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Burning fossil fuels causes health effects around the world both in the short and long term. Immediately, things like power plants and cars emit strong pollutants that can affect breathing, and, more gradually, climate change-induced natural disasters and food shortages cause a slower harm to our health worldwide. One particular demographic group, though, bears the brunt of the effects: children.
Only 10 percent of the world population is under five years old, but those kids bear 40 percent of the burden of environmentally related diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Further, policy makers don’t give sufficient attention to the benefits for children when evaluating how well regulations put forth to reduce fossil fuel emissions are working, says Frederica Perera, director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health.
That’s even though there is strong evidence that exposure to particulate matter and other airborne pollutants, like nitrous oxide, generated by burning fossil fuels, likely cause childhood health effects such as preterm birth, low birth weight, autism, and asthma, noted Perera and colleagues in a new review published in the journal Environmental Research. “This is an important, missing piece of the conversation,” she says.
Around 18 percent of preterm births, for example, can be attributed to exposure to particulate matter in utero. In the United States alone, that would account for just under 70,000 of the babies born preterm. A number of studies in both the U. S. and Europe show that exposure to particulate matter is associated with the development of autism spectrum disorder, and there is evidence to suggest that air pollution can cause poor neurocognitive development and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Children exposed to nitrous oxide are more likely to develop asthma, and the pollutant exacerbates existing asthma.
“They’re all important to look at,” Perera says. “This is affecting children right from the start, even before they’re born.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other government environmental entities, such as the WHO and the French Institute of Public Health Surveillance, use tools to estimate the health and economic effects of policies and changes in air quality. However, says Perera, those only incorporate a handful of child-specific measures, like infant mortality or worsening asthma symptoms.
Perea says that there is enough data avaliable on these measures to incorporate them into the tools that the EPA and other countries use to analyze health impacts. “I think it’d be useful to policy makers, who want to know why [they should] make changes and how to justify them,” she says.
It’s particularly important to take these measures into account because they affect children for their entire lives, Perera says. Infants born preterm, or at a low birth weight, aren’t just at risk for health problems in their first months—they’re more at risk for chronic illnesses throughout their lives. “A child with asthma is more at risk of persistent asthma and other respiratory problems,” she says. “A child who’s brain development has been impacted in some way is likely to have learning problems.” That, in turn, can lead to challenges at school or in the workplace.
“These are costly, in terms of the effect on individuals and families, and on society losing human resources,” she says.
Identifying the effects air pollution on children is more challenging than studying the effects on adults, notes Perera, because it’s harder to document and observe their health as they grow and over long periods of time. However, the continued publication of studies showing the vulnerability of small children to these exposures is helping to bring the issue into more conversations around environmental health, she says. “I think we’re going to overcome these limitations and close the gap.”
You're reading Children Suffer More From Air Pollution, But Our Policies Don’t Reflect That
Sometimes air pollution is easy to see. It billows off the top of smoke stacks, and out the tailpipes of cars zooming down the highway. Misty smog hangs in the air in cities like Delhi, Beijing, and Los Angeles, fracturing sunlight into a muted haze.
But it’s increasingly clear that the effects of air pollution aren’t constrained to body parts below the shoulders—they can hurt the brain in a whole host of ways, many of which researchers are still trying to understand. One major area of interest? The way exposure to polluted air can affect the cognitive development of babies and children. Researchers aren’t shocked to find that an environmental toxin could harm young brains, because they’ve seen it happen before.
“To me, air pollution is kind of the next lead, in a way,” says Deborah Cory-Slechta, a professor of environmental medicine at the University of Rochester.
Lead was everywhere throughout the start of the 20th century, readily used to make vacuums and paint and included as an ingredient in gasoline. It was known to be toxic, and concern over its health effects spurred fights for regulation, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that researchers linked even low levels of lead exposure to an increased risk for cognitive and behavioral problems in children—just as scientists are starting to do for air pollution now.
The parallel isn’t exact, but like lead, air pollution also disproportionately affects low income and minority communities. Like lead, air pollution is easy to put into the environment, and much harder to take out. “The more I do in this area, the bigger the problem seems to me,” Cory-Slechta says.Pollution on the brain
Cory-Slechta actually started out studying the effects of lead exposure, and she was skeptical when she first heard air pollution might pose similar dangers. But when a research group at her university, which was studying air pollution and lung development, asked if she was interested in taking a look at the brains of the mice used in their studies, she figured she might as well take a look.
She was shocked to find evidence of inflammation and damage in pretty much every area of the mouse brains. “And this was a full two months after the exposure to air pollution had ended,” Cory-Slechta says.
Living in areas with high air pollution has been linked to poorer memory, attention and vocabulary; to below-average performance on intelligence tests; and to delinquent behavior. Air pollution has also been implicated in developmental disorders ranging from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder to autism spectrum disorders.
Animal studies, where researchers can more strictly control the pollution exposure, back up the results from those human reports. They show that air pollution causes changes in behavior in rodents, and changes in their brains, like imbalances in the levels of certain molecules, hyperactivity in brain regions, and damage to neurons—many of which correspond to the way neurodevelopmental diseases look in these animals. The widespread inflammation seen in mouse brains after air pollution exposure, like Cory-Slechta observed in her initial studies, can damage neurons, and, during development, prevent the brain from organizing itself properly.
Although the research isn’t far enough along to draw an explicit, causative link between air pollution and developmental changes in humans, there’s a strong association between the two, strengthened by the accompanying research on animals. “We have a pretty good correspondence between the epidemiology studies in humans and the animal studies,” Cory-Slechta says.
The particles in the air get into the body and into the brain through a few different pathways: they can pass through the lungs and into the bloodstream, where they can travel up to the brain directly, or cause changes in the body’s immune response that trigger damaging inflammation. There’s also only a thin barrier between the nasal cavity and the brain, and tiny particles of air pollution can pass directly through.
Still, there’s a lot we don’t know about the mechanisms behind the effects of air pollution. It’s a slurry of different types of particles, of different sizes and from different sources. Some of the largest are about a tenth of the width of a human hair—big, on a microscopic scale, but still small enough to travel into the lungs. Others, known as ultrafine particles, are on the nanoscale. Pollution is made of nitrogen dioxide and ozone, and it might also have microscopic pieces of metals like zinc, tin, or even lead. The composition can change neighborhood to neighborhood, block to block, and hour to hour.
“The toxicity is different depending on the particular soup that you’re in,” says Rosalind Wright, who studies environmental medicine and public health at Mount Sinai.
One of the main challenges faced by air pollution researchers, then, is untangling the types of particles that could be the most dangerous from those that might be more benign. “Any step in that direction, looking at some components versus others, is going to be valuable,” Wright says.
We also don’t know much about the windows during development when the effects of air pollution might have the greatest impact. Maternal exposure to air pollution can affect fetal development, for example, and exposure during infancy and the first few years of life can harm children as well. But it’s not clear when the most damage actually occurs. Then there’s the question of dosage. Air pollution shifts around, and exposure can spike when people enter different environments—like driving through a tunnel on the highway. The difference between that type of extreme, temporary exposure, and long term, ambient exposure, are still muddled, as well.
The Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program, run through the National Institutes of Health, will hopefully produce new, robust data to help answer those questions, Wright says. The program aims to enroll 50,000 children and track, among other things, neurodevelopment and environmental exposures. “That initiative will take a big step forward in this area,” she says. “Hopefully, it will drive policy in the long run.”Preventing damage
One thing we do know about air pollution is that there’s more of it in low income communities and in communities of color. Racial and ethnic minority children in the United States are more likely to attend schools in highly polluted areas, and across the world, low income areas have higher concentrations of air pollutants.
Racial and ethnic minority children, and children in low-income areas, may also be more strongly affected by the air pollution that they’re exposed to. That’s because dealing with social stressors, like food insecurity or institutionalized racism, might compound the effects of environmental stressors like air pollution on their neurological and cognitive development.
“Studies show that if you don’t have stress concurrently with air pollution, you won’t necessarily see strong effects,” Wright says. That means, she says, that tackling some of those social problems might be one way to mitigate the harmful effects of toxic air. “It’d be interventions short of saying, change the air.”
The same patterns hold true for lead exposure—which disproportionately affects minority and low income communities, and is exacerbated by stress. Similarly, an enriched, non-stressful environment, can protect against lead-driven damage.
Unlike lead, though, knocking out the root of the problem isn’t as simple as removing one ingredient from paint and gasoline (which is complicated enough, and the United States is still struggling to keep up).
The problem with air pollution, Wright says, is that it’s so ubiquitous. Air quality is improving across the United States, even while in poor cities around the world, pollution levels are going up. But we still don’t know how low pollution actually needs to be to stave off developmental effects, Wright says. “Even at the cutoff levels where we have regulations on the quality of air, it can still be toxic.”
The United States, under the Clean Air Act, also only measures certain types of particles found in air pollution—the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for example, does not have standards for the levels of ultrafine particles, which may have their own unique host of health effects. Improvement on only the measures that we can see, Cory-Slechta says, doesn’t necessarily mean we’re making progress on all types of air pollution.
What’s more, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has taken steps to weaken or remove existing regulations around air pollution over the past year. Pruitt is also restructuring the way that the EPA uses scientific evidence to form policy—the agency will no longer consider research that was done with confidential data. A significant body of air pollution research uses medical records (which remain confidential under ethical guidelines) including studies on childhood development. That decision would help justify any EPA decisions to ease regulations on emissions from chemical plants or factories, and they would be able to disregard evidence showing that it harms kids.
Lead research bumped up against similar challenges from various industries that used the metal in their products, who fought against regulations and attempted to cast doubt on the scientific research.
Despite the challenges, the path forward in the fight against air pollution is made easier by the precedent set by lead.
“The struggle over lead was the poster child for these issues, and it broke down some barrier,” Cory-Slechta says. “At that point in time, early on, there was study after study just to try and get people to believe that lead exposure was associated with changes in IQ.” It’s common knowledge today, but when the research was ratcheting up in the 1990s, people were reluctant to acknowledge that it was a neurotoxin, she says.
“A lot of those fights got fought over lead,” Cory-Slechta says. “Now, when you say that there are behavioral effects of air pollution, no one questions it. So we’re able to move faster, and we’re a lot further along.”
The anticipation for iOS 12 is high for many iPhone and iPad owners, and with iOS 12 developer beta out in the wild, many people may be tempted to install iOS 12 beta onto their devices right now.
Installing the iOS 12 developer beta is possible, but ultimately you shouldn’t. If you’re that interested in running beta system software, you should at least wait a while.Installing iOS 12 Beta Right Now is Possible but…
It turns out that anyone can install iOS 12 beta right now through one of two means; signing up for an Apple Developer account, or by obtaining the iOS 12 developer beta profile. There’s no need to register a device UDID or anything else, all is needed is the beta profile and an iOS 12 supported device.
The first method requiring an Apple Developer account is just a matter of signing up and paying for the membership here at chúng tôi But the Developer program is intended for developers, not casual users, so this is really not a good idea unless you’re actually a developer of some sort.
The second method utilizes the iOS 12 developer beta configuration profile, which is a small file .mobileconfig file that installs onto an iPhone or iPad and then allows that device to access the iOS 12 beta system software through Software Update. The “iOS_12_Beta_Profile.mobileconfig” files can be found to download in a variety of places on the web, or perhaps from a colleague or friend with a developer account. While the beta profile can technically be installed onto any device, it is still not a good idea to do so for various reasons. One, it’s possible the beta profile .mobileconfig file is from a sketchy source and not actually legitimate or from Apple, in which case it’d be a very bad idea to install a random profile onto any iPhone or iPad. And second, even if the beta profile is legitimate and from Apple, the iOS 12 developer beta software is buggy and it will not be a good experience for most users. It’s even possible that permanent data loss could occur if the device runs into an issue with the iOS 12 developer beta system software builds. Just don’t take the risk, it’s not worth it.Don’t Install the iOS 12 Developer Beta, Wait Instead
Early developer beta software is notoriously unreliable and is about as buggy as beta system software releases get. Thus, even if you get ahold of the iOS 12 beta profile yourself from the developer center or through a friend or elsewhere, you should fight the urge to install the early beta versions and just wait.But I Want to Install and Beta Test iOS 12! What Should I Do?
If you really do want to beta test iOS 12, then you should wait for the iOS 12 public beta, which will start soon. The public beta builds of iOS 12 will be a bit further refined and should perform notably better than the early developer beta releases. Apple specifically created the public beta testing program to fit this desire of many users who like to explore and experiment with future system software.
If you find yourself in a bind and are currently running iOS 12 beta but regret it, don’t forget you can always downgrade iOS 12 beta back to revert back to a stable build of iOS 11.x if you need to, though you’ll want to be sure you have sufficient backups handy so that you can avoid total data loss.
Ultimately, the vast majority of iPhone and iPad users should never install beta system software at all – be it a developer beta or public beta – and instead most people are better off only installing and running the final versions of iOS when they are made available to the general public. For iOS 12, the final version will be available sometime this fall. Just have a little patience.
There are so many AirPod-like earbuds on the market that it’s difficult to choose which ones to buy. They are offered in every price range, but when it comes down to it, what matters is performance. This EarFun Air review will determine whether they fit the bill and whether they will give you the performance you’re looking for.
We have previously reviewed the EarFun Free earbuds and like them a lot. Can their sibling EarFun Air perform as well?Unboxing
The EarFun Air ships with everything you’d expect with quality earbuds. The only surprise is the USB-C cord, and what a great surprise that is. In the box you will find:
EarFun Air earbuds
Three extra sets of ear tips
USB-C charging cord
It seriously could not be easier, which is a feature that appears on everyone’s wish list for pairing anything through Bluetooth. After unboxing, insert the earbuds into the case and close it. With your phone or other device’s Bluetooth turned on, just open the case. That’s it. The EarFun Air will automatically pair.
The instructions suggest you charge them fully before your first use. Frankly, I didn’t need to, but I only got about four hours of use, and the manufacturer says they get up to seven hours of use, with 35 hours total with the case. I have never had seven hours of use, but I never get the promised hours with earbuds, which may be due to my particular usage.
Another unexpected bonus was that battery usage showed in the Battery widget in iOS 14. Not all earbuds show up there. But you can see in the image above that it shows the battery level of my iPad, my Apple Pencil, and the EarFun Air.Pairing with Second Device
The EarFun Air will automatically re-pair with the last device that was used. To pair with a second device, the instructions suggest you have the first one turned off, then pair them with the second device the same way you did the first device. I didn’t want to completely turn off my iPhone, so I just unpaired it so that I could pair the EarBuds with my iPad.Finger Touch Actions
There is a long list of finger touch commands for music, calls, and voice assistant – more than with other sets I have owned. The actions are also more successful than other sets. It’s still not always successful like the AirPod Pro earbuds are, but it isn’t at a frustrating level like some other earbuds and their touch commands. Difficulties could also be user-defined, such as whether your triple tap is more like a tap and hold, whether the time before taps is too long, etc.Ear Tips
By this point you should be figuring out whether the ear tips that were on the EarFun Air when they shipped fit well. If they seem too loose or too tight, it’s quite easy to switch to a more appropriate set. That said, they fit perfectly in my ears. While I have a small face, I usually fit well in the earbud tips that come installed on earbuds, other than Apple earbuds.Sound
I found the sound on the EarFun Air to be really good. It is immersive and puts me right in the middle of whatever I’m listening to, be it music, an audiobook, or a podcast. The two microphones in each earbud lead to great noise cancellation. The only earbuds I have found to surpass the sound is the AirPod Pro, and that is only because of the recent spatial audio upgrade. If not for that, I would say the similarity is very close.
Even using just one earbud, the sound is still very clear. This is simple to do. Just take one earbud out of the case, and it works the same as if you were wearing two. However, if you are wearing both and take one out of your ear, it stops the music or whatever else you’re playing. I found that to be a great feature, as there are many times instinctively that I take one earbud out to hear someone addressing me.Charging
Again, USB-C charging of the charging case is a great bonus. Additionally, if you put the earbuds back in the case for 10 minutes, it will give you another two hours using the EarFun Air. It will take an hour and a half to fully charge them.
The light on the front of the case is color-coded. If it’s green, you have more than 30 percent left in the case. If it’s orange, you have less than 30 percent. If it’s red, you have less than 10 percent. If it’s flashing red, you have less than 1 percent. The case will charge in two hours via USB-C and three and a half hours via a wireless charger.Only Concern
I had just one problem with the EarFun Air during this review. It’s not a complete gamechanger but does affect enjoyment and usage. One earbud continued to unpair and die sooner than it should when the other had much more time left.
As it seemed the contacts weren’t allowing the one earbud to completely charge, the EarFun team helpfully provided me with a quick fix to clean the contacts on the bottom of the earbuds and inside the case with a cotton swab and alcohol. This was followed by a factory reset with the button on the back of the case until I saw the lights on the front of the earbuds blink purple three times. I easily re-paired them after this.
This worked great until the right earbud went out. I just couldn’t re-pair the two of them together, no matter what I did. However, the EarFun team was great at issuing me a new set. I’ve been using them for a few weeks, and there are no problems at all. Nothing like with the first pair.Verdict
When all is said and done for this review, I still find the EarFun Air to be the best earbuds I have used, save for the AirPod Pros, and that’s saying a lot. Price-wise, they are a fraction of the price of Apple’s but the same as other budget sets that don’t work as well. The list price is $79.99, but they are on sale for $59.99. If you clip the 20-percent off Amazon coupon, it brings the price down to under $48.
Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site’s sponsored review program.
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Onda V919: an iPad Air clone that runs Windows, Android
iPad and iPhone clones aren’t news, but once in a while you do come face to face with one that looks like a cheap knockoff on the outside but actually offers something unique and almost tempting when you take a closer look. Take for example this Chinese-made Onda V919 3G Air which is, without a sliver of doubt, meant to copy the design of the iPad Air 2. But inside, you are met with both Windows and Android, running on specs that are almost decent and a price tag that is definitely more than decent.
The idea of dual booting Android and Windows on a single machine is a rather tempting idea, but one that has been met with almost instant death in the past. Samsung’s ATIV Q convertible and ASUS’ Transformer Book Duet both made that promise but never came to be. Rumor has it that Google or Microsoft or both didn’t want to share the same tablet space and talked to these OEMs to kill off their plans. ASUS would later find a way around this limitation with the Transformer Book Trio and Transformer Book V. Chances are slim that these tech giants would go after small fish like Onda and many others that might copy the same idea.
Talking about specs, the Onda V919 3G Air is a 9.7-inch tablet with a screen res of 2048×1536, a high resolution similar to Apple’s resolution of choice and quite uncommon among knockoffs. The tablet is powered by an Intel Bay Trail-T processor, the Z3736F, a quad-core that can run up to 2.16 GHz. It is helped by 2 GB of RAM, which is quite decent as far as casual usage goes. Given the size and specs, you probably aren’t going to do heavy stuff on this thing. But the combination of Windows 8 and Android 4.4, which you can quickly switch to using a single button, might tempt you to really take the device farther.
That said, the tablet is far from perfect, though, depending on your use case, they might be forgivable. Most worrying is the internal memory, which is only 64 GB. While that might be plenty for Android, Windows 8 tells a different story. You can say good bye to as much as 20 GB already for Windows alone. Fortunately, you can slap in as much as 128 GB for more space, though juggling apps and data around might be more of a chore. There is also no HDMI output, which practically confines you to the tablet’s own display. There is a USB port that is supposedly usable for OTG external drives.
All these, both the good and the bad, you get for 1,199 RMB, which is roughly $193. Not bad for the specs and the capabilities it promises. Onda, however, isn’t the only game in town. Teclast is also offering a similar opportunity with its Taipower X98 Air 3G, with almost the exact same specs and exactly the same price. The only difference is that this one does have an HDMI port but also comes with a much lower storage at 32 GB.
SOURCE: T-mall (Onda), (Teclast)
Don’t install Windows 11 from the web, it’s filled with malware
When trying to install Windows 11, never trust a leaked version you found online, as such an action can have serious consequences.
Some users, that applied such a software version to their devices, actually got infected with dangerous malware and viruses.
Security company Kaspersky is warning Windows users to not download and install the OS via copies found on the web.
The only reliable source to get Windows 11 is actually Microsoft itself, and you can do so via the Insider program.
As we are sure that you are aware by now, Windows 11 has been available for testing for some weeks now, through Microsoft’s Windows Insider program.
Before it was available directly from the Redmond tech company, some leaked ISO versions were downloaded and installed by Windows 10 users but, as you can imagine, they weren’t at all stable.
The bad part is that these so-called Windows 11 versions are still available on the internet and installing one of them could have serious consequences.
Remember that, if your device does not support Windows 11 or you just don’t want to replace your Windows 10 in order to test it yet, you can still try the new OS online, via an emulator.Windows 11 installers found online contain dangerous malware
All you can see across the internet these days is people testing and reporting problems with Microsoft’s latest operating system.
And, of course, other people wanting to partake in the testing phase for the upcoming OS but unsure where to get it from, tried to download the Windows 11 ISO from unorthodox sources.
It comes as no surprise that, every time something even remotely popular becomes available on the web, there are always certain individuals looking to make new victims by piggybacking off a product’s popularity, with malware.
As you can imagine, installing a bootleg version of Windows 11 that you found in God knows what website, can have serious ramifications.
It could mean that all your personal info is now up for grabs and all the time you’ve spent on ways to protect your content just went down the drain.
Big companies that specialize in security software, such as Kaspersky, are now warning users about the potential repercussions of using such installers on a personal device.
It’s wild to have to say this, but if you’re planning to install Windows 11, you should get it from official sources. As it turns out, people who are using alternative methods to get Windows 11 are also getting some malware along with it!
The untrained eye is easy to fool, as some malicious third parties have proven, by adding the nefarious software into an apparently harmless installer, called 86307_windows 11 build 21996.1 x64 + activator.exe.
By simply reading the description, some users might think that all it does is install Windows 11 build 21996.1.
This file’s size is only 1.75GB, and it certainly seems plausible to some. The actual truth is that the bulk of that space consists of one DLL file that contains a lot of useless information.What happens if I run this fake Windows 11 installer?
Before we describe what happens if you do, you might want to refrain from doing it, for your own safety.
We say that because opening the executable will start the installer, which looks like an ordinary Windows installation wizard. Its main task is to download and run another executable.
This second executable is actually an installer as well, and it even comes with a license agreement, which of course few people take the time to read.
It is generically called a download manager for 86307_windows 11 build 21996.1 x64 + activator and mentions absolutely nothing about the fact that it would also install some sponsored software.
And of course, if you accept the agreement, a number of malicious programs will be installed on your device.
Note that this is just one example, and there are many more such ingeniously disguised malware packs on the internet.
The main lesson here is that if you want to try Windows 11, download and install it from a certified source. In this case, the only certified and safe source is Microsoft itself.
Windows 11 is not available for purchase at any retailers, online or offline, at this time. This software is still in development and you can only test its preview builds via the Insider program.
This will save you a lot of headaches along the way. Especially if you have valuable or sensitive information stored on your device.
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