s emergency contact feature which is on every iPhone, even if the handset is locked.</p> <p>“In your settings add a medical ID, it will have all medical knowledge and emergency contact numbers that an ambulance or member of the public can use without unlocking your phone,” the woman explained.</p> <p>The emergency contact features is available for all iPhone users to nominate an emergency contact phone number as well as list any allergies or medical requirements that can be identified without having to unlock the device or risk any other private information being shared.</p> <p>To make an emergency call the Apple website instructs users to go to the lock screen and then tap the red “emergency” button.</p> <p>The person can then call the emergency number the iPhone user has nominated.</p> <p>Medical information such as allergies and conditions can be listed in this screen as well,</p> <p>“If someone needs help and is unresponsive, you can check their iPhone for Medical ID. </p> <p>“Medical ID provides information about a person that may be important in an emergency, like allergies, medical conditions and who to contact,” the Apple website states.</p>

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How a smartwatch saved this grandad's life

<p><span>A grandfather-of-nine is counting his blessings after his life was miraculously saved by a simple smart watch.</span><br /><br /><span>Jason Potts says he was spring-cleaning his gutters when he fell backward, over his neighbour’s fence and onto a solid concrete path.</span><br /><br /><span>“I climbed the ladder, pulled the trigger and it immediately pushed me away from the house. So I reached out and grabbed onto the timber and it broke in my hand, it just crumbled,” he explained to 7NEWS.</span><br /><br /><span>After the 54-year-old fell to the ground, a familiar voice sounded - “Hello, is anyone there? Can you hear me?”</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838091/smart-watch-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/71bb38a7408646bea370e0b7f8eedebd" /><br /><br /><span>“Your Apple Watch has detected a hard fall and called 000. Do you require an ambulance?” the person said.</span><br /><br /><span>The watch had alerted emergency services, as well as his wife as she was listed as an emergency contact.</span><br /><br /><span>“I’m 107kg so I had 107kg of weight land on my head and my shoulder,” he said.</span><br /><br /><span>“I received four messages saying that Jay had had a hard fall and it (included) his last location,” his wife said.</span><br /><br /><span>The call proved to be life-saving as Potts suffered a dislocated collarbone, fractures to his spine and ribs, and a serious head injury.</span><br /><br /><span>Thankfully, the happy-go-lucky grandad says his near-death experience has not fazed him in the slightest - admitting he will be back up the ladder to finish the job as soon as he can.</span></p>

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