Annita Marshall

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  • Many people are attached to their mobile phones that researchers are trying to figure out a connection that can tell about health and mood. In fact, a phone may be able to tell whether its owner is depressed and this seems to be better that self-assessment. This is a new study that was published in Journal of Medical Internet Research.

    According to David Mohr one of the authors of the study and director of the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, the more that people spend with their phones, the more likely that they will become depressed. Researchers also found out that spending lots of time at home is linked to depression and phone data could predict with 87% accuracy if someone has symptoms of depression.

    28 people ranging from 19 to 58 years old were recruited by Northwestern researchers from Craigslist and integrated location and usage monitoring software on their smartphones. At the start of the study, the subjects took a standardized questionnaire that measured depressive symptoms and the results revealed that ½ has symptoms of depression while the other half did not have any. For two weeks, the phones tracked the GPS location information every five minutes and pinged the users with questions regarding their mood several times a day.

    The phone data that were collected by the researchers were rich and it included information like the places the participants visited each day, the amount of time they spent in the places visited and how often they used their phones. The researches collated the data with the depression test scores. One of the things that researchers found out is people do not answer questions. They may respond for a few days and then get tired of it.

    People who tend to spend more time in just one or two places are more likely to have high depression scores. People who stuck to a regular pattern of movement tend to be less depressed. The data that was derived from the phones were very useful in tracking depression without the need for the user to report what he is feeling. This is usually the barrier to depression treatment.

  • Technology has become an important part of daily life. People who make software are the new celebrities and rock stars who are forging the path ahead for modern web. The first generation of computer scientists who developed the internet came from the academia but today, there is a new wave of programmers who do tons of work behind the scenes to make the internet safe, secure and lot more fun.

    1. Online she is “ladyada” but she is actually NYC-based MIT graduate Limor Fried who develops software and hardware for electronic products and projects all over the whole world. In 2013, Fried told Newsweek in an interview that the company has received $22 million in revenue.
    2. Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion. The founder of Oculus VR is 22 year old Paler Luckey who will be lucky if virtual reality takes off like Facebook.
    3. Depression Quest is an award-winning game that was developed by Zoe Quinn but after being the target of an online harassment campaign, Zoe and partner Alex Lifschitz started on Crash Override which is an anti-online hate mob task force that builds software and tools to stop online harassment.
    4. Another victim of online harassment is Brianna Wu who is the co-founder of games studio Giant Spacekat that made the game Revolution for iOS. After experiencing online harassment, Wu became an outspoken advocate for equality in technology-related fields.
    5. Mitchell Hashimoto is a 26-year old co-founder of HashiCorp that develops programmer productivity software for customers that include BBC, Mozilla, Nokia and Yammer.
    6. Parisa Tabriz is 31 years old and holds the title of Google Security Princess meaning that she is the tech giant’s hacker in residence to figure out flaws in software.
    7. Sara Haider is an Android engineer at Twitter-owned Periscope and is best known for leading Twitter’s Android app.
    8. Rob Pike is co-developer of Go, a programming language that is trying to solve Google-esque problems at a huge scale.
    9. Pinterest’s Tracy Chou is building a reputation as a fast-riser in Silicon Valley development scene.
    10. Julia Wallin at 22 years old has done significant development work for NASA, Google and New York’s Guggenheim Museum.