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New research findings by global technology leader Huawei have just revealed that more people now aspire to be a social media influencer than a pro sports player as their 'dream job'.

Seeing as we're all budding photographers, they've decided to launch the Creatives competition for the fourth year in a row, which aims to find Ireland's most creative and talented amateur photographer.

The winner? You can earn the prize of travelling to ANY destination in the whole world, taking snaps on your Huawei premium device from their flagship P30 series as an extra gift.

You can have the opportunity to travel to anywhere in the world, putting Huawei's camera to the test in the trip of a lifetime.

Huawei coincided the launch of the competition with their research findings, which state that 67 percent of Irish people believe that social media inspires them, and 78 percent say it gives them ideas for creative projects.

For a traditionally sports-obsessed country, it speaks volumes that more of us now want to be an influencer. Irish people took a whopping 3,924,723,984 photos in 2018 alone, and social media is now a way to showcase creativity.

Talent can be promoted from your phone nowadays, so Huawei's Creative competition fits perfectly with our budding photographer nation. Why not enter?

All you have to do is share a photo entry with the hashtag #HuaweiCreatives, and one lucky winner will gain flights and accommodation for two to search for new photography experiences.

Last year, the competition had 15,000 entries, but 2019 now has SEVEN additional categories, including night, nature, street and cityscapes.

Capturing Irish scenery, skylines, buildings and fashion shots on Instagram could now lead to a life-changing all-expenses paid trip.

To apply for the Creatives campaign, photograph, your should be uploaded to Instagram with the hashtag #HuaweiCreatives as well as the hashtag for the category they are entering.

Find out more on their website, happy snapping ladies. We hope your travel dreams come true.

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New research suggests that social media is becoming a "common problem" in Irish marriages, according to The Independent.

Over 3,000 clients took part in a survey in Maynooth over two years which discovered that both men and women find social media and technology "behaviour" causes difficulties in marriages and relationships.

Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service maintains that constant access to technology and phones has taken away the "cooling off" period following an argument.

The Accord has commented that it will alter it's service to accommodate the issue following couples' feedback.

Bishop Denis Nulty, president of Accord and Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin, said: "Social media is a huge issue. Pope Francis spoke about this at Croke Park and we need to be digitally conscious."

He elaborated on why the results are vital for the organisation; "We're dictated by gadgets so being clued-in is important."

On the removal of the "cooling-off" period he said: "When you send a text, a tweet or a Whatsapp message, there's no way of pulling it back, and it causes huge heartache for everyone involved."

"As we shape our marriage preparation courses in the future, we'll be taking this into consideration," Bishop Nulty mused.

"We have a low divorce rate in Ireland, and I would like to keep it low. I have no doubt people in Ireland still take marriage very seriously."

16,048 individuals attended the Accord's marriage preparation courses across the nation in 2018, which was down almost 800 from 2017

Accord counsellors separately provided 24,180 counselling sessions to individuals and couples during 2018 throughout the whole island of Ireland, which was less than that of 2017.

The bishop attributes some of the drop in figures to couples attending different private counselling services.

Other "problem areas" included unresolved arguments, inappropriate behaviour during arguments and dissatisfaction with their sexual relationship.

75 per cent of clients who saw data reviewed claim that their relationship improved following counselling.

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This is straight out of Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror, except if he was more into beauty and cosmetics…

For her Dazed Beauty magazine cover, Kylie Jenner had her game switched up when the publication used actual artificial intelligence created solely with a computer to create her new look.

It's INSANE. The whole idea was to put the most popular beauty trends into one lewk by using AI programme Beauty_GAN. The programme uses an algorithm to create beauty looks from Instagram trends…are we living in 3019?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

In Kylie's case, 17,000 trends were used to achieve her cover image. Pastel-pink hair, eyeshadow colours fading into one another, overdrawn Cupid's bows and light matte pink lipstick. It's a lot…

The gal kind of looks like she's melting…but it's still pretty cool. We sense that MUAs and influencers will be trying to emulate this look through their makeup skills soon enough.

AI program Beauty_GAN digitally applied hair and makeup to Daniel Sannwald's photos of Jenner, and the results were shared in the editorial.

According to Dazed Beauty, Beauty_GAN is "first algorithm of its kind, trained to create its own beauty imagery based on what it sees on Instagram." Damn.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

Dazed Beauty's creative director Sebastian Zimmerhackl explained why the images of Jenner aren't picture perfect, despite the technology.

The computer had to learn exactly what "beauty" is, according to the 17,000 photos it was fed. The result “doesn’t look perfect because it’s an experiment," he said.

"But maybe in the future, it is the artistic mistakes that we will remember.” That's deep, Sebastian. What does beauty even mean nowadays, especially with editing and filters?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

Sannwald photographed the reality TV star with almost no makeup to serve as a blank canvas for Beauty_GAN, who recruited her due to her influence with trendsetting in the beauty industry.

She recently became a billionaire as a result of her company's success; Kylie Cosmetics.

Beauty_GAN's art director Lukas Rudig stated;

“It’s a collaboration: what the machine does to her is paint her face in the way it thinks it should be in a beauty selfie. To put it in a really easy metaphor, Beauty_GAN is like a mirror of popular culture, but the reflection staring back at you might not be what you expected."

"We teach a machine to see us and what it shows us back is not always what we see ourselves.”

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Cats and dogs have been, for a long time, man’s companions, pets, a part of your family. But with the new technology wave spreading nowadays, the digital era brings a new type of invention, a new type of ‘pets’: robot pets.

Robot pets – What are they.

An artificial intelligence, AI for short, inside a machine, a robot pet is, as the name implies, a robot designed in the shape and size of a common pet: dog, cat or even bird. Made to be similar in attitude and behaviour with a real animal, robot pets are used to help elderly people that, for various reasons, cannot keep a pet.

The robots are supposed to help with dark emotions, like depression, to keep the elderly active, maintaining their wish to live, fresh. But with the creation of such robot pets, comes the question everyone asks at the end. Can robot pets really replace real dogs and cats? The answer is simple: it depends on the individual.

There are numerous benefits when it comes to owning a robot pet:

Helps with several mental illnesses

Several mental illnesses, like depression or dementia, are, in the long run, hard to cure. By using robotic pets, there has been an increase in relaxation and lack of stress in the elderly people diagnosed with such illnesses.

They not only respond better to the caretakers, but they also are more active, more sociable, engaging in discussions and interaction with other fellow patients. The pets provide the necessary emotional support for the patient to take a step forward in a positive way.

Does not bring additional costs aside its acquisition

Once you buy the robotic pet, there are no other future costs. It will not require medicine, treatment, food or water to survive. With several types of robotic pets already on display, there are sure to be some affordable robot dogs or cats you can ‘adopt’ and bring into your family.

Is ideal for those who suffer from allergies, as it does not shed

Allergies are not something you can control fully. Some people are born that way; some acquire allergies in their lifetime.

Those who are allergic to animal fur, but still wish to have a pet, can now have their dream come true. They do not need to compromise anymore, as the robotic pets do not shed and have no real fur.

According to what model of robot you choose, they might have a synthetic coat over their mechanical body that imitates the way real fur looks like, on the one hand. On the other hand, if you prefer a more mechanical look to it, you can choose one that will satisfy your taste.

Does not need cleaning

As they do not eat and drink, they do not defecate. So you do not have to take them outside for them to do their business, nor do you need to clean after them while indoors.

They will not misbehave

Everyone who owns a real pet, be it dog or cat, has come face to face with the situation in which the pet misbehaved.

A friend came to visit you and your dog jumped up and down, barked and tried to bite your friend? Did your cat act aggressively, trying to scratch the one who wanted to pet it?

With the robot pets such misbehaviour does not exist. They are programmed to recognise you as their owner no matter what, their expressions and actions already installed in their memory. Or, if you are good at computers, you can also download and instal several other tricks for your robotic friend to perform.

In contrast to the benefits a robotic pet can have, there are a series of downsides that, for many, are just a deal breaker.

However, there are also undeniably drawbacks in terms of owning a robot pet:

It only has a limited set of actions and cannot respond to you directly

They already have programmed in their memory what type of actions trigger what effect. For example, a cat will only purr if you pet it on the back, while a dog will wag its tail only if you pet it on the head. If you do any other type of action and expect the robots to either purr or wag their tail, you are going be disappointed as they will not do anything.

It may break down unexpectedly

You never know when it might break down. Some products do need to recharge their ‘energy’, but others may use a more advanced and complex system that does not require batteries or recharging. If one of such products breaks down, the only way to repair it might be to send it back to its producer and have it replaced with a new one.

No walk

Robot pets do not need to be taken out for a walk. And while this might seem attractive at first, on the long run it is a major drawback. Walking your dog is highly beneficial to both yours and your dog’s health. You get to exercise, you have a way to meet new people, and you relax and avoid over-stressing while the dog gets his energy level down a notch while doing its ‘doggy business’. But with robotic pets, your healthy lifestyle might suffer.

Does not provide the emotional achievement of training or interacting with a real pet

Pets, no matter what type, have their own way to show their affection, to communicate and interact with you. Moreover, when you finally manage to train your dog or you receive your cat’s affection, you get a feeling of fulfilment, of serenity, of achievement.

When robot pets are concerned, there is no such feeling. They are already programmed to do certain things and to offer you their ‘unconditional love’. But at the end of the day, robots do not have feelings, and they cannot compensate for yours.

No emotions

A pet will feel sad when you leave it alone for too long and will be a cute, furry joy-ball when it sees you. There is no dog that will not wag its tail as soon as it sees its owner. It will do anything in its power to grab your attention in order to receive a few affectionate words or a pat on the head.

A robot pet, however, is another story. If left alone it will enter a standby state, in which it will try to imitate ‘sleep’. It might fall under the ‘cute’ category at first, but as the time passes, you might feel the need to be ‘asked’ for attention by your pet.

A robot is not capable of doing so while putting feelings and emotions into the act itself. Sure, it might emit certain sounds and noises to get your attention because its battery is running out, but it will never behave like a true, real, animal.

In conclusion, despite being a new trend, and despite having their own benefits, robot pets still have a very long road ahead before there is any chance for them to replace a breathing, loving cat or dog.

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The United Kingdom is currently facing a mental health crisis, one of which the country has never seen before. Two committees of MPs recently warned that the current support available on the NHS is inadequate and runs the risk of failing a generation who desperately need help.

The average Brit works 43.6 hours a week, with more than four million workers spending more than 48 hours a week in the workplace. British workers also face an average commute to work of 54 minutes, almost 20 minutes more than the EU average.

This means that Brits are struggling to find a work life balance, which some experts believe is fuelling the mental health crisis in the UK and increasing levels of obesity as workers have less time to live a healthy lifestyle.

Did you know? In France there is a law allowing workers the ‘right to disconnect. Employees in an organisation of more than 50 people are forbidden from sending or receiving work emails outside of their standard working hours.

Why is a work-life balance important?

If you are one of the workers that is dedicating nearly 60 hours a week to work, you are at serious risk of burn out. Living in a bubble of all work no play can lead to a disconnect with the world around you and cause you to ignore your mental and physical health.

Although there are no direct figures for work-related suicides in the UK, suicide rates have risen markedly among young people in recent years. Reports suggest that certain occupational groups such as doctors, nurses and farmers are deemed to be at high risk of work related suicide – due to job pressure and the isolated nature of their work.

That might be hardly surprising when you consider that in these professions 60+ hour weeks are the norm. So finding ways to unwind and relax in your spare time are vital to your physical and mental wellbeing.

But what are the best ways to relax outside of work?

1. Go to the gym

Finding the time to go to the gym is often difficult for those in busy occupations, but it can be done. The vast majority of gyms offer guided classes in the evenings and at weekends to appeal to those with a busy lifestyle.

The benefits of going to the gym are tremendous. Firstly, your physical health will improve dramatically as a result of increased physical exertion. Secondly, attending classes or regularly visiting the same gym can broaden your social circles, opening your horizons to future social activities.

Most importantly, exercise has been proven by scientists to improve mental wellbeing. The NHS recommends regular exercise as a way of combatting mild depression and warding of the sceptre of anxiety.

2. Practise mindfulness

Mindfulness is a mind-body based approach that helps people to process their thoughts rationally and reconnect with the world around them.

If this sounds like a new-age, hippy technique then simply think of it as unwinding. It’s incredibly easy to fall into the trap of becoming too involved with the day-to-day processes of going to work, eating, sleeping and avoiding your emotions. Mindfulness can take as little as 10 minutes a day and allows you to unwind, evaluate your emotional state and relax.

Did you know? Mindfulness has been proven to decrease depression by 63%, anxiety by 58% and perceived stress by 40%.

3. Play poker

Playing games with people – such as poker – requires social interaction on some level, and it’s a popular way to meet people and socialise with existing friends.

What makes poker so popular is the relative ease you can play the game. The strategy involved in poker can improve your mental agility and provide a distraction to take your mind firmly away from work.

But if you don’t fancy going to a casino, or you don’t live near one, don’t worry. Gamblers are increasingly going online to play their favourite games. Playing online is so much more convenient than having to find your local land-based casino – as you can play from the comfort of your own home, or if you’re on the move.

What’s more, online casino technology has evolved so much that the games feel as immersive and engaging as they would do in a real casino experience. One option out there for online gamblers is video poker. With its cool retro style and simple gameplay, video poker is an entertaining way to unwind – and it gives you a great opportunity to get your game up before playing against other competitors for real.

Check out this video poker game and you’ll put yourself in the frame for all these benefits, plus one more: winning a huge jackpot.

4. Ditch the phone

Mobile phones have revolutionised the world and given people almost everything they’ve ever wanted at the tips of their fingers. Yet overuse of mobile phones and tablets has been proven to negatively impact on people’s mental wellbeing and social lives.

Putting your phone down for an hour a day and interacting with those around you can have huge benefits to your life. You will develop more meaningful relationships with the people around you and avoid the social isolation that social media can cause.

Added to this, time spent away from social media can be beneficial to your mental outlook. Scrolling through Instagram and Facebook can be chastening as you are constantly confronted with images of people’s successes.

It’s easy to forget that you are only seeing a glimpse of someone’s life, the best bits, and unfairly judge yourself against other people. Take time away from social media and viewing other peoples amazing lives, and instead make memories of your own.

Did you know? Teens in the US using their phones for more than five hours a day were 70% more likely to have suicidal thoughts than those using their phones for one hour a day.

5. Join a social group

Regardless of who you are, you will have your own interests and hobbies, and it’s important to continue those hobbies, preferably with other people. If reading is your number one relaxation technique, then you can join a weekly book club and use your passion to expand your social circle.

Likewise, if you’re a sports fan there are a plethora of amateur sports clubs that you can join to expand your social circles, as well as improving your physical well-being.

Summary

A work life balance is important to your mental and physical well-being, and it’s too easy to neglect that fact in modern life. Taking steps to improve your mental wellbeing, physical health and social life are all important factors in having a healthy life.

Take the time to look at your life objectively. Imagine you were talking to a friend and giving them some advice, what would you say to them? Slow down, take a break, do more of the things you enjoy? Whatever it is you would say, apply that advice to yourself.

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Tbh, we don’t know how our parents planned holidays way back when.

No price comparison online, no filtered results to find the perfect hotel – our travel experiences have been fuelled by technology.

And the tech industry continues to innovate, which will transform our jet-setting plans in incredible ways.

Here are five of the most exciting tech innovations in the travel industry, according to Holidayguru.ie:

1) Augmented Reality (AR)

While we always have notions of picking up a few key phrases before travelling to a foreign country, we have to admit, it doesn’t always happen.

AR is a lifesaver in many ways because, using this, Google Translate lets you take pics of signage you need to be translated. Let’s face it – we’re mostly talking about menus here. Gotta get that holiday grub.

As well, there are also apps like VisitScotland and England’s Historic Cities that can help you learn about cultural sites you’re visiting.

2) Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI makes travel handy as can be, and it’s what allows Dutch airline KLM to send your boarding pass and other updates through chat apps like Facebook Messenger.

It’s also making waves in the hotel industry. Hilton Hotels’ ‘Connie’ makes guests’ stays feel personal with assisted check-ins and tips.

3) Virtual Reality (VR)

Want to travel without having to go halfway across the world? Well, airlines like Lufthansa have created stunning 360-degree videos so you can experience the amazing visuals of distant destinations without leaving the comfort of your own home.

If you have a VR headset, you can practically have your own holiday looking at what apps like Google Earth VR, NASA, and Boulevard have to offer.

4) Blockchain

Blockchain is a way for digital info to be distributed safely not but copied.

This means that in the future we could possibly say goodbye to passports and boarding passes, and instead verify our identities online at the airport. Imagine how quickly we’d get through to our gate!

5) Voice Control Interface

No, Amazon’s Alexa isn’t just for asking silly questions (though we do really, really enjoy doing that). When asked, she can look through Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights available.

Google Assistant can look for flights and help you practice those handy phrases in foreign languages. Siri is able to check the status of your flight and look for hotels in the area.

So what’re you waiting for? With all of this futuristic tech at our fingertips, holidays are easier than ever before.

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You’re scrolling through Instagram, find the outfit of your dreams, but by the time you’ve rounded up all of its deets you’ve totally lost interest.

If this situation sounds familiar, listen up, as Instagram is about to launch a new feature which will allow users to shop directly from the app.

Until now, third-party sites like LiketoKnow.it have been the only way to buy products semi-directly through the ‘gram, but soon the image sharing platform will begin testing a new shoppable posts feature.

According to Harper’s Bazaar, these shoppable posts will contain a “tap to view” icon which will produce a tag with information about the product involved when tapped.

Once a tag is selected, a more detailed view of the product will open which then leads to a “Shop Now” button.

To begin with, the feature will be tested on 20 brands and will only be available to users in the States.

If it’s successful, we could all be shopping while scrolling in the near future.

GIFs: Giphy

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Music is one of those things which either brings people together or drives them apart.

So if you’re the kind of person who runs for the hills at the very mention of Harry Styles’ hair, you probably don’t want to find yourself in an intimate situation with an honorary member of the One Direction fan club.

Because of this, the clever people at Tinder and Spotify have teamed up to create a feature which will allow Tinder users to suss out the musical tastes of potential matches before they take the plunge and swipe right.

As well as being able to broadcast a song which “defines you” directly from your Tinder profile, the new feature will help you find potential matches who share your taste in tunes.

When checking out someone else’s Tinder, you will be able to play previews of their top songs and see which artists you have in common.

Oh, and for those who’ve spent the last month secretly listening to the Frozen soundtrack, don’t panic – Tinder will allow you to hide what you’ve been playing until it’s fit for the ears of your crush.

GIFs: Giphy

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We all know the struggle – You're on a night out, and JUST when you decide it's time to get yourself a Hailo, your phone runs out of battery. 

Well, this problem is soon to become a thing of the past, with the invention of a fabulous new jacket. 

Seattle-based start-up company, BauBax, have designed a line of clothing that keeps your devices charged using wireless technology to create a built-in charging ecosystem.

This ultimately means your phone will charge while in your pocket, solving every person's #firstworldproblems. 

The company is currently raising funds through a kick-starter campaign online, with the hopes of creating interest in the product.

An official release date for this futuristic jacket is yet to be released, but it is expected that the item will retail for around €300. 

Oh and the best part? The jacket is machine washable!

 

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If you are an iPhone user, you are more than likely aware of those annoying non-deletable apps that plague your phone. 

We have never needed to check the Stocks and we really don't know what the Wallet app does? Oh and we have enough friends already without the Find Friends application (but your guess is as good as ours as to how it works). 

Well, instead of trying to hide these apps by putting them all into a folder and doing your best to forget about them, one tech savvy YouTuber has finally given us a simple solution to rid ourselves of these useless apps for good. 

Now unfortunately you cannot actually delete the apps permanently from your phone (curse you Apple!), but you CAN hide them permanently from your home screen meaning you don't ever have to actually look at them again. 

Hurrah!

Tech vlogger, videosdebarriquito, demonstrates in this handy little video exactly how you can do this. 

Careful though, because he doesn't show you how to get them back once they are hidden! 

 

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For many, the idea of their parents taking a selfie is unthinkable. It just won't turn out well. 

But in a new video by Elite Daily, mothers – clearly amused by the idea of taking a photo of themselves – put on their daughters' clothes and try to mimic their signature poses. 

The daughters' reactions are priceless, but the end-result of the selfies are even better: 

 

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No, no, you haven’t accidentally put an energy drink in your coffee- this top is actually moving.

Not exactly the kind of floaty spring/summer floral design one would expect when the fashion crowd utter the word ‘movement’, this top is called ‘Caress of the Gaze’.

Farahi

It’s been designed by LA-based artist Behnaz Farahi and it’s been designed to track the movements of people having a not-so sneaky peak.

The top has a small camera hidden in the fabric, and the mesh will shift and contort beneath an onlookers gaze.

The designer also claims that the camera can actually differentiate between genders, and there are plans for future designs to be capable of estimating the age of the individual staring.

She told Tech Monthly that the tunic is supposed to be “an extension of our own skin”. The design was based on scales and feathers like those seen in the animal Kingdom.

“Technology will enhance our bodily function and give us a power that our body doesn’t have,” she says of her designs.

The cropped tunic style top looks quite similar to a bird’s feathers. They’ve been attached to a flexible mesh which is laced with “muscle wire”.

The wire contacts and relaxes in unison to create the movement in the top. So the top can physically react to a passing stare.

The Guardian notes that she is keen to explore how blending technology and fashion impacts on social pressures and anxieties.

We cannot stop stare at this, and we're entirely sure that is part of the design's purpose.

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