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Your Brain On Cell Phones

Turns out cell phones are doing something to the brain, we just don't know what it means

1 min read
Your Brain On Cell Phones

Epidemiologists have for years tried to settle the question of whether or not cell phones cause health problems without coming up with a definitive answer. Meanwhile, the cell phone industry has maintained that it's unlikely that the phones are a health risk because the only effect on brain tissue is local heating, and cell phone standards make sure that heating stays below any danger level.

But a paper published today  in the Journal of the American Medical Association by researchers from the National Institutes of Health and the Brookhaven National Lab identifies another effect, showing through their experiments that holding a cell phone to the ear increases the metabolic activity of nearby brain tissue. What this means for long term health is unclear, but it certainly supports the calls of those who want more research, and those who are practicing prudent avoidance by trying to select cell phones with the lowest radiation and limiting their talk time.

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Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
An illustration of a series
Carl De Torres

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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