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Snapchat pulls racist Asian stereotype lens

Snapchat pulls racist Asian stereotype lens

Snapchat is being heavily criticized (again) over a racist filter, this time for making one available that produces Asian caricatures from user selfies. If the criticism sounds familiar, that’s because it is; it was only back in late April that Snapchat received backlash for a Bob Marley filter that earned accusations of blackface. Snapchat didn't remove that Bob Marley filter, saying at the time that it had the blessing of his estate, but it has pulled the most recent offensive filter.

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Study details 250k-year-old tools used to hunt rhinos, ducks and more

Study details 250k-year-old tools used to hunt rhinos, ducks and more

Researchers have discovered 250,000-year-old tools that were used to hunt and butcher rhinoceros and other types of animal, according to a new study, helping shed light on how the human ancestors living at the time kept themselves fed. The tools were found at a location near Azraq, Jordan which has served as an oasis in the harsh environment for hundreds of thousands of years. The human ancestors that stopped there — researchers aren’t entirely sure which ones — left behind many items that have ended up being a treasure trove for scientists.

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Coffiest is Soylent’s alternative to your morning coffee

Coffiest is Soylent’s alternative to your morning coffee

Have you ever looked at your morning cup of coffee and wished it included a slurry of various nutrients? Probably not, but just in case, Soylent has launched its own caffeinated alternative called Coffiest because, well, apparently its the coffiest way to coffee. Coffiest, much like the company’s Soylent drink, contains a bunch of nutrients to make up for the breakfast you’re not going to eat with this — it also includes 150mg of caffeine and L-theanine to serve as what company CEO Rob Rhinehart calls “mild nootropics."

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As of today, e-cigarette makers must get FDA product approval

As of today, e-cigarette makers must get FDA product approval

The day some have feared and others have long awaited is finally here: the FDA’s e-cigarette regulations go into effect today, and they require retailers to, among other things, request identification from any prospective buyers who look like they may be younger than 27. The move aims to curb the ease by which minors have been able to acquire ‘vaping’ devices, and is joined by a ban on e-cigarette vending machines with the exception of facilities with access that has been restricted to adults only.

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Siberian mine reveals rare mineral version of man-made material

Siberian mine reveals rare mineral version of man-made material

A Siberian mine has revealed a big surprise: a rare mineral that is the naturally occurring version of a man-made material called a metal-organic framework, or MOF. The man-made material was revealed in the 90s and has many potential uses, including things like sequestering carbon, and is now known to exist in nature. The discovery, which was recently detailed in the journal Science Advances, has been more than half a decade in the making, and raises hope that other varieties of MOF minerals may be discovered in the future.

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Study: mythological Chinese flood may have really happened

Study: mythological Chinese flood may have really happened

China’s ancient flood myth may be more fact than fiction, a new study suggests. According to the story, China was hit with a massive, cataclysmic flood about 4,000 years ago that lasted for more than two decades and ultimately helped shape the first part of Chinese civilization. Though the story is grand, it has thus far lacked evidence and as a result has encountered its fair share of critics. That may have changed, though, as researchers have found the first instances of evidence for such a massive flood.

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AT&T U-verse is increasing data cap from 600GB to 1TB

AT&T U-verse is increasing data cap from 600GB to 1TB

If you have an AT&T U-verse Internet subscription, you may get a surprise the next time you log in: a message saying the 600GB data cap will soon be increased to a more forgiving 1TB. The move doesn't come too long after AT&T increased its then-current data cap to 600GB, which it began enforcing more strongly than the 250GB cap some subscribers had before that. Those who still need more data will have the option of paying $30/month extra or paying overage charges.

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Ouch: Every Basis Peak smartwatch recalled over burn risk

Ouch: Every Basis Peak smartwatch recalled over burn risk

Fitness wearable company Basis is recalling every Peak watch sold, warning users of the potential for the health tracker to overheat and cause burns to the wrist. The voluntary recall - which will result in a full refund to those who bought the Peak - comes after the Intel-acquired firm found it was unable to tweak the smartwatch's software sufficiently to cut the potential for overheating.

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Instagram will soon let all users filter and block comments

Instagram will soon let all users filter and block comments

Instagram will give all of its users the ability to moderate the comments on their posts, according to a new report, with the feature being set to rollout gradually soon and more broadly in the next handful of months. This news follows Instagram’s launch of comment moderation for businesses, something that allows them to block comments that contain words and phrases flagged as offensive. In this case, the planned moderation feature will be going live for high profile accounts first, aiding in the elimination of abuse and more.

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Carcass leads scientists to new beaked whale species

Carcass leads scientists to new beaked whale species

A study newly published in Marine Mammal Science details evidence that a whale carcass discovered in 2014 is part of a species that has long gone undiscovered, at least in official capacities. Though new to science, fishermen have been aware of this particular variety of beaked whale for a while — Japanese fishermen, for example, call it karasu (raven) due to its somewhat dark color. However, living varieties of the critter have thus far evaded scientists.

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17th century shipwreck turns up old cheese and gold coins

17th century shipwreck turns up old cheese and gold coins

A shipwreck dating back to 1676 has turned up (another) cache of goodies, the most notable among them being a tub of ripe, smelly cheese (or, perhaps, butter). The shipwreck was found off the coast of Sweden, and it included some other less-pungent goods, as well: some old pharmaceuticals, 14 gold coins, and a diamond ring. Unfortunately, most of the ship’s crew died when the ship sank.

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Spider silk microstructure found to have unique acoustic properties

Spider silk microstructure found to have unique acoustic properties

Researchers have learned another thing about spider silk, and as with past discoveries, it may lead to the development of new materials for use among humans. This time around, a group of researchers from Rice University and beyond busied themselves with studying the microstructure of spider webs, doing so to learn how they transmit phonons — that is, quasiparticles of sound. As it turns out, spider silk possesses something called a phonon band gap.

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