Sunday, May 17, 2009

Neanderthals, where on Earth did you go?

It seems they found a Neanderthal skull, with butcher marks, in a human bone midden.  

How Neanderthals met a grisly fate: devoured by humans | Science | The Observer
But not every team member agrees. "One set of cut marks does not make a complete case for cannibalism," said Francesco d'Errico, of the Institute of Prehistory in Bordeaux. It was also possible that the jawbone had been found by humans and its teeth used to make a necklace, he said.


"This does not prove we systematically eradicated the Neanderthals or that we regularly ate their flesh. But it does add to the evidence that competition from modern humans probably contributed to Neanderthal extinction."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hobbits may have evolved from H. habilis

This article has a good description of recent results based on foot structure.  It also has a family tree diagram with Hobbits included. 

Palaeoanthropology: Homo floresiensis: from head to toe : Article : Nature
These features suggest that H. floresiensis evolved from a species that was anatomically more primitive than classic H. erectus from Asia. One possibility (Fig. 2) is that H. floresiensis evolved from H. habilis, whose skeleton is poorly known but is australopith-like in many respects. Another is that H. floresiensis descended from an earlier type of H. erectus, whose body may have been much less modern than we currently credit, and which perhaps deserves a separate species designation (H. ergaster).

Transplant advances

Just phenomenal progress.

BBC NEWS | Americas | First US face transplant revealed
Surgeons at a clinic in a Cleveland, Ohio, replaced 80% of Ms Culp's face with that of a dead female donor.

"I guess I'm the one you came to see today, " she told reporters but added that "I think it's more important that you focus on the donor family that made it so I could have this person's face."

The transplant is only the fourth to be carried out. Two operations have been conducted in France and one in China.

Man gets first double hand transplant in U.S. : Scientific American Blog
Kepner, who lost both hands and feet to a bacterial infection a decade ago, will need intense physical therapy before he is able to use his hands effectively, according to Rose.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The problem with growth.

NYT had an article a couple days ago about the demographics of web growth and the associated economics.   I was thinking that they would surely mention ... but they didn't.  Still its a good read.

Internet Users in Developing Countries Drag on Sites’ Profits -
Facebook is booming in Turkey and Indonesia. YouTube’s audience has nearly doubled in India and Brazil.

That may seem like good news. But it is also a major reason these and other Web companies with big global audiences and renowned brands struggle to turn even a tiny profit.

Call it the International Paradox.

Lessig's infamous talk

Here's your daily dose of irony.  One of Lessig's talks on how copyright should be adapted to remain viable ... received a take-down notice from Warner music.

I hadn't seen the talk before.  You can watch it below.  Well worth the time. 

update on Warner Music (Lessig Blog)
As you may have read me tweet, the organization that hosted me for this talk:

Received a notice that Warner Music had objected to its being posted on copyright grounds. Apparently, YouTube's content-ID algorithm had found music in the video that they claimed ownership to. The organization is apparently responding by disputing the claim