25 Free Android Apps to Get You Started
( TIME )

A smart phone won’t get you too far without at least a few great
apps, and Android’s no exception. As you customize your new phone to
your liking, here are 25 of the best Android apps to get you started.


Let’s say you find a long article on the Web -- something you need
at least 10 minutes to read -- but you’re at work or otherwise too
busy to read it all right away. Just install the Pocket extension or
bookmarklet in your browser, and you can save the story for your
lunch break. Pocket’s Android app formats Web pages in a clean,
booklike view, and it stores content off-line so you can still catch
up on reading in a dead zone.


If you bought a new Android phone this year, chances are it runs
Android 4.0 or higher. Do yourself a favor and replace your phone’s
stock browser with Google Chrome. It’s smooth, it has a neat way of
showing all your open tabs, and it automatically syncs bookmarks and
open tabs if you’re using Chrome on a PC or Mac. Chrome will soon be
the default browser on all new Android devices, so you might as well
join the party now. (If your phone has an older version of Android, I
recommend Firefox as an alternative browser.)


You hear a song you like. You don’t know who plays it. You open
Shazam and press the big button, and a few seconds later, the app
tells you the title, the artist, the album and even the lyrics. It’s
basically the embodiment of what mobile apps are all about.


Now that you’ve got a new phone, and you’ve binged on strange and
exotic apps, you might want to make sure they’re not sapping the
phone’s battery life. After about a week of use, Carat generates a
personalized report about which apps are draining battery and should
be shut down (or removed). The app itself promises not to drain the
battery either, so there’s no harm in keeping it around to help find
battery-killing culprits.


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Self-Driving Cars Available by 2019, Report Says
( TIME )

Forget flying cars. The next innovation will be vehicles you don’t
even have to drive. But would we actually put our lives in the hands
of a computer-controlled car?

Earlier this month KPMG and the Center for Automotive Research
released a report not only predicting that we’ll eventually be
driving -- or, rather, not driving -- autonomous cars, but that
they’ll be in showrooms as early as 2019. Maybe even sooner.

“In the early decades of the 21st century, the industry appears to
be on the cusp of revolutionary change,” the report’s authors
write. “The revolution, when it comes, will be engendered by the
advent of autonomous or ‘self-driving’ vehicles. And the timing may
be sooner than you think.”

The industry has been experimenting with self-driving elements for
years. In fact, the tinkering has been going on since the 1950s and
General Motors’ Firebird II, which was designed to be guided along
the highway by an electrical wire embedded in the road.

But a number of cars today have computers and sensors handling more
and more basic driving functions while increasing safety. Think of
vehicles that parallel park themselves or ones that actively avoid
collisions. And Google employees have driven some 200,000 miles in
the company’s experimental self-driving cars.

So it’s only a matter of time before some of these technologies are
combined in a way to create a truly driverless vehicle. Most industry
analysts think that time is at least a decade in the future. The
latest report is the first to predict that it’s only a handful of
years away.

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Stop Calling Your Smart Phone a Phone
( TIME )

Talk is cheap -- and now unlimited. Verizon is hedging its future on
the consumption of data because, let’s face it, who uses their phone
as just a phone these days?

Verizon’s new Share Everything plan allows customers to pay for a
certain amount of data and distribute that data among their devices.
(You can register up to 10 devices to a single account.) Customers must
both purchase a data package and pay for each registered device. As a
result, the plan can be pretty steep -- $40 per month for your iPhone,
plus $10 for your iPad, plus $10 for that Kindle your parents got you
for Christmas, plus the cost of data. However, Verizon says, there’s
an upside: the plan also offers unlimited calling and texting. But does
anyone really need an endless fount of minutes?

As critics dissect the new scheme, one thing is clear: Verizon is
capitalizing on the fact that we are no longer making phone calls. The
money, Verizon has realized, is in the data -- the videos we download,
the websites we peruse, the e-mails we send. According to Nielsen, the
amount of data consumed per month by the average smart-phone user grew
89% in 2011. And it’s still growing.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson predicted last week that cell-phone
companies would enter the market with data-only plans in the next two
years. Stephenson was probably thinking of an obvious solution to his
company’s own problems: AT&T has recently been recording a decline in
the average number of minutes used on phone calls per month. Right now,
phone companies still earn most of their money from calling and texting
plans. So as the popularity of calling and texting falls off in favor
of e-mail and BBMing, cell-phone companies are going to have to find
ways to make up for their loss in profit. Charging more for data use is
the obvious solution.

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壁に目あり フェイスブックを利用する研究者たち

Walls Have Eyes: How Researchers Are Studying You on Facebook
( TIME )

Before he became the new face of right-wing extremism in Europe, Anders
Behring Breivik was just another guy airing his anti-immigration views
online. On Monday, Breivik, who admitted to a killing spree in Norway
in July, which left 77 people dead, faced his first public-court
hearing. While Breivik may have acted alone, he was far from alone in
cyberspace: he had spent much of the time leading up to his attack at
his computer, chatting with some of the millions of nationalists who
support right-wing groups on social-networking sites. After this
summer's tragedy, researchers wanted to find out more about these
people. But how to find them? Easy -- just log on to Facebook.

"We realized that it wasn't that difficult to get to them at all," says
Jamie Bartlett, the lead author of a recently published report on
European digital populism by British think tank Demos. Facebook's stash
of personal information is so encyclopedic, says Bartlett, that the
researchers could simply use the site's advertising tool to pinpoint
their desired demographic with scientific accuracy -- the way marketers
have been doing for years. Bartlett's team found half a million fans of
right-wing groups across Europe and then targeted them with ads, but
instead of linking to a new band or diet product, the ads invited users
to complete a survey that asked questions about their education level,
attitudes toward violence and optimism about their own future.

Others say the site could offer a way to identify and tackle social-
health problems. A recent study by Dr. Megan Moreno, of the University
of Wisconsin-Madison, and her colleagues found that undergraduates who
discussed their drunken exploits on Facebook were significantly more at
risk for problem drinking than students who were silent on the topic.
Moreno suggests that students' peers, like residential advisers, could
monitor the site and intervene to help a student who posts one too many
boozy Status Updates. "You can't treat a problem if you can't diagnose
it," Dimitri Christakis, Moreno's co-author and director of the Center
for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children's
Research Institute, told the Washington Post. "We've found a way to
identify kids at risk who would not otherwise be diagnosed."

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