LinksFever - Your Source for Social News and Networking
90
An asteroid larger than any skyscraper yet built is hurtling toward Earth, the Daily Mail informs. If it hits on February 4, the paper continues, scientists predict a decade of cold and darkness, skies choked with soot, and misery across the planet

Between these paragraphs, the Mail inserts occasional reminders that asteroid 2002 AJ129 will not hit Earth, according to NASA.

In fact it is predicted to get no closer than 2.6 million miles (4.2 million km) from Earth, despite NASA's scary-sounding classification of the rock as "potentially hazardous" - a term which the Mail has paired with
Read More
horrific illustrations of an asteroid careening straight into the planet.
90
The iPhone X has been with me constantly for more than two months. There’s a lot to like and some not to like.

In this review, I’ll start with the don’t-likes
88
For every primo travel destination, there’s a sweet spot to find it. Visit too soon -- say, before the airlines start offering half-decent service there -- and you’ll be forking over a stack of cash to ramble around a place without cell phone towers. Visit too late? Then you’re one of the waddling herd, overpaying for a beer, checking off a box because, well, everyone else has been, so why not you?

Better plan: Discover the places that don’t cost two months’ rent to fly to, yet haven’t gotten so overexposed that swarms of American tourists have descended and Instagrammed the lifeblood out o
Read More
f it.
88
Reef protection, despite official advice recommending against the projects, or repeatedly finding them to be failing.

The contracts include millions of dollars for tourism operators to cull out-of-control coral-eating crown of thorns starfish. Funds continue to be distributed, despite researchers employed to evaluate the program repeatedly finding it to have failed, and potentially having made the problem worse.

It also includes $2.2m spent on an unusual project involving giant fans installed on a small part of the reef to cool water down to prevent bleaching. Documents obtained by the G
Read More
uardian reveal the government’s independent expert panel recommended against the project proceeding, finding the justification relied on claims that were “a major departure from reality” and that the fans could accidentally kill nearby coral.
88
In order to sap nutrients and water from other plants, dodder silences defensive genes in its hosts.

This cross-species gene regulation, which includes genes that contribute to the host plant’s defense against parasites, has never before been seen from a parasitic plant.

Understanding this system could provide researchers with a method to engineer plants to be resistant to the parasite. Dodder causes major damage to crops in the US and worldwide every year.
87
Security forces battled a group of three or four gunmen who stormed the popular western-style Intercontinental Hotel in the Afghan capital Kabul Saturday, Reuters reported.
87
Ancient statues weren't white marble, but “a riot of colour and glitzy decoration." It shows that we've imagined the ancient world all wrong, writes Natalie Haynes.

When the Victorian painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema first showed his work, Phidias Showing the Frieze of the Parthenon to his Friends, there must have been a pleasing circularity in play: a painter proudly revealing his new painting of a sculptor proudly revealing his new sculpture. It was 1868, and to the modern viewer the painting looks inoffensive enough. Phidias, the bearded sculptor, stands in front of the Parthenon Frieze, who
Read More
se characters – human and equine alike – Alma-Tadema would have been able to study in detail in the British Museum. Luminaries of 5th Century Athens admire the sculptor’s extraordinary work: the draperies, the incredible depth (sometimes four horses gallop beside one another in just an inch or two of marble). The viewers might also be remarking upon the dark, beautiful colours that bring the sculpture to life.
86
HTC has some big news for anyone that owns a U11, at least on Sprint. HTC has received technical certification for the latest software update from the carrier, which means you can expect the Android Oreo 8.0 update to start rolling out on Monday. Good way to start the week, no?

This update will bring all of the regular goodies from Android 8.0 while building on Edge Sense, arguably the U11’s most unique feature. You’ll get picture-in-picture, enhanced notifications, and better security through Google, and more emoji.
84
People tend to think of memories as deeply personal, ephemeral possessions — snippets of emotions, words, colors and smells stitched into our unique neural tapestries as life goes on. But a strange series of experiments conducted decades ago offered a different, more tangible perspective. The mind-bending results have gained unexpected support from recent studies.

New technology and new ideas spur the hunt for the physical basis of memory.
84
The animal kingdom is a dangerous place, but it’s not always the obvious predators you should watch out for - sometimes you have to look over your shoulder at your own species.

It’s a dog-eat-dog out there, but for some animals this is more than just a metaphor. Animal cannibalism is rife in nature, with few species spared from a ghastly end, but some of the reasons why animals eat their own species are even more frightful than the act itself.
84
The Android 8.1 Oreo beta update is now available for the Nokia 8. The software introduces some new features like revamped menus and the correct burger emoji.
84
Instagram is more than just a mobile photo and video sharing social network, it provides a perfect opportunity for businesses to reveal insights into the core of their brand identity in a visual, creative and engaging way.

Instagram is the fastest growing of the big social media platforms, with 800 million users more than 25 million active business profiles and two million advertisers.

Making an Instagram account is easy, but growing your account to a successful level takes a little longer and requires some work. In this post, we'll look at some of the best ways on to build a successful
Read More
Instagram account, and boost your performance in 2018.
83
Splurging a million dollars on a ski trip may seem implausible, but it can be done with ease -- if you've got the cash to splash of course.
Because while the Alps and extravagance have always gone hand in hand, a batch of chalets and restaurants catering to the billionaire set have taken previously understated Alpine decadence to a whole new level of bling.

Where there were once wooden fondue rooms and raucous nightclubs, there are now crystal-encrusted showers, Krug and truffle picnics in the snow, burnished gold swimming pools and multi-Michelin star meals -- next to which the actual ski
Read More
ing often pales by comparison.
So if you want to winter vacation oligarch-style, here's where to go and what to do.
83
Given that bitcoin, despite its first-mover advantage, has no intrinsic value like a stock or real estate or gold, it's only worth as much as people are willing to pay for it.

If bitcoin crashes like skeptics predict, people that own it will lose lots of money, says Eric Schiffer, CEO of Patriarch Organization, a digital investment company.

But massive bitcoin losses, which could be triggered by a government crackdown, a major hacking event or it being usurped by one of the nearly 1,500 other cryptocurrencies, won't cause a financial meltdown, says Redwood.
83
Crypto investors are seeing red this week. Bitcoin plunged to two-month lows on Thursday, dipping below $9,000 for the first time since November. This week has seen coins across the board in the red — a sign that investors are jumping ship to fiat currencies this time instead of swapping into altcoins as we’ve seen in the recent past.
83
Mark Cuban has had quite the successful run in the tech industry, successfully starting and selling businesses at the opportune time and using his profits to invest in the next big thing.

Thus far, the entrepreneur and tech expert has been hesitant to mark Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as that “big thing.” Over the years, Cuban has come around on the concept somewhat but—despite the recent announcement that his Dallas Mavericks will accept cryptocurrency as payment for tickets next year—has maintained a level of skepticism.

.........

Showing just have far Cuban has come on bitcoin and cr
Read More
yptocurrency, he announced earlier this week that his Dallas Mavericks will accept bitcoin and Ethereum as a method to pay for tickets starting next season. Even if the tech investor doesn’t fully believe in cryptocurrency, he’s clearly willing to try to profit off it—an approach that likely helped him become such a success in the first place.
82
While the government shutdown is affecting potentially hundreds of thousands of government workers and countless citizens who rely on government services, there’s one person who seems to be enjoying the current situation: Mick Mulvaney, director of The Office of Management and Budget. “I found out for the first time last night that the person who technically shuts down the government down is me, which is kind of cool,” Mulvaney said in a Friday radio interview with conservative commentator Sean Hannity. Media Matters for America was first to flag Mulvaney’s remarks.

The federal government s
Read More
hut down at 12:01 am on Saturday morning as Republicans and Democrats remain stuck in a standoff after failing to reach a deal to fund the government. The Office of Management and Budget, which Mulvaney helms, is in charge of implementing and running the shutdown. Apparently the former House Freedom Caucus leader is enjoying his newly-discovered power.
82
A dental clinic in Sydney has been found to have been using instruments that were not properly cleaned and sterilised.
Hundreds of patients who underwent invasive dental procedures at Dr Nicholas Southall’s Cronulla clinic in Sydney are now advised to take blood tests for hepatitis B and C and HIV.

The New South Wales Health and the Dental Council has contacted around 930 patients of Southall since 2003, advising them to see a doctor for testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. The missive came after NSW Health’s two-month probe concluded that the dental clinic did not properly cleane
Read More
d, sterilised or stored instruments properly. These could lead to spreading of viruses among patients.
82
The hot console topic of 2017 for the games industry may have been about the mid-generation, but this year the focus is on Nintendo — specifically, the Nintendo Switch. According to the latest annual survey from the Game Developers Conference, now that the Switch is a proven hit, more developers are interested this year in creating games for Nintendo’s tablet.

Organizers polled nearly 4,000 developers, who say they have a growing interest in Nintendo’s newest console. Thirty-six percent of respondents, when asked which platforms they were the most interested in, said the Nintendo Switch. Th
Read More
at puts the console above the Xbox One (28 percent), but still below the PS4 (39 percent) and PC platforms (59 percent).

Furthermore, developers say their games sell as well (23 percent) or better (28 percent) on the Switch as other consoles — a point worth noting since the install base for the Switch is smaller than that of its competitors. About 12 percent say they’re currently developing games for the platform (that’s up from three percent last year). And 15 percent of developers say they plan to release their next game on the platform, as opposed to five percent in 2017.
82
Biologists have served up the answer to the ultimate question of life, the Universe, and everything.

That answer, as you may know, is 42. And the question, in this case, is "how many million protein molecules are there in a single cell?"
82
On a ho-hum day some 12,800 years ago, the Earth had emerged from another ice age. Things were warming up, and the glaciers had retreated.

Out of nowhere, the sky was lit with fireballs. This was followed by shock waves.

Fires rushed across the landscape, and dust clogged the sky, cutting off the sunlight. As the climate rapidly cooled, plants died, food sources were snuffed out, and the glaciers advanced again. Ocean currents shifted, setting the climate into a colder, almost "ice age" state that lasted an additional thousand years.
81
Modern-day Mexico City is built on top of centuries of previous settlements, so it's not unusual for ancient tombs to occasionally be uncovered beneath the city's streets. It is, however, strange to find 10 ancient skeletons arranged in a spiral with their bodies interlocked, as archaeologists recently did.

The 2,400-year-old burial was discovered during salvage excavations of an ancient village beneath the campus of the Pontifical University of Mexico, in southern Mexico City, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) announced.
81
By studying interactions between testosterone and the immune system in male mice, scientists from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, have discovered a molecule that seems to protect against multiple sclerosis.
81
The tomb and several tomb paintings were discovered in a cemetery on the Giza Plateau.

While Giza is most famous for its pyramids, the site also contains large cemeteries that archaeologists have been uncovering gradually for nearly two centuries. These tombs often hold the burials of elite members of ancient Egyptian society.
80
At least one German was killed in Saturday's Taliban attack on a luxury hotel in Kabul, according to the German foreign ministry. The militants gunned down over twenty people, mostly foreigners, in a siege lasting hours.
80
Apple’s earnings call yesterday was an upbeat one, and with good reason. The company reported that the holiday quarter saw it earn $88.3B in revenue and make $20B in profits – both all-time records. Revenue grew 13% year-on-year, earnings per share were up 16%,

Questions about how well the iPhone X has been selling were also answered, albeit somewhat obliquely. While Apple never breaks down iPhone sales into models, as that’s information it doesn’t want competitors to have, CEO Tim Cook did say that the iPhone X has been the top-selling model every week since its launch.
80
Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison on Wednesday in Ingham County Circuit Court in Michigan.

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina says former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar does "not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again."
80
Cryptocurrencies are experiencing a price correction, with the size of the market shrinking from about $830 billion a week ago to $570 billion.

The correction is likely a result of several factors. Last week, South Korea's Justice Minister Park Sang-ki said the country is preparing a ban on cryptocurrency trading. Even though other branches of government later said the ban is not finalized, the country's stance towards the cryptocurrency market does seem to be getting tougher.

Charles Hayter, the CEO of CryptoCompare, thinks the unclear future of cryptocurrency regulations in Asia is th
Read More
e main driver for the correction.
79
New science sheds more light on recent controversy over how much the large carnivores are being impacted by melting sea ice.

Polar Bears Really Are Starving Because of Global Warming, Study Shows
New science sheds more light on recent controversy over how much the large carnivores are being impacted by melting sea ice.


POV FOOTAGE SHOWS POLAR BEARS STRUGGLING TO FIND FOOD
By Stephen Leahy
PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 1, 2018

Millions have seen the heart-wrenching video of a polar bear clinging to life, its white hair limply covering its thin, bony frame. Shot by Paul Nicklen and Cristin
Read More
a Mittermeier of the nonprofit group Sea Legacy, and published on National Geographic in early December, the video ignited a firestorm of debate about what scientists know, and don’t know, about the impacts of global warming on polar bears. Without examining the bear in the video—thought to have died—it’s impossible to know for sure what ailed that individual, but now scientists have published new findings that shed more light on the risk to the species overall.
79
Asian shares slumped on Tuesday, as miners were pressured by weaker Chinese iron ore prices, while the euro stood near a 3-year peak on rising expectations that the European Central Bank could pare its monetary stimulus.