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Comic for October 17, 2018

Dilbert - October 18, 2018 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

How did Easter Islanders survive without wells or streams?

Ars Technica - 49 min 27 sec ago

Enlarge / A freshwater seep in the tidal zone near Tongariki. (credit: Brosnan et al. 2018)

Archaeologists are piecing together more details about how the Rapanui people once erected the formerly enigmatic stone statues, or moai. But one of the island’s lingering mysteries is how the Rapanui found enough water to sustain thousands of people on a small island. Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, has no permanent streams, and its three lakes are hard to reach and far from archaeological evidence of settlement. But when European colonists arrived in the late 1700s, thousands of people already lived on the island, and they had to be getting their drinking water somewhere.

According to geoscientist Tanya Brosnan of California State University, the Rapanui probably got at least some of their drinking water from places along the coast where fresh groundwater seeped out of the island’s bedrock and into the sea. The resulting mixture would have been brackish but safe to drink, and it could have sustained populations of thousands on an island with few other reliable sources of fresh water. That’s common knowledge among the modern Rapanui people, but it hasn’t been clear that pre-contact people got their water the same way.

“Our work was certainly not ‘discovering’ anything that people didn’t already know about. Rather, we worked to put together an overall picture of groundwater and its accessibility for past populations,” Binghamton University archaeologist Carl Lipo, a coauthor on the study, told Ars.

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Spotify comes to Wear OS with stand-alone app, Spotify Connect support

Ars Technica - 59 min 41 sec ago

Enlarge (credit: Spotify/Fossil)

Wear OS gains a popular new app today that many have been waiting for, as Spotify announced that it's bringing a stand-alone wearable app to Google's smartwatch platform.

Spotify's stand-alone app lets you browse and control music from your wrist. It seems to be a lighter version of Spotify's mobile app, allowing you to browse your tracks and playlists and quickly save songs to your library. You can also control playback from your wrist—it appears similar to Wear OS' native music controls, just built into a dedicated Spotify app.

The Wear OS app also integrates with Spotify Connect, the company's method of connecting and controlling playback on Bluetooth devices. Now from your wrist, you can manage connections between Bluetooth speakers, laptops, and other devices and quickly change the playback source.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

YouTube is Down

Slashdot - 59 min 56 sec ago
Categories: Geek, Opinion

Up to 9.5 million net neutrality comments were made with stolen identities

Ars Technica - 1 hour 9 min ago

Enlarge / FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on December 14, 2017 in Washington, DC, the day of the FCC's vote to repeal net neutrality rules. (credit: Getty Images | Alex Wong )

The New York attorney general's office is widening an investigation into fraudulent net neutrality comments, saying it estimates that up to 9.5 million comments were submitted using stolen identities.

NY AG Barbara Underwood "subpoenaed more than a dozen telecommunications trade groups, lobbying contractors, and Washington advocacy organizations on Tuesday, seeking to determine whether the groups submitted millions of fraudulent public comments to sway a critical federal decision on Internet regulation," The New York Times reported yesterday.

The NY AG last year said it found 2 million net neutrality comments filed in people's names without their knowledge; some comments were submitted under the names of dead people.

Read 20 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Meet Helm, the startup taking on Gmail with a server that runs in your home

Ars Technica - 1 hour 22 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Helm)

There’s no doubt that Gmail has changed the way we consume email. It’s free, it gives most of us all the storage we’ll ever need, and it does a better job than most in weeding out spam and malware. But there’s a cost to all of this. The advertising model that makes this cost-free service possible means some of our most sensitive messages are being scanned for clues about who we are, what we care about, and what we do both online and offline. There’s also the possibility of Google either being hacked or legally compelled to turn over contents.

On Wednesday, a Seattle-based startup called Helm is launching a service designed to make it easy for people to securely take control of their email and other personal data. The company provides a small custom-built server that connects to a user's home or small-office network and sends, receives, and manages email, contacts, and calendars. Helm plans to offer photo storage and other services later.

With a 120GB solid-state drive, a three-minute setup, and the ability to store encrypted disk images that can only be decrypted by customers, Helm says its service provides the ease and reliability of Gmail and its tightly coupled contacts and calendar services. The startup is betting that people will be willing to pay $500 the first year to purchase the box and use it for one year to host some of their most precious assets in their own home. The service will cost $100 per year after that.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments


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