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Apple could acquire the entertainment company, Netflix. IANS

San Francisco, Jan 1, 2018: Contrary to the reports of Apple launching a video subscription product in 2018 to counter Netflix, analysts from Citi have said that the iPhone maker could possibly buy the entertainment company by taking advantage of US President Donald Trump’s corporate tax cut.

According to Citi analysts, Jim Suva and Asiya Merchant, there is a 40 per cent likelihood that Apple will acquire Netflix. Under the new taxing rules, the tech giant will be able to repatriate about $220 billion in cash to the US.


“The firm has too much cash — nearly $250 billion — growing at $50 billion a year. This is a good problem to have,” Suva and Merchant were quoted as saying.

“Historically, Apple has avoided repatriating cash to the US to avoid high taxation. As such, tax reform may allow Apple to put this cash to use. With over 90 per cent of its cash sitting overseas, a one-time 10 per cent repatriation tax would give Apple $220 billion for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) or buybacks,” they added.

A report in business insider said that iTunes has been a huge hit for the company, but viewers have migrated increasingly to services like Netflix, Amazon or Hulu to watch their favourite shows leaving Apple struggling to offer a compelling TV or movie offering.

In September 2017, reports poured in that Apple might lease the Culver Studios in California as it plans to pour $1 billion into TV and movie productions.

The battle for best movie scripts and television projects intensified between tech giants in the Silicon Valley. Google-owned YouTube is already producing original television series and Amazon has won Oscars for “Manchester by the Sea” show.

The iPhone maker has already hired top Hollywood talent Sony duo Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to lead its Hollywood push and is reportedly developing a new TV show that will star Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. (IANS)


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NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has for the first time spotted signs of a planet transiting a star outside of the Milky Way galaxy, opening up a new avenue to search for exoplanets at greater distances than ever before.

The possible exoplanet -- or planets outside of our Solar System -- candidate is located in the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51), also called the Whirlpool Galaxy because of its distinctive profile, NASA said in a statement.

Astronomers have, so far, found all other known exoplanets and exoplanet candidates in the Milky Way galaxy, almost all of them less than about 3,000 light-years from Earth.

An exoplanet in M51 would be about 28 million light-years away, meaning it would be thousands of times farther away than those in the Milky Way, NASA said.

"We are trying to open up a whole new arena for finding other worlds by searching for planet candidates at X-ray wavelengths, a strategy that makes it possible to discover them in other galaxies," said Rosanne Di Stefano of the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard and Smithsonian (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the study.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The exoplanet candidate was spotted in a binary system called M51-ULS-1, located in M51. This binary system contains a black hole or neutron star orbiting a companion star with a mass about 20 times that of the Sun. The X-ray transit they found using Chandra data lasted about three hours, during which the X-ray emission decreased to zero.

Based on this and other information, the team estimates the exoplanet candidate in M51-ULS-1 would be roughly the size of Saturn and orbit the neutron star or black hole at about twice the distance of Saturn from the Sun.

The team looked for X-ray transits in three galaxies beyond the Milky Way galaxy, using both Chandra and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. Their search covered 55 systems in M51, 64 systems in Messier 101 (the "Pinwheel" galaxy), and 119 systems in Messier 104 (the "Sombrero" galaxy).

However, more data would be needed to verify the interpretation as an extragalactic exoplanet. One challenge is that the planet candidate's large orbit means it would not cross in front of its binary partner again for about 70 years, thwarting any attempts for a confirming observation for decades, NASA said.

Named in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the Chandra X-ray Observatory is the world's most powerful X-ray telescope. It has eight times greater resolution and is able to detect sources more than 20-times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope.

Known to the world as Chandra (which means "moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit), Chandrasekhar was widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the twentieth century. (IANS/JB)


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