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Qualcomm's Snapdragon 730G processor was built for kick-ass mobile gaming


While Qualcomm has integrated several gaming-specific technologies into its Snapdragon mobile processors, on Tuesday the company announced something a little different: a version of its Snapdragon 730 optimized for gaming, dubbed the Snapdragon 730G. Though mobile gaming may be an idle pastime with American consumers, it's a way of life overseas. Over 586 million mobile gamers are in China alone--twice the population of the United States, according to Qualcomm's Hiren Bhinde at Qualcomm's technology summit last December. It isn't clear which phones and mobile devices Qualcomm has in mind for the Snapdragon 730G, but recent gaming phones from Asus ROG and Razer indicate that Qualcomm was designing for what they hope will be a trend. Though most premium smartphones use Qualcomm's 8-series CPUs like the Snapdragon 855, the new 7-series chips are designed for a slightly cheaper but still premium phone.

G7 pushes North Korea to continue denuclearization talks with U.S.

The Japan Times

DINARD, FRANCE - Foreign ministers of Group of Seven nations on Saturday pushed North Korea to continue denuclearization negotiations with the United States while vowing to maintain pressure on Pyongyang to encourage it to give up its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. In a communique issued after a two-day meeting in Dinard, western France, the ministers also expressed serious concern about the situation in the East and South China seas -- a veiled criticism of China's militarization of outposts in disputed areas of the South China Sea and its attempts to undermine Japan's control of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. The Senkakus are administered by Japan, but claimed by China and Taiwa, which call them the Diaoyu and Tiaoyutai, respectively. During the meeting, some G7 members touched on China's expanding global ambitions through its signature Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure project, a Japanese official said. But the communique makes no reference to the initiative in an apparent effort to demonstrate unity among the group.

The Future of Warfare: Small, Many, Smart vs. Few & Exquisite? - War on the Rocks


In the 1970s, faced with the USSR's overwhelming superiority in numbers, the Department of Defense decided to compensate by focusing on high technology platforms. This led to the highly successful F-15, F-16, F-18, Abrams tanks, and Bradley fighting vehicles. Since then, the United States has continued to pursue cutting edge technology that has resulted in the highly capable F-22 and, when the testing and software development is complete, perhaps a highly capable F-35. Unfortunately, cost has accelerated faster than capabilities. And thus numbers have declined precipitously. The U.S. Air Force initially planned to buy 750 F-22s, but the high cost led Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to cap the program at 187. Nor has the Air Force been alone in pursuing top end systems. The Navy attempted an entirely new concept with "Streetfighter." Meant to be a low-cost, highly capable ship to replace the Navy's frigates and minesweepers for operations in brown water, it evolved into the Littoral Combat Ship.

Verizon said it turned on 5G wireless in two cities. Here's what it is, and who can access it.

Washington Post

Verizon said Wednesday it had turned on its ultrafast 5G wireless network in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis, though it will be available only to certain subscribers who pay a fee and own a compatible smartphone. The move makes Verizon the first wireless carrier in the United States to flip the switch on speedy, smartphone-ready 5G service in select urban areas, the company said in a statement, though other U.S. carriers including AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have pledged to do the same in the coming months. The service Verizon is offering -- 5G, the fifth generation of wireless data networks -- could provide consumers Internet speeds that are up to 100 times faster than 4G networks, according to an industry trade association. Through the placement of small boxes that serve as conduits for invisible, data-transmitting radio waves, 5G networks could power a wide range of consumer devices, from smartphones that can stream Netflix videos more quickly to enabling the arrival of self-driving cars. The promise of faster speeds and more reliable connections has generated a full-on race between AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, the country's four largest carriers, to see who can offer service first (and capture new consumers and their cash in the process).

'Cow toilets' to cut farm ammonia emissions by collecting up to 35 pints of urine a day

Daily Mail

A Dutch inventor has developed a'cow toilet' to help cut ammonia emissions from cow urine that cause environmental pollution. Tests on the device, which collects around 26 to 35 pints (15 to 20 litres) of urine produced daily by a single cow, have started on a farm in the country. Inventor Henk Hanskamp claims the device could halve the ammonia emissions from cows, which account for almost half (49 per cent) of agricultural ammonia pollution. This type of contamination has multiple negative impacts on both the environment and human health and can threaten aquatic wildlife and contribute to smog. The small-scale tests are being conducted in the Netherlands, the world's second-biggest agricultural exporter behind the United States.

Machine Learning and Discrimination


Most of the time, machine learning does not touch on particularly sensitive social, moral, or ethical issues. Someone gives us a data set and asks us to predict house prices based on given attributes, classifying pictures into different categories, or teaching a computer the best way to play PAC-MAN -- what do we do when we are asked to base predictions of protected attributes according to anti-discrimination laws? How do we ensure that we do not embed racist, sexist, or other potential biases into our algorithms, be it explicitly or implicitly? It may not surprise you that there have been several important lawsuits in the United States on this topic, possibly the most notably one involving Northpointe's controversial COMPAS -- Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions -- software, which predicts the risk that a defendant will commit another crime. The proprietary algorithm considers some of the answers from a 137-item questionnaire to predict this risk.

Sci-Fi Writers Are Imagining a Path Back to Normality


In recent months the science fiction world has grown increasingly political, with dozens of writers contributing stories to anthologies such as Resist: Tales from a Future Worth Fighting Against and If This Goes On. Another prominent example is A People's Future of the United States, edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams. "I wanted to use my position as an editor to try to help magnify the voices of the people that we invited to participate in this anthology," Adams says in Episode 354 of the Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast. "To sort of shout back at the Trump administration, and also to try to imagine some new futures that might help us figure out how to get back to normal from here." The book draws inspiration (and its title) from Howard Zinn's counterculture classic A People's History of the United States, and like that earlier work, A People's Future of the United States tries to present a wide variety of marginalized perspectives.

Pentagon Warns Silicon Valley About Aiding Chinese Military

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

President Donald Trump and his top U.S. military adviser met with Google's CEO about concerns that Silicon Valley's AI collaborations in China may benefit the Chinese military. Such worries reflect awareness of how certain technologies developed for civilian purposes can also provide military advantages in the strategic competition playing out between the United States and China. The meeting comes after General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, leveled pointed criticism at Google for pursuing technological collaborations with Chinese partners, during his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on 14 March. The spotlight's glare on Google grew harsher when President Trump followed up on Twitter: "Google is helping China and their military, but not the U.S. Terrible!" But beyond the focus on Google, the Pentagon seems more broadly concerned about U.S. tech companies inadvertently giving China a leg up in developing AI applications with military and national security implications.

Chinese firm seeks to sell Grindr dating app over US security concerns

The Guardian

Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Limited is seeking to sell Grindr, the popular gay dating app it has owned since 2016, after a US government national security panel raised concerns about its ownership, according to people familiar with the matter. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has informed Kunlun that its ownership of West Hollywood, California-based Grindr constitutes a national security risk, the two sources told Reuters. CFIUS's specific concerns and whether any attempt was made to mitigate them could not be learned. The United States has been increasingly scrutinizing application developers over the safety of personal data they handle, especially if some of it involves US military or intelligence personnel. Kunlun had said last August it was preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) of Grindr.

In the Face of Danger, We're Turning to Surveillance


When school began in Lockport, New York, this past fall, the halls were lined not just with posters and lockers, but cameras. Over the summer, a brand new $4 million facial recognition system was installed by the school district in the town's eight schools from elementary to high school. The system scans the faces of students as they roam the halls, looking for faces that have been uploaded and flagged as dangerous. "Any way that we can improve safety and security in schools is always money well spent," David Lowry, president of the Lockport Education Association, told the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal. Rose Eveleth is an Ideas contributor at WIRED and the creator and host of Flash Forward, a podcast about possible (and not so possible) futures.