I’ve largely given up writing stories about new dark-matter candidates. Theoretical physicists keep coming up with more elaborate scenarios to make dark matter more interesting and less inert. It all seems a bit forced. About the only thing that dark matter has to do is provide mass. A particle that doesn’t interact with electromagnetism at all fits the bill almost perfectly (and does practically nothing else).
Still, when there is experimental data to support it, I get interested in dark-matter candidates again. My cynicism aside, there are actually a few results hanging around that seem hard to explain. For instance, the hydrogen in the early Universe seems to have absorbed less light than expected. The center of the galaxy emits an unexpected amount of gamma rays (though they might be due to ordinary matter). And the neutrinos observed by IceCube in the Antarctic seem to be a bit weird too.Neutrinos on ice
Out of all of these, a recent explanation for the IceCube data has caught my attention because it is reasonably simple. This is in contrast to a recent proposal for a Bose-Einstein condensate of dark matter to explain the lack of hydrogen absorption, which seems hideously complex.
When nearly 100 drugs became scarce between 2015 and 2016, their prices mysteriously increased more than twice as fast as their expected rate, an analysis recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reveals. The price hikes were highest if the pharmaceutical companies behind the drugs had little competition, the study also shows.
The authors—a group of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and one at Harvard Medical School—can’t say for sure why the prices increased just based off the market data. But they can take a shot at possible explanations. The price hikes “may reflect manufacturers' opportunistic behavior during shortages, when the imbalance between supply and demand increases willingness to pay,” they conclude.
“There aren’t a lot of industries where if a manufacturer botches the production of a product and is responsible for a reduction in supply that they are able to profit from that... It is the federal government, underinsured, and uninsured patients that are picking up the tab," co-author William Shrank of the University of Pittsburgh noted in an interview with Bloomberg.
250 years ago, Captain Cook and naturalist Sir Joseph Banks set sail in HMS Endeavour to find the rumored southern continent (of course, indigenous Australians had known about it for tens of thousands of years at that point). In 1770, the voyage arrived at Botany Bay, on the Australian coast, as part of three of Cook's famed voyages. He was killed in Hawaii during the last of them.
Cook's famous ship had a somewhat less-dramatic ending after it returned to Britain in the early 1770s. The Royal Navy sold her in 1775 to a private owner, and the ship that had once been a vehicle of exploration spent the first half of the Revolutionary War as a contracted troop transport and prison ship under the name Lord Sandwich. Then, in 1778, besieged British forces deliberately sank (or “scuttled” in nautical parlance) her, along with a dozen other ships, to help block the entrance of Rhode Island Harbor from French ships.
Now archaeologists with the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project, or RIMAP, say they’ve found her again, although they have more work ahead to demonstrate it.
It says it targeted "harmful" online content, spreading "improper values, vulgarity or obscenity".
Apple's original shows are reportedly going through a lot of fine-tuning to fit the company's family-friendly standards. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Apple has edited or axed some of its original programming plans because it doesn't want shows to include "gratuitous sex, profanity, or violence."
Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly killed a semi-autobiographical drama about Dr. Dre's life. Named Vital Signs, the drama had scenes that included drug use, sex, and guns. Those scenes were apparently too scandalous for Apple to feature.
The report details how picky Apple is being with regard to how shows are created and managed. The company replaced the showrunner on the series that stars Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. While Apple reportedly cited the executive producer's inexperience, people familiar with the matter claim that the company also took issue with some of the humor written into the show, and Apple wanted a more upbeat show in general.
Chris Taylor who has bone cancer got to play Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game early following a social media campaign.
Chrome gets a bit less shiny with auto sign-in
Google's Chrome lost more of its shine over the weekend as the normally calm and reasoned world of Twitter erupted in indignation after users realised the search giant was automatically signing them into its browser.…
The latest financial release from aerospace manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne reveals that the company spent none of its own money on development of the AR1 rocket engine this spring. Moreover, the quarterly 10-Q filing that covers financial data through June 30, 2018 indicates that Aerojet may permanently stop funding the engine with its own money altogether—a sign the company has no immediate customers.
Although Aerojet will continue to receive some funding from the US military through next year to develop its large, new rocket engine, this money won't be enough to bring it to completion. Instead of having a flight-ready engine for use by the end of 2019, the filing indicates that Aerojet now intends to have just a single prototype completed within the time frame.
Aerojet has been developing the AR1 engine under a cost-share agreement with the US Air Force, which had agreed to pay two-thirds of the cost. Aerojet originally agreed to pay nearly all of the remainder, with a small contribution from rocket manufacturer United Launch Alliance. This agreement, valued at $804 million, was in line with Aerojet's estimate of $800 million to $1 billion to develop the new engine.
A new Windows version for multiple users was spotted last month, and now we know what it's for: Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is a new service providing multi-user remote desktop and VDI in the Azure cloud.
WVD combines three things. Using the new Windows 10 version, WVD can be used to provide remote desktop sessions with multiple users remotely logged in to the same Windows 10 virtual machine (or, alternatively, a Windows Server virtual machine). This can provide both remoting of a full desktop session and of individual applications, serving as a replacement for the RemoteApp service that Microsoft cancelled last year. The service also supports full VDI, with remote users each having their own single-user virtual machine while both persistent and non-persistent VMs are supported. This is supported both with Windows 10 and with Windows 7.
Licenses for WVD will be an integrated, no-additional-cost part of Windows Enterprise E3 licenses. This will enable, for example, a local Windows 10 installation that uses WVD for remote access to a couple of legacy applications running on Windows 7 on Azure with no additional Windows licensing requirements.
Microsoft's unveiling of the Surface Hub 2 in May this year provoked a very positive reaction. So much so that the company says it's going to shake up its plans with a staggered launch.
The Surface Hub 2 as originally envisaged is a 50.5-inch 4K display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, a webcam, and a touchscreen. It builds on the existing Surface Hub in a couple of key areas: the whole screen can rotate to be used in either orientation; multiple devices can be tiled together to build a giant screen that operates as one; and its software will support multiple user accounts.
That's still ultimately the plan, but the way it's going to be delivered is a little more complicated. In the second quarter of 2019, Microsoft will release the Surface Hub 2S. That offers the new display and form factor but running the current Surface Hub software—meaning no rotation, no tiling, and no multiuser. It's essentially a sleeker, faster version of the current Surface Hub system.
Brand new bones and a number of welcome updates help keep the 2019 Subaru Forester at the top of its game.
Applications using Azure Active Directory (AD) to authenticate—a category that includes Office 365, among other things—will soon be able to stop using passwords entirely.
Azure AD accounts can already use the Microsoft Authenticator app for two factor authentication, combining a password with a one-time code. With the new passwordless support, authentication is handled entirely by the app; the app itself represents "something you have," and this is combined with either biometric authentication or a PIN. Passwords have a long, problematic history; while they can be very strong, if suitably long and suitably random, human passwords are often short, non-random, and reused across multiple sites. App-based authentication avoids this long-standing weakness.
Enabling two-factor authentication is just one of the things that organizations can do to improve their security. To that end, Microsoft has extended "Microsoft Security Score," a tool used to assess organizational policy and provide guidance on measures that can be taken to harden an organization against attack. Secure Score already spans Office 365 and Windows security features; to these, Microsoft has added Azure AD, Azure Security Center, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, covering a wider range of settings and options.
Roku announced two new streaming devices today that sit in the middle of its device lineup. The Roku Premiere and Premiere+ set-top boxes are barely "boxes" at all; instead, they resemble the company's streaming sticks more than any of its other devices.
If you took the Roku Ultra, the company's top-tier device, and slashed it in half and shrank it a bit, you'd get the Roku Premiere and Premiere+. The streaming devices are about the length of your index finger and the width of two fingers, making them lightweight and nearly invisible when sitting on an entertainment console while connected to a TV. The front side is a glossy black while the flat back side holds an HDMI port and the power port.
Which gets you the best deal? We did the arithmetic
By popular opinion, Apple's most accomplished product of 2018 – and maybe even in years – has been its Watch Series 4. But wait, if you live in the UK, there are some things you should know about well before you pull out your wallet.…
Facebook, Sony, Microsoft and many others have bought in on virtual reality. You likely haven’t, and it’s starting to show.
My, has Google's mobile operating system come a long way since Larry Page and Sergey Brin introduced the first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1.
The satellite radio company is acquiring Pandora in a $3.5 billion deal.
Treasury Committee infuriated at latest TITSUPs*
The influential Treasury Committee has demanded that banking execs at RBS Group and Barclays must explain why customers were again unable to access online services at the tail end of last week.…
And six other things you probably didn't know about the original Android smartphone.
Give the punters what they want until they can hardly stand or afford it
UKIP screwed its members at the weekend by doubling the price of branded condoms for sale at the party's conference as supplies started to run dry.…