Tagged in: News

Who Raises AIDS Medication By 5500%? This Guy.

A former hedge fund financier has stirred Internet outrage after purchasing the rights to a drug used for treating AIDS patients and hiking the prices overnight by a whopping 5500% from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Martin Shkreli, who is a former hedge fund manager and the current CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, bought the rights to Daraprim over a month ago for $55 million and has now changed the prices in an atrocious manner.
 
Since the announcement, the 32-year-old former wolf of Wall Street has received severe backlash from every corner, especially considering that the drug is used to treat a life-threatening infection and is majorly depended on by AIDS patients including infants who are already struggling with the dangerous disease.
 
However, in his always-defiance stance, Shkreli told reporters that the price hike was to keep his company in business and turn a profit on the drug. He did not care, not for a second that the bizarre price hike would not only cost more lives, but would have AIDS patients spending thousands of dollars annually to afford the 62-year-old drug, which costs around $1 to produce.
 

Justifying his company’s disgraceful move to hike the prices, Shkreli went on to say that AIDS patients use the Daraprim drug for less than 12 months and the new price was just in line with any other drug used to treat such rare diseases. He went on to suggest that the decision was a great business move that would not only benefit his company, but all the stakeholders in the industry.
 
Critics have been on Shkreli’s neck for his controversial business move with many pointing out that this illogical decision would put many babies and people with compromised immune systems including AIDS and cancer patients at high risk. For instance, a heated exchange ensued between Fierce Biotech editor John Carroll and Shkreli, who did not properly justify his company’s move, but rather chose to call Carroll a ‘moron who is irrelevant and doesn’t think logically’. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also weighed on the matter strongly criticizing the price hike and even calling it ‘outrageous’.
 
While many people are urging Shkreli to rethink the new pricing structure to this important drug, it remains to be seen what action would be taken against Shkreli, considering that he had been forced out of the last drug company he founded, Retrophin, just for the same reason, buying important drugs and increasing their prices absurdly.
 

 

Microsoft’s Project Astoria Not Progressing As Planned

At the Build Conference last year, Microsoft made an announcement to make tools available that will be able to port apps from other platforms like Android or iOS. Now it seems the project dubbed Astoria, the Android tool, is not going be available for the time being, or at all.
 
It’s now being reported from Windows Central that Astoria is being postponed for an indefinite period of time or may have been closed down for good. Microsoft hasn’t made any statement regarding this news though one source said that the porting of the Android app is not going as intended. It also seems that Android subsystem was completely removed from the Windows 10 Build 10586.
 
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Why Was Astoria Important?
 
Everyone knows that the list of mobile apps in Windows 10 is on the same level with iOS and Android. And it is rumored that big-name developers have pulled support for the striving phone platform of Microsoft. Westminster for Web apps porting, Islandwood for iOS apps, Project Astoria for Android, and Centennial for Win32 apps were all trying to widen the Mobile app support for Windows 10.
 

There are a lot of theories at the present trying to determine the reason for the suspension of Project Astoria. Some of them are that the developers of the Windows app are not being happy about Astoria existing or there were some issues with the performance when the Android subsystem was being installed in Windows 10.
 
Windows Central got a statement from a Microsoft spokesperson saying that they are dedicated to present developers with a lot of options to take their apps to the Windows Platform, plus bridges will be accessible now for iOS, Web, and soon with Win32. Even though they’re not ready with the Astoria Bridge, there are other tools available which offer excellent options to developers.
 
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It has been seen before that emulation of an app is not as good of a solution when it comes to inflation of the app catalog for a particular platform. Except for OS X Rosetta Power PC apps, emulation usually results in versions of reduced quality as compared to that under the original OS. Also, it gives little incentive to developers in going for better-designed apps that are more UI efficient and also build on the usability of the platform’s optimal code. This happened when Blackberry introduced a small fraction of Android support, which could not compete, thereby failing completely.
 
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Research conducted by IDC in February 2015 showed that about 96.3% of the world market was found coalescing around iOS and Android. The shipment of Windows phones that had improved to some extent, the market share has now fallen below 3%. Even though the customers are loyal, the deficiency of healthy apps has made it very hard for Windows OS to gain its footing back.
 
At the end of the day, we are not even sure if it matters or not. In the Build Conference, when asked the readers if they cared that Android and iOS apps can be run in Windows 10 Mobile as well, the answer received from many people was “not really.” Simply said that what makes Windows Phones unique is the fact that it has an interesting UI. Having Android apps on it will make it common, and that’s not their goal here.
 

 

Joan Rivers Dies After Life Support Removed

The world of comedy has definitely suffered a great loss as Joan Rivers, one of Hollywood’s most legendary comedy pioneers, has recently passed away after being taken off life support a week after her heart stopped beating. Her daughter Melissa has had to make this heartbreaking decision to take her mother off life support.
 
The “Fashion Police” host has spent her last days of life in a private room at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, where she was dependent on machines to stay alive. Joan Rivers was 81 years when she passed away, being kept comfortable in her room after leaving the intensive care unit.
 
The 81 year-old star was rushed to the hospital after going through a throat procedure in a private clinic. She stopped breathing during the surgery and was temporarily in critical condition. Born in 1923, Rivers was still extremely active in the comedy world and on the television screen. She was highly involved with everything, from ease fashion police and critiquing fashion to starring with her daughter Melissa on a weekly YouTube talk show called “In bed with Joan”.
 
Rivers will forever be known for her irreverent comedy, her unique sense of humor and her open-minded personality. First appearing on the scene in 1965 on the “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson, she immediately began to trail-blaze the landscape for female comedians and off-color humor enthusiasts everywhere.
 
Joan was highly regarded as a Hollywood legend. Her insights, one-liners and bold but lovable sense of humor will live forever in the history of comedy. Joan will always be known as an enthusiastic woman who enjoyed living each day at its fullest. As Melissa Rivers said in a statement, “Joan’s greatest joy in life was to make people happy and make them laugh.” Hollywood has definitely suffered a huge loss, but we are reminded by Joan’s daughter that “My mother’s final wish would be that we return to laughing as soon as possible.”