Early humans may have been food for carnivores 500,000 years ago

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 8:41pm
Tooth-marks on a 500,000-year-old hominin femur bone found in a Moroccan cave indicate that it was consumed by large carnivores, likely hyenas, according to a new study.
Categories: Science

Influenza in the tropics shows variable seasonality

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 8:41pm
Whilst countries in the tropics and subtropics exhibit diverse patterns of seasonal flu activity, they can be grouped into eight geographical zones to optimise vaccine formulation and delivery timing, according to a new study.
Categories: Science

Uber's New Policy Fines Riders Who Are Two Minutes Late

Slashdot - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 8:39pm
Uber says it has revised some of its policies to better compensate its drivers. As part of which, the company is testing charging customers a fee if they make a driver wait for more than two minutes (current waiting time is five minutes). Furthermore, the taxi aggregator says it is changing the ride cancellation grace period from five minutes to two minutes, adding that the fees can range from $5 to $10, depending on your city. Our very own Logan Abbott aka Whipslash faced this issue today. Though he tells us that the company refunded his money after he emailed and filed a complaint. The Verge reports:The feature was built in response to drivers' complaints about waiting for passengers, Uber said. In a statement released to The Verge and TechCrunch, Uber noted that these updated terms would ensure that "the whole system runs more smoothly and the Uber experience improves for everyone." Reduced wait times and the ability to charge for idle time, as well as compensation if riders cancel after two minutes, obviously benefit drivers, earning them a few extra dollars and allowing them to move onto the next fare sooner. But how this will make the passenger experience smoother is unclear. Traffic, wrong turns, and faulty GPS all contribute to making pick-up times unreliable. This can leave passengers out in the cold, waiting for drivers to arrive. Uber explained that if a driver is more than five minutes late for an estimated arrival, users can cancel the ride with no penalty.

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Categories: Science

WIRED Binge-Watching Guide: The Shield

Wired News - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 8:30pm
Want a "cop who makes his own rules" show that actually goes beyond its trope? We have a show for you to binge. The post WIRED Binge-Watching Guide: The Shield appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Even N00bs Can Rock Out on Magic Instruments’ New Guitar

Wired News - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 8:09pm
Magic Instruments' guitar isn't a guitar, exactly. But it sounds like one. The post Even N00bs Can Rock Out on Magic Instruments' New Guitar appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Intel Declares Independence From PC, Prioritizes Cloud, IoT and 5G Efforts

Slashdot - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 8:00pm
A week after announcing 12,000 job cuts, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has shared vision for the company, hinting a shift in its prime focus away from PC business. In a blog post, Krzanich said that the company will be actively growing its data center business. The chip maker also plans to focus on chips and technologies for IoT devices. "The biggest opportunity in the Internet of Things is that it encompasses just about everything in our lives today-- it's ubiquitous," Krzanich said. The company also plans to boost its memory chips business and make a push towards utilizing them in data centers and various cloud services. Intel said that it has made several investments in this field, noting the $16 billion acquisition of Altera last year. The company says it will be playing a big role in the move to 5G connectivity. "Connectivity is fundamental to every one of the cloud-to-thing segments we will drive," he writes. Over the years, Intel has failed to keep up with Moore's Law, an axiom that semiconductor density will double about every two years. The company previously extended the timeframe to 2.5 years, but Krzanich assures customers that the they are working to make further advances in order to meet the goal. "Moore's Law is fundamentally a law of economics, and Intel will confidently continue to harness its value," Krzanich said. PCWorld has extensively reported on this.

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Culture Podcast: Beyoncé Helps Soothe Our Woes After the Loss of Prince

Wired News - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 7:30pm
Some weeks on the podcast, things are pretty leisurely. This was not one of those weeks. The post Culture Podcast: Beyoncé Helps Soothe Our Woes After the Loss of Prince appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

German Nuclear Plant Infected With Computer Virus

Slashdot - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 7:20pm
archatheist shares a Reuters report: A nuclear power plant in Germany has been found to be infected with computer viruses, but they appear not to have posed a threat to the facility's operations because it is isolated from the Internet, the station's operator said on Tuesday. The Gundremmingen plant, located about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Munich, is run by the German utility RWE. The viruses, which include "W32.Ramnit" and "Conficker", were discovered at Gundremmingen's B unit in a computer system retrofitted in 2008 with data visualization software associated with equipment for moving nuclear fuel rods, RWE said.

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Experimental drug cancels effect from key intellectual disability gene in mice

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 7:16pm
A researcher who studies the most common genetic intellectual disability has used an experimental drug to reverse -- in mice -- damage from the mutation that causes the syndrome. The condition, called fragile X, has devastating effects on intellectual abilities.
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Rare transit of Mercury to take place on 9 May

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 7:12pm
On 9 May there will be a rare transit of Mercury, when the smallest planet in our Solar System will pass directly between the Earth and the Sun. The last time this happened was in 2006, and the next two occasions will be in 2019 and 2032. During the transit, which takes place in the afternoon and early evening in the UK, Mercury will appear as a dark silhouetted disk against the bright surface of the Sun.
Categories: Science

Teeth vs. tools: Neandertals and Homo sapiens had different dietary strategies

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 7:12pm
Over hundreds of thousands of years, the Neandertal lineage developed successfully in western Eurasia and survived severe fluctuations between colder and warmer climactic cycles of the Ice Age. The Neandertals disappeared at the high point of the last glacial period around 40 thousand years ago, at approximately the same time that modern humans migrated into Europe.
Categories: Science

Nanoparticles hold promise as double-edged sword against genital herpes

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 7:10pm
An effective vaccine against the virus that causes genital herpes has evaded researchers for decades. But now, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago working with scientists from Germany have shown that zinc-oxide nanoparticles shaped like jacks can prevent the virus from entering cells, and help natural immunity to develop.
Categories: Science

Coal-tar based sealcoats on driveways, parking lots far more toxic than suspected

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 7:10pm
The pavement sealcoat products used widely around the nation on thousands of asphalt driveways and parking lots are significantly more toxic and mutagenic than previously suspected, according to a new article.
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Deep-sea biodiversity impacted by climate change's triple threat

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 7:10pm
A new study found that vulnerability of deep-sea biodiversity to climate change's triple threat -- rising water temperatures, and decreased oxygen, and pH levels -- is not uniform across the world's oceans.
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'Walk-DMC' aims to improve surgery outcomes for children with cerebral palsy

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 7:10pm
A mechanical engineer has developed a new assessment of motor control in children with cerebral palsy which could help predict which patients are -- or are not -- likely to benefit from invasive surgical interventions.
Categories: Science

Superfast light source made from artificial atom

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 7:10pm
Superfast light sources can be used, for example, in laser lights, LED lights and in single-photon light sources for quantum technology. New research results show that light sources can be made much faster by using a principle that was predicted theoretically in 1954.
Categories: Science

3D printed foam outperforms traditional cellular materials in long-term stress

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 7:10pm
3D printed foam works better than standard cellular materials in terms of durability and long-term mechanical performance, material scientists have found.
Categories: Science

Exercise genes? Study suggests certain people with depression may benefit from exercise

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 7:09pm
Call it personalized medicine for depression -- but the prescription in this case is exercise, which researchers have found helps people with certain genetic traits.
Categories: Science

Widespread loss of ocean oxygen to become noticeable in 2030s

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 7:09pm
A reduction in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the oceans due to climate change is already discernible in some parts of the world and should be evident across large regions of the oceans between 2030 and 2040, according to a new study.
Categories: Science

Cellular tree with healthy branches

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 7:09pm
Biologists have homed in on the genes that tell brain cells to grow the tendrils critical for passing messages throughout the body. In a new study, they report certain genes in nearby neurons need to be exact matches in order for the signaling branches to grow properly.
Categories: Science