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Parents: Reject Technology Shame. Tune into the conversation about kids and screen time, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that before the invention of the iPhone, parents spent every waking moment engaging their kids in deep conversation, undertaking creatively expressive arts-and-crafts projects, or growing their own vegetables in the backyard garden. There’s a tendency to portray time spent away from screens as idyllic, and time spent in front of them as something to panic about. But research shows that vilifying the devices’ place in family life may be misguided. I’ve spent the past two years conducting a series of surveys on how families manage technology, gathering data from more than 10,000 North American parents. And it turns out that the most successful strategy, far from exiling technology, actually embraces it. My data revealed that parents could be roughly divided into three groups based on how they limit or guide their kids’ screen time, each group with its own distinct attitude towards technology.

What ISIS Really Wants. What is the Islamic State? Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal. The group seized Mosul, Iraq, last June, and already rules an area larger than the United Kingdom.

Our ignorance of the Islamic State is in some ways understandable: It is a hermit kingdom; few have gone there and returned. The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior. We have misunderstood the nature of the Islamic State in at least two ways. I. II. IV. Turn off your f**king phone and talk to me! Sherry Turkle on why “I’m not the Darth Vader of... Oculus shows off final Rift virtual reality headset, partners with Microsoft's Xbox.

You can buy your own smell-o-vision VR headset, if you wanna. Mirror Mirror: Reflections on Virtual Reality and Cinema – Filmatic Festival. The Future of Games Will Focus on Escaping From Reality—and Improving It. Google's April Fools' Day prank turns maps into Pac-Man games. Google knows no one gives directions better than that hungry yellow blob. So the company turned to our childhood friend, Pac-Man, to help all those lost, foolish souls navigate their way around — just for April 1, that is.

As part of its barrage of April Fools' pranks, Google Maps has created a hack that lets users turn any city into the pixelated, classic arcade game, complete with multi-colored ghosts and iconic music. Simply click on the icon on the lower left of the screen to begin playing in your desktop browser. Google Maps' support page even includes a list of clues to guide you to the best locations to play Pac-Man. You can even play in the Google Maps mobile app, but only in those special locations. This isn't the first time Google has relied on a childhood videogame for April Fools' inspiration.

Have you found the best places to play? The Economist’s Tom Standage on digital strategy and the limits of a model based on advertising. LONDON — The past few months have been full of change at The Economist. In January, Zanny Minton Beddoes was appointed the magazine’s new editor after her predecessor, John Micklethwait, left for Bloomberg. In November, The Economist launched Espresso, a daily news digest delivered via email or a dedicated app, which has been downloaded more than 600,000 times. And it’s been reported that the magazine is looking at expanding into China and India to reach new readers. The Financial Times reported that The Economist’s paid circulation fell last year for the first time in at least 15 years — but the magazine’s digital and print circulation is still 1.5 million, a 64 percent increase over the past decade.

With these developments in mind, I spoke with Economist deputy editor Tom Standage, who oversees the magazine’s digital efforts, at his office at the newspaper’s London headquarters. Tom Standage: There are a number of big trends at the moment. So that’s the starting point. Standage: Yes. Google Maps now lets you turn any location into a game of Pac-Man.

New Research on Same-Sex Households Reveals Kids Do Best With Mom and Dad.