Instagram Purges Its Platform of Some Popular Anti-Vaccine Hashtags, But Others Are Still Thriving

Following an investigative report by the Atlantic on the prevalence of misinformation on Instagram, the company appears to be scrubbing its platform of some popular anti-vaxxer content.

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Source: Gizmodo – Instagram Purges Its Platform of Some Popular Anti-Vaccine Hashtags, But Others Are Still Thriving

DeviluitionX: Enjoying The 23 Year Old Diablo Game Atop An Open-Source Engine

The latest open-source game engine project working to re-implement a legendary commercial game is DeviluitionX. This new effort is an open-source re-implementation of Blizzard’s Diablo game from 1996 while now working on Linux and other operating systems nicely…

Source: Phoronix – DeviluitionX: Enjoying The 23 Year Old Diablo Game Atop An Open-Source Engine

'Battlefield V' gameplay trailer shows its take on battle royale

In the wake of seemingly endless teases and leaks, DICE and EA are ready to show gameplay from Battlefield V’s imminent Firestorm battle royale mode. True to the scoops, it’s not quite a cookie-cutter BR experience. While you’ll have familiar mecha…

Source: Engadget – ‘Battlefield V’ gameplay trailer shows its take on battle royale

Apple's Plan For Its New TV Service: Sell Other People's TV Services

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Recode: After years of circling the TV business, Apple is finally ready to make its big splash: On Monday it will unveil its new video strategy, along with some of the new big-budget TV shows it is funding itself. One thing Apple won’t do is unveil a serious competitor to Netflix, Hulu, Disney, or any other entertainment giant trying to sell streaming video subscriptions to consumers. Instead, Apple’s main focus — at least for now — will be helping other people sell streaming video subscriptions and taking a cut of the transaction. Apple may also sell its own shows, at least as part of a bundle of other services. But for now, Apple’s original shows and movies should be considered very expensive giveaways, not the core product.

All of this might very well work. Apple has an installed base of 1.4 billion users, and some of them will buy the things Apple promotes: Look at the success of Apple Music, which launched seven years after Spotify but quickly amassed 50 million subscribers due to a free trial period and prominent real estate on Apple’s devices. Another reason this could work: Amazon has already been very successful with its own version of the same idea. Facebook is also bullish on selling TV subscriptions and is pushing would-be partners to sign up so it can launch later this spring or summer, according to industry sources. Similarly, Comcast (which is a minority investor in Vox Media, which owns this site) is rolling out Flex, a $5-a-month service that gives you a bunch of free content (some of which you can also get other places) and the ability to easily buy HBO, Showtime, etc. Instead of offering exclusive content, Comcast is offering subscribers a Roku-like streaming box. According to people who’ve talked to Apple about its plans, Apple’s new TV service will consist of selling TV subscription apps surrounded by millions of other apps in its main app store. “Apple plans on making a new storefront that’s much more prominent for those who use Apple TV boxes and other Apple hardware,” reports Recode. “It will also be able to offer its own bundles — for instance, it could offer a package of HBO, Showtime, and Starz at a price that’s lower than you’d pay for each pay TV service on its own.”

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Source: Slashdot – Apple’s Plan For Its New TV Service: Sell Other People’s TV Services

Vampire: the Masquerade– Bloodlines Is Getting A Sequel, And It Looks Pretty Good

Cult classic Vampire: the Masquerade– Bloodlines is getting a sequel. The 2004 roleplaying game left a lasting impression on roleplaying fans despite some clumsy gameplay. I spent time with the folks at Paradox Interactive and developer Hardsuit Labs to ask questions and see the game in action. It captures much of the…

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Source: Kotaku – Vampire: the Masquerade– Bloodlines Is Getting A Sequel, And It Looks Pretty Good

Tesla's 'sustainable' referral program limits free Supercharging

When Tesla axed its original referral program because it was getting too expensive to keep up, Elon Musk said the company isn’t replacing it with a new one. The automaker must have realized that having a reasonable one in place is better than having…

Source: Engadget – Tesla’s ‘sustainable’ referral program limits free Supercharging

Hundreds of Thousands of Medtronic Defibrillators Could Be Vulnerable to Hacking Due to Flaw

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has issued an alert that some Medtronic implanted defibrillators contain vulnerabilities that would allow them exploited by attackers who had the right knowledge of the devices and close proximity to an individual possessing one.…

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Source: Gizmodo – Hundreds of Thousands of Medtronic Defibrillators Could Be Vulnerable to Hacking Due to Flaw

First Medical Device To Treat Alzheimer's Is Up For Approval By the FDA

the_newsbeagle writes: An FDA advisory committee met today to consider approving the NeuroAD device, which is supposed to help with the cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The device uses a combination of brain stimulation and cognitive training tasks to strengthen the neural circuits involved in language, memory, and other components of cognition. The treatment requires patients to come to the clinic daily for 1-hour sessions. Regulators in Israel and Europe have already approved the device. The CEO of the company behind the device, Neuronix, says that they’re not attempting to cure the underlying biological causes of Alzheimer’s. “We’re attempting to modify the course of the disease,” he says. The cognitive improvements last for up to a year, after which they fade away.

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Source: Slashdot – First Medical Device To Treat Alzheimer’s Is Up For Approval By the FDA

A Messy Star Trek: Discovery Cannot Compare to the Mess That Is Michael Burnham's Life

For better or worse, tonight’s Star Trek: Discovery blew the lid off of the biggest plot threads of the season, as quickly as it could. While we got a bunch of answers in the mania to rush from one twist to the next, it also raised another question, perhaps its ultimate: Can any other Star Trek protagonist’s wild life…

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Source: io9 – A Messy Star Trek: Discovery Cannot Compare to the Mess That Is Michael Burnham’s Life

750,000 Medtronic Defibrillators Vulnerable To Hacking

The Homeland Security Department has issued an alert Thursday describing two types of computer-hacking vulnerabilities in 16 different models of Medtronic implantable defibrillators sold around the world, including some still on the market today. The vulnerability also affects bedside monitors that read data from the devices in patients’ homes and in-office programming computers used by doctors. From the report: Medtronic recommends that patients only use bedside monitors obtained from a doctor or from Medtronic directly, and to keep it plugged in so it can receive software updates, and that they maintain “good physical control” over the monitor. Implantable defibrillators are complex, battery-run computers implanted in patients’ upper chests to monitor the heart and send electric pulses or high-voltage shocks to prevent sudden cardiac death and treat abnormal heart beats. The vulnerabilities announced Thursday do not affect Medtronic pacemakers.

The more serious of the two is a vulnerability that could allow improper access to data sent between a defibrillator and an external device like an at-home monitor. The system doesn’t use formal authentication or authorization protections, which means an attacker with short-range access to the device could inject or modify data and change device settings, the advisory says. A second vulnerability allows an attacker to read sensitive data streaming out of the device, which could include the patient’s name and past health data stored on their device. The system does not use data encryption, the advisory says. (Deploying encryption in medical devices is tricky because is increases computational complexity and therefore uses the battery faster.) The FDA isn’t expected to issue a recall as the vulnerabilities are expected to be patched via a future software update.

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Source: Slashdot – 750,000 Medtronic Defibrillators Vulnerable To Hacking

Ladykiller in a Bind creator Christine Love gives a talk at GDC about sex as a reward in games.

Ladykiller in a Bind creator Christine Love gives a talk at GDC about sex as a reward in games. “The problem with ‘the chase’ is that it’s one-sided,” Love explained to a room of Sexy Microtalks attendees. Love instead suggests making sex a crucial and indispensible aspect of gameplay, not just a reward. When sex is…

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Source: Kotaku – Ladykiller in a Bind creator Christine Love gives a talk at GDC about sex as a reward in games.

Nintendo's Labo VR Kit Is Its Wildest Cardboard Adventure Yet

With its first two kits, Nintendo has already elevated a medium that usually spends most of its life sitting in a recycle bin. Now with the new cardboard Labo VR Kit, on top of adding a whole new dimension of gaming to the Switch’s arsenal, with designs and materials to make cardboard birds, elephants, blasters, and…

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Source: Gizmodo – Nintendo’s Labo VR Kit Is Its Wildest Cardboard Adventure Yet

Nintendo's Labo turns the Switch into a perfect VR gateway

Nintendo proved that its cardboard Labo kits could actually be decent gaming accessories — especially for kids. But the idea of using Labo to bring VR to the Switch sounds even more far-fetched. Could an under-powered system with a low-resolutio…

Source: Engadget – Nintendo’s Labo turns the Switch into a perfect VR gateway

Microsoft Boots Up the First 'DNA Drive' For Storing Data

Since 2016, Microsoft has been working with the University of Washington to develop the first device to automatically encode digital information into DNA and back to bits again. “So far, DNA storage has been carried out by hand in the lab,” reports MIT Technology Review. But now Microsoft and researchers at the University of Washington “say they created a machine that converts electronic bits to DNA and back without a person involved.” From the report: The gadget, made from about $10,000 in parts, uses glass bottles of chemicals to build DNA strands, and a tiny sequencing machine from Oxford Nanopore to read them out again. According to a publication on March 21 in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, the team was able to store and retrieve just a single word — “hello” — or five bytes of data. What’s more, the process took 21 hours, mostly because of the slow chemical reactions involved in writing DNA. While the team considered that a success for their prototype, a commercially useful DNA storage system would have to store data millions of times faster.

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Source: Slashdot – Microsoft Boots Up the First ‘DNA Drive’ For Storing Data

GCC 9 libstdc++ Lands The C++17 Parallel Algorithms Implementation From Intel

While the release of GCC 9 (v9.1) is just a few weeks ago, a late addition to this annual compiler collection update is its C++ standard library now having a C++17 parallel algorithms implementation thanks to Intel developers…

Source: Phoronix – GCC 9 libstdc++ Lands The C++17 Parallel Algorithms Implementation From Intel

Sound BlasterX G6 Review

Audio Science Review has tested the Sound BlasterX G6 and found it to be surprisingly good for a budget device in a feature-filled package. During DAC testing it was discovered that the device’s SINAD would rocket up to 112 dB if the level was dialed down by 2 dBFS (digitally.) Linearity was spot on but intermodulation distortion was a concern. Amirm discovered that dialing down the device by 2dBFS fixed the issue. He speculated that “The G6 is USB powered and likely doesn’t have enough capacitance in its DC input to ride out the lasting peaks at low frequencies.”

The headphone amplifier measured great, and the output was decent but “there is no sensation of infinite power and you would be operating near or at max volume” when using the amp with a pair of Sennheiser HD-650 headphones. The last issue that irritated him was the lack of a properly working ASIO driver on Creative’s website. He really liked the Sound BlasterX G6 and the review is full of charts and measurements conducted with a $28,300 Audio Precision APx555.



ADC Audio Measurements I was pleased that feeding the G6 2 volt, resulted in 0 dBFS showing no overflow. Performance though is not all that great with SINAD in the high 70s. We have lots of distortion components together with mains leakage. Compared to high-end products, we are short some 40 dB! Definitely not splitting hairs here.

Discussion

Source: [H]ardOCP – Sound BlasterX G6 Review