Debunked: The absurd story about smartphones causing kids to sprout horns

Debunked: The absurd story about smartphones causing kids to sprout horns

Enlarge / Horns and bull, a succinct summary of this news. (credit: Getty | Tim Graham)

The Washington Post on Thursday published a story suggesting that the use of mobile devices is causing young people to sprout horns from their skulls. But a look at the scientific data behind the story finds that such a splashy takeaway is tenuous at best—and atrocious reporting at worst.

The Post’s story was primarily based on a study published back in February 2018 by two Australian researchers. It earned fresh attention last week after being mentioned in a BBC feature on how modern life is supposedly transforming the human skeleton. The study was published in Nature’s open-source journal Scientific Reports, which is supposedly peer-reviewed. But the study has significant limitations and flaws and the Post breezed over them for a sensationalized story.

Perhaps the most striking problems are that the study makes

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Apple reportedly discussed buying Intel’s smartphone-modem chip business

Apple reportedly discussed buying Intel’s smartphone-modem chip business

Enlarge (credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Apple and Intel have talked about a possible business deal between the two companies that would have Apple acquiring parts of Intel’s smartphone-modem chip business, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Reportedly, the talks began last summer but stopped recently around the time that Apple and Qualcomm settled their patent dispute.

Intel gained more of Apple’s business when it began supplying smartphone-modem chips while the iPhone maker feuded with Qualcomm. That legal battle over patent royalties raged on for years until Apple and Qualcomm were set to meet in court earlier this month. On the first day of the trial, the two companies announced they reached a deal “to dismiss all litigation between the two companies worldwide.”

Qualcomm agreed to continue to supply Apple with smartphone chips under the deal, and Apple agreed to pay an undisclosed sum for the six-year licensing

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