October 6, 2011
Kids with type 1 diabetes who spend hours in front of a TV or computer each day may have poorer blood sugar control, a new study suggests.
It’s not clear why the relationship exists, and the findings do not prove that “screen time” itself worsens kids’ diabetes control.
But factors like obesity, exercise habits and family income did not explain the connection, the study found.
Among 296 children, teens and young adults with type 1 diabetes, those who spent 4 or more hours per day in front of a TV or computer had higher hemoglobin A1C levels — a measure of blood sugar control over the past few months.
On average, their hemoglobin A1C was 9.3 percent, versus about 8.5 percent among their peers who spent less time in front of a screen.
Experts recommend that adults keep their A1C levels below 7 percent, while levels in children and teens can go as high as 8.5 percent, depending on their age.
The goal of reining in blood sugar is to help curb the risk of long-term diabetes complications — which range from heart and kidney disease, to nerve damage to vision loss.
Exactly why screen time was connected to blood sugar control in this study is not clear, according to the researchers, led by Dr. Angela Galler of Charite-Universitatsmedizin Berlin in Germany.
One possibility, they say, is that kids who spend more time in front of the TV or computer snack more often. So it may be more difficult to control their blood sugar than when they stick with more-regular meals.
People with type 1 diabetes have to inject insulin every day, generally timed around meals, to control their blood sugar levels.
But while snacking could be a culprit, this study cannot really prove that screen time is at all to blame for the poorer blood sugar control, according to Dr. Sanjeev Mehta, a diabetes specialist who was not involved in the research.
One limitation of the study is that it measured kids’ screen time and their blood sugar control at one time point.
“So we cannot say that increased media consumption leads to poorer (blood sugar) control,” said Mehta, of the Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Another issue, he told Reuters Health in an email, is that the study did not collect information on diet. So it’s not possible to tell whether snacking, or overall eating habits, might explain the findings on screen time.
Mehta said he thinks that screen time would likely play only a small role in why blood sugar control varies from one child to another. But, he added, it’s also something that can be controlled.
“For parents,” he said, “I think the message is that lifestyle matters, and represents a modifiable aspect of their childrens’ lives.”
In this study, kids’ reported exercise levels were not related to their blood sugar control.
But the relationship between exercise and blood sugar control is complicated, Mehta explained.
The body’s response to exercise varies widely, depending on the person and the type and intensity of the exercise. So physical activity may or may not improve hemoglobin A1C.
Despite that, Mehta said, “certainly, there are great benefits to physical activity, including supporting overall cardiovascular health and the child’s quality of life.”
So careful attention to diet and exercise is important for all young people with diabetes, Mehta said.
As for screen time, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children and teenagers spend no more than 2 hours a day in front of a TV or computer. That’s for various reasons, including getting kids off the couch and giving them enough time for a good night’s sleep.
July 13th, 2011
By: J.D. Heyes
The U.S. Constitution is clear about the issue of privacy. In fact, the Fourth Amendment states, in part, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”
With that in mind, it’s safe to say it’s more than just a little disturbing to know that, in certain circumstances, police can search your cell phone and computer(s), even if you don’t want them to and even if they don’t yet have a warrant to do so.
The good news is, someone out there has recognized the problem and has taken steps to help you protect that vast amount of data you have stored on your smart phone or laptop.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, long defenders of electronic rights, has written a legal guide designed to help you better understand your rights and, more importantly, when police can – and cannot – legally confiscate and search your personal electronic devices.
“In the heat of the moment, it can be hard to remember what your rights are and how to exercise them,” says EFF Senior Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann. “Sometimes police can search your computer whether you like it or not, but sometimes they can’t. We wrote this guide to help you tell the difference and to empower you to assert your rights when the police come knocking.”
Adds EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury, “With smart phones, tablet computers, and laptops, we carry around with us an unprecedented amount of sensitive personal information.
“That smart phone in your pocket right now could contain email from your doctor or your kid’s teacher, not to mention detailed contact information for all of your friends and family members,” Fakhoury continued. “Your laptop probably holds even more data — your Internet browsing history, family photo albums, and maybe even things like an electronic copy of your taxes or your employment agreement. This is sensitive data that’s worth protecting from prying eyes.”
According to a summary of full EFF legal guide:
· Always say “no” when police ask if they can search your server, personal computer or cell phone because if you give them permission to search, they don’t need a warrant – even to enter your home;
· If police tell you they have a search warrant, ask to see it because you have a right to;
· Make sure police are only searching the areas outlined in the warrant;
· Be silent – you don’t have to help the police or answer their questions, and that means you don’t have to give them your encryption keys or passwords;
· If you do decide to talk, don’t lie because lying to the police is a crime;
· Finally, if you can consult with a lawyer before police conduct a search or even just talk to you, that’s ideal.
This guide is extremely helpful in this digital age when being secure in our “papers” and effects now includes our data-filled electronic devices. Know your rights; that is your best protection.
May 13th, 2011
By: Matthew J. Geiger
Outside of the United States, cursive writing is taught before children learn how to print. Although many of us neglect our cursive writing skills, except to sign a document now and again, due to the advent of computer technology; however, cursive writing is both more efficient and more natural when mastered before print. Because children are developing their fine motor skills, cursive writing allows them to gradually improve their eye-hand coordination versus straight lines that strain students.
The first step in developing our cognitive abilities is the development of our fine motor skills. As our brains learn to connect our inner worlds to the external universe, we begin to recognize abstract ideas like awareness of others and perception. Cursive writing affords us the opportunity to naturally train these find motor skills by taking advantage of a child’s inability to fully control their fingers. This means cursive writing acts as a building block versus as a stressor. With a less strenuous learning experience, children can progress in their learning at a faster, more efficient rate.
Pushing a child to develop faster than what can honestly be expected may actually stunt growth or foster new issues like low self-esteem. Because print writing requires some fairly precise movements, young children can have difficulty learning, thus cursive writing helps them develop the skills they need to do more precise activities like printing. As a consequence, their fine motor skills and cognitive abilities may be more likely to develop faster, thereby, giving children the tools they need to develop more sophisticated mental tools.
At the same time, cursive writing exists to help us write with more precision at a faster rate. If a child learns to write at a faster rate, he or she may well become faster when it comes to thinking. Meanwhile, the ability to express ideas far more quickly may translate into an opportunity to explore more complex concepts. This forces our brains to work harder when it comes to coordination and cognitive abilities. Accordingly, the brain develops faster and stronger by the fact that ideas can be expressed more readily.
Moreover, cursive writing is a skill often neglected in the United States. Part of this is the result of schools teaching print as the primary writing styles first. Unfortunately, cursive writing capitalizes on our natural maturing process, thus it enables us to learn more efficiently. While we are only beginning to understand the impact of learning on our brain development, cursive writing can be quite beneficial. Not only does it help us learn, it allows to children to gradually improve their find motor skills at a stronger pace while our cognitive abilities are always improved by greater learning.
April 19th, 2011
Would you feel comfortable if market researchers could know your every thought?
A headband designed by San Francisco firm EmSense can sense your brainwaves as you have reactions to watching something and then record the data for researchers.
The process of measuring your reaction to something is known as ‘quantitative neurometrics’ and it can be carried out as you watch a computer or television screen.
The firm is launching its ‘in-home’ research panel employing the EmBand monitoring technology in an attempt to get better feedback on emotional responses.
The EmBand can also measure how much attention you are paying, or your ‘cognitive engagement’, by measuring brainwave activity, reported technology site Venture Beat.
The firm does studies by asking respondents to voluntarily share their information.
This has been compared to the controversial 1971 film A Clockwork Orange, where authorities try to psychologically modify the behaviour of a teenage thug.
But the big difference with EmSense is that the test subjects are volunteers.
It says market research firms want to measure emotional responses more accurately to get better reactions to advertising, creative concepts, packaging and shopping.
EmSense ships the user a kit with an EmBand wireless headset and a wireless receiver for use with his or her PC computer, directing them to a specific web page.
The firm, which has 80 employees, was founded by technologists from Hewlett-Packard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004.
It has tested more than 100,000 respondents in 25 countries, reported Venture Beat.
Today, Kevin explains how you are giving yourself skin cancer and what you can do to stop it before it’s too late. Plus, find out what is causing your child to have ADD & ADHD and what you can do to reverse it!
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April 11th, 2011
This tiniest device measures upto one square millimeter, but don’t go on the small size of this computer because pack inside the tiniest device is an ultra low power microprocessor, a pressure sensor , solar cell, wireless radio for communication to an external reader device, memory and a thin film battery.
Remember Gulliver’s travel to Lilliput, maybe our world is also turning smaller day by day because in the future this smallest computer (Unnamed uptill now) can be use efficiently for tracking, surveillance, military purposes and what not?
The miniscule computer system is developed by Professor Dennis Sylvester, David Wentzloff and David Blaauw.
Dennis Sylvester, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan further explained and said:” This is the very first true millimeter-scale complete computing system; small computing systems are possible by the usage of low-power components that can fit on a chip. A complete millimeter scale computer system enables us to collect, store and transmit data”.
The first application of millimeter scale computing system is in the field of medical. This device is implanted in the human eye to measure eye pressure and track the progress of glaucoma , which is a potential blinding disease.
The system starts working after every 15 minutes to take measurements and uses an average of 5.3 nanowatts energy, battery is charged through 10 hours of indoor light each day or 1.5 hours of sunlight.
The device is equipped with a wireless radio for communicating to external reader device but it can not communicate with computer systems of its own type.
Scientists are now working on decreasing the radio’s power consumption so that it’s compatible with millimeter-scale batteries.
Let’s hope this incredible device will open doors for further advancements in the miniscule computer systems.
March 4th, 2011
By: Sharon Weinberger
Teenage children of U.S. Air Force personnel no longer face the threat of being charged with espionage for reading secret diplomatic cables freely available on the Internet.
The Air Force Materiel Command printed an official news story Monday quoting its legal office as saying, “If a family member of an Air Force employee accesses WikiLeaks on a home computer, the family member may be subject to prosecution for espionage under U.S. Code Title 18 Section 793.”
Now, Air Force headquarters has backed away from that that hard-line position and is disavowing the original statement.
“The release was not previously coordinated with Headquarters Air Force and has been removed from the AFMC website,” Air Force Lt. Col. Richard L. Johnson said in a statement, according to Secrecy News, which has followed the issue closely.
The Air Force flip-flopping is just the latest in the contentious — and often bizarre — saga of the government’s attempt to contain fallout over the massive release of Pentagon and State Department documents by WikiLeaks. The anti-secrecy organization is in the process of releasing some 250,000 diplomatic cables — many classified — in addition to the tens of thousands of military documents it has already posted on its website.
The Pentagon and other government agencies have taken the position that even though the documents are freely available on the Internet, government employees and contractors should continue to treat them as classified. The Air Force, however, has gone even further than some other parts of government, blocking access to news websites that reprint WikiLeaks cables. But it appears that Air Force leadership recognizes that threatening legal sanction against nonemployees may be a step too far.
“The Air Force guidance did not address family members who are not Air Force members or employees,” Johnson said. “The Air Force defers to the Department of Justice in all non-military matters related to WikiLeaks.”
February 11th, 2011
By: Hallie Levine Sklar
You assume … Your aching neck is caused by hours at the computer.
Who knew? Your BlackBerry or iPhone is the real culprit.
We all know that poor posture at the keyboard can cause aches and pains, but too much text messaging can also increase the risk of neck and shoulder pain, according to a recent Temple University study. It turns out that the way the body is positioned for texting (stationary shoulders and back with rapidly moving fingers) is very similar to the position for typing on a computer, possibly priming you for neck pain, says study author Judith Gold, ScD, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Temple University’s College of Health Professions and Social Work.
The Rx? Vary your position—sometimes text with hands in your lap, other times with hands higher up—because holding one position for long periods is what may cause the pain. You can also get relief with this quick stretching routine, courtesy of Tanya Boulton, managing teacher of PURE Yoga East in New York City: While seated, tilt your head to the right and raise your right arm up and over your head, gently resting your hand on the left side of your head; close your eyes and hold for 6–8 breaths. Repeat on the other side. Then interlace your fingers behind your head, drop your chin down toward your chest, and draw your elbows toward each other; hold for 6–8 breaths.
You assume … Lack of sleep is to blame for your headaches.
Who knew? Napping isn’t helping.
You may know that sleep problems can trigger headaches, but if you take naps to try to get some relief, you may actually make the problem worse, a recent study suggests. “Napping during the day can lead to insomnia at night, and lack of sleep makes you even more susceptible to headache pain,” explains study author Jason Ong, PhD, director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Training Program at Rush University Medical Center.
To break the cycle, try skipping your nap and going to bed earlier. If you are still plagued by headaches—or are tossing and turning at night—see your doctor to discuss treatment options. One to try: cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which may help you better deal with the stress that may be causing both headaches and insomnia.
You assume … You’re just destined to keep getting pesky UTIs.
Who knew? Your supermarket chicken may be to blame.
Sounds crazy, but it’s true, according to a study published this past January in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. When researchers surveyed chickens from local supermarkets and restaurants, they found that the strains of E. coli bacteria in the poultry were the same as those causing urinary tract infections (UTIs) among women in the area. “E. coli can live in your intestine without making you sick. But when it passes through your digestive system, it ends up in your anal area and can be swept into your urethra during sex, causing the UTI,” explains study author Amee Manges, PhD, a professor of epidemiology at McGill University in Montreal. “Unfortunately, because many chickens are fed antibiotics to prevent disease while alive, the bacteria present may be already resistant to some common antibiotics.”
Your best protection? Avoid ingesting E. coli in the first place. Manges recommends cooking chicken thoroughly to kill bacteria and washing hands, utensils, cutting boards, and countertops with hot soapy water to avoid cross-contamination. You may also want to buy antibiotic-free chicken when possible, to reduce the chance of being exposed to drug-resistant bacteria. And it doesn’t hurt to practice a few good hygiene rules for UTI prevention: pee after sex to flush bacteria from your urethra, and wipe from front to back after using the bathroom.
Today, Kevin reveals exactly why he does this radio show and why he will never give up the fight! Plus, find out what the banks are doing this time to take your hard-earned money from you!
Harry Reid’s Name Already Filled In On Ballots
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October 18th, 2010
By: Sharon Weinberger
Worried about e-mails that appear to be from your bank but could well be part of a phishing scam? That may soon be the least of your problems. With concerns about cyberattacks on the rise, computer security experts are looking ahead to what they think might be the next wave of attacks.
What they find is that everything from your car to your computer webcam is vulnerable to attack. Here are five new types of attacks:
1) Social Network Attacks: Malware that steals your e-mail contacts, passwords and other personal information is old news. But a new technical paper by a group of Israeli researchers says the cybersecurity community is ignoring a new, more insidious type of attack: one that preys on your entire social network, working to slowly pilfer information about your behavior and life.
Dubbed “stealing reality,” these types of attacks, the researchers argue, are more insidious because the “victim of a ‘behavioral pattern’ theft cannot easily change her behavior and life patterns.”
“Most likely those attacks are currently happening,” lead author Yaniv Altshuler, a research scientist at Ben Gurion University, told AOL News.
Altshuler says the market for this sort of information already exists. “And If there is a buyer, there is a seller,” he added.
2) Attacks on Cars: Today’s automobiles often come equipped with the equivalent of advanced computer systems, which means that like your home computer, they could be vulnerable to attack. In a new paper, researchers at the University of Washington and the University of California, San Diego, say they have demonstrated “the ability to adversarially control a wide range of automotive functions and completely ignore driver input — including disabling the brakes, selectively braking individual wheels on demand, stopping the engine, and so on.”
Everything from your car’s wireless tire-pressure sensors to its stolen-vehicle tracking and recovery system provides opportunities for hackers to gain control of your vehicle without you even knowing.
3) Medical Devices: Today, wireless pacemakers can send your doctor or hospital real-time data on your heart, showing just how far medical devices have come with the help of modern electronics. But with that new technology comes a new threat: the possibility of someone hacking into your medical device or injecting malicious code that disrupts the lifesaving device. Prosthetic limbs, wireless pacemakers and other implantable medical devices might all be at risk.
“This is very real — the bad guys would buy the pieces and just work on them a little bit,” Greg Hoglund, who heads HBGary, a computer security company, told an audience earlier this year at a Northern California Hospital Cyberterrorism Seminar. “It’s amazing someone hasn’t pulled this off yet.”
4) Hacking Your Webcam: Watch out for the light on your computer that shows the webcam is on, even after you think you’ve turned it off. It could be a Trojan computer program operating the camera, taking pictures or even video, and sending it over the Internet without your knowledge. For those who leave their laptops on and open, that’s the equivalent of having Big Brother in your bedroom or office without you knowing.
There are already cases of this happening, for example, in Germany. “A man has been arrested for spying on more than 150 girls in their bedrooms by hacking into their computers and using their webcams to watch them, provoking warnings that others will be doing the same thing,” DPA, the German press agency, reported earlier this year.
5) Smart Phone Attacks: Most consumers worried about cyberattacks associate the threat with their home PCs or laptops. So they often think nothing of downloading applications to their smart phones, which often contain just as much personal information as their home computers.
“Nobody’s making money at the moment with mobile security,” said Mikko Hypponen, the chief research officer of Finland’s F-Secure, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “But all the players assume that sooner or later we will see a major outbreak or some other major event that will change the situation forever.”