Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 888 promises faster speeds, better cameras, and more powerful AI

Qualcomm teased the Snapdragon 888, its latest 5G-equipped flagship smartphone processor, on the first day of its Snapdragon Tech Summit. But at the day two keynote, the company provided all of the details on the new chipset, which will be the brains powering almost every major 2021 Android flagship.

a hand holding a cell phone

First off, the basic specs: the new processor will feature Qualcomm’s new Kryo 680 CPU, which will be one of the first devices to feature Arm’s latest customized Cortex-X1 core and promises up to 25 percent higher performance than last year’s chip with a maximum clock speed of 2.84GHz. And the company’s new Adreno 660 GPU promises a 35 percent jump on graphics rendering, in what it says is the biggest performance leap for its GPUs yet. The new CPU and GPU are also more power-efficient compared to those on the Snapdragon 875, with a 25 percent improvement for the Kyro

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QLD Budget weak on tech but promises to ‘foster innovation’

The Queensland Budget was handed down on Monday, and while it was very light on technology, it promised to help reskill people and “foster innovation” within the state.

“There is universal agreement that innovation directly leads to lasting improvements in productivity and competitiveness. Importantly, research and evidence clearly show that the effective diffusion of innovative ideas and approaches, and successful adoption of innovation, is the key to fostering further innovation across the economy,” the Budget papers [PDF] say.

“In the post COVID-19 era, governments and firms are likely to have a renewed focus on opportunities for re-shoring, ie attracting and re-establishing business and activities that had located outside of Queensland and Australia.”

The papers continue by saying the Advance Queensland program, which was announced during the 2015-16 Budget, included a range of programs “targeting the creation of innovation, including a strong focus on startups”.

“Through these initiatives, the government will

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Report assesses promises and pitfalls of private investment in conservation — ScienceDaily

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) today released a report entitled “Innovative Finance for Conservation: Roles for Ecologists and Practitioners” that offers guidelines for developing standardized, ethical and effective conservation finance projects.

Public and philanthropic sources currently supply most of the funds for protecting and conserving species and ecosystems. However, the private sector is now driving demand for market-based mechanisms that support conservation projects with positive environmental, social and financial returns. Examples of projects that can support this triple bottom line include green infrastructure for stormwater management, clean transport projects and sustainable production of food and fiber products.

“The reality is that public and philanthropic funds are insufficient to meet the challenge to conserve the world’s biodiversity,” said Garvin Professor and Senior Director of Conservation Science at Cornell University Amanda Rodewald, the report’s lead author. “Private investments represent a new path forward both because of their enormous growth potential and

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Uber made big promises in Kenya. Drivers say it’s ruined their lives.

NAIROBI, Kenya — At first, work as an Uber driver seemed to offer Harrison Munala everything he’d hoped for when he moved from a town in the western part of Kenya to its capital, Nairobi.

Uber seemed like the answer to Munala after he had spent nearly 15 years of informal employment as a house cleaner and school bus driver. Many of the energetic hustlers with middle-class aspirations who flock to East Africa’s economic hub thought so, too.

Work with Uber was so good that, about three years ago, after a year having driven a car he rented privately for 15,000 shillings a week (at the time, about $150), Munala, who is now 34, borrowed money from his sister for the down payment on a Toyota Passo, a compact car. And he took out a loan from Izwe, a pan-African microfinance and loan company.

Now, Munala figured, he could work

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Sony Promises More PS5 Stock After Confirming Its ‘Biggest Console Launch Ever’

Sony has been a little tight-lipped about PS5 sales to date, and that hasn’t changed much today. While they have confirmed, via a new tweet, that the PS5 is their “biggest console launch ever,” that has not come with any exact sales figures.

This is not a huge surprise, given that Jim Ryan was already previously saying that the PS5 was pre-selling more units in a few hours than the PS4 had in a few weeks. But the scale of this remains unknown. We don’t know if the PS5 is selling 30% more than the PS4 or 300% more in this same period, and that may just come down to supply, ultimately.

The tweet also says that more PS5 stock will be made available to retailers before the end of the year. No doubt there is some amount of stock being saved for a Black Friday release,

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Moto E7 announced with an incredibly low price and big camera promises

Following a recent leak, the Moto E7 has now been announced, and it costs just £99 (roughly $130 / AU$180). That makes it one of the cheapest smartphones there is, yet in the announcement Motorola has promised big things from the camera.

It’s a dual-lens one, with a 48MP f/1.7 primary lens and a 2MP f/2.4 macro one, and Motorola claims you can expect “incredible image quality for its low price point”, along with a Night Vision mode that apparently offers bright and sharp images in the dark. That’s in part thanks to Quad Pixel technology, which allows the camera to take 12MP shots with 4x the light sensitivity.

The Moto E7 also has a 5MP selfie camera in a notch, a 6.5-inch 720 x 1600 screen with a 20:9 aspect ratio, a 4,000mAh battery which apparently offers 36 hours of life, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and a dedicated Google

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Canada promises big fines for companies that breach new privacy law

OTTAWA, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Companies that fail to protect the personal information of Canadians could be fined up to 5% of global revenue under the terms of a proposed new privacy law, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said on Tuesday.

Bains said the Digital Charter Implementation Act – designed to update regulations that are 20 years old – was needed at a time when the coronavirus epidemic was increasing Canadians’ reliance on digital technology.

The draft law, which must be adopted by Parliament, says Canadians who feel their data has been improperly gathered or shared can turn to the country’s Privacy Commissioner and demand the information be deleted.

The commissioner can order a halt to the collection and use of an individual’s information. Companies that do not comply could be fined up to 5% of their global revenue for serious contraventions.

“We’re talking about potentially billions of dollars,” Bains told

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Amazon and CZI face labor disputes as Biden promises gig workers better protections

Welcome back to Human Capital. In this week’s edition of HC, you’ll read about the latest labor struggles at Amazon and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, President-Elect Joe Biden’s promises to gig workers, a primary care network for Black people and people of color and more. Lastly, I pulled out some nuggets from DoorDash’s S-1 that are relevant to DEI and labor.


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Former Amazon warehouse worker sues company alleging failure to provide PPE to workers during pandemic

Christian Smalls, a former Amazon warehouse employee, filed a lawsuit against the company today alleging Amazon failed to provide personal protective equipment to Black and Latinx workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The class action suit alleges Amazon failed to properly protect its warehouse workers and violated elements of New York City’s human

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Microbe ‘rewiring’ technique promises a boom in biomanufacturing — ScienceDaily

Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have achieved unprecedented success in modifying a microbe to efficiently produce a compound of interest using a computational model and CRISPR-based gene editing.

Their approach could dramatically speed up the research and development phase for new biomanufacturing processes, and get cutting-edge bio-based products such as sustainable fuels and plastic alternatives on the shelves faster.

The process uses computer algorithms — based on real-world experimental data — to identify what genes in a “host” microbe could be switched off to redirect the organism’s energy toward producing high quantities of a target compound, rather than its normal soup of metabolic products.

Currently, many scientists in this field still rely on ad hoc, trial-and-error experiments to identify what gene modifications lead to improvements. Additionally, most microbes used in biomanufacturing processes that produce a nonnative compound — meaning the genes to make it have been inserted

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Using cold atmospheric plasma promises a breakthrough in stopping the spread of COVID-19 — ScienceDaily

Researchers from UCLA believe using plasma could promise a significant breakthrough in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

In Physics of Fluids, by AIP Publishing, modeling conducted in June showed strains of the novel coronavirus on surfaces like metal, leather, and plastic were killed in as little as 30 seconds of treatment with argon-fed, cold atmospheric plasma.

The researchers used an atmospheric pressure plasma jet they built with a 3D printer to spray surfaces that were treated with SARS-CoV-2 cultures. The surfaces included plastic, metal, cardboard, and basketball, football, and baseball leather.

The spray using plasma fed by argon killed all the coronavirus on the six surfaces in less than three minutes, and most of the virus was destroyed after 30 seconds. Additional testing showed the virus was destroyed in similar times on cotton from face masks.

The novel coronavirus can remain infectious on surfaces for several hours.

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