Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for November 30, 2019

in rsslog •  10 days ago 

Researchers find a well-preserved 18,000 year-old canine puppy that could be a dog or a wolf; A Steem post with more commentary about the 18,000 year-old canine puppy remains; Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, says Africa will define bitcoin's future; Twitter needs a process for handling its dead users' accounts; and IBM receives a patent for a blockchain system to prevent drones from stealing packages


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  1. Siberia: 18,000-year-old frozen 'dog' stumps scientists - Well-preserved remains of a canine puppy that died at about two months old were discovered in the ice in Siberia. Radio-carbon dating put the remains at about 18,000 years old, and genome analysis showed that it was male. DNA analysis, however, was so-far unable to conclude whether it was a breed of dog or wolf. The puppy has been named "Dogor", which is the beginning of the phrase "dog or wolf". Dave Stanton suggests that the remains may belong to a common ancestor of the dog and the wolf. Another researcher, Love Stanton put the question to the Twittersphere. DNA sequencing efforts will continue and may also shed light into the process of domestication. A 2017 study suggests that modern dogs are descended from wolves, and that the domestication process began sometime between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago. h/t RealClear Science

  2. STEEM 18,000 year old puppy's frozen body found in Siberia - @borepstein beat me to posting about Dogor. Here is more Steem-based commentary on the historical find. The post points out that the dog's remains are so well preserved that the canine's snout and fur are basically intact, and also that bacteria and parasites that were frozen with the remains may be another valuable source of information. @borepstein's post and the previous link both contain pictures of Dogor.

  3. Africa ‘Will Define’ the Future of Bitcoin — Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey - Twitter's CEO, Jack Dorsey, spent time in Nigeria and Ghana this month. Upon returning, he said that he'll be returning and plans to spend six months in Africa during 2020. The article quotes Dorsey as saying that, "Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!)", and notes that he attended a Bitcoin meetup while in Nigeria. Nigeria's largest city, Lagos, is set to have a population of 32 million people by 2050, which makes it a potentially strong market for Bitcoin. Additionally, 13 of the top-20 cities are expected to be on the African continent during the next century.

  4. Twitter has to figure out what to do with dead people - A public backlash recently forced Twitter to back down from their previously-announced plan to delete any account that had not logged into their platform. The announcement was initially received with praise from people who wanted to gain access to accounts with names of their choosing, but as the news spread, people who had lost loved ones started to push back. Now, Twitter has announced that it will not purge inactive accounts until it implements a method for people to memorialize the accounts of lost loved ones.

  5. IBM Patents Blockchain to Stop Drones From Stealing Packages - While companies like Amazon, FedEx, and DHL are building a future where people increasingly order goods online, IBM sees a more nefarious future from the convergence of online delivery and increasing use of drones. The company has received a patent for an Internet of Things (IOT) device with an altimeter that senses if a package is carried off by a drone and, when triggered, uploads the data to a blockchain ledger.


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