Thursday, July 7, 2016

Smartphone Riding Shotgun

Let it ring....

"Checking Facebook while you drive? That could be a hit on your insurance" by Deirdre Fernandes Globe Staff  June 09, 2016

Your mobile phone can reveal a lot about you, from what you buy to where you eat. Now insurance companies want to tap into your phone to track how well you drive.

Do you have a lead foot or a long commute? Your mobile phone will tell.

Are you in the habit of Snapchatting behind the wheel? It will know.

Do you talk on the phone while changing lanes? It’ll be watching.

Piggybacking on sensors already built into many new smartphones that measure acceleration, direction, sudden falls, and location, insurers in Massachusetts and across the country are introducing mobile phone applications that monitor driving habits. The technology will allow them to base car insurance premiums on how well you drive.

They dangle some money in front of you thinking you will embrace the tyranny.

Two companies recently asked the Massachusetts insurance regulator for approval to market the free apps to drivers in the state. But officials have many questions — including exactly how insurance companies will use the data they collect and who will have access to it.

The apps, which have been approved in more than 30 states, including Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, are installed voluntarily by drivers. Insurance and technology companies say the apps are a tool to reward safe driving. At the same time, they also accumulate data on the dangers of distracted driving by tracking how often drivers text, call, or check social media behind the wheel.

They always $ell it that way.

“Every driver leaves his or her digital footprint,” said Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, a New York-based industry group. “The idea is you install it and you forget about it. . . . And your auto insurance risk is being evaluated on a regular basis.”

Think of these new apps as version 2.0 of the devices that insurance companies introduced nearly a decade ago that plugged into a car’s diagnostic system, such as Progressive Corp.’s Snapshot. But those devices — used to measure speed, braking, and travel distance — are expensive, clunky to install, and never really caught on.

Insurers hope that a mobile app accessible with a few swipes of a finger will be more popular and attract younger customers, eventually leading to insurance rates based on actual driving, rather than other factors, such as your ZIP code or what kind of car you drive.

Drivers have access to real-time data on their phones — showing them how often they were tailgating or speeding — providing a pocket-sized roadmap for improvement.

But these mobile apps have regulators in some states, including Massachusetts, scrambling to understand the technology.

“The division has privacy, accuracy, and availability concerns in regard to the smart phone applications,” said Chris Goetcheus, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, which is in the early stages of developing policies for the apps. “The division understands . . . devices that can be installed in the vehicles. But introducing a smartphone app is a whole other arena.”

State regulators say they probably won’t be ready to decide until the end of the year whether to allow the apps.

Drivers participate by downloading the program on their phones. As an inducement, most drivers are offered premium discounts of between 5 to 10 percent to sign up. Further discounts kick in for good driving. Insurance companies say that the current programs do not penalize participants for bad driving, but consumer advocates worry that could happen in the future.

Besides offering real-time data to help drivers improve, the apps also allow parents to keep track of their teen drivers once the app is installed on their phones. It could eventually be tied to other services, such as roadside assistance.

“Our customers today are more tech-savvy and on-the-go than they’ve ever been and they want information and insights in real-time,” said Dave Pratt, the general manager of usage-based insurance at Progressive. “Given our reliance on smartphones today, it was a natural evolution.”

Meaning it's totally driven by man.

Progressive plans to start rolling out its mobile tracking app later this year.

Vance Loiselle, the chief executive officer of Boston-based TrueMotion, which developed the app for Progressive, said the software can identify if the user is a driver or a passenger, based on sensors on the phone that indicate which side of the car a driver enters, where he or she is going, or what time of day it is.

Progressive hasn’t filed a request to use the app in Massachusetts yet, but other companies have.

Both Illinois-based Allstate Corp. and Safety Insurance of Boston in recent months have asked the state’s insurance regulator for permission to market the free app to Massachusetts drivers. Allstate is already running television commercials nationwide featuring actress and comedian Leslie Jones, who will be in the new “Ghostbusters” movie, to promote its Drivewise app.

But Allstate and Safety’s applications are essentially on hold in Massachusetts while regulators develop policies to cover this new technology. State insurance officials have raised a slew of concerns about whether third parties would have access to the data the apps are collecting; if the information can be used in accident investigations; how consumers know if the records are accurate; and which phones can run the app.

Technology is expanding the data that can be collected on individuals and companies are getting ever more sophisticated about how they use the information — whether it’s mobile apps or new cars equipped with steering wheels that measure heart rates, said Robert Hunter, director of insurance at the Washington, D.C.-based Consumer Federation of America.

Consumers need to be aware of the information they are allowing insurance companies to collect, and what that can mean for their premiums, he said.

“It’s really important to know what you’re getting,” Hunter said. “I think anything that measures risk and makes people who are bad drivers pay more is good. But you have to know exactly what they’re measuring.”

For some consumers, it’s a worthwhile trade-off.

Tim Solon, 29, plugged Progressive’s Snapshot device into his car when he moved to Boston from Indiana nearly two years ago after he was told that his premium would skyrocket. The device helped him reduce his premium by about $300 during his six-month policy duration and forced him to be a more careful driver, Solon said.

He is eager for a mobile app version, that would be easy to download and simpler to check.

“Saving about $300 was completely worth sharing those things about my driving,” Solon said.

Eventually, every major insurance company will be offering a mobile app that monitors driving, said Jeff Blecher, senior vice president of strategy at Medford-based Agero Inc., which provides roadside assistance software services to insurance companies and is testing its Driver360 app with half a dozen insurers nationwide.

“I think mobile is the way forward in the long run,” he said.


You know how to cure distracted driving, right?

Related: Drive-By $pying

Now put on a good face for the FBI!

"You could be in this FBI facial-recognition system and not even know it" by Brian Fung The Washington Post News Service  June 16, 2016

WASHINGTON — Whenever you upload a photo of yourself or your friends on Facebook, the social network uses a facial-recognition algorithm to identify who’s in the picture — and then suggests that you tag them. This might strike some as a little creepy, but at least it’s relatively transparent.

The same may not be true of a massive facial-recognition setup used by the FBI, which not only combs through pictures of criminals but also allows law enforcement to search the faces of millions of other law-abiding citizens without their knowledge. And now a top federal watchdog says the program risks putting countless Americans under needless suspicion because of the system’s lack of safeguards. 

Combined with the NSA profile they know all your secrets.

The FBI has access to more than 410 million photographs of people’s faces. In addition to its own database, known as NGI-IPS, the agency can query the State Department for passport photos, the Defense Department, and as many as 16 state governments for driver’s license photos. And it’s negotiating with another 18 states for access to their facial-recognition records too, according to the report from the Government Accountability Office.

Since 2011, law enforcement officials have run tens of thousands of searches on the state driver’s license databases alone, in an effort to hunt down suspects. But the FBI hasn’t done enough testing to ensure that the system works appropriately, the GAO said.

Civil liberties advocates say they’re alarmed by the news.

‘‘When people go to the DMV to take their driver’s license photos, they don’t expect that their faces will be scanned and searched tens of thousands of times by the FBI,’’ said Alvaro Bedoya, executive director of Georgetown University’s Center on Privacy and Technology. ‘‘They don’t expect that their faces will become part of a permanent, digital lineup. What the FBI is doing may be legal, but it isn’t right.’’


It's amazing who they can't find:

"DOJ’s refusal to turn over code complicates child porn cases" by Gene Johnson Associated Press  June 24, 2016

SEATTLE — The Justice Department’s refusal to disclose information about a software weakness it exploited during a major child pornography investigation last year is complicating some of its prosecutions arising from the bust.

During the investigation, the FBI allowed a secret child porn website on the largely anonymous Tor network to run for two weeks while it tried to identify users by hacking into their computers. The cases highlight how courts have struggled to square technological advances with existing legal rules.

It's reminiscent of the FBI fight with Apple.

A federal judge in Washington state last month threw out the government’s evidence against one of the defendants, saying that unless the FBI detailed the vulnerability it exploited, the man couldn’t mount an effective defense.

In another case, a Virginia judge rejected a similar request in an opinion unsealed Thursday, saying even if the defendant had demonstrated a need for the full source code, that need would be outweighed by the government’s interest in keeping it secret to protect investigative techniques.

The judge suggested that even though the FBI obtained a warrant to hack into the defendants’ computers, it didn’t need one. He compared the agency’s exploiting of the software vulnerability to a police officer being able to see through broken window blinds into someone’s home — an analogy privacy and computer security experts called obviously wrong.

For starters, people know if their blinds are broken and have a chance to fix them. An officer looking through them is only observing what anyone else could observe. And ‘‘even if their blinds are broken doesn’t mean you get to go into their house and search,’’ said Mark Rumold, a senior staff attorney at the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation.

‘‘The court’s decision that you don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a laptop in your own home — people should be very worried,’’ he said.

The DOJ has said the information is not relevant. Defendants have been offered or provided all the evidence they need, including limited source code and data streams showing what the program did, the FBI has argued.

The department has also declined to disclose the information to Mozilla Corp., which believes it might concern a previously undisclosed flaw in its open-source Firefox browser.

The web version took the long way around.

‘‘We’ll continue to encourage the Government to disclose vulnerabilities to affected technology companies to allow us to do our job to prevent users from being harmed and to make the Web more secure,’’ Denelle Dixon-Thayer, Mozilla’s chief legal and business officer, said in an e-mail.

The child porn website, called Playpen, operated on Tor, which provides users anonymity by routing their communications through multiple computers around the globe, and it had more than 150,000 members. The Tor browser is based on Firefox, and while the network is used for various reasons — including circumventing free-speech restrictions in some parts of the world — it has also provided sanctuary for child pornography, drug trafficking and other criminality

What it begins to look like after a while is the same forces fighting this stuff are the same ones behind, just like with the 'terrorists." Creates a going concern and rational to push the surveillance agenda forward. Who stands with perverts?

After arresting Playpen’s operator in Florida in early 2015, the FBI let the website continue running for two weeks while trying to identify users — something the agency said was necessary to apprehend those posting and downloading images of children being sexually abused. Defense attorneys criticized the tactic as unethical.

A magistrate in Virginia issued a search warrant allowing the agency to deploy what it calls a ‘‘network investigative technique’’: code that prompted the
computers that signed into Playpen to communicate back to the government certain information, including IP addresses, despite the anonymity normally afforded by Tor. 

I'm disgusted reading the phrase child pornography, much less seeing any. 

The FBI then obtained further warrants to search the suspects’ homes. At least 137 people have been charged, and many more could be: In a court filing in Michigan this month, prosecutors said thousands of the website’s users, in the U.S. and abroad, are under investigation. 

Ma$$ media sure has kept quite about it.

‘‘The indiscriminate use of the technology to get into people’s computers is unprecedented,’’ said public defender Colin Fieman, who represents Washington state defendant Jay Michaud. ‘‘Never before has the government tried to get permission to search an unlimited number of computers — we’re really talking about people’s homes here, since that’s where the computers are — based on a single warrant.’’

Defendants have challenged the FBI’s hacking on numerous grounds, including that the magistrate exceeded her authority by issuing a warrant that permitted searches of computers in other judicial districts. Several federal judges have agreed she violated the rules of criminal procedure, but they’ve differed about whether the violation was merely technical, as judges in Ohio and Pennsylvania found, or requires the suppression of evidence, as courts in Massachusetts and Oklahoma have held.

The Justice Department has been pressing for changes to the criminal procedure rules that would allow such warrants when investigators don’t know the location of the computers they want to search.

‘‘The various rulings in these cases highlight why the government supports the clarification of the rules of procedure currently pending before Congress to ensure that criminals using sophisticated anonymizing technologies to conceal their identities while they engage in crime over the Internet are able to be identified and apprehended,’’ DOJ spokesman Peter Carr wrote in an e-mail.


Just don't honk your horn is all and you'll be okay.

Almost makes you want to ride a bike:

"Some parents are outsourcing this rite of childhood" by Beth Teitell Globe Staff  June 01, 2016

By her own admission, when Joanna Lydgate heard there was a woman in Somerville who gives kids bike-riding lessons, this is what she thought: “That seems like a total racket. I can teach my own kid to ride a bike.”

She and her husband had in fact already tried to teach their 5-year-old to ride, on multiple occasions, and tears — not a life skill — had come of it. Suddenly, hiring someone else to do the teaching didn’t seem so wrong.

In the nation’s collective nostalgia, learning to ride a bike is a rite of childhood, a parent-child bonding experience, with mom or dad running behind the bike, holding onto the seat, and yelling “keep pedaling!” as Junior wobbles to independence.

But now some parents are outsourcing the job — and a growing number of businesses are eager to help.

Kiddie bike lessons are increasingly popular at Landry’s Bicycles , particularly the Newton and Westborough locations, said Galen Mook, the company’s marketing and advocacy associate. Private lessons go for $80. Group lessons are less.

“Having someone with patience, who’s done it before [is helpful],” Mook said.

Richard Fries, executive director of MassBike , an advocacy organization, says his group has gotten many requests for children’s lessons, too.

It’s the same story in Brookline, where LeRoy Watkins III, the owner of MyBike and the Viking Activity Center playspace, is trying to figure out a way to meet the demand.

Some parents seek teaching help because they don’t know how to ride a bike themselves. Others are too busy. Many can’t take the whining.

The insulting elitism spews forth like a card in the spokes, and thus I am ditching the bike and this ride! 

Obviously, those parents don't love their children.

In Somerville, Lydgate was thrilled to stand by and watch as Susan McLucas — a grandmotherly woman with the world’s calmest vibe — taught Lydgate’s daughter, Marina, to ride a bike in 45 emotion-free minutes.

“I didn’t have to be implicated in any way,” she said.

Thirty-one years ago, when McLucas started the Bicycle Riding School , out of a ramshackle barn behind her Davis Square house, her intention was to help “the poor adults who spend their whole life not knowing how to ride.”

But along the way she taught a kid or two, and word spread from one parent to another. Now, demand has grown to the point where the kids have squeezed out the grownups, and McLucas needs to hire another teacher. (She already has one working for her.)

McLucas starts kids coasting down a very gentle slope so they can learn to balance and then teaches them to pedal — sometimes with her in tow, holding them up with a harness.

“It’s good for them, but bad for my 67-year-old back,” she said.

McLucas charges $10 to $30 per child for a group lesson, and $25 to $60 for a private class. As you might expect from someone who planted a Bernie Sanders sign on her lawn (until it somehow disappeared) and who works as a peace and women’s health activist, she lets people decide how much they want to pay. Most kids need three or four classes, she said.

Despite the current popularity of biking, Fries, of MassBike, attributes the demand in part to a surprisingly high percentage of young parents who themselves don’t know how to ride. Some came from countries where biking wasn’t popular or where girls didn’t ride bikes, he said, but others are US-born and bred.

“It’s almost like it skipped a generation,” he said.

A 2015 survey by YouGov, a global research company, found that while only 5 percent of people 55 and older can’t ride, 13 percent of 18-34-year-olds are nonriders.

Further, with kids and parents’ busy schedules, it’s easy for bike lessons to get pushed off to a another day — which never comes. “It’s one of those things where if you put it off, the next thing you know the kids are older and they are embarrassed and there is a lot of tension,” Fries said.

In Newton, after two years of trying, Beth Langston, a special education teacher, began to worry she’d never be able to teach her son, Chase, now 7, to ride.

“He was very scared of falling,” she said. “But he didn’t want to listen to us. It would always end in an argument.

“My husband said, ‘My kid isn’t going to know how to ride a bike.’”

And that might have been that, had a neighbor not mentioned McLucas, in Somerville. Mother and son took an intergenerational class.

“We’ll get Dunkin’ Donuts and make it a ritual,” said Langston, who is training for a triathlon and figured a biking brush-up couldn’t hurt. “If it takes the pressure off me, I’m good.”

Four lessons later, Chase was riding, and now, in a development that will come as a surprise to exactly zero parents, the squabbles are about getting him off the bike — not on it.

On Memorial Day, Elyse Mauer, 7, and her brother Markus, 5, were taking their first lessons from McLucas.

They had some experience — Elyse with training wheels and Markus on a small balance bike. But with no good biking spots near their Somerville home, and everyone busy, the training stalled, said their mother, Jenny Sauk, a physician.

But with the excitement of a lesson, the kids gained confidence coasting and quickly progressed to pedaling.

A shocked Sauk asked her son why the lessons worked.

“It’s better doing it this way,” Markus said. And with that, he rode off.


Also see:

Cyclist is struck by truck, killed in Cambridge
Probe of Cambridge cyclist’s death continues
Back Bay road hazard for bicyclists strikes again
Dorchester man pleads guilty in crash that killed cyclist
Alleged drunk driver ‘devastated,’ parents say
Ghost bikes emerge as a Boston ritual

You literally take your life in your hands in that city.

Especially when drivers are turning against the light:

"6-year-old calls police when dad goes through red light" by Steve Annear Globe Staff  June 01, 2016

QUINCY — Robbie Richardson wants to be a police officer when he grows up. During the Memorial Day weekend, the 6-year-old Quincy boy got a taste for what it’s like to be behind the badge.

Robbie dialed 911 to get in touch with the police Saturday after his father, Michael Richardson, ran a red light while the two were out running errands.

Michael said that after stopping at a light near Furnace Brook Parkway, he proceeded to take a right turn on red.

You can do that here. Doesn't the kid know this?

As he rolled through the intersection, Robbie belted out that his dad had broken the law.

Robbie wasn’t shy about it Wednesday. “I told him to stop, but he didn’t listen,” he said outside his family’s home.

At the time, Michael tried to explain to his son that it was OK to take a right turn at a red under certain circumstances.

Robbie wasn’t convinced. He knows his traffic laws.

“When a green light says go, you go that way, or that way, or that way, or that way,” he said, motioning with his hands different directions a car can drive. “A yellow light makes you slow. And then a red light makes you stop.”

Mom taught him that, he said. Not Dad.

Robbie warned his father — they were headed to the car wash in Robbie’s mother’s white Nissan Rogue — that as soon as they returned home, he was going to notify the police.

Michael laughed, he said, and brushed off the comment.

But Robbie wasn’t bluffing.

“I called the police,” said Robbie, who enjoys sitting inside a toy police cruiser and propelling it around the driveway while making siren sounds. “I know how to call the police. Easy peasy.”

As Michael, his wife, Joleen, and their 18-month-old daughter enjoyed the sunny weather outside on Saturday, firing up the grill for a start-of-the-summer feast, Robbie headed with determination to the house.

It was then he picked up the phone, unbeknownst to his parents, and dialed the emergency number.

“Um, daddy went past a red light,” Robbie said during the 911 call, which was shared nearly 200 times on Facebook by Wednesday afternoon. “He was in a brand-new car, my mummy’s car.”

When the dispatcher asked what happened next, Robbie told him that his father was headed to the car wash, but seemed to have been in a hurry to get there.

“Then he went past the red light,” Robbie again explained.

The dispatcher then asked to talk to the boy’s father.

Michael said his son brought the phone outside, where the family was preparing their meal.

“He has the cordless phone in his hand and he says, ‘Dad, somebody called, they want to talk to you,’ ” Michael said. “And I look at the number on there and I saw 911, and I kind of sank a little bit.”

He knew the jig was up.

Michael said he may have been shocked — so much so that he accidentally told the dispatcher his son was 5 years old — to learn there was a police official on the other end of the line.

When I ran this by a couple of people I know the response was universal: what a little shit!

But he wasn’t surprised that his son had stuck to his word, and reported the alleged misdeed.

“He’s a smart kid. When he says he’s going to do something, he does it,” Michael said. “He doesn’t bluff.”

Michael apologized to the dispatcher for allegedly running the red light — and for his son’s calling 911 for a nonemergency. The family then turned the situation into a teachable moment for their son.

That's what I like about the Globe. Always able to find the kernel of corn in a turd.

“We talked to him, and told him you can only call in an emergency,” Joleen said. She said she had taught her son how to call 911, in the event that the family really does require immediate assistance from first responders. “But I didn’t think he was going to call like that.”

Robbie, like his father, learned his lesson — next time his father runs a red light, he won’t call 911.

“When my daddy goes past a red light again, I’ll call the eye doctor,” Robbie said. “So he can fix his eyes.” 

He must be checking his cellphone at night (see further below).


Cute little future Nazi. 

He should be rewarded:

"Brookline police reward kids for good behavior" by Vivian Wang Globe Correspondent  June 30, 2016

BROOKLINE — Jacob Apelstein felt the dread rising inside him as the police cruiser circled closer. The office rolled down the window, sized up Apelstein, then spoke.

“Do you want free ice cream?”

“And I said, ‘phew,’ so that was a relief,” said Apelstein, 11.

That was last summer, the inaugural year of the Brookline Police Department’s “conehead citation” program, in which officers write tickets for kids who exhibit good behavior, like wearing their bicycle helmets or using the crosswalk. Kids can redeem the tickets at local ice cream shops for a free cup or cone. Officers wrote 300 citations last year, catching many off guard with a sweet surprise.

I see the police in Brookline are really busy.

This year, Apelstein knew the drill.

“Hi, Officer Katie,” he called to Officer Katie McCabe from the baseball diamond in the Jean B. Waldstein Playground where he was playing with his friends. After conferring briefly with Apelstein, 8-year-old Aaro Hellen chased after McCabe.

“I have a helmet!” he told her.

The goal of the program, which will run until school reopens, is not only to encourage road safety for young children, who often decide around middle school that they’re too cool for helmets; it’s also to build stronger relationships between police and the community, and to teach children not to fear law enforcement, McCabe said.

Why would they given all the propaganda they are subjected to regarding the authorities that love and protect them?

Officer Patrick Elwood, who was patrolling the playground on bicycle, said the program offers a welcome diversion from more routine duties such as writing traffic tickets or watching out for jaywalkers.

“You catch people by surprise, and there’s a big smile on their face before you’re done writing the ticket,” he said. “That’s rare,” he added with a laugh.

Hellen, who had successfully flagged down McCabe for a conehead citation, said his father had promised him they would get ice cream later that day, and now he had a free coupon. As he rode in circles around McCabe on his scooter, he struggled to decide what flavor he would choose.

Police are good people,” he declared. “I think that people should make an ice cream that looks like some kind of police.”

“I didn’t pay him to say that,” McCabe said with a laugh.

More children are becoming aware of the program, McCabe said, but not so many that police can’t still catch some by surprise....


Win 'em over with free ice cream. 

Let's hope you kids never get thrown in jail:

"Two former corrections officers face charges for attack on inmate" by John R. Ellement Globe Staff  July 01, 2016

Two former Department of Correction officers are facing criminal charges for allegedly beating an inmate inside the state prison in Walpole so severely he suffered a fractured skull and has a metal plate in his face to keep his left eye in his head.

Robert J. Grocki and Michael F. Savastano were indicted by a Norfolk County grand jury this week on two charges from the Sept. 16, 2014 alleged beating of Justin M. Sharples.

Sharples’ civil attorney, Robert M. Griffin, said “Even if he was the aggressor, their use of force was so over the top, that it could never be justified.’’

Defense attorneys for Grocki and Savastano said that Sharples was the aggressor and that both men acted in response to the inmate’s actions.

Grocki’s attorney, Peter D. Pasciucco, faulted Sharples for igniting the conflict and the Department of Correction for siding with the inmate. “This situation was created by the inmate,’’ Pasciucco said. “And I think the DOC manufactured the allegations to fit the inmate’s alleged injuries.’’ He declined to elaborate.

Both men have challenged their firings by the Department of Correction to an arbitrator.

Christopher Fallon, Department of Correction spokesman, wrote in an e-mail that the department “determined that they lied about the incident and assaulted the inmate,’’ he wrote.

According to Griffin, Sharples believed he was to be housed with sex offenders and had asked for a transfer.

The block sergeant told him the fastest way to be reassigned would be to refuse to go into his cell, which would lead to his removal by correction officers to Block 10 for violating prison rules. Prisoners who end up in Block 10 could be reclassified and moved into another cell block, according to Griffin.

Sharples refused to enter his cell and was ordered to enter a secure area and wait to be moved, Griffin said. He was standing with his hands behind his back waiting to be handcuffed when Grocki, Savastano, and other correction officers entered and violence erupted.... 

There are cameras and video covering everything, aren't there?


If only he had a cell phone in his cell:

"Temporary blindness tied to smartphone use in dark" by Maria Cheng Associated Press  June 23, 2016

LONDON — Dr. Gordon Plant of Moorfield’s Eye Hospital in London explained that both women typically looked at their smartphones with only one eye while resting on their side in bed in the dark — their other eye was covered by the pillow.

“So you have one eye adapted to the light because it’s looking at the phone and the other eye is adapted to the dark,” he said.

When they put their phones down, they couldn’t see with the phone eyes. That’s because “it’s taking many minutes to catch up to the other eye that’s adapted to the dark,” Plant said.

He said the temporary blindness was ultimately harmless, and easily avoidable, if people stuck to looking at their smartphones with both eyes.

One of the women was relieved the short-term blindness didn’t signal a more serious problem like an imminent stroke. He said the second woman was more skeptical and kept a rigorous monthslong diary tracking her fleeting vision loss before she finally believed him. But she couldn’t stop checking her phone for messages from bed, he said.

Dr. Rahul Khurana, a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, called it a fascinating hypothesis but said two cases weren’t enough to prove that one-eyed smartphone use in the dark caused the problem. He also doubted whether many smartphone users would experience the phenomenon....

What? Doubt what's reported in my paper?


NDUAuto insurance rates climbing for Mass. drivers

Also see: "Wendy’s said hackers were able to steal customers’ credit and debit card information at 1,025 of its US restaurants, far more than it originally thought."