7 back-to-school apps to help you make the grade

You're already dreading the early wake-up times and the terrifying tests and term papers that are par for the coursework. While we can't excuse you from that 8 a.m. class or from the pop quiz that you're so not prepared for, we can recommend seven educational apps to ease and enrich the coming school year.

iProcrastinate ( Mac, iOS) In Intro to Psychology, you may have learned that procrastination is a sure sign of not wanting to do something. We get it. Few students are dying to write that term paper or prepare for that final. iProcrastinate … Read more

Mantis Bible Study review

Mantis Bible Study is an iOS app that lets you read, search, and annotate the Bible. It's not the most intuitive app we've ever seen, and some of its features must be purchased, but it's not a bad choice if you're looking for a way to access the Bible on your mobile device.

Mantis Bible Study has a fairly plain interface, though navigating it can be a bit of a pain until you get used to how it works. A button on the upper left side of the interface lets you choose the version of the … Read more

Blogging deemed beneath the hallowed halls of academia

To blog, or not to blog: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer.

In a battle worthy of Shakespeare's famous scene in Hamlet, some members of the academic world have been raging. No, the fight wasn't about revenge for murder, it was about whether scholars should be allowed to blog.

The International Studies Association, a scholarly association with 6,200 members, announced on Monday that editors of its journals should be banned from blogging, according to the Guardian. The group said that the move was necessary for "maintaining and promoting a professional … Read more

NASA shows 60 years of climate change in 15 seconds

When you put all the data together, it becomes pretty hard to deny that global temperatures are slowly but surely rising.

A new video released by NASA shows just over six decades of global temperatures, making it pretty clear that the world is getting warmer. In fact, according to NASA data, 9 of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since the year 2000 (the other was 1998), with the hottest years being 2010 and 2005. … Read more

Pew: Most young Americans support Snowden

Edward Snowden, the famed National Security Agency (NSA) leaker, has found himself in the good graces of young Americans, a new Pew Research study has found.

When asked whether Snowden "has served the public interest" or "has harmed public interest," 57 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 chose the former. Just 35 percent in that age group think he has harmed public interest.

Despite that, however, young Americans are split on whether Snowden should face charges, with 42 percent of people saying he should and another 42 percent saying he shouldn't.… Read more

Fast fiber-optic broadband spreads across developed world

Fiber-optic broadband is becoming less of a rarity.

Subscriptions to the high-speed networking service grew 13.9 percent from June 2012 to June 2013, according to newly released statistics from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which monitors economic trends in North America, Europe, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, and some other developed countries and regions.

That growth means fiber-optic links now are used for 15.8 percent of broadband connections in the OECD area.

Of course, usage varies widely by country. Japan leads with 68.5 percent penetration of fiber-optic links, with South Korea close behind at … Read more

35% of Americans now own a tablet, Pew says

Thirty-five percent of Americans own a tablet and 24 percent own an e-reader, according to the latest study from Pew Internet Research.

Pew documented a big jump in tablet ownership. In November 2012, 25 percent of Americans owned a tablet. The findings illustrate the democratization of tablet computing and the impact on lower-cost models beyond the larger version of the iPad.

This chart sums up the tablet and e-reader ownership breakdown for Americans 16 years old and up. It's also worth noting that previous Pew studies on tablet ownership in the US started at age 18 and up.

As … Read more

Review: WorkStudy + 5 for Time Study is a handy iPhone research tool

WorkStudy + 5 for Time Study is a tool for businesses and researchers that are calculating time data in an effort to analyze either a research study or an aspect of their business. It's not a visually attractive application and there is little to no training for novice users, but it is possible to see how this type of program can address the needs of researchers in several industries.

With WorkStudy, you create a study along with elements and fields for research. For example, if you run a grocery store and wanted to measure the time it takes for a … Read more

Study: 40 hours of complex StarCraft is good for the brain

Playing 40 hours or Starcraft, the real-time strategy game pitting humans and two alien species against each other, can make people think more flexibly.

So concludes a study this month that compared groups of people who played The Sims, StarCraft with easier conditions, and StarCraft with harder conditions that required players to keep track of a more complicated scenario.

"Real-time strategy gaming selectively promotes cognitive flexibility, particularly under conditions in which players must rapidly switch between contexts while maintaining memory for both contexts," concluded authors Brian D. Glass of the University of London, W. Todd Maddox of the … Read more

Track classes, assignments, and grades easily

iStudiez Pro is a college student's best friend, with great ways to manage classes, assignments, deadlines, and more, all with a well-designed interface that makes it easy to use. It's important to note the iPhone interface is quite a bit different than the iPad version, so most of this review is for the iPad, with differences on the iPhone at the bottom.

iStudiez Pro on the iPad The app controls on the iPad are across the top of the screen. You can hit a Today button to see what you need to do for the day. There are … Read more