Majority of Americans use Facebook and YouTube

The Pew Research Center reports that while a majority of Americans use Facebook and YouTube, young adults are especially heavy users of Snapchat and Instagram.

“A new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults finds that the social media landscape in early 2018 is defined by a mix of long-standing trends and newly emerging narratives. Facebook and YouTube dominate this landscape, as notable majorities of U.S. adults use each of these sites. At the same time, younger Americans (especially those ages 18 to 24) stand out for embracing a variety of platforms and using them frequently. Some 78% of 18- to 24-year-olds use Snapchat, and a sizeable majority of these users (71%) visit the platform multiple times per day. Similarly, 71% of Americans in this age group now use Instagram and close to half (45%) are Twitter users.”

social media use


NOAA to launch “saildrones” to monitor the Pacific Ocean

sailboat drone

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will replace its network of buoys called the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean array with sailboat drones, built by California startup Saildrone. These drones collect wind and temperature data that helps the agency track storms and other weather patterns. Their drones provide the same sensing and monitoring capabilities of NOAA’s buoys but with the advantage of being mobile. Learn more about it at Popular Mechanics.


Congratulations to the winners of the McGraw Prize in Education

McGraw-Hill winners

The McGraw Prize recognizes outstanding individuals who have dedicated themselves to improving education through innovative and successful approaches. It is administered through an alliance between The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation, McGraw-Hill Education and Arizona State University.

McGraw Prize winners were recognized in three global categories in 2018: Learning Science Research (a new category this year), Higher Education and Pre-K-12 Education. The winners are:

  • Arthur Graesser, Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Institute of Intelligent Systems at the University of Memphis, is the winner of the inaugural Learning Science Research prize.
  • Timothy Renick, Senior Vice President for Student Success and Professor of Religious Studies at Georgia State University, is the winner of the Higher Education prize.
  • Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, is the winner of the Pre-K-12 Education prize.

Learn more about it at

Watch the Paralympic Winter Games March 9-18


The Paralympic Winter Games take place March 9-18 in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The Games will feature up to 670 athletes, a 24 per cent increase on the 539 athletes that competed at Sochi 2014. This number includes a 44 per cent increase in the number of female athletes set compete compared to Sochi.

Athletes will compete in 80 medal events across six sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice hockey, snowboard and wheelchair curling.

Check out all the Olympic events at

AI assistant takes notes at doctor visits

AI assistant

Microsoft and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) developed an AI application that analyzes a doctor’s conversation with a patient and records it in the patient’s electronic health record.

Ideally, a doctor using the scribe could devote their full attention to a patient during an exam. Then he or she could turn to the electronic health record and accept suggestions the scribe makes, like a diagnosis or notes for future treatment.

Microsoft is just one of several tech giants launching new initiatives in health technology, competing against Amazon, Google, Apple as well as a growing number of technology startups in an effort to solve some of the most intractable problems in healthcare. SayKara, a Seattle based startup, is even making an AI-powered scribe for doctors similar to the one Microsoft unveiled today.

Read all about it at

Let the data pick your friends

art, data, and friends illustration

NPR’s All Tech Considered reports on Laurie Frick, an artist who sees data so powerful it can help us pick better friends.

“Frick is not very good at assessing the character of friends. After years of working with data, she has begun to wonder whether numbers would be better than her intuition … She has been experimenting with a trove of questions and answers that she downloaded from the dating site OkCupid. She says the questions are designed to assess your character, measuring things like honesty and empathy … Frick imagines a future in which your smart watch will know how your body is responding to someone. Then it will combine with Facebook data about their personality. And that will let you know whether that person makes you lethargic, raises your blood pressure or depresses you.”

Read how Frick presents her ideas to big tech companies that are looking for the next big thing at