March 7, 2020

Taking your phone to the toilet could give you coronavirus – especially if you flush

THE SUN
TAKING your phone to the loo could increase your chances of getting coronavirus by transferring old bacteria back onto your hands, experts have said.

COVID-19 can also be spread by flushing the loo, which sprays infected particles into the air and onto nearby surfaces.

Phones could be a breeding ground for the coronavirus, experts have warned, because they will transfer bacteria back onto your hands after you wash them.

Picking up your phone after going to the toilet will transfer the same bacteria as before back onto your hands.

Professor William Keevil, director of the Environmental Healthcare Unit at the University of Southampton, said: “You could be washing your hands, but if you start touching your smartphone and then touch your face that is a potential route of infection.”

Mobile phones are proven to harbour dangerous bacteria and viruses, making them a likely point of contamination.

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March 3, 2020

Coronavirus can survive on your phone for a week

METRO News
Smartphone users are being urged to clean their screens with alcohol wipes twice a day to stop the spread of coronavirus. Researchers claim the killer bug can survive on the flat surface for almost a week unless it is properly disinfected.

Professor William Keevil, from the University of Southampton said: ‘You could be washing your hands, but if you start touching your smartphone screen and then touch your face that is a potential route of infection.’ Another academic, Professor Peter Hall from the University of Waterloo, described smart phones as petri dishes and told people to clean their phones once at lunch and again at dinner time.

The average person picks up their phone 2,600 times a day and uses it around 76 times, according to research by Dscout.

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March 3, 2020

Man sentenced to more than 5 years in prison for harassing families of Parkland victims

ABC12 News
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A California man has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for cyberstalking the families of Parkland, Florida, school shooting victims.

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February 29, 2020

The novel coronavirus can likely live up to 96 hours on phone screens

Quartz
by Katherine Ellen Foley
...
But the virus can also likely live on the surfaces these droplets touch, sometimes for multiple days, says Rudra Channappanavar, an immunologist who has studied coronaviruses at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Glass in particular—like the kind on screen of the smartphone you’re probably reading this on—can harbor live coronaviruses for up to 96 hours, or four days at room temperature.

In theory, it’d be pretty easy to pick up the novel coronavirus from your phone screen. If someone coughed or sneezed near your phone on your morning commute while you were scrolling through social media, you could inadvertently touch that droplet and then touch your nose or mouth.

...
Thankfully, there’s an easy solution: Clean the surfaces around you. Apple recommends cleaning phone surfaces with a microfiber cloth slightly damp with soapy water. You can also use face wipes or baby wipes, or a solution of half water and half rubbing alcohol—just avoid any openings. UV lights will also kill most viruses bacteria on surfaces. If you’re still worried, remember: It can’t hurt to wash your hands more, and touch your face less. Read more here...


February 28, 2020

Coronavirus: Plague Inc. game banned in China

(BBC) A game which challenges players to spread a deadly virus around the world has been banned in China, its makers have said.

Plague Inc. has been pulled from the Chinese app store for including "illegal content", British-based developer Ndemic Creations said.

It added that it is working "very hard" to find a way to reverse the ban.

The bans comes as China continues to battle the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

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December 17, 2019

Tech giants including Tesla and Apple sued after Congolese children die in cobalt mines

(Independent) ‘These companies – the richest companies in the world, these fancy gadget-making companies – have allowed children to be maimed and killed to get their cheap cobalt,’ lawyer alleges.

Some of the biggest names in consumer technology have been accused of being complicit in the deaths of children from the Democratic Republic of Congo who were mining a metal integral to their devices.

Tesla, Apple, Microsoft, Dell and Google‘s parent company Alphabet have been identified in a lawsuit as part of a system of forced labour that 14 families claim led to the death or serious injury of their children.

The children cited in the landmark lawsuit had been put to work to mine cobalt – a metal vital to the production of technologies including smartphones and computers.

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December 16, 2019

Blue light from phones and TVs may not be as disruptive to your sleep as originally thought and night modes could actually confuse the brain

(Daily Mail) 'The common view that blue light has the strongest effect on the clock is misguided', said Dr Tim Brown, from the University of Manchester.

'In fact, the blue colours that are associated with twilight have a weaker effect than white or yellow light of equivalent brightness.'

Dr Brown and his colleagues said natural light during twilight – the period between sundown and night – is blue, so blue light at night was actually more natural.

The common belief is blue light imitates daylight and reduces levels of Melatonin, a hormone which regulates the body clock and is naturally lower by day.

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November 30, 2019

Smartphone use is an addiction for a quarter of youngsters - study shows

Experts find one in four youngsters are using the devices in a way that is consistent with behavioural addiction.

A quarter of children and young people are problematic smartphone users and are using the devices in a way that is consistent with behavioural addiction, research suggests.

The study, by researchers at King College London and published in BMC Psychiatry, analysed 41 studies published since 2011 on smartphone usage and mental health involving more than 40,000 under-20s Read more here...


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