If you haven’t yet subscribed to any of the major streaming services, first I have to ask: How have you avoided them? Second: You’ve missed the boat when it comes to trying the biggest names for free.
Streaming giant Netflix quietly did away with its 30-day trial in the U.S., according to CNET, just like Disney+, which stopped offering free trials back in June. The U.S. is not the only market where Netflix has decided to end its free trial. The company ended trial periods in Mexico and several other countries as far back as two years ago.
“Free trials are not available, but you can still sign up and take advantage of all Netflix has to offer,” Netflix’s free trial help page now reads. In a statement to CNET, a Netflix spokesperson said the company is currently looking at differen marketing promotions in the U.S. to “attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience.”
If you’re disappointed, that’s understandable. Who doesn’t like to get something for free, even if it’s for a limited time? If you’re planning on signing up for your own Netflix account, you’ll need to shell out a minimum of $9 month.
This might have to do with the fact that Netflix is currently offering specific TV shows and movies to watch for free, which it began doing in August. Current free titles include Stranger Things, Bird Box, and When They See Us, which, honestly, are worth watching whether you want to pay for Netflix or not.
It’s also worth noting that several other streaming services still offer free trials. Hulu offers one month free, while CBS All Access, Shudder, and
Clinical trials into a COVID-19 vaccine as well as research into other diseases have been delayed following a ransomware attack on a company that provides software to medical firms.
First reported Saturday by The New York Times, the attack targeted eResearchTechnology Inc., a Philadelphia-based company that specializes in clinical software. The attack is said to have been detected two weeks ago when employees discovered they were locked out of their data by ransomware.
As a result of the ransomware attack, companies using ERT’s software were also affected. Among those were IQVIA Inc., a research organization helping managing AstraZeneca plc’s coronavirus vaccine trial, and Bristol Myers Squibb Co., a drug company leading a consortium of companies developing a quick COVID-19 test.
Clinical trial patients were not affected, but researchers were forced to resort to pen and paper to track patients.
How many companies and health organizations have been affected is unknown. The Times noted that the software is used in drug trials across Europe, Asia and North America. Three-quarters of trials that led to drug approvals by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration use ERT software, according to the Times.
The form of malware is unknown. ERT ticked the box of regular ransomware responses — taking its systems offline, calling in outside cybersecurity experts and contacting the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Attacks on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic have been growing as ransomware groups attempt to leverage the serious situation to gain payments. “Healthcare is the richest target for hackers, who are never going to let the proverbial crisis go to waste,” Colin Bastable, chief executive officer of security awareness training firm Lucy Security AG, recently told SiliconANGLE. “The pandemic is going to be a big payday for many cybercriminals and state-backed bad actors.”
The most recent ransomware
University of Birmingham | Porterbrook
Trials of a hydrogen-powered train are underway in the U.K. with an initial journey successfully completed between the locations of Long Marston and Evesham in the West Midlands region of England.
The HydroFLEX train — which has been developed by a team from the University of Birmingham and Porterbrook, a rolling stock firm — uses a fuel-cell which combines hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity, heat and water.
The train has been fitted with a range of kit inside one of its carriages. This tech includes a hydrogen fuel tank, the aforementioned fuel-cell and lithium ion batteries for storage. It’s hoped that the technology will be available to retrofit trains already in use by the year 2023.
A statement issued Wednesday, published on the website of both the University of Birmingham and U.K. government, said the university was also, “developing a hydrogen and battery powered module that can be fitted underneath the train.” The idea behind this modification is that it will create more room in the carriage to host passengers.
In its own announcement, Porterbrook described the train being used in the trials as a “demonstrator unit.” Citing customer demand, the firm also said it planned to put the HydroFLEX into production. This version of the train, it added, would “be configured for operation using both overhead-electric-wires and hydrogen for non-electrified routes.”
The trials have been backed by a grant of £750,000 (around $962,362) from the U.K.’s Department of Transport, while over £1 million has already been invested in the project by the University of Birmingham and Porterbrook.
Wednesday’s news comes at the end of a month that’s seen several interesting developments in the arena of hydrogen-powered transport.
Last week, in airspace over England, a hydrogen fuel-cell plane capable of carrying passengers completed its