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Are smartphones actually making us dumb?

Smartphones may be the technological future but are they making us dumber? We look at how phones and computers are affecting our cognitive abilities.

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Are smartphones making us dumber?

If you grew up in the 80’s or the early 90’s, chances are you remember a time before smartphones, before Facebook and before Google. This was a time when restaurant bills required mathematical scribbles for split bills and percentage calculations. It was also a time when phoning a friend required prior organization and access to the wall phone. Whatever your feelings on days gone by, one thing is clear; a lot has changed in 30 years.

Since the dawn of the new millennium, we have seen a technological explosion with cheaper electronics, smarter computers and the introduction of AI technology. Today, just about everyone has a smartphone or mobile device within arms reach. It has hard to grasp just how technologically brilliant these devices are. Primarily they are communication devices, but we all know they are more than that and you can use them for everything from playing at River Belle casino to navigating your way around town.

WHAT PHONES MEAN TO US

When you absentmindedly leave your phone at home or lose your phone for a day, your body goes into a sort of panicked state. The thought of not being contactable, or not being able to contact anyone else creates a physical reaction that leads to higher blood pressure and sometime full-blown panic. When looked at from an outside point of view, we can see that we all use our phones for just about everything we do. Need to split the restaurant bill, just whip out your phone’s calculator or bill app. We put in reminders, schedules, even games to keep us entertained when we have 10 minutes to spare.

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Researchers have discovered that technology and smartphones have created what is termed the “Google Effect”. What this means is that the presence of smartphones physically inhibits mental coding and the ability to recall information.

HOW ARE WE AFFECTED?

Most of us think that we suffer from mental fatigue since our modern jobs require mental input instead of physical input like the generations that came before us. What we are doing in fact is using one small area of our brain while letting technology do the rest. When last did you memorise your entire address book. Can you even recall the phone numbers of your closest friends? Can you navigate to the other side of town without a GPS, or find your way back from a party using image recollection?

Researchers have discovered that technology and smartphones have created what is termed the “Google Effect”. What this means is that the presence of smartphones physically inhibits mental coding and the ability to recall information. We are so used to having something do it for us, we have forgotten how to do it for ourselves. Smartphones have also been linked to decreased brainpower and agitation.

THE WAY FORWARD

Smartphone and software developers are continually looking for new ways to make our lives easier, to improve our user experience and to make our phones do more. It is up to us to decide what we should allow our phones to do and what we should really be doing for ourselves. We blame our busy jobs, our hectic lifestyle and our family stresses for not remembering a friend’s birthday, a special occasion, or forgetting to go past the store. When we choose to use our brain for simple tasks, it forms connections and becomes better at processing information. Try use your phone less and see what happens.

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NEWSMAKERS

Gay, lesbian, bi people more likely to perpetrate or become victims of ‘revenge porn’

The rainbow community is tarnished, with gay, lesbian and bisexual respondents more than twice as likely to admit to taking and threatening to distribute sexual images of another person without their consent. They were also 2.5 times more likely to actually distribute them.

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Gay, lesbian and bisexual people are more likely to perpetrate or become victims of “revenge porn” and other forms of abuse involving sexual photos or videos.

This is according to a study done by researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and first reported by Perth Now.

The researchers polled more than 4,200 people aged 16 to 49, asking them if they’d secretly taken photos or videos of someone, distributed the images, or threatened to do so. Eleven percent (11%) admitted to engaging in some form of image-based sexual abuse over their lifetime.

Behaviors included here are: receiving a consensually-shared nude or sexual selfie and sending it onto others without the subject’s consent; covertly filming or photographing someone without their knowledge; and threatening to share or sharing explicit images of another person — including past sexual partners — in an attempt to embarrass or humiliate others.

Another 9% of the respondents said that they had taken nude or sexual photos or videos of someone without their consent, and 6% admitted to distributing such images. This includes instances where people covertly filmed up women’s skirts or down their blouses.

Interestingly, self-identified victims of these abuses were also more likely to be abusers. And these abusers were also more likely to share images of people they knew, including partners, ex-partners, friends and even relatives, rather than images of strangers.

Men were twice as likely as women to admit to perpetrating revenge porn.

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The rainbow community is tarnished, with gay, lesbian and bisexual respondents more than twice as likely to admit to taking and threatening to distribute sexual images of another person without their consent. They were also 2.5 times more likely to actually distribute them.

Additionally, gay and bisexual men were more likely to engage in such behavior than lesbian or bisexual women.

Governments all over the world are actually already developing/implementing laws pertaining “revenge porn:, even if the success of cases still largely depend on the willingness of victims to go after the perpetrators.

In the Philippines, for instance, there is an existing Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009 (Republic Act 9995) that eyes to prevent the publication, copying and distribution of similar materials that would damage the honor of a person on media platforms.

However, violations to this law continue to increase. Data from the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) Cybercrime division show that in the first three months of 2019 alone, there were already 142 reported cases of violations of RA 9995, a figure surpassing the total 94 cases filed in all of 2018.

For its part, the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) recorded 106 cases in the first two months of the year: 49 in January and 57 in February.

Members of the local LGBTQIA community also make the news for this, including – and more recently – the Vic Fabe scandal.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Traveling with an e-reader or tablet?

Which is better for traveling, a tablet or an e-reader? We go through the pros and cons of each device and which you should consider taking on vacation.

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Photo by Brooke Lark from Unsplash.com

Should you travel with a tablet or e-reader?

In the days before e-readers, travel reading was limited to whatever book you could carry or whatever you could find at the airport bookstore. Today, you can download dozens of books to your e-reader or tablet and take them with you without sacrificing space or weight. But, if you are planning an extended holiday, or even a camping trip, which option is better?

How Much Reading Are You Going To Do?

The thing with e-readers is that they are designed for reading and not much else. Yes, some of the higher range models offer basic web browsing and audio book functions, but that’s where it stops. If you plan on using your device for more than just reading, tablets are the way to go. However, if you just want something to read on, then e-readers are more practical.

SIZE AND WEIGHT

On the whole, e-readers are lighter and smaller than tablets. They are also easier to hold and have a much longer battery life. One charge on an e-book can last you anywhere from two weeks to a month. A tablet will last for two to four days on a charge.

If you just want something to read on, then e-readers are more practical.

EYE COMFORT

Eye comfort is a new buzz phrase that is being thrown around in the mobile tech industry. Researches have realised that the electronic glare of a tablet or smartphone screen can alter your circadian rhythms and make it more difficult for you to fall asleep at night. This is why most monitors and tablets now days come with an eye comfort feature. This is not an issue with e-readers as they use e-ink which and alternate light sources. If you are planning on getting in an hour or two of reading before you sleep, you may want to consider using an e-reader.

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FUNCTIONALITY

When it comes to functionality, tablets cannot be beaten. You can think of a tablet as an oversized smartphone with the same basic functions. Many of the top brands also feature high-end cameras and external add-on features. A tablet can be used for anything from surfing the Internet, to watching movies, playing the online Blackjack Canada has to offer, listening to music, booking your next hotel or playing games while you are stuck in the airport on a long layover. They can even be used as a GPS, for augmented reality walking tours or as a translator device. The e-reader function on your tablet is just one of the many apps available on your device.

OUTDOOR USE

While the technology is certainly improving, most tablets are difficult to use in bright sunlight. Changing the screen mode can help, but you will suffer some eyestrain. This is where e-readers have a huge advantage. They work well in both high and low light conditions and are perfect for the beach as well as the couch.

If you plan on using your device for more than just reading, tablets are the way to go.

CONCLUSION

If you read a lot and if you plan on reading at the pool, on the plane and in bed before you go to sleep, you should consider traveling with an e-reader. It is lighter, easier and more comfortable to read with and it will last weeks on a single charge.

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If you plan on doing some light reading in the airport or at the hotel, then a tablet will do. They are especially handy if you want a large-screen device to watch movies on, play music or look up information on your destination. The only downside is that you will have charge it every few days. We suggest that if you have the space, take both your e-reader and a tablet.

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NEWSMAKERS

Lesbian porn 151% more popularly watched by women when compared to men

Lesbian porn is by far the most popular category of videos viewed by women, according to Pornhub, adding that lesbian porn is in fact it’s 151% more popular with women when compared to men. Filipino women appear to be… more romantic, with more women watching Romantic (233%) and Verified Couples (160%).

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Photo by Oleg Ivanov from Unsplash.com

Lesbian porn is by far the most popular category of videos viewed by women, according to popular porn site Pornhub, which looked into the viewing habits of women to also reveal that lesbian porn is in fact it’s 151% more popular with women when compared to men.

Pornhub looked at the top 20 countries of their site, accounting for 71% of all their women viewers. The site found that women from different parts of the world have different preferences, with categories for their number one choice including: Hentai, Ebony, Anal, Indian, Japanese, Mature and MILF.

Filipino women appear to be… more romantic, with women watching Romantic (233%) and Verified Couples (160%).

In the US, women are 102% more likely to view Ebony videos and 69% more into Interracial. Women in the UK are 474% more likely to view the British category, but they’re also 31% more into Rough Sex. Women in Canada are 36% more into Threesomes, French women are 103% more into Cuckold videos, and Germany women are 165% more into Feet.

Pornhub also analyzed the differences in porn categories between women of different ages. These were their findings:

18 to 24: Hentai (+81%)
25 to 34: Tattooed Women (+32%)
35 to 44: Double Penetration (+29%)
45 to 54: Mature (+39%)
55 to 64: Vintage (+78%)
65+: Handjob (+143%)

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NEWSMAKERS

Over 50% think falling in love online is possible; over 23% believe it’s achievable

56.5% of Grindr users believe they can find love on the dating app. And 25-34-year-olds are the most optimistic about falling in love online, with shared interests the most likely reason to finding love.

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Photo by Yura Fresh from Unsplash.com

Changing demographics?

What does falling in love mean in 2019? For many, it apparently means heading to an app and hoping to find true love with a swipe or a click; and this is even if there are concerns that online dating may not lead to true love and everyone is in danger of losing it.

Comparethemarket.com surveyed over 2,000 adults to see if love really is on the line or if online dating is simply the newest way to find true love.

The survey found 25-34-year-olds to be the most optimistic about falling in love online, with 34% responding “Yes, definitely” to the question “Do you think it’s possible to fall in love through an online dating site/app?”.

Comparatively, only 30% of 16-24-year-olds, 26% of 35-44-year-olds, 18% of 45-54-year-olds and 15% of the over 55 agreed with the statement.

People who use dating apps tied to shared interests, such as music, are the most likely to believe you can definitely fall in love online, with 69% answering the same question with “Yes, definitely”. The next most optimistic app users were: dating services based on religion (65%), Meetic (68%), SpeedDate.com (64%), OkCupid (59%) and Grindr (56.5%).

With dating apps having more and more game-like features, Comparethemarket.com wanted to find out people’s opinions on how this affects the way they approach dating through apps. The survey discovered that only 7% of people say they often treat dating apps like a game and use strategies to ‘win’.

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The question of who treats dating apps like more of a game out of men and women gets slightly different responses depending if you ask men or women! However, they both agree that men are more likely to treat dating apps like a game, with 25% of women and 14% of men agreeing with this statement. Only 8% of men and 6% of women believe women are the most likely to treat online dating as a game.

The most common bad experience with online dating is a boring first date, with 31% of people claiming to have experienced this. 21% of people have had to run away as the date was so bad,  17% felt that their date clearly fancied someone else.
Photo by Gilles Lambert from Unsplash.com

It isn’t all roses, however, as there are also bad experiences from online dating. Almost three in five (59%) people say they’ve had a bad experience of online dating, this could be either while talking to someone on the app/website itself or when meeting them in real life. This breaks down as 56% of men and 61% of women.

Per app, the bad experiences are also different.

People who said they used Meetic (95%) most claimed to have had bad experiences either talking with, or meeting, people from the app, followed by Ashley Madison (91%), dating services based on religion (89%), SpeedDate.com (87%) and dating services based on interest (86%).

Meanwhile, 59% of people who said they used Tinder most claimed to have had bad experiences either talking with, or meeting, people from the app, the fewest out of the sites studied, followed by Match.com (62%), PlentyOfFish (64%), and Bumble (68%)

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The most common bad experience with online dating is a boring first date, with 31% of people claiming to have experienced this. 21% of people have had to run away as the date was so bad,  17% felt that their date clearly fancied someone else. For 17% of respondents, the date ended when the person didn’t turn up or left early, and for 13% it was the classic ‘I spilled wine on my date’.

Men are more likely to be stood up than women for a date made through online platforms with 20% claiming their date didn’t turn up or left early, compared to women’s 14%. Men are also a lot more likely to cause a short date with 17% admitting to spilling wine on their date compared to 10% of women.

From bad pick up lines to fake profiles, this is what people consider to be the worst thing about online and app-based dating.

And with apps now generally accepted as sources of lifelong relationships, more are emerging to respond to niche markets. These include: Hater (which has over 1,000,000 users) that – instead of matching with someone because of shared interests – app that matches people based on shared pet hates; Trek Dating (over 500,000 users), a dedicated app for Trekkies who are looking for love; Tastebuds (over 500,000 users) that matches people based on shared music tastes; Muddy Matches (over 200,000 users), which is for the country boy or girl at heart and don’t want to waste time with city folk; and Farmers only (over 150,000 users) for farmers finding love.

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Technology

Top apps for gentleman’s smartphone

We’ve done our best to seek out the top apps which are perfect for every modern gentleman today.

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Photo by Benjamin Sow from Unsplash.com

Apps have become integral to the daily lives of most people around the world today, with there seemingly being an app for every situation. While most apps are geared to cater for everyone, there are many which gentlemen will find especially useful when installed on their latest high tech smartphones.

Therefore, we’ve done our best to seek out the top apps which are perfect for every modern gentleman today.

Evernote

Evernote is the app of choice for businessmen and gentlemen alike when it comes to wanting to organize and access whatever matters most on demand. It’s an app which allows the user to keep everything in the one place, be it to-do’s, images, audio, web pages and documents. Evernote can also sync with multiple devices, ensuring that not only is information available whenever it’s needed, it’s also kept up to date too. Evernote works for everyday life and business and is the organiser app that every gentleman needs to install.

PartyCasino

All work and no play can be a bad path to follow, so having the brilliant bespoke PartyCasino app installed is the solution of choice in our eyes. These guys are one of the biggest names in the online and mobile casino sectors. PartyCasino has some of the best online slots and table games which everyone can enjoy. The brand also has great blackjack games – a game that is perfect for the modern gentlemen due to its excitement and potential reward.

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Gordon Ramsay Recipes

There’s no doubt that the number of modern men who enjoy cooking has increased dramatically over the last decade or so. With more and more male celebrity chefs popping up on TV screens, it has seemingly inspired a generation to get into the kitchen and more often. Gordon Ramsay is one of the world’s most popular and recognised multi-Michelin starred chefs, and the Gordon Ramsay Recipes app by Pineapple Developers gives the modern gentleman access to some of his finest recipes and cooking guides in an instant.

My Fitness Pal

My Fitness Pal is the all in one fitness app that a lot of men are now using in order to get fitter and to lose weight. There’s been a rise in the number of men who are now hitting the gym or looking to lead a healthier lifestyle and My Fitness Pal is the ideal app for them. Not only does it allow a person to track their fitness levels and work outs in depth, it also acts as a calorie and diet monitor too. Users can for example scan barcodes on food items which will automatically add them to their daily food diary.

Smartphones and the apps that are being installed on them are ever changing as time and technology advances but the four mentioned above are what you should expect to find on a gentleman’s device and one’s that a modern man should be downloading and installing.

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Health & Wellness

The amazing health benefits of using a gaming chair

When you are a frequent gamer, your playing experience shifts from one of seeking comfort to one of demanding comfort. With the long hours that you will spend in front of a screen playing different games, you will feel the pressure mount on your back.

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Gaming has come a long way thanks to the advancements in technology. The population of gamers on the internet today is a lot higher than it has been in previous years. That said, there is quite the technology to support every aspect of gaming, be it diverse games, gaming accessories and peripherals, gaming chairs and tables, to mention a few.

Talking of gaming chairs, could it be that they had more benefits than meet the eye? Here are the fantastic health benefits of using a gaming chair.

Figure 1: GAMING CHAIRS

ADEQUATE NECK SUPPORT

The thing with gaming chairs is that they are made to support a lot more than your rear region, much as a sitting surface is for the comfort of your lower part of the body, you need equal support for the top part. Since gaming chairs have a high-back, your neck gets adequate support. This way, you do not need to worry about getting neck cramps from straining your neck too much.

REDUCE BACK PAIN

When you are a frequent gamer, your playing experience shifts from one of seeking comfort to one of demanding comfort. With the long hours that you will spend in front of a screen playing different games, you will feel the pressure mount on your back. Most people fail to realize that when sited on any surface, a lot of pressure is directed in the rear region, but also on the back.

If you do not get a quality gaming chair like the omega gaming chair, then you may suffer a lot of back pain. A gaming chair will align your back and spinal column in the most comfortable and natural curve position, allowing your weight to balance out evenly across your body. This way, you do not pleasure in gaming at the expense of your back. Remember that your priority is in protecting your spinal column from any harm whatsoever.

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Figure 2: RECLINING CHAIR

BETTER SITTING POSTURE

Posture happens to be a crucial health concern that most people take for granted. Not just in the gaming world, but in other scopes of life, a good sitting posture at all times has an added health advantage. Ideally, the regular chairs, or worse, sitting on the floor when gaming, does not allow for a proper sitting posture. The body will always try to adjust to a position of utmost comfort, even when it means compromising the sitting posture. That said, you will need a gaming chair to help with the posture. Since most gaming chairs are ergonomic, they are customized to adopt a better sitting posture than traditional chairs.

The best bit is that the gaming chairs have a reclining function that allows you to fashion a sitting posture that best suits the angle you want to sit while playing, not to mention, protects your spinal alignment.

FATIGUE PREVENTION

Fatigue in the body is a factor that can not only cause your body to strain but accounts for the stress levels in your body. As a gamer, you may not have the privilege of enjoying social interaction and activities to help with coping with fatigue. Form the different sitting positions, slouching and postures you take up as your play; there is a high likelihood that your body will end up being fatally fatigued. Technically, the crucial body parts like the lower back, neck, shoulders, and even feet, require proper support.

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Without a gaming chair, most of your sitting positions will result in weakly feelings after extensive gaming. With time, muscles in some of your crucial body areas become weak, until you are too fatigued to play effectively and make your moves.

BETTER BLOOD FLOW

Another critical concern is that of proper blood circulation in the body at all times. Most of the health practices people take up, including drinking a lot of water, walking and stretching the body every once in a while, eating proper foods, among others, are all in support of better blood flow in your body.

When playing video games, a lot of time is spent sitting around, without much movement of the body. This means that the body may not enjoy a proper blood flow, especially in parts of the body like the feet, and the head. That said, with a regular chair, you will be exposing your body to the risk of reduction in lower body circulation.  To avoid such issues as dizziness, shortness of breath, among others, you must consider a gaming chair to ease the flow of blood throughout your system. The bottom and sides of a gaming chair are usually made in a way to keep the body in the correct posture that facilitates pumping of the blood to all parts of the body, even the legs.

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