We probably don’t descend from Australopithecus sediba

We probably don’t descend from Australopithecus sediba

Enlarge / According to Du and Alemseged, A. sediba is probably not our direct ancestor. (credit: Brett Eloff courtesy Profberger and Wits University)

Sometime around 2 million years ago, a group of bipedal hominins in Eastern Africa gradually evolved into something that looked and acted enough like us to be part of our genus, Homo. This was an important moment in the evolutionary history of our species, but paleoanthropologists aren’t sure yet exactly which species actually gave rise to our branch of the hominin family tree. A new study, however, suggests that we can probably rule out one of the contenders.

Where did we come from?

The top contenders include a species called Australopithecus sediba, known from the fossilized remains of two adults and four children who apparently fell to their deaths in Malapa Cave around 1.9 million years ago. The other top contender is called A.

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Microsoft publishes first Edge for macOS preview, promises to make it truly “Mac-like”

Microsoft publishes first Edge for macOS preview, promises to make it truly “Mac-like”

Enlarge (credit: Microsoft)

One of the most important ways that Microsoft wants to make the new Chromium-based Edge different from the current EdgeHTML-based Edge is in its support for other platforms. The original Edge was, for no good reason, tied to Windows 10, meaning that Web developers on platforms such as Windows 7 or macOS had no way of testing how their pages looked, short of firing up a Windows 10 virtual machine.

The new browser is, in contrast, a cross-platform affair. The first preview builds were published for Windows 10, with versions for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 promised soon; today, these are joined by builds for macOS.

The macOS version resembles the Windows 10 builds that we’ve seen so far, but it isn’t identical. Microsoft wants to be a good citizen on macOS by producing not just an application that fits the platform’s

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World of Warcraft Classic beta testers are reporting vanilla WoW features as bugs

World of Warcraft Classic beta testers are reporting vanilla WoW features as bugs

Nostalgic World of Warcraft (WoW) fans have been calling for game publisher Activision-Blizzard to release World of Warcraft Classic for years, and they’re finally getting their wishWorld of Warcraft Classic is now in beta, but some players have been surprised by what they’ve found when playing it.

WoW Classic seeks to recreate the “vanilla WoW” experience—that is, WoW as it existed before a series of seven game-altering major expansion packs from 2007’s The Burning Crusade to 2018’s Battle for Azeroth. To achieve this, Blizzard has rebuilt the game based on archived data from back in 2005 and 2006 (patch 1.12 is the goalpost—the current game is on patch 8.1.5). The company has

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Massive 2015 natural gas leak caused by microbial corrosion, report says

Massive 2015 natural gas leak caused by microbial corrosion, report says

Aliso Canyon methane leak 6. (credit: Earthworks / Flickr)

A massive natural gas leak at a storage facility in Southern California was caused by microbial corrosion of well equipment, according to a new independent report from analysis firm Blade Energy Partners. The report blames the storage facility owner, Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) for failing to conduct follow-up inspections of equipment, despite knowing about 60 smaller leaks at the facility that had occurred since the 1970s.

The final leak—which spewed 109,000 metric tons of methane into the air over five months between 2015 and 2016—was the biggest methane leak in US history. (A larger loss of methane occurred in 2004 in Texas, but a corresponding fire immediately combusted the methane into carbon dioxide.) But the California leak at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Field was particularly devastating because methane, unfortunately, is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon

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Android Q Beta Now Available for OnePlus 7 Pro

Android Q Beta Now Available for OnePlus 7 Pro


OnePlus 7 Pro shipments should be arriving any day now after going on sale last week. Should they hit your doorstep, consider updating to Android Q if you like to live life on the spicier, less stable side of things. OnePlus just released Android Q Developer Preview (Beta) for both the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro.

OnePlus admits in a forum post for the Android Q beta that this is not exactly a build built for most of you. In fact, this Android Q build is “best suited for developers and early adopters,” those who don’t mind a bug or seven.

The current list of known issues/bugs includes ambient display not working, general system stability issues, broken SMS when on VoLTE, navigation gestures not working, and more. It’s a “beta,” folks.

If you are interested in testing this, OnePlus lays out the full instructions … Read the rest

Google Glass still exists: Meet Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2

Google Glass still exists: Meet Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2

Google Glass is not only a product that still exists inside Google, but today, Google is announcing a new version of Google Glass, called “Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2.” It has a new design, new specs, and a $999 price tag. We can’t believe it either.

Google has a blog post detailing the new product, and Google.com/glass has been resurrected with all sorts of details on the new face computer. The new Google Glass has a thicker, bulkier design, which probably helps to fit a larger 820mAh battery compared to the original’s 570mAh. Given that Glass is now an enterprise-focused product, it makes sense that Google is promoting a design with built-in safety glasses, although a more traditional frameless style is still available.

Google was even nice enough to provide a mostly full spec sheet. Glass

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A disillusioned Aaron Paul longs for someone “real” in Westworld S3 trailer

A disillusioned Aaron Paul longs for someone “real” in Westworld S3 trailer

HBO released the first teaser for Westworld season 3 right before last night’s Game of Thrones finale.

HBO took advantage of the record number of viewers tuning in to the Game of Thrones finale last night to release the first teaser for season three of Westworld. The teaser is deliberately vague on details, but it looks like we’re in for a dystopian near-future scenario set not in the original theme park but in the real outside world.

(Some spoilers for first two seasons below.)

If you’re new to the series, the titular Westworld is one of six immersive theme parks owned and operated by a company called Delos Inc. It’s essentially Live Action Role Play (LARP-ing) combined with a choose-your-own-adventure experience. The park is populated with a “cast” of very human-looking androids, called hosts, who follow a bunch of intertwining narratives, rebooting the same narrative every day. The

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FCC Chairman is Cool With T-Mobile-Sprint Merger (Updated)

FCC Chairman is Cool With T-Mobile-Sprint Merger (Updated)


T-Mobile and Sprint haven’t given up on an attempted merger, even as antitrust officials have raised concerns and they’ve had to push their deadline back. Their plans got a boost today, thanks to FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who weighed in with his approval, suggesting that T-Mobile and Sprint have committed to “significant steps” in order to help make America a wireless leader.

Pai released a statement saying that because T-Mobile and Sprint have committed to covering almost the entire country with 5G over the next three years (97% of the population), increasing buildout of their mid-band spectrum holdings, creating another home broadband choice for rural customers who don’t have many, and selling off Boost, Sprint’s prepaid brand, he is willing to recommend an approval. 

He notes that if they fail to meet these commitments, T-Mobile and Sprint would “suffer serious consequences” that amount to billions of dollars in payments … Read the rest

Google Calendar and Keep Get Dark Modes

Google Calendar and Keep Get Dark Modes


Via its G Suite blog, Google announced the official arrival of Dark Mode for Google Calendar and Google Keep. 

I don’t think I need to explain what Dark Mode is, but in case you don’t know, it will darken the UI of these apps when enabled. This makes for easier viewing when in low-light conditions. 

Google Keep Dark Mode

To enable on Google Calendar, you’ll go Settings > General > Theme. In Google Keep, you’ll go Settings > Enable Dark Mode

Google states that most Calendar users should see Dark Mode within 15 days from May 16, and for Google Keep, users should have it within 15 days from May 20. 

// Google

Cheers Charles!

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Some Pixel 3a, 3a XL Owners Running Into ‘Random Shutdown’ Issue

Some Pixel 3a, 3a XL Owners Running Into ‘Random Shutdown’ Issue


Over on reddit, numerous Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL owners are reporting a random shutdown bug that is causing them to seek replacement devices from their original place of purchase. 

The shutdown event appears to happen very randomly with no particular cause found. However, when it does happen, a long press of the power button is required to trigger a device reboot. That seems to fix the issue, until it happens again. 

There’s no telling how many people are affected, but if reddit is any indication, it doesn’t appear to be too widespread of an issue. Google has yet to make an official comment on the matter. 

If your phone is experiencing anything like this, we suggest returning it for a new one. We’ll update you as the story develops. 

Has your Pixel 3a or 3a XL behaved oddly at all? 

// reddit [2] [3Read the rest