TIME Mental Health/Psychology

Naps May Help Babies Retain Memories, Study Finds

A 30-minute nap is thought to be an appropriate sleeping time

Taking naps after learning new information may help increase a baby’s memory, a new study suggests.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is based on tests of six- and 12-month-old babies to see how they retained memories, using a puppet with a removable mitten attached to a bell. Researchers repeated a sequence of actions using the contraption, several times, before the infants took naps of varying lengths.

Those who took naps that lasted longer than 30 minutes were more likely to remember how the device worked than babies who napped for only short periods after the lesson, the New York Times reported. Sleeping has long been tied to improving memory among humans. A recent study by researchers in Montreal found that children who get a good night’s sleep perform better in math and languages. So it makes sense that the benefits of sleep would also help infants.

Study author Sabine Seehagen of Ruhr University Bochum in Germany told U.S. News and World Report it was “quite unlikely” that the babies who didn’t nap simply didn’t remember the information because they were tired. Rather, it’s likely that the actual act of sleeping helped the babies to retain the new knowledge.


TIME Internet

This Website Lets You Attack Your Enemies With Glitter

There's a Mariah Carey joke in here somewhere

There’s a new lurking evil out there on the Internet: weaponized glitter. A new website called ShipYourEnemiesGlitter.com is vowing to do just that by mailing envelopes full of the annoying craft supply anywhere in the world for $9.99 AUD.

The site’s creators joked that glitter is “the herpes of the craft world” and promise that they’ll leave no indication of who paid for the unwanted gift. Included with the messy, sparkly debris will be a note telling the recipient “how awful they are.” The note, the creators promise, will itself be packed with glitter, increasing spillage. The site even has some (seemingly fake) testimonials from so-called customers who used envelopes of glitter to ruin marriages and put job security into question.

If you’ve never spilled a whole thing of glitter in your house, you may not understand what a cruel joke this would be to play on another person. Be sure you’re ready to destroy a relationship with the glitter bomb, because there’s no going back.

Read next: Twitter Account to Overly Thirsty Brands: Stop Saying the Word ‘Bae’

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TIME Companies

Apple Might Make Computers You Control With Hand Gestures

Apple Unveils iPhone 6
People attend the Apple keynote at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts at De Anza College on Sept. 9, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

The tech giant has filed a patent for what it calls “3D user interface”

Apple has patented a motion-control technology that would let people control a computer with hand gestures. The tech giant’s new patent includes diagrams of a person sitting in front of a desktop computer and gesturing to a webcam to control actions on the computer’s screen.

In the patent filing, Apple describes being able to use human gestures to control a “3D user interface” and to unlock a device, similar to the numerical passwords people currently use to unlock phones. An analyst at Global Equities Research speculated to CNBC that the tech could be used in a new gaming console or on the Apple TV streaming device.

Apple isn’t the first big tech company to experiment with gesture controls. Microsoft has been pushing its Kinect device, which tracks movements and responds to human voices, on its Xbox video game consoles for several years. However, the tech has yet to see widespread adoption, and Microsoft went so far as to remove Kinect from the Xbox One due to its high price and privacy concerns.

Among the other patents Apple was granted Tuesday was one for a GoPro-like wearable camera that could be used on bike helmets or underwater on scuba masks. The patent describes a camera that would boast a special microphone to record underwater sounds and could be controlled remotely using other devices such as a smartwatch. Following news of the patent, GoPro’s shares fell more than 12% Tuesday.


Dentists Have the Best Job in America

But doctors still make more money

Sorry, anti-dentites, but dentistry has been crowned as the best occupation in the United States by U.S. News and World Report.

The website placed dentists atop its annual list of the country’s 100 best jobs. Nurses came in at No. 2, followed by software developers, doctors and dental hygienists.

The rankings are compiled by evaluating multiple criteria, including an occupation’s future growth prospects, median salary, employment rate, stress level and work-life balance. Dentists earn a median salary of $146,000 and the number of dental jobs available is expected to grow by almost 16 percent from 2012 to 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Though dentists have the best jobs, doctors have the best-paying jobs, according to U.S. News and World Report. The website also deemed public relations practitioner the best creative job, market research analyst the best business job and software developer the best STEM job.

TIME apps

Uber Offers Free Rides to Early Film Screenings

Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg/Getty Images

To special screenings of Kingsman: The Secret Service

Now there could be a new way to get an early look at hotly anticipated movies: hail an Uber. The taxi app is launching a new partnership with 20th Century Fox to carry Uber riders to special screenings of the upcoming spy movie Kingsman: The Secret Service on Thursday. In 50 cities, Uber users will be able to enter a special promo code between now and Thursday for a chance to win tickets to the early screenings. In 9 cities, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, some winners will also receive complimentary Uber rides to the movie theater and film merchandise. Three grand-prize winners will get a paid vacation to New York to attend a special event for the film on Feb. 9.

Kingsman: The Secret Service doesn’t premiere nationally for another month, so Uber users are getting a pretty advanced look at the latest Colin Firth vehicle.


This Google App Will Soon Automatically Translate Foreign Languages

Google Translate
The Google Inc. company logo is seen on an Apple Inc. iPhone 4 smartphone in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

After Microsoft's Skype made a big push into real-time translation

There’s a big update in the works for Google’s translation app that will make it possible for people speaking different languages to converse in real time.

Google Translate will soon start immediately converting words spoken in one language into text in another language during online conversations. The update is coming “soon,” according to The New York Times.

Google is also planning another instant-translation feature that will let users point their phones at foreign street signs and have the text of the signs converted into another language.

Google has about half a billion monthly users for its Translate service across platforms, a company executive told the Times. The product features translations of 90 languages via text, along with a few via voice as well.

The new feature will follow a December update to Skype that offers instant translations in conversations between English and Spanish speakers.

Read next: These GIFs Show the Freakishly High Definition Future of Body Scanning

TIME Media

Spotify Now Has 60 Million Users

NYC Mayor Bloomberg Joins Spotify To Make Announcement
People gather in Spotify offices following a press conference on June 27, 2013 in New York City. Mario Tama—Getty Images

Including 15 million paying subscribers.

Spotify is ringing in the new year with a new userbase milestone. The music streaming service announced Monday that it has reached 60 million active users and 15 million paying subscribers who shell out about $10 a month for an ad-free experience.

The new figures imply that Spotify’s growth rate is accelerating. The company announced in May that it had reached 40 million users and 10 million paying subscribers. In November, amidst controversy over Taylor Swift pulling her entire music catalogue from the service, Spotify revealed that it had 50 million subscribers, 12.5 million of whom were paying customers. Now the company has increased its user base by another 10 million over the course of just a few weeks.

Spotify leads the market of on-demand music streaming services by a large margin. Deezer, the second-place service, has 16 million active users and 6 million paying subscribers.

Read next: 8 Spotify tricks that will change the way you listen to music

TIME Companies

Cloud Storage Company Box Is Almost Ready to Go Public

Company could be valued at close to $1.6 billion

Cloud storage service Box is almost ready to go to the market.

The tech startup filed an amended IPO Friday pricing its shares between $11 and $13. At the high end, the IPO would raise as much as $187 million for the company and value Box at nearly $1.6 billion.

Box had originally filed for an IPO in March 2014 but shelved plans for going public last year amidst an overall downturn in tech stocks. The company is not yet profitable, having lost $121 million in the first nine months of 2014 and $125 million in the first nine months of 2013. Revenue for those periods was $154 million and $85 million, respectively.

Box is facing pressure from several much larger competitors, including Dropbox, Google and Microsoft, who have all spent the last year or so offering increasing amounts of cloud storage for lower prices.

TIME apps

Apple’s App Store Just Had Its Biggest Day Ever

Customers spent half a billion dollars on apps in a single week

Apple already won Christmas. Now it looks like it probably won New Year’s too. The company just revealed that New Year’s Day was the largest sales day ever for the App Store, which sells apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. During the first week of January, customers spent nearly $500 million on iOS apps, a new record for Apple.

2014 wasn’t a shabby year for the App Store either. Apple said app sales rose 50 percent year-over-year and the company paid out $10 billion to developers in 2014. Since Apple keeps 30% of the revenue from each App Store transaction, that means the company pocketed about $4.3 billion from app transactions last year. Overall, developers have earned about $25 billion from app sales since the App Store launched in 2008, putting Apple’s total take above $10 billion.

Cultivating a user base that spends lots of money on apps remains one of Apple’s key advantages over Google and its Android operating system. Though the vast majority of smartphones today run on Android, the App Store’s global revenue was 60% higher than revenue from the Google Play Store in the third quarter of 2014, according to mobile analytics firm App Annie.

TIME Media

Google’s Ambitious Foray into Your Living Room Is Dead

A Google logo is seen at the garage where the company was founded on Google's 15th anniversary in Menlo Park, California
A Google logo is seen at the garage where the company was founded in Menlo Park, Calif., on Sept. 26, 2013 Stephen Lam—Reuters

At least the search giant's first effort, Google TV, is. Android TV and Chromecast have replaced its first living room device

Google TV, the search giant’s first big foray into the living room, is finally dead. Google announced via Google+ Tuesday that it would no longer be providing updates for the Google TV platform and that it was removing Google TV’s development tools from the Web.

Back in 2010, Google launched Google TV as a kind of modern take on Microsoft’s WebTV, which was once thought to be the future of television entertainment. On compatible television sets, users could boot up Chrome and surf the web for articles, videos and other content at the same time they were watching live TV, even using a mouse and keyboard if they chose. The concept didn’t catch on in the ‘90s when Microsoft tried, and it didn’t really work for Google either.

Since then, the search titan has pivoted to more streamlined and elegant TV options. The Chromecast dongle lets people stream content from their phones onto the big screen, the new Nexus TV set-top-box focuses on surfacing premium video content from a variety of sources and a new line of Android-powered television sets will attempt to make switching between live TV and online streaming services completely painless.

Google TV products will still work though they’re not being supported, and Google says a “small subset” of Google TV devices will be updated to run Android TV. But for all intents and purposes, one of the earliest high-tech competitors in the battle for the living room is no more.

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