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Anker Zolo Liberty review - CNET - Reviews - 42 min 16 sec ago
The standard Anker Zolo Liberty don't have the extra features of their step-up sibling (the Liberty Plus), but they're arguably the more likeable of the two models.

Cambridge Analytica: Warrant sought to inspect company

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 9 min ago
The firm is accused of misusing the personal data of 50 million Facebook members, which it denies.

Geoboffins believe gigantic volcanoes kickstarted Mars' oceans

The Register - 1 hour 16 min ago
New model sees Red Planet turning Blue early on

A team of geophysicists have developed a new theory explaining how eruptions from some of the biggest volcanoes in the Solar System could have led to oceans on Mars.…

Ancient Maya traded dogs for use in religious ceremonies, new study shows

Ars Technica - 1 hour 25 min ago

Enlarge (credit: PNAS)

Studies of the bones of dog, large cat, turkey, and other animal bones found in the Maya city of Ceibal show that, as early as 400 BCE, the Mayan elite were importing dogs from distant corners of Guatemala and raising large cats like jaguars in captivity, probably all for use in elaborate rituals at the pyramids in the center of the city.

“Animal trade helped sustain many large civilizations, such as the Romans in Europe, the Inca Empire in South America, the Mesopotamians in the Middle East, and the ancient Chinese dynasties,” said archaeologist Ashley Sharpe of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, who led the study. But at Ceibal, the imported animals seem to have served purely ceremonial or political purposes, which may have played an important role in the growth of the powerful Maya state.

Captive jaguar

The work is based on discoveries at a pyramid near the ceremonial center of Ceibal, an important Maya city in what is now Guatemala (the city is also known as Seibal and El Ceibal). Archaeologists found the jawbone of a large cat—probably a jaguar—mixed in with ancient construction fill. A jawbone doesn’t sound like much, but it’s enough to let archaeologists reconstruct what the animal ate and where it came from. The ratio of stable carbon isotopes stored in the bone, for example, can tell researchers whether the animal or its prey ate a lot of grain or foraged on more woody plants in the forests around Ceibal, while nitrogen isotope ratios reveal the amount of protein in the animal’s diet.

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School bomb threats: Disgruntled Minecraft gamer 'behind hoax'

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 31 min ago
Hundreds of schools in England were sent an email saying a bomb would be detonated on their grounds.

How far will Cambridge Analytica go for an election win? - CNET - News - 1 hour 32 min ago
The consultancy firm, in hot water over its misuse of Facebook data, told UK’s Channel 4 that it was willing to go beyond using data to hurt a candidate.

Uber halts self-driving cars after first pedestrian fatality - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 39 min ago
The ride-hailing company puts the brakes on its self-driving operations in the US and Canada after a woman is killed by an autonomous vehicle in Tempe, Arizona.

Google makes it easier to buy what you search for - CNET - News - 1 hour 42 min ago
Instead of shopping on Amazon, the tech giant wants you to make purchases from partners like Costco, Target and Walmart.

Uber's Self-Driving Car Just Killed Somebody in Arizona. Now What?

Wired - 1 hour 45 min ago
The first deadly crash raises questions about how quickly autonomous driving technology is progressing—and who's in charge of keeping everybody safe.

President Trump bans the use of Venezuelan cryptocurrencies - CNET - News - 1 hour 49 min ago
Americans won't be able to buy or trade the oil-backed digital currency called the Petro.

Uber halts self-driving car tests after death

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 52 min ago
A pedestrian was killed after being hit by a self-driving Uber car in Arizona.

Although they can’t tell us about it, infants can reason

Ars Technica - 1 hour 53 min ago

Enlarge / Kids can tell when something’s not right. (credit: dadblunders / Flickr)

Does language, by providing a way to symbolize and communicate our thoughts, enable us to reason? Or are inference, deduction, and other forms of logical reasoning independent of our ability to put words to them? It’s hard to figure out whether babies can think, given they can’t tell us. Which makes separating language from reasoning even harder.

Ernő Téglás, at the Babylab in Budapest, researches “how infants acquire the conceptual sophistication necessary for abstract combinatorial thought involved in everyday reasoning.” His team has just published work describing the precursors of logical reasoning in pre-verbal infants; one group of infants was aged 12 months and the other was 19 months old. Babies at these ages are just at the cusp of language learning and speech development, but they definitely precede the development of extensive language.

Wrong expectations

Like 20-something adults given the same tests, these babies expressed distress when their deductions did not hold true. Distress came in the form of staring at the inconsistent outcomes, which is how baby cognition is often measured.

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Uber self-driving car hits and kills pedestrian [Updated]

Ars Technica - 1 hour 55 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Dllu)

An Uber self-driving car in Tempe, Arizona has struck and killed a pedestrian, according to local TV news station KNXV. Local authorities have identified the victim as 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg.

According to the Tempe Police, "occurred overnight on Mill Ave. just south of Curry Rd." Herzberg was pushing her bicycle across the street when the Uber vehicle, which was traveling northbound, hit her.

"She was transported to a local area hospital where she passed away from her injuries," the police said in a statement.

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Facebook hires digital forensics firm for Cambridge Analytica audit - CNET - News - 1 hour 55 min ago
The social network is launching a comprehensive investigation into a scandal involving misused data by a consultancy used by the Trump campaign.

Bitcoin's blockchain: Potentially a hazardous waste dump of child abuse, malware, etc

The Register - 1 hour 58 min ago
Boffins warn of legal risks from arbitrary data distribution

Bitcoin's blockchain can be loaded with sensitive, unlawful or malicious data, raising potential legal problems in most of the world, according to boffins based in Germany.…

For Facebook, political pressure mounts on Mark Zuckerberg - CNET - News - 2 hours 1 sec ago
The Cambridge Analytica scandal involving the misused data of 50 million people has led to increased calls for Facebook’s CEO to testify before Congress.

Ataribox now Atari VCS, preorders start in April - CNET - News - 2 hours 8 min ago
At GDC 2018 his week, Atari will display its long-awaited and freshly branded retro console.

Cambridge Analytica Execs Caught Discussing Extortion and Fake News

Wired - 2 hours 13 min ago
In undercover videos filmed by Britain’s Channel 4 news, Cambridge Analytica executives appear to offer up various unsavory tactics to influence campaigns.

Study: 1% of Reddit communities spark 74% of conflicts - CNET - News - 2 hours 18 min ago
Stanford researchers reveal how tribalism and infighting ignite the “front page of the internet.”

Ars answers a federal judge’s questions about climate change

Ars Technica - 2 hours 20 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

Climate science has kind of had its day in court before. In 2007, for example, the Supreme Court ruled that CO2 fits the definition of a pollutant under the Clean Air Act—a decision that forces the US EPA to draw up regulations to tackle climate change, regardless of political winds. But on Tuesday, climate science will literally have its day in court, as a federal judge receives a five-hour tutorial he requested on the subject.

The case pits San Francisco and Oakland against BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell. The cities are alleging that major oil companies sold fossil fuels while knowing their use would change the climate—and, critically, publicly campaigning to convince the public they would not change the climate. As San Francisco and Oakland incur significant costs building infrastructure to protect their cities from sea-level rise, they want oil companies to chip in for the bill.

The case, which would obviously set a huge precedent if the cities won, already seems to have gone further than past attempts. Other judges have booted suits on the grounds that emissions should be regulated by the EPA and therefore the issue can’t be decided in a courtroom. But the specifics of the California case—going after sellers of fossil fuels rather than local users of fossil fuels—convinced Judge William Alsup that it can go forward.

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