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Robots ready to heal



With the robotic removal of cancerous kidneys set to be launched in SA, DR VIPUL PATEL, one of the world’s top urologists says the continent and the country is on the cusp of a revolution in cancer treatment.

Dr Vipul Patel, who travels the world educating urology physicians on robotic surgery, is in SA for a three-day conference hosted by The Urology Hospital (TUH) in Pretoria from Thursday. He says robotics is now the standard care for many urological cancer procedures in the US.

Robotic prostatectomies (removal of cancerous prostate) are now established in SA and the first partial nephrectomy (partial removal of cancerous kidney) is set to take place at TUH next month. Patel said: “South Africa now has the potential to revolutionise cancer treatment”.

Patel has performed more than 8 500 robotic prostatectomies and leads one of the world’s most experienced robotic surgery teams. Robotic surgery was introduced to SA at TUH two years ago. Since then, 700 prostatectomies have been undertaken in the country — 400 at TUH.

The Urology Hospital, which is the only centre of urological excellence in Africa with 20 leading urologists under one roof, is set to undertake the country’s first robotic partial nephrectomy in November, paving the way for further procedures once approved by medical aids.

TUH urologist, Dr Frans van Wijk, explained that robotic kidney procedures would have similar benefits to robotic prostatectomies. “Robotics is the most minimally invasive surgery available, resulting in much quicker recovery time, much lower blood loss and far less pain.”

“Robotics has proved itself at The Urology Hospital over the past two years and we’re excited to hear from Dr Patel how we can further radically address cancer and reconstructive treatment through new robotic procedures,” added Dr van Wijk.


AppDate: DStv taps Xbox, Hisense for app

DStv Now app expands, FNB gets Snapchat lens, Spotify offers data saver mode, in SEAN BACHER’s apps roundup



DStv Now for Xbox and Hisense

Usage of DStv Now, the online DStv service available free to DStv customers, is increasing rapidly with more than two million plays of live and Catch Up content per week. In addition to using DStv Now to watch TV on tablets and smartphones, an increasing number of DStv customers are also opting to use it as their primary method of getting DStv on additional TVs in the house. This is set to increase with the release of two new big-screen TV apps, one for Xbox gaming consoles (Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X) and another for Hisense smart TVs (2018 and newer models).

Expect to pay: A free download.

Platform: Any of the Xbox One range of gaming consoles and 2018 or later Hisense smart TVs.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your Xbox console or HiSense smart TV.

Santam Safety Ideas

Start-up businesses that have a FinTech or InsurTech business venture brewing are called to enter the third annual Santam Safety Ideas competition. Safety solutions or InsurTech ventures that are ready for piloting could win up to  R150 000 worth of incubation support and R200 000 in seed funding. 

The Safety Ideas competition was launched two years ago in partnership with LaunchLab,  Stellenbosch University’s startup incubator that facilitates valuable connections for corporates and startups sourced from the startup ecosystem and partner universities in South Africa. The previous winners are Herman Bester and Anton Swanevelder, co-founders of MyLifeLine – a wearable panic device that won the competition last year; and Ntsako Mgiba and Ntandoyenkosi Shezi, co-founders of Jonga – a cost-effective security system for low income families, which won the competition in 2017.

Entries close on 28 February 2019. For more information on how to enter, visit:

Click here to read about the FNB Snapchat lens, Spotify Free with data saver, and 00:37.

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Fortnite fixes hackers’ hole



Epic Games has repaired a vulnerability that exposed Fortnite, the world’s most popular game of the moment, to hackers. The hole, which was left in Epic’s web infrastructure,  allowed hackers to target players with email that appeared to come from Epic Games, but would have led them to a phishing site, where their log-in details would have been stolen.

Researchers at cyber security solutions provider Check Point Software alerted Epic to vulnerabilities that could have affected any player of the hugely popular online battle game.

Fortnite has nearly 80 million players worldwide. The game is popular on all gaming platforms, including Android, iOS, PC via Microsoft Windows and consoles such as Xbox One and PlayStation 4.  In addition to casual players, Fortnite is used by professional gamers who stream their sessions online, and is popular with e-sports enthusiasts.

If exploited, the vulnerability would have given an attacker full access to a user’s account and their personal information as well as enabling them to purchase virtual in-game currency using the victim’s payment card details. The vulnerability would also have allowed for a massive invasion of privacy, as an attacker could listen to in-game chatter as well as surrounding sounds and conversations within the victim’s home or other location of play. 

While Fortnite players had previously been targeted by scams that deceived them into logging into fake websites that promised to generate Fortnite’s ‘V-Buck’ in-game currency, these new vulnerabilities could have been exploited without the player handing over any login details.

Click here to read how the Fortnite hack worked

To win a set of three Fortnite Funko Pop Figurines, click here.

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