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Industry & Technology

Radio-controlled pacemakers aren’t as hard to hack as you (may) think

Ars Technica - 54 min 54 sec ago

Enlarge (credit: US Food and Drug Administration)

Pacemakers are devices that are implanted in the chest or abdomen to control life-threatening heartbeat abnormalities. Once they're in place, doctors use radio signals to adjust the pacemakers so that additional major surgeries aren't required. A study recently found that pacemakers from the four major manufacturers contain security weaknesses that make it possible for the devices to be stopped or adjusted in ways that could have dire effects on patients.

Chief among the concerns: radio frequency-enabled pacemaker programmers don't authenticate themselves to the implanted cardiac devices, making it possible for someone to remotely tamper with them.

"Any pacemaker programmer can reprogram any pacemaker from the same manufacturer," researchers from medical device security consultancy WhiteScope wrote in a summary of their findings. "This shows one of the areas where patient care influenced cybersecurity posture."

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Memorial Day weekend means F1, the Indy 500, NASCAR, and the Nürburgring 24

Ars Technica - 1 hour 9 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Icon Sportswire/Shaun Botterill/Brian Lawdermilk/BMW)

As we prepare to head into Memorial Day weekend, there's a bumper crop of wheel-to-wheel action on offer for the motorsports fan. Both IndyCar and Formula 1 have their biggest races of the year this Sunday, NASCAR has its 600-mile race at Charlotte, and over in Germany hundreds of thousands of fans are camping around (and possibly setting fire to) the mighty Nürburgring.

Despite not being broadcast here in the US, the last of these is probably the easiest for you to watch. That's because the organizers have provided a free international livestream on YouTube:

The race starts at 11am ET (3pm CET) on Saturday (May 27) and runs for the next 24 hours. There's also English language commentary from the always-excellent team at Radio Le Mans.

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2018 Audi SQ5 Release Date, Price and Specs - Roadshow - Reviews - 1 hour 16 min ago
A new turbo V6, optional air suspension and large menu of available tech make this a performance crossover worth checking out.

Dealmaster: Memorial Day deals like $350 off a Dell Inspiron 15 and more

Ars Technica - 1 hour 22 min ago

Greetings, Arsians! Below are the best Memorial Day Deals on computers, electronics, TVs and more found by our partners at TechBargains. Act fast as stock is limited and these discounts will not last. We've updated this Memorial Day post, so check out the new deals!

Laptop & Desktop Computers

Electronics & Components

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It was bound to happen: Amazon launches first grocery store

The Register - 1 hour 35 min ago
Buy your bread n' butter from the Bezos Bunch

Amazon has once again expanded its reach in all things commerce, this time with its own take on the grocery store.…

How much nuclear waste is in your state? - CNET - News - 1 hour 39 min ago
The Nuclear Energy Institute keeps tabs on the spent nuclear fuel stored in states across the US. Here's where the radioactive waste ends up.

See 'Interstellar' updated for 2017 with a fidget spinner - CNET - News - 1 hour 54 min ago
A hit fidgeting-craze gadget makes a comical cameo appearance in a fan-edited scene from "Interstellar."

Here's Disney's glorious new 'Guardians of the Galaxy' ride - CNET - News - 2 hours 29 sec ago
CNET got a first look at the Guardians Mission Breakout ride, seeing what happens when Marvel and Walt Disney Imagineering join forces.

Far Cry 5 trailer brings the fight to disenfranchised America - CNET - News - 2 hours 7 min ago
Ubisoft takes its shooter franchise to a small fictional town in Montana.

Theresa May: Online extremism 'must be tackled'

BBC Technology News - 2 hours 11 min ago
The PM says the fight against so-called Islamic State is "moving from the battlefield to the internet".

New hack threat may be hiding in your movie's subtitles - CNET - News - 2 hours 13 min ago
Malicious code inserted into subtitle files downloaded from movie subtitle databases could be used to hijack your device, researchers warn.

Origin PC Eon15-S (2017) review - CNET - Reviews - 2 hours 24 min ago
The Origin PC Eon15-S plunges into the budget-gaming-laptop melee and emerges less bloody than most.

Google Earth takes you on a guided tour of Beatles' history - CNET - News - 2 hours 25 min ago
Take a look around Penny Lane or Strawberry Fields.

Lyft offers drivers some control over their schedules - CNET - News - 2 hours 29 min ago
The new Lyft Driver app will let drivers accept scheduled rides days in advance.

Uber walks away from Otto trademark

Ars Technica - 2 hours 38 min ago

(credit: Court documents)

At the heart of Uber's litigation with Waymo is another oddly-named self-driving startup called Otto. That's the company founded by Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski right after he left Google, the job at which he was accused of illegally downloading more than 14,000 files. Levandowski sold Otto to Uber within a few months.

While the legal action between Uber and Waymo rages on, Uber is quietly ending another legal fight over the name "Otto" itself. Back in August, just after Uber's acquisition for $680 million, Otto was sued (PDF) by Clearpath Robotics, a large installed-robotics company with a headquarters in Kitchener, Ontario. Clearpath already had a division called OTTO Motors, which manufactured OTTO, described as "the first self-driving warehouse robot."

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The hold is filled with storage news! Grab a bucket and BAIL

The Register - 2 hours 41 min ago
Keelhauling through the week's movers and shakers

Behind every great enterprise and technology news website lies storage, humming away in the background heeded by no one. But the industry never stands still and every week El Reg is inundated with news – some significant, some less so. However, we're not solely a storage 'zine and we need somewhere to stack the shorter bits that wouldn't necessarily make a standalone story but we know you storageheads out there would appreciate. So pull up a pew, pour yourself a mug o' joe, and read on to find out about Bristol Uni's new supercomputer, Intel's SSD wins, Diablo Tech's Memory1 benchmarks, and much more.…

Comcast customer satisfaction drops 6% after TV price hikes, ACSI says

Ars Technica - 2 hours 47 min ago

Comcast’s customer satisfaction score for subscription TV service fell 6 percent in a new survey, putting the company near the bottom of rankings published by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

Comcast’s score fell from 62 to 58 on ACSI’s 100-point scale, a drop of more than 6 percent between 2016 and 2017. The ACSI’s 2017 report on telecommunications released this week attributed the decrease to “price hikes for Xfinity (Comcast) subscriptions.”

Satisfaction with pay-TV providers dropped industry-wide, tying the segment with Internet service (a product offered by the same companies) for last place in the ACSI’s rankings. The ACSI summarized the trend as follows:

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GMC refines 2018 Yukon Denali with new 10-speed automatic - Roadshow - News - 3 hours 15 min ago
There are a bunch of small changes to its aesthetics and trim levels, as well.

Oculus can now officially keep up if you want to move in VR - CNET - News - 3 hours 18 min ago
The latest update to the virtual reality headset adds full support for room-scale motion tracking.

Viral video of girl snatched by sea lion raises “seal finger” awareness

Ars Technica - 3 hours 20 min ago

Enlarge (credit: WAVY TV 10)

When a video showing a six-year-old girl getting yanked into the sea by a feisty sea lion went viral this week, her parents quickly received international flak—and some potentially critical health information. The online fuss is raising awareness of a severe infection called seal finger, along with some of the other dangers of messing with sea lions.

The infection, which can lead to severe inflammation and amputations if not properly treated, is rare but well-known to marine life experts and fisherman. It’s caused by Mycoplasma phocacerebrale, a type of bacteria known to live in the mouths of seals and sea lions. Mycoplasma species have several notable features, but a critical one for seal finger is that they’re difficult to kill with many standard antibiotics—something the parents of the snatched six-year-old would clearly want to know. If it weren’t for the Internet, they might not.

The girl, who was swiftly retrieved from the harbor by her quick-thinking grandfather, is reported to have a 5-by-10 centimeter wound on her lower body from her sea lion encounter. Her parents were unaware of the risk of seal finger infection until media reports about the viral video included marine experts, who mentioned the danger. The parents have since consulted with marine experts and doctors. Though it’s not certain that she has the infection, she’s receiving antibiotics as a precaution.

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