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The Blue light malady from tech gadgets

The light from mobile phones and other tech gadgets can interfere with sleep.

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A mobile user. Wikimedia Commons

Many people like to use their phones, tablets or other gadgets at night before they go to sleep.

However, the light from mobile devices can interfere with sleep. But not all light carries the same risk.

Recent studies have shown that within the light spectrum, blue light can have the worst effect on sleep.

A study in the UK showed that blue light actually can keep sleepy people awake. Tired drivers who were exposed to blue light became as alert as those who drank two cups of coffee.

Blue light filters have been developed for mobile devices to help with sleep issues. Apps are available for Android devices that filter blue light on screens. Updates to the iPhone, iPad and Amazon Fire tablet have added blue light filters.

Twilight App – Android Devices

Twilight is a free app that filters blue light on Android device screens. It can be set to turn on by itself. Or users can turn it on and off when they want.In the app settings, you can change the intensity of the filter, the color and the time the filter turns on and off.

Twilight works across all apps, though some apps may not work fully when Twilight’s filter is on.

There is a YouTube video that explains Twilight use.

Watch this:

Twilight is available free for Android devices in the Google Play store.

Night Shift – iPhone and iPad

Apple updated its operating system for iPhone and iPad earlier this year. Included in the update is Night Shift, a blue light filter.

This feature is available on newer iPhones and iPads, including the iPhone 5s and later, and the iPad Air and later.

Night Shift can be set to turn itself on every night or for the user to turn it on and off as wanted.

To turn on Night Shift automatically every night, go to Settings, then Display, then Brightness and then Night Shift.On the Night Shift settings, move the switch to schedule Night Shift. It can be set for Night Shift to go on and off atspecific times, or at sunset and sunrise.

In Settings you can also adjust the color of the filter.

Night Shift can also be turned on and off in Control Center on the iPhone and iPad. Open Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

The sun and moon icon there identifies Night Shift. Tap it to turn Night Shift on or off at any time.

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Blue Shade – Amazon Fire Tablets

In an update to Fire tablets at the end of last year, Amazon introduced Blue Shade to filter blue light on screens. Blue Shade is available on more recent Fire tablets.

To turn on Blue Shade on a Fire tablet, swipe down from the top of the screen and tap Blue Shade. To adjust the color, go to Settings, then Display and, finally, Blue Shade. (VOA)

References: http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/blue-light-filters/3325898.html

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Most of 2030’s Jobs Haven’t Been Invented Yet

In theory, this kind of online job matching could lead to less bias and discrimination in hiring practices. However, there are potential pitfalls.

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In theory, this kind of online job matching could lead to less bias and discrimination in hiring practices. However, there are potential pitfalls.

More than two-thirds of jobs that today’s college students will have in 11 years haven’t been invented yet.

“Those who plan to work for the next 50 years, they have to have a mindset of like, ‘I’m going to be working and learning and working and learning, and working and learning,’ in order to make a career,” says Rachel Maguire, a research director with the Institute for the Future, which forecasts that 85 percent of the jobs that today’s young people will hold in 2030 don’t exist right now.

The Institute for the Future, a nonprofit that identities emerging trends and their impacts on global society, envisions that by 2030, we’ll be living in a world where artificial assistants help us with almost every task, not unlike the way email tries to finish spelling a word for users today.

Maguire says it will be like having an assistant working alongside you, taking on tasks at which the human brain does not excel.

“For the human, for the people who are digitally literate who are able to take advantage, they’ll be well-positioned to elevate their position, elevate the kind of work they can do, because they’ve got essentially an orchestra of digital technologies that they’re conducting,” she says. “They’re just playing the role of a conductor, but the work’s being done, at least in partnership, with these machines.”

New technology in the next decade is expected to lead to new human-machine partnerships that will make the most of each partner's respective strengths.
New technology in the next decade is expected to lead to new human-machine partnerships that will make the most of each partner’s respective strengths. VOA

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says today’s students will have eight to 10 jobs by the time they are 38.

And they won’t necessarily have to take time away from any one of those jobs for workforce training or to gain additional certifications related to their fields. Instead, they’ll partner with machines for on-the-job learning, wearing an augmented reality headset that will give them the information they need in real-time to get the work done.

“It eliminates the need for people to step away from income generating opportunities to recertify in order to learn a new skill so they can level up and earn more money,” Maguire says. “It gives the opportunity for people to be able to learn those kinds of new skills and demonstrate proficiency in-the-moment at the job.”

Students use virtual reality for an immersive educational experience. VR blocks out the physical world and transports the user to a simulated world. (Courtesy Dell.com)
Students use virtual reality for an immersive educational experience. VR blocks out the physical world and transports the user to a simulated world. (Courtesy Dell.com) VOA

And forget about traditional human resources departments or the daunting task of looking for a job on your own. In the future, the job might come to you.

Potential employers will draw from different data sources, including online business profiles and social media streams, to get a sense of a person and their skill set.

Maquire says there’s already a lot of activity around turning employment into a matchmaking endeavor, using artificial intelligence and deep learning to help the right person and the right job find each other.

In theory, this kind of online job matching could lead to less bias and discrimination in hiring practices. However, there are potential pitfalls.

“We have to be cognizant that the people who are building these tools aren’t informing these tools with their own biases, whether they’re intentional or not,” Maguire says. “These systems will only be as good as the data that feeds them.”

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Which leads Maguire to another point. While she doesn’t want to sound melodramatic or evangelical about emerging technologies, she believes it is critical for the public to get engaged now, rather than sitting back and letting technology happen to them.

“What do we want from these new technological capabilities, and how do we make sure we put in place the social policies and the social systems that will result in what it is we all want?” she says. “I have a deep concern that we’re just kind of sitting back and letting technology tell us what jobs we’ll have and what jobs we won’t have, rather than us figuring out how to apply these technologies to improve the human condition.” (VOA)