Listening to music may not help you enhance creative performance

music-headphones2_ThinkstockPhotosLONDON: Listening to background music “significantly impairs” people’s ability to complete tasks testing verbal creativity, say scientists who challenge the myth that music makes us more creative.

Psychologists from University of Gavle in Sweden, University of Central Lancashire and Lancaster Universityin the UK investigated the impact of background music on performance by presenting people with verbal insight problems that are believed to tap creativity.

They found that background music “significantly impaired” people’s ability to complete tasks testing verbal creativity – but there was no effect for background library noise.

For example, a participant was shown three words (eg dress, dial, flower), with the requirement being to find a single associated word (in this case “Sun”) that can be combined to make a common word or phrase (ie sundress, sundial and sunflower).

Listening to music may not help you enhance creative performance

The researchers used three experiments involving verbal tasks in either a quiet environment or while exposed to background music with unfamiliar lyrics, instrumental music without lyrics, or music with familiar lyrics.

“We found strong evidence of impaired performance when playing background music in comparison to quiet background conditions,” said Neil McLatchie of Lancaster University.

Researchers suggest this may be because music disrupts verbal working memory.

The third experiment – exposure to music with familiar lyrics – impaired creativity regardless of whether the music also boosted mood, induced a positive mood, was liked by the participants, or whether participants typically studied in the presence of music.

Listening to music may not help you enhance creative performance

However, there was no significant difference in performance of the verbal tasks between the quiet and library noise conditions.

Researchers said this is because library noise is a “steady state” environment which is not as disruptive.

The findings challenge the popular view that music enhances creativity, and instead demonstrate that music, regardless of the presence of semantic content, consistently disrupts creative performance in insight problem solving, researchers said.

[“source=economictimes.indiatimes”]

Out of phone storage? Five Android apps that help you clean up space, make phone snappy

There are a number of apps that can help you do more with the existing storage of your phone

By Zia Askari

Let’s face it, we all hate to wake up and find there is little space in the internal memory of our mobile phone. Whether you have a device that carries 16GB internal storage or 128GB of storage, it becomes a daunting task to optimise the performance of storage in your device, more so for a not-so-tech-savvy person. There are a number of apps that can help you do more with the existing storage of your phone such as organising files in a better manner, compressing files, and managing duplicate content on the device. We take a look at five Android apps that can help you organise storage in an efficient manner.

Astro File Browser
Astro File Browser is one of the oldest file manager apps that have been designed to help manage storage in a simplistic and yet effective manner. Some of the important features of this app include support on cloud storage, SD card support, file compression, app management. This app also provides archive extraction support.

File Manager
As simple as it may sound, File Manager is another good app that can help you manage your storage quite efficiently without adding too much of pressure on your computing resources. This app provides basic file management features along with cloud storage.
You can browse your installed apps, photos, audio, video and downloads, etc., with this app.

Clean Master
Clean Master is a widely used app because of its seamless storage cleaning capabilities. It lets you clean the app cache, residual files, history within the apps and many other junk files which pile up after you start using apps in your device. The most important factor contributing to the success of this app is the fact that this does not cause battery drainage.

Total Commander
Total Commander is one of the most powerful storage management apps on Play Store. It comes with a number of interesting features such as network storage, cloud storage support, book marks, plugin support, and also comes with an included text editor.

X-Plore File Manager
Yet another innovative storage management app, this delivers a unique interface in the form of dual panes—which means that you will be managing two windows at once pretty much all the time. This helps if you need to copy/paste between folders or need to move files quickly between two folders. This app also comes with support for various types of files, network storage, cloud storage, network storage (FTP, DLNA/UPnP), root support, and other features.

Duplicate Media Remover
Most of the time, unknowingly, we all have a lot of duplicate content in the form of pictures, voice files and videos occupying our precious internal memory space. This app can help you scan, find and remove all similar files including audio, videos, images and other files and manage your phone storage quite effectively. It provides options to select folders and to find and remove identical files between them. Using this tool, you can schedule scans on a weekly basis where it will scan device as per your convenience and help you manage your storage in an easy manner.

[“source=financialexpress”]

5 Apps That Can Help You Save Big, Or Even Get Paid

Image result for 5 Apps That Can Help You Save Big, Or Even Get Paid

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Many apps we can download on our phones promise to save us money or earn rewards. From scanning a barcode to taking a survey, there are hundreds of programs you can choose from.

One blogger tried dozens of them and narrowed it down to the top five free apps she’s cashed in on.

“All of my family will come to me and say, ‘I’m going to be buying this, how can I save money?’” blogger Sarah Carlson said.

She’s come a long way from clipping coupons for her mom every Sunday — now, Carlson shares her savings secrets on realhousewivesofmn.com. She regularly blogs about the apps she’s tried.

“There are a lot of apps out there right now where you can either save money or make money too,” she said.

And she had no trouble coming up with her top five.

Shopkick

“I think my top money saving app is Shopkick,” she said.

Shopkick offers rewards for shopping online or for walking in to stores. Scan bar codes on products for more kicks or points. Then, redeem them for gift cards or merchandise from Target to Best Buy to Starbucks.

“It’s really easy and that’s why I like it so much.”

ShopSavvy

Shop Savvy made the second pick on her list. Scan the bar code and the app searches stores to find the best price. Most will price match if you find a better deal.

Carlson usually uses it any time she’s about to spend more than 20 dollars for an item. She saved 50 dollars on a TV the last time she used it.

“You’re still walking out of the same store with the same item with 50 more dollars in your pocket. Why not?” she said.

PocketFlip

Don’t bother leaving your home to be able to use the third on her list — PocketFlip is survey-based.

“You go through the surveys and earn points, and once you earn enough points you can cash out for gift cards,” Carlson said.

Each survey is under five minutes. They’re usually based on beauty and home products commonly used.

Ibotta

“These apps are a little bit different in that you make the purchase first and then you upload the receipt afterwards,” Carlson said.

Ibotta pays you cash back on many items, mostly groceries. You cash out once you reach the $20 mark either through PayPal or a gift card.

Gift Card Granny

“Another great app is Gift Card Granny,” Carlson said. “Basically, it’s an app that shows you things that are for sale for less than their value.”

It’s that simple — shop for gift cards less than their value. We saw 21 percent savings for Fandango gift cards for movie ticket savings and 14 percent on Starbucks cards.

Feeling overwhelmed? Carlson suggests just picking a couple of apps and you’ll save something.

“Use the ones that work for you,” she said. “That’s better than saving nothing.”

Another app you might like is called Qapital. Everytime you use a credit card it rounds up to the nearest dollar, and that money goes straight into a savings account.

[“Source-minnesota”]

Insights from a rare genetic disease may help treat multiple myeloma

A new class of drugs for blood cancers such as leukemia and multiple myeloma is showing promise. But it is hobbled by a problem that also plagues other cancer drugs: targeted cells can develop resistance. Now scientists have found that insights into a rare genetic disease known as NGLY1 deficiency could help scientists understand how that resistance works — and potentially how drugs can outsmart it.

A protein called Nrf1 (shown in white in these mouse cells) can hamper promising drugs for blood cancers, but now researchers have found a possible workaround to shut Nrf1 down.
Credit: The American Chemical Society

A new class of drugs for blood cancers such as leukemia and multiple myeloma is showing promise. But it is hobbled by a problem that also plagues other cancer drugs: targeted cells can develop resistance. Now scientists, reporting in ACS Central Science, have found that insights into a rare genetic disease known as NGLY1 deficiency could help scientists understand how that resistance works — and potentially how drugs can outsmart it.

A class of compounds called proteasome inhibitors that include bortezomib and carfilzomib — both approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — have been effective at treating certain types of blood cancers. The drugs work by jamming some of cancer cells’ machinery to induce cell death. But the drugs have been limited by cancer cells ability to development resistance, as well as the inhibitors inability to fight solid tumors effectively. Studies have suggested that resistance could be linked to a protein called Nrf1. When proteasome inhibitors go into action, Nrf1 is spurred into overdrive to restore the cells’ normal activities and keep them alive. If researchers could figure out how to block Nrf1, they might be able to address the resistance problem. Carolyn Bertozzi and colleagues, through studying NGLY1 deficiency, a seemingly unrelated condition, may have hit upon an approach to do this.

The researchers were investigating how lacking the enzyme NGLY1 causes a host of debilitating symptoms. They found that NGLY1 is responsible for activating Nrf1, the protein that is suspected of weakening proteasome inhibitors’ effectiveness against cancer. Further testing showed that dampening NGLY1 allowed a proteasome inhibitor to continue doing its work killing cancer cells without interference from Nrf1. This finding, the authors note, holds great promise for the development of combination therapeutics for blood cancers in the future.

[“Source-sciencedaily”]