Punjab Times

First evidence of human occupation in lava tube cave in Saudi Arabia

New research has highlighted an area in Arabia that once acted as a key point for cultural exchanges and trades amongst ancient people — and it all took place in vast caves and lava tubes that have remained largely untapped reservoirs of archaeological abundance in Arabia. Through meticulous excavation and analysis, the international team uncovered a wealth of evidence at Umm Jirsan, spanning from the Neolithic to the Chalcolithic/Bronze Age periods (~10,000-3,500 years ago). …read more

Twitch is bringing its TikTok-style feed to everyone this month

Twitch logo
Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge

After nearly a year of testing, Twitch’s new TikTok-style discovery feed will finally roll out to all users later this month. During a Patch Notes livestream on Wednesday, Twitch announced the new feed that will let you scroll through separate feeds dedicated to clips and current livestreams.

The new discovery feed will launch as a tab within the mobile app, and next month, some users might see this feed as the homepage of their mobile app. Twitch says all livestreams and clips are eligible to appear in its discovery feed as long as they meet its content guidelines.

When scrolling through the live feed, you’ll find live content from creators you follow, as well as streams recommended by Twitch. If you find something you like, you can…

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Sega is turning Golden Axe into an animated series

A screenshot from Golden Axe III, showing a skull floating down from the sky and blowing smoke everywhere.
Bleeeeeaaaagggghhhhh. | Screenshot: Wes Davis / The Verge

Comedy Central has ordered 10 episodes of Golden Axe, an animated show based on the fantasy beat ’em up sidescroller games. Deadline writes that it will be both “hilarious and loving” in its adaptation of the game. If I remember my Sega Genesis days well, I think that means there’ll be fighting over who gets to ride the purple bird dinosaur and that, at some point, a gigantic hairy skull will float down and hotbox everyone.

Who’s big idea was this, you ask? You can blame producers Mike McMahan (Star Trek: Lower Decks) and Joe Chandler (American Dad!), who will also write the first episode together, with Chandler serving as the showrunner afterward. A timeline for the show’s release hasn’t been announced yet.

According to Deadline, Gilius…

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TikTok to restrict users who repeatedly post problematic topics from ‘For You’ feed

The image shows the TikTok logo superimposed on a white background.
Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge

TikTok will make entire accounts temporarily ineligible for its For You feed if users have a pattern of posting about extreme fitness, conspiracy theories, sexually suggestive material, and a wide range of other topics that the platform won’t promote on the feed. The change was included in an update to TikTok’s Community Guidelines issued on Wednesday. While videos about such topics are still technically allowed on TikTok, the content itself and the accounts of those who post them could be temporarily restricted.

“We’re introducing a policy to make an entire account temporarily ineligible for recommendation in the For You feed if a creator repeatedly posts content that goes against our For You feed standards. Their account and content…

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Media coalition asks the feds to investigate Google’s removal of California news links

The News/Media Alliance, formerly the Newspaper Association of America, asked US federal agencies to investigate Google’s removal of links to California news media outlets. Google’s tactic is in response to the proposed California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA), which would require it and other tech companies to pay for links to California-based publishers’ news content.

The News/Media Alliance, which represents over 2,200 publishers, sent letters to the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission and California State Attorney General on Tuesday. It says the removal “appears to be either coercive or retaliatory, driven by Google’s opposition to a pending legislative measure in Sacramento.”

The CJPA would require Google and other tech platforms to pay California media outlets in exchange for links. The proposed bill passed the state Assembly last year.

In a blog post last week announcing the removal, Google VP of Global News Partnerships Jaffer Zaidi warned that the CJPA is “the wrong approach to supporting journalism” (because Google’s current approach totally hasn’t left the industry in smoldering ruins!). Zaidi said the CJPA “would also put small publishers at a …read more

A real privacy law? House lawmakers are optimistic this time

House GOP Feb 14
Image: Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

We might really do it this time.

That was the takeaway that House lawmakers were eager to impart at a hearing in the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on innovation, data, and commerce (IDC). Comprehensive data privacy legislation is on the table yet again — but this time, it’s different.

Lawmakers also touched on children’s online safety proposals like the Kids Online Safety Act, which recently got a House companion to the popular Senate bill, and COPPA 2.0, which would update and raise the age for protections for a long-standing online privacy bill for children.

But privacy reform was the focus of much of the hearing, as a discussion draft for the American Privacy Rights Act (APRA) revived the issue after years of inaction. This…

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TikTok is trying to clean up its ‘For You’ recommendations

TikTok is ramping up penalties for creators who post potentially “problematic” content and tightening its rules around what can be recommended in the app. The updates arrive as TikTok is fighting for its future in the United States and trying to convince lawmakers and regulators that its app is safe for teens.

Under its updated community guidelines, set to take effect in May, TikTok has added a long list of content that’s not eligible to be recommended in the app’s coveted “For You” feed. The list includes some obvious categories, like sexually suggestive or violent content, but it also adds topics that have previously been a source of controversy for the app. For example, the new guidelines bar videos showing “dangerous activity and challenges,” as well as many types of weight loss or dieting content. It also prohibits any clips from users under the age of 16 from appearing in “For You.”

There’s also a lengthy section dedicated to a wide range of misinformation and conspiratorial content. From the guidelines:

-Conspiracy theories that are unfounded and claim that certain events or situations are carried out by covert or powerful groups, such as “the government” or …read more

Nintendo emulator Delta hits the iOS App Store, no sideloading required

It hasn’t been long since Apple started allowing retro game emulators on the App Store. We’ve already seen one notable controversy after the company pulled Game Boy emulator iGBA from the storefront. It turned out that iGBA, which hit the top of the download charts, was a near carbon copy of another emulator submitted for review.

GBA4iOS developer Riley Testut claimed that iGBA was a “knock-off of GBA4iOS” that was packed with ads and trackers. As it turns out, Testut’s Delta, a successor to GBA4iOS, is now available for free in the App Store.

The original emulator picked up some buzz a decade ago after Testut found a way for iPhone users to sideload the Game Boy Advance emulator without having to jailbreak their device. Apple eventually closed the iOS loophole and, of course, Nintendo was none too happy about the emulator. However, you can now download Delta free from the App Store directly without having to worry about sideloading.

Along with GBA titles, the app supports NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color and Nintendo DS games, with the promise of more platforms to …read more

Amazon says a whopping 140 third-party stores in four countries use its Just Walk Out tech

Amazon published a blog post on Wednesday providing an update about its Just Walk Out technology, which it reportedly pulled from its Fresh grocery stores earlier this month. While extolling Just Walk Out’s virtues as a sales pitch to potential retail partners, the article lists a startlingly minuscule number of (non-Amazon) stores using the tech. There are now “more than 140 third-party locations with Just Walk Out technology in the U.S., UK, Australia, and Canada.”

Mind you, that isn’t the number of companies or retail chains licensing the tech; that’s the total number of locations. Nor is that the tally in one state or even one country. In four countries combined — with a total population of about 465 million — Just Walk Out is being used in “more than 140 third-party locations.”

On average, that means there’s one third-party Just Walk Out store for every 3.3 million people in those four countries. (They must be busy!) By contrast, there are over one million retail locations in the US, and, as of 2019, Starbucks had 241 locations in New York City alone, and there are over one million

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