Tech Tip: Starting Fresh With Firefox

Starting Fresh With Firefox Q. After many years, I started using the Firefox browser again, and the start page for this new version is covered with links and icons. Can I change it?
A. Mozilla, which released Firefox 1.0 in 2004, significantly overhauled the browser last year and named it Firefox Quantum. In addition to retooling the software to make it faster and use less of the computer’s memory than previous versions, the program got a bit of a visual redesign, including a new look for the New Tab page.
The first row of the New Tab page displays icons for the “Top Sites” you visit frequently or have used recently. If you have specific sites you would like to pin to the page or remove from view, you can customize the Top Sites collection. Just move the cursor over the top-right corner of an icon and click to get a menu of options.
Photo Use the menu on the Firefox New Tab page to pin, remove and edit your shortcuts to favorite and frequently visited sites. Credit The New York Times..

Climate Change Reroutes a Yukon River in a Geological Instant

Climate Change Reroutes a Yukon River in a Geological Instant In the blink of a geological eye, climate change has helped reverse the flow of water melting from a glacier in Canada’s Yukon, a hijacking that scientists call “river piracy.”
This engaging term refers to one river capturing and diverting the flow of another. It occurred last spring at the Kaskawulsh Glacier, one of Canada’s largest, with a suddenness that startled scientists.
A process that would ordinarily take thousands of years — or more — happened in just a few months in 2016.
Much of the meltwater from the glacier normally flows to the north into the Bering Sea via the Slims and Yukon Rivers. A rapidly retreating and thinning glacier — accelerated by global warming — caused the water to redirect to the south, and into the Pacific Ocean.
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Continue reading the main story Last year’s unusually warm spring produced melting waters that cut a canyon through the ice, diverting more water into the Alsek River, ..

Trillions of Plastic Bits, Swept Up by Current, Are Littering Arctic Waters

Trillions of Plastic Bits, Swept Up by Current, Are Littering Arctic Waters
The world’s oceans are littered with trillions of pieces of plastic — bottles, bags, toys, fishing nets and more, mostly in tiny particles — and now this seaborne junk is making its way into the Arctic.
In a study published Wednesday in Science Advances, a group of researchers from the University of Cádiz in Spain and several other institutions show that a major ocean current is carrying bits of plastic, mainly from the North Atlantic, to the Greenland and Barents seas, and leaving them there — in surface waters, in sea ice and possibly on the ocean floor.
Because climate change is already shrinking the Arctic sea ice cover, more human activity in this still-isolated part of the world is increasingly likely as navigation becomes easier. As a result, plastic pollution, which has grown significantly around the world since 1980, could spread more widely in the Arctic in decades to come, the researchers say.
André..

White House Looks to Use Emergency Law to Halt Chinese Investment

Supported by Business Day White House Looks to Use Emergency Law to Halt Chinese Investment Photo The Trump administration is pushing back as China works to build up advanced technologies like electric cars, such as these at an exhibition in Guangzhou, China, last year. Credit Billy H.C. Kwok for The New York Times WASHINGTON — As the White House prepares to levy punishing tariffs on an array of Chinese goods, it is planning a much more strategic strike against China’s dominance in cutting-edge technology by restricting investment in American innovation.
The Trump administration is preparing to limit Chinese investment in sensitive American technology, ranging from microchips to 5G wireless technology, as it tries to prevent China from gaining an edge in industries projected to power the global economy for decades. After years of tough restrictions on American companies trying to operate in China, including coercing the transfer of proprietary technology, the White House is lookin..

Soul-Searching From Ad Group That Lauded Cambridge Analytica

Supported by Media Soul-Searching From Ad Group That Lauded Cambridge Analytica Photo Alexander Nix of Cambridge Analytica speaking in 2016 about the presidential election. Mr. Nix has been suspended as chief executive in the wake of revelations that the company improperly acquired data from Facebook users. Credit Bryan Bedder/Getty Images An advertising trade group that gave an award to Cambridge Analytica last year for its “big data” work during the 2016 presidential election is now urging marketers to reconsider the ethics of how consumer information is collected and used.
The trade group, the Advertising Research Foundation, said it was waiting for more information before formally rescinding the award given to Cambridge Analytica, the British political consulting firm that was recently reported to have improperly harvested the data of 50 million Facebook users. The revelations have brought intense criticism of Facebook, which is facing inquiries from lawmakers on both sides of..

The New Health Care: A Study on Fats That Doesn’t Fit the Story Line

A Study on Fats That Doesn’t Fit the Story Line Photo So which kind of fat is actually bad for you? Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times There was a lot of news this week about a study, published in the medical journal BMJ, that looked at how diet affects heart health. The results were unexpected because they challenged the conventional thinking on saturated fats.
And the data were very old, from the late 1960s and early 1970s.
This has led many to wonder why they weren’t published previously. It has also added to the growing concern that when it comes to nutrition, personal beliefs often trump science.
Perhaps no subject is more controversial in the nutrition world these days than fats. While in the 1970s and 1980s doctors attacked the total amount of fat in Americans’ diets, that seems to have passed. These days, the fights are over the type of fat that is considered acceptable.
Most of our fat comes from two main sources. The first is saturated fats. Usually solid at room tem..

Scaling Back: A New Policy Disagreement Between Clinton and Sanders: Soda Taxes

A New Policy Disagreement Between Clinton and Sanders: Soda Taxes Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have a new issue to disagree about: the wisdom of a soda tax.
A tax on sugary soft drinks, like the one proposed in Philadelphia and endorsed by Mrs. Clinton last week, divides the left. It can be seen as achieving an admirable public health goal of less sugar consumption or as a very regressive tax that falls more on the poor than the rich, since the poor tend to drink more soda.
While not the biggest issue the two candidates have tussled over, it is one that may reverberate across the country in coming years as more cities and states use the tax to raise revenue or improve citizens’ health.
Last week, Mrs. Clinton became the first presidential candidate to explicitly endorse a tax on sugary drinks. At a Philadelphia event Wednesday, she said a proposal there to use a soda tax to fund universal prekindergarten was a good idea.
“It starts early with working with families, working with k..

The Highs and Lows of Testosterone

Supported by Well | Live The Highs and Lows of Testosterone Photo Credit Esther Aarts Getting a high testosterone reading offers bragging rights for some men of a certain age — and may explain in part the lure of testosterone supplements. But once you are within a normal range, does your level of testosterone, the male hormone touted to build energy, libido and confidence, really tell you that much?
Probably not, experts say.
Normal testosterone levels in men range from about 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter of blood. Going from one number within the normal zone to another one may not pack much of a punch.
“You don’t see the big improvement once men are within the normal range,” said Dr. Shalender Bhasin, an endocrinologist and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. The largest differences in terms of energy and sex drive are when men go from below-normal to normal levels.
A 2015 study in JAMA found that sex drive improved among men who went from about 230, considere..

Phys Ed: Those 2-Minute Walk Breaks? They Add Up

Supported by Well | Move Those 2-Minute Walk Breaks? They Add Up Photo Credit iStock Walk for two minutes. Repeat 15 times. Or walk for 10 minutes, thrice. The benefits for longevity appear to be almost exactly the same, according to an inspiring new study of physical activity patterns and life spans.
It finds that exercise does not have to be prolonged in order to be beneficial. It just has to be frequent.
Most of us who are interested in health know that federal exercise guidelines recommend we work out moderately for at least 30 minutes per day at least five times per week in order to reduce our risks of developing many diseases or dying prematurely.
These guidelines also recommend that we accumulate those 30 minutes of daily exercise in bouts lasting for at least 10 minutes at a time.
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Continue reading the main story The guidelines, first published in 2008, were based on the best exercise science available at the time, including several studies indicating that i..