No, music isn’t helping you become creative

 
LONDON: 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 University in the UK investigated the impact of background music on performance by presenting people with verbal insight problems that are believed to tap creativity.

For example, a participant was shown three words

(e.g. 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).

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 boosted mood, induced a positive mood, was liked by the participants, or whether participants typically studied in the presence of music.

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.

[“source=timesofindia.indiatimes.”]

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”]

Your apps are spying on you

Awareness around data integrity is improving every day, but are your efforts to shore up your sensitive personal information in vain?

Unfortunately, the answer appears to be yes.

Have you ever had a phone conversation about a brand or product, only to hop onto your browser later that day and be inundated with ads for the same product?

It’s enough to make anyone do a double take, and it’s been the source of an old legend: our phones record our conversations.

In their 2018 study, undergraduate Elleen Pan and doctoral candidate Jingjing Ren set out to test this very theory, analysing over 17,000 of the most popular Android apps.

The result?

9,000 of those apps had the potential to be unfaithful to the user.

While no evidence was found of recorded conversations, the apps in question took screenshots of activity before forwarding them onto third parties.

Oh dear.Oh dear.

That’s just a tad horrifying.

David Choffnes, who was one of two computer science professors who oversaw the study, commented on the findings: “We found that thousands of popular apps have the ability to record your screen and anything you type.

“That does include your username and password, because it can record the characters you type before they turn into those little black dots.”

“We knew we were looking for a needle in a haystack,” Choffnes said, “and we were surprised to find several needles.”

Although the privacy breaches over the course of the study were largely benign, it drives home just how easy it could be for your phone to be exploited for cash.

“This opening will almost certainly be used for malicious purposes, it’s simple to install and collect this information,” said Christo Wilson, the other computer science professor on the research team.

“And what’s most disturbing is that this occurs with no notifications to or permission by users.

“In the case we caught, the information sent to a third party was zip codes, but it could just as easily have been credit card numbers.”

It should be noted that while the study was only conducted on Android apps, the study concluded that iOS apps were likely guilty of similar breaches.

So, how do we combat this betrayal?

Android Q teases new and improved privacy controls

While there’s no quick fix for this loophole, greater app security is a major point of emphasis in the upcoming Android Q release.

In the new edition of the popular OS, a status bar feature displays when sensitive phone permissions are in use and which apps are responsible.

Source: arstechnica Source: arstechnica

Among these fresh features will be a list that displays:

  • Apps by most frequently accessed permission
  • Apps by most permission use
  • Apps that gained recent permission access

This will be a significant upgrade over Android’s current permission screen, which is a simple series of on/off switches.

Other improvements include greater visibility on why apps need certain permissions and GPS services being actively turned off when an app is running in the background.

In theory, these updates should help users make informed decisions around which apps could be up to no good.

[“source=finfeed”]