Staff picks for the week of Aug. 22, 2016

Staff Picks GeneralHappy Friday! Here are the most interesting tech stories our staff read this week.

Liberal, moderate or conservative? See how Facebook labels you (Read by Heidi B.)

In the digital age, every click counts. Virtually every move you make on the internet is used to build a profile of who you are, so advertisers can accurately market their messages. The question is, how accurate is your profile? To check out how Facebook categorizes you to its advertisers, simply browse your interests at facebook.com/ads/preferences. Although this article focuses on political categorizations, Facebook lists a ton of interests, from food and drink to news and entertainment. I have to say most of my profile is accurate, although I’m not sure why they think I’m interested in instant coffee – yuck!

This creativity app is great for iPad-obsessed kids (Read by Heidi B.)

I don’t have kids of my own, but I do have nieces and nephews who are absolutely enamored by iPads. While some people believe that passive screen time is bad for kids (i.e. watching YouTube videos), more and more parents are beginning to feel that if kids are actively engaged, screen time can actually be beneficial. Enter a new app called Osmo Monster. On-screen Mo, a cute orange, bear-like character tells a story, but only as long as kids simultaneously draw on an accompanying whiteboard. Read on to discover how tech can actually enrich your child’s development.

MIT’s new way to make metal could significantly lower air pollutants (Read by Camillia S.)

It seems like MIT is always developing something to enhance our lives, and its latest discovery of a healthier and greener way to develop metal is no different. Researchers at the school have discovered a new smelting method that almost completely eliminates greenhouse gas emissions. Though they originally sought a way to build better batteries, killing two birds with one stone is always better. With metals like copper and nickel being used to create most of our electronics, it’s awesome that they’ve stumbled across a way for us to still get our gadgets without sacrificing the planet.

Apple is creating its own Snapchat, says Bloomberg (Read by Alexandria H.)

Apple may be throwing its hat in the social media ring. According to reports, the company is creating an app similar to Snapchat and Instagram Stories that allows users to share short videos and pictures with filters. News of this app, which so far is nameless, comes weeks before the company is scheduled to host its September iPhone event. If you need yet another way to share moments of your day with all your friends and family, keep your ears open and your eyes peeled for more news on this mysterious new app.

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