Slack’s next phase is to close productivity gaps between humans and software

CEO wants to increase integrations so users never have to leave the collaboration platform to get work done.

slack-events.jpg

At the company’s Frontiers 2020 conference, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield said his vision for the next iteration of the platform will connect the productivity gaps between humans and software.

Image: Slack

Slack is steering into the idea that there’s no going back to the old way of working and taking on the more challenging element of remote work. The collaboration platform is building new features to make it easier to onboard new employees and work with outside partners.

Stewart Butterfield, CEO and co-founder of Slack, opened the two-day Frontiers conference on Wednesday. He said that the company’s next phase will focus on closing the gaps between productivity software and building new workflows instead of reinventing old ones. He described the familiar task of taking a screenshot of a graph or image from

Read More

Early Humans Were Using Fire 300,000 Years Ago to Forge Superior Stone Tools

A stone tool made of flint.

A stone tool made of flint.
Image: Avraham Gopher

The prehistoric practice of using controlled fires to produce customized stone tools dates back 300,000 years, according to new research. The discovery affirms the cognitive and cultural sophistication of human species living at this time.

The baked flint tools, found at Qesem Cave in central Israel, are evidence that early hominins were capable of controlling the temperature of their fires and that they had stumbled upon an important survival skill, according to new research published today in Nature Human Behavior.

The heating of flint at low temperatures allowed for better control of flaking during knapping. Armed with this level of control, tool builders could cater their tools for specific cutting applications. The new paper was led by archaeologist Filipe Natalio from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

Silje Evjenth Bentsen, an anthropologist at the University of Bergen who

Read More

Researchers identify a new source of protein for humans — ScienceDaily

Rapeseed has the potential to replace soy as the best plant-based source of protein for humans. In a current study, nutrition scientists at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), found that rapeseed protein consumption has comparable beneficial effects on human metabolism as soy protein. The glucose metabolism and satiety were even better. Another advantage: The proteins can be obtained from the by-products of rapeseed oil production. The study was published in the journal Nutrients.

For a balanced and healthy diet, humans need protein. “It contains essential amino acids which can not be synthesized in the body,” says Professor Gabriele Stangl from the Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences at MLU. Meat and fish are important sources of high-quality proteins. However, certain plants can also provide valuable proteins. “Soy is generally considered the best source of plant protein as it contains a particularly beneficial composition of amino acids,” says Stangl.

Read More

Elon Musk says humans must leave Earth “because sun will engulf our planet”

Elon Musk has said that humans have to become a "multi-planet species". (Getty)
Elon Musk has said that humans have to become a “multi-planet species”. (Getty)

When Elon Musk launched a Tesla into space, it carried a sign saying “Don’t panic” on the dashboard – but the billionaire was in a more doom-laden form this week.

The SpaceX and Tesla pioneer warned, in an interview with The New York Times podcast Sway, that travel to other planets was necessary as Earth would be engulfed by the Sun.

Speaking to host Kara Swisher, Musk said: “I think this is fundamentally important for ensuring the long-term survival of life as we know it, to be a multi-planet species.

“Eventually the Sun is going to expand and engulf Earth. It will expand and incinerate Earth. It is for sure going to happen – but not any time soon.”

Read More: Starlink, everything you need to know about the satellite network

This is something of an understatement,

Read More

Moonwalking Humans Get Blasted With 200 Times the Radiation Experienced on Earth | Smart News

The 12 human beings who have walked on the moon were all bombarded by radiation roughly 200 times what we experience here on Earth, reports Adam Mann for Science. That’s two to three times what astronauts experience aboard the International Space Station, explains Marcia Dunn for the Associated Press (AP), suggesting that any long term human presence on the moon will require shelters with thick walls capable of blocking the radiation.

Despite the fact that the measurements, which come courtesy of China’s Chang’e-4 lunar lander, are quite high compared to what we experience on Earth, the data is quite useful for protecting future moonwalkers. According to Science, the levels of radiation at the lunar surface wouldn’t be expected to increase the risk of NASA astronauts developing cancer by more than 3 percent—a risk threshold the agency is legally required to keep its astronauts’ activities safely below.

“This is

Read More

Watching Cute Animal Videos Reduces Stress And Anxiety In Humans, Science Shows

KEY POINTS

  • Study: Watching adorable animal videos has mental health benefits
  • The videos enhance one’s mood and provide relief against stress
  • After watching the videos, anxiety levels could drop as much as 50% 

Watching images and videos of cute animals for a minimum of 30 minutes reduces stress and anxiety levels, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom and the Tourism of Western Australia jointly.

In the study, first reported by CNN, the researchers monitored related vitals of 19 respondents comprised of 15 students and four university staff. To get the most ideal results, the study was conducted during the respondents’ winter exams as such a period proved to be the most stressful for both students and staff. 

All participants had decreased blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety levels after watching cute animal videos compiled for the session. Specifically, the participants

Read More

Neanderthals have adopted male sex chromosome from modern humans — ScienceDaily

In 1997, the very first Neanderthal DNA sequence — just a small part of the mitochondrial genome — was determined from an individual discovered in the Neander Valley, Germany, in 1856. Since then, improvements in molecular techniques have enabled scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology to determine high quality sequences of the autosomal genomes of several Neanderthals, and led to the discovery of an entirely new group of extinct humans, the Denisovans, who were relatives of the Neanderthals in Asia.

However, because all specimens well-preserved enough to yield sufficient amounts of DNA have been from female individuals, comprehensive studies of the Y chromosomes of Neanderthals and Denisovans have not yet been possible. Unlike the rest of the autosomal genome, which represents a rich tapestry of thousands of genealogies of any individual’s ancestors, Y chromosomes have a peculiar mode of inheritance — they are passed exclusively from father

Read More

Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes

Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes
An airtanker drops retardant to help stop the spread of the 2015 Eyrie Fire in the foothills of Boise, Idaho, which was ignited by sparks from construction equipment. Credit: Austin Catlin, BLM/Flickr

Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful smoke.


Wildfires are a natural disturbance for these regions, but when combined with climate change and housing growth in the wildland-urban interface – zones where development has spread into wild areas—they have become larger and more destructive.

To make matters worse, humans are responsible for starting almost all the wildfires in developed areas that threaten U.S. homes. In a newly published study, we show that through activities like debris burning, equipment use and arson, people ignited 97% of home-threatening wildfires in the wildland-urban interface

Read More

Researchers develop a human skin mimic to study mosquito biting in high resolution without using humans as ‘bait’ — ScienceDaily

Scientists have developed a tool for studying the biting behaviour of common pathogen-carrying mosquitoes, according to new research published this week in eLife.

The tool, which uses an artificial blood meal and a surface that mimics human skin, will provide detailed understanding of blood feeding without using human subjects as bait. It can also fit conveniently into a backpack, allowing the study of mosquitoes in laboratory and natural environments.

Blood feeding is essential for mosquitoes to reproduce, but it is during blood feeds on human hosts that they pass on pathogens such as malaria.

“Although the initial step in obtaining a blood meal — flying towards a host — is relatively well characterised, the steps that unfold after a mosquito has landed on a host are less well understood,” explains first author Felix Hol, a researcher at Institut Pasteur and the Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity, Paris, France. “There

Read More

Animals lose fear of predators rapidly after they start encountering humans — ScienceDaily

Most wild animals show a suite of predator avoidance behaviors such as vigilance, freezing, and fleeing. But these are quickly reduced after the animals come into contact with humans through captivity, domestication, or urbanization, according to a study led by Benjamin Geffroy from MARBEC (Institute of Marine Biodiversity, Exploitation and Conservation), publishing September 22nd in the open-access journal PLOS Biology.

The international team of researchers analyzed the results of 173 peer-reviewed studies investigating antipredator traits (behavioral and physiological) in 102 species of domesticated, captive, and urbanized mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and molluscs, while taking into account their position in the Tree of Life.

The scientists found that contact with humans led to a rapid loss of animals antipredator traits, but simultaneously the variability between individuals initially increases and then gradually decreases over the generations in contact with human. The authors suppose that this two-step process is caused by reduced

Read More