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Health Canada Urges B.C. Residents to Download COVID Alert App as Province Drags Feet – iPhone in Canada

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Health Canada is urging residents in British Columbia to download Canada’s COVID Alert app, as the province drags its feet to support the exposure notification app.

According to the Vancouver Sun, Health Canada told Postmedia News the COVID Alert app is still useful to have, despite the latter has not been officially supported yet in B.C.

“The COVID Alert app is free and voluntary, and is another tool to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and prevent future outbreaks,” said Health Canada spokesperson Maryse Durette, to Postmedia News.

“At all levels of uptake, COVID Alert can help reduce transmission. The more people who use the app the more effective it will be,” added Durette.

B.C. and the federal government are still in talks about the roll out of COVID Alert, added Health Canada. Alberta, the Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories and Nunavut have also not officially adopted COVID Alert yet.

Durette said, “It’s still helpful to download COVID Alert from anywhere in the country, even if you can’t use it to report a diagnosis. That way, you’ll be notified if you come into contact with someone from a reporting province or territory or when people in your area are able to report a diagnosis.”

The B.C. Ministry of Health told Postmedia last week it was working with the federal government to get COVID Alert app active in the province. Clearly, B.C. is not working fast enough when other provinces have been able to support COVID Alert in a shorter timeframe.

Canada’s COVID Alert app is based on Google and Apple’s exposure notification framework, which leverages Bluetooth on devices for anonymous “handshakes” in the background. The app does not use GPS info or collect any user data. It has been vetted as safe by Canada’s privacy commissioner and provincial counterparts.

When someone tests positive for COVID-19, they can anonymously alert others that may have been in contact using COVID Alert, by obtaining a one-time use from their provincial health authority.

Provinces currently supporting COVID Alert:

  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island

Still waiting for:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nunavut
  • Yukon

The federal government of Canada recently acknowledged there was a bug within iOS that affected the COVID Alert app, and urged Canadians to update to iOS 14.0.1 to resolve the issue.

Since October 15, COVID Alert has been download downloaded over 4.5 million times, with 1,696 one-time keys issued.

Download links: 

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Latest Galaxy S21 Leak Reveals Samsung’s Surprising Decision – Forbes

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With Samsung expected to launch the Galaxy S21 handset in the surprisingly early month of January, the South Korean company has decided to update the design of a key area. Changes to the rear of the handsets should allow it to expand the potential power of the camera.

The new details come from the team at Let’s Go Digital. Ilse Jurrien reports:

“LetsGoDigital has received reliable information, including images, from the Galaxy S21 series. To protect our source, which is closely associated with Samsung Electronics, we regret that we cannot post these images online. The LetsGoDigital design team is currently creating highly detailed, high-resolution images, based on the information we have received. Next Monday, December 7th, we will share all the details with you!”

One of the biggest design changes comes with the camera. Thanks to the leading role that photography and imaging plays in the smartphone world, especially in flagship handsets, the capabilities of the camera lens and overall output are critical. Physics of course comes into play, and the requirements for as much space as possible means that the raised ‘camera island’ is here to stay.

Samsung is tweaking the standard look of the island by extending the Island out and around the edge of the handset. From the early renders it looks like Samsung may have found a way to make its handsets physically stand out in a sea of Android slabs. How it looks and feels in practice is going to be an interesting question to answer.

With many expecting Samsung to host a launch event for the Galaxy S21 family at the end of 2021’s Virtual CES on January 14th, we don’t have long to wait for a definitive answer on the new look. 

Now read about the possible cancellation of the Galaxy Note series…

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Qualcomm details connectivity, AI and performance benefits of new Snapdragon 888 – MobileSyrup

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Qualcomm kicked off the first day of its 2020 Snapdragon Tech Summit by announcing its latest Snapdragon 888 mobile platform. Initially light on details, Qualcomm hosted another live stream on Day two of the Tech Summit to dig deeper into the new Snapdragon 888.

During its Day 2 keynote, Qualcomm shared more about the new system-on-a-chip (SoC) and what it brings to the table for 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), photography and more. The Snapdragon 888 will likely power many of 2021’s most significant Android flagships.

To start, Qualcomm dug into the 3rd gen Snapdragon X60 5G Modem-RF System integrated into the Snapdragon 888. The X60 enables 5G, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth experiences. On the 5G end, the X60 supports Sub-6 carrier aggregation and mmWave, sporting up to 7.5Gbps speeds on 5G. Additionally, Qualcomm says the X60 works across virtually all major networks worldwide, as well as U.S. nationwide 5G through the use of Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS).

Snapdragon 888 supports global 5G multi-SIM as well, allowing for international roaming and managing multiple numbers from the same device.

Aside from 5G, the X60 includes the recently announced Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 Mobile Connectivity System. This system enables up to 3.6Gbps Wi-Fi 6 speeds, 6GHz capacity with Wi-Fi 6E. FastConnect 6900 also enables support for Bluetooth 5.2, dual Bluetooth antennas, Qualcomm aptX suite, broadcast audio and advanced modulation and coding optimizations.

Snapdragon’s AI power

As Qualcomm noted on Day 1, the Snapdragon 888 uses the company’s 6th generation Qualcomm AI Engine, which sports the new Qualcomm Hexagon 780 processor. Qualcomm says the Hexagon 780 enables premium experiences that merge AI with professional cameras, personal voice assistants, gaming, connectivity and more.

Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 888 boasts three times more performance per watt over the previous generation, as well as 26 tera operations per second (TOPS). To put that in perspective, last year’s Snapdragon 865 with the 5th gen AI Engine featured 15 TOPS, so this year’s increase is quite impressive.

Alongside the 6th gen AI Engine, the Snapdragon 888 includes the 2nd gen Qualcomm Sensing Hub, which integrates a dedicated low-power AI processor. The Sensing Hub enables features like screen awake, lift and activity detection, and audio event detection.

Powerful camera and gaming capabilities

Qualcomm detailed the improvements to camera capabilities in the Snapdragon 888. Specifically, the company touted its new Spectra 580 ISP, the first in a Snapdragon with a Triple Image Signal Processor (ISP) capable of capturing from three cameras at once.

As the company boasted on Day 1, the Spectra 580 ISP features processing speeds of up to 2.7 gigapixels per second. which translates to roughly 120 photos at 12-megapixel resolution. Qualcomm says the Spectra ISP is capable of capturing 120fps burst snapshots or taking three 4K HDR videos at the same time. Finally, the Spectra 580 ISP includes a new low-light architecture for capturing brighter photos in the dark. There’s support for 10-bit colour depth in the High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF).

Qualcomm continued its gaming push as well, noting that the Snapdragon 888 comes equipped with the full Snapdragon Elite Gaming feature set. That means HDR graphics, Variable Rate Shading (VRS) and more features. VRS helps improve game rendering performance by up to 30 percent for mobile’s most immersive experiences.

Further, the Snapdragon 888 sports Qualcomm’s Game Quick Touch tech, which can lower touch latency by increasing responsiveness by up to 20 percent.

Increased performance and security rounds out the Snapdragon 888

Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 888 features major architectural advances that improve power efficiency and more. That includes using a 5nm process. The new Qualcomm Kryo 680 generates up to 25 percent better CPU performance with top frequencies of up to 2.48GHz. Additionally, the Kryo 680 is the first commercial CPU subsystem based on the Arm Cortex-X1.

Coupled with the Kryo 680 is a more powerful Adreno 660 GPU boasting up to 35 percent faster graphics rendering compared to the previous generation. Qualcomm says both the new CPU and GPU can sustain performance over long periods of time but didn’t elaborate on how long.

On the security side of things, the Snapdragon 888 features several built-in pieces for maintaining the privacy of user data on the device. That includes a Qualcomm Secure Processing Unit, Qualcomm Trusted Execution Environment and support for Qualcomm Wireless Edge Services. Wireless Edge Services is a cloud-based service that allows Snapdragon 888 to measure the security of the device and its wireless connections in real-time.

Qualcomm says it expects Snapdragon 888-powered devices to be commercially available in the first quarter of 2021. Those interested can learn more about the new SoC here.

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Leaker reveals Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 branding – MobileSyrup

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Earlier today, prolific leaker Evan Blass leaked the Galaxy Buds Pro, the rumoured successor to the Galaxy Buds+.

Now, he’s leaked the branding for the upcoming Galaxy Chromebook 2.

Unfortunately, the fact that a new Samsung Chromebook is likely coming is all we know about the device so far.

This year’s Samsung Galaxy Chromebook featured a 4K AMOLED display, a built-in pen and the latest 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor. It’s likely the laptop’s successor will feature similar high-end specs.

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook hit shelves on April 6th this year, so we might get the successor around that time in 2021 as well.

Source: Evan Blass 

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