China’s wild geese are dying because they’re too well-behaved for their own good

China’s geese are too well-behaved for their own good, and it’s causing their populations to dwindle. Instead of sneaking out of their wetland habitat into the nearby farmlands to hunt for food, some of these geese stay no matter what — in wetlands that might not have enough for them to eat.

Geese are well known for migrating in the fall to spend their winters in warmer climates. Some geese winter in Europe and North America, and they’re doing fine. But Chinese geese, which migrate from the the frozen steppes of Mongolia and Russia to the more temperate areas of the Yangtze River in southern China, are in trouble. To figure out why, scientists attached tracking devices to 67 wild geese and followed them throughout the winter. The…

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How Anker is beating Apple and Samsung at their own accessory game

Steven Yang quit his job at Google in the summer of 2011 to build the products he felt the world needed: a line of reasonably priced accessories that would be better than the ones you could buy from Apple and other big-name brands. These accessories — batteries, cables, chargers — would solve our most persistent gadget problem by letting us stay powered on at all times. There were just a few problems: Yang knew nothing about starting a company, building consumer electronics, or selling products.

“I was a software engineer all my life at Google. I didn’t know anyone in the electronics manufacturing world,” Yang tells me over Skype from his office in Shenzhen, China. But he started the company regardless, thanks in no small part to his…

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Google explains the Syrian refugee crisis with a new interactive website

The United Nations’ refugee agency has partnered with Google to launch a new website aimed at answering the five most common questions about the Syrian refugee crisis. The “Searching for Syria” site launched on Monday and will be featured on the Google home page “in selected countries,” according to a press release from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Searching for Syria combines data from the UNHCR and Google to answer five questions: “what was Syria like before the war?”; “what is happening in Syria?”; “who is a refugee?”; “where are Syrian refugees going?”; and “how can I help Syrian refugees?” The site includes stories of people who have been displaced by the six-year war, alongside statistics that detail the scope of…

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UberPool is getting smarter in New York City — and less convenient

While cheaper and increasingly popular with riders, UberPool continues to be stressful service for everyone involved. Riders are lured in by dirt-cheap prices, only to become aggravated by frequent detours to pick up new passengers. Drivers complain that UberPool often means more work without necessarily more pay. And Uber’s engineers have been wrestling with how to make the service that’s core to the company’s mission a more seamless and frictionless experience.

As such, Uber’s city team in New York City have been piloting some minor changes that they say accomplishes this. In the congested borough of Manhattan, a turn off one of the main north-south…

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Microsoft teases new Surface Pro Type Covers

Microsoft is widely expected to launch a new Surface Pro device tomorrow, and the company’s Surface chief has taken to Instagram today to post what appears to be a teaser. Panos Panay simply posted an image of four Surface keyboards, with the caption that there are “30 hours to go” until Microsoft’s Surface event in Shanghai. The Surface keyboards appear to be new Type Cover colors in alcantara, the same fabric that’s used on Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop.

Microsoft’s teaser comes just days after a Surface Pro leak revealed the new device looks very similar to the existing Surface Pro 4 model. Evleaks posted marketing material of what is claimed to be just a “Surface Pro” without any numbering. The new tablet / laptop hybrid doesn’t…

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