Spotify disputes earlier report that it lost to Apple Music in streams of The Weeknd’s new single

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It was reported earlier this week that more Apple Music subscribers streamed The Weeknd’s new album, My Dear Melancholy, than Spotify members. This seemed like something of a coup for Apple given that it has around a quarter of Spotify’s subscriber base – all the more so when Spotify had two exclusive music videos from the EP.

But Spotify now apparently disputes this, bizarrely claiming that it initially provided the wrong numbers …

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Mazda announces CarPlay for 2018 & 2019 cars, teases retrofit accessory for earlier models

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After being touted as a CarPlay partner for over 3 years, Mazda today officially announced its plans to bring Apple’s in-car system to its vehicles. Mazda made the announcement at the New York International Auto Show, which has brought a handful of CarPlay announcements already

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Moto G6 appears on TENAA website, confirming earlier leaks

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It’s not clear which of Motorola’s (many) product lines will see an update in 2018, among engineering team layoffs and the X5’s cancellation. We do know the Moto G6 is still on track to be released, because it just passed through the TENAA, China’s telecommunications authority.

The phone has a model number of XT1925-10, with a 5.7-inch screen and a battery capacity of 3,000mAh. Those are the only specifications confirmed by TENAA, but previously-discovered FCC documents point to at least two variants of the phone – one with 3GB RAM/32GB storage, and the other with 4GB RAM/64GB storage.

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Moto G6 appears on TENAA website, confirming earlier leaks was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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New Apple headphone project possibly hampered by multiple re-designs, coming no earlier than holiday 2018

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Another report claims that high-end over-the-ear headphones are expected from Apple — not Beats — before the end of 2018, but the data escaping Apple’s manufacturing chain remains nebulous and ill-defined.
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Spring Might Come Earlier, but Food Shortages Will Still Happen

Shorter Winters

Those who don’t want to take action to stop climate change like to point out its supposed benefits – in particular, the idea that plants will grow faster and stronger on a warmer, more carbon dioxide-rich planet. Climate change affects food production in ways that will help us, they assert.

Now that spring has sprung about 20 days early in the U.S. two years in a row, you’d think we’d start seeing those benefits reflected in agriculture. However, it’s not quite that simple.

As summarized in the most recent Climate Science Special Report, produced by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), a number of factors influence plant productivity, and climate change affects food, true, but not necessarily in a positive way.

Surprisingly, shorter winters can actually limit plant growth, as some plants require a long winter to go dormant and regain energy for leaf unfolding in the spring. Short winters can also leave plants more vulnerable to late-season frosts. They emerge from dormancy and begin preparing for warm weather, and then they can’t survive a surprise cold spell.

Finally, even if the winter season is warmer and spring comes sooner, climate change doesn’t affect how far the Earth is from the Sun. The planet still won’t have high enough light levels for some plants to perform effective photosynthesis during those added days.

Not All Bad. But Mostly.

That being said, the link between warmer temperatures, CO2, and plant productivity isn’t imaginary. Previous studies suggest that elevated CO2 levels combined with higher temperatures have contributed to global “greening” and do lengthen the growing season. Yet, the downsides of those effects may outweigh their benefits.

Climate change is expected to make extreme drought and very high temperatures more regular occurrences, so insufficient water and high heat could hamstring agriculture.

Indeed, when researchers blended historical trends with future climate models, they found a greater than 90 percent chance that temperatures during growing seasons in the tropics and subtropics will be higher by the end of the 21st century than the most extreme temperatures from the previous century.

The planet is also experiencing more frequent wildfires due to climate change, which can affect agriculture. There’s also evidence that even if more CO2 boosts plant productivity, it could simultaneously make our food less nutritious.

All of these apparent contradictions on how climate change affects food production have given scientists plenty to study.

“It’s still a major scientific research area to figure out when and where the CO2 effects versus the climate change effects will dominate,” William Anderegg, a University of Utah expert on forests and climate change, told Scientific American.

Still, the scientific community is in general agreement on one thing, according to Anderegg: “[O]n the whole, I think there’s a general understanding that the impacts of climate change are materializing sooner and are more severe than they were a decade or two ago.” He emphasized that scientists are working to figure out how the planet’s many inputs fit together and prepare the green world for its future.

The post Spring Might Come Earlier, but Food Shortages Will Still Happen appeared first on Futurism.

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Snapchat response to user revolt over iPhone app redesign advises of new features, no rollback to earlier version

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Snapchat has responded to calls from users demanding a rollback of an update to the image sharing app, though while the firm acknowledges the high number of complaints, it advises it will not be reversing its design changes, but instead will make it easier for people to use.
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Climate Change is Causing Bats to Migrate Earlier in the Year

We’ve reported in the past on how climate change is impacting wildlife around the world: from causing the Australian rat to go extinct, to forcing other species to adapt to survive. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we can now add bats to the list of those affected by the ever-changing climate, as they’re creatures that tend to travel to warmer areas when temperatures begin to drop.

When they travel, bats usually do so in a swarm consisting of millions. When Mexican free-tailed bats bats migrate from Mexico to the Bracken Cave in San Antonio, Texas, the size of the swarm is so large it can be tracked using weather radar.

Phillip Stepanian and Charlotte Wainwright, two meteorologists from Rathamsted Research in the United Kingdom, recently studied this bat migration by analyzing years of weather radar data. Their research, now published in the journal Global Change Biology, reveals that these bats have been migrating to Texas much earlier than they did decades prior.

Bats leaving Bracken Cave in Texas to feast on nearby insects. Image Credit: Phillip Stepanian
Bats leaving Bracken Cave in Texas to feast on nearby insects. Image Credit: Phillip Stepanian/Rothamsted Research

“We found that the bats are migrating to Texas roughly two weeks earlier than they were 22 years ago. They now arrive, on average, in mid March rather than late March,” says Wainwright.

Additionally, as of 2017, roughly 3.5 percent of the bat population is staying through the winter. Speaking with InsideClimateNews, Stepanian posited that climate change is causing spring to begin sooner, in turn prompting insects to move to Texas sooner and giving the bats something to eat without having to migrate.

“To us, that sort of says winter conditions are becoming more tolerable and, rather than just going farther south, the bats are saying: We’re going to just hang out in Texas,” continued Stepanian.

The disrupted cycle is expected to have an impact on the natural pest control service bats offer, via their massive consumption of insects, in other parts of the country. This could cause local crops to fail due to the number of remaining insects in the area, which in term could lead to increased pesticides use and potentially more bee deaths.

Even worse, a change in bat migration patterns could change their ability to reproduce. Female bats typically produce one child at a time, and rely on the the corn-earworm moth to feed them. If climate change alters the moth’s life cycle, bats will have to find another source of food.

The Mexican free-tailed bat also isn’t alone. Bat migration changes have been reported in other species and other places, including Nathusius’ pipistrelle bat in the UK, female Indiana bats across the Eastern United States, and multiple species in Amazonian Brazil.

“Our initial goal was just to show that the [bat] populations could be monitored remotely without disturbing the colony,” said Stepanian. “We weren’t expecting to see anything particularly noteworthy. The results were surprising.”

The post Climate Change is Causing Bats to Migrate Earlier in the Year appeared first on Futurism.

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Apple puts Belkin screen protector for iPhone X back on sale after earlier recall

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Belkin’s InvisiGlass Ultra protector for the iPhone X is once again available through Apple, following a December recall due to quality problems.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Uber rejected a $500 million settlement from Waymo earlier this week: report

Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet, proposed a settlement of $ 500 million to Uber earlier this week, but the ride-hailing company’s board of directors rejected the deal, according to a report from Reuters, which was confirmed by sources familiar with the case. On Friday, the two companies settled their acrimonious lawsuit over stolen self-driving car secrets. The price tag: a much more reasonable $ 245 million in Uber stock, and a promise not to use Waymo’s trade secrets in any of Uber’s autonomous technology.

This wasn’t the first time Uber turned up its nose at a proposed settlement from Waymo. The Google spinoff had originally sought at least a $ 1 billion and a public apology from Uber last year before the trial…

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Beta testers to get Galaxy S8 Oreo a day earlier

Samsung will seed the official Oreo firmware update for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ to registered Beta testers 1 day before the general public. The firmware will carry the new Samsung Experience 9.0 under Android Oreo but there’s still no official date for its release. We hope the update is just days away and judging by that announcement it probably is. Thanks for the tip, Pranjal!

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