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Another Year Would Have Saved 'Cyberpunk 2077' – Forbes

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There has been no true post-mortem about what happened with Cyberpunk 2077, no Jason Schreier deep dive. And yet everything we’ve heard offhand so far has been along the same lines. The bosses at CDPR allegedly had unreasonable expectations for the timeline of development of the game, and despite a series of delays, forced the game out the door well before it was ready.

And yet, the more I play the game, the more I see glimpses of the game that was promised. I like Night City. I like these characters. I like the gunplay and swordplay and hacking. I like V. I have spent 61 hours in the game, have done every single thing I can, even grinding out respawning enemies to pay for every car. I want to do more.

The game, however, will likely have a tarnished legacy indefinitely because of the state of release. Despite all the things to like, the performance issues on lower spec consoles are so bad it sparked unprecedented moments in the gaming industry like Sony de-listing it from the PlayStation store. But even on better-performing platforms, the game is riddled with bugs and fundamentally missing loads of features that were promised or obvious for a game like this (you can buy new arms and legs during the campaign, but you can’t get a new tattoo). Cyberpunk also may boast the literal worst police AI system I have seen in a video game, like, worse than GTA 3 circa 2001. It’s genuinely impressive how astonishingly bad it is.

More time. This game needed more time, and I want to say at least another year.

A few more months probably would have cleaned up many of the tech and bug issues. CDPR has already announced two huge patches in January and February meant to do just that. And I’d say within six months, hopefully they manage to get the next gen optimized release version out too, as it’s wild it launched without that as a new offering when games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Watch Dogs 3 had that on day one.

But a full year? Perhaps some of those other issues could have been addressed too. The horrendous AI. The bizarre difficulty curve. Storylines that absolutely feel like they end before they were supposed to, with no time to finish whatever missions got left on the cutting room floor. A damn tattoo parlor and barber.

Of course, we don’t know how CDPR works behind the scenes, so perhaps a year is not a guarantee. And as some games have shown, Duke Nukem Forever, Star Citizen, more time solves nothing if management is not working correctly with its devs. But releasing the game in the state it was in was not right either. The game sold well, but on the back of outright deceitful pre-release practices, hiding the true state of Cyberpunk on certain platforms, and CDPR has done little to earn that trust back. They’ve barely even apologized except in a line or two in one of their now-infamous yellow text proclamations.

Delay are hard and feel bad, I get that. But if Microsoft can delay Halo Infinite, its literal Series X launch game, because they knew it wasn’t ready, Cyberpunk could have stomached another round of delays to ensure it didn’t launch like this. It’s a shame, because you can see the core of what the game could have been, and some of the actually finished elements (mostly in the main campaign) really shine through. But it is drowning in technical issues and missing features, which has ultimately overwhelmed it, and will continue to until however long that takes to fix. But CDPR has more importantly done damage to its sterling reputation that was well-earned after The Witcher 3, and their response has been severely lacking this entire time, upsetting not only consumers but even hurting relationships with places like Sony because of how badly they’ve handled this.

I see a future in which Cyberpunk 2077 is fixed and good. But that should have been the first impression, not the “six patches and two DLCs” later impression, if that is how it turns out in the end.

Follow me on TwitterYouTube and Instagram. Pick up my sci-fi novels Herokiller and Herokiller 2, and read my first series, The Earthborn Trilogy, which is also on audiobook.

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Five big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19: – Abbotsford News

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In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Canadian Press interviewed a group of leading Canadian experts in disease control and epidemiology and asked them what should be done to reduce the harms the next time a germ with similar destructive potential emerges. Here are the five most important lessons they offered:

1. Socio-economic and health inequities have made some people more vulnerable

COVID-19 has exposed fault lines in the Canadian society by showing how long-standing inequities contributed to higher rates of infections and mortality, said Steffanie Strathdee, a Toronto-born epidemiologist at the University of California in San Diego.

“The people who are, by and large, getting COVID are people who are poor, or of-colour, or living in poor socio-economic conditions,” Strathdee said.

In an analysis of COVID-19 deaths between March and July, Statistics Canada found that death rates because of the virus were double in Canadian neighbourhoods where more than 25 per cent of the people are members of visible minorities compared to neighbourhoods where minorities are less than one per cent of the people.

Strathdee said people in many areas in Canada have limited health services.

“In my sister and mother’s region of Stouffville (a suburb of Toronto), it’s very, very difficult to get a doctor,” she said.

“What we need to do is invest in our public health and health care infrastructure, because this isn’t going to be the last pandemic we see.”

University of British Columbia professor Erica Frank, a doctor and population-health expert, said almost all those who have died because of COVID-19 had pre-existing risk factors, including age.

“Not paying enough attention to reduction of chronic-disease risk has greatly increased the cohort of susceptible people to COVID,” she said.

She said there is a need to spend money on public health systems and on social determinants of health, such as housing, to decrease sickness and death.

2. Canada’s division of health-care responsibilities is inefficient

The disconnect between federal and provincial or territorial actions to fight the pandemic is getting in the way of an effective response, said Donald Sheppard. He’s the chair of the department of microbiology and immunology in the faculty of medicine at McGill University and a member of Canada’s COVID-19 therapeutics task force.

For instance, Sheppard said, after Eli Lilly’s COVID-19 antibody treatment was approved by Health Canada, bought by the federal government and greenlit by the federal therapeutics task force, British Columbia health authorities decided to reject the federal approval of the medication.

He said there many more examples, including the handling of long-term care homes.

“Quebec is screaming they want money but they’re refusing to sign on to the minimum standards of long-term care,” he said.

He said there have been poor communication and a lot of territorialism since the beginning of the pandemic.

“There should be a time when it’s all hands on deck and we don’t play games,” he said. “That didn’t happen. We saw these fragmentations between the provinces and the feds leading to, frankly, people dying.”

3. Centralized decision-making in health care stifles innovation

Sheppard said the Canadian health care system can’t be nimble because federal and provincial governments have seized control of decisions on how to handle the pandemic.

“During a new disease like a pandemic, when we’re learning about things, the people on the ground actually are learning a lot faster than the people sitting in Ottawa, Quebec City or Toronto,” he said.

He said Canadian businesses and universities have been struggling to get approval for testing strategies that use rapid tests to reopen safely.

“The way that the ministries of health are set up, they actually make it incredibly difficult to set those type of things up, because they hold on to all the power with a stranglehold.”

Sheppard said there’s no process private entities can use to launch innovative testing programs.

“The dogma from the ministries of health are simple: What we’re doing is right. There is no other better way to do anything … therefore we will not help anybody do anything different than what we’re doing. And anything other than that is a threat to our authority,” he said. “That’s the mentality, and it’s just killed innovation in the health-care setting.”

4. Lack of coordination stymied research

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how crucial research is to inform health decisions, said Francois Lamontagne, a clinician-scientist at the University of Sherbrooke.

He said Canadian scientists have played prominent roles scientifically during the pandemic but recruiting patients to participate in clinical trials has been a challenge due to lack of coordination.

“There have been a lot of studies launched. A lot of those studies overlapped,” he said.

He said having too many studies at the same time has resulted in shortages of suitable patients who are willing to be subjects in clinical trials.

“This, essentially, dilutes all of the studies and you end up enrolling very few people in too many studies.”

Lamontagne said the United Kingdom has been the locomotive of the world in enrolling patients in clinical trials because research is an integral part of the country’s national health system.

“It’s not something that happens in a silo. It’s part of the (National Health Service),” he said. “This led them to build the infrastructure … And then there’s an effort to co-ordinate and prioritize studies so they do one study and they do it well and they get the answers very quickly.”

He said creating better research infrastructure and coordination should be a priority for Canada.

“This is a criticism directed at me as well. I am part of ‘us’ — researchers. We have to get our act together and there has to be an effort of coordination.”

Lamontagne said health research in Canada is largely funded by the federal government whereas health care is a provincial jurisdiction and both levels need to co-operate.

“The stakes are so important for not only how we respond to pandemics now and in the future, but also for the sustainability of a public health-care system,” he said.

5. Good messaging and communication matter

Strathdee said good science communication with the public is important to address misinformation regarding the novel coronaviruses and its vaccines.

“We need for people to understand that science and medicine don’t have all the answers all the time, that we’re learning just like everybody else,” she said.

Strathdee said guidelines will be updated as more data become available and that’s what happened when more data showed that face masks reduced the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

She said government officials should be trained in health literacy.

John Brownstein, a Montreal-born Harvard University epidemiologist, said minority communities, including Indigenous communities, tend to have more mistrust in vaccines and for good historical reasons.

“We got to figure out how to improve communication and improve confidence,” he said.

Strathdee said it’s critical for politicians and public health officials to be honest with the public by “making people aware that, you know, it could get worse before it gets better, and that they need to stay the course.”

She also said people need to understand that if segments of the population are left behind in vaccination, like prisoners and homeless people, that will put everyone at risk.

She said Canada did a good job in detecting COVID-19 cases because it was hit hard by SARS.

“We have to make sure that we don’t unlearn those lessons going forward and that we build upon what we’ve learned from COVID and prepare for the next pandemic.”

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Five big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19: – Coast Mountain News

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In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Canadian Press interviewed a group of leading Canadian experts in disease control and epidemiology and asked them what should be done to reduce the harms the next time a germ with similar destructive potential emerges. Here are the five most important lessons they offered:

1. Socio-economic and health inequities have made some people more vulnerable

COVID-19 has exposed fault lines in the Canadian society by showing how long-standing inequities contributed to higher rates of infections and mortality, said Steffanie Strathdee, a Toronto-born epidemiologist at the University of California in San Diego.

“The people who are, by and large, getting COVID are people who are poor, or of-colour, or living in poor socio-economic conditions,” Strathdee said.

In an analysis of COVID-19 deaths between March and July, Statistics Canada found that death rates because of the virus were double in Canadian neighbourhoods where more than 25 per cent of the people are members of visible minorities compared to neighbourhoods where minorities are less than one per cent of the people.

Strathdee said people in many areas in Canada have limited health services.

“In my sister and mother’s region of Stouffville (a suburb of Toronto), it’s very, very difficult to get a doctor,” she said.

“What we need to do is invest in our public health and health care infrastructure, because this isn’t going to be the last pandemic we see.”

University of British Columbia professor Erica Frank, a doctor and population-health expert, said almost all those who have died because of COVID-19 had pre-existing risk factors, including age.

“Not paying enough attention to reduction of chronic-disease risk has greatly increased the cohort of susceptible people to COVID,” she said.

She said there is a need to spend money on public health systems and on social determinants of health, such as housing, to decrease sickness and death.

2. Canada’s division of health-care responsibilities is inefficient

The disconnect between federal and provincial or territorial actions to fight the pandemic is getting in the way of an effective response, said Donald Sheppard. He’s the chair of the department of microbiology and immunology in the faculty of medicine at McGill University and a member of Canada’s COVID-19 therapeutics task force.

For instance, Sheppard said, after Eli Lilly’s COVID-19 antibody treatment was approved by Health Canada, bought by the federal government and greenlit by the federal therapeutics task force, British Columbia health authorities decided to reject the federal approval of the medication.

He said there many more examples, including the handling of long-term care homes.

“Quebec is screaming they want money but they’re refusing to sign on to the minimum standards of long-term care,” he said.

He said there have been poor communication and a lot of territorialism since the beginning of the pandemic.

“There should be a time when it’s all hands on deck and we don’t play games,” he said. “That didn’t happen. We saw these fragmentations between the provinces and the feds leading to, frankly, people dying.”

3. Centralized decision-making in health care stifles innovation

Sheppard said the Canadian health care system can’t be nimble because federal and provincial governments have seized control of decisions on how to handle the pandemic.

“During a new disease like a pandemic, when we’re learning about things, the people on the ground actually are learning a lot faster than the people sitting in Ottawa, Quebec City or Toronto,” he said.

He said Canadian businesses and universities have been struggling to get approval for testing strategies that use rapid tests to reopen safely.

“The way that the ministries of health are set up, they actually make it incredibly difficult to set those type of things up, because they hold on to all the power with a stranglehold.”

Sheppard said there’s no process private entities can use to launch innovative testing programs.

“The dogma from the ministries of health are simple: What we’re doing is right. There is no other better way to do anything … therefore we will not help anybody do anything different than what we’re doing. And anything other than that is a threat to our authority,” he said. “That’s the mentality, and it’s just killed innovation in the health-care setting.”

4. Lack of coordination stymied research

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how crucial research is to inform health decisions, said Francois Lamontagne, a clinician-scientist at the University of Sherbrooke.

He said Canadian scientists have played prominent roles scientifically during the pandemic but recruiting patients to participate in clinical trials has been a challenge due to lack of coordination.

“There have been a lot of studies launched. A lot of those studies overlapped,” he said.

He said having too many studies at the same time has resulted in shortages of suitable patients who are willing to be subjects in clinical trials.

“This, essentially, dilutes all of the studies and you end up enrolling very few people in too many studies.”

Lamontagne said the United Kingdom has been the locomotive of the world in enrolling patients in clinical trials because research is an integral part of the country’s national health system.

“It’s not something that happens in a silo. It’s part of the (National Health Service),” he said. “This led them to build the infrastructure … And then there’s an effort to co-ordinate and prioritize studies so they do one study and they do it well and they get the answers very quickly.”

He said creating better research infrastructure and coordination should be a priority for Canada.

“This is a criticism directed at me as well. I am part of ‘us’ — researchers. We have to get our act together and there has to be an effort of coordination.”

Lamontagne said health research in Canada is largely funded by the federal government whereas health care is a provincial jurisdiction and both levels need to co-operate.

“The stakes are so important for not only how we respond to pandemics now and in the future, but also for the sustainability of a public health-care system,” he said.

5. Good messaging and communication matter

Strathdee said good science communication with the public is important to address misinformation regarding the novel coronaviruses and its vaccines.

“We need for people to understand that science and medicine don’t have all the answers all the time, that we’re learning just like everybody else,” she said.

Strathdee said guidelines will be updated as more data become available and that’s what happened when more data showed that face masks reduced the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

She said government officials should be trained in health literacy.

John Brownstein, a Montreal-born Harvard University epidemiologist, said minority communities, including Indigenous communities, tend to have more mistrust in vaccines and for good historical reasons.

“We got to figure out how to improve communication and improve confidence,” he said.

Strathdee said it’s critical for politicians and public health officials to be honest with the public by “making people aware that, you know, it could get worse before it gets better, and that they need to stay the course.”

She also said people need to understand that if segments of the population are left behind in vaccination, like prisoners and homeless people, that will put everyone at risk.

She said Canada did a good job in detecting COVID-19 cases because it was hit hard by SARS.

“We have to make sure that we don’t unlearn those lessons going forward and that we build upon what we’ve learned from COVID and prepare for the next pandemic.”

Coronavirus

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Keep Your iPhone 12 and Its Accessories Away From Pacemakers – Lifehacker

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Photo: Christian Dina (Shutterstock)

If you or someone you know has an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD), you may want to avoid using an iPhone 12. According to a recent study in the Heart Rhythm Journal, the iPhone 12 and its accessories can interfere with an ICD’s behavior, and even stop it from working.

The study found several components within the iPhone 12 can “potentially inhibit lifesaving therapy in a patient particularly while carrying the phone in upper pockets.” This warning applies to all iPhone 12 devices, including the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Max, and iPhone 12 Max Plus. The iPhone 12’s MagSafe accessories are also a risk, specifically the MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger, due to their magnets and NFC radios.

According to the study, the magnetic charging coils and RF-emitting components in these products are strong enough to interfere with an ICD’s internal mechanisms, which respond to magnetic fields. Researchers observed immediate suspension of the ICD’s heart-regulating operations if an iPhone “was brought close to the ICD over the left chest area.” The interference “persisted for the duration of the test.”

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This poses serious health risks, including the possibility of heart failure or cardiac arrest. To help inform users of the potential risks, Apple updated its iPhone 12 health and safety documentation with new guidelines based on the report’s suggestions. Apple now recommends users keep their iPhone 12 and MagSafe accessories more than six inches away from their chest at all times, and more than 12 inches away if your phone is wirelessly charging. Definitely don’t put your iPhone in your shirt or jacket’s breast pocket.

While these warnings are for the iPhone 12 line and its magnetic accessories specifically, they’re not the only products that can affect medical devices. A similar case study shows smartwatches and fitness trackers can interfere with ICDs if they come within 2.4 centimeters of the ICD’s location in a patient’s chest. The iPhone 12 interference is more severe—especially while charging wirelessly—but you should take caution using any smart devices near someone with an ICD.

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