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Findings from the trial of four new Ebola treatments in the Democratic Republic of Congo has produced remarkable success, with a survival rate of around 90 per cent for patients treated early with REGN-EB3 or mAb114, both created using antibodies from survivors of previous outbreaks (BBC News). The trial has been stopped early so that full scale treatment using these two most effective drugs can go ahead. Ebola is no longer incurable.
UK communications regulator Ofcom has been made responsible for regulating and fining online streaming platforms that publish harmful content under the revised EU Audio Visual Services Directive, which seeks to protect minors from violent and pornographic content, as well as incitement of hate and terrorism (WIRED). However, its reign may be short-lived, as the Directive comes into force on September 19 and the UK is currently expected to crash out of the EU on October 31.
Once-mighty blogging platform Tumblr is changing hands again, and this time it’s being sold by Verizon to Automattic, owner of rival blogging outfit WordPress, for what’s reported to be “well below $20 million” (TechCrunch). Back in 2013, Yahoo bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion.
200 staff members will also be going to Automattic and the controversial porn ban that devastated sex workers and adult artists on the platform will reportedly be staying in place.
Thousands have attended the funerals of five Russian nuclear engineers killed during a failed test of what’s thought to be the country’s new nuclear-powered cruise missile, the 9M730 Burevestnik, also called SSC-X-9 Skyfall by NATO (Al Jazeera). Government information on the explosion, which took place on a barge in the Arctic White Sea near Nyonoksa, has been limited but the state-run Rosatom nuclear energy company confirmed that the team was involved in testing a “nuclear isotope power source” for a rocket.
Zachtronics is best known for mind-bending puzzle games, but now the developer has broken into narrative gaming with Eliza, a fully voiced visual novel that casts you as the controlling influence behind its eponymous AI counsellor, itself named after an early natural language processing ‘AI’ (Ars Technica).
It’s set in a corporate-dominated near future that may be familiar from other Zachtronics titles, and questions about AI, human intervention and ethics define the unfolding plot. Eliza is out now on GOG, Steam and Humble, and there’s a compelling trailer to promote it.
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