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Mobile Technology News, September 23, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Apple Launches Two New iPhone 6 Ads

    Apple has released two new iPhone 6 ads on their YouTube site and will be coming to your television screen soon.  The two new adds highlight the larger displays of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus while the second advert takes a look at the new Health app built into iOS 8.  It is the first of what I suspect will be many iPhone 6 ads. In the first Ad you hear the voices of Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon talking about the new screen sizes of the new iPhones.  It is a funny ad, showing on their interactions

    The post Apple Launches Two New iPhone 6 Ads appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • New iPhone 6 models best the competition, analysis sites say
    Early tests from PC performance sites Tom’s Hardware and AnandTech have revealed that early iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus buyers aren’t just buying style and elegance — they’re also getting a smartphone that appears to be the best all-around performer available, in some cases by a significant margin. Significant improvements in GPU performance, JavaScript performance and battery life once again see the iPhone outperforming phones with quad-core chips and twice the RAM.



  • Cirque du Soleil's Drone Video, 'Sparked,' Is Pure Magic
    Seems like Cirque du Soleil can turn just about anything into a mesmerizing performance — even drones.

    A new collaboration between Cirque du Soleil, ETH Zurich and Verity Studios features 10 quadcopters carrying out the kinds of complex synchronized dance maneuvers we usually see from the circus’ famed acrobats.

    But what makes this clip amazing is the one thing it doesn’t feature: computer graphics.

    You can see how the film was created in this “making of” video.

    Verity co-founder Markus Waibel told Gizmag that each of the 10 drones was given a different personality, and that the entire film was shot in just three days.

    “The collaboration resulted in a unique, interactive choreography where humans and drones move in sync,” Cirque du Soleil said in the description on YouTube. “Precise computer control allows for a large performance and movement vocabulary of the quadcopters and opens the door to many more applications in the future.”

    (h/t Gizmodo)

  • Sprint calls iPhone 6 launch 'most successful in history'
    New Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure on Monday tweeted that the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus this past weekend was the “most successful iPhone launch in our history,” in a note thanking Sprint employees for their help. The announcement comes on the heels of Apple’s news that it had sold 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units over the course of the opening weekend, a new record for the company, and Sprint’s recent announcement of a special iPhone-centric lease promotion.



  • New iOS 8 hits 30 percent adoption, iPhone 6 outselling 6 Plus
    Apple has seen a near-doubling of user adoption of iOS 8 since it rocketed to 20 percent during its first two days of availability, and is now sitting at around 36 percent after the first weekend of iPhone 6 sales, according to figures from various aggregators including Mixpanel and Appsee. While still representing an astonishing uptake compared to any other computer or mobile platform, the figure is actually behind that of iOS 7 at the same point in its release.



  • Google Chairman: Giving Money To ALEC Was A 'Mistake'
    Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said on Monday that his company’s support for the American Legislative Exchange Council was a “mistake,” adding that it should avoid aligning with groups that deny climate change.

    “We funded [ALEC] as part of a political campaign for something unrelated [to climate change],” Schmidt said on NPR’s “The Diane Rehm Show.” “I think the consensus within the company was that that was some sort of mistake and so we’re trying to not do that in the future.”

    “The company has a very strong view that we should make decisions in politics based on facts — what a shock. And the facts of climate change are not in question anymore,” Schmidt continued. “Everyone understands climate change is occurring and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people — they’re just, they’re just literally lying.”

    Activists have criticized Google’s support for ALEC since last year, when it was revealed that the company had paid membership dues to be a part of the organization’s communications and technology task force. Other tech companies including Facebook, Yelp and AOL were also ALEC members in 2013.

    Brant Olson, campaign director for the grassroots organization Forecast the Facts, praised Schmidt’s comments in a statement. Forecast the Facts and other environmental groups launched a “Don’t Fund Evil” campaign last year urging Google to stop funding ALEC.

    “We hope Google will also take this opportunity review its over $699,000 in contributions since 2008 to another group that is ‘just literally lying’–climate change deniers in Congress,” Olson said.

    ALEC is an organization made up of conservative state legislators and private sector interests that drafts model legislation for various states. In addition to promoting fossil fuel interests and climate change skepticism, the group has also attracted attention for drafting bills that weaken labor unions and gun restrictions and impose voter identification rules.

    Schmidt said that Google is “trying” to avoid funding ALEC in the future, but he did not confirm whether the company is severing all ties with the group. A Google spokeswoman declined to provide additional comment Monday afternoon.

    Google states on its website that it is committed to eventually operating on 100 percent renewable energy and that it has made agreements to fund more than $1.5 billion in renewable energy projects.

    “We’re helping create a clean energy future that’s better for our business and the environment,” the company says.

  • VIDEO: 'It has to be eyeball to eyeball'
    Are trailer videos on social media spoiling theatre?
  • Health technology puts patients first
    The tech making life a little easier for patients
  • Museum reunites Colossus veterans
    The largest gathering of veterans who operated the Colossus code-cracking computer in World War II has been held at Bletchley Park.
  • One Fast Mountain Bike: Cannondale F29 Black Inc.
    Stitch together dirt roads, pavement, and smooth singletrack for some #epicrides with the Cannondale F29 Black Inc.

    I previously reviewed the Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike and noted it was a potential category killer. Which is to say it excels at commuting, road riding, and dirt. In fact, the latter is its one weakness. Yes, it can handle dirt roads. But anything close to rocky or steep terrain has you longing for some mountain bike handlebars and suspension. Enter Cannondale’s corresponding 29-inch hardtail, the F29.

    Built primarily for racing, this bike is feather-light at 18 pounds. Yes, that’s what high-end road bikes weighed only a few years ago. This is accomplished through a carbon fiber frame, Shimano’s top-of-the-line drivetrain and brakes (XTR), and super-sexy carbon wheels from ENVE. The spare-no-expense Black Inc. retails for a post-IPO-like price tag of more than $11,000. But you can get in at more of a Series-A level with the F-SI Carbon 2 for less than $5,000 (still not cheap, of course). But, again, this is a potential category killer for those who index toward dirt.

    c15_cm2457_01_ble_2_2_1.1409191742

    When you’re riding on 29-inch wheels, which are much more road-like than a traditional 26-inch mountain bike wheel, it opens up a lot of riding potential. Given a moderately treaded tire, you can stitch together some epic rides that combine long sections of both paved and dirt roads with some mellow singletrack woven in for good measure. I did one of these on the F29 in the Topanga Canyon area back in June, covering about 30 miles and 5,000 feet of climbing. All told, I logged close to 200 miles in testing the F29.

    I made a few tweaks to the bike’s spec to suit my style of riding. I added a quick-release for the seatpost, which gives the ability to drop the saddle slightly for descents. I also swapped out the stock tires for a more aggressive tread to handle the loose, fire-road conditions in the Santa Monica Mountains. Both of these added a lot of confidence on the descents. If I were to own this bike, I’d get a second set of wheels with slick tires for commuting, ripping around town, and the occasional road loop.

    If I were pressed to complain about anything, it would be the front suspension. Cannondale’s proprietary “Lefty” fork gives you 100mm of ultra-smooth travel with the ability to lock it out for climbs, and it’s very light. But it’s not cross-compatible with any other front-suspension design. The hub and, therefore, the front wheel only works on this fork. This limits your wheel, fork, and even car rack options. All-in-all, it’s a minor tradeoff for a bike that will crush all of your climbing records while still feeling confident bombing dirt-road descents.

    Note: I reviewed the 2014 F29. This has been updated for 2015 and is now the F-SI Carbon Black Inc. The major difference is Shimano’s new electric XTR Di2 drivetrain.

  • This Man Waited In Line For An iPhone 6 For 44 Hours To Win Back His Wife
    The new iPhone 6 includes a mile-long list of new and upgraded features, but one man is banking on the phone having the power to fix his marriage.

    Darius Wlodarski of Swindon, England waited outside the Apple Store in Bristol for 44 hours in order to buy Apple’s latest phone for his wife, the Bristol Post reports. The couple split one month ago, but Wlodarski was determined to make good on his promise to buy her one.

    “I bought her an iPhone 5 two years ago and she was delighted,” he told the paper. “She told me she would like an iPhone 6 because it had a bigger screen but realized we could not afford it but still, I want to buy it for her.”

    Wlodarski is currently unemployed due to health issues and paid for the iPhone with a credit card. Though the 41-year-old realizes the phone itself may not bring back his wife, he hopes the purchase will at least make her happy.

    “Since we split up, I have realized that I was not a very good father or husband,” he said. “I hope I can convince her I could be a good father and husband.”

    Watch the video above for more on Wlodarski’s story.

    Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Divorce on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our newsletter here.

  • A Day for Universal Connecting and Creativity
    2014-09-22-153531490.jpg

    Unplug and reconnect…

    A soapbox I jump on every once in a while and a cause I truly believe in — passionately. In fact, more so after reading about the late Steve Jobs and his strong views on his children’s education.

    My view is that everyone should pick a “Sabbath” — a time of some duration (an hour, minimum) — on any day they choose and put down their electronics, turn off their devices, close their computers, walk don’t ride, fight the urge to tweet and reconnect with their lives… friends… family… nature… themselves…

    It is my belief that inherent in those connections is a powerful creativity that we run the risk of losing in the crowded and noisy and complicated world that consumes us from the time we wake up and first pick up our smartphones — and, by the way, the impact on the environment would be monumental.

    I want to up the ante, and thank you Solly for the inspiration.

    What if we were to pick one day a year — a day we all agree on — and declare it our day? A day of Universal Connectivity and Creativity. A day of thinking, reflecting, hugging, walking, talking, eating (yes, eating without a device on the table). A day when social media online goes dark because social offline goes live.

    Imagine the power of such a day. You could participate in as much of it or as little as your personal “jones” allowed, from one hour to 24, and I guarantee you that just like picking your random day a week will change your life. If we could aggregate it all in one day, once a year, we will change the world.

    Now, I know this is a crazy idea — beyond, in fact — but listen:

    “The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

    Jobs saw this, just like he saw Apple. I’m convinced of it.

    Are you ready to be crazy and help start a movement to change the world?

    What do you think?

  • Apple Plans To Shut Down Beats Music
    Apple will discontinue the streaming music service Beats Music it acquired in May, according to five sources, including several prominent employees at Apple and Beats. Many engineers from Beats Music have already been moved off the product and onto other projects at Apple, including iTunes.
  • Dancers Waltz Across The Side Of A Building, Catch It All On GoPro
    Two dance performers recently took a waltz on the wild side.

    Strapped in harnesses and tethered to the facade of Oakland City Hall in California, Amelia Rudolph and Roel Seeber of the vertical dance group Bandaloop leaped boundlessly off the side of the building during an August show for Oakland’s Art + Soul festival. Set to the tune of William Ryan Fritch’s “Hopeless Romantic,” a newly-published GoPro video of the dance captures Rudolph and Seeber gracefully flipping and twirling through the air.

    “They say what we do is death-defying. I’d say it’s life-affirming,” says Rudolph, Bandaloop’s founder and artistic director, on the troupe’s website.

    Watch Rudolph and Seeber defy gravity above, and check out more mesmerizing performances at Bandaloop.org.

    h/t: Laughing Squid

  • VIDEO: Paralysed father 'walks' at wedding
    A wheelchair-bound father was able to stand up to deliver his speech at his daughter’s wedding celebration thanks to a special robotic suit.
  • Netflix Deliberately Ruins A Lot Of Good TV And Movies
    Netflix thinks that in this new era of television, spoilers matter less than they used to. In fact, the company has created an entire site that gives away major plot twists of some popular and classic movies and TV shows.

    We’re talking major. You know that part in the second season of “House of Cards” that you didn’t see coming? Yeah, that’s in there. The really sad ending of “Old Yeller?” That’s in there too. Spoilers from “Rocky,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Hunger Games” and “Good Morning Vietnam” are also included.

    You do have to click a few times to see the spoiler, but don’t say you weren’t warned.

    Netflix’s “Living With Spoilers” site, which also includes a flow chart that identifies what kind of spoiler you are, is part of a promotion the company is running just as the fall TV season kicks off. Netflix also commissioned a survey about people’s changing attitudes around TV and found that people care less about spoilers — either giving them away, or learning about them — than they used to.

    netflix spoiler

    According to the survey, about 1 in 5 Americans say it’s OK to share a plot twist right after they see it, and a full 94 percent say that they don’t want to stop watching a TV series even if they hear a spoiler.

    “In the old days spoilers would just extinguish a show and you wouldn’t watch it,” Grant McCracken, a cultural anthropologist Netflix hired to spend time with consumers and study how they watch TV, said in an interview with The Huffington Post. “These days, spoilers can actually end up recruiting for the show. They send you a message that it’s really good — that people really care about it and that you might want to watch it too.”

    Thirteen percent of people surveyed said they become more interested to watch a show they weren’t going to watch if they hear a spoiler, though 54 percent still said that if people are talking about plot twists, they should use some sort of coded language.

    Netflix, which unlike traditional TV can be streamed anytime and almost anywhere, takes some of the credit for the shift, and the company’s programming boss said that the conversation around spoilers changed when it released the entire second season of the political thriller “House of Cards.” (Spoiler alert, it has a pretty shocking scene in the first episode.)

    “When we premiered all episodes of our series at once across the world, it created a new dynamic around spoilers,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said in a statement announcing the survey results. “After Season 2 of ‘House of Cards’ launched there was a definite shift in the social conversation about a key plot twist in episode one; that was the moment everything changed.”

    The results of Netflix’s online survey, which was conducted in the U.S. last month by market researcher Harris Interactive, come as television viewing habits are undergoing a massive shift, due in large part to services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Hulu, HBO Go and YouTube. The time consumers spend each month watching video on the Internet is up 64 percent this year, according to Nielsen. (Nielsen bought Harris Interactive earlier this year.)

    Observers consider television to be in a “new golden age.” Our TVs, tablets and desktops are teeming with an abundance of good programming from more than just traditional cable and network TV, thanks in part to technology and services that allow us to watch on our own terms. Netflix and other streaming services are spending more money on original programming, and they’re more often releasing a season’s episodes all at one time to let consumers binge-watch an entire show in one weekend. Amazon will release all episodes of “Transparent,” a new comedy-drama starring Jeffrey Tambor, to its Amazon Prime members on Friday.

    Another study last year, also commissioned by Netflix and interpreted by McCracken, found that the majority of people who stream binge-watch, and they don’t feel bad about it.

    Netflix, which is already available in over 40 countries around the world, is in the midst of an aggressive expansion into Europe. The company began operating in France, Germany and four more European countries last week.

  • YouTube Star Sam Pepper Attempts To 'Prank' Women By Grabbing Their Butts
    There’s a (big) difference between a prank and assault, but this YouTube star seems to have confused the two.

    Sam Pepper, a British YouTube celebrity with a following of over 2 million, posted a video on Sept. 20 where he walks around grabbing unsuspecting women’s butts and films their reactions. The public outcry for the clip to be taken down was so loud that YouTube removed the video this morning.

    Pepper is famous for his outrageous YouTube prank videos, however this one not only confused but angered many of his fans and a large portion of the Internet.

    The video features Pepper walking up to five different women, starting a conversation and then pinching their butts when they look away. It’s painful to watch as these women awkwardly laugh off Pepper’s “prank” and walk away, violated and confused. As one YouTube commenter wrote, “Literally the first girl said ‘I don’t like that.’ Line crossed.”

    The video has received so much negative feedback that people have been reporting the clip to YouTube asking for it to be taken down since it was posted this past Saturday. The hashtag #ReportSamPepper, created by 19-year-old Tumblr user Kara, has been populating Twitter the past few days — and, thankfully, YouTube listened.

    #reportsampepper because calling it a “prank” does not make it ok to go around and sexually harass women

    — gomezz (@flavorgomez) September 22, 2014

    With a Pepper comes assault. #ReportSamPepper

    — mamrie hart (@mametown) September 21, 2014

    #reportsampepper because no woman should ever have to be touched without consent

    — sarah (@sarahmicheled) September 22, 2014

    #reportsampepper just bc you label it as a “prank” doesn’t excuse the fact that you’re sexually harassing women.

    — ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ (@msftxbieber) September 22, 2014

    Reminder: Everything online is edited! Just because someone is seen laughing doesn’t mean they aren’t screaming internally! #reportsampepper

    — Liam Dryden (@LiamDrydenEtc) September 21, 2014

    #reportsampepper bc having a million subscribers on YouTube does not give you a free pass to grope girls and call it a “prank”

    — elita // sept 25th (@woahmerrygold) September 21, 2014

    Sexual harassment is not a joke, and women’s bodies are not there for your amusement and video views. #reportsampepper

    — Daisy (@_daisyporter) September 21, 2014

    #ReportSamPepper because he thinks its okay to objectify women

    — Brad(◡﹏◡✿) (@breastblackery) September 21, 2014

    Many of Pepper’s fellow YouTube stars have denounced his behavior, including Laci Green, Tyler Oakley, Hannah Hart, Hank Green and Charlie McDonnell. Hank Green, one of the founders of the national conference for online video creators called VidCon, also took to Twitter to voice his outrage:

    For people asking, it’s safe to assume that people who sexually assault women in “prank” videos will not be welcome at future VidCons.

    — Hank Green (@hankgreen) September 21, 2014

    Sex positive vlogger Laci Green weighed in on the controversy, writing an open letter to Pepper on Sept. 21 on Tumblr:

    We are deeply disturbed by this trend and would like to ask you, from one creator to another, to please stop. Please stop violating women and making them uncomfortable on the street for views. Please stop physically restraining them and pressuring them to be sexual when they are uncomfortable. Please show some respect for women’s right to their own bodies. While it may seem like harmless fun, a simple prank, or a “social experiment”, these videos encourage millions of young men and women to see this violation as a normal way to interact with women. One in six young women (real life ones, just like the ones in your video) are sexually assaulted, and sadly, videos like these will only further increase those numbers.

    And Tyler Oakley, an LGBTQ advocate with over 5 million YouTube followers, took to Twitter as well, stating:

    Saddened by @sampepper‘s new video. Sexually harassing women is vile to begin with, but normalizing it by calling it a prank? So harmful.

    — Tyler Oakley (@tyleroakley) September 21, 2014

    The Huffington Post reached out to Sam Pepper and YouTube for comment but did not receive a response from either at the time of publication.

    The bottom line? Sexism and assault disguised as humor is still sexism and assault.

    satcanniversary
    satcanniversary
    satcanniversary

    [h/t Kinja]

  • Announcing My Boldest Mission Yet

    I’m writing to tell you about the boldest XPRIZE I’ve ever launched.

    …and I want you involved.

    There are nearly one billion illiterate people on Earth.

    Two-thirds of them are women; 250 million of them are children.

    These are kids who can’t read, write or do basic math.

    And there is a huge cost to society here: 250 million minds are going to waste.

    We know from hard research that educated populations have lower growth rates, are more peaceful and add to the global economy.

    The best way to create a more peaceful and prosperous world is to educate these kids.

    But how?

    To meet the demand of 250 million illiterate children would require training over 1.6 million new teachers by 2015.

    There is no way to teach enough teachers and build enough schools.

    The old way just doesn’t scale.

    It’s time to stop thinking linearly…

    So here’s a solution. It’s the most important XPRIZE we may ever launch.

    It’s called the $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE.

    We are challenging hundreds (perhaps thousands) of teams around the world to build a piece of software that can take a child from illiteracy to reading, writing and numeracy in just 18 months.

    Imagine such software preloaded onto every phone and every tablet.

    Imagine software that incorporates A.I. as the facilitator — providing on-demand, personalized knowledge and learning when and where it is needed.

    This isn’t designed to replace teachers. It’s to create an educational solution where little or none exists.

    If there was one tool to create a more peaceful and vibrant world, one tool to empower humanity, this would be it.

    I want to urge you to check out this XPRIZE and get involved.

    Do you have kids? Nieces, nephews, younger siblings?

    Would you like access to the most powerful learning software ever created for your local elementary school?

    If you do, then get involved and get access. Please check it out here.

    This may be the most important and bold issue I’ve ever attempted to tackle.

    Join XPRIZE in this mission. Let’s Change the World!

  • Be My Friend: The Staggering Number of Young People's Cell Phone Contacts

    After her six year-old flip phone had lost keys and was literally falling apart, my parsimonious and independent 20-something daughter finally agreed to let me get her a new one. It seemed to be taking forever to transfer the data from her old phone to her new one. Finally, she asked the Verizon salesman what was going on. “Well,” he said, “It does take some time to transfer all of your 623 contacts.” 623 contacts! Really? My daughter was nonplussed. “That has to be wrong, “she said. But later she checked. There were 623 contacts. Then it was my turn to be nonplussed. I only have 62.

    It may be that the number of contacts on my daughter’s phone is quite average, but there’s an awful lot of variability. A survey in 2011 by the Pew Research Internet Project found that “the average cell phone user has 664 social ties,” but a survey done the same year in Great Britain found that the average person had 152 mobile phone contacts.

    In a very un-scientific poll with a very un-representative sample, I asked my class of thirty college seniors to take out their cell phones and write down for me the number of contacts they had. While there was some variation in the distribution, the class average was 485. That’s a lot of contacts.

    I wondered if the larger number of contacts had more to do more with the ever-greater proliferation of cell phones in the past few years (according to Pew, 53 percent of American adults had a cell phone in 2011 and last year that percentage had grown to 97 percent) or with the age of the respondents (Pew reported last year a staggering 78% of American teens owned a cell phone, a far higher concentration in a ten year age bracket than other brackets).

    But what’s even more interesting than the numbers of kids with phones or the numbers of contacts they have are the reasons young people give for having and retaining them.

    One of my students mused that many of the contacts on her cell phone were the numbers of people who had been friends in middle school or at camp. “It’s not like I’m in touch with them anymore or would even call them,” she said, “but I won’t delete them. It’s a part of my history. It would be like deleting my past.”

    Another student suggested that the number of contacts on her phone could be thought of as a measure of social success. “They’re not all close friends,” she said, “but they all are people I know.”

    But the number of cell phone contacts can also reflect social awkwardness in a few ways. “There are the numbers of women I once dated, or wanted to date,” stated one of my male students. Then he hurridly admitted, “it’s mostly women I wanted to date or dated just a couple of times. There aren’t actually a lot of them.” Why does he keep them on his cell phone? “I’m not sure, maybe to remind me of my own social ineptitude” he said, sheepishly.

    The number of cell phone contacts has also been used as a measure of something — it’s not clear just what – by respondents to a poll sponsored by Socialanxietysupport.com. The majority in this poll reported having fewer than 20 contacts. So my student was certainly not alone in talking about the number of his contacts as a metric of social difficulty.

    Once upon a time, when these college students were younger, many of them took measure of their social status by their AOL Instant Messenger Buddy List. Complete with its own jargon, spellings, emoticons and the ubiquitous door slam sound, many pre-teens delighted in adding to, categorizing and comparing the number of friends on their lists. Today you can find innumerable online reminiscences by 20somethings reflecting on AIM or MSN Messenger were seminal social experiences of their (earlier) youth. These technologies got supplanted by Facebook, and soon young people began posting, discussing and comparing the numbers of their “Facebook friends.”

    But what all of this makes me wonder is whether preteens and adolescents have a different sense of what it means to call someone a “friend” and how friendships get referenced, maintained and sustained through their media technologies. The often quoted research by Robin Dunbar suggests that humans have the capacity to have about 150 meaningful relationships. But when a young person reports a few hundred Facebook friends, or says that she or he has over 600 cell phone contacts, does he or she really mean that these are “friends,” someone with whom they have a meaningful relationship? Probably not.

    In a pair of studies reported in Psychology Today, researchers found that young people tended to rank the Facebook profiles of those with larger numbers of Facebook friends (over 300) as less appealing than those who had fewer. The researchers speculated that students viewed those with more Facebook friends as people who spend too much time in the cyber world and not able to make real face-to-face connections.

    And danah boyd has concluded in her significant research about how teens use media to navigate, reinforce and maintain friendships and determine social hierarchies that while social media have given teens other ways to reach out to others, especially outside of school, that the friendship groups made in school are still the most profound.

    “Part of what makes the negotiation of Friendship on social networksites tricky is that it’s deeply connected to participant’s offline social life,” she suggests.

    “Their choice of friends online is not a set of arbitrary personal decisions; each choice has the potential to complicate relationships with friends, colleagues, schoolmates, and lovers. Social network sites are not digital spaces disconnected from other social venues — it is a modeling of one aspect of participants’ social worlds and that model is evaluated in other social contexts.”

    So what does having 623 cell phone contacts mean? “Probably that it’s time to reevaluate ” says my daughter.

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