Ghostly ‘Snow Kangaroos’ Light Up Twitter After Unusual Storm In Australia

An unusual snowfall in New South Wales, Australia, over the weekend led to surreal images of kangaroos hopping through a white landscape.

“Not something you see every day in Australia,” tweeted one person, Stephen Grenfell, who captured some of the viral footage. “Kangaroos in the snow.”

Grenfell said on Twitter that the area in his clip is about three hours west of Sydney. And while it does snow a couple of times a year there, the weekend’s snowfall was the most he had ever seen.

Others also shared photos and footage of kangaroos bouncing through the snow on Twitter: 

Gmail is super busted right now (it’s not just you)

Gmail just gave you the perfect Monday gift: a legitimate excuse to ignore all of your boss’s emails. 

According to Google, some users of the company’s email service are unable to log into their accounts. The problems were first acknowledged by Google just before 12 p.m. PT today and while access for some people has since been restored, the issue is ongoing for others. 

“The affected users are unable to access Gmail,” reads the latest status update (at the time of this writing) from Google. “Users may experience issues signing into all Google services via OAuth or Chrome devices.”

Notably, Google says that if you were already signed in to your account at the time of the unspecified error you should not encounter any problems accessing your account. 

But hey, your boss doesn’t need to know that. 

UPDATE: Aug. 19, 2019, 1:11 p.m. PDT: According to Google, most people should have their Gmail access restored. 

“The problem with Gmail should be resolved for the vast majority of affected users,” reads the latest status update. “We will continue to work towards restoring service for the remaining affected users, but no further updates will be provided on the G Suite Status Dashboard.”

In other words, if you still can’t access your Gmail account… maybe take a walk around the block and try again later? Either way, it seems Google is sick of talking about it.  

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George R.R. Martin is so relieved ‘Game of Thrones’ finally ended on HBO

Now that the HBO series is over, George R.R. Martin is feeling good about the future of A Song of Ice and Fire.

The books that provided the narrative foundation for HBO’s Game of Thrones is still an ongoing and not-yet-finished series. In a new interview with The Observer, Martin admitted that he had a hard time working on his own vision of Westeros while the HBO take played out.

There’s apparently a good reason he only published one book during the show’s eight season run, all the way back in 2011 (just a few months after HBO’s premiere): it wasn’t a great time for him.

“I don’t think [the TV series] was very good for me,” Martin said, in a frank admission. “The very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down. Every da]y I sat down to write and even if I had a good day … I’d feel terrible because I’d be thinking: ‘My God, I have to finish the book. I’ve only written four pages when I should have written 40.'”

True to form for the author, he doesn’t put a date on when the next book, The Winds of Winter, will be coming. But he admits that it’s been “freeing” to get back to work without the show hanging over his head.

Martin has done a lot of press around the show over the years and he’s often come across as a bit of an unwilling participant. He consulted with the HBO production, but he was never the one steering that ship.

Even Martin’s farewell blog post shared after the show ended struck a bit of an ambivalent tone. It felt less like a celebratory “we did it!” and more like a rumination on success and what it’s led to. It also made a clear statement: I’m not finished yet, folks.

Now, here Martin is, months removed from the final season and it’s controversial ending. He’s come to see going to parties and engaging with fans as “work.” He’s also removed himself entirely from the online conversation around the Game of Thrones story and what it might say about what’s still to come in A Song of Ice and Fire — but he knows it’s all happening out there.

“Some of [the theories] are right and some of [the theories] are wrong,” Martin said. “They’ll find out when I finish.”

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Airport Worker Fired For Giving Traveler Note Reading, ‘You Ugly!’

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — An airport security worker in New York has been fired for handing a passenger a handwritten note that said “You ugly!!!”

The June incident came to light this week after passenger Neal Strassner obtained security video through a public records request and posted it to YouTube.

The video from Greater Rochester International Airport shows the worker handing Strassner the note after he passes through a metal detector.

Strassner says he didn’t think much of it and continued toward his gate.That’s when he says the woman yelled out: “You gonna open the note?”

Strassner says that when he did, the woman burst out laughing. He later complained to her supervisors.

The Transportation Security Administration says the woman worked for a contractor. The agency says it has “zero tolerance for this type of behavior.”

Don’t make calls with Siri or Google or you could get scammed

If you’ve ever used Siri or Google to call a business, you could be in danger of falling victim to a new scam. 

Phone calls made with voice assistants could open people up to scammers, who have found a clever new way to exploit our growing dependence on Siri and Google. That’s according to the Better Business Bureau, which issued a warning about the scheme.

Here’s how it goes down, according to the BBB: you need to call a business, like an airline, but you don’t know what number to call. So you do what many of us do and ask Google or Siri to “call [business name]” for you you. 

But instead of calling your bank or your airline, the assistant calls a scammer impersonating someone from the company, who will try to trick you into sending them money.

The scheme itself is actually pretty simple. Scammers buy search ads containing the false “company” phone numbers and pay to feature them prominently in search results. If you were to see the ads in your own search results, you might easily identify it as a scam. But assistants aren’t necessarily good at making those distinctions, and often give preference to results that rank higher in search. 

So, when you ask your assistant to make a call, it simply dials one of the top results, inadvertently connecting you to a scammer. 

The best way to avoid this is to double check any phone number before you make a phone call and only call numbers from official sources, like a company’s website. If there’s a business you frequently have to call, it might also be a good idea to save the number in your phone so you can still ask Siri or Google to dial it for you.

And if any phone call doesn’t seem right, you can always just hang up and try again. Maybe just don’t ask Siri for help.

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Laptops and tablets on sale: iPad Pro, Microsoft Surface, and more

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
Tablets, 2-in-1 computers, and more on sale.
Tablets, 2-in-1 computers, and more on sale.

Image: mashable photo composite

No matter what side of the fence you land on — Apple die-hard or completely loyal to Windows-only tech — there’s always going to be something on sale for you, so let’s focus less on the “which is better” debate, and more on how much money you can save on a laptop or tablet of your choice. 

This weekend, there’s a bunch of great personal devices on sale — from regular laptops, to 2-in-1 computers, to fancy tablets. Some of our favorites this time around are a big discount on the iPad Pro, and a nice deal on the Microsoft Surface Pro, among others.

Take a peek at all the great laptop and tablet deals we found for this weekend:

Laptops $499 and below:

Laptops $500 to $999:

Laptops $1,000 and up:

Tablets on sale:


Looking for more deals, the latest news on cool products, and other ways to upgrade your life? Sign up for the Mashable Deals newsletter here.


Instagram tests a serious Boomerang upgrade

It looks like Instagram is getting ready to finally revamp one of its most popular features: Boomerang.

Instagram is readying as many as five new styles of looping video for its app, according to code discovered in its Android app.

The new effects were spotted by researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who has a solid track record of uncovering unreleased features in social media apps. According to her findings, here are some of the new types of Boomerang effects coming to Instagram:

  • “Hold,” which puts a slight delay at the end of a clip so there’s a bit of a pause between loops

  • “Dynamic,” which speeds up at the end of the clip

  • “Slowmo,” which loops the clip in slow motion

  • Two called “duo,” which appear to be more like a classic Boomerang, just set at different speeds

Those may not sound like huge changes, but they could open up a lot of new possibilities for Boomerangs, which have looked pretty much the same since Instagram first introduced the feature in 2015. You can get a better idea of what these might look like in action on Wong’s blog.

An Instagram spokesperson declined to comment. 

Besides the new Boomerang features, Wong uncovered a few other intriguing changes. One would add Instagram’s Layout, the app that lets you make photo collages, to the Stories camera. Another would allow users to send comments to friends the same way you can share a post via direct messages.

Another long overdue feature she spotted: notification filters. Instead of one endless list of all your notifications, which can be especially overwhelming if you have a big following, filters would let you sort notifications by type.

No word on when these features might be officially released, but if they’re as close to being ready as Wong suggests, we might not have much longer to wait.

Cms%252f2019%252f8%252ff2d6e5bd 273c 71bc%252fthumb%252f00001.jpg%252foriginal.jpg?signature=lgnktiv x6hry2qny54snpj dq8=&source=https%3a%2f%2fvdist.aws.mashable

Instagram tests a serious Boomerang upgrade

It looks like Instagram is getting ready to finally revamp one of its most popular features: Boomerang.

Instagram is readying as many as five new styles of looping video for its app, according to code discovered in its Android app.

The new effects were spotted by researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who has a solid track record of uncovering unreleased features in social media apps. According to her findings, here are some of the new types of Boomerang effects coming to Instagram:

  • “Hold,” which puts a slight delay at the end of a clip so there’s a bit of a pause between loops

  • “Dynamic,” which speeds up at the end of the clip

  • “Slowmo,” which loops the clip in slow motion

  • Two called “duo,” which appear to be more like a classic Boomerang, just set at different speeds

Those may not sound like huge changes, but they could open up a lot of new possibilities for Boomerangs, which have looked pretty much the same since Instagram first introduced the feature in 2015. You can get a better idea of what these might look like in action on Wong’s blog.

An Instagram spokesperson declined to comment. 

Besides the new Boomerang features, Wong uncovered a few other intriguing changes. One would add Instagram’s Layout, the app that lets you make photo collages, to the Stories camera. Another would allow users to send comments to friends the same way you can share a post via direct messages.

Another long overdue feature she spotted: notification filters. Instead of one endless list of all your notifications, which can be especially overwhelming if you have a big following, filters would let you sort notifications by type.

No word on when these features might be officially released, but if they’re as close to being ready as Wong suggests, we might not have much longer to wait.

Cms%252f2019%252f8%252ff2d6e5bd 273c 71bc%252fthumb%252f00001.jpg%252foriginal.jpg?signature=lgnktiv x6hry2qny54snpj dq8=&source=https%3a%2f%2fvdist.aws.mashable

Instagram tests a serious Boomerang upgrade

It looks like Instagram is getting ready to finally revamp one of its most popular features: Boomerang.

Instagram is readying as many as five new styles of looping video for its app, according to code discovered in its Android app.

The new effects were spotted by researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who has a solid track record of uncovering unreleased features in social media apps. According to her findings, here are some of the new types of Boomerang effects coming to Instagram:

  • “Hold,” which puts a slight delay at the end of a clip so there’s a bit of a pause between loops

  • “Dynamic,” which speeds up at the end of the clip

  • “Slowmo,” which loops the clip in slow motion

  • Two called “duo,” which appear to be more like a classic Boomerang, just set at different speeds

Those may not sound like huge changes, but they could open up a lot of new possibilities for Boomerangs, which have looked pretty much the same since Instagram first introduced the feature in 2015. You can get a better idea of what these might look like in action on Wong’s blog.

An Instagram spokesperson declined to comment. 

Besides the new Boomerang features, Wong uncovered a few other intriguing changes. One would add Instagram’s Layout, the app that lets you make photo collages, to the Stories camera. Another would allow users to send comments to friends the same way you can share a post via direct messages.

Another long overdue feature she spotted: notification filters. Instead of one endless list of all your notifications, which can be especially overwhelming if you have a big following, filters would let you sort notifications by type.

No word on when these features might be officially released, but if they’re as close to being ready as Wong suggests, we might not have much longer to wait.

Cms%252f2019%252f8%252ff2d6e5bd 273c 71bc%252fthumb%252f00001.jpg%252foriginal.jpg?signature=lgnktiv x6hry2qny54snpj dq8=&source=https%3a%2f%2fvdist.aws.mashable

Florida Man Takes Golf Cart On Wild Ride Through Walmart

GIBSONTON, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a 56-year-old Florida man took his golf cart on a wild ride through a Walmart store, terrorizing shoppers and ignoring deputies’ orders to stop before crashing into a cash register.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s investigators say they were summoned to the store near Tampa on Thursday, where they found Michael Dale Hudson blocking the liquor store entrance with his golf cart. The Tampa Bay Times reports he was demanding to speak to a manager.

As deputies spoke to Hudson, they say he suddenly drove toward the store’s main entrance. Customers jumped out of the way as he barreled through the door. He raced toward the checkout area, hitting several customers.

He was jailed on multiple charges, including aggravated battery. A lawyer wasn’t listed in jail records.