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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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How Police Exploited the Capitol Riot’s Digital Records

Forensic technology is powerful, but is it worth the privacy trade-offs?

11 min read
 Illustration of the silhouette of a person with upraised arm holding a cellphone in front of the U.S. Capitol building. Superimposed on the head is a green matrix, which represents data points used for facial recognition
Gabriel Zimmer

The group of well-dressed young men who gathered on the outskirts of Baltimore on the night of 5 January 2021 hardly looked like extremists. But the next day, prosecutors allege, they would all breach the United States Capitol during the deadly insurrection. Several would loot and destroy media equipment, and one would assault a policeman.

No strangers to protest, the men, members of the America First movement, diligently donned masks to obscure their faces. None boasted of their exploits on social media, and none of their friends or family would come forward to denounce them. But on 5 January, they made one piping hot, family-size mistake: They shared a pizza.

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