Of course Windows 11 has been ported to the Lumia 950 XL smartphone

Microsoft is holding an event on June 24 to unveil the future of Windows… but the future is already here for some folks thanks to a leaked Windows 11 build that’s been floating around the internet for the past few days. Some folks have alr…

Microsoft is holding an event on June 24 to unveil the future of Windows… but the future is already here for some folks thanks to a leaked Windows 11 build that’s been floating around the internet for the past few days. Some folks have already installed it on PCs or in virtual machines. But at […]

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FDA officials asked to step down after contentious Alzheimer’s drug approval

Three experts resigned in protest. Watchdog says it’s FDA brass that should leave.

Words and symbols adorn a large outdoor sign.

Enlarge / The Food and Drug Administration headquarters in White Oak, Maryland. (credit: Getty | Congressional Quarterly)

A leading advocacy and watchdog group is calling for the ouster of three top officials at the Food and Drug Administration—including its acting commissioner—after the regulator issued a highly contentious approval last week of the unproven and now highly priced Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm (generic name: aducanumab).

The call for fresh FDA leadership comes atop a chorus of harsh criticism over the decision, which outside researchers and industry experts have called “disgraceful” and “dangerous,” among other things.

Since Aduhelm’s approval was announced June 7, three expert advisers to the FDA have resigned in protest, with one calling the decision “probably the worst drug-approval decision in recent US history.” The three experts were part of an 11-member advisory committee that reviewed the clinical data for the Alzheimer’s drug last November and voted nearly unanimously against approval (10 voted against, 1 voted “uncertain”).

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Researchers cool a 40 kg object to near its quantum ground state

Mirrors of the LIGO gravitational-wave detector get cool—extremely cool.

A researcher in protective gear examines an impossibly futuristic mirror.

Enlarge / One of the 40 kg mirrors that has approached its quantum ground state. (credit: Matt Heintze/Caltech/MIT/LIGO Lab)

Objects that obey the rules of quantum mechanics behave very differently from those in the familiar world around us. That difference leads to an obvious question: is it possible to get an everyday item to start behaving like a quantum object?

But seeing quantum behavior requires limiting an object's interactions with its environment, which becomes increasingly difficult as objects get larger. Still, there has been progress in increasing the size of the objects we can place in a quantum state, with small oscillators and even grains of sand being notable examples.

So far, researchers have approached this challenge largely by scaling up systems that were relatively easy to work with. But in today's issue of Science, researchers report that they've gotten close to putting a big object into its quantum ground state—a really big object: the 40 kilogram mirrors of the gravitational-wave observatory known as LIGO.

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Here’s what’s inside Google’s first-ever retail store

Buy a speaker, try Google Stadia, or fix a cracked phone screen—the store is open.

After years of flirting with the idea of opening a physical store, Google announced its first-ever permanent retail location last month. Today, June 17, is the official grand opening, and Google celebrated with a blog post detailing what the store is like.

Officially, this is "The Google Store Chelsea," and it lives in New York City on 15th and 9th, aka the Chelsea Market building, aka the headquarters of Google's New York City campus. Unlike the stark white Apple Stores that Google is chasing after, the Google Store has a natural look, with warm wood walls and furniture. Whimsical bendy rods shoot out of the floor and decorate the store, looking like a giant version of a bead maze from a pediatrician's office. The store was designed by Ivy Ross, Google’s VP of hardware design.

What can you buy in a Google Store? It's essentially an offline version of store.google.com. That means it will sell Pixel phones, earbuds, Pixelbook laptops, Chromecasts, Google TVs, Stadia controllers, and Nest-branded speakers, smart displays, thermostats, smoke detectors, cameras, Wi-Fi routers, and doorbells. Google also notes that it will "have experts on hand to help visitors get the most out of their device, such as troubleshooting an issue, fixing a cracked Pixel screen, or helping with installations."

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Daily Deals (6-17-2021)

Is it a coincidence that a day after removing RAVPower’s charging accessories from its online store, Amazon is highlighting a sale by rival Anker? Maybe. I have no idea really, but what I do know is that you can save some money on power banks, w…

Is it a coincidence that a day after removing RAVPower’s charging accessories from its online store, Amazon is highlighting a sale by rival Anker? Maybe. I have no idea really, but what I do know is that you can save some money on power banks, wall chargers, and other products today. Meanwhile, you can score […]

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Peter Jackson’s 6-hour Beatles documentary confirmed for Disney+ this November

Jackson thanks Beatles, Disney for “allowing me to present this story” as 6-hour beast.

Peter Jackson's next six-hour epic is finally coming out this year—and in a first for the acclaimed director, the film will launch directly to a streaming service. It will also be broken up into episodes.

The Beatles: Get Back, an expansive documentary originally announced for a theatrical run this August, has had its release strategy tweaked. On Thursday, Jackson and Disney confirmed that the entire project will launch exclusively on Disney+ during this year's American Thanksgiving holiday. Each third of the documentary will launch on the streaming service on November 25, 26, and 27. As of press time, Disney hasn't said how the film will reach audiences outside of Disney+'s supported territories. Neither Jackson nor Disney clarified how the original theatrical run might have worked or whether the global pandemic forced anyone's hand.

Today's news confirms that Jackson had an abundance of footage to work with. Roughly three years ago, the remaining Beatles handed him access to a musical holy grail: over 60 hours of previously unseen video recordings, mostly capturing the Beatles working on the album Let It Be and rehearsing for, and then performing, the band's legendary 1969 rooftop concert in London.

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Jetflicks: Programmer of Pirate IPTV Service Handed 12 Months in Prison

A man who worked as a programmer for a major pirate streaming operation has been sentenced in the US. Luis Angel Villarino was indicted in August 2019 for his part in running Jetflicks . After admitting to one count of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, he has now been ordered to serve 12 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

In 2019, eight men were indicted by a grand jury for conspiring to violate criminal copyright law for running Jetflicks and iStreamitAll, two of the largest pirate streaming services in the United States.

The Las Vegas-based platforms were huge. Jetflicks, which was disguised as an aviation service, offered around 183,285 pirated TV episodes to customers. iStreamitAll was reported to have made available more than 118,479 TV shows and 10,980 movies to its customers, at the time more content than was on offer at Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

In December 2019, Darryl Julius Polo (aka djppimp) pleaded guilty to charges of copyright infringement and money laundering for helping to program Jetflicks and for founding and operating iStreamitAll. Earlier this year, Polo was sentenced to 57 months in prison, with the US granted a forfeiture order for $1 million, an amount that represents the illegal proceeds from his offenses.

Jetflicks Programmer Luis Angel Villarino

The day after Polo pleaded guilty in 2019, former Jetflicks programmer Luis Angel Villarino pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement.

The Las Vegas resident admitted to his part in offering an illegal subscription-based streaming service that reproduced tens of thousands of copyrighted television episodes without authorization, and streamed and distributed the infringing programs to tens of thousands of paid subscribers throughout the United States.

Villarino (at the time aged 40) was originally due to be sentenced in March 2020 but due to various delays, including complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic, that didn’t take place until last month.

Sentencing – Conspiracy to Commit Copyright Infringement

According to sentencing documents released by a Virginia court, Villarino’s actions were offenses under 18 U.S.C.§371 (Conspiracy to commit an offense or to defraud the United States). His offending ended in November 2017 but while his crimes were deemed to be less serious than those of Polo, they still warranted a custodial sentence.

Senior United States District Judge T.S. Ellis, III sentenced Villarino to be imprisoned for 12 months and one day. The year inside will be served at a facility in the Las Vegas area so the former Jetflicks programmer can be near his family.

Upon his release, Villarino must submit to a probation office within 72 hours and will then be subjected to three years of supervised release. During that period, Villarino must not commit any other crimes and must not unlawfully possess or use any controlled substance. He will also be subjected to periodic drug testing and must at no point possess any type of firearm or other dangerous weapons.

In addition to a 13-point list of other conditions, including an instruction to work regularly at a lawful occupation and not leave the district without permission, activities that may be related to his offending will also be restricted. This includes the monitoring of all of his computers plus conditions on what he can do with any unexpected windfalls such as a lottery win or inheritance.

No Fines Handed Down, Restitution Pending

No fines were imposed against Villarino at sentencing but that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t have to pay restitution in the future.

While he and Darryl Polo took the opportunity to enter relatively early guilty pleas, six other defendants (Kristopher Lee Dallmann, Douglas M. Courson, Felipe Garcia, Jared Edward Jaurequi, Peter H. Huber, and Yoany Vaillant) are taking their chances at trial.

Only when that matter is concluded will restitution amounts be determined.

Villarino’s sentencing documents can be found here and here (pdf)

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

Bethesda exec says he’s “sorry” for lack of PS5 Starfield

“I’m certain that’s frustrating… but there’s not a whole lot I can do about it.”

Bethesda Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Pete Hines talks to GameSpot about Starfield.

This week, Microsoft and Bethesda confirmed that Starfield will be coming exclusively to Xbox Series X/S and PC next year. And while that kind of exclusivity deal had been hinted at and heavily suspected by many since Microsoft's $7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda's parent company, the announcement still came as sad news for PlayStation 5 owners hoping to play the upcoming space epic.

Bethesda Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Pete Hines said he can certainly understand how PS5 owners must feel. In a video interview with GameSpot Wednesday, he offered his sympathy and an apology to PS5 owners upset about the move.

"I don't know how to allay the concerns of consumer and PlayStation 5 fans other than to say I'm a PlayStation 5 player as well, and I've played games on that console, and there's games I'm going to continue to play on it," Hines said. "But if you want to play Starfield, [it's] Xbox and PC. Sorry. All I can say is I apologize because I'm certain that that's frustrating to folks, but there's not a whole lot I can do about it."

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Sony: Playstation 5 lädt zum Firmware-Betatest

Erstmals können Besitzer der PS5 vorab die Systemsoftware ausprobieren. Details sind noch nicht bekannt – auf eine bestimmte Neuerung warten aber viele Spieler. (Playstation 5, Sony)

Erstmals können Besitzer der PS5 vorab die Systemsoftware ausprobieren. Details sind noch nicht bekannt - auf eine bestimmte Neuerung warten aber viele Spieler. (Playstation 5, Sony)