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Dexcom tech went down, keeping diabetes patients from getting readings



The Urgent Low Soon feature on the Dexcom G6 app.

CNBC | Jeniece Pettitt

Dexcom’s continuous blood sugar monitors are designed to make it easier for patients with diabetes to get frequent readings without the finger prick system. The company’s device can be worn as a patch and has a tiny sensor that is inserted under the skin.

But since Saturday, a glitch in Dexcom’s technology has kept patients and parents of kids with diabetes from getting regular updates, leaving them unaware of potentially dangerous problems. And as of Monday, service was still intermittent.

Dexcom said the bug was specifically related to its Follow feature that allows for remote monitoring on Apple and Android devices as well as Dexcom’s own hardware. In an email to CNBC on Monday, the company said that on Saturday morning it became aware of the issue, which could cause followers not to receive continuous glucose monitoring alerts. The service hasn’t been fully restored but has seen “significant improvement” in performance, wrote Dexcom, which blamed the problem on a server malfunction.

“We are still investigating official root cause,” the company said. “We did not release any updates or changes to cause this issue, further complicating our investigation. However, we have determined that a server overload occurred due to an unexpected system issue that generated a massive backlog, which our system was unable to sufficiently handle.”

Dexcom said it’s working with “our partners at Microsoft to address the problem,” and recommended that customers follow updates on its Facebook page.

Carrie Diulus, a surgeon with type 1 diabetes who uses Dexcom’s blood sugar monitor, said she didn’t get notified on her app that there was an issue for 40 hours, which is a big concern given how much trust she puts in the company to help keep her safe.

“They have access to all of our cell phones,” she said. “I get that tech fails happen, but they need a better system to manage this.”

Type 1 diabetes affects more than 1.2 million Americans. It impairs the body’s ability to produce the hormone insulin, which normally comes from the pancreas. Patients use trackers to monitor their blood sugar levels so they know what their body needs, whether it’s more sugar or an insulin injection.

Dexcom, whose products cost more than what rivals charge, is known for its continuous and minimally invasive glucose monitors and for its remote tracking systems.

Chris Wilson, who has type 1 diabetes, said the Dexcom outage extended to patients who rely on the data to power systems known as an “artificial pancreas” that they’ve set up to automatically adjust insulin levels based on the readings.

Over the holiday weekend, many parents took to social media to describe the anxiety they experienced from the glitch that kept them from getting alerted overnight if their child’s blood sugar levels dropped too low.

Dexcom is still experiencing intermittent technical issues.

Erin Black, CNBC

Mark Turner, co-host of the “Dads and Diabetes” podcast, said that after dealing with the stress all weekend, he was nervous about dropping his 11-year-old daughter off at school on Monday morning.

Turner, who’s based in Austin, Texas, said he noticed a low reading after going to bed Friday night, but never was notified with an alarm.

“My heart skipped a beat, and I didn’t realize why I didn’t get an alert,” Turner said. With Dexcom’s service still spotty, his daughter will have to get multiple finger pricks in the nurse’s office.

Turner said he’s particularly concerned about the “lack of communication” from Dexcom. Another parent, Melinda Wedding, shared that sentiment. She said that the company needs to tell patients and parents when such a significant issue arises.

“Why wasn’t there a push notification as soon as they realized they was a problem?” said Wedding, who has a teenage child with diabetes. “I get more information, more quickly when there’s an outage on my Dropbox than I do for my child’s blood sugar monitor.”

Follow @CNBCtech on Twitter for the latest tech industry news.


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North Korea Links 2nd ‘Crucial’ Test to Nuclear Weapons Program




SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said on Saturday that it had conducted “another crucial test” at a missile-engine and satellite-launching site, its second such test in a week as the country attempts to press the United States into further talks and new concessions. It declared that both tests would feed into its military’s nuclear program.

The test was successfully conducted on Friday night at the “Sohae Satellite Launching Ground,” a spokesman of the North’s Academy of Defense Science said. That was a reference to facilities in Tongchang-ri, near the North’s northwestern border with China, where it also said it had conducted a “a very important test” last Saturday.

South Korean officials have said that the earlier test was of an engine that could power either a satellite-carrying rocket or a ballistic missile. On Saturday, the North Korean spokesman offered no details on the latest test. But he said the successful results of both would “be applied to further bolstering up the reliable strategic nuclear deterrent” of North Korea, according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

“Our defense scientists were greatly honored to receive warm congratulations” from the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party, the North Korean spokesman said.

In a separate statement on Saturday, Pak Jong-chon, the chief of the general staff of the North Korean People’s Army, said the data from the latest tests at Tongchang-ri would help develop “another strategic weapon” to deter the United States.

“We should be ready to cope with political and military provocations of the hostile forces, and be familiar with both dialogue and confrontation,” Mr. Pak said in his statement, which was carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. He said the United States and other forces would “spend the year-end in peace only when they hold off any words and deeds rattling us.”

Mr. Pak’s comments suggested that the tests could have been for an engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile, said Cheong Seong-chang, the vice president of research planning at the Sejong Institute in South Korea. The statement also signaled that, as diplomacy stalled, the voice of North Korea’s hard-line military was on the rise, Mr. Cheong said.

The North Korean announcement came a day before Stephen E. Biegun, Washington’s top envoy on North Korea, was scheduled to begin a five-day trip to Seoul and Tokyo to discuss how to deal with a Dec. 31 deadline that the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, had set for Washington to return to the negotiating table with more concessions, including the easing of international sanctions.

In recent weeks, North Korea has repeatedly indicated that it would abandon diplomacy and could even resume provocative tests of weapons unless Washington met its year-end deadline. Mr. Kim is widely expected to use a meeting of his Workers’ Party’s Central Committee, scheduled for this month, and his annual New Year’s Day speech to reveal his new policy options.

The resumption of activities at Tongchang-ri, where a satellite was last launched in February 2016, has worried officials in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo because the site houses facilities to test rocket engines and launch satellite-delivery vehicles.

Although North Korea insists that its space program is peaceful, Washington and its allies said that the program was a front for efforts to build and test technologies for intercontinental ballistic missiles. A series of resolutions by the United Nations Security Council ban North Korea from testing ballistic missile technology.

In March 2017, North Korea successfully tested a high-thrust engine at Tongchang-ri that it used in intercontinental ballistic missiles, such as the Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15, later that year. Analysts fear that North Korea might now be preparing to launch another long-range rocket carrying a satellite or even to flight-test a long-range missile.

The country conducted its last ICBM test from Pyongsong, north of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital city, in November 2017. Afterward, Mr. Kim declared a halt on all nuclear and ICBM tests and embarked on diplomacy with President Trump.

Mr. Kim met with Mr. Trump in Singapore in June 2018 and agreed to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” in return for “new” relations and security guarantees from Washington. After the Singapore meeting, Mr. Trump boasted that Mr. Kim had promised to dismantle the Tongchang-ri facilities as one of the first steps toward denuclearization.

North Korea started to dismantled the missile-engine test facility that summer, but then rebuilt it, after Mr. Kim’s subsequent meetings with Mr. Trump and negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington failed to resolve differences over how to implement the broadly worded Singapore deal.

North Korea has also resumed the test of mostly short-range ballistic missiles and rockets this year. Mr. Tump has largely dismissed such tests as involving weapons that do not directly threaten the United States.

If North Korea returned to launching satellites or testing ICBMs, it could seriously dent Mr. Trump’s foreign-policy credentials. Mr. Trump has repeatedly cited Mr. Kim’s self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and ICBM tests as one of his major achievements.


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How a Band of Seasoned Cinephiles Plans to Save the Movie House




These days, Toby Talbot, 91, has been busy finishing her husband’s memoirs at their sunlit apartment on Riverside Drive, which is filled with posters of movies by directors like Bernardo Bertolucci and Claude Chabrol that once premiered in their theaters.

The closing of Lincoln Plaza Cinemas remains a sore spot. “He keeps our name on the marquee,” she said. “What nerve.”

She’s rooting for New Plaza. “I give them my blessing,” she said. “I want them to succeed. This was our life’s work. Dan and I were educating people, and why should that education have to stop?”

If a recent Saturday night at New Plaza was any indication, word about the cinema was getting around. An eager crowd entered to see “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles,” a documentary about “Fiddler on the Roof.” Two ushers, Naomi Rossabi, 83, and Ruth Mucatel, 91, took tickets. During their downtime, they groused about going to the movies today.

“We hate reserved seating,” Ms. Rossabi said. “What if we’re stuck behind a tall person?”

“Young people are used to getting everything easy,” Ms. Mucatel said. “We know what it means to have to wait for things.”

But a gloomy note soon entered their conversation.

“I heard the New York Institute of Technology is selling off their property in the area,” Ms. Rossabi said. “We don’t know if this space will always be here for us. Some of us are worried.”

In fact, the school recently put a 12-story campus building on 61st and Broadway up for sale, just down the street from New Plaza’s auditorium. But a spokesman for the university said there’s no cause for alarm: those plans don’t involve their space, and New Plaza’s arrangement is secure at least until May.

But considering the travails of New Plaza Cinema, perhaps it still felt like too close a call.

“I hope this isn’t all just a pipe dream,” Ms. Rossabi said. “Because something magic still happens when you go to the movies.”


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குடியுரிமை சட்ட மசோதாவில் இலங்கையை சேர்க்க வேண்டும்" – அன்புமணி ராமதாஸ் | Anbumani Ramadoss



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