research

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Study Finds Paying For Online Reviews Leads To Fewer Reviews

Rewarding people with cash has generally been a good way to motivate them to do things they are otherwise not obligated to do, but a new study claims that when you offer folks money for writing online reviews, it can backfire and result in fewer overall reviews. [More]

eyetwist

Most Americans Favor Payday Loan Reforms

Despite claims from the payday loan industry that Americans don’t want reforms intended to prevent borrowers of these short-term loans from falling into a revolving debt trap, two new reports show that most people do think it’s time to rein in payday lending and provide more affordable loan options for borrowers in need.  [More]

Jason Cook

Your Kids’ School-Owned Devices Are Spying On Them, Report Finds

As adults, we all kind of have at least a vague peripheral sense that the devices and software we use are probably up to some kind of shenanigans with our personal data. Kids, however, are probably not thinking as closely about what they tell the devices they use, and what data those devices then share — especially if they’re school-owned tools. And yet, a new report finds, some of the learning technology schoolchildren are required to use every day are some of the worst when it comes to explaining and protecting users’ privacy. [More]

Mike Mozart

Monsanto May Have Ghostwritten Parts Of Reports Concluding That Roundup Is Safe

Glyphosate, the main chemical in the weed-killer Roundup, is one of the most popular herbicides on the planet, but newly unsealed court documents suggest that Roundup’s manufacturer, Monsanto, may have written at least some of an academic research paper used to demonstrate glyphosate’s safety. [More]

quinn.anya

Study Claims That There’s A Decent Chance You Look Like Your Name

Have you ever met someone and immediately thought “You look like a Heather,” and then it turns out they person is actually named Heather? While you might want to believe you have some kind of psychic ability, you probably don’t. Instead, a new study finds that under the right circumstances people can often correctly match names to faces based on social perceptions.  [More]

Will Our Robot Overlords Work Together Or Work Against Each Other?

Will Our Robot Overlords Work Together Or Work Against Each Other?

One day, robots and computers with artificial intelligence will inevitably be tasked with managing everything from our economy to our traffic systems. But will these man-made managers have the empathy, reasoning, and emotions needed for cooperation? [More]

Karen Chappell

A Supplement Company Sued Over Research It Didn’t Like… And Lost

Unlike FDA-approved medications, makers of dietary supplements are not required to demonstrate that their products are safe or effective. That shouldn’t stop independent researchers from doing their own tests to find out if a product works or is dangerous, but when one Harvard professor tried to do just that, supplement makers tried to shut him up.. [More]

Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie

Study: Baseball Teams More Likely To Have A Bad Game Due To Jet Lag When Flying East

Playing at least 81 games on the road, sometimes thousands of miles from home and in a different time zone, will eventually have an effect on even the most fit professional baseball player, but is there a correlation between distance (and direction) traveled and performance? [More]

Byron Chin

You Don’t Care About Your Friends’ Data, And 4 Other Things We Learned From Privacy Experts

The things we buy and use every day are increasingly connected — to the internet, and to each other — and while this new level of interconnection provides a slew of benefits, it also raises a new set of privacy problems and security challenges. Yet, as we recently learned, consumers are often self-centered when it comes to protecting their data and don’t give much thought to making their friends’ info available. [More]

Bank Overdraft Policies Have Improved, But Not Enough To Protect Most Consumers

Bank Overdraft Policies Have Improved, But Not Enough To Protect Most Consumers

Over the years, banks across the country have modified their policies regarding overdraft fees to comply with federal regulations — including requiring consumers to opt-in to the costly protection. Despite this, account holders spend nearly $32 billion each year on the fees. And according to a new report, that likely won’t end anytime soon, as most large U.S. banks continue to charge high, sometimes exorbitant overdraft fees.  [More]

Reddit

Are Explosion-Proof Batteries On The Way?

Between Samsung’s massive Galaxy Note 7 recall, hoverboards that catch fire, and e-cigarettes that unexpectedly combust, there has been no shortage of dangerous examples that suggest some batteries — specifically of the lithium-ion type — found in popular electronics are susceptible to explosions. Now, scientists are working to create a safer alternative power source.  [More]

Saechang

Researchers Figure Out How To Put Invisible Backdoor In Common Internet Encryption

Even consumers who aren’t necessarily very technically-minded have at least a vague sense that an encrypted site is safer to use than one that isn’t. But encryption, alas, is never a permanent cure-all. And that’s why it’s troubling that new research has found it’s easier than anyone thought to put a backdoor into internet encryption that could let any big, surveillaince-minded entity (good morning, NSA) have a listen. [More]

TheeErin

Does Southwest’s “Bags Fly Free” Policy Hurt On-Time Performance?

Southwest Airlines uses its “Bags Fly Free” policy of not charging passengers for their first two checked bags to set itself apart from all its competitors who have begun charging these fees in recent years. A recently released study claims this no-fee practice may actually be hurting the airline, though other data raises questions about this conclusion.
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(Joachim Rayos)

Booze Industry Pushes Back Against Policy Changes For Moderate Drinking

It’s long been believed that the occasional drink doesn’t do any real harm to most folks’ health, and may in fact provide some benefits. However, as health officials increasingly question the validity of that belief, the industry that stands to lose the most is fighting back with its own research and lobbying dollars.  [More]

UMN Health YouTube

Researchers Detect Early Stages Of Alzheimer’s Disease In Mice With An Eye Exam

Could it be possible to detect Alzheimer’s disease in the early stages with just an eye exam? That’s the possibility researchers are floating after they were able to spot signs of Alzheimer’s in the retinas of mice using a special, non-invasive camera. [More]

William Grootonk

Can Hackers Track Movement Of Wearable Devices To Figure Out PINs & Passwords?

When you enter a PIN or password on your smartwatch or other wearable, you might take great effort to shield the letters and numbers you enter from public view. However, a newly released report suggests that hackers could, in theory, trace users’ hand movements on wearable devices to figure out how to access their personal accounts.
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Adam Fagent

DNA Molecules Can Now Store Hundreds Of Megabytes Of Digital Data

In a scene that could be straight out of Battlestar Galactica or Caprica, researchers from Microsoft and the University of Washington say they have found a way to successfully encode and store hundreds of megabytes of data in synthetic DNA molecules. [More]

Poster Boy

Facebook Now Has An Internal Panel Reviewing Research On You To See If It’s Ethical

Odds are very, very good that you’ve been part of a scientific research experiment in the past few years. Probably more than 70% likely if you’re on the internet at all, and approaching 100% if you’re under 30. Why? Because those are the percentages of Americans who use Facebook… which is constantly conducting some of the largest-scale behavioral research ever done.

[More]