Bird IQ Tests: 8 Ways Researchers Test Bird Intelligence
A crow is supposedly as smart as a 7-year-old. Here’s how scientists figured that—and other facts—out.
Here's what happens when you're submerged in a 500-lb tub of putty
Have you ever played with a handful of putty and thought, "Hey this would be fun to just totally bathe in?" No? What kind of straightedge life are you livi
The world's largest prime number has 22 million digits
It may not be practical (yet), but it's pretty nifty.
Scientists tie quantum materials into infinite knots
The discovery could help create fast, stable quantum computers.
Explore the Great Barrier Reef and Buckingham Palace in VR
Thanks to new destinations added to Google Expeditions, you can now visit the Great Barrier Reef, Buckingham Palace, and more.
Watch your favorite Star Wars characters die adorable 8-bit deaths
The Star Wars movies aren't terribly violent, so when a major character dies, the series tends to make it count. To honor those memorable scenes, YouTube channel pipocaVFX has created this adorable...
This new ad-blocker has a plan to pay publishers
The release of iOS 9 last year kicked off a rush of new mobile ad blockers and new controversy, as websites (including this one) decried the new programs as a blow against independent publishers...
Werner Herzog AI documentary to debut at Sundance
Werner Herzog's "Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World" tackles artificial intelligence and robots.
Why you should upgrade your older iPhone to iOS 9.2.1
Some informal testing reveals that if you're still rocking an old iPhone like a 4s, 5 or 5s, you should probably upgrade to iOS 9.2.1.
This woman fought Michigan officials to expose the Flint water crisis
With its plumbing permanently damaged, Flint's water is still unsafe to drink. State and federal officials have declared a state of emergency. Gov. Rick Snyder sent the National Guard to distribute bottled water and water filters to residents. Critics of the government's response have called for Snyder's resignation and at least two lower-ranking officials have already quit. The cleanup cost — Snyder recently asked for $28.5 million from the state legislature to help Flint — is quickly ballooning.
The exhilarating peace of freediving
In this breathtaking talk, world champion freediver Guillaume Néry takes us with him into the ocean's depths. Meter by meter, he explains the physical and emotional impact of water pressure, silence and holding your breath. His eloquent description of the underwater experience reveals the hidden poetry of freediving.
Sorry Star Wars fans, Disney just pushed the release 'Episode VIII' to December 2017
After reveling in the awesomeness that was ‘The Force Awakens,’ Star Wars fans held tight to the belief that their next bit of relief would come in May, 2017.
Firefighters help woman out of her chastity belt after she loses the key
While firefighters initially suspected sexual violence, the woman explained that she wore the belt to prevent herself from entering sexual relationships. She only came to the firefighters because she wanted to take it off and had run out of options.
Nielsen Will Now Use Your Facebook Chatter for TV Ratings
With the Star Trek announcement today, CBS is conceding that revolution has already started. If CBS can get even some of Star Trek ‘s millions of fans to subscribe to its streaming app and get at least some of those who sign up to stay, it will be a boon for the company. If streaming is the future, which it does seem to be, CBS knows that it needs to grow that (paying) audience now, even as the company’s shares get hammered on fears that, as with other traditional broadcasters, it’s not ready to fend off the Netflixes of the world.
Spurred by Global Warming, 2015 Was the Hottest Year By Far | MIT Technology Review
The numbers are in, and they are unforgiving: 2015 was the hottest year on record, and it wasn’t even close. The announcement was expected—scientists monitoring global temperatures predicted before the end of the year that 2015 would set a record for warmth, in part because of the massive El Niño event currently underway in the Pacific Ocean. But the data released today confirm that human-induced global warming is pushing temperatures higher at an alarming rate: 2014 was the previous record holder for global average surface temperature, clocking in at 0.57 °C above the 1960 to 1990 average, but last year was 0.75 °C.
A Real Suicide Squad Trailer Is Finally Here!
What’s that Harley Quinn line? Something about hoping you have insurance? Regardless, it’s time to buckle up, call your State Farm agent, and hope for the best, because the first real trailer for David Ayer’s Suicide Squad movie is here and it’s freaking bonkers. Unlike the leaked, then officially released , sizzle reel that debuted at last year’s Comic-Con International, this clip is a full-blown ride to hell. Quinn (Margot Robbie), Deadshot (Will Smith), Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), Joker (Jared Leto), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Slipknot (Adam Beach), Katana (Karen Fukuhara), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje), Amanda Waller (Viola Davis)—the posse is here and in full effect. Check out the new trailer above.
Essential Quote: “We’re bad guys, it’s what we do.” — Harley Quinn (Robbie)
Song: Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Apple's Music Memo is a sketch pad for song ideas
Apple has always been a little obsessed with music , and its newest iOS app is further proof of that fixation. Enter Music Memos, a free app that makes it easier for musicians to record music on the fly. As the name implies, Music Memos draw some inspiration from the Voice Memos app that often winds up in our 'Don't need this' folder. The idea was to build an app that was dead simple to start recording audio from any instrument, but didn't compress the heck out of files. Starting a recording takes one touch, and you can tag and store those nascent tracks or share them via YouTube or SoundCloud. There is, however, much more to Apple's new app than you might expect.
Postmedia merges newsrooms, cuts 90 jobs in response to financial woes
“I wanted to make sure that both newspapers [in each of the four cities] would continue, and I think we have found the formula which, at least at this point in time, can mean the continuation of those publications,” Paul Godfrey, Postmedia’s president and chief executive officer, said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “It doesn’t mean that somebody in Toronto will be writing about the Edmonton local council. It’s going to be someone locally. But this is a consolidation of newsrooms.”
You will upgrade to Windows 10: Inside Microsoft's strong-arm upgrade tactics
The root of the problem lies in the “Get Windows 10” app (which I’ll call GWX from here on) which was pushed via Windows Updates to all Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs. GWX actually predates Windows 10 itself, as Microsoft used it to encourage early adopters to “preorder” the operating system to get first dibs in a staggered rollout. But as the months roll on and Windows 10’s adoption slows, Microsoft’s turned to more annoying—and borderline deceitful—measures with GWX. What began as an innocuous invitation floating up from your system tray has evolved into a near-full screen pop-up prompting you to upgrade.
App Annie 2015: Google Play saw 100% more downloads than the iOS App Store, but Apple generated 75% more revenue
In 2015, Google Play saw 100 percent more downloads than Apple’s App Store. Double the number of downloads is a huge achievement. In 2014, the figure was 60 percent, meaning Google Play was not only bigger in 2015, it grew even faster than Apple’s App Store.
Scientists may have found a new planet in our solar system
While Pluto has been bumped down to dwarf status, astronomers from the California Institute of Technology (CIT) have found evidence that there is in fact another planet in our solar system.
Apple Inches Toward Workforce Diversity - InformationWeek
Since Cook took the helm as Apple CEO in 2011, he has been very public in voicing concern and a desire to increase Apple's diversity. "Diversity is critical to innovation and it is essential to Apple's future. We aspire to do more than just make our company as diverse as the talent available to hire," Cook said in Apple's diversity page blog post. He added Apple also aims to foster diversity among its suppliers and developers.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Breaks Ground To Make Elon Musk’s Hyperloop A Reality
Musk first proposed the Hyperloop, a vacuum tube intended to speedily shoot passengers at 800 mph from city to city, in 2013. The idea was to create a mechanism of transportation that could get folks from San Francisco to Los Angeles in under 30 minutes.
Facebook Adds Tor Support on Android Devices
Facebook first embraced Tor in 2014, when it created an “onion address” for people who wanted to log on from Tor-enabled browsers. At the time, it said it wanted to eliminate “unnecessary hurdles” for people connecting to Facebook using Tor. In a post on the social network Tuesday, Facebook said it’s expanding the service as “ a sizeable community of people has grown to use this feature.”
Oculus founder must face lawsuit over use of confidential info
Oculus founder Palmer Luckey isn't going to escape that lawsuit over the alleged misuse of confidential data . A judge has ruled that Luckey has to face the core claim, which accuses him of breaching a contract with his former employer (Total Recall Technologies) by using its proprietary knowledge to get the early Oculus Rift off the ground. However, he is dodging a few bullets in the process -- the judge simultaneously tossed out several of the other claims, including fraud.
FireEye buys cyber intelligence firm iSight Partners for $200 million
FireEye Inc said on Wednesday it paid $200 million to buy privately held iSight Partners, in a move to boost its cyber intelligence offerings for governments and businesses as the sector consolidates.
GM gets serious about car-sharing with new 'Maven' service
Move over, Zipcar. General Motors just announced the launch of Maven, a new car-sharing service meant to ease personal transport woes. Public transit is great (when it works anyway), but some situations just call for cars and GM's eager to try filling in gaps its competitors have left wide open. This isn't the first time GM has experimented with car-sharing — it launched a similar service called Let's Drive NYC for tenants of one apartment building last October. With Maven's launch, GM is no longer a company that looks at cars purely as products; they're a service now, too.
Worst Passwords Of 2015 Reveal Our Stupidity - InformationWeek
Slain observes that people last year made an effort to create more secure passwords by adding more characters to their passwords. The problem is that many of these passwords are just extensions of obvious patterns. For example, the password "1234567890" appears at number 12 on the list for the first time, but it's not really any better than painfully obvious variants like "123456" or "12345."
Mortal Kombat X Kombat Pack 2 Is Not Coming to PC - IGN
UPDATE 1/20/16 12:3pm PT: A representative from Warner Bros. has confirmed the Mortal Kombat X enhanced online beta will be available for PS4 and Xbox One only. It was not specified if a full release of the enhanced online would come to the PC version of the game.
Weibo, Beating Twitter to the Punch, Lengthens its 140-Character Limit
While Twitter is contemplating raising the limit to 10,000 characters, Weibo is planning to increase it to 2,000 characters. Like Twitter, it appears Weibo is attempting to preserve the short, conversational nature of the service even while giving users more room to write. According to Xinhua, Mr. Wang said in his post that only the first 140 characters of a message will continue to be shown in users’ feed. If a post goes over that limit, users will have to tap a link to view the rest of it. The Wall Street Journal has previously reported that Twitter is considering a similar plan where users will have to manually expand a tweet to see what comes after the first 140 characters.
Chrome is about to get a lot faster with new compression algorithm
According to a study released by Google, Brotli has the top compression and decompression speeds and smallest sizes in most cases compared to other compression algorithms. Brotli compresses to sizes 17-25% smaller than other methods and uses less processing and battery power to do so. Compared to Google's previous compression algorithm, Zopfli, Brotli gets 20-26% higher compression ratios. Compression ratios look at uncompressed size over compressed size, so a higher ratio means smaller overall size.
Tesla Sues German Auto Parts Maker Over Model X Door Delays
It's true that many Model X reservation holders have yet to commit their orders, but consider that production priority has been on delivering all the Signature orders before putting demo cars in the showrooms around the country. In fact it's a testament to Tesla that as many as 25% (and where did you pull that number from?) have been willing to buy a $100K+ car without a test drive, or in very many cases without ever seeing a physical car. I did because I've been driving a Model S for almost three years. It's the best car I've ever driven, and is continually refreshed - I just got a new feature (auto-opening and closing garage doors based on GPS) last week! But my kids are outgrowing the rear seats in the S.
Apple Beefs Up GarageBand for iOS, Launches 'Music Memos'
As for Music Memos, the app lets you record any musical instrument through the iPhone's built-in microphone, then name, tag, and rate it to start building a "library of your ideas." Cupertino said many musicians and songwriters already use its Voice Memos app to quickly record ideas, but Music Memos takes the functionality a step further. The app can analyze rhythm and chords of acoustic guitar and piano recordings and pair them with drums and a bass line. It also offers up a "basic notation" displaying the chords you played.
UberEats is coming to 10 more towns
Uber announced on Wednesday that it is expanding the number of cities served by its beta UberEats program. The service enables users to order food from local restaurants and have it delivered by Uber drivers -- essentially the same service as Eat24 or Seamless but with Uber's existing driver infrastructure.
Stop Counting 10,000 Steps;
Check Your Personal Activity Intelligence
Now fitness gadgets are ditching step counting for heart-rate tracking—and much more personalized measures. Mio Global, familiar to serious athletes for its wrist pulse trackers, developed a fitness metric that interprets your specific heart patterns based on a large health study. To maintain optimal health, Mio claims, just do enough strenuous activities to keep your Personal Activity Intelligence score at 100. Easy as PAI.
The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet
Blame Us: There is an analogy to the current Web in the first era of the Internet. In the 1990s, as it became clear that digital networks were the future, there were two warring camps. One was the traditional telcos, on whose wires these feral bits of the young Internet were being sent. The telcos argued that the messy protocols of TCP/IP — all this unpredictable routing and those lost packets requiring resending — were a cry for help. What consumers wanted were “intelligent” networks that could (for a price) find the right path and provision the right bandwidth so that transmissions would flow uninterrupted. Only the owners of the networks could put the intelligence in place at the right spots, and thus the Internet would become a value-added service provided by the AT&Ts of the world, much like ISDN before it. The rallying cry was “quality of service” (QoS). Only telcos could offer it, and as soon as consumers demanded it, the telcos would win.
How Zano Raised Millions on Kickstarter and Left Most Backers with Nothing — Kickstarter
Thomas says that he was out for a walk with his wife when he was asked to pose for the scene shot in a pub garden. He says that there were a number of takes and that on each take, the Zano launched directly from his hand. However, he “doesn’t know whether the selfie was taken by the drone or by another camera” and “acknowledges that what was in the video may perhaps be misleading.” Interestingly, Thomas’s youngest son, Sam, was hired by Reedman to edit the Kickstarter video and film subsequent video updates. I haven’t been able to obtain the unedited footage, as none of the parties that would have access, if the raw material still exists, responded to contact attempts. I could not track down Sam Thomas.
4K Blu-ray has already lost to streaming
Meanwhile streaming movies and TV shows has practically become second nature for most of us. Netflix's mountains of content and ease of use have made "binge-watching" a household term, and renting a movie on iTunes and Vudu couldn't be much easier. Streaming media caters to our increasing desire for on-demand content. It doesn't matter so much that the quality of a 1080p stream doesn't look as good as a 1080p Blu-ray, which offers higher bitrates and less compression. If anything, the big problem with streaming now is that we have too much content. We need better search and recommendation tools to make sense of all of our options.
Leica’s newest camera can go underwater
Share on Facebook
If you've ever shelled out a few thousand dollars (or more) for a Leica, you've likely kept it far away from pools, lakes, or even puddles. That won't be a problem with the company's newest camera, though.
Announced today, the Leica X-U is waterproof, shatterproof, and costs just under $3,000. The X-U can be submerged up to 49 feet, and is made to withstand other extremes, too. Leica's winterized it and dust-sealed it, meaning you can bring the X-U just about everywhere you were afraid to bring any Leica you've ever owned.
The Tension Between Technology and Inequality | MIT Technology Review
The global elite meet to talk big-picture economics, while the gap between the rich and the rest of the world continues to grow.
Sidecar: ‘We failed because Uber is willing to win at any cost’
Over time, it was apparent that the ridesharing space only had room for two well-funded companies — at least in the U.S. That’s not to say that Sidecar didn’t try to compete as it continued to emphasize that out of the three startups, it was the only one that didn’t have surge pricing. Paul’s company first introduced shared ETAs, driver directions, shared rides, and other features that its competitors picked up on.
Mortal Kombat XL Announced - IGN
Will you be picking up Mortal Kombat XL when it arrives in March? Let us know in the comments, and for more on NetherRealm's gruesome fighter, check out IGN's Mortal Kombat X review .
Full-Tilt Communism Is Alive and Well in the Tiny Chinese Village of Nanjie
The place appeared to be prospering, though studies suggest the region relies heavily upon government support. Nanjie’s economy reportedly grew more than 1,000-fold between 1980 and 1995, and the village flaunted its wealth building impressive structures like a $1.2 million greenhouse. It houses more than 500 flower species and 10,000 plants, with surreal sculptures of animals like kangaroos and dinosaurs staring out amid the flora. Fenby found these strange objects telling, and they could be a metaphor for the village. “They are crafted in such a way that they look almost, but not exactly, like their natural counterparts,” he says. “They hint at a slight disjuncture from reality.”
Facebook 'Mentions' iOS update brings better filtering, landscape video and reply options
Facebook announced today that it was cleaning up some of the minor (read: thoroughly unusable) annoyances for those using its Mentions app.
Abba has reunited at an Abba-themed restaurant, naturally
Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, who have reportedly not been photographed in the same room together since 2008, unexpectedly showed up Wednesday evening for the opening of Ulvaeus' Greek taverna, Tyrol.
Bandcamp’s exclusive embeds let artists activate streaming on specific websites
Now, music sites like Pitchfork , can work in conjunction with artists to offer readers an exclusive first listen of a track, or complete album. The streams don’t have to be available from a public Bandcamp profile, but give you options on specific songs they want to share, and with whom.
Netflix to go pure sci-fi with body-swapping 'Altered Carbon' - CNET
Netflix's fantasy and sci-fi shows so far have largely involved fantasy elements in contemporary settings, like the superhero shenanigans of "Daredevil" and "Jessica Jones" or horror moments of "Hemlock Grove". Last year saw mixed reactions to the very sci-fi "Sense8", which also had a body-sharing premise, but viewers are clearly keen enough for Netflix to go fully into the future for both "Altered Carbon" and a planned remake of the 1960s classic, "Lost in Space".
The Verge on Twitter
When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location.
You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history.
Skype for Android lets you schedule calls, open Office files
If you need to reference an Office document, spreadsheet or presentation during a chat, you can provide a link to those files in Skype. Tapping on the file name during a convo automatically opens the file in the appropriate app. If you don't have it installed, you'll get instructions on how to get the software you need to view it. To grab these new features, you'll need the latest version of Skype for Android, which is available at Google Play now.
The 10 Best Gaming Mice of 2016
All of the gaming mice currently available are made with some customization in mind, even if it's just tweaking the tracking speed. Each gaming gear manufacturer has developed its own customization software, which often offers advanced macro programming. In addition to recording macro commands, these setting dashboards will also let you swap pre-set profiles, and many also offer presets for non-gaming use, letting you leverage your programmable mouse in programs like Excel and Photoshop.
Rumored Nintendo NX specs leak points to 4K streaming
Performance specs listed on the survey include 900p/60 frames-per-second gameplay and 4K video streaming, which would make the NX the first system able to stream Ultra HD video.
You can only really count on 4 of your 150 Facebook friends, study says - CNET
Dunbar looked at two UK studies undertaken in the first week of April 2015 and the third week of May 2015. They were not, unlike many studies of social networks, conducted among only students. Instead, Dunbar says they were representative across the 18 to 65 age range. The total sample was 3,375.
Don't let your iPhone turn against you - CNET
Apple isn't the only company dealing with major security flaws. Android phones have a flaw, revealed Tuesday, that could give intruders access to the device's core -- allowing them to rewrite the phone's software and take your information. Unfortunately, it will take a while before all Android phone users can install a patch. Unlike Apple, which controls its own universe, it's up to the different phone carriers to issue their fixes.
Bragi Dash review: The smartest earbuds on the planet
The fitness-tracking side of the Dash is, at least right now, its weakest skill. Currently, the only activity the Dash can track is running, though cycling and swimming are coming soon via an update. While the Dash is laden with sensors (optical HRM, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer), the only metrics you can get are duration of workout, heart rate and total steps. What's worse is that there's not really anything to do with this info right now. It's not saved in the app, and there are no satisfying graphs breaking down your accomplishments. The in-ear assistant recaps these data at the end of your run, and that's it; it disappears into the ether. A Bragi spokesperson told me that more metrics and training logs are coming in a few months.
The sky is falling on print newspapers faster than you think
Last October, a McKinsey report declared, “We believe that many of the people likely to abandon print newspapers and print consumer magazines have already done so…. We believe most of this core audience — households that have retained their print subscriptions despite having access to broadband — will continue to do so for now, effectively putting a floor on the print markets.”
Marmalade Technologies raises $5M to introduce more developers to its game-making platform
Marmalade Technologies has secured $5 million in funding. Investment firm Bloc Ventures led the round. Marmalade will use this money to bolster its game-development engine, which is also known as Marmalade. The company will focus on putting its tool in front of more game makers around the world. Marmalade also says that it will use this capital as a jumping off point to eventually reach an initial public offering at some point in the future. Gaming is a multibillion-dollar business, and companies like Unity and Epic make a lot of money from letting outside developers use their game engines. With gaming on iOS and Android reaching $30 billion in 2015, that is a market that could support an elegant, simple-to-use development tool like Marmalade that specializes in iOS, Android, and Windows Phone development.
HealthTap SOS brings real-time consultations in disaster scenarios
HealthTap says the consultations come from doctors spread across 141 specialties, including mental health experts, and users have 24/7 access via video, voice, and text chat. The service lets these “population managers” such as governments and multinational corporations send critical announcements to users, and tells them where their members are, and what they need. It also provides analytics so researchers can view and analyze data in post-disaster scenarios.
Facebook wants to police hate speech, but should we let it control what we say online?
Hate speech has no place in our society – not even on the Internet. Facebook is not a place for the dissemination of hate speech or incitement to violence. With this new initiative we can better understand the challenges of extremist statements on the Internet and better respond to it. Together we can ensure that the voices of peace, of truth and tolerance will be heard. The best cure for bad ideas are good ideas. The best remedy for hate is tolerance. Counter Speech is incredibly strong – and it takes time, energy and courage.