News & Updates

Soon after making into the global market, Nintendo Switch has been up in the air for all the good reasons. The console already supports a slew of games, and going by latest reports, it looks set to get a bunch of titles from Ubisoft too. The legendary game developer is holding an online discussion and […]

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Mass Effect: Andromeda is a dialogue-heavy game, after all the game is an RPG. You’ll speak with numerous NPCs during the course of the game, and for all Mass Effect veterans, the dialogue system will look a bit strange. The fact that the game came out 5 years after the Mass Effect 3 and that […]

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Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, an upcoming action platformer made by Koji Igarashi, the man behind Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, managed to gather more than $5.5 million on Kickstarter, and the game was planned for the Wii U. In a recent update, Koji revealed that the Nintendo Switch will also get the game. Unfortunately […]

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It seems Kodi box has been hit by a serious outage as users face difficulties accessing their Windows 10 app. Microsoft has already acknowledged the issue, saying that the glitch is not allowing the Kodi app available in the Windows Store to update to the latest version. Simply put, users who are trying to install […]

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Enlarge / President Donald Trump and Charter CEO Tom Rutledge. (credit: White House)

Charter CEO Tom Rutledge met with President Donald Trump today, and he made a splashy promise to “invest $25 billion in broadband infrastructure and technology in the next four years.”

But Charter, the second biggest US cable company after Comcast, was already planning broadband expansions during the Obama administration. When Charter purchased Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks 10 months ago, it agreed to a merger condition requiring it to bring 60Mbps download speeds to an additional two million customer locations.

The spending Charter promised Trump today won’t guarantee broadband access for any additional customers beyond what the company already committed to during the Obama years.

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(credit: Harvard University)

Science is in a phase of pretty intense soul-searching. Over the past few years, systemic problems that lead to unreliable scientific results have become more and more obvious. There’s a litany of woes for good science: publication bias leads to buried data, single studies don’t stand well on their own yet not enough people are replicating them, and flaws in the peer-review process are showing. And that’s before we even get to the (hopefully occasional) research fraud.

John Ioannidis, one of the heroes of the science-scrutinizing movement, has some news in PNAS this week that is simultaneously uncomfortable and comforting. Ioannidis, along with colleagues Daniele Fanelli and Rodrigo Costas, scoured thousands of scientific papers to uncover some of the most common causes of bias. Their findings suggest that, for the most part, people are worrying about the right things, including small studies that spark a lot of scientific conversation. But they also pinpoint other causes for concern that haven’t attracted much attention so far: early career researchers and isolated scientists.

Data about data about data

Fanelli is a meta-researcher: a scientist whose research is itself about scientific research. In order to get a broad view of the biases at play across all of science, he went hunting for meta-analyses. These are scientific studies that combine the data from a range of separate studies in the same area. Meta-analyses often give a more comprehensive picture of the current evidence than any individual study.

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(credit: Aurich Lawson)

DirecTV and its owner, AT&T, have promised the US Department of Justice that they will not illegally share information with rival pay-TV providers in order to keep the price of TV channels down.

The DOJ sued DirecTV and AT&T in November 2016, saying the satellite-TV company colluded with competitors during contentious negotiations to broadcast Los Angeles Dodgers games. AT&T initially said that it looked forward to defending itself in court. But yesterday, the company agreed to a settlement “without trial or adjudication of any issue of fact or law.”

The proposed settlement, pending court approval, “will obtain all of the relief sought by the department in its lawsuit,” the DOJ said in its announcement.

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Microsoft has been rolling out several Windows 10 Insider builds – 15058, 15060, 15061 and the latest 15063. The 15063 was meant for both PC and Mobile and brought in several changes, improvements, and fixes for PC. It fixed a reliability issue from build 15061 resulting in Microsoft Edge hanging and becoming unresponsive. The Windows […]

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Enlarge (credit: NIH)

Approximately ten thousand times each day, the DNA in our cells receives some damage, but most of that damage is repaired by our cells’ built-in DNA repair systems. The efficiency of these DNA repair systems decline with age, however, and that’s thought to lead to age-related health problems and cancer.

A recent paper published in Science shows that a chemical used in the DNA repair process, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), has a concentration that declines with age. This decline may drive the age-associated accumulation of DNA damage—a finding that suggests supplementing NAD+ might offset some of the effects of aging.

The team behind the paper used human embryonic kidney cells (which grow well in the lab) to look at the role of this chemical. The authors found that NAD+ binds to the protein “deleted in breast cancer 1” (DBC1), which—as its name implies—was previously implicated in cancer. DBC1 normally binds to and inhibits another protein that performs DNA repair. But NAD+ blocks this interaction, releasing the inhibition on DNA repair.

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(credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft’s embrace of open source software continues, with Azure Service Fabric making the first tentative foray into the open world. Today, the SDK was (mostly) published to GitHub under the MIT license. The team behind the move described it as the “beginning stages” of a wider use of open source.

Service Fabric, first revealed in 2015, grew out of the infrastructure Microsoft developed to build and run large-scale cloud services, including Azure SQL, Cortana, and Skype for Business. It provides scaling and fault tolerance for services, both stateless and stateful, running in containers across clusters of (virtual) machines. It runs in Azure, naturally, but the runtime is also freely downloadable and can be deployed across on-premises Windows systems, or even onto Windows virtual machines in non-Microsoft clouds. A Linux version of the runtime is currently in development, too.

Microsoft has already been using GitHub for tracking feature requests and bugs within Service Fabric. Users of the runtime have expressed a greater interest in the design and features of Service Fabric, and opening up the SDK is seen as the next step in engaging with the community and helping drive the development direction.

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