Florida Cold Spell Leads To Falling Iquana Alert

MIAMI (AP) — The National Weather Service routinely warns people about falling rain, snow and hail, but temperatures are dropping so low in South Florida the forecasters warned residents Tuesday about falling iguanas.

“This isn’t something we usually forecast, but don’t be surprised if you see Iguanas falling from the trees tonight as lows drop into the 30s and 40s. Brrrr!” NWS Miami tweeted.

The low temperatures stun the invasive reptiles, but the iguanas won’t necessarily die. That means many will wake up as temperatures rise Wednesday.

Iguanas aren’t dangerous or aggressive to humans, but they damage seawalls, sidewalks, landscape foliage and can dig lengthy tunnels. The males can grow to at least 5 feet (1.5 meters) long and weigh nearly 20 pounds (9 kilograms).

Female iguanas can lay nearly 80 eggs a year, and South Florida’s warm climate is perfect for the prehistoric-looking animals. Iguanas are native to Central America, tropical parts of South America and some Caribbean islands.

Iguanas are allowed to be kept as pets in Florida but are not protected by any law except anti-cruelty to animals. They’ve been in South Florida since the 1960s, but their numbers have increased dramatically in recent years.

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Hundreds of Amazon employees break company policy to call out its climate practices

Amazon employees are making themselves heard. 

On Sunday, Amazon employees spoke out about the company’s climate policies through a post on Medium organized by the group Amazon Employees for Climate Justice. 357 employees individually shared their views on the company’s climate practices.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that in the fall of 2019, Amazon warned at least two employees who spoke up about the company’s environmental practices, that additional comments could result in the termination of their employment, citing the company’s external communications policy. 

According to the Washington Post, Amazon updated its communication policy the day after plans to attend the global climate strikes in September of 2019 were emailed among Amazon employees. The updated policy required a “business justification” for external communications, the approval of which could take up to two weeks. 

This makes the latest move from Amazon employees especially risky. Despite the risk, some employees see it as their duty to speak up. 

In a press release from Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, Sarah Tracy, a software development engineer who was also quoted in the post, said “As Amazon workers, we are responsible for not only the success of the company, but its impact as well. It’s our moral responsibility to speak up, and the changes to the communications policy are censoring us from exercising that responsibility. Now is not the time to silence employees, especially when the climate crisis poses such an unprecedented threat to humanity.” 

Paul Johnston, a former Amazon employee, left the company “in large part because of Amazon’s lack of significant climate action,” according to the press release. “When I raised climate change concerns while an employee … I was met with very little support for change, and with the standard PR lines about how seriously Amazon was taking the issue,” Johnston said. “Nothing changed until employees began speaking out.”

Of the 357 quotes in the Medium post, some point to Amazon’s association with fossil fuel companies: While Amazon has released a Climate Pledge, which commits the company to being “net zero carbon” by 2040, the company also continues to work with oil and gas companies. 

“The science on climate change is clear,” Amelia Graham-McCann, a senior business analyst at Amazon, said in the post. “It is unconscionable for Amazon to continue helping the oil and gas industry extract fossil fuels while trying to silence employees who speak out.” 

Justin Wang, a software development engineer at Amazon, echoed the sentiment, saying: “Every day at Amazon I work with incredible people on great projects, but I am weighed down by the knowledge that Amazon partners with the oil and gas industry despite its Climate Pledge. We must be climate leaders, not delayers.” 

The latest action adds to the mounting pressure that Amazon employees have already been putting on the company with respect to taking more drastic climate action: Last April, over 8,7000 Amazon workers signed an open letter to Jeff Bezos, asking for significantly increased climate action from the company. Then, last September, over 900 employees pledged to walk off the job in support of the global climate strikes, making it the first time in Amazon’s 25-year history that employees participated in a strike, according to Wired

In an emailed statement sent to Mashable, an Amazon spokesperson commented on the recent post: “While all employees are welcome to engage constructively with any of the many teams inside Amazon that work on sustainability and other topics, we do enforce our external communications policy and will not allow employees to publicly disparage or misrepresent the company or the hard work of their colleagues who are developing solutions to these hard problems.”

When asked to clarify the employment status of those who contributed to the Medium post, Amazon said it didn’t have anything to share at this time.

Adam Driver gets really serious about his character at Medieval Times on ‘SNL’

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It’s always great to see a professional actor chew scenery as if it’s an audition for William Shakespeare himself. And who’s a better choice to get super, over-the-top serious than Saturday Night Live guest host Adam Driver.

In this sketch, Driver is a performer at New Jersey’s Medieval Times restaurant, but he thinks he’s William Wallace in Braveheart. He’s also kind of racist? And a dick in general? But it’s all right because he’s taking an acting class.

This sketch is great. Driver’s clearly having a blast.

‘White male rage’ is the theme song of the 2020 Oscars on ‘SNL’

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From Joker to The Irishman to Toy Story 4, the 2020 Academy Awards are brought to you by “white male rage.” It’s the same sponsor that’s also behind Little Women director Greta Gerwig’s nomination snub.

That’s the pitch Melissa Villaseñor laid out – in song! – on Saturday Night Live‘s Weekend Update. Villaseñor taps into some of the frustrations following the 2020 nominations announcement as she sings about the various releases of 2019 and the common theme that, in addition to tying many of them together, also helps explain who got nominated and who got snubbed.

India is now the second largest smartphone market in the world, surpassing the U.S.

The U.S. has been dethroned as the second largest smartphone market.

A new report by Counterpoint Research estimates that India surpassed the United States to become the second largest smartphone market with an estimated 158 million devices shipped to the country in 2019. China is still the global leader at number one.

Interestingly, India’s surge to second place is largely thanks to Chinese smartphone manufacturers. Phones manufactured by companies like Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, and Realme made up a whopping 72 percent of devices shipped to India in 2019. The report largely attributes series’ of budget-priced phones from these companies as leading to their growth in the country.

These China-based smartphone manufacturers’ popularity in India has also attributed to overall growth for the companies themselves. When it comes to Xiaomi, for example, India is now the company’s largest market, surpassing even China.

Apple also experienced growth in India. The report attributes this to price cuts to the company’s iPhone XR model as well as the release of the new iPhone 11 series of devices. The same can’t be said for Samsung, however. The company did not experience any growth in India in 2019. In fact, sales declined by 5 percent in the market over the course of the year.

So, what does this all mean? Smartphones are becoming more accessible to India’s large and growing population. 

Now that the country is a global leader in the smartphone market, second only to China, brands are going to take notice of the Indian consumers’ wants and needs when it comes to its smartphone devices.

Bystander Stops Kangaroo From Drowning Dog: ‘If I Wasn’t There, That Dog Was Dead’

A small dog picked a fight with a big kangaroo ― and it almost ended in tragedy for the petite pup.

The terrier-like pooch barked at a 5-foot-tall ’roo, then chased the marsupial into the Pine River in Brisbane, eastern Australia, on Monday. 

But the kangaroo sought to wreak revenge by drowning its canine tormentor.

Bystander Jono Lonie witnessed the skirmish from his boat nearby and sprang into action to save the dog.

“The kangaroo turned around and started drowning the dog. It went under a good four or five times,” Lonie told 7 News.

“I just put the boat back in the water and went and got the dog,” he continued. “If I wasn’t there, that dog was dead.”

The entire incident was caught on camera by one of Lonie’s friends and the video is now going viral. The dog was later reunited with its owner. 

The kangaroo swam back to shore and fled the scene.

Android users might finally be closer to getting an AirDrop-like feature

While it’s taken a very long time, Google might finally release its own version of Apple’s Airdrop soon. Called Nearby Sharing, the feature will allow users to quickly send and receive content between devices with the tap of a “Share” button, XDA Developers reports.

Reports have been surfacing for a while now, but in a hands-on video with XDA Developers’ Mishaal Rahman, we get to see it in action. 

The feature is demonstrated between a Google Pixel 2 XL and Pixel 4 running Android 10. But, he points out that it’s also been used between a Pixel 2 XL and OnePlus 7T Pro. 

So, that means the feature isn’t locked in to Pixel devices. It might be available on any Android device that comes with Google Pixel Services pre-installed on the phone. 

Nearby Sharing works similarly to Airdrop. You can choose whether you want your device visible to all your Google contacts, specific ones, or completely hidden—which means you have to manually accept each request beforehand.

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You can also decide how your data is used during the transfers which includes using data for transferring small files, Wi-Fi only, or without internet at all. The phone then uses Bluetooth and location services to find compatible nearby devices.

Once you choose the files you want to share, choose the device you want to send it to, and tap Share. In the video, the content is transferred instantaneously. Your files are then saved in a specific “Nearby Sharing” folder.

Rahman also makes sure to point out that devices have to be within one foot of each other. That means you won’t get unsolicited content randomly sent to your phone. Which is unfortunately, very much a thing with AirDrop. 

While it’s unclear when Google plans on releasing the feature, the company did recently announce dates for 2020’s Google I/O conference. So, it’s possible we could see Nearby Sharing unveiled soon.

But prior to that, we might see a similar feature from Samsung called Quick Share, according to XDA Developers, that might debut on the upcoming Galaxy S20. As with AirDrop and Nearby Sharing, those with Galaxy devices will be able to quickly transfer files with the press of a “Share” button.

We could all learn from this excited little puppy who just can’t

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Yeah, you still have the capacity to feel excited. But when was the last time you were faced with something so delightful that you straight up lost your balance?

Eight-week-old Jake, on the left, is here to meet his cousin Oakley for the first time. And the enormity of Jake’s expanding world is so overwhelming and awesome that he just… tips over.

There was a time when we felt happiness this hard, right? It’s a messy world out there, folks. Whatever you believe, wherever your politics fall – unless you’re a racist, you all can screw off – remember to be like Jake and indulge in the good stuff when it comes your way

Tesla leaks suggest the Model S and Model X could receive some helpful updates

While not many of us are in the market for a Tesla, it’s still always interesting to see all the new features being added to the cars. Or, well, potentially being added.

According to Greentheonly (h/t Engadget), who is known for his Tesla-specific leaks on both Reddit and Twitter, upgrades on both the Model S and Model X might include a built-in wireless Qi charger, two new battery types, a new charge port type, some kind of change to the suspension, and maybe upgraded seats.

The Twitter thread goes on to mention the Model 3 could have premium Yanfeng seats. But it seems you can only choose between both the front seats or just the left and right. 

Greentheonly also points out that a lot of people find the current hardware on both the Model S and X “somewhat stale” and suggest that, without a refresh, they “would switch to other brands for their new car.”

Back in Nov. 2019, both the Model 3 and the Model S reclaimed the “recommended” title from Consumer Reports. This came after fewer problems were reported for the Model 3 like stuck latches or malfunctioning doors. 

Regardless of all this, it was reported earlier in January that the company sold more cars than ever in 2019. Specifically, the Model 3 which sold 367,500 vehicles in the last year, which is more than in 2017 and 2018 combined.

So, even with some mishaps and restless owners waiting on an update, it seems like Tesla is doing just fine.