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A 43,900-year-old cave painting is the oldest story ever recorded

At this very moment, you're a participant in one of the things that makes us human: the telling and consumption of stories. It's impossible to say when our species began telling each other stories—or when we first evolved the ability to use language to communicate not only simple, practical concepts but to share vivid accounts of events real or imagined. But by 43,900 years ago, people on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi had started painting some of their stories in images on cave walls. A newly-discovered painting in a remote cave depicts a hunting scene, and it's the oldest story that's been recorded. And if Griffith University archaeologist Maxime Aubert and his colleagues are right, it could also be the first record of spiritual belief—and our first insight into what the makers of cave art were thinking. A 44,000-year-old hunting story Across a 4.5 meter (14.8 foot) section of rock wall, 3 meters (9.8 feet) above the floor of a hard-to-reach upper chamber of ..

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HP Elite Dragonfly review: Luxurious, professional, expensive

EnlargeValentina Palladino There are more ultra-mobile professionals now than ever before, which is why OEMs are developing increasingly thin-and-light laptops that will appeal to those users. No one wants to add heft to their bag, regardless of whether they're going off on a 10-hour flight or a 10-minute commute to work, thus increasing the appeal of thin-and-light laptops. But the most mobile among us will only go as thin and light as our performance needs allow us to—if a laptop isn't powerful or efficient enough to help you get work done, its svelte characteristics won't make up for that. Enter the HP Elite Dragonfly two-in-one laptop, which is HP's answer to this problem. It's an ultra-slim laptop with a MIL-spec-tested design that weighs just 2.18 pounds, and it has the power and security features of one of HP's Elite series laptops. HP is betting on the idea that professionals will choose the thinnest and lightest laptop possible that doesn't ..

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Ridiculous in the right way: Unmatched: Battle of Legends

Enlarge Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com. The full name of this game is Unmatched: Battle of Legends, Volume One. That last bit is important because there is more Unmatched coming. This first set allows us to answer important questions like: who would win in a fight between King Arthur and Sinbad? What if Alice ventured out of Wonderland to carve up Medusa? The matchups in this absurdist fight club are bonkers, and were only getting started. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Enlarge Restoration Games is the noteworthy publisher that has brought us new editions of classic games like Fireball Island and Stop Thief! Those designs were given a few nips and tucks, a couple of injections of Botox, and a new wardrobe. Theyre fresh, but theyre also grounded in the past, and they know how to put nostalgia to good use. Unmatched is something a little different. Its a re-working of..

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This alleged Bitcoin scam looked a lot like a pyramid scheme

EnlargeChesnot / Getty Images The world of cryptocurrency has no shortage of imaginary investment products. Fake coins. Fake blockchain services. Fake cryptocurrency exchanges. Now five men behind a company called BitClub Network are accused of a $722 million scam that allegedly preyed on victims who thought they were investing in a pool of bitcoin mining equipment. Federal prosecutors call the case a “high-tech” plot in the “complex world of cryptocurrency.” But it has all the hallmarks of a classic pyramid scheme, albeit with a crypto-centric conceit. Investors were invited to send BitClub Network cash, which would allow the company to buy mining equipment—machines that produce bitcoin through a process called hashing. When those machines were turned on, all would (in theory) enjoy the spoils. The company also allegedly gave rewards to existing investors in exchange for recruiting others to join. According to the complaint, the scheme began in April 2014 and continued until earlier ..

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What Boris Johnsons victory means for Brexit

LONDON — Boris Johnsons victory puts Brexit on track — but this is just the beginning. After winning a strong majority in the December 12 general election, Johnson returns as prime minister with the political capital to pull the U.K. out of the European Union in early 2020 and move onto negotiations about Britains future relationship with the bloc. In his victory speech, Johnson declared the result puts the debate on a second Brexit referendum to bed. “This election means that getting Brexit done is now the irrefutable, irresistible, unarguable decision of the British people. And this this election I think we put an end to all those little miserable threats of a second referendum,” he said. Having insisted all Tory candidates backed the Brexit agreement he struck with Brussels in October, the prime minister can push his deal through the U.K. parliament without further delay. Brussels said Friday it was ready to start the next phase of negotiations. “Parliament as a whole will be ..

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Jumanji: The Next Level is less fresh this time around but still lots of fun

Enlarge / Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, and Karen Gillan star in Jumanji: The Next Level.Sony Pictures The intrepid gang of teens who played their way out of a video game two years ago is back and facing a new in-game adventure in Jumanji: The Next Level, the latest installment in the popular franchise that originated with the 1995 film Jumanji. It's a solid sequel, following the same winning formula that made its predecessor such a big success. (Spoilers for 1995's Jumanji and 2017's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle; mild spoilers for Jumanji: The Next Level.) The franchise has its roots in a 1981 fantasy children's book by Chris van Allsburg, about two children who discover a jungle adventure board game with the ominous warning, "Do not begin unless you intend to finish." The original 1995 film adaption followed the basic premise pretty closely, although it added several characters, most notably Robin Williams as a grown Alan Parrish and his childhood fr..

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Feds reap data from 1,500 phones in largest reported reverse-location warrant

Enlarge / You're not the only one looking at your phone's location history.Omar Marques | SOPA Images | Getty Images Federal investigators trying to solve arson cases in Wisconsin have scooped up location history data for about 1,500 phones that happened to be in the area, enhancing concerns about privacy in the mobile Internet era. Four Milwaukee-area arsons since 2018, as yet unsolved, have resulted in more than $50,000 of property damage as well as the deaths of two dogs, Forbes explains. In an attempt to find the person or persons responsible, officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) obtained search warrants to gather data about all the devices in the area at the time. The two warrants Forbes obtained together covered about nine hours' worth of activity within 29,400 square meters—an area a smidge larger than an average Milwaukee city block. Google found records for 1,494 devices matching the ATF's parameters and sent the d..

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Apples new Screen Time Communication Limits are easily beaten with a bug

Enlarge / iOS 13 on an iPhone 11 Pro.Samuel Axon A bug in iOS 13.3 allows children to easily circumvent the restrictions their parents or guardians set with the Communications Limit feature in Screen Time. Apple has said it plans to fix the problem in a future software update. The iOS 13.3 update released earlier this week added the ability for parents to whitelist contacts for their kids to communicate with. Kids need the parents to input a passcode to talk to anyone not on the list, with an exception made for emergency services like 911. It was the flagship feature of the update. Yesterday, CNBC published a report detailing a bug that allowed kids to easily circumvent the restrictions. It turns out that when contacts are not set to sync with iCloud by default, texts or calls from unknown numbers present children with the option to add the number as a new contact. Once that step has been taken, they can communicate freely with the contact. Further, kids with access to an Apple Wa..

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The 2020 Mazda CX-30 is a crossover youll actually enjoy driving

This is the 2020 Mazda CX-30, the company's latest subcompact crossover. Jonathan Gitlin The unusual thing here is that the CX-30 is actually a wonderful vehicle to drive. Yes, really! Mazda Whether it's on your favorite back road or just running errands in town, the CX-30 will reward you with linear, predictable responses to control inputs and a fluidity on the road that evades vehicles twice its price. Mazda The interior is classy AF, as the kids say. Note all the buttons on the center console—there are no touchscreens here. Mazda The 30 is not quite as handsome as the Mazda 3 hatch, but it's not bad from behind. Jonathan Gitlin I include this picture to show off the surface detailing on the sides of the car. There are no hard lines on the body panels, a visual trick that helps minimize how tall the car looks. Jonathan Gitlin Cladding the bottom of the car with black plastic is another trick to reduce its visual height, and it works. Mazda The 3D g..

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Guidemaster: Nine gift ideas for the tech enthusiast in your life

Enlarge / Everyone has someone in their life who demands the latest and greatest. This is the tech we think qualifies.Flashpop / Getty Images The last installment in our five-part holiday gift guide series this year is tailored for power users—those who know their way around technology and feel uneasy settling for gear that doesnt provide high performance. The nine gadgets weve rounded up below may be overkill for most of the people in your life, but they should satisfy those who consider themselves enthusiasts in some way. Per usual, weve curated these recommendations based on hands-on testing weve done over the course of 2019. If none of these items fit your shopping lists needs, though, take a look at our previous gift guides for the home, the office, the road, and affordable gadgets for additional inspiration. For now, though, lets indulge a little in the latest and greatest tech. Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate program..

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