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Apple will release written news as ‘Spoken Edition’ podcasts on iTunes

Apple will release written news as ‘Spoken Edition’ podcasts on iTunes

With the growing popularity of podcasts and audiobooks these days, it appears that Apple is planning to offer a similar way for users to listen to written news articles. As part of new feature coming to iTunes soon, "Spoken Editions" audio podcasts will offer spoken word versions of written articles from a wide variety of news sources. Much like how Amazon's voice assistant Alexa is capable of reading news headlines and other information via the Echo speaker, being able to listen to the news frees up users to do other things at the same time.

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Water bear protein enables extreme radiation resistance

Water bear protein enables extreme radiation resistance

Tardigrades, also known as ‘water bears' and 'moss piglets,' are microscopic critters able to withstand a slew of environmental conditions that would kill off most other life: very high levels of radiation, extremely hot and cold temperatures, and even the conditions of outer space. Researchers with the University of Tokyo decided to zero in on one of those realities in particular, the resilience to radiation, and they may have found the answer — a particular protein.

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Twitter’s more forgiving character count is rolling out now

Twitter’s more forgiving character count is rolling out now

Twitter has started rolling out its new more forgiving character counting method for tweets, doing so right when the anonymous sources said it would. With this new counting method, certain things don't count against the tweet's maximum character count, though that is remaining the same at 140-characters per tweet. You can, for example, share a GIF or a photo without it counting against the character count, among other things.

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HMS Terror ship found in Arctic joining 2014’s HMS Erebus discovery

HMS Terror ship found in Arctic joining 2014’s HMS Erebus discovery

In 2014, officials discovered the HMS Erebus, one of two ships that sank in the Arctic while on a mission to travel across the Northwest Passage. The location of the second ship, HMS Terror, was still being sought, though, a mission that itself has reached its conclusion thanks to the Arctic Research Foundation and a single tip. The HMS Terror was discovered in King William Island’s Terror Bay on September 3; according to researchers, it is very well preserved and all signs point to it having “sank gently” to the sea floor.

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Grolier Codex, an extremely rare ancient Maya book, is genuine

Grolier Codex, an extremely rare ancient Maya book, is genuine

In the 1960s, what is said to be one of the rarest books in the world was discovered: an ancient Maya book called the Grolier Codex. While the physical book itself — meaning the actual pages — were quickly dated back to the 13th century, researchers have long speculated that the drawings contained in the book were forgeries, something sellers would have made to try and get more money for the product. That’s not true, it turns out. Researchers with Brown University have announced that the Grolier Codex is genuine in every way, making it the oldest known manuscript found in America.

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Twitter’s reworked character limit tipped to arrive September 19

Twitter’s reworked character limit tipped to arrive September 19

Twitter gives you 140 characters to say whatever it is you need to say. This is a very restrictive limit, yes, but one that is ultimately good for the service, many users argue. That’s why past notions of raising the character limit resulted in swift outcries against doing so, and why Twitter’s May announcement was received with a mixed response. At the time, Twitter revealed something of a compromise: while it is keeping its 140-character limitation, it is tweaking which things count toward that character count. Assuming a new tip is correct, Twitter will be kicking off this change on September 19th.

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Researchers can now identify someone using hair proteins

Researchers can now identify someone using hair proteins

Researchers can now identify someone based on the proteins in their hair, something that may last longer than the DNA prone to degradation. According to the current research — which will be refined in the future — it only takes 185 hair protein markers to identify one person amongst a larger population of a million people. While that may have somewhat limited usage, this method could one day be used to identify a single person in the entire world using one or more strands of hair.

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TiVo unveils next-gen interface with predictions and fast content access

TiVo unveils next-gen interface with predictions and fast content access

TiVo has introduced its next-generation user interface, an offering that will better meet the wants and needs of modern users and bring with it some new features like Predictions. According to the company, this next-gen interface is designed to bring content from a bunch of different sources together. In addition, the UX will offer predictions about what it thinks you may want to watch based on your content viewing habits, as well as what time of the day it is and what device is being used to watch the shows.

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Russian river turns blood red in nation’s latest environmental mystery

Russian river turns blood red in nation’s latest environmental mystery

Russia, land of bears and ice and mystery. The nation is no stranger to fireballs falling from the sky and, more recently, huge deep craters appearing in the Siberian ice from seemingly nowhere. Now there's another mystery for locals to ponder: a river has turned blood red, something that doesn't yet have any determined cause but that, some think, may be the result of pollution. As it turns out, the Hope Metals Plant is located upstream and may be leaking.

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Pistachio scarcity looms as droughts decimate farms

Pistachio scarcity looms as droughts decimate farms

If you love pistachios, stock up while you can: the next few years or more may see a scarcity of the nut as long-running droughts in Iran have decimated entire pistachio farms and have others on the brink of collapse. Pistachios are a vital export for Iran, coming second only to crude oil, with the nation’s various pistachio farms producing 250,000 tons last year. Extreme water scarcity in the nation, though, has led to mass farm loss and more farms are sure to fail soon if something doesn't change.

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Nazi U-boat seen for first time since sinking in 1942

Nazi U-boat seen for first time since sinking in 1942

The German ‘U-boat’ submarine U-576 has been seen for the first time since sinking about 74 years ago. Entombed within are the 45 German sailors who went down with the sub; according to the researchers who discovered it, the hatches are still closed, and most of the other elements — minus the now-rotted wooden deck pieces — are still present. The discovery marks the end of a mission that has been ongoing since 2009, providing an actual look at the vessel that was first 'seen' by sonar in 2014.

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Amazon’s new anti-counterfeiting fee has sellers upset

Amazon’s new anti-counterfeiting fee has sellers upset

Counterfeit goods harm both the person unknowingly buying the product and the company behind the real products. Amazon has worked to keep these counterfeit goods off its website, but nothing is perfect and users are, unfortunately, on the receiving end of fake products at times. Word has it the company has seen the number of counterfeit products growing, and so it is attempting to keep those sellers away by instituting an across-the-board selling fee.

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