NEWS

  • 19-year-old Ghanaian student builds search engine to rival Google

    A 19-year-old Ghanaian university student Gabriel Opare has built a new search engine to rival Google and Youtube.

    According to Opare, his new search engine, Mudclo, will challenge the dominance of YouTube.

    Opare, a level 300 sociology student of the University of Ghana, taught himself how to code by taking online courses during his free time.

    Mudclo is a free search engine for videos. Mudclo discovers and streams videos from the different locations on the internet all in one place.  “I believe that my business is good enough and that it can scale globally. It is a legitimate point to say that YouTube is a video hosting website, but they are two different entities.

    “While YouTube is a video hosting website, Mudclo combines the power of YouTube and two other video hosting websites in order to create Mudclo,” he said.

    Mudclo’s users most popular searches include adverts, music videos and amateur content.

    According to Opare, his initial inspiration came from other Ghanaians, restless and eager to build businesses at a young age on a continent where opportunities are limited and unemployment is rife.

    Mudclo has already caught the attention of some of the world’s big tech companies, including more established video hosting sites although there is some work to be done on Mudclo to fix bugs, boost the features and visual experiences it offers users.

    “With all entrepreneurs, they feel that there is a rewarding or gratifying feeling that comes with creating a product or a service that will actually matter to the world,” the teenager added.

    Experts say information and communication technology could help Africa overcome infrastructure inadequacies, satisfy rising consumer demand, boost regional trade and diversify economies, ending reliance on raw materials.

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  • Social media copies gambling methods 'to create psychological cravings

    Social media copies gambling methods 'to create psychological cravings.

    Methods activate ‘same brain mechanisms as cocaine’ and leads to users experiencing ‘phantom’ notification buzzing

    Social media platforms are using the same techniques as gambling firms to create psychological dependencies and ingrain their products in the lives of their users, experts warn.

    These methods are so effective they can activate similar mechanisms as cocaine in the brain, create psychological cravings and even invoke “phantom calls and notifications” where users sense the buzz of a smartphone, even when it isn’t really there.

    “Facebook, Twitter and other companies use methods similar to the gambling industry to keep users on their sites,” said Natasha Schüll, the author of Addiction by Design, which reported how slot machines and other systems are designed to lock users into a cycle of addiction. “In the online economy, revenue is a function of continuous consumer attention – which is measured in clicks and time spent.”

    Whether it’s Snapchat streaks, Facebook photo-scrolling, or playing CandyCrush, Schüll explained, you get drawn into “ludic loops” or repeated cycles of uncertainty, anticipation and feedback — and the rewards are just enough to keep you going.

    “If you disengage, you get peppered with little messages or bonus offers to get your attention and pull you back in,” said Schüll. “We have to start recognising the costs of time spent on social media. It’s not just a game – it affects us financially, physically and emotionally.”

     

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  • How to Raise Smarter, Happier Children

    Children have never been perfect at listening to their parents, but they have never failed to imitate them.

     

    1.  Walk the talk — always set a great example.

    It’s not what you say, it’s how you live your life every day.  Don’t tell your children how to live; LIVE and let them watch you.  Practice what you preach or don’t preach at all.  Walk the talk.  Your children look up to you and they will emulate your actions and strive to become who you are.

    So BE who you want them to be.

    In other words, be the change you want to see in your child.  Give what you expect, reflect what you desire, become what you respect, and mirror what you admire.  Every single day.

    Your children are the greatest gift life will give you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility it will place in your hands.  Take time with them, and teach them to have faith in themselves by being a person they can have faith in ..... a person they can trust without question.  When you are old, nothing else you’ve done will have mattered as much.

    2.  Reduce YOUR stress level in the household.

    Not easy, I know, but believe it or not what children want from their parents more than anything else is for them to be happier and less stressed.

    3.  Believe in your children.

    The greatest compliment you can give to a child is to believe in them and let them know you care.  When you see something true, good and beautiful in them, don’t hesitate to express your admiration.  When you see something that is not true, good and beautiful in them, don’t neglect to give them your wholehearted assistance and guidance.

    The simple act of believing that your child is capable and worthy makes a big difference.  It gives them confidence and makes them feel qualified to do great things.

    4.  Praise your children for their effort, not their intelligence.

    Based on the point above, this might sound a bit counter intuitive, but when you praise a child’s efforts you are bringing attention to something they can easily control — the amount of effort they put in.  This is immensely important because it teaches them to persist, and that personal growth through hard work is possible.  They come to see themselves as “in control” of their success in life.

    Emphasizing God-given intelligence takes progress out of your child’s control, and it provides no good recipe for responding to a failure.  In turn, your child may begin to think that innate intelligence is always going to be a missing ingredient for them, and disregard the importance of their effort to learn and grow. With that said, a word to the wise: Don’t over-praise your children for no reason.  Make sure your gestures of praise are warranted.  Because if every single move your child makes is based only on rewards like constant praise, when the praise stops, the effort stops too.  And that’s not good because it means they won’t be able to perform well when you’re not around.

    5.  Don’t read TO your children, read WITH them.

    Got a youngster who’s learning to read?  Don’t let them just stare at the pictures in a book while you do all the work by reading every word to them.  Instead, call attention to the words.  Point to them.  Point to the pictures that illustrate them.

    Read WITH them, not to them.

    Research shows this tactic helps build a child’s reading comprehension.  When shared book reading is enriched with explicit attention to the development of a child’s reading skills, it truly becomes an effective vehicle for promoting early literacy.  Perhaps even more importantly than that, it makes learning more fun.  And as you know, fun times are happy times in a child’s mind.

    6.  Eat dinner together as a family.

    Eating dinner together makes a difference. Research suggests that children who enjoy family meals have larger vocabularies, better manners, healthier diets, and higher self-esteem in the long run.  Even if eating dinner together every night isn’t possible, you should make it a point to eat together as a family at least once a week.

    Even if eating dinner together every night isn’t possible, you should make it a point to eat together as a family at least once a week.

    7.  Create logical, reasonable rules and boundaries for your children.

    Children don’t do well in a free-for-all environment.  It’s a myth that being too strict guarantees rebellion and being permissive drives better behavior.  From the research we’ve done, it’s clear that children who go crazy and get in trouble mostly have parents who don’t set reasonable rules and boundaries.  If their parents are loving and accepting no matter what they do — even when they are unruly — children take their parent’s lack of rules as a sign that they don’t really care about them — that they don’t really want the job of being parents in the first place.

    On the flip side, parents who are consistent in enforcing rules and boundaries are often the same parents who become the closest with their children. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should over-do the rules, or make rules just for the sake of making rules.  Parents that are too controlling raise children that are stifled and bored.  And stifled, bored kids are likely to rebel.

     

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  • Seattle police officers shot pregnant woman seven times and one of the bullets struck her unborn baby boy, autopsy reveals

    Seattle police officers shot pregnant woman seven times and one of the bullets struck her unborn baby boy, autopsy reveals

    The father of a pregnant woman who was shot dead by police officers after she called to report a robbery in June has released her autopsy report. 

    Charleena Lyles was nearly four months pregnant on June 18 when she called police to report an Xbox stolen at her Seattle apartment.

    It's still unclear how the confrontation unfolded, but in less than three minutes, the two officers opened fire on the 30-year-old  in front of three of her four children.

     

    The officers, Jason Anderson and Steven McNew, said that they started shooting at Lyles when she lunged at them holding knives.   

    The autopsy report, released Wednesday, shows that Lyles was shot seven times, including twice in the back. 

    One of the bullets perforated her uterus, striking her unborn baby boy. Both mother and son died at the hospital. The unborn baby boy would have been Lyles' fifth child. 

    The report also included toxicology reports, showing that Lyles didn't have alcohol or drugs in her system at the time. 

    Her father, Charles Lyles, told The people: 'Hearing the details of the shooting just makes me feel more empty. I lost my daughter and my next grandson. I just don't have the words.' 

    The fact that she was shot in the back leads family members to question the officers' side of the story. 

    'Did they shoot her as she fell to the ground? Was she running away?' cousin Katrina Johnson asked. 'How did she get shot in the back? I still don't know that and understand that, but any which way, it was excessive force. Seven times for her little pregnant 100-pound self was out of control.'

    Koehler said that they decided to release the autopsy report to dispel the public assumptions about the case.

    'If you have been reading the dialogue you might have assumed she was a poor, single black woman with multiple children who must have been on drugs, and that is a false assumption and a false narrative,' Koehler told the people.

    Jason Anderson (right) and Steven McNew (left) are the two officers who shot Lyles dead. They are on paid administrative leave pending the results of an internal investigation 

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  • Barbie debuts Rosa Parks doll as part of series honoring iconic women

    Barbie debuts Rosa Parks doll as part of series honoring iconic women

    Civil Rights activist and Alabamian Rosa Parks is the latest iconic woman to garner a doll in her likeness as part of Barbie’s Inspiring Women series.

    Mattel announced today Parks would be one of the latest additions to the series, which launched in 2018 and features dolls based on women who have played significant roles in history, including Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earhart.

    “Rosa Louise Parks led an ordinary life as a seamstress until an extraordinary moment on December 1, 1955,” Barbie’s description of the dolls reads. “When she refused an order to give up her seat to a white passenger and move to the back of the bus, Mrs. Parks’ act of defiance became the catalyst for the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Rosa Parks’ quiet strength played a notable role in the civil rights movement, but it would still take another nine years and more struggles before the 1964 Civil Rights Act overruled existing segregation laws.”

    Mattel said the women chosen for the series are all female role models and heroines of their time who took risks and paved the way for the next generation of girls and women. A doll of astronaut Sally Ride was also announced today.

    The Rosa Parks doll is dressed in fashion from the era and comes with a doll stand, certificate of authenticity and educational information about her role in history.

    The doll, which is priced at $30.00, is available for pre-order online now. It is expected to ship in early September.

    For more information, visit the Barbie website.

     

     

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