Technology raised its ugly head quite vigorously over the past couple of days. None of the news was good.

First out of the hat we had a report from the National Citizen Service. I’m not entirely sure what this is, but I imagine it’s some moneypit of a quango with no clear remit and a lot of time on its hands. They did a survey of teenage attitudes to, among other things, sexting and porn. This made for some rather dismaying though not entirely unexpected reading.

Porn is a lot more popular with teens than you may suspect. The best part of a fifth of teenagers had seen online porn before the age of 13. Things get really bad when the 16 to 17 age group is looked at. A whopping 18% of boys in this age group watch porn every day.

I’m tempted to take the exactitude of this with a pinch of salt. It was a relatively small sample group, and everybody fibs to quantitative researchers anyway. Even allowing for that, this isn’t good news is it?

Sexting has some odd results showing. One in five claimed to have sent a naked or explicit photo of themselves. But this is where it gets strange. Thirty percent of boys had received an explicit photo, but for girls this rose to 41%. This seems to suggest that those who take nude selfies send them to more than one person. Or it may just mean that they posted a nudie to somebody who shared it on.

Enter Anne Longford, the Children’s Commissioner for England, made a glaring statement of the bleeding obvious when she said the NCS findings would be ‘extremely worrying for parents.’ No kidding?

Samsung have had a tough few weeks haven’t they? They launched the Note 7 to some hullabaloo back in August, then almost immediately had to recall 2.5 million when it was found the batteries could catch fire. They duly sent out replacements, which means things were less of a PR disaster than they might have been. Too bad the batteries in them keep bursting into flames too.

Lastly a finding so facile I can’t imagine why they bothered to do the research. Genuine bona fide medics are better at making diagnoses than are symptom checker apps. I didn’t know such apps existed, but Harvard Medical School checked out 23 of the damned things. The quacks made a correct diagnosis twice as often as the apps did.

Whoever woulda thunk it?

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