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Martin Shkreli 'Pharma Bro': release me from jail, I'll cure COVID-19

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Apr 8, 2020 at 02:37 am CDT

You might remember Martin Shkreli from headlines a few years ago, someone who was quickly nicknamed "Pharma Bro" after his company Turing Pharmaceuticals acquired the manufacturing license for antiparastic drug Daraprim, and raised its price 56x from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

Martin Shkreli 'Pharma Bro': release me from jail, I'll cure COVID-19 05 | TweakTown.com

Well, Pharma Bro is back in the headlines after he has said he wants to get out of prison so he can research a treatment and cure for coronavirus. The news is coming directly from his defense attorney Ben Brafman, who has said he will be filing court papers requesting authorities to release Shkreli for 3 months so he can do the required laboratory work, but "under strict supervision".

Brafman said: "I have always said that if focused and left in a lab, Martin could help cure cancer. Maybe he can help the scientific community better understand this terrible virus".

Shkreli may be behind bars but he is still making waves on the outside as he has said that the pharmaceutical industry's response to the coronavirus pandemic has been "inadequate". Shkreli added that researchers at each and every single drug company "should be put to work until COVID-19 is no more".

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These masks don't effectively stop the spread of coronavirus COVID-19

Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Apr 8, 2020 at 02:07 am CDT

Masks are currently all the craze right now to stop the spread of the now rampant coronavirus COVID-19. But what if the masks that are being widely used aren't stopping the spread of the virus?

These masks don't effectively stop the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 01 | TweakTown.com

A recent study was conducted by researchers to answer this very question, and according to the study, which was published on Annals of Internal Medicine, two types of common masks were found to be ineffective at preventing dissemination (spread). The study was conducted at two hospitals in South Korea, scientists asked COVID-19 patients to cough on a petri dish through both surgical masks and cotton masks.

Researchers from Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea instructed 4 patients with COVID-19 to cough 5 times each onto a petri dish. The patients wore the following sequence of masks: no mask, surgical mask, cotton mask, and again with no mask. The inside of both of the masks, and the outside of both the masks, as well as the surface that was coughed on were then swabbed. All of the surfaces were found to have SARS CoV-2 on them.

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Here's why soap is better at killing coronavirus than hand sanitizer

Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Apr 8, 2020 at 01:31 am CDT

Since the coronavirus began, health officials around the world have all said one thing in common - wash your hands. But why, and what should you be washing them with, hand sanitizer, or soap?

Here's why soap is better at killing coronavirus than hand sanitizer 01 | TweakTown.com

Washing your hands cannot go understated, and especially in a time like this, everyone should be an effort to keep their hands as clean as possible. In the event of you having to leave your house, make sure you wash your hands once you return home, but what should you wash them with? Soap or hand sanitizer?

According to infectious disease expert Dr. Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, who was asked the same question in a Q&A session, soap is better to wash your hands with versus hand sanitizer. Here's what he said, "Your hand has oils on it, and viruses stick to that oil. They have an electrostatic charge to them. But when you're washing with soap, soap has things that decrease surface tension in them so you are physically rubbing by friction and washing away that virus."

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One of Bill Gates' coronavirus COVID-19 vaccines enters human trials

Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Apr 8, 2020 at 01:06 am CDT

Scientists around the world are currently racing to create the first viable vaccine for coronavirus, but before that can be done, extensive testing on humans needs to go underway.

One of Bill Gates' coronavirus COVID-19 vaccines enters human trials 01 | TweakTown.com

Bill Gates is one of the many people backing research into vaccine development for COVID-19, but Gates isn't just backing one vaccine, he's backing seven. In a venture to act faster than the government through the vaccines manufacturing process, Gates has backed the production of seven independent vaccines - each designed to combat the coronavirus. Gates also acknowledges that backing multiple vaccines at once is costly; in fact, he knows that it could potentially cost him billions of dollars.

According to a report by TechCrunch, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted an application from Inovio Pharmaceuticals for clinical trials, to begin with, the INO-4800 DNA vaccine candidate. This vaccine candidate works by injecting engineered plasmid (genetic structure) into the patient, which then results in the patient's body producing antibodies to fight off a specific infection. At the moment, DNA vaccines have been approved for use on animals, but not humans.

Call of Duty: Warzone Season 3 adds 4-player squad, new weapons & more

Jak Connor | Gaming | Apr 8, 2020 at 12:31 am CDT

Call of Duty players will be glad to know that Season 3 has just been dropped by Activision, and as expected, it comes with a bunch of new features to enjoy.

According to a new trailer dropped onto the official Call of Duty YouTube Channel, Season 3 will add the highly anticipated four-player squads mode to Warzone. We already knew that Activision was planning on increasing the squad size, as Infinity Ward co-head, Patrick Kelly teased back in early March that the developers were planning on adding larger squads and ultimately 200 player matches.

As for Season 3, Infinity Ward and Activision are pumping out some fresh content for both Warzone players and Modern Warfare players. Warzone players will be able to use some new weapons and skins, which include silenced and non-silenced versions of every weapon type. There will also be brand new guns and blueprints inside in supply boxes. As for Modern Warfare players, Infinity Ward is introducing three new 6v6 maps, some are remastered of old classic maps, and some are down-scaled maps from Ground War. Season 3 will begin on April 8th for every platform the games playable on.

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Zoom admits data was 'mistakenly' routed through China

Anthony Garreffa | Privacy & Rights | Apr 7, 2020 at 10:37 pm CDT

Zoom is in serious doo-doo right now, with the videop conferencing provider now admitting that users' calls from around the world were routed through China.

Zoom admits data was 'mistakenly' routed through China 08 | TweakTown.com

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan admitted that his company "mistakenly" routed calls through China, he explained: "In our urgency to come to the aid of people around the world during this unprecedented pandemic, we added server capacity and deployed it quickly - starting in China, where the outbreak began".

Yuan continued: "In that process, we failed to fully implement our usual geo-fencing best practices. As a result, it is possible certain meetings were allowed to connect to systems in China, where they should not have been able to connect".

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Google uses your location data to ensure you obey stay-at-home orders

Anthony Garreffa | Connectivity & Communications | Apr 7, 2020 at 10:22 pm CDT

We know governments of the world are wanting to use as much power at their disposal to track, and hopefully stem the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus -- but how far is too far? We last heard the talks were happening to use mobile data to track users' location, but it seems this is now in full effect.

Google uses your location data to ensure you obey stay-at-home orders 10 | TweakTown.com

Google is now using Google Maps location data from people who have previously agreed to share their history, to see who is staying and working at home. In Google's new COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports, the search giant is using anonymized data from people in 131 countries, in order to see their movement trends.

Google adds that "No personally identifiable information will be made available at any point". Because we haven't heard that before.

In the new Community Mobility Reports, Google says that the aim of it is to provide public health officials an insight into what has changed in "response to policies aimed at combating COVID-19. The reports chart movement trends over time by geography, across different categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential".

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WHO official: 'we may have to enter homes and remove family members'

Anthony Garreffa | Science, Space & Robotics | Apr 7, 2020 at 10:00 pm CDT

It feels like we're in an altered reality right now, but this is real -- a World Health Organization (WHO) official has said that they may have to "enter homes and remove family members" because of the novel coronavirus. Watch it with your own eyes:

Carlson says: "In response to the spread of coronavirus, authorities may have to enter peoples' homes and remove family members -- presumably, by force". On March 30, Dr. Michael Ryan who is an Executive Director at the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, said something that I'm not seeing much coverage of.

The WHO official said: "in most parts of the world, due to lockdown, most of the transmission that's actually happening in many countries now is happening in the household, at family level. In some senses, transmission has been taken off the streets and pushed back into family units, now we need to go and look in families and find those people who may be sick and remove them, and isolate them, in a safe and dignified manner".

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PlayStation 5 DualSense controller vs PS4 DualShock 4 comparison

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Apr 7, 2020 at 05:49 pm CDT

Sony just revealed the PlayStation 5's new DualSense controller, and it's so transformative that it's kicking off a new generation of controller design. But how does it compare to the PS4's DualShock 4?

Side-by-side comparisons show just how much the PlayStation 5's new DualSense controller has changed over the DualShock 4. The Dualsense is an upgrade on almost every level. It's shaped more like an Xbox controller with are more ergonomic fang-style grip, its buttons are thicker and more tactile--not to mention enhanced with new adaptive triggers--and it packs a boosted battery. There's also USB-C for improved and convenient charging.

We don't know if the DualSense will have an AUX port (probably not), but it features a built-in microphone as past patents suggested. All in all it's very similar to the DualShock 4 in terms of functionality, but its shape has been adjusted quite a bit for a more comfortable and interactive feel.

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Xbox Series X pricing will be agile, Phil Spencer says

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Apr 7, 2020 at 04:59 pm CDT

Microsoft says it's being careful about the Xbox Series X's price this time around. It's not eager to re-live the infamous E3 2013 catastrophe.

Xbox Series X pricing will be agile, Phil Spencer says 3 | TweakTown.com

In a consumer industry, cost is king. Microsoft and Sony understand that console sales rely on costs. So how much will the Xbox Series X be priced at? No one knows for sure, but Microsoft says it's willing to adjust and be flexible.

"We're going to make sure we stay agile on our pricing and that we have a good plan going into launch," Phil Spencer said in a recent IGN Unlocked interview.

"There were other policy things into the Xbox One and some focus things in terms of learning that I don't think it's just about price. You obviously have to be at a competitive price, you have to have an offering that meets the needs of the customers that you want and exceeds what they expected, and I feel good about our response."

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