Last weekend, an over-the-air update was deployed to vehicles that run the newest version of Fiat Chrysler of America’s Uconnect software system. And on Monday, Jalopnik discovered that the update sent some customers’ infotainment screens spiraling into an endless loop of reboots. While it was previously unclear how widespread the problem was, The Verge has learned that it is localized to the Northeast region of the US and Canada, after obtaining a notice that was sent out by the Uconnect team to FCA dealerships.
The notice also spells out that seven specific “sales codes” are affected, meaning that cars kitted out with a very specific entertainment trim — Uconnect 4C NAV with an 8.4-inch screen — have been impacted by whatever went…
If you’re particularly sensitive to animal stuff, you might want to prepare yourself for this one. Till the Dawn, Waiting is a narrative game from UnderDOGS Studio that just released on desktop earlier this month, and as revealed on our forums it’s making its way to iOS soon too. So, what’s Till the Dawn, Waiting all about? Well, inspired by stories of families who had to abandon their pets to flee the horrific hurricanes that ravished many parts of the world last year, UnderDOGS wanted to tell a story from a dog’s perspective on what it’s like being abandoned by their owner. Tied to a stake out in the desert, the dog protagonist will have thoughts and dreams wondering about where its owner has gone and when they might be coming back. The dog won’t be totally alone, as various roaming creatures will stop by and engage in conversation with the dog and you’ll be able to choose different dialogue options to steer where the story goes.
It’s a very depressing premise, but also an interesting one as one of the biggest traits about a dog is their unwavering loyalty towards their owners. Will that loyalty hold up over the days and weeks as a dog is stranded out in the desert, braving the elements and with slowly deteriorating health? Can a dog even come to the realization that its owner doesn’t love it and has abandoned it to die, or will the dog always have hope that its owner will return for it? With multiple endings and the branching narrative that can shape the story, Till the Dawn, Waiting doesn’t necessarily have to have a sad ending, but this still isn’t going to be a game for everyone. It’s certainly caught my attention though and I feel like it deals with a very interesting subject. While no release date has been set for the iOS version, you can drop by the forum thread for updates on its progress and we’ll let you know when Till the Dawn, Waiting arrives on mobile.
Today, the entire app store market is dominated by two players: Google Play and Apple Store. In the first three months of 2017 alone, consumers worldwide spent over $ 15 billion in iOS and Android stores. In 2018, the mobile app economy will turn 10 at a valuation of nearly $ 77 billion, which is said to double by 2020. This duopoly of Google and Apple allows them to impose exorbitant fees on all purchases, app downloads and in-app items alike. AppCoins — powered by Aptoide — one of the largest Android app stores with 200+ million users that have downloaded over…
If someone is suffering from kidney failure, one available option is dialysis. While it may sometimes be the treatment recommended to such failed organs, it can become expensive over time, and may not be the decisive solution they were expecting.
An alternative option is to get a kidney transplant, with successful operations resulting in the extension of a patient’s life. Unfortunately, kidneys are in short supply, as the most in-demand organ: according to OrganDonor, nearly 116,000 people are on the national transplant waiting list as of August 2017, 82.9 percent of which are waiting for a kidney organ.
The main reason for the kidney shortage lies in the fact that nearly one out of five kidneys recovered are actually discarded, and in recent years, the number of discarded organs has only increased. New research suggests this probably shouldn’t be as big of a problem as it is, and many of the discarded kidneys could actually be used by patients desperate for one.
Led by Dr. Sumit Mohan, MD, and Dr. S. Ali Husain, MD, from the Columbia University Medical Center, the study analyzed information gathered between 2000-2015 on the deceased who had both kidneys recovered, but with only one transplanted.
“It is obviously impossible to tell with certainty what would have happened to any discarded kidney if it had been used instead,” explained Dr. Sumit Mohan. “As a result, it has been difficult to categorize these discards as ‘appropriate’ or ‘inappropriate.’”
Mohan continued, adding, “We therefore aimed to identify kidney donors from whom one kidney was used but the partner kidney in the pair was discarded. By doing so, we could control for donor characteristics to better understand the reasons for discard, and whether concerns about using certain kidneys were justified.”
The team analyzed information on 88,209 donors — amounting to 176,418 kidneys — and discovered the reason to discard certain kidneys was due to “unappealing” traits. However, the partner kidneys used for transplants contained some, if not all, of the same traits, and performed well in spite of that. Based on Mohan’s prior explanation, it’s possible that thousands of usable kidneys were mistakenly discarded, causing leaving many to die without a whisper of hope, according to Dr. Husain and the rest of the team:
“We therefore concluded that many of these discarded kidneys were in fact quite usable, and that systems-level changes are needed to encourage better utilization of this valuable but scarce resource,” said Dr. Husain.
According to Kidney.org, 4,761 patients died while waiting for a transplant in 2014, with another 3,668 eventually becoming too sick to receive a transplant.
In a separate paper, Matthew Kadatz, MD and John Gill, MD from the University of British Columbia noted how Mohan and Husain’s research makes a strong argument to address the policies in place that allow so many organs to go unused.
“The current discard of kidneys would be hard to explain to the families of deceased donors and is a disservice to the thousands of older age and diabetic wait-listed patients who would benefit from transplantation with these higher risk kidneys and who have consented to receive them,” the pair wrote.
Only time will tell if this work ensures that every healthy kidney is fully utilized. Such a change wouldn’t completely eliminate the demand for kidneys, but it would certainly go a long way to save thousands of lives. Especially the lives of those who have been waiting multiple years for a chance to return to a normal life.
A few years ago, the market essentially exploded with smart watches. You didn’t have to look too hard to see one company after another launching their own idea of what the smartwatch should be. Having a connected wearable on your wrist is a Sci-Fi lover’s dream, with plenty of love for Dick Tracy in there, too, but, it wasn’t meant to be, apparently.
By the time that Apple found its footing with the Apple Watch, other companies had apparently decided it wasn’t worth the effort. So while Apple appears to be in a groove, some companies, like HTC, have opted out of the experience. And while Google has Android Wear, it doesn’t feel like the company is giving the wearable platform all that much attention anymore.
Smartwatches feel like an inevitability, insofar that eventually all watches will have some kind of smart and connected design to them, but they probably won’t be like what we’ve seen in the years past. Just enough smarts inside to offer some important features, like notifications and health-related things. Either that or it’ll just be a sea of Apple Watches.
That can’t happen without Android support, of course. But hey, crazier things have happened.
Smart speakers feel like the new smartwatch. There are a lot of options out there already, and it feels like it kind of exploded into what company’s consider mega popularity. Google and Amazon already have their own family of smart speakers. They cover price points, features, and more. And the options are surely not going to slow down anytime soon.
Even Apple is getting in on the fun. I wrote back in June about the HomePod, asking if you thought the device’s specs, features, and sound quality would justify the pricing. I could ask the same thing for Google’s Home Max, which is actually more expensive than Apple’s effort (are we living in the Upside Down?). But, in light of the HomePod being delayed into 2018, I wanted to run down another thought.
Is this a smart speaker that you’re actually excited about? After all, Google’s effort, and Amazon’s, and others, all work with the iPhone in some capacity. You don’t have to rely on a platform to make those smart speakers listen to your requests. But of course Apple wants you to stick within their ecosystem, and it’s designed for that. As in, Apple Music only for streaming tunes, for example. Of course, that’s not bad news for the Apple Fans out there who don’t wander out of the garden.
Which is what I’m mostly curious about. If you’re an Apple fan, is the HomePod a smart speaker that you’re actually waiting for? And, now that it has been delayed to “early 2018,” are you still going to wait for it to arrive before you buy a smart speaker? Let me know!