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11-28-2020 Science&Technology
Microsoft Working on Why PS5 Outperforms Xbox Series X on Certain Games

While Microsoft has been touting that the Xbox Series X is the "world's most powerful console," the PS5 is outperforming it in early game tests, and Microsoft is working on why. As reported by The Verge, Digital Foundry has been analyzing some of the new games across both the PS5 - which is capable of 10.28 teraflops of GPU performance - and Xbox Series X - which is capable of 12 teraflops - and it's not as one-sided as it initially appeared. In Devil May Cry 5, the Xbox Series X has better performance in 4K and ray tracing modes, but the higher frame rate option runs better on PS5, with the frame rate gaps being more than 40fps in some cases. “The dips look really strange to me, and it kind of suggests to me some kind of API limitation on the Xbox side where the GPU is being held back by something,” suggests Digital Foundry editor Richard Leadbetter. Assassin's Creed Valhalla, which has been heavily promoted by Microsoft, also runs a bit smoother on PS5, with the Xbox Series X version showing screen tearing and regular frame rate dips below 60fps. The same story plays out in Dirt 5, where image quality and resolution go in PS5's favor. Dirt's developer Codemasters has acknowledged this peformance gap, and has already said it has a fix in the works. The Best Games to Play on Xbox Series X|S The Xbox Series X and Series S are finally out, and while there aren't many big new exclusives on Microsoft's newest platform there are still plenty of great games on the black and white bricks.

Whether jumping into a new adventure or revisiting an old favorite, here are our picks for the ten best games on the Xbox Series X. Let us know what's on your list that's not on ours in the comments!

10. Red Dead Redemption 2

Whether you're riding across the plains in story mode or wreaking havoc through the streets of Saint Denis with friends in Red Dead Online, Rockstar's newest world still remains one of the best times you can have with an Xbox controller. It might not run at 60FPS - Arthur's mosey is still locked to 30FPS, at least until Rockstar decides to optimize it for XSX, specifically - but gone are the framerate dips you may have experienced on last-gen hardware, along with the minute-and-a-half-long loading screens when (cowboy) booting up. 11 IMAGES ...

Read Original Article     ON:   IGN

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11-28-2020 Science&Technology
AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Price Revealed: GPU Out of Stock Everywhere?

The AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT price has been one of the most asked questions ever since the company made another GPU to compete directly with NVIDIA's 3000 series, especially the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 which is currently the most expensive GPU in the whole market. The price has finally been revealed in India which might give gamers a clue of what the price would be like. AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT price reveal According to an TechRadar, after a couple of years of this Team Red focusing solely on the mid-to-low end of the whole graphics card market, the tables have turned as they are trying to sell the best graphics cards on the market. However, despite the tough competition, the review previously made by TechRadar reveals that the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 is quite a difficult opponent for AMD. According to the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT price revealed in India, the GPU is being sold at Rs 64,990 or $880. This is in comparison to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 priced at Rs 71,000 or over $960. The RX 6800 is said to be sold at only Rs 45,999 or slightly over $620. The higher price is said to come with a 5-10% speed increase. The article suggests that the 30% price increase, however, does not really add up. AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Black Friday: Out of Stock Sadly, for those excited to get the AMD RX 6080 XT and other Radeon RX 6000 GPUs, they might not be available on Black Friday according to an article by Tom'sHardware. Although the third-party custom AMD Radeon RX 6000 GPUs have just officially launched, they have immediately sold out in only a matter of moments. This is still not that surprising since a number of the retailers actually did not have any stock to start with. Read Also: NVIDIA Geforce RTX 3080 FE Specs: Better and Cheaper Than the Rtx 3090? AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT specs The AMD RX 6800 XT is said to be based on the given RDNA 2 graphics architecture by Team Red, which is also still based on a particular 7nm manufacturing process. Instead of shrinking the card's dye, AMD has decided to work on a few new features in order to boost the GPU's efficiency making it more powerful than previous models. Here's what fans can expect from the AMD RX 6800 XT: Infinity Cache which is a 128MB of global cache (this allows it to perform 3.25x faster than the current GDDR6 VRAM on a whopping 256-bit bus) 16GB of GDDR6 memory (in comparison to the GDDR6X in the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090) Both the Infinity Cache and the GDDR6 being used gives it a strong advantage since the GDDR6 allows the GPU to function at full 16 bytes while the GDDR6X is only limited to 8 bytes according to an article by HardwareTimes. When it comes to the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090, one major thing that rolls the dice into AMD's favor is its price point. This is the same tactics as with the AMD vs Ryzen battle.

Read Original Article     ON:   Tech Times

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11-28-2020 Science&Technology
Black Friday headphone deal: Excellent AirPods Pro alternative is only $53 today at Amazon

Prime members can grab the upgraded version of the Mpow X3, one of the best budget noise-canceling true-wireless earbuds, for its lowest price in a Black Friday sale. This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET's gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family. The Mpow X3 true-wireless earbuds sound shockingly good for the price. They have good clarity and powerful bass -- they play loud -- and they even have active noise cancellation that's fairly effective. (No, it's not as good as the AirPods Pro's but it's not bad.) They've been on our list of the best cheap true-wireless earbuds for a while. Now there's a new white version that costs more than the black version and is actually upgraded in significant ways. The new X3 has better battery life, a new transparency mode and improved connectivity. The controls have also been improved. Amazon Prime members can get it for $52.79, its lowest price yet. It's usually around $56 while the black version is $50. You can compare the "old" black version to the new white version by flipping back and forth between their product pages on Amazon. Presumably, the upgraded version will eventually be available in black, but for now it's available only in white. The earbuds fit me comfortably and securely, and I got a tight seal from one of the XL ear tips. They're fully waterproof (IPX8) and get up to 10 hours of battery life (it's about 7 or 8 with ANC on) at moderate volume levels with USB-C charging. (The charging case looks like a fat version of the standard AirPods case.) Call quality is good -- they have a sidetone feature that lets you hear your voice in the buds -- but I've used other models with better noise reduction during calls. I also noticed a touch of audio lag when I streamed a YouTube video, but I had no issues when streaming iTunes movies.

Read Original Article     ON:   Cnet

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11-28-2020 Science&Technology
Kuo: Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Kuo: Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon to Launch in Second Half of 2021 Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors across its Mac lineup. In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he previously claimed that redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Apple Silicon would launch in the late second quarter or third quarter of 2021. Other rumored Apple Silicon Macs include a redesigned 24-inch iMac and a smaller version of the Mac Pro tower. Apple's first Macs with its custom M1 chip, including the new MacBook Air, lower-end 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini, began arriving to customers last week. Models that continue to use Intel processors for the time being include the 13-inch MacBook Pro with four Thunderbolt ports, 16-inch MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, and Mac Pro. Kuo added that demand for the new iPad Air has been better than expected. Looking ahead to 2021, he expects that the iPad's growth momentum will come from the adoption of new technologies such as Mini-LED backlighting and 5G support. Kuo expects a new low-priced iPad to launch in the second half of 2021 — presumably the ninth-generation iPad. Kuo also expects third-generation AirPods to launch in the late second quarter of 2021. He has previously claimed that the design of the third-generation AirPods will be "similar to AirPods Pro," but likely without active noise cancellation. Last, Kuo predicted that the "new Apple Watch shipment's momentum in 2021 will benefit from innovative health management functions and improved form factor design," but it is unclear if he is referring to the Apple Watch Series 6's new casing options like blue aluminum or to redesigned Apple Watch Series 7 models.

Read Original Article     ON:   Mac Rumors

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11-28-2020 Science&Technology
Google's Super App Wakeup Call

The public showing of the redesigned Google Pay is less than a week old, but already there are important insights into how it could reshape the commerce landscape and the players operating within it. To be a super app contender, the starting point must be commerce, not payments. First, what consumers want to buy - their starting point - and then how they'll pay for it. COVID-19 has accelerated consumers' interest in a digital-first or digital-only experience when shopping, and all merchants report seeing explosive growth in that channel. In a digital-first world, commerce is the experience that drives differentiation, adoption and innovation, and payments is what closes the loop. A super app ecosystem builds that bridge and drives value for all stakeholders. In June 2019, PYMNTS asked a national sample of 1,037 smartphone users about their interest in having a single app that would make their everyday activities easier to access and manage. The study described the app's functionality as a more seamless way for consumers to keep tabs on how to plan, manage, spend and send their money, and to receive funds from other sources. The app would include reminders and alerts across a variety of activities - bills to be paid, appointments to be kept, deliveries to be received, important dates to remember, what friends are doing, etc. - so as not to lose track of key dates and deliverables. There would be a way to opt in to receive personalized offers and rewards and have those offers automatically applied at checkout when shopping and paying at those merchants. This "super app," we called it, would also include easier access to sign up for a variety of entertainment options like streaming services - games, music, books, video, live programming, restaurant and travel reservations and bookings, and healthcare services including the purchase of medical supplies, prescription drugs and other wellness services. Most importantly, this "app of apps" would work across operating systems, channels and devices, and would be activated by voice and SMS. At that time, many FinTech and Big Tech players had begun to integrate this kind of functionality into their own apps to keep users engaged and sticky, even if they didn't call themselves "super apps." It would be months before PayPal (PYPL) would announce its acquisition of the savings app Honey, and before Google (GOOG, GOOGL) would announce its Smart DDA concept with two financial institutions (FIs), adding more super app ammo to its offerings. But even then, in June 2019, a third of all consumers expressed a strong interest in such a super app experience, and more than half (54.2 percent) more or less said "sounds interesting, tell me more." Only 13 percent of all consumers said "no-how-no-way." ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Seeking Alpha

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11-28-2020 Science&Technology
SpaceX Starlink Just Won a Huge Customer

On Saturday, Oct. 24, SpaceX crossed the finish line, achieving the 800 Starlink broadband internet satellites in orbit it needed to offer "moderate" internet coverage to large portions of Earth's surface. Just two days later, the company officially opened up Starlink to "beta" subscribers, advertising 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s broadband internet service for prices as low as $99 a month (plus a $499 hardware fee). Demand for the new service in the U.S. has reportedly been brisk, and demand in Canada is about to get even brisker -- because just this month, regulators approved Starlink to offer internet service in Canada as well. Well, how aboot that? Yes indeed, in a tweet heard all around the northern hemisphere, on Nov. 6 Canada's Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Ministry announced that it has granted "regulatory approval for the @SpaceXStarlink low Earth orbit satellite constellation." How important is this to Canada, and is $99 for as little as 50 mbps internet speeds really a good deal? With Comcast offering 200 mbps for under $50 in metro locales in the U.S. you might not think so, but here's the thing: Listening in on tweets from elated Canadian (future) customers, and hearing their lamentations about being forced to pay, for example, $46 a month (presumably Canadian) for 6 mbps, $75 for 5 mbps, or even $95 for a measly 2 mbps, it's pretty clear that the service Starlink is offering will be a big improvement for a lot of rural users. What's more, in an effort to win a $16 billion rural broadband contract from the FCC, SpaceX is working hard to get its speeds up to 1 gigabyte per second -- as much as a 20x improvement over the initial capabilities of the beta service. Why Canada? In the meantime, Canada is a logical market for SpaceX to target with the limited number of satellites it has in orbit (the company wants to eventually put up 12,000 satellites) and bring in some revenue to finance its expansion. Although SpaceX is promising "near global coverage of the populated world" by 2021, the Starlink website explains that, because of where the initial deployment of Starlink satellites are orbiting, SpaceX can really only offer internet coverage to "the Northern U.S. and Canada in 2020." That's a-OK with Canada, however, which is happy to take SpaceX up on its offer. As ISED Minister Navdeep Bains explained, "our government recognizes that high-speed Internet access is no longer a luxury -- it is essential." Local media began reporting this week on invitations to participate in the beta program going out to Canadian customers. According to these reports, SpaceX is offering Canadians almost exactly the same service price it's offering in the U.S. -- C$129 (about $98 U.S.) for the service itself, and C$649 ($495 U.S.) for the hardware. And Musk recently tweeted out a promised "big expansion" of the service in Canada "in 6 to 8 weeks."

Read Original Article     ON:   Fool

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11-28-2020 Cars
Watch Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta yield for pedestrian in intersection that would give some humans

Tesla is currently improving on its Full Self-Driving Beta software with new updates and we are catching glimpses of what it can do in the early access program. Now we see a quick new video of the Tesla FSD Beta yielding for a pedestrian in an intersection that would give some humans pause. Last month, Tesla started to release its first Full Self-Driving Beta software update to a limited group of owners to test the feature. Over the last few weeks, the automaker has been releasing software updates to the new feature with bug fixes and new capabilities based on the feedback of the early beta testers. These improvements are expected to lead to a wider release of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta software, which enables Tesla’s Navigation on Autopilot feature to drive autonomously on city streets with driver supervision, in December, according to CEO Elon Musk. In the meantime, we rely on videos from owners in the limited release early access program to see how the beta is performing. In a new video from Chuck Cook, Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta is navigating a strange intersection with a stop and a yield on the other side. Right as the vehicle entered the intersection, a pedestrian showed up on the other side and it looks like Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta yeild for them from the other side: This intersection would give plenty of human drivers a pause and it looks like Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta was able to handle nicely. However, there weren’t any other vehicles going through the intersection, which would have increase the complexity of navigating it. On top of the US market, Musk also recently said that Tesla will next release the FSD Beta update to Canada and Norway. This week, the CEO added that the first release in Canada could happen in December.

Read Original Article     ON:   Electrek

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11-28-2020 Politics
Donald Trump says he will leave White House if electoral college votes for Joe Biden

Donald Trump has said that he will leave the White House when the electoral college votes for Democratic president-elect Joe Biden in the closest the outgoing president has come to conceding defeat. Biden won the presidential election with 306 electoral college votes – many more than the 270 required – to Trump’s 232. Biden also leads Trump by more than 6 million in the popular vote tally. Trump has so far defied tradition by refusing to concede defeat, instead making a series of baseless claims about alleged ballot fraud and launching legal attempts to challenge the outcomes in several states such Pennsylvania and Michigan. But desperate efforts by Trump and his aides to overturn results in key states, either by lawsuits or by pressuring state legislators, have failed. Speaking to reporters on the Thanksgiving holiday, Trump said if Biden – who is due to be sworn in on 20 January – was certified the election winner by the electoral college, he would depart the White House. Trump’s comments, made to reporters at the White House after speaking to troops during the traditional Thanksgiving Day address to US service members, appear to take him one step nearer to admitting defeat. Asked if he would leave the White House if the college vote went against him, Trump said: “Certainly I will. And you know that. If they do, they made a mistake,” he said. However, Trump said it would be “a very hard thing to concede” and declined to say whether he would attend Biden’s inauguration, which is due to take place on 20 January. The electoral college is due to meet on 14 December when each state’s nominated electors will cast their votes for the winner of the state’s presidential ballot. The votes are officially counted by Congress on 6 January. Biden and Trump both stayed close to home to celebrate Thanksgiving as the coronavirus pandemic raged across the country. Biden spent the holiday with his family in Delaware, giving a presidential-style address in a message posted on twitter. He said Americans were making a “shared sacrifice for the whole country” and a “statement of common purpose” by staying at home with their immediate families. Trump often likes to celebrate holidays at his Mar-a-Largo resort in Florida. But on Thursday he remained in the Washington area, spending part of the morning at his Trump National Golf Club in Virginia where he played a round of golf. The US is rapidly approaching 13m confirmed Covid-19 infections, and by Thursday more than 263,000 people in the country had lost their lives to coronavirus. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   The Guardian

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11-16-2020 Society
Washington, DC, rally brings together Trump voters and far-right leaders

Washington, DC (CNN)Thousands of President Donald Trump's supporters of all stripes, including right-wing and far-right groups, rallied in Washington, DC, on Saturday to protest the election results. Smaller groups of counter demonstrators gathered downtown and near the Supreme Court in support of President-elect Joe Biden's electoral victory -- which the President has falsely described as fraudulent. Anti-Trump protesters clashed with law enforcement Saturday evening in downtown DC as they tried to make their way to a hotel where Trump supporters are staying. Police pushed them back about a block, and the crowd has now dwindled. Many groups that attended the rally have distinct core beliefs, but on Saturday were united in their unwavering support for the President. They included anti-government groups such as the Oath Keepers, far-right groups such as the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters, conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones and Republican members of Congress. Word of at least three different pro-Trump events circulated on social media in recent days -- "Stop the Steal," "March for Trump" and "Million MAGA March." Throngs began pouring into Freedom Plaza, just east of The White House, hours before the noontime events. Organizers for the "March for Trump" event -- which obtained the permit for the rally -- did not respond to CNN's requests for comment. Trump took notice of the gatherings and tweeted on Friday that he might make an appearance. Before Saturday's rallies, the President's motorcade passed cheering and waving supporters on his way to a golf outing. Mainstream conservative voices and elected officials such as Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania were advertised as speakers for the "March for Trump" event. The "Million MAGA March" announced its notable attendees would include conspiracy theorists and others like podcaster Nick Fuentes, who participated in the deadly 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" rally, and Mike Cernovich, who pushed the "pizza gate" conspiracy theory. Leadership and members of the Proud Boys, a far-right group that Trump asked to "stand back and stand by" during the first of two 2020 Presidential debates, were in attendance. Ben Hovland, a senior federal election security official appointed by Trump, has called the President's accusations of a rigged election "insulting" and "laughable." While there had been warnings of potential violence, the day was peaceful without any major incidents. Washington, DC police told CNN they made some arrests, but didn't say how many. To those who have been tracking far right and extremist groups for years, Saturday's rally illustrates the thinning of a line between the mainstream right and far-right extremists. ...

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11-16-2020 Games
Warning: It may be a good idea not to use the PS5 rest mode for the moment

With the PlayStation 5 now officially out in North America and other territories gamers have been getting their hands on the new console and unfortunately there seems to be a an issue with the PlayStation 5 rest mode. The mode allows you to put the console to sleep and instantly pick up where you left off, the same as it does on the PS4. Insomniac have confirmed that there is definitely an issue if you put the PS5 in to rest mode when playing Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and the remastered original Spider-Man game. There are also multiple reports of Godfall also suffering the same problem. Users who have been hit by the problem have to rebuild their PS5 database and most find that has worked. However, a small number of gamers have found that the rebuild fails and bricks their console. To stop your PS5 going in to rest mode go to the Settings menu on the console, the navigate to Power Saving and then Set Time Until PS5 Enters Rest Mode. From here select “Don’t Put in Rest Mode”. Just as an aside: Sony, what’s with capitalising everything but ‘in’ on that menu option? Weird. It appears the delayed release of the PlayStation 5 might just be to the advantage of us here in the U.K. as Sony have five more days to get to the bottom of the problems and get a firmware update out, no doubt the developers of the games are also looking at the problem. There are also reports of PS5’s crashing at various points and throwing up the error code CE-108255-1, a rather generic “Something went wrong with this game or app.” Sony have yet to make any official comment on this but @AskPlayStation on Twitter is DM’ing individuals with some sort of help so best to try there if you have the problem.

Read Original Article     ON:   The Sixthaxis

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11-16-2020 Science&Technology
Here’s everything Apple didn’t announce at its November Mac event

Apple launched its first Apple Silicon M1-powered Macs at its November “One more thing” event. The new MacBooks and Mac mini look quite impressive and the major macOS Big Sur update also debuted this week. However, there are a number of compelling Apple products still in the wings. Here’s everything Apple didn’t announce at its November Apple Silicon Mac event. The “One more thing” thing event was Apple’s third since September. And after a number of anticipated accessories and other products didn’t launch during the Apple Watch/iPad event or at the iPhone 12 event, there was hope we might see some of them land alongside the new Macs on November 10. As it turns out, the Apple Silicon event was kept brief at 45 minutes and didn’t include any announcements or unveilings beyond the new M1-powered Macs and the November 12 launch of macOS Big Sur. Back in April of 2019, 9to5Mac exclusively reported that Apple was working on a Tile-like tracking device. We later uncovered that it was using the AirTag name for the product. In April this year, Apple accidentally revealed the AirTags name itself in a support video on YouTube before quickly pulling it. It’s been a long road to see AirTags arrive and the November event came and went without a launch. This may be a case of Apple seeing unexpected delays. Earlier in the year, Ming-Chi Kuo pegged a Q3 release for this new product. Then in early October, we saw Jon Prosser predict the AirTags release was pushed to March 2021, but he then said just before the iPhone 12 event that they were on schedule to launch with iOS 14.3 in November. Highly accurate leaker L0vetodream also predicted on October 20 that they were “coming soon” in two sizes. Lining up with Prosser and L0vetodream, we just found more evidence of AirTags being ready to go with iOS 14.3, which Apple just released as a beta. We were able to uncover more details about the setup process. iOS 14.3 beta includes support for rumored AirTags and third-party tracking accessories Here’s some of what we discovered: Users can reproduce sound alerts and also link an AirTag to an Apple ID, so it won’t work with another ID if someone else finds it. “Removing this item will allow it to be set up and used by another person and it will no longer be linked to your Apple ID,” says the code. Apple will also provide an easy way for others to scan AirTags and find out who owns that lost item. Time will tell but we could see this brand new Apple product launch before long. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   9to5Mac

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11-14-2020 Health
Pfizer’s announcement shows the promise of gene-based vaccines

Pfizer and BioNTech announced this week that their vaccine was 90 percent effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in clinical trials. The data is still preliminary and hasn’t been examined by independent researchers, but it’s good news for both this specific vaccine and for the other coronavirus vaccines in the pipeline — especially the ones that are based on the same genetic technology. “It’s extremely encouraging, in my view, not only for the Pfizer vaccine, but broadly speaking for the platform,” says Ross Kedl, an immunologist at the University of Colorado. Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine is made from genetic material called mRNA. mRNA carries instructions inside of cells and tells them to build proteins. The vaccine includes a specific piece of mRNA that contains instructions for how to make the spike protein of the coronavirus, which is the tiny bit that lets it bind to human cells. The vaccine spurs the human body to make copies of that protein. When the immune system encounters those spikes, it learns to recognize and block them. Gene-based vaccines are relatively simple to develop and manufacture. For years, they’ve been heralded as the future of vaccine development. However, until now, they’ve been largely experimental. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has never approved one for use in humans. Rosemary Rochford, also an immunologist at the University of Colorado, says she was initially skeptical they’d work as well as some other types of vaccines, like ones made from inactivated viruses. But the Pfizer data — assuming it holds up on further evaluation from outside experts and the FDA — is a strong proof of concept. “This mRNA platform seems to be very promising,” she says. The Moderna vaccine candidate, which should release initial data soon, is also based on mRNA. “I would assume their efficacy is probably going to be similar,” says Drew Weissman, the University of Pennsylvania immunologist who conducted the research behind mRNA vaccines. He’s also an advisor for BioNTech, the company that partnered with Pfizer on this vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech also had equivalent results in their phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials, which are smaller scale, Kedl says. “You could almost superimpose the two, or switch the names and you would fool everybody. They really both are really strongly supportive of each other in terms of the strength of the immunity.” Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there wasn’t much research done on gene-based vaccines for infectious diseases — a lot of the work focused on treating cancers, not viruses, Rochford says. Clearance of the first gene-based vaccine for something like COVID-19 would open a new world of options for vaccine developers. Pfizer’s vaccine hasn’t been authorized or approved by the FDA yet, and there are still a few steps before it reaches that point. The data released this week, though, points in that direction. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   The Verge

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11-14-2020 Science&Technology
Apple’s HomePod mini won’t leave marks on your fancy wood furniture

Between its diminutive size and more affordable price tag, Apple’s new HomePod mini has a lot going for it over its $300 predecessor. But its greatest strength might be what it won’t do to your expensive furniture. That is, it won’t leave unsightly white rings on wood surfaces finished with oil or wax. In a video spotted by MacRumors, former iMore editor Rene Ritchie says Apple addressed that shortcoming of the original HomePod’s design with its new smart speaker (jump ahead to the 3:28 mark to hear the relevant comment). There goes the cottage industry for HomePod coasters. The HomePod’s propensity for defacing wooden furniture famously came into the spotlight shortly after its launch in 2018 when both consumers and review publications discovered the issue by accident. Apple was quick to acknowledge the design quirk. Thankfully, it was also easy to fix either with a soft damp cloth or by refinishing the surface.

Read Original Article     ON:   Engadget

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11-12-2020 Science&Technology
Google tests ‘Driving Mode’ that lets you add Street View images without 360-degree camera

As the COVID-19 pandemic has sort of forced many people into staying home, it looks as though Google is leveraging people power to help populate Google Maps’ awesome Street View feature with a new “Driving Mode.” AD The Google Street View cars are pretty iconic and are emblazoned with livery that makes them a really awesome standout when you’re just out and about. Obviously, with travel restrictions and issues with access in certain regions, this “Driving Mode” can help allow people to contribute without the need for a 360-degree camera — which can often be expensive. This new feature was spotted by a user over on Reddit, and it looks as though “Driving Mode” lets you mount your phone to your in-car dashboard, your journey will then be recorded and uploaded to the Street View online database without you needing a fancy roof-rack 360-degree camera. Any faces or people captured during journeys will have their identities blurred. External contributions to Google Maps and Street View are nothing new, but removing the 360-degree camera barrier would be a really smart decision.

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11-10-2020 Cars
Tesla Teases New Feature: Ticket Avoidance Mode

"No more parking tickets for Model S owners. Today we’re introducing: ticket-avoidance-mode. Watch how it works." In a short video, the company demonstrated how it works. The policeman, who saw that the Model S was parked in a prohibited place, issued a fine, but when he tried to put it under the wiper, the car sprayed it with a washer and then began to slowly drive away. Of course, it was an April Fool's joke—forecasting a sense of humor we have since come to expect in the company and CEO Elon Musk. Despite the fact that it was a joke, today we are once again discussing Ticket Avoidance Mode. What gives? In a recent video, which Tesla presented on its YouTube channel, the first seconds of the video have a text hidden from the eyes of inattentive people. Among the list of inscriptions that change at a very fast speed, you can see the very words that hint at Tesla's new Easter egg: Ticket Avoidance Mode. Sentry Mode I'm feeling hungry Remote Air Conditioning Cabin Overheat Protection Bioweapon defense mode Ticket Avoidance Mode Pin To drive Tesla arcade Trip Planner Sketchpad Valet mode Drivers Profile Charging On The Road ...

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11-06-2020 Science&Technology
SpaceX seeks to fly unproven rocket, put engine issue to rest

SpaceX has not launched a brand-new rocket since June, when it boosted a GPS III satellite for the US Space Force on a Falcon 9 rocket. Since that time the company has launched several commercial missions and its own Starlink satellites on a variety of previously flown rockets, and they were all successful. However, when the company tried to launch a new Falcon 9 first stage on October 2—this was for yet another GPS satellite, named GPS III-04—the attempt was scrubbed at T-2 seconds. Later, SpaceX's Hans Koenigsmann explained that two of the rocket's nine first-stage engines ignited early during the early October launch attempt, and this triggered an automatic abort of the engines. This problem was eventually traced to a tiny bit of lacquer used during a metal-treatment process that was supposed to be removed before flight but was not. Now the company believes it has addressed the problem, which is a good thing because the company has three important missions coming up for the US government, all slated to fly on new rockets. First up is a second attempt to launch the GPS III-04 satellite, and this comes on Thursday evening. A Falcon 9 rocket, with two of its Merlin engines replaced, is due to lift off at 6:24pm EST (23:24 UTC) from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The nearly four-ton satellite will be deployed into a transfer orbit with an apogee of about 20,000km. Provided this mission is a success and resolves the lacquer issue, SpaceX will then proceed with its second crewed launch, that of a Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency mission specialist Sôichi Noguchi, to the International Space Station. That mission is presently scheduled for November 14. And finally, SpaceX has another mission for NASA scheduled for no earlier than November 21, the launch of the Earth-observing Sentinel-6 spacecraft from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Even as it has investigated the lacquer issue, SpaceX has been able to fly its flight-proven rockets because those first stages had already been shown to be not affected by the manufacturing issue. It is also worth noting that both the Space Force and NASA have come to agreements with SpaceX to fly their missions on used first stages for future missions. Provided this evening's GPS III mission lifts off—the current weather forecast supports a 60 percent chance of favorable conditions—SpaceX will attempt to land the first stage on its Of Course I Still Love You droneship. The company's launch webcast below should begin about 15 minutes before the launch window opens.

Read Original Article     ON:   Ars Technica

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