“I can’t tell you how much vaccine we have,” new CDC head says

Patrick
Enlarge / A registered nurse practitioner holds up a sign and a flag asking for another patient to dose with the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine as well as a more vaccine doses at a vaccination site in Seattle, Washington on January 24, 2021.

With the country’s vaccine rollout in utter disorder, health officials in the Biden administration are cautiously trying to both manage expectations and express optimism.

In a series of interviews over the weekend, officials warned that states could face vaccine shortages in the short term, with some states’ supplies already running low—or completely running

A curious observer’s guide to quantum mechanics, pt. 3: Rose colored glasses 

Patrick

Getty Images / Aurich Lawson

One of the quietest revolutions of our current century has been the entry of quantum mechanics into our everyday technology. It used to be that quantum effects were confined to physics laboratories and delicate experiments. But modern technology increasingly relies on quantum mechanics for its basic operation, and the importance of quantum effects will only grow in the decades to come. As such, physicist Miguel F. Morales has taken on the herculean task of explaining quantum mechanics to the rest of us laymen in this seven-part series (no math, we promise). Below is the third

DDoSers are abusing Microsoft RDP to make attacks more powerful

Patrick
Enlarge / Hacker attacking server or database. Network security, Database secure and personal data protection

DDoS-for-hire services are abusing the Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol to increase the firepower of distributed denial-of-service attacks that paralyze websites and other online services, a security firm said this week.

Typically abbreviated as RDP, Remote Desktop Protocol is the underpinning for a Microsoft Windows feature that allows one device to log into another device over the Internet. RDP is mostly used by businesses to save employees the cost or hassle of having to be physically present when accessing a computer.

As is typical with many

CenturyLink, Frontier missed FCC broadband deadlines in dozens of states

Patrick
Enlarge / A CenturyLink service van parked in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on May 2, 2019.

CenturyLink and Frontier Communications have again failed to meet broadband-deployment deadlines in dozens of states after taking money from the Federal Communications Commission.

When the FCC awarded Connect America Fund Phase II grants in 2015, CenturyLink accepted $505.7 million in annual support over six years in exchange for deploying broadband with 10Mbps download speeds and 1Mbps upload speeds to 1.17 million homes and businesses in 33 states. Frontier accepted $283.4 million in annual support over six years to deploy service to 659,587 homes and

Samsung is making “very large quantities” of 90Hz OLED displays for laptops

Patrick
Enlarge / The 2020 Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, which had a 4K OLED display.

Samsung

The world’s biggest OLED manufacturer is making a push for more OLED laptop screens. A press release from Samsung Display says the company is making “very large quantities of 14-inch, 90Hz OLED displays destined for laptops and notebooks, beginning in March.” Apparently, Samsung has a lot of orders coming in, and the company says that “several global IT companies are expected to release new laptops or notebooks with 90Hz OLED screens this year.”

Usually, faster-refresh-rate displays are the realm of gaming laptops, where you can get

CBS All Access is dead, long live Paramount+: “New” streaming service launches March 4

Patrick
Enlarge / Star Trek: Picard will be offered on the new/old streaming service.

It’s time for yet another streaming service—sort of. ViacomCBS has announced that Paramount+ will launch on March 4, but it’s more of an evolution than a wholly new service, as it replaces and expands upon the company’s previous service, CBS All Access.

The move to replace CBS All Access was announced several months ago. It’s in large part a result of the completion of the merger between CBS and Viacom, as CBS All Access launched before that merger, but the merger greatly increased the content library that

With latest Starlink launch, SpaceX to set record for rapid reuse

Patrick
Enlarge / Falcon 9, booster 1051, breaking through the sound barrier on December 13, 2020. It’s back for an eighth launch a little more than a month later.

SpaceX is continuing to make strides as it pushes the boundaries of reusing the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket.

On Wednesday morning, the company plans to launch its next batch of 60 Starlink satellites, reusing booster No. 1051. This will in fact be the eighth flight of this Falcon 9 rocket first stage—setting a new record for the number of uses of any single rocket core. SpaceX anticipates reaching the

Virgin Orbit just earned the orbit part of its name

Patrick
Enlarge / LauncherOne heads to orbit after dropping from its carrier aircraft on Sunday.

Virgin Orbit

On Sunday afternoon, Virgin Orbit joined the rare club of companies that have privately developed a rocket and successfully launched it into orbit. Moreover, with its LauncherOne rocket dropped from a 747 aircraft, the California-based company has become the first to reach orbit with an air-launched, liquid-fueled rocket.

“This magnificent flight is the culmination of many years of hard work and will also unleash a whole new generation of innovators on the path to orbit,” said Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the company.

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