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Tackling technology side effects: Govt crackdown on mobile phones in England schools

Tackling technology side effects: Govt crackdown on mobile phones in England schools

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Tackling technology side effects: Govt crackdown on mobile phones in England schools

Mobile phones are a necessity but also a nuisance, especially when it comes to children or even parents who can’t leave their handsets while spending time with their family members in the evening.

Imagine a desperate child trying to share his or her problems, but the father or the mother or the both are busy in chatting with friends or relatives using a variety of apps available through the mobile phones.

However, situation can worsen if a wife isn’t able to get the required attention from her husband the sole aim is to narrate the entire day’s story or list the regularly updated demands.

Similarly, some workers can’t escape their bosses who continue bombarding them with calls and messages even after the office hours. Barring a few countries like France and Spain, there is no escaping.

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But an overwhelming majority agree on limiting the mobile phones use by children. In this connection, the government is set to prohibit the mobile phone use in schools across England “as part of the government’s plan to minimise disruption and improve behaviour in classrooms”.

The move comes as latest UK government data finds around a third (29pc) of secondary school pupils reported mobile phones being used when they were not supposed to in most, or all, lessons.

A government press release says a new guidance regarding mobile phones in schools issued on Monday backs headteachers in prohibiting the use of mobile phones throughout the school day, including at break times.

“The move will bring England in line with steps taken by other countries who have restricted mobile phone use including France, Italy and Portugal.”

Many schools around the country are already prohibiting mobile phone use with great results. This guidance will ensure there is a consistent approach across all schools.

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“By the age of 12, 97 per cent of children have their own mobile phone, according to Ofcom. Using mobile phones in schools can lead to online bullying, distraction and classroom disruption which, in turn, can lead to lost learning time,” it added.

It also cited UNSECO which last year called for smartphones to be banned from schools as evidence showed it was linked to reduced educational performance and that excessive screen time had a negative impact on children’s wellbeing.

Schools will be supported to prohibit mobile phone use with examples of different approaches including banning phones from the school premises, handing in phones on arrival at school, and keeping phones securely locked away at school.

The guidance will respond to concerns from parents about mobile phones, with the latest data from ParentKind’s National Parent Survey, revealing that 44pc of parents are concerned about the amount of time their children spend on electronic devices, rising to 50pc of parents of secondary school children.

In his remarks, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said, “Schools are places for children to learn and mobile phones are, at a minimum, an unwanted distraction in the classroom.”

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According to Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan, growing up in today’s digital world provides immense opportunities but this should not come at the expense of our children’s wellbeing or education.

“That is why we have passed world leading legislation to make the UK the safest place in the world for young people to be online.”

Lead behaviour advisor to the department Tom Bennett said there was a strong and growing understanding of how damaging they can be for a child’s social and educational development.

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Apple CEO says looking into possibility of building manufacturing facility in Indonesia

Apple CEO says looking into possibility of building manufacturing facility in Indonesia

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Apple CEO says looking into possibility of building manufacturing facility in Indonesia

Apple Inc will look into the possibility of building a manufacturing facility in Indonesia, its CEO said on Wednesday after meeting President Joko Widodo.

Apple CEO Tim Cook arrived in Jakarta on Tuesday, after visiting Vietnam. He met with Jokowi, as the president popularly known, and will be inaugurating an academy for Apple developers on the island of Bali.

“We talked about the president’s desire to see manufacturing in the country, and it is something that we will look at,” Cook told reporters after the meeting. 

Apple has based much of its key manufacturing of iPads, AirPods and Apple Watches in Vietnam and suppliers for MacBooks are also investing in the country.

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Apple has no manufacturing facilities in Indonesia but has established four Apple Developer Academies.

Indonesia has a huge tech-savvy population, making the Southeast Asian nation a key target market for tech-related investment.

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TikTok quizzed by EU on TikTok Lite launch in France, Spain

TikTok quizzed by EU on TikTok Lite launch in France, Spain

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TikTok quizzed by EU on TikTok Lite launch in France, Spain

ByteDance’s TikTok has been given 24 hours to provide a risk assessment on its new app TikTok Lite launched this month in France and Spain on concerns of its potential impact on children and users’ mental health, the European Commission said on Wednesday.

The move by EU industry chief Thierry Breton under EU tech rules known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) comes two months after he opened an investigation into TikTok over possible DSA breaches. 

The landmark DSA requires companies to do more to tackle illegal and harmful content on their platforms, with fines of up to 6% of their global annual turnover for violations.

The Commission on Wednesday said it had sent a request for information to TikTok, asking for more details on the risk assessment the social media company should have done before deploying TikTok Lite in the 27-country European Union.

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“This concerns the potential impact of the new ‘Task and Reward Lite’ programme on the protection of minors, as well as on the mental health of users, in particular in relation to the potential stimulation of addictive behaviour,” the EU executive said in a document seen by Reuters.

“TikTok must provide the risk assessment for TikTok Lite in 24 hours and the other requested information by 26 April 2024, after which the Commission will analyse TikTok’s reply, and then assess next steps.”

The Commission also asked for details on measures the company has put in place to mitigate systemic risks.

TikTok Lite, an app with a new functionality aimed at users aged 18+, was launched in France and Spain this month.

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SiTime introduces chip aimed at saving power in AI data centers

SiTime introduces chip aimed at saving power in AI data centers

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SiTime introduces chip aimed at saving power in AI data centers

SiTime (SITM.O) on Wednesday introduced a chip that it says is designed to help data centers built for artificial intelligence applications run more efficiently.

SiTime makes what are known as timing chips, whose job is set a steady beat for all the parts of a computer and keep them running together in sync, like a conductor in an orchestra directing multiple groups of instruments. The company says its new line of chips, called Chorus, can do so with 10 times more precision than older styles of timing chips.

SiTime CEO Rajesh Vashist said the company aims to help customers save electricity with that precision. SiTime’s chips themselves require less than a watt of power, but powerful AI chips such as Nvidia’s (NVDA.O) require more than 1,000 watts of power.

With a more precise clock to keep all the elements of a computer in sync, parts of the machine can be turned off for a few milliseconds at a time when they are not in use. Over the multiple years a power-hungry data center server might be in use, it can generate energy savings, though the amount will depend on how SiTime’s chips are used.

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“We deliver timing that they can rely on so that they can wake up their products and bring data more efficiently to them, rather than just running more often,” Vashist said in an interview.

SiTime said the chips will be available in the second half of this year.

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