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Google sued for using the NHS data of 1.6 million Britons 'without their knowledge or consent'

#artificialintelligence

Google is being sued over its use of confidential medical records belonging to 1.6 million individuals in the UK. The company's artificial intelligence arm, DeepMind, received the data in 2015 from the Royal Free NHS Trust in London for the purpose of testing a smartphone app called Streams. The claim is being brought by Andrew Prismall in a representative action in the High Court. It alleges that Google and DeepMind "obtained and used a substantial number of confidential medical records without patients' knowledge or consent". Why did Google get access to patient records?


16 Great Deals on Video Games, Outdoor Gear, and Tech

WIRED

The weekend means it's time to relax, however you see fit. We've found plenty of deals to aid in your quest for some quality downtime. Want to spend 12 hours with a new video game? REI's Anniversary Sale is going on right now, and we've rounded up our favorite deals right here. Earlier this week, we also collected a few discounts on robot vacuums we've tested and liked, and they're still on sale.


Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, for when flagship isn't flagship enough

#artificialintelligence

It's called the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, which just rolls off the tongue, and Qualcomm says it'll offer 10 percent faster CPU performance, 10 percent faster GPU clocks, and -- get this -- use 15 percent less power for "nearly 1 hour" of extra gameplay or, say, 50 minutes of social media browsing. Technically, Qualcomm says it's achieved "up to 30 percent" better power efficiency from both the CPU and GPU, and 20 percent better AI performance per watt, but that doesn't necessarily all transfer into more battery life -- some of it's about performance, too. Qualcomm is particularly touting better sustained performance from the new chip too -- theoretically maintaining its clockspeed for longer as it heats up while gaming or tapping into 5G. Of course, that all depends on how phone manufacturers decide to cool the chip. The company's not breaking down where the extra performance and efficiencies are coming from, but you can see some of the chip's other features in the slide above, even though many of them (like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 10Gbps of theoretical 5G, and 8K HDR video capture) haven't changed from the original Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Qualcomm says it'll live alongside that older chip, so you can probably expect a price premium. Qualcomm's also announcing a new Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 today, suggesting to journalists that it's aimed at gamers with a 20 percent graphics performance boost over the prior gen and the trickle-down of features like its "Adreno Frame Motion Engine" to make games see smoother by interpolating frames.


Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will power tomorrow's best Android phones

PCWorld

Premium Android smartphones will have a new Qualcomm Snapdragon processor option when they debut this fall: The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which will boost GPU performance by about 10 percent while tacking on an extra hour of battery life. Qualcomm also announced the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, a similar upgrade to its next performance tier of Snapdragon processors. According to Qualcomm, the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will power phones by Asus ROG, Black Shark, Honor, iQOO, Lenovo, Motorola, Nubia, OnePlus, Oppo, OSOM, Realme, RedMagic, Redmi, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE when the phones debut in the third quarter. Honor, OPPO, and Xiaomi will use the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 beginning in the second quarter. According to Mike Roberts, the vice president of global product marketing for Qualcomm, the justification for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is a simple one: the company sees more consumers turning to premium smartphones.


Turning off facial recognition can help reduce screen time, study says

Daily Mail - Science & tech

If you spend too much time on your smartphone, scientists have a list of 10 solutions that can help you cut back on screen time. The small but effective changes can help curb smartphone addiction and mental health issues such as depression, say experts at McGill University in Canada. In experiments, people following the strategies reduced their screen time, felt less addicted to their phone and improved their sleep quality, the experts report. Among the 10 strategies are changing the phone display to'greyscale' so the display appears black and white, and disabling facial recognition as a method of unlocking the screen. A black and white screen makes smartphones'less gratifying' to look at compared to the bright colours offered by app icons such as TikTok and Instagram.


Apple's new accessibility features include door detection and live captions

Mashable

Today, May 19, is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, and Apple has announced several new accessibility features to mark the occasion. For people who are blind or have low vision, Apple has a feature called Door Detection, which is designed to help users locate a door when arriving at a new destination. The feature works on iPad and iPhone models with the LiDAR scanner and combines the LiDAR with the device's camera and AI capabilites. It will show up within Magnifier, which already hosts several accessibility features, including the People Detection feature launched in 2020. Door Detection will only work on the 2nd and 3rd gen 11-inch iPad Pro, 4th and 5th gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, as well as iPhone 12 Pro and 13 Pro devices.


The Morning After: Apple may be testing USB-C iPhones

Engadget

Oh my, it might actually be happening. I've wanted this for a while, and Apple's excuses for sticking with its Lightning connector get weaker each year. Now a report from Bloomberg says the company is testing new iPhones and adapters with USB-C -- what MacBooks and iPads already use. An adapter currently in testing could "let future iPhones work with accessories designed for the current Lightning connector" -- you may recall the in-box adapters that appeared when Apple nixed the headphone port from its smartphones. The EU has been pushing for a universal phone charging standard for years and recently proposed legislation that would make USB-C the de-facto charging port for all phones.


Google Maps' new 'immersive view' lets you virtually explore neighbourhoods

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Whether it's a romantic weekend away or a relaxing spa break, many of us have enjoyed being able to travel again following the Covid-19 pandemic. If you're planning any holidays, Google Maps' latest feature could be just the thing to make sure the destination passes the'vibe' check first. The app has launched a new'immersive view' tool that combines Street View and aerial images to allow you to virtually explore neighbourhoods. 'With our new immersive view, you'll be able to experience what a neighbourhood, landmark, restaurant or popular venue is like -- and even feel like you're right there before you ever set foot inside,' Miriam Daniel, VP of Google Maps, explained. 'So whether you're traveling somewhere new or scoping out hidden local gems, immersive view will help you make the most informed decisions before you go.'


All the Software Google Announced at I/O 2022

WIRED

Google kicked off its annual I/O developer conference Wednesday. As usual, the company took the occasion to announce a bunch of new hardware products and software updates. While the shiny new gadgets might have stolen the show--you can learn about the Pixel Watch, new Pixel phones, and other objects that were announced in our separate story--I/O is still primarily a software affair. To that end, Google used its keynote event to detail a dizzying array of new features for Android, Search, Maps, and Google's voice assistant services. Here are the biggest updates Google announced.


The portable Sonos Roam speaker is now available in three new colors

Engadget

Once in a blue moon, Sonos releases its speakers in some fun colors or finishes, but most of the time, people just have to pick between black and white. But starting today, you can get the portable Sonos Roam in three new shades; Wave, Sunset and Olive. As you might guess, Wave is a chill shade of light blue, Sunset straddles the line between orange and pink and olive is a cactus sort of green. Aside from these colors, there's nothing else new with the $179 speaker -- it has a built-in battery for about 10 hours of play time, Bluetooth for when you're away from WiFi, a microphone for voice commands via Alexa and Google Assistant and auto Trueplay technology to tune the speaker for optimal sound wherever you place it. I really liked the speaker when I reviewed it last year, and even though it costs $10 more than it did when it launched, I still think it's a great portable speaker that is a smart addition if you're already using other Sonos products.