Smart Pacemaker Simply Dissolves Inside the Body When It's No Longer Needed
An anonymous reader writes:
A team of scientists created a novel type of temporary pacemaker -- one that dissolves on its own, without requiring any removal. In their latest research, they've paired the pacemaker with a series of wireless sensors on the skin, which should allow it to smartly monitor a patient's vital signs and adjust its pacing autonomously. Should the device continue to show promise, it could one day be used in patients undergoing cardiac surgery or who otherwise only need a pacemaker for a short while.
Last year, researchers at Northwestern University and George Washington University debuted the first version of the pacemaker. [...] In their new study, published Thursday in Science, the group has added more features to their pacemaker. According to author Igor Efimov, a professor of biomedical engineering and professor of medicine at Northwestern University, the pacemaker now comes with a "fully integrated network of wearable devices" attached to a patient's skin, four in total.
These devices not only monitor a person's heartbeat and other vital signs like body temperature -- they also wirelessly power the pacemaker and control its pacing automatically as needed. Doctors can remotely monitor the data collected by the device via a computer network. And in experiments with living rodents and dogs, as well as human hearts in the lab, the pacemaker and its closed loop system seemed to work as intended.
Tangle-Free Magnetic USB Cables Are Here
The Verge's Sean Hollister has been
testing a number of "nifty" USB cables that magnetically stick to themselves and don't get all tangled up in your drawers and bags. The only problem is "they all suck big time at data transfer, charging, or both," he writes. From the report:
This one, which also has its own built-in blue LED light and magnetic swappable tips for USB-C, micro-USB, and Lightning, won't charge most of my USB-C gadgets at all, but I was able to sling some files from an external drive at lackluster USB 2.0 speeds and charge my iPhone over Lightning. It's also got super weak coiling magnets and felt even cheaper than the rest.
This USB-C to USB-C one was pretty decent at charging, giving me 65W of USB-C PD power and had the best magnets of the bunch -- but it wouldn't connect to a Pixel 4A phone or my USB-C external drive at all. They just didn't show up on my desktop!
This USB-A to USB-C cable was the worst of the lot. Just wiggling it would disconnect anything I had plugged in, and it topped out at 10W of charging -- not the 15-18W I'd usually see with my Pixel.
Lastly, this USB-A to Lightning one seems to be a SuperCalla cable, showing up in an "Original SuperCalla" box, even though it's sold by a brand named "Tech." Slow charging, slow data, but at least it seems to stay reliably connected to my iPhone so far.
But those aren't the only style of magnetic no-tangle cable I found. I also bought this neat accordion-style one, which is perhaps the best of the bunch: I got 15W charging, and it feels better built than the rest. But it's less fun to play with, the magnets aren't as strong, and it's got a bit of an awkward shape when fully extended because the joints will always stick out. Plus, it tops out at USB 2.0 speeds of 480Mbps (or around 42MB/s in practice.) I couldn't find a C-to-C or Lightning version. [...] Right now, all I've found are these cheap-o, $10 novelty cables, and that's a real shame. The magnet design deserves better, and so do we.
NCTC Could Drop 'Cable' As Industry Group Eyes Name Change
Industry trade group the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC)
could be dropping the "cable" moniker as it eyes a potential name change. Fierce Video reports:
A trademark application filed by NCTC on May 17 shows one proposal for a new name: National Content & Technology Cooperative. An NCTC spokesperson confirmed to Fierce that the organization will be changing its name, but said it is considering a large number of options and hasn't yet settled on a final decision. The spokesperson noted it's taking time to register potential names, but some of the other choices on the table include simply "NCTC," "NCTC Online" or even sticking with its current brand of the National Cable Television Cooperative. [...] According to the application, it appears NCTC is also considering losing the image of a coaxial cable that's currently featured in its logo.
So why the potential shift away from cable? One factor could be that the industry has clearly changed since NCTC formed in 1984, with cable operators in recent years deemphasizing traditional video offerings. The "Cable Television" part of the group's name is becoming less accurate over time, said Brett Sappington, VP of Interpret. "Broadband, not television, is the cash cow for the cable industry," he told Fierce Video. "Many of the organization's members are actually moving away from offering their own video service and are, instead, focusing on broadband bundled with streaming services." [...] Along with industry changes come some shifts in perception as well. "Cable TV doesn't necessarily have a positive connotation today," Sappington noted. "In fact, many online TV services such as Sling TV or FuboTV emphasize why consumers should 'drop cable' and go with their services instead," he continued.
Corey B. Marion, Co-Founder of The Iconfactory, Dies Age 54
Designer and co-founder of The Iconfactory, Corey B. Marion,
has died following a long battle with cancer. He was 54. AppleInsider reports:
Marion founded The Iconfactory in 1996 with Talos Tsui, and Gedeon Maheux, when he was 29. For a quarter of a century, he led the firm while also designing icons -- including the company's own factory logo one -- and created a typeface based on his own handwriting. [...] The Iconfactory produces sets of icons, such as free ones commissioned by Paramount to promote a "Star Trek" film, and over 100 for Microsoft Windows XP. Corey designed logos, emojis, and wallpapers too. Plus from 1997 to 2004, he was a judge on The Iconfactory's annual Pixelpalooza icon design contest, created specifically for the Mac community. "We hope you'll join us in celebrating his life via the digital gifts he gave of himself as well as send warm and comforting wishes to his entire family," says
a statement on the front page of the company's site. "Our sadness is tempered by the fact that his art and legacy live on in all of us here at the factory as well as for all those, like yourselves, who have enjoyed his creations over the years."
Marble Madness II: The Canceled Sequel To Classic Arcade Game Recovered For MAME Emulator
An anonymous reader writes:
Atari pulled the plug on the release of Marble Madness II almost exactly 31 years ago after the follow up to their hit game failed to perform well in location tests. For decades the only way to play this now sought after rarity has been on one of a handful of known surviving units when it was exhibited by a private collector at annual events.
That has all changed after the ROM mysteriously appeared on The Internet Archive and was subsequently emulated by MAME developer David Haywood. Ars Technica provides background information on this story and talks with a number of the digital archaeologists involved. They discuss the events that unfolded, speculate as to why the game may have failed, and look at what it means to the community.
Linux 5.19 Adds 500K Lines of New Graphics Driver Code
The current Linux kernel in development, 5.19, added 495,793 new lines of code for graphic driver updates. David Airlie sent in the new lines as part of Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem of Linux. The majority of additions were for AMD's RDNA and CDNA platforms but Intel also submitted changes for their DG2 graphics as well. Updates also came from Qualcomm and MediaTek for their GPU offerings.
WeWork's Adam Neumann Is Back
Adam Neumann made his post-WeWork debut when Flowcarbon, a blockchain-based carbon credits company, announced that it has
raised $70 million in its first round of funding. Neumann is both a founder and an investor in the startup. Reuters reports:
The company aims to tap into the growing market for carbon credits companies buy to offset their greenhouse gas emissions as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy in the fight against climate change. Despite increasing demand, the market has drawn criticism for being fractured, opaque, hard to access and with question marks over the quality of some credits. To help fix this, Flowcarbon lets project developers sell their carbon credits through tokens, digital assets stored and traded using blockchain technology, allowing them to access cheaper funding and scale their projects more quickly.
"Our mission is to provide the financing necessary to scale projects that reduce or remove carbon from the atmosphere, in particular nature-based projects," said Chief Executive Dana Gibber. Nature-based projects could include those focused on reforestation, conservation or nature restoration. By "tokenizing," developers can access cheaper financing earlier in the life of their project by selling forward their credits, she said. Buyers, meanwhile, will have greater transparency over their holdings and a broader range of them can join in, including individuals, smaller companies and those in the crypto market.
The firm raised $32 million in the funding round led by Silicon Valley financiers Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz through their a16z crypto venture capital firm. Other investors included General Catalyst and Samsung Next. The balance was raised through the sale of a token - the Goddess Nature Token - backed by a parcel of certified carbon credits from nature-based projects over the last five years. More such tokens are planned with other parcels of credits.
WeWork Co-Founder Adam Neumann's New Crypto Project Sounds Like a Scam Within a Scam (Recode)
Hacker Steals Database of Hundreds of Verizon Employees
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard:
A hacker has obtained a database that includes the full name, email address, corporate ID numbers, and phone number of hundreds of Verizon employees. It's unclear if all the data is accurate or up to date. Motherboard was able to confirm that at least some of the data is legitimate by calling phone numbers in the database. Four people confirmed their full names and email addresses, and said they work at Verizon. Another one confirmed the data, and said she used to work at the company. Around a dozen other numbers returned voicemails that included the names in the database, suggesting those are also accurate.
The hacker contacted Motherboard last week to share the information. The anonymous hacker said they obtained the data by convincing a Verizon employee to give them remote access to their corporate computer. At that point the hacker said they gained access to a Verizon internal tool that shows employee's information, and wrote a script to query and scrape the database. "These employees are idiots and will allow you to connect to their PC under the guise that you are from internal support," they told Motherboard in an online chat. The hacker said they would like Verizon to pay them $250,000 as a reward. A Verizon spokesperson confirmed the hacker has been in contact with the company.
"A fraudster recently contacted us threatening to release readily available employee directory information in exchange for payment from Verizon. We do not believe the fraudster has any sensitive information and we do not plan to engage with the individual further," the spokesperson told Motherboard. "As always, we take the security of Verizon data very seriously and we have strong measures in place to protect our people and systems."
Microsoft Continues To Iterate on an Xbox Cloud Streaming Device Codenamed 'Keystone'
For a few years, rumors have persisted that Microsoft was exploring building some form of streaming stick to offer Xbox Cloud Gaming via a more affordable dongle, similarly to Chromecast and Google Stadia. The first hint was Project Hobart. More recently, a code name "Keystone" appeared in an Xbox OS list, lending fire to rumors that Microsoft was continuing to explore additional hardware for the Xbox lineup. We can now confirm that that is indeed true, and it pertains to a modernized HDMI streaming device that runs Xbox Game Pass and its cloud gaming service. Microsoft is, however, taking exploring additional iterations of the product before taking it to market. In a statement provided to Windows Central, a Microsoft spokesperson described its commitment to lowering boundaries to Xbox content via low cost-hardware, while acknowledging that the existing version of Keystone needs a little more time to bake before going live.
US Bill Would Bar Google, Apple From Hosting Apps That Accept China's Digital Yuan
Republican Senators want to bar U.S. app stores including Apple and Google from hosting apps that allow payments to be made with China's digital currency, according to a copy of proposed legislation seen by Reuters, amid fears the payment system could allow Beijing to spy on Americans. From a report:
The bill to be unveiled on Thursday by Senators Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio and Mike Braun states that companies that own or control app stores "shall not carry or support any app in [their] app store(s) within the United States that supports or enables transactions in e-CNY." According to Cotton's office, digital yuan could provide the Chinese government with "real-time visibility into all transactions on the network, posing privacy and security concerns for American persons who join this network."
Why Chinese Sellers Are Quitting Amazon
An anonymous reader
shares a report:
You might have seen the headlines over the past year: Chinese sellers are leaving Amazon. Since early 2021, the e-commerce giant says it has banned 3,000 Chinese accounts for using paid reviewers to artificially inflate ratings, a practice known as "brushing." The narrative sounds pretty simple, right? Dishonest Chinese sellers gaming the system! Of course they should be punished. Amazon has said that it issued the bans after repeated warnings over manipulated reviews, and that no seller has been targeted by nationality. Meanwhile, in Chinese media, the sellers have a different account. They describe paying ever-rising costs, while struggling with restrictions on how they sell on the platform. When they have brushed up their ratings, sellers told Chinese tech media Pingwest, it's because Amazon's stringent requirements have pushed them to, in order to survive. (A Chinese e-commerce industry association estimates at least 50,000 banned.) Either way, the relationship has somewhat soured.
In 2012, when Amazon entered China and aggressively recruited sellers onto its third-party Marketplace platform, merchants treated founder Jeff Bezos with reverence. Many of them considered him a role model, and resonated with Amazon's lofty principles of "putting the customer first" and "creating long-term value." Amazon Marketplace was appealing to Chinese sellers in two important ways: there was almost no barrier to entry, and they could mark up their products as much as they liked. Products that cost 5-6 yuan on Taobao could be sold for $20 (about 140 yuan) on Amazon -- a markup of 20-30 times the original price! Not percent, but times. Lured by the crazy-high profit margin, the number of Chinese sellers on Amazon climbed sharply.
Within a few years, Marketplace growth took off. Between 2014 and 2015, sales from Amazon's Chinese merchants tripled. By 2017, one-third of all international sellers on Amazon were from China, and Marketplace's sales volume had surpassed that of the main Amazon platform. Here comes the catch. Despite all the PR around Amazon Web Services, we know that Marketplace is Amazon's real moneymaker. Recall that Amazon charges for commissions, advertising, logistics and warehousing. And warehousing costs alone have soared since Chinese sellers came on board, continuing to grow with a nice 11% bump just this February. Costs to advertise -- something crucial for smaller sellers -- surged 50% during the pandemic. But the thing is, it's hard to sell if you're not part of Prime, wherever you're based, and that probably means signing up for all the above charges. And this is the case inside just the Amazon universe.
Epic Games Points To Mac's Openness and Security in Its Latest Filing in App Store Antitrust Case
In a new court filing, Epic Games challenges Apple's position that third-party app stores would compromise the iPhone's security. And it points to Apple's macOS as an example of how the process of "sideloading" apps -- installing apps outside of Apple's own App Store, that is --
doesn't have to be the threat Apple describes it to be. From a report:
Apple's Mac, explains Epic, doesn't have the same constraints as found in the iPhone operating system, iOS, and yet Apple touts the operating system used in Mac computers, macOS, as secure. The Cary, N.C.-based Fortnite maker made these points in its latest brief, among several others, related to its ongoing legal battle with Apple over its control of the App Store. Epic Games wants to earn the right to deliver Fortnite to iPhone users outside the App Store, or at the very least, be able to use its own payment processing system so it can stop paying Apple commissions for the ability to deliver its software to iPhone users.
Google Opens Up Chrome and Chrome OS To Enterprise Security, Control Integrations
Google is highlighting how Chromebooks can
work in "zero trust" corporate environments with its new Chrome Enterprise Connectors Framework. From a report:
The new integration system is designed to make the Chrome browser and Chrome OS devices easier for IT departments to implement with existing security, endpoint, and authentication solutions as well as bother management solutions. Google Chrome OS exec John Solomon describes the new tools as a "plug and play" solution that lets other companies helm Chrome OS management functions like remote-wiping a Chromebook using BlackBerry Unified Endpoint Management or flagging malware downloads with Splunk. These types of management functions previously worked through the Google Admin console. Managing and enrolling Chrome OS devices in the enterprise will still rely on Google tools like Google Admin and Chrome Browser Cloud Management. But new tools like Chrome OS Data Controls give enterprises more options to allow or lock down actions like printing, screen capture, copy / paste, and other potential data loss situations. It might even give IT a better handle on buggy Chrome OS updates and is currently available through the Trusted Tester program.
Broadcom To Acquire VMware in Massive $61 Billion Deal
Broadcom has announced it is
acquiring VMware in a massive $61 billion deal. From a report:
The deal is a combination of cash and stock, with Broadcom assuming $8 billion in VMware debt. With VMware, Broadcom gets more than the core virtualization, which the company was built on. It also gets other pieces it acquired along the way to diversify, like Heptio for containerization, and Pivotal, which helps provide support services for companies transitioning to modern technology. At the same time it bought Pivotal, it also acquired security company Carbon Black. That touches upon a lot of technology, but it begs the question, where does it all fit with Broadcom (which has spent a fair amount of money in recent years buying up a couple of key software pieces prior to today's announcement)?
In Private, Vulnerable Senate Dems Back Off Tech Bill
A bipartisan legislative effort to rein in the nation's largest tech companies is
facing fresh resistance from a faction of Senate Democrats over complaints the measure could threaten their chances of holding their slim majority, 10 people familiar with the matter told POLITICO. From a report:
The internal opposition comes as Democratic leaders are pushing for a vote on the bill by summer, in an effort to pass what has become a central element of the party's broader antitrust agenda. The American Innovation and Choice Online Act, S. 2992 (117) -- led by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) -- would ban major tech firms like Amazon and Google from favoring their products over their competitors. For example, the legislation would bar Amazon from promoting its own private-label products over rival items on its e-commerce platform. The bill marks the most serious attempt at tightening oversight of the tech industry in years and passed the Senate Judiciary Committee with support from both parties earlier this year. Yet in the days since Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told Klobuchar he would hold a floor vote as early as next month, several Democratic senators have privately expressed deep reservations about voting for the legislation, particularly with a midterm election looming, in their conversations with Schumer and other Democratic offices.