Teens who use a lot of tech may be at an increased risk of developing ADHD, IBM is suing Groupon for patent infringement, and controlling machines with human minds like Pacific Rim may be a reality.


First up from LinkedIn is a new study that says teens who frequently use digital media are at an increased risk of developing attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. The report in the Journal of the American Medical Association studied more than 2,000 students between the age of 15 and 16 over two years. It found that ADHD symptoms like inattentiveness or impulsiveness increase significantly with exposure to technology like video games or streaming videos. For example, less than five per cent of teens with low technology usage experienced ADHD symptoms during the study, while more than 10 per cent of those who used a lot of technology felt the symptoms. The study does not prove technology use causes ADHD, however.

And next up from LinkedIn again, IBM is suing Groupon for patent infringement and is seeking $167 million in repayment. A lawyer for IBM argued in a US federal courthouse that Groupon had used its patented e-commerce technology that had already been licensed to Amazon, Facebook and Google for between $20 million and $50 million per company. Groupon’s lawyer said in counterarguments that IBM was claiming ownership of “building blocks of the internet” and that the company had overstepped the scope of its patents. IBM invests heavily in research and development and has secured more US patents than any other company in the past 25 years. The trial is expected to wrap up in about two weeks, so stay tuned.

And last but not least from Reddit, if you thought Pacific Rim was a cool movie, you’re going to like this next story. Apparently the US Defense Department is putting together teams to develop a neural interface that would allow troops to connect to military systems using their own brainwaves and also let those systems transmit information back directly to a user’s brain. The project is being called the next-Generation Non-Surgical Neurotechnology program and aims to combine the speed and processing power of computers with a human’s ability to adapt to complex situations. In other words, the technology would let people control, feel, and interact with a remote machine as though it were a part of their own body. Teams chosen to work on this tech will have four years to create a working neural interface. While this might fuel conspiracy theories about aliens and government mind-reading and control, the department says this is only meant as a tool for human-machine collaboration. Are you buying that?

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