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Dec 7, 2018

Qualcomm’s ‘Extreme’ Snapdragon 8cx CPU Could Power Your Next Laptop

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones

Intel and AMD could be looking at some stiff competition in the processor game. Fresh off announcing its new Snapdragon 855 mobile chip, the company has announced the Snapdragon 8cx. It’s for laptops instead of smartphones and is by far the most powerful processor the company has ever made. How can you tell? The “X” in the name stands for “extreme.”

While the Snapdragon 8cx is not the company’s first PC chip (that honor goes to the quickly forgotten Snapdragon 850), it’s the first one that could make Intel take note. Like the 855, the Snapdragon 8cx uses a 7nm manufacturing process. It has the same octa-core design with four high-performance cores based on the Cortex A76 and four low-power cores based on the A55. That’s really the end of the similarities, though.

Qualcomm has cranked the clock speed of all of its “Kryo 495” cores way up in the Snapdragon 8cx, but it won’t say exactly how high. The chip has 10MB of cache between L2 and L3 — the 855 only has 3MB. That makes the Snapdragon 8cx better at running heavy apps, and there’s support for up to 16GB of system memory. You can also check the boxes for NVMe and UFS3.0 storage.

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Dec 7, 2018

Microsoft president calls for government regulation of facial-recognition technology to ‘ensure that the year 2024 doesn’t look like a page from the novel 1984’

Posted by in categories: government, robotics/AI

Microsoft said Thursday it was adopting a set of ethical principles for the use of its facial recognition technology, and urged the government to follow its lead with regulations barring unlawful discrimination and focusing on transparency.

In a blog post, Microsoft president Brad Smith pushed for the government, as well as tech companies, to regulate facial-recognition technology and ensure it “creates broad societal benefits while curbing the risk of abuse.”

“The facial recognition genie, so to speak, is just emerging from the bottle,” Smith said in the post. “Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues.”

Continue reading “Microsoft president calls for government regulation of facial-recognition technology to ‘ensure that the year 2024 doesn’t look like a page from the novel 1984’” »

Dec 7, 2018

Link between neonatal vitamin D deficiency and schizophrenia confirmed

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Newborns with vitamin D deficiency have an increased risk of schizophrenia later in life, a team of Australian and Danish researchers has reported.

The discovery could help prevent some cases of the disease by treating vitamin D deficiency during the earliest stages of life.

The study, led by Professor John McGrath from The University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia and Aarhus University in Denmark, found newborns with vitamin D deficiency had a 44 per cent increased risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia as adults compared to those with normal vitamin D levels.

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Dec 7, 2018

For the first time, a major US utility has committed to 100% clean energy

Posted by in category: energy

Another sign that zero-carbon energy is going viral.

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Dec 7, 2018

Robotic harvester picks strawberries

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

This robotic strawberry harvester saves farmers hours of time and effort.

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Dec 7, 2018

Genetically Modified People Are Walking Among Us

Posted by in category: genetics

And, so far, they’re just fine. America needs a sober debate about the pros and cons of Crispr instead of a paranoid ban on the technology.

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Dec 7, 2018

Theoretically Possibility That Gene Edited Twins Received a Tiny Intelligence Enhancement

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, neuroscience

The question and answer interview of He Jianku conference presentation has the most interesting parts of this debate about human gene editing of embryos. The interview starts at about 1 hour and 28 minutes of the record. The formal presentation showed that the scientist He has taken appropriate scientific care to perform the work. He took care to make sure it was on target and was successful. He took care to make sure there were no unintended off-target side-effects.

* the parents (father HIV positive) made a choice to use the edited embryos versus unedited * the CRISPR vector used to make the change. Appears to be the kind that can be ordered for about $100. There have been adult people who have self-experimented with mail order gene editing kits * the conference interviewer asked about whether He Jianku was aware of a few other research papers. Some paper suggests that the gene CCR5 could cause increased susceptibility to flu and another suggests a tiny increase in cognitive effect.

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Dec 7, 2018

The First 8K TV Broadcast Has Officially Taken Place

Posted by in category: electronics

The first-ever 8K broadcast has officially occurred, but don’t expect immediate uptake.

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Dec 7, 2018

90% of All the Scientists That Ever Lived Are Alive Today

Posted by in category: futurism

This simple statistic captures the power of the exponential growth in science that has been taking place over the past century. It is attributable to Derek de Solla Price, the father of scientometrics (i.e., the science of studying science), in his 1961 book Science Since Babylon. If science is growing exponentially, then the major technological advancements and upheavals of the past 200 years are only the tip of the iceberg.

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Dec 7, 2018

FDA Approves Drug That Targets Key Genetic Driver of Cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Imagine one drug that can target and kill malignant cells for some patients with many types of cancer. A new drug called Vitrakvi (larotrectinib), now approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, shows promise of doing just that for both adults and children with a variety of sometimes rare cancers that share one specific genetic mutation.

The mutation, called a TRK fusion, occurs when one of three NTRK genes becomes mistakenly connected to an unrelated gene and ignites uncontrolled growth. By solely targeting this mutation, the drug is designed to turn off growth signaling with a minimum of other toxicities.

According to the drug manufacturer, Loxo Oncology, this specific mutation can occur in a small subset of various adult and pediatric solid tumors ranging from cancers of the appendix, bile ducts, breast, lung, pancreas and thyroid to melanoma, GIST and various sarcomas.

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