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China uses VR eye tracking to gauge success of drug rehab

The skin sensors, which measure electrodermal activity and pulse speed, give administrators a better sense of the addicts' reactions. They might control their gaze, but they can't control their sweat or pulse.

In theory, this should lead to more effective treatments and fewer patients who lie to get out of rehab early. Whether or not it actually works is another matter. While experts recently approved VR addiction treeatment, The South China Morning Post noted that there's a distinct lack of "concrete results." More testing will be required to determine whether it's effective or just a dog and pony show. We wouldn't count on this reaching Western rehab, either. If nothing else, this illustrates the potential for eye tracking to play an important role in medicine.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/31/china-uses-vr-eye-tracking-to-gauge-success-of-drug-rehab/

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How to watch the Evo 2018 fighting games tournament

The biggest annual fighting game tournament is happening this weekend in Las Vegas, but you don't have to go to Sin City to watch players virtually pummel each other. You can watch Evo 2018 as it unfolds on the tournament's official Twitch channels -- more specifically, Evo will stream a different event on each of its seven official channels, though you'll catch all Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition games on Capcom Fighters. The tournament will feature Street Fighter 5, Super Smash Bros. and Tekken like it's been doing for years, along with new addition Dragon Ball FighterZ.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/31/evo-2018-tournament-schedule/

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Toyota’s latest hydrogen-powered semi boasts 300-mile range

If you ask Toyota, the upgrades were largely a matter of having time to make refinements. The Alpha model's system amounted to two modified Mirai fuel cells and a giant battery -- the Beta is a more purpose-built machine that reflects lessons learned from the first time.

This new semi will start hauling cargo around the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles sometime in the fall. It's not about to carry goods across the country any time soon, especially not when Nikola's semis will drive 500 miles or more. Instead, Toyota sees this as a baby step. The firm hopes to eliminate all CO2 emissions from its logistics facility at Long Beach by 2050, and this is one piece in that larger puzzle. Any broader ambitions may have to wait for follow-ups with enough range to comfortably travel between cities.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/31/toyota-project-portal-beta-hydrogen-semi/

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Nissans will remind you to check the back seat before walking away

Rear Door Alert works by monitoring if the rear doors were opened at the start of a trip, but not opened when you park. RDA will start with an instrument cluster notification to check the back seat, and from there it "progresses to subtle, distinctive chirps of the horn" if you still haven't opened the rear door.

Nissan promises the feature will be in all its vehicles by 2022, and in the 2019 model year it's baked into the Altima and Sentra sedans, and the Rogue. You might've even spotted it in 2018 Pathfinder SUVs, too. This isn't the first time we've seen the feature -- GM offers something similar -- and Nissan promises soon enough we'll hear word of another five models rocking it as standard equipment.

Of course, you could always double-check the cargo area and back seat yourself before leaving, but it's nice to have a reminder in case your infant or dog is taking a nap.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/31/nissan-rear-door-alert/

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New DHS center aims to protect US infrastructure from cyberattacks

The center will work alongside various industries to identify and prioritize cyber-based risks. It will be operational by Wednesday and will be staffed by existing DHS employees. The announcement is expected to be made at a cyber summit taking place today in New York City.

While President Trump claimed earlier this month that Russia was no longer targeting the US with cyberattacks, the DHS has said Russia-based groups infiltrated US utility companies, has accused Russian attackers of attempting to compromise routers, switches and firewalls and has warned that Russian groups tried to hack US government entities and infrastructure sectors like energy, nuclear, commercial, water, aviation and critical manufacturing sectors. Earlier this month, the NSA created a task force dedicated to tackling online threats originating from Russia.

"Right now there are too many 'cyber' voices and none with the authority to truly coordinate anything [in government]," David Merkel, CEO of cybersecurity firm Expel, told the Wall Street Journal. Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning told the publication that the new center would enable the US "to hold the bad guys accountable."

The Trump administration has been criticized for not taking cybersecurity as seriously as it should. "To the criticisms of the White House not being involved, there is a strategy under way," said Krebs. "This White House is empowering the agencies to do our jobs. And we are seizing that opportunity."

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/31/dhs-center-protect-infrastructure-cyberattack/

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Facebook removes fake accounts targeting 2018 US midterms

Where the 2016 campaign could be traced to Russian internet addresses, the latest effort used virtual private networks, internet calling services and even paid third parties to mask the ads' roots. They weren't entirely successful, though, as Facebook found connections between these latest accounts and Russia-associated Internet Research Agency accounts the social site had disabled in 2017. Facebook doesn't have enough evidence to definitively blame Russia for the campaign, but the clues that exist don't leave room for many other culprits.

The focus reach of these campaigns may not have been widespread. The Pages mostly revolved around hot button issues like opposition to the upcoming "Unite the Right" neo-Nazi rally near the White House, black civil rights advocacy and the desire to shut down Immigration and Customs Enforcement. About 290,000 accounts followed at least one of these Pages, but only four of them had significant follower numbers. Both these Pages and the Instagram account had no more than 10 followers, and in some cases no followers at all. They'd also created roughly 30 events, but half had fewer than 100 interested accounts, and the most popular had 4,700 interested. If the perpetrators had expected the campaign to be influential by this point, they'd failed.

Facebook credited the revelations to the steps it had taken to fight fake ads in the past year, such as using a combination of artificial intelligence and human monitoring as well as identification requirements for political ads. The company further cited help from partners like the Atlantic Council, which had spotted a dormant Russia-created Facebook group (since shut down). From an initial glance, these appear to have been effective -- Facebook managed to detect an election interference campaign months before the November vote, and before it could reach a truly large scale.

Even so, it's not exactly comforting. Combined with Russia's attempt to hack a Democratic senator, the findings suggest that election manipulation attempts will be as fierce as ever in 2018. And unfortunately, there may be little attempt to stop it. Tech companies have had little success convincing the White House to take action, while President Trump himself has falsely claimed that Russia stopped launching cyberattacks against the US. It may be solely up to internet giants like Facebook to thwart influence campaigns, and while this latest news is an encouraging sign that they're up to the job, the battle is likely far from over.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/31/facebook-detects-influence-campaign-targeting-2018-us-midterms/

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Google declares Android phones can have two notches at most

Because Android is open source, Google can't truly stop any manufacturer from making a device with three notches for some reason (for the record, one should be the absolute maximum). So device makers could create some monstrosity that has a notch on each side and still run Android, in theory, but they risk running the wrath of Google.

We haven't really seen any devices with more than one notch so far. So, this seems like a case of Google trying to nip a potential problem in the bud before some upstart manufacturer runs wild with a screen that's missing chunks on all four sides.

Some 16 phones from 11 manufacturers, including LG, already run Android on their notch-laden screens, Google says, and there are more such devices in the pipeline. It seems likely the next version of Google's Pixel XL will have a notch, for instance.

Google's edict is all about ensuring apps display properly. Android P lets developers ignore the notch completely and either let the status bar or a blackout fill the space depending on orientation, which is the default format. If they prefer, they can embrace the notches by wrapping their apps around them.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/31/google-android-p-phones-notches-oem/

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‘Fortnite’ update adds explosives-only mode, revives guided missiles

As promised, Fortnite has its guided missile back... plus something extra. Epic has released a 5.10 update that reintroduces the missile in a toned-down version (that is, slower and less powerful), but also introduces a limited time Fly Explosives mode to spice things up. You can only find explosive weapons in this mode -- the key to survival is finding jetpacks, which have been tweaked to keep you in the air for longer. If you're not raining death from above, you probably won't last long.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/31/fortnite-update-revives-guided-missiles/

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Android’s Clock will wake you up with tunes from Spotify

As a five-year Google Play Music subscriber, I have to admit that I'm a little miffed by this. It's more proof that Google doesn't care about its own music services, even on its own operating system. I'm not alone. In the announcement tweet, Google called for music suggestions to build an AM playlist. "What about YouTube Music integration?" the first response asked. It's not an unfair question: Google recently made a lot of noise about all the energy and resources it was throwing behind the YouTube Music relaunch.

Scroll down you'll see as many questions like that (including someone asking about Google Play Music) as you will music suggestions. To wit, the search juggernaut confirmed to 9to5Google that YouTube Music subscribers will enjoy similar functionality "soon," which makes it sound like this is a timed exclusive for Spotify.

The music is going to sound the same regardless of source when you're coming out of sleep, but for folks who have their own morning playlists on their Google accounts, this feels like a slap on the face. Spotify likely has more subscribers than any of Mountain View's homegrown music services do combined, but Lollipop has been in the wild for three years at this point. Making loyal Google fans wait this long for custom wakeup music, and it coming from a third-party source before its own is disheartening.

It's a shame that Google is willing to put money -- something it already has a lot of -- and a competitor ahead of its own services and the people who use them.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/31/android-clock-spotify-integration/

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Hole-tastic game ‘Donut County’ launches August 28th

Have you ever wanted to play as a hole in a video game? No? Well, you're going to get the chance regardless. Indie developer Ben Esposito is releasing his oddball title Donut County August 28th for PS4, iOS and computers (through GOG, the Mac App Store and Steam). The premise remains as absurd as ever: you're playing as raccoons who use holes to take humans' trash, and the holes get larger the more you swallow up. There's a whiff of Katamari Damacy to it, although it's much more puzzle-oriented (you may need to grab a smaller object to manipulate a larger one, for instance).

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/31/donut-county-launches-august-28th/

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