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The DHS Issues Medical Advisory for Medtronic Cardiac Devices

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a cybersecurity warning that documents vulnerabilities in the Medtronic Conexus Radio Frequency Telemetry Protocol. Medtronic makes cardio-defibrillators that are planted into a patient's chest and can be read and programmed by trained medical personnel. This allows the devices to communicate with home monitoring devices and Carelink programmers found at doctor's offices. These vulnerabilities require a low level of skill to exploit as the proprietary Conexus telemetry protocol utilized within this ecosystem does not implement authentication or authorization. An attacker can inject, replay, modify, and/or intercept data within the telemetry communication. This communication protocol provides the ability to read and write memory values to affected implanted cardiac devices; therefore, an attacker could exploit this communication protocol to change memory in the implanted cardiac device. Because the devices also lack encryption, attackers can listen to communications, including the transmission of sensitive data. Medtronics is working on developing updates to fix the vulnerabilities.

"It is possible with this attack to cause harm to a patient, either by erasing the firmware that is giving necessary therapy to the patient's heart, or by directly invoking shock related commands on the defibrillator," he said. "Since this protocol is unauthenticated, the ICD cannot discern if communications its receiving are coming from a trusted Medtronic device, or an attacker." A successful attacker could erase or reprogram the defibrillator's firmware, and run any command on the device.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 22, 2019 4:05 PM (CDT)

Octane from Apex Legends Is Now Available

Apex Legend's newest playable character is called Octane. The speed runner will have abilities that allow him to trade health for speed, regenerate the health that he lost, and drop a launch pad that shoots him and his teammates into the air. Apex Legends is the latest hit title from Respawn Entertainment. The Battle Pass for Season 1 was recently launched.

Fresh off a record-breaking gauntlet speed-run, Octane is jumping into the Apex Games with even bigger ambitions. With abilities that let him trade health for speed, regenerate the health he lost, and drop a launch pad that shoots him and his teammates into the air, he never has to slow down. Apex Legends is a free-to-play battle royale game where legendary characters battle for glory, fame, and fortune on the fringes of the Frontier.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 19, 2019 3:37 PM (CDT)

Core Fighters: Free-to-Play Version of Dead or Alive 6 Now Available on Steam

Koei Tecmo Games has released Dead or Alive 6: Core Fighters, a free-to-play version of the recently released 3D fighter. This is an ideal way to experience the game for those who quickly grow tired of fighters or merely want to see how good a fighting game can look on modern hardware. It’s also a way to spite the publisher for releasing a game with a $93 Season Pass.

DEAD OR ALIVE 6 is fast-paced 3D fighting game, produced by Koei Tecmo Games, featuring stunning graphics and multi-tiered stages that create a truly entertaining competitive experience. With the help of a new graphics engine, DOA6 aims to bring visual entertainment of fighting games to an entirely new level. The graphics are made to be both enticingly beautiful and realistic, bringing out enhanced facial expressions, such special effects as depiction of sweat and dirt on character models, and realistic hit effects.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 17, 2019 1:50 PM (CDT)

Pilots Now Spend More Time Learning Automated Systems than Hands-On Flying

The Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes have reignited debate over the potential risks of automation in aircraft and how it may hinder human competence, but a New York Times story suggests many new pilots are at the mercy of technology regardless: interviews with pilots and instructors indicate many are less skilled at manual control because of an increased focus on automated systems, turning them into system operators rather than pilots. "They may not exactly know or recognize quickly enough what is happening to the aircraft, and by the time they figure it out, it may be too late."

"The automation in the aircraft, whether it’s a Boeing or an Airbus, has lulled us into a sense of security and safety," said Kevin Hiatt, a former Delta Air Lines pilot who later ran flight safety for JetBlue. Pilots now rely on autopilot so often, "they become a systems operator rather than a stick-and-rudder pilot." In recent years, the Federal Aviation Administration has advised airlines to encourage pilots to fly manually when appropriate, among other policies intended to improve manual skills.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 17, 2019 12:50 PM (CDT)

PlayerUnknown Leaves PUBG Development Team

On Twitter, Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene announced that he's leaving the the PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds development team to head up a new division of PUBG corp called "PUBG Special Projects." While he will still be a "creative consultant" for PubG's development, Brendan Green says he's moving to Amsterdam to focus on research and game development. Just what the new division will work on isn't clear, but he says they're tasked with "exploring, experimenting, and creating new technologies, tools, pipelines, and gameplay..."

But for me, it's more than just that. Together with a team of game developers and researchers, we will explore the possibilities of interaction and connection within the game space.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 13, 2019 11:19 AM (CDT)

911 Calls Raise Concerns Over Amazon Working Conditions

Amazon's warehouses don't have the best reputation as is, but according to a recent article from The Daily Beast, working conditions inside the facilities could be worse than previously thought. The report alleges that, between October 2013 and October 2018, emergency workers were summoned to Amazon warehouses for "suicide attempts, suicidal thoughts, and other mental-health episodes" at least 189 times. The reports only covered a quarter of Amazon's sorting and fulfillment centers across the U.S, and The Daily Beast is quick to point out that the records are "not evidence that Amazon staffers experience suicidal episodes more often than other American workers, in or out of a warehouse," but they clearly imply that harsh conditions are exacerbating existing mental health issues on a large scale. Check out some of the calls below:

The Daily Beast spoke to six current or former Amazon employees who had mental-health crises that required emergency assistance at the warehouse. They said much of their at-work stress stemmed from the performance quota. A former employee in Etna, Ohio, said that it was sometimes physically impossible to stay on pace. "Even if it isn't your fault, they ignore any explanation that you could give." He was constantly fearful that he would receive citations for falling short. "Once you have enough write-ups, you're out the door," he said. "There goes your livelihood... There was a constant sense of, 'did I screw that up, did I screw that up, did I screw that up?'" he said. "[It] stays with you and almost becomes a permanent anxiety."

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 11, 2019 11:17 AM (CDT)

Whole Foods Cuts Workers' Hours after Amazon Introduces Minimum Wage

Amazon’s $15 minimum-wage increase didn’t turn out so well for Whole Foods workers: one employee claims the retailer has negated wage gains by reducing schedule shifts across many stores, cutting a lot of work. "My hours went from 30 to 20 a week. We just have to work faster to meet the same goals in less time."

The Illinois-based worker explained that once the $15 minimum wage was enacted, part-time employee hours at their store were cut from an average of 30 to 21 hours a week, and full-time employees saw average hours reduced from 37.5 hours to 34.5 hours. The worker provided schedules from 1 November to the end of January 2019, showing hours for workers in their department significantly decreased as the department’s percentage of the entire store labor budget stayed relatively the same.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 10, 2019 12:20 PM (CDT)

Philadelphia Passes Ban on Cashless Stores; Amazon Go Plans Said to Be in Jeopardy

Amazon plans to open a chain of cashierless convenience stores across the country, but don’t expect them in Philadelphia: the city has just signed off on legislation banning cashless stores. While the convenience of technology has convinced many retailers to shift to credit cards and mobile payments only, Philly’s leaders opted for the opposite, citing their 26-percent poverty rate and poor consumers, some of whom do not even have bank accounts.

Nearly 6 percent of residents in the Philadelphia region do not have access to credit or bank accounts in 2017 and roughly 22 percent were considered "underbanked," according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Amazon warned Philadelphia officials behind closed doors that a ban on cashless stores would force it to reconsider its potential plans for Amazon Go stores in Philadelphia. Emails obtained by the Inquirer showed that the web giant also lobbied city officials to try to carve itself out of the cash requirement.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 09, 2019 1:05 PM (CST)

The Path of Exile: Synthesis Expansion Is Now Live

The Path of Exile: Synthesis expansion is now live! As we discussed before, the Synthesis expansion brings new classes, spells, weapons, rewards and more to the ARPG. The extensive patch notes can be viewed here.

Challenge leagues are a great opportunity for a fresh start in a new economy. All of your old characters and items are still present in the Standard and Hardcore leagues, but you're encouraged to join the new leagues, complete challenges and demonstrate your mastery of Path of Exile! Path of Exile no longer supports the Windows XP or Windows Vista operating systems. It will still support a 32-bit client for users of 32-bit versions of Windows, but we strongly encourage users to use the 64-bit client if they can. With no more support for Windows XP and Vista, we are also finally retiring support for the DirectX 9 rendering mode, as DirectX 11 is fully supported in recent versions of Windows and is so much faster. By not having to maintain support for two versions of DirectX, we are able to simplify a lot of code, making it faster.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 08, 2019 6:49 PM (CST)

OMEN X Emperium 65 Is Now Available for Purchase

The OMEN X Emperium 65 by Hewlett Packard is now available on Amazon. The $4,999 4K 65" HDR display features DisplayHDR 1000 certification, NVIDIA G-SYNC HDR technology with refresh rates up to 144Hz, built-in NVIDIA SHIELD TV, a soundbar, 384 zones of local dimming and more. Ports on the monitor include USB 3.0 (2), DisplayPort (1), HDMI 2.0 (3), HDMI ARC (1), Line Out (1), and SPDIF (1). For optimal gameplay and performance an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 is recommended. The minimum requirement is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050.

BECOME A LEGEND - Brace your senses for legendary gameplay and soul-shaking realism made possible on the colossal OMEN X Emperium 65 Big Format Gaming. GAME WITHOUT GHOSTING - Rapid refresh rate up to 144Hz and 4ms response time with NVIDIA G-SYNC HDR lets you experience striking quality exactly as the developer intended. CUTTING-EDGE VISUALS - 4K UHD resolution (3840 x 2160) brings jaw-dropping quality to a massive 65-inch diagonal monitor equipped with VESA mounting, 400mm x 400mm. MVA Panel lets you play at any angle without losing image quality.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 08, 2019 6:01 PM (CST)

Warframe Operation: Buried Debts Is Now Live

Digital Extremes has announced that Warframe Operation: Buried Debts has been launched onto PC. The console release will occur at a later date. The update features the debut of stage one of the highly anticipated, newly revamped Melee system. Also, a new Warframe called Hildryn has been introduced that features incredible offense and defense based around creating and destroying shields. The store features a ton of new skin customizations for your Warframes, weapons, ships, etc; but Digital Extremes has added some for completing certain mission types or just watching your favorite Warframe streamer. Thanks @Q-BZ for the scoop!

A new spark of action has arrived with Phase 1 of the much-anticipated Melee revamp! With these changes, you'll experience more fluid combat, and a smoother, faster, bolder system to harness as you slash your way through the Origin System. Blocking is now automatic and is no longer keybound! When interrupting a combo with gunfire, dodging, bullet jumping, or any parkour your next Melee attack will begin exactly where the combo left off ! Have more control of your Ground Slams. Use your aerial advantage to aim, and then target your Ground Slam for increased tactical precision. Experience a beautifully redone FX pass with a refreshed style.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 08, 2019 1:42 PM (CST)

Diablo Is Now Available for Purchase on GOG

Blizzard Entertainment has announced that the original Diablo is now available on GOG.com for $9.99. The GOG version cannot connect to Battle.net and only supports up to 4 player multiplayer via LAN and P2P connection. The GOG-enhanced version offers several quality of life additions, including minor audio fixes, up-scaling support for resolution and refresh rate control, and compatibility fixes. It still keeps the period-appropriate 20 FPS SVGA graphics! GOG will handle troubleshooting for the game. Blizzard also announced that GOG.com will be the future destination for Warcraft: Orcs and Humans and Warcraft II.

Darkness stirs beneath Tristram. An ancient evil sweeps across the land, plunging it into civil war and terrorizing the populace. A mad king, his missing son, and a mysterious archbishop are all pieces of the puzzle you need to hack through. You have journeyed to the source of this evil. The town of Tristram - now inhabited only by a handful of survivors, broken and twisted by the madness that has befallen them. A cathedral stands there, built over the ruins of an ancient monastery. Eerie lights and ungodly sounds are heard echoing through its abandoned halls, and that is where you shall venture.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 07, 2019 2:13 PM (CST)