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Here Is an Early Build of the "Beyond the Baltic Sea" DLC for Euro Truck Simulator 2

The developers of Euro Truck Simulator 2 have decided to release some footage of their upcoming map expansion called Beyond the Baltic Sea. The DLC will feature locations within Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, and parts of Russia. It is expected to launch on the Steam Store later this year.

A few glimpses from driving through Saint Petersburg in Euro Truck Simulator 2's upcoming DLC Beyond the Baltic Sea.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru October 16, 2018 3:01 PM (CDT)

Eminem's Performance of "Venom" Was Recorded with Google Pixel 3 Phones

Eminem recorded his performance of "Venom" on Jimmy Kimmel Live using the camera on the recently released Google Pixel 3 phone. The video playback is set to 720p60 HD which never looks the best on my 4K screen. What do you think of the video quality? Worth $800 - $1,000?

Eminem's exclusive performance of "Venom" from high atop the Empire State Building. Presented by Google Pixel 3.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru October 16, 2018 2:28 PM (CDT)

Google Pixel USB-C to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter Performance Review

Most everyone misses the headphone jack on modern phones. Companies such as Google and Apple have replaced them with USB-C dongles with a DAC+amp built into them. Audio Science Review performed testing on 3 flavors of adapters to find out just how well designed are these USB-C to 3.5mm adapters. For comparison, read the glowing review of the ESS quad DACs ES9218P with integrated headphone amplifier found in the LG G7 ThinQ Smartphone.

I did some brief testing of the dongles using my Sennheiser HD-650 headphone. Here, I was surprised that the original Pixel V1 had decent amount of bass with clear response and loud enough for enjoyment. In sharp contrast, the other two dongles would not even reach my normal listening level. Yes, you can hear the music but this is no way to treat the HD-650. This whole business of removing the headphone jack is anti-consumer. No phone is thinner than the 3.5 mm jack allows. I don't like the idea of a dongle as it can get lost, get damaged, etc. If you are going to get one for your Pixel phone (or whatever else it may work with), then my strongest suggestion is to buy the original version before the stock runs out on them. It has far more power, and better performance. The other two dongles, the Google Pixel 2 and Venture/Veclan are what we name "phoned in design." You call a shop in China and ask them to produce a checklist item with no attempt to set quality and performance standard. What you get produces sound but it is a very poor attempt at engineering.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru October 16, 2018 1:09 PM (CDT)

Medtronic Disables Pacemaker Software Updates Over Security Concerns

Following an independent investigation by security experts, and an FDA review, Medtronic disabled software updates for the Medtronic CareLink and CareLink Encore Programmer models 2090 and 29901, which are used in pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, cardiac resynchronization devices, and insertable cardiac monitors. The vulnerability would theoretically allow an attacker to update a medical device with non-Medtronic code, which is obviously a serious concern in a pacemaker. Fortunately, the company claims it hasn't received any reports of attacks or compromised patients. Users will have to manually update their medical devices via USB, and the company claims that its working on getting the online update system back up and running.

The FDA has reviewed information about potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities associated with the internet connection of Medtronic's programmers, and has confirmed that these vulnerabilities could allow an unauthorized user (that is,someone other than the patient's physician) to change the programmer's functionality or the implanted device during the device implantation procedure or during follow-up visits. Specifically, this cybersecurity vulnerability is associated with using an internet connection to update software between the CareLink and CareLink Encore programmers and the SDN. Software updates normally include new software for the programmer's functionality as well as updates to implanted device firmware. Although the programmer uses a virtual private network (VPN) to establish an internet connection with the Medtronic SDN, the vulnerability identified with this connection is that the programmers do not verify that they are still connected to the VPN prior to downloading updates. To address this cybersecurity vulnerability and improve patient safety, on October 5, 2018, the FDA approved Medtronic's update to the Medtronic network that will intentionally block the currently existing programmer from accessing the Medtronic SDN.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas October 16, 2018 12:12 PM (CDT)

Sony Wants to Use Blockchain for DRM

Sony is officially jumping on the blockchain bandwagon. The company announced that it intends to integrate blockchain technology into their current DRM scheme for "electronic textbooks and other educational content, music, films, VR content, and e-books" and possibly more. We've noted that blockchain doesn't necessarily work with every problem, and the effective's of Sony's new DRM remains to be seen.

Today, advances in technologies for digital content creation allow anyone to broadcast and share content, but the rights management of that content is still carried out conventionally by industry organizations or the creators themselves, necessitating a more efficient way of managing and demonstrating ownership of copyright-related information for written works. This newly-developed system is specialized for managing rights-related information of written works, with features for demonstrating the date and time that electronic data was created, leveraging the properties of blockchains to record verifiable information in a difficult to falsify way, and identifying previously recorded works, allowing participants to share and verify when a piece of electronic data was created and by whom. In addition to the creation of electronic data, booting up this system will automatically verify the rights generation of a piece of written works, which has conventionally proven difficult. Furthermore, the system lends itself to the rights management of various types of digital content including electronic textbooks and other educational content, music, films, VR content, and e-books. As such, Sony is contemplating possible uses in a wide range of fields.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas October 16, 2018 11:44 AM (CDT)

Police Obtain Search Warrant Seeking Electronic Evidence from PlayStation Vita

Nearly 4 years ago the body of Anjelica "AJ" Hadsell was found partially buried in a ditch behind a home in Southampton County, VA. Her stepfather's GPS in his work van had led the police to her body. Wesley Hadsell's work van contained a dirty shovel, gloves and a roll of duct tape. He is currently in jail for an unrelated federal weapons charge. Police have obtained a search warrant to check his PlayStation Vita for clues such as emails, texts, videos, pictures, etc to link him to the crime.

Recently, police took out a search warrant for the gaming system. They seized electronic records looking for evidence -- like pictures, videos and emails -- that might link Wesley Hadsell to his stepdaughter's disappearance, according to court documents. "It has been my experience that individuals often communicate with their victims via e-mail and through other computer-based programs," a Norfolk officer wrote in a search warrant. "In addition, a suspect's electronic equipment often has digital evidence of crimes committed by the suspect."

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru October 16, 2018 11:39 AM (CDT)

Battlefield 5 Gets a Singleplayer Campaign Trailer

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 may have ditched the campaign mode for more multiplayer content, but Battlefield 5 still has a singleplayer campaign. Check out the new trailer for it below.

Discover the untold stories of World War 2 with Battlefield V's single player War Stories. In Nordlys, resist German occupation in Norway, sabotage behind enemy lines as an unlikely English soldier in Under No Flag, fight for a home you've never seen in Tirailleur, and in The Last Tiger (available in December) join the crew of a Tiger I as they question why they fight. Battlefield V is out worldwide November 20.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas October 16, 2018 10:20 AM (CDT)

Eta Compute Brings AI to Tiny Computers Near You

Don't have enough AI in your IoT devices yet? Eta Compute has you covered. At ARM con, the California-based startup demonstrated low power processors that can train their own neural networks, which they call "One of the holy grails of machine learning." In typical low power devices, neural networks are trained on powerful external hardware, like high power GPUs in datacenters. At best, the smart device runs the inference algorithm itself, although many services do that in a datacenter too. But Eta Compute managed to squeeze a chip that can train neural networks into a 50-500 microwatt power envelope. Like Brainchip, the device uses a spiking neural network architecture. Production is expected to begin in early 2019.

The TENSAI chip consists primarily of an Arm M3 core and an NXP CoolFlux digital signal processor core. The DSP has two arrays dedicated to doing deep learning's main computation-multiply and accumulate. These cores are implemented in a manner that's called asynchronous, subthreshold technology. It allows them to operate at as low as 0.2 volts (compared with the 0.9 V most chips use), and with a clock period that can be scaled up or down to suit the computational need. The feat required a good deal of analog design work, even for the digital parts, says Washkewicz. "We spent a lot of engineering time on analog; it's a source of advantage."

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas October 16, 2018 9:44 AM (CDT)

A Sneak Peek at SEGA's Cancelled Shenmue HD Remaster

The crew at Digital Foundry was sent a work-in-progress video of an early HD remake of the cult classic game Shenmue. It seems that SEGA had commissioned UK developer d3t initially to create a complete remaster of the game with better environment maps, crisper textures, and HD graphics; but due to unknown reasons it was cancelled. The Shenmue I & II game that we got on Steam uses the old AM2 assets. Here is a look at what could have been. Maybe one day we will get this version?

Well, the details are murky but as we understand it, this more in-depth remaster/remake was in development for quite some time before the plug was pulled due to budget constraints and development delays - and perhaps owing to concerns with the nature of some of the changes being made. We only have a rough idea of what happened and we can't presume to understand all of the business reasons behind Sega's change in direction, but the bottom line is that in common with other unfinished and cancelled projects, the work-in-progress video we received adds a further dimension to the history of one of gaming's most celebrated franchises.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru October 16, 2018 9:40 AM (CDT)

Drone Shot Simulates Airplane Collision

The government recently passed tougher drone regulations, while private institutions are looking for their own drone security measures. As it turns out, there's a reason pilots and regulators are afraid of collisions between aircraft and drones. Researchers at the University of Dayton shot a 2.1 pound drone towards a wing at 238 miles per hour, and filmed the results in slow motion. See the carnage for yourself in the video below:

After calibration work to ensure they could control the speed, orientation and trajectory of a drone, researchers fired a successful shot at the Mooney wing. The researchers then fired a similarly weighted gel "bird" into a different part of the wing to compare results. "The bird did more apparent damage to the leading edge of the wing, but the Phantom penetrated deeper into the wing and damaged the main spar, which the bird did not do." Poormon said additional tests using similar and larger drones on other aerospace structures, such as windscreens and engines, would provide critical information about how catastrophic a collision would be. He and his team are hoping even this first test result will help bring awareness to the manned and unmanned aviation communities about the importance of regulations related to safe drone operating.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas October 16, 2018 8:57 AM (CDT)

Liven up the Office with UpTown Spot

Boston Dynamics has released a fun "UpTown Spot" robot video to liven up your office today.
Discussion
Posted by cageymaru October 16, 2018 7:55 AM (CDT)

Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Has Succumbed to Cancer

Paul G. Allen has succumbed to complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He had been treated for the same disease 9 years prior. The Microsoft co-founder revealed that he was beginning treatment for the disease earlier this month, and passed away today. Vulcan Inc, had this to say, "It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our founder Paul G. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and noted technologist, philanthropist, community builder, conservationist, musician and supporter of the arts. Mr. Allen died on Monday afternoon, October 15, 2018, from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Seattle. Mr. Allen was 65 years old."

Sayta Nadella, CEO at Microsoft. Paul Allen's contributions to our company, our industry and to our community are indispensable. As co-founder of Microsoft, in his own quiet and persistent way, he created magical products, experiences and institutions, and in doing so, he changed the world. I have learned so much from him -- his inquisitiveness, curiosity and push for high standards is something that will continue to inspire me and all of us at Microsoft. Our hearts are with Paul's family and loved ones. Rest in peace.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru October 15, 2018 6:07 PM (CDT)