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Thousands of chunky, squirming innkeeper worms washed up on a California beach

  • They are not franks but fat innkeeper worms, almost as old as the wet sand in which they burrow.
  • And their appearance was rare: The stranding Ford stumbled into might've been one of the few times they'd ever left the ground in their adult lives, biologist Ivan Parr told CNN.
  • Colloquially known as "penis fish" among biologists and dilettantes for its phallic shape, the innkeeper worm earned their proper name for temporarily housing smaller creatures in their burrows, with little conflict.
  • The powerful storms that hit Drakes Beach around Thanksgiving dumped an inch of rain and wind gusts of 45 miles an hour on the area, likely a driver of the worm's surfacing, Parr told CNN.
  • The resilient worms are ancient creatures, their burrows dating back some 300 million years, Parr said, and one of the oldest worms ever found was believed to be 25 years old.

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Why do orca grandmothers live so long? It's for their grandkids.

  • Scientists who analyzed decades of orca populations in the Pacific Northwest found that young orcas with grandmothers were more likely to stay alive than those without.
  • Because orca (also known as killer whale) societies are matriarchal, it’s likely that these older females carry with them crucial knowledge about food resources that can mean life or death for their kin.
  • In all, the team analyzed the survival rate of 378 “grandchildren,” and discovered that the risk of death for a calf was greater when their grandmother had stopped reproducing herself, and when the calf was male.
  • Franks says that post-menopausal orcas are likely able to devote more resources to their grandcalves, which made the grandmothers' eventual deaths especially devastating; the male factor is more of a mystery.

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13 fascinating animal species discovered in the last decade, from the 'Wakanda' fish to the world's tiniest frog

  • Scientists chip away at that number every year, traveling to remote mountain forests and the deepest regions of the seas to catalogue new animals.
  • Solomon Islands locals had long spoke of the coconut-eating, 2-pound Vangunu giant rat, but no scientist had ever confirmed its existence.
  • So they named the newly discovered, 2-inch-long fish "Cirrhilabrus wakanda." Even its common name, "vibranium fairy wrasse," gives a nod to the fantastical, near-indestructible metal that lines the Black Panther's superhero suit.
  • This animal resembles a bottom-dwelling jellyfish, but the team of deep-sea explorers that discovered it isn't sure what kind of creature it is.
  • The team that spotted it has discovered three or four new species on every deep dive they've done, but leader Victor Vescovo noted that this particular animal was "very, very unique looking" compared to the others.

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New footage from 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' will premiere live in 'Fortnite' on Saturday — Here's how to watch

  • The world's most popular video game will debut previously unreleased footage of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" just days before the film hits theaters.
  • Players who log into "Fortnite" on Saturday December 14 at 2 p.m. ET will be able to watch a live preview of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" at Risky Reels, an in-game location on the "Fortnite' map.
  • If you're not interested in seeing the event in-game, countless "Fortnite" players on YouTube and Twitch will be streaming the event live — but you'll have to depend on them to give you a good view of the action.
  • Like all "Fortnite" items, the "Star Wars" costumes will only be available for a limited time.
  • "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" will be released in theaters on December 20.

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How to watch Fortnite’s exclusive Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker clip this Saturday

  • For the first time, Epic’s battle royale game will host an exclusive film clip, and this one happens to be from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, ahead of its December 20th release.
  • Yesterday, while accepting the award for best ongoing game, Mustard also flicked at the idea of Fortnite as the first steps toward a proper metaverse, the term from Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash that refers to a persistent virtual world that acts much like a VR- and AR-infused evolution of the internet.
  • In his speech, Mustard specifically says that Epic’s vision for Fortnite is a world where “all [intellectual property] can live together,” which is certainly true given the company’s spate of recent crossover marketing events for things like Batman and Borderlands 3.
  • Tomorrow will be a big moment for both Star Wars and Fortnite, but chances are you’ll be able to catch the clip online after it airs live in the game.

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Virtual Travel Could Change the World—If It Gets Off the Ground

  • “Digital teleportation,” as the field is fancifully known, doesn’t exist yet.
  • But proponents of the technology, which some call “live delivery,” believe that in the coming years, a mix of virtual reality, fast wireless networks and machines like drones and rovers will allow people to immerse themselves in actual, far-flung environments—in real time.
  • “Live delivery is a new type of tool that will reinvent the way we experience the world, that will allow us to be on the spot when things are happening,” said Marc Carrel-Billiard, senior managing director at Accenture Labs, who advises businesses on VR and augmented reality.
  • While VR shows prerecorded scenes, live VR, which is starting to show up in classrooms and operating rooms, allows users to experience what is happening in situ.
  • Companies are already starting to pair simplified versions of live VR with drones to give users a sense of being in another place.

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Watch Disrupt Berlin Day 2 live right here

  • Good morning!
  • Disrupt Berlin Day 2 begins now, and boy do we have a show for you!
  • Today, we’ll hear from Justin Drake (Ethereum Foundation), Carolina Brochado (Softbank Investment Advisors) and Andrei Brasoveanu (Accel), Young Sohn (Samsung), and Matthew Prince (Cloudflare), live from the Main Stage.
  • On the Extra Crunch stage, panelists will discuss important topics like How to Fit Blockchain into Your Startup Strategy and How to Raise Your First Euros.
  • And, of course, we’ll see the Startup Battlefield Finals, where five startups (Gmelius, Hawa Dawa, Inovat, Scaled Robotics, and Stable) will pitch live in front of expert VC judges to take home the Disrupt Cup, $50,000 and eternal glory.
  • While we wish that you were here, we’re pleased to be able to bring you a live stream of the entire day.
  • So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

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Yubo raises $12.3 million for its social app for teens

  • French startup Yubo has raised a $12.3 million funding round led by Iris Capital and Idinvest Partners.
  • The startup has managed to attract 25 million users over the years — there are currently tens of thousands of people signing up to the platform every day.
  • Yubo is building a social media app for young people under 25 with one focus in particular on helping teenagers meeting new people and creating friendships.
  • In addition to meeting new people, you can start conversations and create live video streams to hang out together.
  • Since 2015, Yubo users have sent each other 10 billion messages and started 30 million live video streams.
  • And at some point in 2020, Yubo should release Yubo Web in order to expand Yubo beyond your smartphone and enable new use cases, such as video game live-streaming.
  • With today’s funding round, the company wants to attract users in new markets.

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Mapping the Living World: Soar Takes Flight

  • While Google Maps ostensibly lets us view the world around us from space (or, thanks to Street View, from ground level), it has many flaws.
  • That project is Soar, which has been working on building a high-resolution super map of Earth.
  • Soar lets people connect and share dynamic mapping data from anywhere on Earth, and utilizes blockchain to verify all transactions.
  • You may well ask whether there is a genuine need for high-resolution, real-time mapping data among everyday users.
  • Users can sign up to Soar+ to host, view and share maps using the powerful Quadtree tiling engine, which breaks images down into structured tiles for faster on-demand viewing.
  • App developers will be able to tap into super-sharp maps to produce better services for their clients, the same way companies like Uber and Airbnb already do with Google.

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Twitter will now let you post iOS Live Photos as GIFs

  • Live Photos are one of Apple’s signature camera options on iOS, making your photos look like one of the living photographs in Harry Potter.
  • But if you’ve tried to post that Live Photo on Twitter, it would render as a still photo, taking away some of that magic.
  • You could use an app to convert that Live Photo into a GIF and post that new GIF on its own, but that might be more work than you’d want to do.
  • I think Live Photos are really fun, so I hope people use this feature to add a little more life to the photos they post on Twitter.
  • At the very least, this new feature let me give the world another GIF of a goat.
  • Command Line delivers daily updates from the near-future.

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