Listen to This Podcast About Teens and Technology

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Image: Courtesy of the Podglomerate

As a parent raising a kid in The Time of the Screens, I am often trying to strike that balance between allowing him to explore age-appropriate technology while also determining how much is too much.

Just last night, as we were leaving my son’s karate class, he began complaining that all his little karate buddies bring their Nintendo Switches with them to play before training starts and he is the only one who isn’t allowed to bring it. Without hesitation, I dove right into one of my favorite (i.e., annoying) lectures:

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“I am not the parent of those other kids; I’m the parent of you,” I began. “It’s my job to raise you to be able to function in the world, and a big part of life is about waiting. You have to be able to wait for five minutes for something to start without having a screen in your face.”

I was missing the point, he told me: “It’s not that I can’t wait; it’s that I feel left out.”

Oh. The answer was still no, but it was a reminder for me that kids view screens less as a distraction from real life and more as a way to bond with each other.

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We are raising a generation of kids who are using devices and connecting with each other through technology in a way we didn’t—and in some ways, still don’t—experience. So when I heard about a new podcast called “Their Own Devices” with the tagline “MTV Parents Raising YouTube Kids,” I knew I had to check it out.

The show is hosted by Marc Groman (a former White House tech and privacy adviser) and David Reitman (an adolescent medical physician), who are married and raising their teenage son. They dive into topics like social media, screen time, online gaming and privacy—and they interview other parents, experts and actual teenagers.

Marc says he and David have studied these issues as professionals but now they’re experiencing them from a personal angle with their own son. They created the podcast to share their expertise and experiences with a broader audience.

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“I have worked on some of the most challenging and high-profile privacy and cyber security issues facing society today,” he says. “David speaks with teens and their parents every day about social media, gaming, sleep deprivation, anxiety, sexting, and a wide range of issues large and small. We know the issues. We understand the tech. We’ve given advice hundreds of times to others. And then one day, it’s our kid with the smartphone, game console, laptop and social media. Suddenly, we saw the issues from a different perspective.”

In the very first episode, which was released in November (new episodes are available each Thursday), I learned a few things from 17-year-old Athena that blew my mind.

1. All about the “finsta”

A finsta is a fake Instagram account; teens often have their regular Instagram account that their parents know about and then a secret “finsta” account where they post totally different content. Athena says all of her 100 finsta followers are also finsta accounts themselves. But, she says, the stuff posted to finstas isn’t necessarily bad.

“I think that’s where things start to get a little bit twisted,” she says on the show. “Cause a lot of times parents think whatever my kid is hiding from me must be harmful or bad, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s just for privacy or it’s just, ‘You wouldn’t understand this so I’m going to hide it from you.’”

2. Teens don’t exchange phone numbers anymore

“What’s your phone number?” has apparently been replaced by “What’s your ‘snapcode’?” Athena said teens don’t text much; they message each other through apps like Snapchat instead because “it’s way easier.” The main exception? Her parents. “Every time I try and teach them how to use Snapchat, it does not work. At all.”

3. They get burned out on social media, too

Every last picture in her feed is so heavily edited and “perfected” with filters, Athena says, and kids know how to pose juuust right for the most flattering look that sometimes, she needs a break from the un-reality of it. In fact, for the past year, she’s restricted her own social media use by not scrolling through her feeds first thing in the morning.

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“I would see pictures of the night before, people doing their own thing, and they always look really happy … and (I) wouldn’t be there,” she says in the interview. “And it’s like, oh, well that’s annoying. And it would just put me in a terrible mood.”

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The New McLaren 720S Spider Supercar, Unveiled This Week, Might Be The Coolest Car Ever Created

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McLaren 720S Spider Supercar Specs Pics

McLaren

McLaren, you have done it again. Forget every other car James Bond has ever driven. This new McLaren 720S Spider supercar is what 007 should be driving in his next movie.

Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not a clean-cut win for coolest car ever by McLaren. The new Lamborghini Aventador SVJ is pretty amazing too. So is the new Aston Martin DBS Superleggera (if Bond absolutely has to drive an Aston Martin, it should be this one). And this custom Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign is one of the most beautiful cars you will ever see.

But coolest car? I have to go with the McLaren 720S Spider.

Why? Glad you asked.

First off, take a look at this GIF of the electrochromic glass that turns opaque at the touch of a button on the 720S Spider.

That… is awesome.

Here are some other good reasons…

• Light, stiff and extremely strong Monocage II-S carbon fibre core features integrated rollover protection structure (ROPS); needs no additional strengthening over Coupé, ensuring a convertible without compromise and guaranteeing exceptional dynamic agility

• Bespoke carbon fibre body structure and new Retractable Hard Top (RHT) support a lightest dry weight of 2,937lbs – lightest in class at just 108lbs more than the 720S Coupé and 194lbs less than the dry weight of its closest competitor

• Unparalleled visibility due to unique, glazed flying buttresses that also accentuate aerodynamic purity of design and increase downforce

• Patented new carbon fibre roof system is electrically actuated and delivers fastest-operating time in the supercar class, lowering or raising in 11 seconds at vehicle speeds of up to 31mph

• Retractable Hard Top is available glazed with an electrochromic glass panel that can rapidly switch between tinted and transparent states

• 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged McLaren V8 engine produces 710 bhp and 568lb ft of torque, with a power-to-weight ratio for 720S Spider at lightest dry weight of 533 bhp/ton

• Acceleration from 0-60mph is same as 720S Coupé at 2.8 seconds; 0-124mph in 7.9 seconds; maximum speed with roof raised 212mph – roof lowered 202mph

• Active rear spoiler aerodynamics automatically tuned to closed- or open-roof driving

The best part? It might just be the price as they start at just $315,000, instead of the usual million–dollars-plus price tag we always see for new supercars.

Oh, and it’s also freaking gorgeous. Gimme.

McLaren 720S Spider Supercar Specs Pics

McLaren

McLaren 720S Spider Supercar Specs Pics

McLaren

McLaren 720S Spider Supercar Specs Pics

McLaren

McLaren 720S Spider Supercar Specs Pics

McLaren

McLaren 720S Spider Supercar Specs Pics

McLaren

McLaren 720S Spider Supercar Specs Pics

McLaren

McLaren 720S Spider Supercar Specs Pics

McLaren

McLaren 720S Spider Supercar Specs Pics

McLaren

McLaren 720S Spider Supercar Specs Pics

McLaren

McLaren 720S Spider Supercar Specs Pics

McLaren

McLaren 720S Spider Supercar Specs Pics

McLaren

McLaren 720S Spider Supercar Specs Pics

McLaren

McLaren 720S Spider Supercar Specs Pics

McLaren

McLaren 720S Spider Supercar Specs Pics

McLaren

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How to Stop Hating the Holiday Season

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We are deep in what may be the most stressful time of the year—and that’s for people who like the holidays. The travel, the expense, the family dynamics: end of the year celebrations can make a Grinch out of anyone. Here’s how you can get into the holiday spirit without being taught a lesson by various ghosts.

Like many things in life, I think the holidays are something that demand you put work into them if you want to get anything back. If you really don’t want to do that work, my hat’s off to you. But if you’ve just found yourself in a rut, and you are uninspired, here are some tips for learning to enjoy the rest of your year.

Have A Clear Beginning

For me, a lot of Christmas and New Year’s stuff is ceremonial. I’m acknowledging family, friends, a year of accomplishments, and new beginnings through the same old archaic behaviors. Yes, it’s basic, but it was also hard wired into my brain at a young age that the smell of pine and tree lights means a period of joy and peace—until the fights over dinner begin.

In years when I didn’t observe the ceremonies early, the spirit didn’t come; on the day of gorging and gift-giving, it still wasn’t there. Make it a point to get in touch with the things that bring up warm memories or bring you pleasure during this time of year. Lifehacker staff shared the ways they slip into the season: visit your decorated downtown, make cocoa and add some peppermint oil, visit the neighborhood where everyone covers their homes in Christmas swag, go places that play Christmas music, put up the tree, watch the Hallmark channel. Let your brain know it is time.

Survive The Parties With Alone Time

There is a horrific amount of socializing around the holidays, which is hard for many. If you love them, you probably have your own strategies for getting through work parties and obligatory festivities with as much good cheer as the occasion demands. For everyone else: drink less than you think you need to, give yourself permission to leave whenever you need to, and make sure you schedule a night at home alone somewhere in there to rest, relax and recharge for the next round.

Having time to yourself will make the activity and gatherings easier to take. It’s easy to get caught up in the social whirl, and part of the reason you’re being a Scrooge might be simply exhaustion. Check in with yourself physically and mentally. You might not hate the holidays! You just need a nap.

Plan Things With Friends

Let’s face it, the most difficult part of the holidays can be your family. How much you can avoid unpleasant dynamics may not be up to you—or you don’t think it is. So be sure to also plan things with people you like, if that doesn’t include the folks you’re related to. Even if you love your family and they’re perfect, friends may celebrate differently. One writer says friend plans are a huge part of her end of the year ceremonies:

Before December hits, my various friends groups and I start planning dinners for each weekend in December, either at my house or theirs. I love it. It’s more Christmassy than anything I do with my family because we’re all committed to having one hurrah before we move into the new year.

Get Gifts Ahead Of Time

I am a panic shopper, which means I end up spending way too much money on the wrong stuff every year. I may never learn, but it’s very true that if you get presents ahead of time, you’re much less likely to be stressed out. Do yourself a favor and make that naughty and nice list very early. Heck, wrap those gifts on Black Friday. You’ll be cool as a cucumber on Christmas morning.

Plan Stuff For The Lull

For me, one of the hardest parts of the whole shebang is that quiet time between Christmas and New Year’s Eve because I’m a maniac who loves constant activity. That week always sends me into a spiral—people are out of town, in food comas, and everything’s closed. That’s how it seems anyway, but if you make an effort to find events and stuff to do, you can avoid that depression dip that some (ahem) dread. Go ice skating, to a museum, an exercise class, or a movie marathon. Just find a reason to leave the house and remind yourself the year isn’t quite over yet.

Take It Out Of Town

Maybe your best bet is to just avoid the usual holiday hullabaloo all together and get away. Rent a little cabin, go to an island somewhere it’s warm enough to wear a bikini; even taking a night off can make the time feel like it belongs to you again, as one staffer shared:

My boyfriend and I have a Christmas tradition where we get a hotel downtown for one night a few weeks before Christmas. There’s usually a nice tree in the lobby and downtown is nice and decorated, and we get to enjoy some stress-free holiday time alone together before things get all Christmas crazy.

Do Something For Someone Else

Okay, you’ve tried it all and you still hate everything that happens from the end of November through January. Fair enough! There’s clearly a market for all these Grinch reboots. But that doesn’t mean it all has to be a total wash: instead of sulking at home, do something for someone else. Volunteer, donate, give your time and money to people who need it. It might not make you feel better, but it will spread a little holiday cheer for someone else.

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Bees with tiny sensor backpacks could help farmers track crops

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Mark Stone/University of Washington

Farmers can use drones to monitor their fields, but they have their limits when they can rarely fly for more than 20 to 30 minutes at a time. University of Washington researchers might have a smarter way: recruit some insect friends. They’ve developed sensor backpacks that are light enough (about 0.0035 ounces) and efficient enough to ride on a bumblebee, but capable enough to collect data for seven hours at a time over relatively long distances. You wouldn’t have to replace packs very often, either, as they could just fly into their hives to wirelessly recharge and transmit data.

The trick was to find a way to track the bees’ locations without using power-hungry GPS. Instead, they set up multiple broadcasting antennas and had the bee’s pack triangulate positions based on signal strength and the angle difference. The insects would send their data using backscatter, or reflecting radio waves from nearby antennas.

The example backpacks can only store about 30Kb of data, limiting them to collecting basic info like humidity, light and temperature. And you can’t control them like you would a drone. The scientists hope to craft more elaborate data gathering technology (including live data), however, and they could tell backpacks to only collect data when the bees fly into certain areas. Eventually, you could see farms where bees are continuously checking on crops, noticing things that high-flying drones can’t — and without the noise of their machine counterparts.

Insane prices in the art market make art forgery a potentially high-profit business. So how do art buyers tell real undiscovered artworks from fakes? To analyze and identify forgeries, experts must apply their knowledge of art history, plus the science behind the materials and techniques of artists. In the video above, forensic scientist Thiago Piwowarczyk and art historian Jeffrey Taylor show Wired how they identified a forgery of Jackson Pollack’s drip paintings (which are actually famously hard to forge).

The signs of a forgery can take many forms. The marks of the Pollack forgery include:

  • Factual errors in an accompanying document
  • Signs of painting techniques that don’t match Pollack’s style
  • A stapled canvas, uncommon during the period
  • Chemicals that indicate faked “aging” of the canvas

That’s just a sample of the errors riddling this sloppy forgery. Watch the video to see what else Piwowarczyk and Taylor caught as they analyzed the painting.

(via Kottke)

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Use the 10/10/10 Rule Before Making a Decision 

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What’s your favorite mental hack? How do you trick your dumb human brain into doing its job right? Hacker News, a forum for people too nerdy for Reddit, traded their favorite tricks in a thread started by simonswords82. Here are the best.

Simon names a few tricks used by the chairman of their corporate board. One is the 10/10/10 rule: Before making a decision, he considers how he’ll feel about this decision in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years. This, says Simon, helps the chairman look past present circumstances and consider long-term consequences.

Manage your thoughts and feelings

Hacker News member cdicelico names “suspension of judgment” and “suspension of value judgments”: When your opinion of something is dictating your mood, thoughts, or actions, interrogate that opinion. Can you downgrade it from a value judgement (“this is bad”) to a feeling (“I feel this way about this”), or to no opinion at all? (Personally, I’ve found this method essential during brainstorming, when other people’s great ideas can sound bad at first glance or before further development.)

“If I’m getting upset, I’m probably wrong.” That’s nothrabannosir’s mantra. “It’s a specific kind of feeling, when my brain starts protecting itself against information that proves me wrong.” But he checks for it any time he has a flare of anger. “I find it hard, and I wish I could say it gets easier, but it doesn’t. It sucks being wrong, and it’s humiliating.”

Control your habits

“Utilize laziness,” says sanj. “I don’t install Facebook on my phone; I have to use the crappier web version. I block Reddit on my laptop, so I have to use my phone. Just by making stuff not ubiquitous, you add a little mental friction to using it that dissuades its usage.”

Member jjclarkson has a small card in their office listing eight tactics and systems for productivity, including “always be knolling.” Knolling is a simple organization habit, as described by artist Tom Sachs:

  1. Scan your environment for materials, tools, books, music, etc. which are not in use.
  2. Put away everything not in use. If you aren’t sure, leave it out.
  3. Group all ‘like’ objects.
  4. Align or square all objects to either the surface they rest on, or the studio itself.

Stevenkovar has advice on overcommitting: “Default to ‘no.’ Simple math: if you say no to almost everything, you are free to say yes to the really important things. This is a skill you can practice and get better at. This is more specific to deals and opportunities than spending time with colleagues, friends, and family. However, if you find yourself constantly in meetings or going out, start saying ‘no’ until it feels special each time, or you get home feeling energized instead of drained.”

Get things done

HN member Insanity names one of the simplest, most fundamental hacks: when they have so much to do that they don’t know where to start, they write down a to-do list on a piece of paper. This is an extremely common tactic among the successful people we interview on Lifehacker. Most productive people can’t hold all their tasks in their head, but most days you don’t need a complicated to-do app to track all your tasks. A paper list can’t distract you with bells and whistles.

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Dboreham adds: “Write down what you have done. It can be (for me) hard to remember, giving rise to the mistaken feeling that you’ve achieved nothing.”

Bsaul has another simple productivity tip: “Whenever you can’t motivate yourself to start working on something, think about the smallest thing you can perform and make it your only goal for the day.” You’ll make the project feel less scary, and you’ll usually accomplish a lot more than that small goal. But even if that’s all you get done, it’s way better than doing nothing because you’re intimidated.

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Of course, you can also build out more elaborate to-do lists. But here’s how to keep those lists doable, instead of further intimidating yourself with all you need to accomplish. According to HN member beat: “Never ever write down a ‘task’ that cannot realistically be done in a single sitting of work. If you can’t do it in an afternoon at worst, it’s not a task, and needs [to be] broken down further.”

You can read more hacks, plus threads full of people trying to correct each other’s grammar, in the original thread at Hacker News.

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How To Get Started Watch Collecting For Under $3000

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 WATCH ABOVE – Presented by StockX

You got a job, you got a car, and you got a roof over your head. Now it’s time to climb the ladder of success and make an investment in your look.

As a watch-collecting beginner, you’re probably reluctant to double down on a flashy aspirational timepiece like a Rolex GMT or a Patek Philippe. Rather, you’d like to dip your toes into the world of timepiece collecting without fronting to be in the C-Suite when you’re years away from a corner office.

Or, really, any office.

You gotta crawl before you walk, you gotta walk before you run.

BroBible.com

Here’s how to make a calculated investment in your watch collection on StockX without missing a student loan payment.

#1: You have to think like a collector

Are you someone who sees a watch as an investment? What’s your risk tolerance? What’s your position – a short term flip for a quick buck or a long-term hold for accruing value over time? Or are you simply in the game for style and swagger? Do you even know the engineering that go into making good watches great watches? Are you going quartz movement with a battery or mechanical movement timepiece from a trusted watchmaker who’s been keeping tabs on time for generations?

StockX.com is a platform that uses real-time data to educate and empower watch buyers, regardless of the size of their collection. It’s the world’s first true, live ‘bid/ask’ marketplace, where potential buyers can place bids on a timepiece, a sellers place an asking price, and when a bid and ask meet, the transaction just… happens!

Automatically.

#2 Keep your eyes peeled for limited edition releases

Just like sneaker collecting, the more limited edition, the better. But stay woke – Not all limited editions are created equal and most are pure marketing plays that collectors can see right through. You don’t want to end up with the Beanie Babies of timepieces.

It’s also important to know that limited edition drops come in all price ranges, not just in the tens of thousands of dollars.

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For example, G-Shock is consistently releasing new, limited edition timepieces in celebration of the brand’s 35 anniversary this year. These watches tend to sell quick and retain their value. In September 2018, G-Shock released the GLACIER GOLD collection. It’s a modern take celebrating the OG Casio watch that every high school chemistry teacher wore, with a clear, icy clean aesthetic and a gold-tone face.

Here’s another example from the world of digital watches: The sleek, stainless steel G-Shock GMWB5000D-1 hit the market at $500 and sold out quick. A pre-owned version recently resold on StockX for $577 – An 11.5% increase in value on the resellers marketplace.

#3. Don’t be afraid of the staples.

Watch geeks LOVE Seiko watches as entry-level watches for a collection. SEIKO boasts handsome designs, a heavy feel, beautiful movement, and incredible Japanese engineering precision that’s all made in-house – all for a price under $500, new.

Seiko introduced the world’s first quartz-movement watch in 1969. Fun fact: They were also one of three brands to introduce the world’s first automatic chronograph, ref 6139, all the same year, and continues to wow the watch world with products collector’s love.

SEIKO’s PROSPEX watches literally means “Professional Specifications” and are world-renown for some of the best dive watches, complete with more watchmaking firsts – The first titanium case, the first ceramic shroud in a dive watch, the first analog-digital watch, etc.

Also, SEIKO fanboys love to talk about how SEIKO is one of the only watchmakers to manufacture automatic movement watches like high-end dive watches for a low price point. In addition to the SEIKO Prospex, keep your eyes peeled for Coutura, and Presage – These are staples on StockX, with prices fluctuating in value based on the rarity of the release.

The best thing about using StockX, instead of a trip to a jewelry store, is that they’re completely transparent with the pricing on historical sales.

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#4 Yes, You Can Afford A Swiss Heritage Brand

If you’re focused on finding a Swiss-made watch with automatic movement, there are three heritage brands to focus on for building your collection: TAG Heuer, Omega, and Tudor both offer handsome dive watches under the $3,000 price point. In fact, the Tudor Black Bay and the Omega Speedmaster and Seamaster are many-a-collector’s very first foray into owning a four-digit timepiece.

Tudor dive watches have a storied military history, including with some of the very first Navy SEAL Frogmen during the Vietnam War, alongside it’s more expensive cousin, the Rolex Submariner. Also of note: The Omega Seamaster with a blue dial has been James Bond’s watch of-choice dating back to Goldeneye.

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And it’s possible to get one of these iconic pieces of Swiss art on your wrist for around $2500. The beauty of StockX is that you can do it on their bidding system, naming a price for what you’re willing to pay.

All of their pre-owned watches are authenticated by an in-house team of experts, meaning you’re getting an amazing watch in excellent condition that is 100% real and authentic, often for much cheaper than retail.

At the end of the day, the first steps to building a watch collection comes down to personal taste and style.

You wouldn’t spend your money on a stock you don’t like…

Why do it for a watch?

SHOP STOCKX.COM/WATCHES

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Marvel Fans Have Been Begging NASA To Save Tony Stark In Space, NASA Responds With A Solution

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NASA Responds Fans Save Tony Stark

Marvel

Because, why the hell not, fans of Marvel’s Avengers movies have been begging and pleading with NASA to do something to save poor Tony Stark, who is still stuck in space, as evidenced by the first Avengers: End Game trailer that debuted last week.

Considering that almost half of the trailer focuses on poor Iron Man telling his true love Pepper Potts all about how he’s out of food, water, and running short on air, Tony’s plight seems to be kind of important in the grand scheme of the fourth Avengers movie.

Thankfully, this is 2018 and we have the internet, and more importantly, social media, so Marvel fans could inundate the real-life NASA with requests to help.

And because this is 2018 and we have the internet, and more social media, NASA, of course, responded with a solution for Mr. Stark.

“Hey @Marvel, we heard about Tony Stark. As we know, the first thing you should do is listen in mission control for “@Avengers, we have a problem.” But if he can’t communicate, then we recommend ground teams use all resources to scan the skies for your missing man,” NASA wrote on Twitter.

Needless to say, people were very relieved.

This is true. That might help.

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