An archaeologist discovers a version of an ancient board game more than 4,000 years ago

Image: Walter Crist

A series of irregular marks found on the floor of an old cattle shelter in Azerbaijan seems to be an example of Dogs and Jackals, one of the most famous board games of antiquity.

As ABC reports, archaeologist Walter Crist of the American Museum of Natural History (and author of a book on Egyptian board games) discovered it after the locals did not know what those strange brands really meant.

Dogs and Jackals, also known as 58 Holes, is an ancient game that was incredibly popular throughout Egypt and Mesopotamia, so much so that it appears in the famous movie The ten Commandments of 1956.

Frame of The ten Commandments.

This discovery is the first one that has been made in the region, since there was no proof that it had been played there. It seems that the local farmers had contact with traders in the Middle East, who knew the game and might even have brought copies with them.

What archeologists do not know is how the game really works; although we can assume that it is a kind of precursor of backgammon and cribbage, but nobody made a 23 minute YouTube video explaining it or left a pdf with the rules, so it is something we will never know for sure.

Good plan: a noise-canceling Bluetooth headset with 25 hours of autonomy at 41,99 €

Good plan: a noise-canceling Bluetooth headset with 25 hours of autonomy at 41,99 €

When it comes to enjoying audio in some noisy environments, it is mostly the external settings that define the quality of listening. Noise reduction helmets improve comfort under these circumstances.

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Review: Rome by Alfonso Cuarón is a tribute to women of their memories


An image of Rome, by Alfonso Cuarón.

Courtesy of TIFF

Every time I try to remind myself of moments of Rome, the masterpiece of Alfonso Cuarón, I end up sunk in my own memories, searching in the deepest part of my memory for the dates and faces that shaped my childhood in a suburb of Mexico City.

Rome is will premiere in theaters on November 21 and on Netflix on December 14. Here you can see his official trailer.

This reaction is a tribute and recognition for the most recent creation of the director of Gravity (2013). Since I saw her, I have not been able to stop thinking about her or my own memories.

Cuarón said he waited for the moment to be emotionally ready to film Rome, and I think I understand what you mean. A film of that nature, made by an immature director, would have been a collage of clichés, excesses and impetuosity. But Rome It is an exercise in humanity, which takes time to show us the most significant moments in the life of a family from the Roma neighborhood in Mexico City, with great compassion, detail and respect to each one of them. However, the real protagonist of the film is Cleo, the Mixteca nana that throws the family on her shoulders, even in times of greatest personal crisis. Cuarón has dedicated the film to his own nanny, Libo, in whom the character of Cleo is inspired.

My nanny was called Mari and I worked with my grandmother. Mari made me a special lemon pie every time I visited, and a dedicated pozole in which she cleaned each grain of cacahuazintle by hand to remove its black spot. Mari lost three fingers of the hand – I do not remember if from the left or the right – in two separate accidents: with scissors and with fireworks. I do not remember his last name either, although I did get to know his town of origin, in the State of Mexico, when he was already an adult.

When I try to remember the many women who worked in my house, I do not (according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography of Mexico, of the 2.48 million domestic workers in the country, 90 percent are women). One of the biggest lies told by the Mexican middle class when it talks about domestic workers is that they "are like family". They are not, but that does not prevent us from lying to ourselves. Those who know the truth are them: women from distant towns who come to Mexico City to work for six days a week, at least in 12-hour days, in which they have to pretend to be from those families … without being.

In The Labyrinth of Solitude, Octavio Paz describes a scene where he hears a noise and asks "Who goes around?" And the worker of the house "just arrived from his town" answers: "It's nobody, sir, it's me". Paz calls that "ninguneo," and explains that someone who does not despise others also neglects himself. Rome is an effort to achieve the opposite: stop anybody who was ignored in childhood.

In Rome, that person is Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio, fantastic), who with the other worker of the house, Adela (Nancy García García), speaks a language that baffles the children of the house. "Do not talk funny anymore," they say. At times, Cleo seems to arrive from another planet, a superior being that always manages to place herself above those she has chosen to protect: a delicate family whose core disintegrates when the father decides to flee, very macho style of disappearing without leaving a trace and leaving that the mother of the house (Marina de Tavira, excellent) solves an uncertain future that nobody told her was feasible.

These are the principles of the 70s in a country that recently organized an Olympic Games and a World Cup. But it is also a convulsed nation, which does not just decide whether to be part of modernity or if it prefers to continue living in the past. On a large scale, this tension is reflected in the students' demands: after a massacre that momentarily silenced them in 1968, in 1971 the government will give them a lunge with the Halconazo, the strong repression of protests organized by sponsored paramilitaries by the government known as the hawks.

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'Roma', the new film by Alfonso Cuarón, will be released in cinemas and on Netflix at the end of 2018.

Screenshot by Gonzalo Jiménez / CNET

On a smaller scale, in the microcosm of the Roma colony and this middle class family, the tension comes from the historical schism between the many Mexicos and their many protagonists. (In Battles in the desert, by José Emilio Pacheco, the author describes the Roma colony of the 50s as the "atom of the immense world, ready many years before my birth as a stage for my representation". The novel, which is also an exercise in memory, begins with "Recuerdo, no recuerdo," is also an essay on "the essential Mexican middle class" who lived in La Roma.

In the middle class dynamics described by Cuarón, the only one who knows and accepts her role is Cleo, who will give her hand to each member of the family to take them to a better port, even willing to risk their lives at sea, despite of not knowing how to swim.

But on the way, Cleo will run into the multiple realities that Mexico offers – one more cruel than the previous one – and will have to face a personal crisis and the national crisis at the same time, in a glorious, intense and harrowing sequence of 20 minutes in which Cuarón does not save anything and does not give a break to the spectator, whom he forces to take Cleo by the hand, and maybe wipe a little of the tears. And even though we do not know her last name (like the family midwife, who does not know how to give Cleo's full name when she is in the hospital) now we know why Cleo matters so much to us: because her vast humanity will save our lives.

Rome it is a succession of vignettes, each direct from the director's memoirs. Cuarón has the credit of director, screenwriter, producer, editor and cinematographer, a role he has not fulfilled in a project since 1990, according to the IMDB. Despite having worked with the very talented Emmanuel Lubezki (three times Oscar winner, including Gravity) in all his previous films, Cuarón takes control of the camera (who else could faithfully stamp his memories?) and sports a talent that we did not know him, unfolding again that patience, intelligence, rhythm and clarity that make Rome a work of art.

But more than a painting, the work of Cuarón – in all its phases, from the direction to the cinematography – refers me more to a sculpture: In each shot, in each sequence, in each frame you can see the meticulous impact of the chisel that was shaping him during the years that the creator had the film in his head. Even, you can see all the omissions: everything that was left out based on chiselling thanks to that maturity that permeates Rome whole, full of sound decisions.

Among them stand out an accurate and reliable representation of the author's memories and those of anyone who lived in Mexico City in the 70s: the vendors outside the vast cinemas of the Roma and Condesa neighborhoods, the parking lots crowded Where did not fit the giant cars of American brands of the time, the parties of the petty bourgeoisie on the brink of the coven, the television comedies with their simple humor, the improvised trips to the beach … In addition to the visual precision, in a production design by Eugenio Caballero – who won the Oscar for his work in The Pan's Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro – the audio design makes it another character. In the end, Cuarón points the camera at the sky and patiently lets us listen – and see from a distance – the passage of one plane after another in the sky of the big city. It is a very familiar sound for any inhabitant of a city.

I had the fortune to see Rome in an impeccable room of the Dolby company that allowed me to enjoy in its maximum splendor the auditory and visual qualities of the film. The irony that Netflix is ​​behind the movie is that many people will see it on their television or, even worse, on a computer or phone, which I find tragic. Cuarón has a diverse filmography that includes Children of Men (2006), And Your Mother Too (2001) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, among other. Interestingly, I was able to see his first feature, the comedy Only with your partner (1991) in a room similar to those that appear in Rome, the Cine Plaza in the Condesa neighborhood, one of those immense cinemas that are disappearing in Mexico City.

When I interviewed Cuarón at the beginning of the century, I asked him about his most personal film. He told me it was The Little Princess (1995) – I do not remember with what arguments. But I have no doubt that it is impossible to be more personal than with a tape like Rome. And for the viewer, what more personal can a film be than one that unleashes a cascade of memories?

Because if something was clear to me from Rome I want to see her again, because I want to remember again.

InkyPen, the exclusive comic Netflix for Nintendo Switch, arrives on December 17

In August of this year we told you that the Nintendo Switch was going to have an exclusive comic service called InkyPen. Well, the service will start operating on December 17 in the United States and Europe, and your subscription will cost 8 dollars (8 euros in Europe) per month.

The service has been delayed a bit compared to its initial date (November), but it is finally here. InkyPen will start with a catalog of thousands of independent comics and manga. Among the associated publishers there are some important ones like Valiant, IDW, Dynamite Entertainment, Les Humanoïdes Associés, Andrews McMeel. Large publishers such as Marvel or DC are not included, but it is still a very respectable catalog for that price.

The application will be available through the official store Nintendo eShop and its download is free (what is paid is the subscription). The company says it will later develop versions of its application for other platforms, but for the time being it will focus on the Switch. The truth is that being able to read comics between game and game to SMash Bros sounds very good. It remains to be seen how InkyPen will integrate the vignettes on the screen and console controls. [InkyPen vía Engadget]

Is the Internet very slow in your home? We propose you how to do it a little faster with 10 simple tricks

Use a less traveled channel

If you live in a crowded neighborhood or in an apartment and share a large part of the same signal space with your neighbors, choosing the right channel can reduce the interference and help speed up the connection a bit.

To begin with, channels 1, 6 and 11 are used more frequently in the 2.4 GHz spectrum, since they are the only three channels that do not overlap each other. If you have changed to 5GHz, you have a whole series of channels to choose from. The channel selection varies according to the model.

You can use an application such as Wifi Analyzer on Android or WifiInfoView on Windows to analyze nearby wireless signals and see which channels are being used the most. Mac has this built-in functionality. Keep the option key and click on the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar and select Open Wireless Diagnostics.

It is worth noting that many newer routers will automatically choose the least busy channel when rebooting.

Do not miss our video on How to make your Wi-Fi faster.

Publication date:Text fromTaylor Martin

Microsoft Surface Laptop Test: our opinion

After praising the merits of hybrid tablets and imposing its Surface Pro As the reference in this category, the Redmond firm wanted to launch an assault on Dell XPS, HP Spectrum and others MacBook Air with a high-end ultraportable. It's pretty traditional, but it's a very nice laptop, slim for its screen size and lighter than a 13-inch MacBook Pro. The components inside are worthy of a high-end notebook in this price range: Intel Core m3 processor, 4GB Ram and 128GB SSD storage for basic configuration (721 euros). Our test configuration was equipped with a Core i5 with 8 GB of Ram and 256 GB of SSD and costs 1.449 euros.


The 2.256×1.504 pixel screen is touch-sensitive and has the same 3: 2 aspect ratio as the Surface Pro. This means that it is a little closer to a square shape than most other laptops, which have a 16: 9 ratio. The former is better for reading long documents and organizing files while the latter is more comfortable for movies and TV shows.

The screen is also compatible with Microsoft Surface Pen (110 euros). The use is quite correct but there is still a curious side and not practical to write or draw on a laptop screen that does not fold completely 180 degrees.

The obvious line when opening the Laptop Surface is its Alcantara lining. This synthetic microfiber fabric used in the automobile and boating gives a high-end style and a pleasant touch. It should be relatively easy to clean. Microsoft says that just use a damp cloth.

Regarding the finishes, the Laptop Surface is available in 4 colors. But only the "platinum" finish is available for the base model. Configurations with Core i5 and i7 are also entitled to "bordeaux", "cobalt blue" and "mineral gold".

The dilemma Windows 10 S

In use, the Laptop Surface is a super premium laptop well thought out, with a balanced and stable aluminum chassis. It is certainly much more usable on the lap than the Surface Pro, which is one of the grievances against the hybrid tablet Microsoft. The island-style keyboard will be familiar to anyone who is used to a MacBook or high-end Windows laptops from Dell, HP and others. The large touchpad responds well to multiple gestures.

The seventh-generation Intel Core i5 processor is more than enough for any student or professional. But do not expect too much video games because the Intel integrated graphics chip has its limits.

In addition, if you want to make serious photo or video editing, or install many popular applications, you will run into a wall named Windows 10 S. This is a simplified version of Windows 10 that only works with Windows 10 Windows Store applications. Forget about Chrome or the Steam app for PC. But fortunately, Microsoft has planned a way out by offering the opportunity to migrate gracefully to Windows 10. And we must recognize that the Laptop Surface is much more attractive with the unbridled version of the OS.

Subjected to our test benches, our Laptop Surface was at the height of a machine with Core i5. In intensive daily use, it is fast and responsive without showing signs of slowing down. But it's the least for a machine at 1.449 euros …

Microsoft promises 14 hours of autonomy in mixed use. During our video streaming test, it held 10h21mn, which is still impressive.

Less Surface, more laptop

The Laptop Surface is a very aesthetic and well-equipped product that lives up to the best ultraportables in its class, but does not necessarily surpass them. Personally, we found it very pleasant to use. But apart from its nice design and its finish in Alcantara, it does not really stand out from competitors who also have good arguments to make. Which means that you have a wide choice and can determine depending on the look and feel you prefer.

What is and how the black fire is generated, the spectacular chemical flame that burns with dark light at a glance

For your next trick you will need ethanol, sodium salt and a specific lamppost for street lighting. The result is a black flame so strange that it seems like a special movie effect, but it is not. It's about pure chemistry and this video from The Royal Institution explains it wonderfully.

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This fire in a sulfur pile looks like a scene taken from a horror movie

What you see in the previous animated image is not a scene from a horror movie or …

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If we dissolve salt in ethanol and sprinkle it on a flame, what we will have is a spectacular dark orange flame. The reason for that color is that the burning sodium crystals generate light with that particular wavelength. If we go to the atomic scale, what happens is that the electrons that surround the sodium atom increase its energy when heated. When they cool, they return to their normal state and release the excess energy in the form of a photon emitted in wavelengths that our eyes perceive as orange.

However, if we do the same test under a sodium lamp as those that illuminate many parks and streets, the flame stops being orange and its borders become so dark that it almost seems black to the naked eye. How is it possible?

Sodium lamps are made up of tubes in which there is sodium at low pressure. When heated, the sodium atoms emit photons in the same orange wavelength. It is the same effect that the flame with sodium salts but contained within a glass tube.

What happens is that the electrons in the sodium atoms do not just emit photons at wavelengths of about 589 nanometers. They also absorb photons in that same frequency. When we light a sodium light, m ​​emits photons at a wavelength that are absorbed by the sodium particles in the flame. As a result, the flame appears dark to the naked eye, almost black. [vía The Royal Institution]

Xbox "Scarlett": AMD Zen 2 architecture for 4K 60p?


Microsoft is preparing the post-Xbox One X. According to the first disclosures, this new generation should arrive in 2020 (at the earliest) and bring many changes, starting with its internal architecture.

Microsoft blogger Brad Sams, who is often well informed on the subject, said the Xbox would use the next generation AMD Zen 2 processor with 7-nm burning, which would allow games to run in 4k 60 fps – currently the Xbox One X is limited to 30 frames per second.

baptized "Scarlett" internally, it would also offer backward compatibility with Xbox One games. Good news for users and a way to differentiate themselves from Sony who has abandoned this practice since the PlayStation 3 Slim. Finally, for this next generation, Microsoft should not be content with a single console, but also propose a second version dedicated to cloud gaming.

All this information has not been confirmed, so we must take tweezers … we will certainly know more at the E3 2019.

Read also

Safari: To display YouTube videos as picture-in-picture

If you want to readjust an instruction video on the computer, the Safari window is often in the way. Read how to remove YouTube video from Safari.

If I have a problem with my Mac or the programs running on my computer, I often look for the solution on YouTube. The disadvantage is that the Safari window always occupies a large part of the screen.

So I have to juggle back and forth between Safari and the program I'm having a problem with. It is easier if the YouTube video is removed from Safari. With a hidden feature that's easy.

Launch YouTube videos in a separate window

  1. Start the Browser Safari on your Mac. Then call the video portal YouTube via the address bar.
  2. As usual, select a video you want to watch at the click of a mouse.
  3. During playback, right-click twice in the current video.
  4. From the pop-up menu, select the entry "Start Picture-in-Picture".

The video will now be removed from Safari and displayed in a new window. Minimize Safari, so that only the video can be seen.

Important: Do not close Safari with the YouTube page listed. Otherwise, the playback of the picture-in-picture video will also stop.

To place a picture-in-picture video from YouTube on the screen

By default, a picture-in-picture video that you have extracted from Safari using the method described above is displayed in the upper-right corner of the screen. But there are two ways to move the video to a new location:

  • Static moving in corners: Click on the video with the left mouse button. Then, without releasing the mouse button, move it to one of the four corners on the screen.
  • Free moving on the screen: Click on the picture-in-picture video extracted from YouTube with the left mouse button. Then hold down the "cmd" key and place the window anywhere on the screen.

If you want to stop the picture-in-picture playback of a YouTube clip, move the mouse briefly over the video. Then select the icon with the two windows and the arrow at the bottom left of the video to bring the clip back to Safari / YouTube.

Photo credit: Thomas Pajot/

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Do you already have your resolutions? Smart watches and exercise monitors to give in 2018

If you're ready to change your analog clock for something smarter, the fitness monitors and smart watches will help you stay connected and activate your exercise routine just in time for New Year's arrival.

We have selected our five favorite sports conditioning devices to meet all needs and budgets.

Editor's note: CNET in Spanish could receive part of the income from sales of the products we show on this page.

Fitbit Charge 3: A fitness monitor that does it all


Fitbit's newest monitor includes many functions in a very small cover.

Josh Miller / CNET

Price: US $ 150

If this is your first wearable, or you just can not decide between a smart watch and a sports monitor, the Fitbit Charge 3 It is a happy middle point. It keeps the activity monitoring table active, whether you're in the gym or in the pool, it also monitors your sleep, your menstrual cycle and has a built-in heart rate sensor to improve accuracy when it comes to counting calories.

In addition, it has some of the same features you would find in a smart watch, such as the touch screen, phone notifications and interchangeable straps to customize its appearance. It does not have a built-in GPS or music storage, but it lasts almost a week with a battery recharge and costs less than most smart watches at only $ 150.

The Fitbit Charge 3 is available on Amazon

The Apple Watch Series 4 doubles the care for your health


The Apple Watch Series 4 tracks your vital signs to the next level with its built-in EKG feature.

John Kim / CNET

Price: US $ 399 (GPS, 40mm); US $ 499 (LTE, 40mm)

If you are a loyal user of iPhone, there is nothing better than Apple Watch Series 4.

Apple's smart watch has undergone an elegant redesign with a larger and brighter screen (in two sizes), a more powerful processor and additional vital signs monitoring functions to help you achieve your fitness goals and, potentially, save your life. The Series 4 is the first wearable that is sold directly to the consumer with an EKG feature that can help doctors diagnose heart-related afflictions, such as atrial fibrillation, along with a fall-detection feature that notifies emergency contacts, and automatically calls 911 when it registers that you have had a dramatic fall. It also adds cellular connectivity to the Watch to send messages, make calls or request a free car service.

The drawback: its battery has a shorter life (it lasts approximately two days with a recharge) and its price of US $ 499 (for the LTE version). But if you want to spend less, there's always the Series 3 watch from last year, which shares many of the same cool features for much less.

The Apple Watch Series 4 is available in the Apple store

The Samsung Galaxy Watch is a wonder

OnePlus 6T

The rotating bezel of the Galaxy Watch facilitates navigation through its many functions.

James Martin / CNET

Price: US $ 300 (WiFi, 42mm) or US $ 380 (LTE, 42mm)

If you have a device Samsung, or you're just looking for an alternative to Apple Watch, the Galaxy Watch it works with both devices iOS as Android. With its round dial and rotating bezel, it is one of the best smart watches we have seen this year. It came to the market in two different screen sizes, three metal finishes and has interchangeable bands that you can customize to work or train. It is an excellent companion for your exercise routine with automatic conditioning detection, built-in GPS, continuous monitoring of heart rate and monitoring of sleep. It also comes in an LTE version that works independently of the phone, and also comes with Samsung Pay, but you can only use it in NFC-enabled terminals (the MSTs do not). The Samsung Galaxy Watch starts at US $ 300 or US $ 380 for the LTE version.

Buy now the OnePlus 6T

The Amazfit Bip is almost a gift


The Amazfit Bip has a battery that can last for weeks with a single recharge and a price that is hard to beat.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Price: Start at US $ 79

If you're looking for the best bargain for every dollar invested, it's hard to beat the $ 80 price of the Amazfit Xiaomi Bip. This device has all the basic functions that you expect from a smart watch and can be compared with almost any other device on this list. You can get a battery life of one to four weeks with a single recharge, depending on the use. Do not expect a fancy OLED display on this watch, and the dial is made of plastic instead of metal, but it is thinner and feels much lighter on the wrist. You can set up alerts and notifications, activity monitoring, GPS, heart rate log and it's water resistant, but can not reply to messages, store music or set up mobile payments.

The Amazfit Bip is available on Amazon

The Garmin Forerunner 645 Music is perfect for any athlete


The Forerunner 645 Music can store your entire playlist for those long training sessions.

Sarah Tew / CNET

The Forerunner 645 Music by Garmin is an excellent training partner for serious runners and triathletes looking to improve their performance. Sure, $ 440 dollars may seem like a lot of money to pay for a training partner, but it gives you a lot more information about your careers, bike rides and swim sessions than any other device on this list. This includes things like contact time with the ground, step length, vertical relationship, route and elevation. And it helps you transform this data into results. The Forerunner 645 Music can also handle mobile payments and store up to 500 songs for you to be accompanied in those long training races, and you can also connect to Spotify. If you're only interested in fitness features, check out some of Garmin's previous Forerunner models, which can cost you much less.

The Forerunner 645 Music is available at the Garmin store

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