ShinyShiny tech roundup: Young should take break from Instagram, warns Nick Clegg


Instagram will encourage teenagers to take breaks after a series of damaging revelations about the social media app, Sir Nick Clegg has announced. Facebook’s PR and policy chief said Instagram would also nudge young users away from images that might harm their mental health and allow parents to supervise their children’s activity. “We can’t change human nature, but we can change our product, which is exactly what we’re doing,” Sir Nick told CNN. Facebook is on the back foot after a former employee leaked internal research showing the social media giant knows it often has a negative impact on teenagers’ wellbeing, particularly regarding body image issues. Telegraph

Emma Baumert admits that when she first put on the high-tech headband she felt silly. “But I also felt so cool wearing it, because I’m such a nerd.” The 24-year-old from Illinois is a member of the USA Bobsled/Skeleton development team. An all-round athlete, she is also a qualified weightlifting coach, and this year gained a masters degree in exercise physiology. The headband she now uses is a neurofeedback or EEG (electroencephalogram) device. Growing in popularity among sports people, they measure the wearer’s brainwaves. As a stressed brain gives off more waves or signals, due to increased electrical activity, the idea is, that, together with meditation, the headbands can help the user train him or herself to be calmer. And then in turn boost their performance. BBC 

Image: Nintendo

Nintendo has officially rolled out its new model of Nintendo Switch, the handheld games console that doubles up as a traditional TV plug in. The Switch OLED, as the name suggests, features a whole new OLED screen, brighter, bigger, and clearer than the original model that launched in 2017.  Since 2017, sales of the Switch have outstripped the GameCube, Wii U and Nintendo 64, totalling nearly 90 million units shipped. The OLED Switch is more than just a new screen: the kickstand which was met with much criticism for being too flimsy has been revamped to be stronger and sturdier, the internal storage has been increased, and the TV dock has had an ethernet port added. Sky News 


Underwater power cables mesmerise brown crabs and cause biological changes which could lead to greater infection risk, scientists have discovered. The cables for offshore renewable energy emit an electromagnetic field that attracts the crabs and causes them to sit still. A study of around 60 brown crabs at the St Abbs Marine Station in the Scottish Borders found higher levels of electromagnetism caused cellular changes in the crabs, affecting blood cells. Alastair Lyndon, from Heriot-Watt University, said: “Underwater cables emit an electromagnetic field. When it’s at a strength of 500 microTeslas and above, which is about 5% of the strength of a fridge door magnet, the crabs seem to be attracted to it and just sit still. That’s not a problem in itself. But if they’re not moving they’re not foraging for food or seeking a mate.” Yahoo!

Arguably the biggest Android 12 feature is Material You, a way of personalizing the user interface design of your smartphone by choosing the colors, icon shapes and more. It sounds like many devices won’t actually have this feature when they upgrade to Android 12 though. In a briefing on ColorOS 12, a version of Android 12 used for Oppo phones and adapted by Oppo from Google’s original software, one of the team discussed how Material You wasn’t part of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Oppo followed this up with a comment to TechRadar saying, “Material You is not with Android 12’s AOSP, so it’s not available to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). We will need to wait until Google confirm when they plan to release it in the code.” Tech Radar 

Chris Price