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Elder and daughter attacked by polar bear on expedition to repatriate Inuit remains

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About 10 boats left a foggy Kangiqsualujjuaq on July 25 as part of a three-day journey in what was bound to be an eventful trip.

A team from the Inuit community located along the northeastern side of Ungava Bay joined representatives from the Avataq Cultural Institute, a Nunavik organization dedicated to preserving language and culture.

They equipped their motor boats and canoes with the necessities: food, camping gear and supplies. But their most precious cargo was the bones of four unknown people whose remains were excavated from Killiniq island — in Nunavut — decades ago.

The team set off to rebury the repatriated remains that had been dug up by an archeologist in the 1930s for research. They had been housed for years in the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que.

Rhoda Kokiapik, executive director at the Avataq Cultural Institute, heard about the remains last year.

After months of work with museum staff — who eventually agreed to cover the cost of the repatriation process — Kokiapik finally picked up the bones in April and got to work planning the trip.

“It’s unnatural for human remains to be stored in an institution,” said Kokiapik. “It’s very important that these remains or any other remains are properly put in place.”

But the trip didn’t go as smoothly as they had hoped.

In the early hours of the morning of July 26, Maggie Emudluk, mayor of Kangiqsualujjuaq, was home in bed when she was awoken by a frantic call.

A resident from town told her a polar bear had attacked two people 140 kilometres northeast of them on the first night of the trip and she needed to co-ordinate a rescue mission.

“The person, pretty much in a panic state, said ‘The people that are going to Killiniq have been attacked by polar bears’ …[I thought] ‘Oh my God,'” said Emudluk.

“It was a father with his daughter and son.”

Elder and daughter attacked by polar bear on 1st night out

Emudluk identified the three family members who were involved in the bear attack as elder Kenny Assevak and his adult children, daughter Siqua Baron and son Ned Baron — who had joined the expedition because of their roots in Killiniq.

The night of the incident, the family was sleeping in a tent when the polar bear showed up just after 2 a.m. Emudluk says the young polar bear reached the father first and then attacked the daughter before Ned Baron killed the bear with a gun at close range.

Emudluk says the father and daughter were seriously injured and are recovering but Ned Baron was not hurt.

Emudluk says the community reacted quickly.

“We dispatched the boat at 4:00 a.m. It’s a couple of hours to go down and we were able to get these people back in our community around … 9:00 a.m. in the morning,” said Emudluk.

She says the clinic airlifted the father and daughter — who both had serious cuts — to the hospital in Kuujjuaq, in Nunavik, Que. She says the elder was later taken to Montreal for treatment and is still recovering.

“It’s a wild country out there. It’s a beautiful but extremely hazardous environment,” said Emudluk, adding that the rest of the repatriation crew had to continue on.

“They had to finish what they’re trying to do.”

LISTEN | Polar bear injures 2 people travelling to bring Inuit remains home:

 

Quebec AM9:28Polar bear injured two residents participating in burial of repatriated Inuit remains in Nunavik

A team from Nunavik faced a number of challenges trying to bury the repatriated remains of four people this summer. Among them, a polar bear attack. CBC’s Rachel Watts spoke with the mayor of Kangiqsualujjuaq about the attack that happened on the first night of the journey.

Team forged on

Kokiapik, who was travelling ahead of the family with another group because of the thick fog, only heard the news over radio the next morning.

It was not how the team wanted the trip to start.

“[I thought] ‘Oh boy, oh boy, I hope everyone is okay,” recalled Kokiapik.

“We learned that they were rescued,” she said. “So that was a bit of an assurance for us … We had no choice but to continue. We were very, very, very far.”

Nunaingok shore where the remains were put to rest on Killiniq island. (Submitted by Rhoda Kokiapik)

The trip to the island took about seven hours by boat and when they finally arrived, Kokiapik says they got to work planning a proper burial.

This was Kokiapik’s first time on the island, which she says used to be inhabited by Inuit who were nomadic.

When the government of the Northwest Territories shut down the community on the island in the 1970s, residents were dispersed to several communities. Kokiapik says while some people return to the island regularly, others haven’t had the opportunity.

“People were happy,” said Kokiapik. “I know some were happy to finally go to their childhood place.”

A grave marked by rocks near a shoreline.
Rhoda Kokiapik says the team gathered rocks to mark the grave near the water. (Submitted by Rhoda Kokiapik)

Kokiapik says the team gathered rocks and found a spot to bury the remains near the water — a proper end to the trip that had been over a year in the making.

“It was such a surreal moment opening the box, which was wrapped in special material that will dissolve overtime,” said Kokiapik.

“After that, we said a short prayer performed by one of our elders … Every human deserves to be resting.”

 

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New photos reveal more details about Google’s Pixel 9 Pro Fold

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Google’s secret new line of Pixel 9 phones isn’t that big of a secret anymore. Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) released new photos of the phones including the Pixel 9 Pro Fold from almost every conceivable angle.

Android Authority found the photos in the NCC archives and uploaded galleries of each of the four phones including the Pixel 9, 9 Pro, 9 Pro XL and 9 Pro Fold. They reveal some interesting details about the new Pixel phones.

The charging rates will be a little faster than the last generation of Pixel phones: Taiwanese authorities measured 24.12W for the base model, 25.20W for the Pro and 32.67W for the 9 Pro XL. The Pixel 9 Pro Fold, however, was the slowest of all of them at 20.25W. These numbers don’t often match up perfectly with the advertised ratings, so expect Google to be promoting higher numbers at its event.

Speaking of chargers, it looks like Google needed a bigger charger to power its new phones. Photos included in the NCC leak show each phone will come with a wall charger that’s around 45W depending on which model you purchase. The charger’s plug moved from the middle to the top of the brick.

The Google Pixel 9 Pro Fold can fully unfold.
NCC/Android Authority

The latest photo dump also shows the 9 Pro Fold unfolded for the first time. Google has moved the selfie camera to the inside screen for a wider field of view. The 9 Pro Fold also has a slimmer top and bottom, a reduced fold crease on the display and a full 180 degree unfolding angle to make a screen that’s just over 250mm or just under 10 inches.

These photos are the latest in a very long list of leaks of Google Pixel 9 photos. The last Pixel 9 leak came down yesterday showing two prototype models of the base and XL models. Google might look into buying a new combination lock for the high school locker where they apparently keep all their unreleased gear.

 

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Apple Wallet now supports Canada’s Presto card, with Express Transit

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Apple Wallet now supports the Presto transit card used in Ontario, Canada. The card can be used for travel in Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa.

The digital version of the card includes the Express Transit Pass feature, meaning that you can tap in and out without having to authenticate …

 

Ontario’s Presto card

The Presto contactless smart card system was first trialled back in 2007, and started the full rollout in 2009. The card can be used across 11 different transit systems in the areas covered.

Apple Wallet support was first promised many years ago, but things went quiet until a “coming soon” announcement back in May of this year.

Although the contactless terminals allow the use of credit and debit cards for regular fares, a Presto card is needed for monthly passes and discounted travel.

Apple Wallet support now available

The company made the announcement today.

Tap to ride with PRESTO on iPhone and Apple Watch.

Traveling around town just got easy with your PRESTO in Apple Wallet. With Express Mode, you don’t need to wake or unlock your iPhone or Apple Watch or open any apps to use PRESTO in Apple Wallet. Just hold your device near the reader to pay and go.

Ride, even when your iPhone needs a charge

If your iPhone needs a charge, PRESTO Card in Apple Wallet will still work. Power Reserve provides up to five hours of support, so you can still ride.

Reload on the go. 

With your PRESTO card on your iPhone and Apple Watch, you can easily load funds, right from Apple Wallet or PRESTO App. No need to visit a customer service outlet.

Extra security. Built right in 

PRESTO in Apple Wallet can take full advantage of the privacy and security features built into iPhone and Apple Watch. Your PRESTO card is stored on the device, which means Apple does not see when you use it—helping keep your data private and secure.

If you lose your iPhone or Apple Watch, you can use the Find My app to lock and help locate the device and suspend your PRESTO card or remotely erase the device and its cards.

Mobile Syrup reports that you can choose between adding your existing card to your Wallet, or creating a new one.

There are two ways to add a Presto card to Apple Wallet. You can either buy a new card or move your old one over using the Presto app.

That being said, for simplicity’s sake, unless you have a discounted Presto agreement like a student or senior plan, I think most riders will be happy just making a new card in Apple Wallet and loading funds from that app.

As with any digital card or pass, you can use either your iPhone or Apple Watch, but because each generates a unique virtual card number, you need to use the same device at both ends of your journey.

Express Transit feature

To minimize delays, Presto offers Express Transit support. This means that you don’t need to authenticate using Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone, and you don’t need to double-tap the side button on your Apple Watch. Simply hold your device close to the pad and you’re good (a number of clues are used to detect fraudulent use).

Express Transit also has the advantage that it continues to work in Low Power mode, so you’ll still be able to complete your journey even if your phone or Watch is almost dead.

Image: Presto

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The OnePlus Pad 2 Wants to Be the iPad Air of Android Tablets

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The original OnePlus Pad was a decent all-around Android tablet, but it was not amazing in any one area. Now, OnePlus is back with a new tablet device that packs more power, has a better screen, more speakers, and a higher starting price. OnePlus offers an Android tablet alternative that costs less than the latest iPad Airs, though it seems like it’s hewing very close to the rendition from 2023. 

The OnePlus Pad 2 is a one-size-fits-all 12.1-inch 3K tablet. At $550 for 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, it’s $70 more than the first OnePlus Pad, though it starts with more memory and twice as much internal storage as the first go around’s paltry 128 GB. It’s bigger than the 11.6 LCD on last year’s Pad, though now it’s beefed its resolution to 3K (3000 x 2120) with a stated 600 nits typical and 900 nits peak brightness. It has a variable refresh rate between 30 and 144 Hz, though it’s still an LCD screen, the same as the 2023 OnePlus Pad.

Just like last year’s version, the new Pad supports Dolby Atmos, but it boasts a six-stereo speaker configuration on either side of the device. It may not be as specifically sound-tailored as the Lenovo Tab Plus, but what’s promised is a solid middle ground. 

Last year’s tablet used MediaTek Dimensity 9000 CPU, which was good enough for most applications but not exactly top of its class. The Pad 2 is now powered with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 mobile chip. Gizmodo has already experienced some of the chip’s capabilities in Samsung’s latest foldables, and already it’s very promising. We haven’t yet had the chance to compare a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 tablet to Apple’s latest iPad Air with M2, though on the whole, M2 usually performs better than Qualcomm’s mobile chips in bare benchmark tests. How much that matters depends on what programs you expect to use on your tablet. 

Image: OnePlus

Every device maker thinks they need AI to compete, and OnePlus isn’t an outlier here. There are promised “AI Toolbox” features like AI text-to-speech and recording summaries. The AI Eraser 2.0 will also work like Google’s Magic Eraser to remove unwanted photo elements. 

There’s a new $99 OnePlus Stylo 2 and a $150 Oneplus Smart Keyboard to accompany the new tablet. Despite the size and price difference, there will be many similarities between last year’s and the 2024 model. The Pad 2 has the same 9,510 mAh battery as last year’s, plus the 67W “SUPERVOOC” fast charging. It promises 43 days of standby time, though in our experience, the first Pad’s lifespan and promised “one-month standby life” was far more modest in practice, lasting most of the day before needing a recharge. 

With a bigger screen, the upcoming Pad 2 is slightly heavier than last year’s rendition. It weighs about 1.3 pounds, so it’s exactly between the 11- and 13-inch iPad Airs or slightly more than the base 11-inch Galaxy Tab S9 (and far less than the humongous Tab S9 Ultra). It will be relatively thin at 6.49 mm, but it’s not beating the iPad Air’s 6.1 mm or the iPad Pro 13-inch’s holy grail 5.1 mm.

The first OnePlus Pad didn’t exactly break new ground in any one category, though it did show Android tablets had legs. We’ve seen attempts from Goole and its Pixel Tablet, though that, too, wasn’t the pioneer of Android tablets. A better chip and more speakers do seem promising, though, in its effort to be everything to everyone, we’ll need to see if it manages to stand out in any area.

The OnePlus Pad 2 is now available for preorder. It should be available on the OnePlus website starting July 30 and on Amazon starting August.

 

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