Pfizer and BioNTech coronavirus vaccine delivers promising immune response in trial

Another coronavirus vaccine candidate has shown promising results in a Phase 1/2 trial conducted in the US. An mRNA experimental drug made by BioNTech, which partnered with Pfizer for the development of the drug, proved it can deliver the neutralizing antibodies that would be able to block the coronavirus and prevent infection. According to the data the two companies released, including the full study for the clinical trial, various doses of the test drug can elicit a better immune response than the one observed in COVID-19 survivors.

After Inovio’s promising coronavirus vaccine results earlier this week, Pfizer and BioNTech announced similar results for an ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical trial. The two companies started the US part of the trial in early May, days after a similar test began in Germany. The scientists observed neutralizing antibodies in volunteers who received the BNT162b1 drug that were at higher levels than similar antibodies from COVID-19 survivors. The vaccine candidate encodes an optimized SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding (RBD) antigen, and the immune system creates antibodies that should be able to block the virus from binding to cells, thus preventing infection.

BNT162b1 is the most advanced of four vaccine candidates from BioNTech’s BNT162 mRNA vaccine program. Each of them uses a unique combination of mRNA and target antigen, the two companies explained in a press release.

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Pfizer and BioNTech coronavirus vaccine delivers promising immune response in trial originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 1 Jul 2020 at 22:08:25 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Spotify Premium Duo is a discounted family plan, but for couples

Spotify announced a new Premium Duo plan on Wednesday that lets two people have their own accounts under the same plan for $12.99/month. Spotify Premium Duo also comes with an exclusive Duo Mix playlist that combines your favorite music with the top tunes of your partner or roommate. In order to sign up for Premium Duo, you have to live at the same address as the other user.

Attempting to co-manage a single subscription service with a significant other can be fraught with peril. Plenty of us have been victims of algorithms that seem to favor the other member of the household, which is why having separate profiles is often a necessity. Unfortunately, not every service has individual profiles, but paying for two subscriptions in one household isn’t a great alternative either. That’s why Spotify’s new Premium Duo plan is the perfect compromise for couples who want to preserve their algorithms without wasting any extra money.

Designed for pairs living at the same address, Premium Duo gives each individual their own Premium account under one plan for $12.99, which is just $3 more expensive than a standard Premium plan. Although the plan was available in select markets prior to today, it’s rolling out wide to 55 new countries on Wednesday.

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Spotify Premium Duo is a discounted family plan, but for couples originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 1 Jul 2020 at 21:06:24 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Google Maps gets updated UI for Android Auto on smartphone

Starting with Google Maps version 10.45, a slightly updated interface appears when using the app through the Android Auto standalone app. The update gets a slightly new appearance with updated buttons and more floaty signs and menus. As reported by Android Police, the directions and signs during navigations now have rounded corners and take up less space so you can still see some of the map in the back. At the same time, the update makes landscape navigation better. Directions don’t take up the length of the screen and popping up the settings menu will no longer cover the whole…

Tech's biggest CEOs agree to appear at House antitrust hearing

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Apple’s Tim Cook, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai have all reportedly agreed to testify at a House antitrust hearing in late July. According to Kara Swisher (The New York Times, Recode), Rep. David Cicilline told her in an interview that the CEOs of the biggest tech companies in the world will appear in front of the Judiciary Committee. A spokesperson for the committee has also confirmed their attendance to CNBC.

Cicilline, who has become one of the biggest critics of the enormous power tech wields, said that Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Tim Cook of Apple will testify in front of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee.

— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) July 1, 2020

If you’ll recall, the House has launched an investigation into the companies amid concerns that the tech giants are suppressing competition. Based on a previous Politico report, Cook was the last one to confirm his attendance. If Cook had declined to attend,

After recovering from coronavirus, Tom Hanks has a simple request: Wear your face mask

Tom Hanks, who was one of the first celebrities to come forward with a positive coronavirus diagnosis, has a simple message for people who are refusing to wear a face mask: “Don’t be a prick.” Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson both tested positive for the coronavirus but quickly recovered. Hanks made the comments during a promotional appearance for his new movie, the Apple TV+ film Greyhound.

Tom Hanks may have been the first celebrity to publicize his positive coronavirus diagnosis, which the actor did back in March. He’s since recovered, along with his wife and fellow actress Rita Wilson, and has since donated his blood to researchers in case it helps in their work on a vaccine for the coronavirus.

Now, things are somewhat back to normal for the journeyman actor — he was the first “host” for Saturday Night Live’s inaugural episode that kicked off its recent socially distanced season, and he’s also the star of a new Apple TV+ movie (Greyhound, a World War II movie in which Hanks plays a Navy captain charged with protecting a convoy of ships carrying thousands of soldiers and supplies across the Atlantic) which debuts on the streamer on July 10. Meantime, as part of making the rounds with the press to promote the new movie, Hanks also has made some remarks about the current coronavirus pandemic — and he has a simple message for people who are resistant to wearing face masks.

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After recovering from coronavirus, Tom Hanks has a simple request: Wear your face mask originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 1 Jul 2020 at 20:04:23 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Facebook shared user data with developers it shouldn't have — again

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Facebook has disclosed yet another instance of developers receiving user data they shouldn’t have. According to the company, at least a few thousand developers were able to access some personal details from “inactive” users who hadn’t used their apps in more than 90 days. 

Under Facebook’s guidelines, developers shouldn’t receive data from users once they become “inactive,” which Facebook defines as those who haven’t used the app in more than 90 days. The company introduced the rule in 2018 after the Cambridge Analytica scandal forced the social network to tighten its developer policies. 

Facebook didn’t disclose how long the “issue” had been around before it was fixed, or how many users may have been impacted. The company said it affected “approximately 5,000 developers” from “the last several months.” Facebook also didn’t specify exactly what data may have been improperly shared, but said the users had previously authorized the apps to receive the data in question.

“We haven’t seen evidence

Scientists get sneak peek at the core of a gas giant

The remains of a gas giant were spotted orbiting a nearby star, astronomers reveal. The core of the planet is all that remains, but researchers think it was once a massive gaseous planet. What lies deep within gas giant planets has long been a mystery for astronomers.

Gas giant planets like Jupiter are incredibly interesting objects. They’re also quite mysterious, as nobody really knows what is lurking deep within the miles of gas that makes up their thick atmospheres. For example, it’s thought that there’s some kind of a rocky core within Jupiter, but beyond that, researchers can’t say what features it has, how large it is, or even begin to guess what it looks like.

Our best shot at seeing the core of a gas giant may be to spot a planet’s core that has already been burned off by a nearby star. That’s exactly what researchers from the University of Warwick have done, and the planet — called TOI 849 b — is a burned-up husk of what may have once been a mighty hot Jupiter.

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Scientists get sneak peek at the core of a gas giant originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 1 Jul 2020 at 19:02:12 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

WhatsApp adds animated stickers, QR codes, and dark mode for web

WhatsApp is adding some new features to its simple yet incredibly popular apps. One of these is animated stickers. While hugely popular on several other messaging platforms like Telegram, iMessage, and WeChat, WhatsApp has only had very basic sticker support. WhatsApp will soon be rolling out its own animated sticker packs, which will be available from within the app. Another new feature is QR codes for profiles. Each account now has its own QR code, which makes it easy to scan someone’s code to add them as a contact instead of manually entering their number. Again, this feature has…

The coronavirus is making our cells grow tentacles

In the search for coronavirus treatments, scientists looked at the changes that take place at the cellular level to identify potential drugs and compounds that could have an antiviral effect. The researchers observed that cells can develop tentacles after infection with the novel coronavirus, as well as other modifications affecting kinase enzymes inside the cell. At least seven compounds were found to have an antiviral effect on the COVID-19 virus, with the team of researchers identifying 87 potential compounds.

The novel coronavirus is an incredible piece of biological machinery. It can survive for hours in the air, it can easily infect hosts by binding to a specific receptor, and it can take over individual cells to create thousands of replicas, which then proceed to infect other neighboring cells. Even worse, you might never even know if you’re infected. Symptoms can take days to appear, if they ever show up, during which time you can spread the virus to other people. That’s why you must wear a mask, as it can reduce transmission significantly.

But I digress. It turns out that SARS-CoV-2 may have another “power.” The virus makes cells grow tentacles, which sounds incredibly scary. However, it’s not that unusual for cells to develop tentacles, but the coronavirus does seem to facilitate that growth. Researchers have taken microscopic photography to highlight the abnormal growth while observing the various changes that occur inside infected cells and looking for potential therapies to stop COVID-19.

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The coronavirus is making our cells grow tentacles originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 1 Jul 2020 at 18:35:41 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Samsung just leaked the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra on its own website

Purported images of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra were discovered on Samsung’s website. Samsung is expected to announce the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra at a digital event in August, but we might have just gotten our first official look at the design. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra carries over the same design language as the Galaxy S20 series, but the camera array has gone through some drastic changes.

In the near future, Samsung will announce the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20+ (or Note 20 Ultra, depending on who you ask). Previous leaks have suggested that Samsung will hold a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event on August 5th, where the Galaxy Note 20 will make its debut alongside the Galaxy Fold 2, Galaxy Z Flip 5G, and Galaxy Watch 3 — all of which have been subjects of multiple leaks in recent months. Samsung is no stranger to having its devices leak long before they’re announced, but this week, the latest Note 20 leak actually came from within.

On Wednesday, Russian YouTuber Techno Harry spotted a surprising addition to the Galaxy Note 8 landing page on Samsung’s Russian website. At the bottom of the page, an image of an unannounced phone had suddenly appeared, and if the leaks we’ve seen are correct, it might be our first official look at the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

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Samsung just leaked the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra on its own website originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 1 Jul 2020 at 18:08:45 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Sony Xperia 1 II Review

Bottom line:
Saying that the Sony Xperia 1 II (read it as “one mark two”) is a beautiful device would be an understatement: it has sleek lines, slim and elegant profile, and it’s narrow, so you can easily grip it. Sony has also included a positively incredible camera that rivals the very best phones and in certain cases beats them. Unfortunately, all of that greatness is wrapped in disappointingly buggy and undercooked software, the phone lacks 5G connectivity plus a lot of the standard features you see on other flagships are missing. Worse yet, it is priced at an outrageous $1,200.
, , …

Sling TV responds to streaming price hikes with a one-year 'guarantee'

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One day after Google increased the cost of a base YouTube TV subscription to $65 per month, Sling TV says it will maintain the price of its streaming service for one year. As part of a new limited-time promotion, both new and existing customers won’t see the price of the company’s $30 per month Blue and Orange subscriptions increase before August 1st, 2021. The catch is you need to have an active account with Sling TV before August 1st, 2020. 

“We believe now is not the time to make our customers choose between staying informed and entertained and putting dinner on the table,” said Michael Schwimmer, the president of Sling TV. “Our hope is this 1-Year Price Guarantee will bring a sense of much-needed stability in a time that feels uncertain to us all.”

Alongside the price guarantee, new customers can take advantage of two other promotions. Until July 6th, you can sign up for a 14-day trial. Additionally, If you

Spotify Premium Duo plan allows two accounts to share one subscription

Spotify has introduced a new subscription for couples living in the same household to share a single subscription between two accounts. Called the Spotify Premium Duo plan, it is basically a version of the family plan for just 2 people. For a monthly cost of $13, two individuals can have their own separate accounts and don’t have to deal with the recommendation algorithm going wild with two different music preferences. The Duo plan basically works the same way as family plan, where Spotify requires you to have the same address for all involved accounts. Of course, just as is…

Red light treatment could save your aging eyes

Researchers discover that simple red light may be enough to recharge a person’s vision late in life, making them better able to detect colors. The research tasked two dozen people with using a red light eye treatment for just 3 minutes per day, and even that short amount of time was enough to produce measurable results. The researchers say this low-cost treatment option could be an easy way for older individuals to keep their vision working well.

As someone who has been forced to have cataract surgery at the ripe old age of… 35, I know how big of a bummer it is when our eyes decide that they’ve done enough work for a lifetime and start to shut down. We know how light can damage an eye, and how gazing at the Sun can permanently leave you with malfunctioning peepers, but new research suggests that a certain kind of light may actually have a beneficial effect.

The research, which was published in the Journals of Gerontology, reveals that certain wavelengths of light appear to have a therapeutic effect on aging eyes. More specifically, red light in small amounts can potentially reverse vision problems over time.

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Red light treatment could save your aging eyes originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 1 Jul 2020 at 17:41:45 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Samsung Lets Note20+/Ultra Design Slip

We still haven’t had any official announcements from Samsung regarding the Note20 series as of yet, expecting the company to only reveal the new phone series sometime in early to mid-August if past release dates are any indications. Yet in a surprise blunder, the company has managed to publicly upload two product images of the upcoming Note20+ or Ultra (naming uncertain) on one of its Ukrainian pages.

Whilst we usually don’t report on leaks or unofficial speculations as part of our editorial standards – a first party blunder like this is very much an exception to the rule.

The leak showcases the seemingly bigger sibling of the Note20 series as it features the full camera housing and seemingly same modules as the Galaxy S20 Ultra. There’s been a design aesthetic change as the cameras are now accentuated by a ring element around the lenses, making the modules appear more consistent with each other, even though there’s still clearly different sized lenses along with the rectangular periscope zoom module. The images showcase actual depth on the part of the ring elements, so they may extend in three dimensions.

The new gold/bronze colour also marks a return for Samsung for such a more metallic option.

We expect the Note20 series to be a minor hardware upgrade over the S20 devices, with the most defining characteristic naturally being the phone’s integrated S-Pen stylus.

Related Reading: The Samsung Galaxy S20+, S20 Ultra Exynos & Snapdragon Review: Megalomania Devices Samsung Announces Galaxy Note10 & Note10+: A Redesign With Feature Disparity Samsung Galaxy Note9 Performance & Battery Showdown: Snapdragon vs Exynos