The Best IPad Tips – They Will Benefit You!

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IPads can be great fun for people of all ages. The trick is learning how to use it to its full potential. If you take the time to learn the following tips, you will be able to enjoy it like it is meant to be enjoyed. Keep reading to learn more.

Even though your iPad does not come with a user manual, you can download one for free. Apple has a free PDF on their website containing the User Guide for the iPad. It also comes as an e-book you can read in iBooks, which is a free downloadable app available in the App Store.

Want to put in the Google Calender on the iPad calendar app? Simply navigate to Mail, Contacts, and calendars. You select Other after tapping the Add An Account icon. You will see an icon that says Add CalDAV Account. Tap this to enter your Google information. Click the home button to exit the settings menu and enter your calendar application. Now, you should be ready.

Practice your iPad typing. One of the toughest things to get used to on the iPad is typing on a digital keyboard. It feels weird for most people to start, but you can get used to it with practice. Sit down for a few minutes every day and just type in your favorite word processing program. Soon you’ll feel at home.

Put an end to WiFi connect messages. Tired of being notified every time you stray into a WiFi zone? In the Wi-Fi section of Settings, there is an option to turn off “Ask to Join Networks.” You can still manually join any network, the iPad will just stop notifying you of every time one is in range.

Performing multiple app updates at the same time can slow down your iPad and make it difficult to get anything done. You can alleviate this by pausing apps and forcing them to update one at a time instead of all at once. Tap the icon of the app that is updating to pause it. When one is finished, you can allow another one to finish updating.

It’s fairly easy to grab a quick screenshot on your iPad. Press the Home and Sleep buttons simultaneously. This will take a screenshot and save it with your other pictures.

Let your children play with the iPad. Because the functions run on a touch screen, even small toddlers can have fun with it. This is a great way to introduce the computer to your young children. Watch how they use this tool, and you will be amazed at how quickly they learn on it.

Did you just make a typo? Tap and hold on the misspelled word, choose select and you will have access to a replace function. Tap on replace and a list of suggestions will appear. Select the right spelling and the word will be replaced. If the proper selection does not appear, you will have to use backspace and retype the word.

Learn about how to best protect your personal data. Especially if you have extremely sensitive information on it. It gives you the ability to have all of your specific information completely erased if someone fails to enter the proper password ten times in a consecutive order. This can Ave you from a big headache later on.

You might not think much about the dangers of using the iPad, but you should set the security of your iPad adequately. You have no idea when or where you might misplace your iPad or get separated from it, and it has a lot of personal information on it.

Think about getting a screen protector for you iPad, even if you are not keen on them. Despite its technological marvel, the screen of the iPad still collects fingerprints quickly, sometimes even distorting your view. You can pick up a screen protector for a very reasonable price and it will also help minimize scratching.

There may be many apps that you do not use on an iPad, but you are not allowed to delete some of them. The best thing to do to get them out of your way is to move all of them into a folder. This way, you will only see the one folder icon and not a ton of icons for things you don’t use.

Do you dislike using Google as a search engine on the iPad? Simply try selecting a different search engine. Choose the Settings menu and tap Safari, followed by a tap on Search Engine. Pick another engine you’d prefer. You can use Bing or Yahoo if you don’t like Google.

There are a few easy tricks to keeping your iPad battery life high. Reduce your iPad’s exposure to heat at all times. Keep the brightness down. If you have no need for internet access, enable airplane mode. It also helps to turn Push off. Additionally, you can do things manually, which can achieve the same effect.

Google Maps is a graphic intensive program on many computers, but the iPad handles it perfectly and allows indepth street views. The GUI seems confusing at first, but navigation is straightforward and a red pin designates an area for street view. With this new view, you will be able to get up close and personal with your favorite locations through the iPad.

Make sure that you keep the size of the iPad in mind while you are doing things that seem average to you. For example, many people place mobile phones on the table while they are enjoying a meal, but the iPad is too large for it to be appropriate to do that.

A great way to quickly and efficiently search and locate apps on your iPad is to go to the Home screen and swipe from left to right. When you do this your iPad will display a search box you can use to find any app you want. You can also use this box to search for emails, contacts and calendar items.

Now, you should have a better understanding of what all your iPad can do. There are an unlimited number of things that your iPad is capable of doing if you learn how to make it do them. Keep tinkering with it until you learn about all of the great tricks your iPad can do.

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AI: the $16 trillion wave that will mainly benefit China – PwC

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By 2030, AI will have hit the global economy in a wave of opportunity and transformation, but also of distrust and severe social imbalance, said PwC at a policy forum in London. Chris Middleton listened in.

Global services giant PwC believes that artificial intelligence (AI) will give a $ 15.7 trillion boost to global GDP by 2030. However, the benefits won’t unfold evenly around the world: China will be by far the biggest beneficiary, with 26 percent added to its national GDP by 2030, according to the company.

The predictions were made onstage at the Westminster eForum Keynote Seminar, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics: Innovation, Funding and Policy Priorities, by PwC’s AI practice lead, Rob McArgow. The event took place in London this week and was attended by representatives of UK government, academia, and the business world.

North America will be the next biggest beneficiary, with a 14.5 percent GDP uptick, followed by gains of 10-12 percent by major economies in Europe. Emerging economies will benefit less, so there is a risk of “increased polarisation from the technology”, said McArgow.

The figures came from a study carried out earlier this year.

What about the UK?

So where does Great Britain stand in all this? The good news is that the UK is looking at a £232 billion GDP boost from AI by 2030: a 10 percent increase by current OECD statistics. However, the figures place the UK in the stragglers group and, more seriously, don’t factor in any negative effects of Brexit on the economy.

In October, one forecast suggested that the UK could lose up to 18 percent of its current GDP (or £400 billion) by 2030 in a hard Brexit with no trade deal. If those figures are correct, then the UK economy could shrink by eight percent even with the benefits of AI pouring in, while other economies are forging ahead. No economic study has suggested that UK GDP will gain from a hard Brexit.

But McArgow was undeterred by the ‘B’ word, following the current trend of stressing the need to improve productivity while ignoring the economic cliff. “The application of AI to our workforces, processes, systems, and businesses will provide a huge productivity boost, which as we all know government departments are wrestling with. [Productivity is] one of the big drags on the UK economy,” he continued.

“But in the second half of this phase, we believe that as AI is applied to our products and services, it will allow us to perfect and hyper-personalise them, and in turn, this will drive a significant boost in consumption.”

The two sides are productivity-driven growth and consumption-driven growth, which will lead to this large prize of a £232 billion addition to the economy by 2030.

Regional variations

The AI powerhouses of London, Oxford, and Cambridge, will do better than other parts of the economy, said McArgow.

His statement should be set alongside the recent warning by think tank Future Advocacy that AI and automation will have a severe impact on employment in those parts of the country that have already been hit by a decline in industrial jobs, such as the Midlands and parts of the North of England.

By the early 2030s, we could see up to 30 percent of existing UK jobs becoming highly susceptible to automation, due to technologies such as AI. In real terms, that’s 10 million workers out of our existing workforce.

But this was a familiar message from a dozen or more apocalyptic reports, many of which have ignored AI’s potential to create new types of work and new technology startups. The internet was once credited with a similar ability to decimate employment opportunities. Yet while it is true that many traditional retailers have gone to the wall – including two this week in the UK – unemployment isn’t soaring and new types of business have taken their place.

To his credit, however, McArgow admitted that PwC was mindful of the fact that these headline-grabbing figures fail to give policymakers any granularity, or help business owners to make strategic decisions about workforces, acquisitions, education, or skills.

Read more: Top priest shares ‘The Ten Commandments of A.I.’ for ethical computing

So where are we today really?

The first wave of AI: women worst affected

To fill in the blanks for policymakers, PwC put together another new report two weeks ago. This looked at 29 countries and 200,000 specific jobs in order to explore in much greater detail how AI will transform societies and economies, said McArgow.

“It’s clear from this that there are going to be three distinct waves over the next 12-15 years, of ever-increasing scope and scale,” he explained. “The first wave doesn’t have a dramatic impact, but it does see sectors such as financial services becoming more affected.”

Or at least, no dramatic effect for 50 percent of the population: men. McArgow added:

From a gender perspective, we see in the short term females being more adversely affected and more at risk of having their jobs automated than men.

But this will be a temporary effect, he suggested: “As these waves unfold, as we move on from the assistance of AI in our lives to much more of an augmentation phase and then full autonomy, AI will start to have a dramatic impact in areas such as transportation, and on jobs in that sector. At that point, the gender balance flips and we will see men being more adversely affected than women and more at risk.”

Education and skills will be critical in deciding whether people can find new opportunities in the AI-enhanced economy, said McArgow. “People with higher education levels are far less susceptible to automation than those with lower levels, so clearly there are some big questions that policymakers and business leaders need to wrestle with.”

Read more: Women in AI & IoT: Why it’s vital to Re•Work the gender balance

Cosmopolitan bubbles

Despite these notes of caution, there is an enormous opportunity for the UK to use AI to drive business growth and start solving “really important problems”, said McArgow. “However, when I get outside the cosmopolitan elite bubble that I live in in London and get out there into the regions, I see that a significant proportion of our businesses haven’t even started on this journey yet.

“There are a number of reasons for that. First, there is deep distrust in this technology, often thanks to media tales of dystopia and armageddon, or marketing-fuelled hype. AI isn’t magic, it’s software that is a bit cleverer than before, but it will scale quickly.

“But we have to be able to find a safe, secure, transparent way of unlocking the value in these data sets – a way that the public trusts – to enable us to drive innovation and growth.”

Read more: Prevent malicious use of AI, say Oxford, Cambridge, Yale

Internet of Business says

Wise words. Towards the end of his speech, McArgow observed that there is an “arms race” to stockpile AI technologies around the world and that many countries are approaching the future with a clear vision for the role they can play in it. He shared the example of Dubai and the UAE, where a Minister for AI has been appointed, and touched on the ambition of China, which is automating faster than any other nation on earth.

Japan, too, is investing £161 billion dollars in building a super-smart society: figures that dwarf central investment by the UK, for example.

So one thing is becoming abundantly clear about the UK, especially when it is compared to countries such as China, South Korea, Japan, the US, France, and Germany. Report after report has come to the same basic conclusions: the UK is lagging behind its major competitors and isn’t investing enough, despite the enormous economic opportunity.

More, the UK must ensure that AI, automation, and robotics don’t just benefit the “cosmopolitan elite” described by McArgow by focusing on the few, rather than the many, or by piling up yet more economic gains in London and the South East.

But to achieve these things demands vision, clarity, and strong leadership from the front. And this is where the UK is signally lacking. At the same time, Brexit is undermining any chance of meaningful partnership with our allies, and may yet drive a coach and horses through the prospect of sustained economic growth. That the coach and horses will be driven by 19th Century thinkers and ideological zealots is inevitable.

Despite the UK’s world-class AI expertise and the excellent work being done by many in the sector (see below), responsibility for UK AI policy is now spread across far too many different organisations. Not to mention a government department that already has too much on its plate: the Department for Culture, Media and (as the BBC2 satire W1A brilliantly put it) “for some reason also Sport”.

Perhaps Whitehall could do with a dose of AI to figure out a better approach, before it is too late.

• On the subject of the first wave of AI hitting women’s employment more than men’s, research published today by advocacy group Manyminds reveals that only 27 percent of FTSE 100 board members are women. And at current global rates, pay parity worldwide is 200 years in the future.

Read more: South Korea most automated nation on earth, says report. The UK? Going nowhere


• The eForum debate also included contributions from: Lord Clement-Jones, chairman of the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence; Prof Dame Wendy Hall, joint lead of the government’s AI review; Prof Philip Nelson, chief executive of EPSRC; Rob McCargow, AI programme lead at PwC; Gila Sacks, director of digital and tech policy at the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport; and Sue Daley, techUK’s head of cloud, data, analytics, and AI.

Further reports from the event will be published on Internet of Business.

The post AI: the $ 16 trillion wave that will mainly benefit China – PwC appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

Shareholders likely to see most of AAPL’s repatriated cash, say analysts, with $88B benefit

While taxpayers will welcome the $ 38B tax contribution Apple will make from the $ 245B foreign cash it plans to repatriate, AAPL shareholders are expected to be the biggest beneficiaries.

Analysts expect Apple to spend most of the money in three ways, with shareholders reaping the rewards …

more…

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Baltic Sea marina uses LoRaWAN to benefit from smart street lighting

Baltic sea marina uses smart street lighting via NAS LoRaWAN

Haven Kakumäe, a yacht harbour located in the Western coast of Kopli Gulf in the Baltic Sea region, has used smart lighting through a LoRaWAN network in a bid to gain better control around energy usage and cost efficiency.

The project management team behind the Haven Kakumäe marina in the Estonian capital of Tallinn has been keen to use new technologies and to ensure the sustainable use of resources.

Their use of LoRa technology began in March 2017, and today, all of the port’s luminaires and over 500 metres of the harbour’s breakwater lighting can be controlled remotely through a LoRaWAN network. This uses Luminaire controllers manufactured by industrial automation development company Nordic Automation Systems (NAS), installed on 45 outdoor lamps.

Read more: Philips Lighting looks at city life in 2035

Reducing energy consumption

By using these controllers, NAS executives claim, the company can reduce energy consumption by turning the lights on and off at optimal times. The street lights can be set to go on at specific dates and times, for example, and the technology can monitor light intensity, so that unnecessary lighting is avoided and that lights can be dimmed where appropriate.

The controllers are connected to the LoRaWAN Gateway via radio frequency, and the network server transfers data to the gateway through ethernet, 3G or 4G. The IoT hub platform interprets encrypted data from the end nodes of the LoRAWAN back end. Haven Kakumäe then has the option to connect with external applications via APIs to use the data in third-party systems.

Haven Kakumäe has also installed more than 100 dock electrical and water distribution pedals, which are equipped with the NAS-developed LoRAWAN electricity meter which provides 24-hour access to electricity usage. The marina’s access control systems will also be controlled through the LoRAWAN network so that it can alert management of any possible unauthorized activity.

Read more: Analysis: Connected streetlights illuminate path to smart cities

Illuminating uses of connected tech

Smart lighting has been a huge growth area, but it has mainly been used in cities. Last year, Cardiff Council said it was nearing completion of its deployment of a connected lighting system using LED streetlights technology from Philips Lighting. The council claimed that the lighting system will save it over £750,000 a year and reduce energy use for public lighting by 60 percent.

The concept isn’t new; back in 2015, the UK county of Gloucestershire said it would deploy 55,000 LED streetlights to cover 1,000 square miles of the area. They would be wirelessly connected and managed via Telensa’s PLANet Central Management System.

According to Harshvardhan Chitale, vice chairman and managing director of Philips Lighting India, a division of Dutch consumer electronics company Philips, IoT-driven smart lights will “be the default” in the next five to 10 years.

“Today, when we think of buying a phone, we don’t think of a landline phone. By default, we think of a mobile or a smartphone. We anticipate that over the next five to 10 years – closer to five years – potentially, when people think of upgrading their existing lights or installing new ones, they would install lights or lighting systems which are smart,” Chitale recently told India’s largest independent news service IANS.

NAS claims that Haven Kakumäe’s use of street lights is the first for a marina in Northern Europe.

Read more: Smart streetlights may mean big savings in Cardiff

The post Baltic Sea marina uses LoRaWAN to benefit from smart street lighting appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

Learn How An Iphone Can Benefit You

Are you interested in iphones? Have you always wanted to own an iphone but never had the opportunity to invest time to learning more about how powerful this phone really is? Well look no further, here is one of the most resourceful places on the internet that will inform you about the iphone, and the details surrounding the device.

Among its many terrific uses the iPhone’s tremendous ability to help you learn foreign languages. By downloading applications that offer vocabulary instruction as well as translation assistance in a large number of tongues, you can set yourself on the path to becoming a true citizen of the world.

Use your iPhone as a workout tool. With an armband and one of the many great fitness apps available, you can use your iPhone’s GPS to track your runs, bike routes, walking paths and more. Many of these applications automatically sync your workout information with a website, allowing you to easily track your progress. They can also sync with your favorite social networks.

There is a simple way to delete a lot of text when typing on your iPhone. Start by holding down the delete key. It starts to delete words letter-by-letter and then it will start deleting word-by-word. Holding down this button will help you delete everything on the screen much quicker.

Obtain an app that can change your iPhone into a storage device for music, pictures and videos. You are able to upload videos, music or pictures and text files. Then, you can easily transfer them to any computer via the phone, or just access them directly from the phone itself.

You don’t need to hit the Shift button following the end of a sentence on an iPhone. The phone automatically uses a capital letter for the next word following the space after an ending punctuation mark. You can override this feature by going to Settings, looking under General, and going to Keyboard. Locate Auto-Capitalization and turn it off.

Have you ever wanted to create a playlist when you’re not at your computer? Well, now you can Open the music app and click the “Add Playlist” button. You can then give it a name. After that, you’ll be able to click on individual songs, albums, or artists to add them to your new playlist.

Don’t scribble that phone number you searched for onto a scrap of paper. If you locate a number in Safari that you would like to call, there is no need to use the regular dialer. Just tap on the phone number, instead, and the phone will call it automatically.

Do you need to mark an important email for later? Tap it and choose ‘mark as unread’. This email will then appear as a new message. This is a good way to remind yourself to check an email again, for instance, if you need to download an attached file or call a phone number later.

When you are using the Safari browser on your iPhone, there is no need for you to type in the .com extension in order to reach a site. For instance, if you wish to visit Amazon.com, you only need to type “Amazon” into the address bar to be directed right to the site.

One of the things that you can do to increase your productivity when searching the internet on the iPhone is to get a bigger keyboard by shifting your phone to a horizontal position. This will allow you to see the characters more clearly, if you have trouble viewing them in the vertical mode.

Having trouble finding a specific app over the pages and pages of your iPhone? Try using the “Search iPhone” feature. Simply click your home button once (or twice if you are off of your first screen) to get to the search feature. Then start typing the name of the app you are looking for. This also works for finding a contact, a scheduled meeting and even specific emails.

Reduce your energy usage to extend the life of your iphone battery. Eliminate apps you don’t use. Turn off wireless signals you aren’t using. Reduce screen brightness, unless it is necessary. Always remember to lock it before you put it away. You will need to charge your battery far less.

Use the auto-correct to your benefit by setting your own phrases to the memory. In “Settings”, go to “General”, “Keyboard”, then “Add New Shortcut”. You can add shortcuts to common words and phrases you type by inputting abbreviations or acronyms. When you type in the shortcuts, your iPhone will insert the words or phrases for you.

A great tip if you’re new to using an iphone is to take avantage of its GPS features. Say your car broke down in the middle of nowhere and you need a tow truck to come give you a lift. You can use your iphone to pinpoint where you are.

Turn on character count in your text message settings. Not everyone has an iphone. A simple tweak in the settings will turn on your word count. Leaving the SMS character count visible on your phone will help you be more considerate when texting friends or family without iphones of their own.

You can now watch most of your favorite sports games live with the iphone. Although you are most likely going to have to pay an additional fee, the iphone allows you to watch many of your favorite sporting events live. Keep up with your favorite teams and players with these applications and don’t miss some of the best plays of the season.

Be sure to avoid getting any water on your iphone. One of the biggest causes of destruction to any cell phone is dropping it into water, or getting water spilled on it. To ensure this does not happen to you, you should generally not use or bring your phone into a bathroom and always keep it in a safe place far from liquid sources.

Now that you have a better understanding of the iphone, you should already have your keys in your pocket to rush to the store to make your purchase. Iphones are great devices to have, and they can truly improve your quality of life. Hopefully you’ll realize this, and make your purchase of an iphone sooner than later to see this for yourself.

ABI Research: Applying data analytics to wearables provides further benefit

The application of data analytics to conventional wearable devices adds further benefit to the technology and provides users with actionable information, argues ABI Research.

ABI Research’s report 'Wearable Data Analytics and Business Models' argues there are a number of ways in which data analytics can provide added benefits and additional layer of insight to companies, healthcare professionals, and consumers alike.

Some examples include providing healthcare professionals with anticipatory information on which patients may need instant assistance; and providing consumers, athletes, and workers with an insight into their fitness. These analytical capabilities are provided by a number of companies including Catapult Sports, Emu Analytics, Sentrian, and Vivametrica.

It has been projected by ABI Research that revenue from wearable data and analytics services will surpass the $ 838 million mark in 2022, at a CAGR of more than 27%, from the present value of more than $ 247 million.

Stephanie Lawrence, Research Analyst at ABI Research, said:

“Wearable devices have long been finding their way into the lives of consumers and enterprises, offering various features such as activity tracking, communication, access to information, and vital healthcare monitoring. Data analytics adds a further benefit to the technology, giving users and companies actionable information based on the data that the devices collect, with deep integration through an increasingly connected market.”

Elsewhere, an online study conducted by Researchscape International found that 40% of adult residents of the US have tracked their daily physical performance via the use of a wearable device. Of all who have a wearable device, 51% use it at least once every day and 70% use it daily or weekly.

The research found that 39% of respondents use the device to keep a track on the number of steps, 36% for tracking burnt calories, 28% for distance tracking and 25% for monitoring quality of sleep.

What are your thoughts on the research? Let us know in the comments.

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iOS could really benefit from multi-user support

Apple iPad Pro

When one thinks of the word “phone” these days, the first image that comes to mind probably isn’t the old rotary phone your grandparents probably had, or the wired (or if you were really fancy, wireless) stationary handsets you probably grew up with. Instead, today’s “phones” are much more than just phones; they’re entire computers that we can fit in the palm of our hand.

But despite smartphones and computers being somewhat interchangeable, they do have differences beyond their size. For instance, computers are traditionally shared between multiple users in a family, whereas smartphones typically aren’t. Except in my family, where sometimes they are.

I’ve always been a little lax with my kids when it comes to using my phone. As long as my phone is in a sturdy case and a calm environment, I never much minded letting them play games here and there. The problem was that sometimes they became curious about other parts of the phone, and sometimes they would try to explore when the opportunity arose. Nothing more than a couple of unintended texts and emails of gibberish ever came of it, fortunately. Like most aspects of parenting, you learn from your mistakes, and kids today are almost intuitively adept when it comes to modern technology, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise at how quickly they figured these things out. As a result, my kids can’t use my devices without some sort of parental controls enabled, and whether my kids actually use my phone or not is entirely dependent on the manufacturer.

For the most part, Android devices are good to go. It’s been a few years since Android introduced multi-user profiles, and although the setting is somewhat hidden, the ability to set up restricted profiles to a degree exists. Samsung is the exception as they don’t have integrated multi-user support; however, in my case, it still worked out as Samsung does have a Kids Mode app available to their users. It’s not the best kid-friendly profile app I’ve ever used, but it did do the trick in a pinch.

iOS, on the other hand, has hardly been so easy. Only recently did I discover this somewhat hidden feature, despite that it’s been around apparently since iOS 6 (which just goes to show that there’s always something new to learn about phones!) called Guided Access, which is basically a parent’s best friend. Guided Access locks you into an app you’re in with a triple-press of the home button. Another triple-press (and a passcode) is needed to exit, making the feature is essentially foolproof against those tricksy hobbitses.

The only real problem with this is that one app is rarely entertaining for too long, depending on the type of apps the kids are playing with. I have a few games for kids on my phone, and it would be nice just to have a profile with those games on it rather than needing to switch the guided access every time somebody gets bored. But, in addition to having an entire profile dedicated to younger ones, I think that profiles, in general, would be a good addition to iOS.

My own experience and life circumstances have me desiring a profile for the purpose of keeping my young child entertained, but also feel I could benefit from multiple profiles, mostly for professional and personal reasons. My desktop, for example, has two different profiles: one for work/school and one for personal use. The work and school profile help keep me focused on getting work done with fewer distractions at my disposal. My personal profile is open to whatever. It isn’t necessary, by any means; it’s really a matter of self-control at the end of the day. But I do like keeping the two separate, and feel that my productivity has improved by having that separation.

Even if it’s never made available for the iPhone, I do think that the iPad could greatly benefit from this addition. iPads are more akin to multiple users like a traditional computer might be, whether it’s between family or classrooms, and the “Shared iPad” feature currently available just has too many limitations to make it truly feel like it can be one device for many. I recently sold an iPad Air because I didn’t feel like I used it enough on my own, but if my family had been able to share the device, we would probably be more willing to keep it – or purchase a new one.

I do think that both the iPhone and iPad could benefit from multi-user support, but the iPad seems like it would be a more likely candidate at the end of the day, especially considering Apple’s stance of making the iPad Pro a computer replacement. Regardless, I’d be happy either way and feel that many people might appreciate such a feature on iOS.

Readers, what are your thoughts on multi-user support? Do you think that the feature would be beneficial? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Changes to National Monuments Could Benefit the Fossil Fuel Industry

Antiquities Act

On December 4, President Donald Trump announced plans to drastically reduce the size of two national monuments in Utah.

“Some people think the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington,” Trump said during the announcement, according to the New York Times. “And guess what? They’re wrong.”

Trump’s plan will affect 1.1 million acres of land at the Bear Ears monument and 800,000 acres at the Grand Staircase-Escalante monument. That acreage accounts for 85 percent and 45 percent of the monuments’ total land area, respectively.

Both monuments are currently protected under the Antiquities Act, which was established in 1906 as a means of preserving federal lands with particular natural, cultural, or scientific merit. The Antiquities Act is typically used to protect areas with particular significance to native nations, as is the case with both sites affected by Trump’s plans.

Grand Staircase-Escalante is also a notable site in terms of paleontology. The monument is a hotspot for dinosaur fossils, and 21 species have been discovered in the area.

Monumental Consequences

In April 2017, Trump commissioned a report on national monuments that were designated as such in the past 20 years. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke shared his findings with the president in August.

He recommended that Trump change the boundaries of a total of six sites, as well as consider creating three new monuments. He also suggested that Trump modify the list of approved activities on the currently protected lands.

This list determines which activities are allowed within each monument’s borders. For example, new mining and drilling projects are currently prohibited at Bears Ears, but the interior department is permitted to issue leases for cattle grazing. Cattle grazing is prohibited at Grand Staircase-Escalante, however.

Grand Staircase Escalante. Image Credit: Asatira/Pixabay

The current president has made no secret of his intention to support the fossil fuel industry despite clear evidence of its negative impact on the environment. Zinke’s report claims Grand Staircase-Escalante alone contains “an estimated several billion tons of coal and large oil deposits,” and removing protections would enable the government to lease or even sell this land or its resources to private companies for new projects.

When President Bill Clinton gave Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument status in 1996, plans for a coal mining project were halted, so that project could be revisited if the size of the monument is successfully reduced or the approved activities list revised. Companies could also make deals to drill for oil on the land and establish pipelines, which opens up the potential for environmentally devastating leaks and spills.

However, Trump’s announcement is just the beginning of the process. The decision has been met by backlash due to its potential cultural and environmental consequences, and various lawsuits have already been submitted in an attempt to block the change.

However it plays out, this situation will set an important precedent with regards to national monuments. If Trump’s plan is successful, future presidents will be able to make similar reductions to other protected spaces. If blocked in court, the reverse will be true, and lands designated as national monuments will be untouchable by future leaders.

The post Changes to National Monuments Could Benefit the Fossil Fuel Industry appeared first on Futurism.

Futurism

The Amazon Echo now comes in red to benefit (RED) and fight against AIDS

Amazon’s second-generation Echo has the benefit of easily swappable shells, and today the company announced that it’s releasing a red version of the smart speaker to benefit (RED) and its fight against AIDS.

Other than the unique color, the (RED) Echo is identical to the regular version. The only difference is that for every (RED) Echo sold, Amazon will donate $ 10 to the charity. Plenty of tech companies have teamed up with (RED) in the past to release special versions of their products. Apple has famously released numerous iPods and accessories over the years to support the charity, including a red iPhone 7 earlier this year.

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