Microsoft declined to comment on rumors that it's about to release an iPad version of its Office productivity suite. "We have nothing to share at this time," a Microsoft spokesperson told Ars via e-mail—a statement that will do nothing to curb the apparent enthusiasm for the as-yet-unannounced iOS app. On Tuesday morning, The Daily published a photo that appeared to show Microsoft Office running on an iPad. The publication cited sources who claimed the app would soon be submitted for approval in the App Store; the design team has allegedly wrapped up the project and it "could be released in the coming weeks." The Daily also claimed to have had some hands-on time with a "working prototype" of the software, noting that the interface was similar to Microsoft's OneNote app. "Word, Excel and PowerPoint files can be created and edited locally and online. But it’s unclear if Microsoft will support other Office apps at launch or at all," the site wrote. Ars was unable to obtain … [Read more...] about “Leaked” Office iPad app seems questionable, and Microsoft is staying mum (Updated)
For decades, cosmologists have wondered if the large-scale structure of the universe is a fractal — that is, if it looks the same no matter how large the scale. After completing massive surveys of galaxies, scientists finally have an answer: No, but kind of, in a way. In the early 20th century, astronomers — beginning with Edwin Hubble and his discovery of the enormous distance to Andromeda , the closest galaxy to our own Milky Way — started to realize that the universe is almost unimaginably vast. They also learned that we can see galaxies scattered about, both near and far. And so, naturally, a question arose: Is there any sort of pattern to the arrangement of those galaxies, or is it totally random? The universe: Big Bang to now in 10 easy steps At first, it looked random. Astronomers saw giant galaxy clusters , each containing a thousand or more galaxies. And there were also much smaller groups of galaxies, and galaxies hanging out by themselves. … [Read more...] about Is there a pattern to the universe?
At the beginning of this week’s Epic v. Apple trial, Apple described Epic’s lawsuit as an “assault” on the entire iOS philosophy. One of the iPhone and iPad’s defining features is a curated ecosystem (or, from a different perspective, a walled garden). A loss for Apple could require it to allow side-loaded apps and alternative app stores, potentially including Epic’s own Epic Games Store. Apple says that would damage the privacy and security that iOS is known for, making Apple spend more money to fix new problems that crop up. Epic spent the fourth day of trial offering its counter-narrative: the iOS App Store isn’t actually very good. Calling two Apple executives to the stand, Epic’s attorneys took jabs at everything from the update review process to Apple allegedly leaking Marshmello’s Fortnite concert playlist. They pushed Apple to justify its claims about privacy and security by producing hard research demonstrating threats and breaches — which Apple largely didn’t do. … [Read more...] about Epic needs to tarnish Apple’s App Store halo
It has been a while since we were last able to do an episode of "Unsolved Mysteries," our series wherein we ask creators to take us on a journey into the deeper and more mysterious aspects of their created universes (our most recent episode was about the unsolved mysteries of Mortal Kombat ). But we had an opportunity fall into our laps that was just too good to pass up, though unlike our past couple of episodes, this one isn't (entirely) about video games. This time, we're sitting down with author Dan Abnett to discuss some unsolved mysteries of the dark far-future Warhammer universe —and man, did he deliver. Questions for the question god We fielded our questions from a variety of places, including the /r/Warhammer40k and /r/40kLore subreddits, which resulted in what might generously be described as a lot of material . We were a little nervous about asking Dan to go through almost a dozen pages of far-out 40k geekery, but Dan—whose blessed pen is clearly guided by … [Read more...] about Unsolved mysteries of the Warhammer 40k universe with loremaster Dan Abnett
On Anzac Day, former cybermoat conjurer and secretary of the Department of Home Affairs Mike Pezzullo issued a provocative missive on the beating of the drums of war . A nanosecond of thought is all that is needed to reveal the target of the missive -- China -- and as if to hammer the point home, this week saw Beijing cut off China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue talks. Then the Australian prime minister, in a revealing feat of geopolitical misspeaking, used the words "one country, two systems" when talking about Taiwan. One country, two systems is the way Beijing handles its special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. This is the backdrop upon which two Vocus executives spoke this week at CommsDay Summit, with both reinforcing the company's pitch as being able to provide sovereignty to its customers. "Sovereignty is a factor which Vocus increasingly sees as a competitive advantage in a market where security is critical to success," Vocus general … [Read more...] about Vocus turning to sovereignty as its competitive advantage