Contraceptive app hit with complaints after being blamed for 37 unwanted pregnancies

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Natural Cycles, a contraceptive app that became certified in the EU as a form of birth control, has been hit with a complaint after being blamed for causing 37 unwanted pregnancies, reports Swedish agency SVT. Södersjukhuset hospital in Stockholm reported the app to Swedish regulator MPA (the Medical Product Agency), after 37 women visited the hospital for an abortion after becoming pregnant while using Natural Cycles.

The app uses an algorithm and measures factors like temperature to determine the period when a woman may be fertile.

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Mobile phone addiction? It’s time to take back control

Illustration of giant hand in 'stop' gesture coming out of a smartphone screen

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“Raising awareness of one’s own smartphone use can be the first step in the right direction of decreasing smartphone use,” says Dr Daria Kuss from Nottingham Trent University. “Often, individuals are not aware of the frequency and extent of their smartphone use.”

Dr Sarita Robinson, senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Central Lancashire, says: “It is a little like getting on the scales after Christmas and being confronted with how much weight you have really put on – when adding up your phone use over a week, the amount of time you are wasting can come as a big surprise.”

Seeing this data is just a first step, however. As Burke says: “Having the insight is only so good. What are you going to do about the insight? How are you going to make a change?”

 

How HQ Trivia Became the Best Worst Thing on the Internet

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HQ blasted out of obscurity this fall to become the best worst thing on the internet. It’s the most popular app that barely even works. The questions (“How many times does the word ‘sex’ appear in the U.S. Constitution?”) can be so obscure as to be meaningless, and the wording (“What is the more common plural form for octopus?”) is frequently indecipherable. (The hugely controversial “correct” answer: octopuses.) Some questions (“Which retro fashion style did NOT make a comeback this year?”) basically test opinions. Others, which mine inconsequential information about obscure start-ups, stink strongly of advertorials.

Then there’s the app itself, which is riddled with glitches and lags. Players are regularly booted from the game without explanation. The live host’s face is frequently obscured by the wheel of death. Sometimes, the whole game is scrapped for mysterious technical reasons — including one high-stakes game scheduled for 11:45 p.m. EST on New Year’s Eve, which was unceremoniously aborted, then rescheduled for 45 minutes later — the game I hopped into.

And yet, as many as half a million people are tuning in for each session. It’s maybe the only real appointment viewing across all of entertainment right now. Why?

Google Maps Pulls Calorie-Counting Feature After Criticism

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The iPhone app told her that walking instead of driving would burn 70 calories. While it was perhaps meant as an incentive to walk, those with eating disorders might instead fixate on the number, a dangerous mind-set that counselors try to minimize, she said… Some users were especially upset that the app used mini cupcakes to put the burned calories into perspective, framing food as a reward for exercise, or exercise as a prerequisite for food.

Can an App Make You a Better Runner?

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Running is simple. But I, with the help of some demanding technology, have managed to complicate it. The last three months have been fueled by a small arsenal of apps, equipment, and playlists that have turned me into a pavement beater with a desperate compulsion to best myself. Their promise was that I would become a better, more efficient runner; I would have hard data that went far beyond the capabilities of a lowly stopwatch and a gut feeling of improvement. But somewhere along the line, technology went from complementary to supplementary in my training. The apps turned a solo leisure activity into an obsessive, not-always-healthy pursuit. Throughout my training, I couldn’t tell if I enjoyed the intensity or whether I’d allowed another set of technology tools to take over my life. But I do know it worked.