Technology

Charter raises sneaky “broadcast TV” fee for second time in four months

Enlarge / A Charter Spectrum vehicle. (credit: Charter) Charter Communications will raise its “broadcast TV” fee from $9.95 to $11.99 on March 1, only four months after the previous fee increase. Charter and other cable companies say they charge broadcast TV fees to recoup the cost of paying broadcasters for the right to retransmit their …

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Infamous pharma company declares bankruptcy after 3,900% price hike

Enlarge / Man wipes really expensive cream from his face. (credit: Getty | Boston Globe) The Chicago-based pharmaceutical company that made headlines in 2016 for dramatically raising the price of cheap skin creams has now filed for bankruptcy. The filing cites, in part, profit-scorching backlash from the price increases, the Chicago Tribune reports. In September …

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Lonely black holes revealed by passing gravitational waves

Enlarge / 22 January 2019, Lower Saxony, Sarstedt: Lower Saxony’s science minister Björn Thümler (l, CDU) and Karsten Danzmann, director at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) are in the GEO600 detector. The German-British GEO600 detector in Ruthe near Sarstedt south of Hanover is a highly sensitive measuring device and has …

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Putting Red Dead Redemption 2’s 23 million shipments in context

Fig. 1: Just a few months out, RDR2 is already approximating the sales of some much older and more storied franchises. It seems like every few weeks, some major publisher puts out an earnings call or press release trumpeting some ridiculously large number of sales for its latest big-budget blockbuster. This week it’s Take Two, …

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Coal production may have reached a point of no return, per projections

The Black Thunder mine in Wright, Wyoming produces 90 million tons of coal a year, which is distributed by rail throughout the country. (credit: Robb Kendrick) In President Trump’s State of the Union speech last night, he didn’t mention coal once, while touting oil and natural gas as having “unleashed a revolution in American energy.” …

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NASA “still working toward” 2020 launch of massive SLS rocket

Enlarge / On Nov. 15, NASA conducted a full-power, full-duration 650-second RS-25 engine test on the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center. (credit: NASA) NASA has continued to make progress with the development of its large Space Launch System (SLS) rocket as work continued on its critical core stage throughout the partial government shutdown, …

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Emoji 12.0 brings us waffles, more diversity, suggestive “finger pinch” glyph

Say hello to the “finger pinch” emoji. Please use this responsibly. [credit:Emojipedia ] Emoji version 12.0 has been finalized by the Unicode Consortium, and for 2019 we’re getting 230 new emoji. Although the standard is finalized, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other platform vendors still need to create artwork and integrate these new glyphs into their …

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Climate change or “just the weather?” Here’s how to answer that

Enlarge / A fizzling Hurricane Sandy churns over the Northeastern US at night after making landfall in 2012. (credit: NASA/Earth Observatory) Every once in a while, a day comes along to remind you that weather is more than a trusty source of social lubrication for awkward elevator encounters. Severe weather can threaten property, homes, and …

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Replicas used game-development tools to bring its sci-fi world to life

Replicas, Keanu Reeves plays William Foster, a scientist attempting to transfer a human mind into an android.”> Enlarge / In Replicas, Keanu Reeves plays William Foster, a scientist attempting to transfer a human mind into an android. (credit: Entertainment Studios) The new science fiction film, Replicas, starring Keanu Reeves, achieved some pretty impressive visual effects, …

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