A new gaming laptop has leaked via a German electronics retailer. That in and of itself is not unusual, but the specs of the leaked computer are interesting. The new variant of Acer’s Nitro 5 has an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 mobile GPU. However, neither of those parts officially exist yet. Oops.
The computer appeared on the Electronic Partner website for a short time before removal, but you can still see a cached copy. The laptop configuration (model AN517-41-R9S5) looks like it will slot into the high-end of Acer’s product portfolio. There’s a 17.3-inch 1080p LCD with a 144Hz refresh, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. Thanks to the substantial footprint, the Nitro 5 has a full number pad in the backlit keyboard.
What really makes the unreleased computer a beast is the CPU and GPU configuration. While these parts don’t officially exist, we can surmise what they’ll offer based on leaks and the model numbers. The CPU, for instance, is listed as a Ryzen 7 5800H. On the desktop side, the 5800X is one of the most powerful Zen 3 chips available. Although, “available” might be a little misleading. These CPUs have been in very short supply. AMD reportedly plans to mix and match Zen 2 and Zen 3 in the mobile Ryzen 5000-series, but we believe the 5800 will be a 45W Zen 3 CPU with eight cores and 16 threads with a 3.2GHz base clock speed (4.5GHz max).
The mobile-optimized RTX 3080 is more mysterious, but it’s possible the hardware will be more akin to the RTX 3070 with a boosted clock speed. Regardless, that would still make it one of the most powerful GPUs in any Windows computer, and you might actually be able to buy one. Desktop versions of the 3000-series RTX GPUs have been almost impossible to find ever since launch, and the shortage is expected to continue well into 2021.
The combination of two hard-to-find components will no doubt make this a popular computer, whenever it’s official. It won’t come cheap, though. The retailer had it listed at €1,948.61, which converts to about $ 2,375. That would put it solidly at the high-end for a Windows gaming laptop. Although, you can’t find a desktop RTX 3080 for anything south of $ 1,200 right now. You might save money buying this fancy laptop.
As the coronavirus exploded around the globe, scientists at the World Health Organization (WHO) were sometimes privately frustrated by the mistakes made by some of their top donor countries but reluctant to say so publicly, leaked recordings of internal meetings show.
After sharp criticism for not taking a stronger role in curbing the pandemic, the UN health agency holds its annual meeting this week under intense pressure to reform. WHO is also hoping that U.S. president-elect Joe Biden will reverse a decision by Washington to leave the organization made by the Trump administration in June.
One of WHO’s central dilemmas is that it has no enforcement powers or authority to independently investigate epidemics. Instead, the agency relies on behind-the-scenes talks and countries’ co-operation.
As the pandemic gained pace, WHO often shied away from calling out some of its biggest donors, including Japan, France and Britain. WHO scientists labelled some of their approaches “macabre” and “an unfortunate laboratory to study the virus,” according to dozens of leaked recordings of internal WHO meetings and documents from January to April obtained by The Associated Press.
“By not speaking up when countries are doing questionable things, WHO is undermining its own authority while the planet burns,” said Sophie Harman, a professor of international politics at Queen Mary University in London.
Others said it would be politically unwise for WHO to be too outspoken unless countries give the agency more power.
“If Tedros was to take a very aggressive stance toward member countries, there would be repercussions,” said Suerie Moon, co-director of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of Geneva, referring to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Concerns started with China
WHO spokesperson Farah Dakhlallah said that since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, “WHO officials have had and continue to have, frank and open discussions with government counterparts. “We are proud of an organizational culture that fosters candid discussions.”
It’s not unprecedented for WHO to publicly question its member states. It threatened to close its China office when the country was hiding cases during the SARS outbreak and loudly called for Nigeria to reverse its boycott of the polio vaccine in 2003.
WHO’s reticence to call out countries started with China, as the AP earlier reported. Despite a January meeting between Tedros and Chinese President Xi Jinping, information from Beijing was still sparse throughout February. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19, noted that the agency lacked “enough detail to say what has worked and what hasn’t.”
WHO scientists soon grew concerned about Japan. On Feb. 1, a passenger who disembarked the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Hong Kong tested positive for the coronavirus. At the ship’s next stop in Yokohama, authorities put all 3,711 people aboard under lockdown.
WHO emergencies chief Michael Ryan told reporters at the time: “Let’s be careful here not to overreact.” But on Feb. 10, the case count nearly doubled overnight.
“[That’s] not surprising given the nature of the response of the investigation,” Ryan said at an internal meeting, noting Japan had only assigned a small number of epidemiologists to investigate.
Dr. Thomas Grein, WHO’s chief of acute events management team, said they had failed to glean much information from their Japanese counterparts, calling it a “very, very sensitive issue.”
Although WHO was keenly aware the situation was deteriorating, scientists said the outbreak could help in understanding COVID-19 transmission.
“[It’s] unfortunate but a useful opportunity to study the natural history of the virus,” Ryan said.
In late February, the virus also gained a foothold in Italy, turning Europe into the epicentre of the pandemic.
At WHO, Grein told his colleagues that WHO’s efforts to get more detail about the spiralling outbreaks in Italy and elsewhere had “spectacularly failed” as officials worried about the lack of action taken across Europe.
Yet on March 8, Tedros tweeted that “the government & the people of Italy are taking bold, courageous steps aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.”
Lawrence Gostin, director of the WHO Collaborating Center on Public Health Law and Human Rights at Georgetown University, said WHO should be obligated to report when countries are not sharing data, saying it was dangerous for the agency to be “flying blind.”
Other WHO complaints
WHO also complained in private about Western countries hoarding scarce pandemic supplies.
“We had the terrible situation yesterday with [protective personal equipment] where all the supplies were requisitioned in France, and we lost access,” Ryan told his colleagues.
As countries across Europe adopted physical distancing measures and cancelled mass gatherings in early March, Ryan noticed one country did not: Britain.
“There isn’t a single sports event in Europe, and yet all of the Premier League matches in the U.K. are to go ahead,” he said.
Ryan described Britain’s pandemic strategy as “problematic” after hearing the U.K.’s chief scientific officer say the country was aiming for herd immunity.
“For that to happen, hundreds of thousands and millions of older people are going to become infected, and there is just going to be so much death,” Ryan said.
Still, he said the different approaches to tackling COVID-19 globally could prove to be “a massive ecological study” that would allow WHO to document what worked.
“It’s macabre in some ways, but it’s reality,” he said.
Going forward, WHO’s role trying to stop the pandemic will depend in part on the independent panel review. Harman, the expert from Queen Mary University, sympathized that WHO had enormous responsibility in the early months of COVID-19 but said even greater challenges loom now.
“With the next wave of the pandemic, I think the time for quiet diplomacy has passed,” she said.
A new set of rumors have leaked regarding the next-generation Xbox and PS5 and the GPUs both consoles will bring to market. We’ve known the broad specs of both platforms for a bit — both use AMD GPUs and CPUs, with the GPU based on AMD’s most recent RDNA architecture, while the CPU is derived from the same 7nm Ryzen CPU cores that launched earlier this summer. What we’ve lacked is specific details on the GPU cores themselves.
Eurogamer has gotten their hands on some leak data they feel is fairly legit, and the website’s track record with this kind of information is solid. There have been some rumored APU configurations that leaked earlier this year, but this new data implies the Sony PS5 will feature 36 GPU clusters clocked at up to 2GHz. Supposedly the silicon, codenamed Oberon, is designed to operate in three different modes (Gen 0, 1, and 2) with clocks of 800MHz, 911MHz, and 2GHz respectively. Supposedly memory bandwidth is 448GB/s in Gen 2 mode (though 512GB/s is an alternate possibility) and the GPU can reportedly also be variably configured in terms of ROP and core counts. Eurogamer states:
While a 2.0GHz GPU clock is used for what is described as the fully unlocked ‘native’ or ‘Gen2’ mode, the processor is also tested in what is referred to as Gen1 and Gen0 modes. The former is explicitly stated as running with 36 compute units, a 911MHz core clock, 218GB/s of memory bandwidth and 64 ROPs – the exact specifications of PlayStation 4 Pro. The latter Gen0 mode cuts the CU and ROP counts in half and runs at 800MHz, a match for the base PS4. The indications are that back-compat is an integral part of the silicon, which in turn raises some interesting questions about the makeup of the Navi GPU and the extent to which older GCN compatibility may be baked into the design.
The implication here is that the PS5 SoC contains multiple GPU clusters, just like the PS4 Pro did. Using multiple GPU clusters in the same SoC would give Sony the same ability to turn the clusters on or off depending on which mode the GPU was running in. Alternately, the GPU cluster could be physically unified but designed to allow for this kind of fine-grained power gating. Stamping out identical clusters would be simpler, designing a unified cluster with fine-grained gating is probably more complex but saves on die space.
As for the Xbox Series X, Eurogamer is implying this console packs serious firepower. Here’s the rumored configuration:
Image by Eurogamer
If this rumor proves true — always something to keep in mind — the Xbox Series X will launch packing the equivalent of a high-end PC GPU. The largest GPU AMD has ever built are cards like the R9 Fury X and Vega 64, with 4096 cores. A 56-cluster Navi GPU would pack 1.4x more GPU cores than the 5700 XT, which already competes in the high-end PC GPU segment at the ~$ 400 price point. While AMD is expected to launch Navi 20 before the Xbox Series X debuts, we haven’t seen any indication that the company intends to dramatically expand the number of GPU cores it offers — Navi improved on GCN’s performance by making the individual cores more efficient as opposed to simply throwing more cores at the problem. It’s highly unlikely, in other words, that AMD would build a 56 CU for Microsoft and then ship a 128 CU design into the PC market.
If this rumor proves true, Microsoft is playing a far more aggressive game than it did last generation. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that AMD ships an 80 CU version of Navi 20, which comes out to 2x Navi 10. That would give the Xbox Series X 3,584 GPU cores compared to 5,120 for Navi 20, or about 70 percent as many.
In 2013, the Xbox One shipped with 768 GPU cores. The month before, AMD had shipped the R9 290X, with 2,816 cores. The PS4, at debut, had 1,152 cores. The Xbox had 27 percent as many GPU cores as the R9 290X, while the PS4 had 41 percent. While we can’t draw linear comparisons between console and PC performance strictly on the basis of GPU core count, the PC GPU was obviously far larger, with significantly more compute and graphics resources.
If — again, if — these rumors are true, the gaps are going to be a lot narrower this time around. The 1.7GHz clock speed on the Xbox Series X’s GPU is required to hit a supposed target of 12TFLOPS, but Eurogamer didn’t get that clock speed leak directly. The gap in GPU performance between the PS5 and XSX would be partially offset by faster clocks on the PS5, but only partially.
Frankly, the spec gap between the PS5 and XSX is large enough that you could argue the Xbox specs are less likely to be true. It’s also possible Microsoft decided to pull out all the stops after the disaster of the Xbox One. Doubling down on beating Sony in raw performance from Day 1 might represent Microsoft’s big idea for preventing a repeat of what happened last generation.
If the Xbox rumors are accurate there doesn’t seem to be a way for MS to sell the console at $ 400 without losing money — and I’ve got doubts about $ 500 as well, given that the system is expected to also use a high-speed NVMe-attached SSD and GDDR6. Hard drives might be slow, but they’re still cheaper than the equivalent amount of solid state storage. That doesn’t mean MS can’t pursue a loss-making strategy, but both MS and Sony opted not to do that with the initial Xbox One / PS4 after taking heavier-than-expected losses on X360 and PS3 (particularly in Sony’s case).
This kind of configuration would make a lot more sense if Microsoft is serious about a lower-end version of the console and intends to debut both. The PS5’s smaller GPU looks more like what we’d expect from a generational update. On the other hand, if this points to an upper-end Xbox Series X, it means that version of the console is going to pack high-end* PC-equivalent performance. With a 56-CU Navi, 8-core Ryzen 7nm CPU and 560GB/s of system memory bandwidth there’s no way it could perform like anything else.
Amazon’s Ring subsidiary makes some of the most popular home security cameras, and it has leveraged that distinction to push its products with the help of police departments around the US. In return, Ring helps police gather footage from consumer cameras. Now, a newly leaked document reveals Ring’s ultimate plans to create “neighborhood watch lists” based on facial recognition.
Most companies that make and sell consumer security cameras are very careful about the sharing features they add, but Ring expends great effort to get its customers to use its “Neighbors” app. After signing up, Ring users across a neighborhood can share video and communicate with each other. However, this is also how Ring entices police to help it push its products.
Ring partners with about 400 police departments, giving officers access to the Neighbors portal where they can request video footage from users. Ring gives police points for people who sign up for Neighbors in their jurisdiction, which entitles police to free Ring cameras that they can distribute to the community. Many privacy advocates have expressed alarm at the way Ring has constructed what amounts to a private surveillance network for police with essentially no oversight.
Ring hasn’t implemented facial recognition on its cameras, but the leaked document acquired by The Intercept shows how it would use that technology. The planning materials detail a system whereby people could identify certain people as “suspicious.” The Ring app might even prompt people to mark people as “suspicious” if it believes they are acting in a suspicious manner, whatever that means. AI would remember those faces, and alert other Ring users if the same face shows up in their video feed.
The Ring Law Enforcement Neighborhood Portal.
The documents also make repeated mention of aiding law enforcement, but a private company’s facial recognition tech doesn’t seem like the most responsible way to fight crime. The company floats “proactive suspect matching,” which would identify people suspected of criminal behavior. It’s unclear how police would be involved here, but it’s possible they could provide images to be matched on Ring’s system.
The ACLU has noted that Ring’s proposed neighborhood watch system could simply allow people to create lists of “undesirables” who might sound alarms when they enter certain neighborhoods. We don’t know if Ring’s facial recognition would be accurate, and the idea of using this feature to inform police work could lead to undue harassment and even arrests.
Ring says it is not in the process of developing facial recognition or the neighborhood watch features described in the document. However, it doesn’t deny the documents are real.
A trove of secret documents has revealed China’s efforts to track members of its Uighur population living around the world, as well as the government’s attempts to arrest Uighurs with foreign citizenship upon their return to China, including Canadians.
The files have been verified by intelligence experts, translated and given to CBC News and other international media partners by the ICIJ in an effort to raise awareness of China’s treatment of Uighurs.
Uighurs are a Muslim minority group of Turkic origin who are native to the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang, near the Kazakhstan border. The China Cables show a concerted effort to exert control over Uighurs across the globe, including in Canada.
“I think most of the Uighur people who study here or are living here feel the pressure from the Chinese government,” one Uighur student living in Canada told CBC News.
“[China is] afraid that Uighurs living abroad will tell the facts about what is happening in Xinjiang to the foreign media or foreign peoples.”
The student agreed to speak with CBC on condition that his identity remained confidential and will be referred to as Abraham for the purpose of this story.
The student said the government has threatened his parents and used them as leverage in order to monitor his activity in Canada.
“They control everything in China,” he said. “They can find out anything.”
Alex Neve, secretary general for Amnesty International Canada, said the documents “make it clear that what is underway is a sinister program of incarceration on a massive scale that the world has hardly seen anywhere in decades.”
What the documents reveal
Uighurs have long been monitored by the Chinese state because of their religious beliefs and ethnicity. But recent investigations by journalists and human rights organizations suggest a new level of persecution.
During a United Nations summit this summer, a Chinese foreign minister characterized the camps as “education and training centres” that “help the people free themselves from terrorism and extremism and acquire useful skills.”
One of the newly obtained documents, entitled “Autonomous Regional Party Committee Command for Cracking Down and Assaulting on the Front Lines” and dated June 16, 2017, showed that China was closely monitoring 75 of the Uighurs who had obtained foreign citizenship and were believed to be in China at the time.
“It cannot be ruled out that they are still active in the country,” the document said. “Personal identification verification should be inspected one by one.”
The document also broke them down by citizenship: “26 are Turkish, 23 are Australian, three are American, five are Swedish, two from New Zealand, one from the Netherlands, three from Uzbekistan, two from the United Kingdom, five are Canadian, three are Finnish, one is French and one is from Kyrgyzstan.”
Amnesty International’s Neve said the newly acquired documents “refute the picture that has been put forward by the Chinese government, of [the internment camps] being the benign educational vocational experience for the Uighur population.”
The documents also instruct officials to deport Uighurs from China who had obtained citizenship in another country and given up their Chinese citizenship. Those who hadn’t and for whom “suspected terrorism cannot be ruled out,” the documents suggest, should “be placed into concentrated education and training.”
Similar language shows up in another section, which reveals that China’s embassies and consulates were tracking 4,341 people from Xinjiang who had spent time abroad and had applied for visas and directed officials to “analyze” them — “especially the 1,707 people who have not yet left the country.”
“For those still outside the country for whom suspected terrorism cannot be ruled out … ensure that they are arrested the moment they cross the border,” the document stated. “For those who have entered the country and for whom suspected terrorism cannot be ruled out, they should first be placed into concentrated education and training for examination.”
The ICIJ sent a physical and electronic copy of the China Cables to the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., and sought comment from the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing. ICIJ did not receive a response in either case.
The only official to respond to ICIJ partners about the documents was Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese ambassador to the U.K., who called the reporting “pure fabrication.”
Is Canada safe for Uighurs?
Abraham said Chinese authorities pressured him to send home his Canadian identification, address, school documents and even personal health information, but he doesn’t know why.
“I sent it to them because they said they require this information,” he said.
He said that if he doesn’t comply with Chinese authorities’ demands, his family in Xinjiang will be placed in the camps.
Abraham said he knows other students in Canada who have relatives in the camps, and that many of these students are scared to speak out.
WATCH | ‘Then she disappeared’: Canadian Uighur Mehmet Tohtidescribes how his mother was taken from her home by what he suspects were Chinese security police:
Mehmet Tohti, founder of the Canadian Uighur Society, describes the last time he was able to talk to his mother in China. 1:44
Mehmet Tohti has been an outspoken activist for Uighur rights in Toronto for years and knows the Chinese government’s control tactics well.
“It is intimidation. It is harassment. It is threatening,” he said, describing a strategy of “hijacking your father, mother, loved ones back home … and forcing you to be silent.” Tohti said Uighur activists feel pressure from the Chinese government here.
Turdush said she was filmed, shouted at and called a “separatist” at the event on campus. McMaster’s student union ultimately stripped a Chinese students club of its status over its alleged links to the Chinese government.
China using families as leverage
A Uighur refugee who sought asylum in Canada after living in exile in Turkey for two years said her family was pressured by the Chinese government to encourage her return to Xinjiang.
The last time Dilnur — who asked CBC to withhold her last name — spoke with her family by phone was in April 2017. She fears they may have been forcibly taken to the camps.
“My family members didn’t know I came to Canada,” she said. “They think I still live in Turkey.”
When asked why she felt the need to hide her identity in speaking with CBC, Dilnur paused, then translated a word on her phone from Uighur to English: “Danger.”
She said she is “afraid” and believes her husband and children are in danger. Dilnur said that if Uighurs return to their home country, “Chinese government, I think, [will] kill us.”
Neve said the Chinese government is keeping independent international human rights organizations like Amnesty International and the United Nations out of the internment camps.
“These kinds of campaigns of intimidation and massive human rights violations always have many motivations on the government’s part, but one is to sow fear and intimidation and cast a chill so that people will be terrified of protesting, they will be unwilling to speak out,” Neve said.
The majority of people in China belong to the Han ethnic group. David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said the reason the state targets Uighurs is because of a desire to make the Xinjiang region more Chinese in culture, language and population.
“The ultimate [aim] is to make sure that there are more Han Chinese in any particular region [of China] than there are members of any local ethnic group,” he said.
Mulroney said he’s not surprised by the reports of Chinese government surveillance of Uighurs in Canada.
“China has been doing that for some time,” he said. “It employs students. It employs people in the community to keep an eye out for people that the state considers troublemakers.”
Mulroney said some Uighurs in China are forced to “voluntarily” exile themselves from their relatives in Canada in an attempt to protect them.
“There are some very brave Uighurs who continue to speak up and to tell their story, but a lot of others, I think, would be looking to the government of Canada for a degree of protection and support,” he said.
“Until countries begin to show more backbone, and begin to push back, China will continue to do things like this.”
Secret British government documents have warned of serious disruptions across the country in the event that the U.K. leaves the European Union without a trade deal on Oct. 31, according to a report.
The Sunday Times newspaper published what it said was what the British government expects in the case of a sudden, “no-deal” Brexit. Among the most serious effects: “significant” disruptions to the supply of drugs and medicine, a decrease in the availability of fresh food and even potential fresh water shortages due to possible interruptions of imported water treatment chemicals.
Although the grim scenarios reportedly outlined in the government documents have long been floated by academics and economists, they’ve been repeatedly dismissed as scare-mongering by Brexit proponents.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is ready to leave the EU regardless of whether he is able to renegotiate the Brexit deal struck with Brussels by his predecessor, Theresa May.
His own officials, however, have warned that with a no-deal Brexit, the sharing of law enforcement data and the health of Britain’s crucial financial services industry could be in jeopardy after Oct. 31.
The documents published by the Times also quote officials as warning that up to 85 per cent of all trucks wouldn’t be ready for French customs at the critical English Channel crossing that day, causing lines that could stretch out for days. Some 75 per cent of all drugs coming into Britain arrive via that crossing, the memos warned, “making them particularly vulnerable to severe delays.”
The officials foresee “critical elements” of the food supply chain being affected that would “reduce availability and choice and increase the price, which will affect vulnerable groups.”
Britain’s Cabinet Office didn’t return a message seeking comment on the documents, but Michael Gove, the British minister in charge of no-deal preparations, insisted that the files represented a “worst case scenario.”
Very “significant steps have been taken in the last three weeks to accelerate Brexit planning,” he said in a message posted to Twitter.
We don’t normally comment on leaks – but a few facts – Yellowhammer is a worst case scenario – v significant steps have been taken in the last 3 weeks to accelerate Brexit planning – and Black Swan is not an HMG doc but a film about a ballet dancer… <a href=”https://t.co/lRAgavfDze”>https://t.co/lRAgavfDze</a>
But the documents, which are titled “planning assumptions,” mention a “base scenario,” not a “worst case” one. The Times quoted an unnamed Cabinet Office source as saying the memos were simply realistic assessments of what was most likely to happen.
The opposition Labour Party, which is trying to delay Brexit and organize a government of national unity, held up the report as another sign that no-deal must be avoided.
“It seems to me is what we’ve seen is a hard-headed assessment of reality, that sets out in really stark terms what a calamitous outcome of no-deal Brexit would mean for the United Kingdom,” lawmaker Nick Thomas-Symonds told Sky News television. “The government is reckless in the way it’s been pushing forward with no-deal planning in this way.”
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country is ready for Brexit, even without a deal to smooth the transition.
Merkel said Sunday during an open house at the chancellery in Berlin that she would “try everything in my power to find solutions” and that “I believe that it would be better to leave with an agreement than without one.”
But she added that “should it come to that we are prepared for this eventuality too.”
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello says he is resigning effective Aug. 2 in the face of public furor over an obscenity-laced online chat that showed the governor and close advisers insulting women and mocking constituents including the victims of Hurricane Maria.
The 40-year-old Rossello is the first governor to resign in the modern history of Puerto Rico, a territory of 3.2 million United States citizens that is mired in a 13-year recession and still recovering from the Category 4 hurricane two years ago.
Public outrage over the leaked chats and federal corruption charges against former government officials sparked massive demonstrations across San Juan in the largest protest movement on the island since Puerto Ricans successfully marched to demand an end to U.S. Navy military training on the island of Vieques more than 15 years ago.
Justice Secretary Wanda Vazquez will become the new governor.
Rossello, a first-term governor for the U.S. territory, had previously resisted calls to step down over a scandal local media have dubbed “Rickyleaks.”
Puerto Rico has been rocked by protests for nearly two weeks after offensive chat messages from July 13 between Rossello and his aides, several of whom have already quit, were made public. The messages contained profane language used to describe female politicians and gay Puerto Rican celebrities, including singer Ricky Martin.
An independent panel of lawyers commissioned by the speaker of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives to investigate the offensive messages found four felonies and one misdemeanor may have been committed during the Telegram message group chats, one of the lawyers, Luis Rodriguez-Rivera, said in an email.
Thousands of protesters outside the powder-blue and white governor’s mansion grew ever more impatient for news from Rossello earlier on Wednesday. Rows of riot police marched past the residence, dubbed “the Fortress,” in preparation for what some thought could become a night of confrontation if Rossello did not step down.
Puerto Rico’s constitution says the island’s secretary of state would become governor in the event of a resignation, but Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marin left the post due to the chat scandal. Next in line is Vazquez, whom many protesters reject because of her ties to the governor.
A string of Rossello’s closest aides have stepped down as prosecutors investigated the scandal. The governor’s chief of staff Ricardo Llerandi resigned on Tuesday, citing concerns for the safety of his family.
The Nintendo Switch has been a massive hit for Nintendo, and the company is launching a cheaper “Lite” version of the console in just a few weeks. No game console is without its issues, though. Switch owners have increasingly reported “Joy-Con Drift” problems that cause unintended movements. It’s no “red ring of death,” but gamers are still annoyed. Now, Nintendo is reportedly taking it seriously, according to a leaked internal memo.
Switch owners started whispering about Joy-Con Drift shortly after the console’s launch. Because of some internal hardware fault, the thumbsticks on some Joy-Con controllers begin registering movement even when you’re not touching them. The result is in-game avatars that slowly creep across the screen.
Nintendo has always performed free repairs on Joy-Cons under warranty, but owners had to jump through all the usual hoops to confirm warranty status. If they couldn’t or the console was no longer under warranty, they’d have to pay for the repair. A new internal memo leaked to Vice Games indicates Nintendo is lifting restrictions in light of the problem’s scale. Nintendo has apparently informed reps that customers no longer have to provide proof of purchase for Joy-Con repairs. In addition, the company won’t even have to confirm warranty status.
So, anyone with a defective Joy-Con can get it repaired for free — probably. Nintendo won’t confirm the internal memo at this time. We may need to wait for Switch owners to report back with their experiences dealing with the company. Vice did call Nintendo to report Joy-Con Drift, and the phone rep seemed happy to initiate a free repair. If you’ve already had your controllers repaired, the memo says representatives should issue a refund after confirming the previous repair. Out-of-warranty repairs for Joy-Con Drift reportedly cost about $ 40 prior to this change, and Nintendo’s memo says customers who complain about the charge for previous repairs can get a refund.
Nintendo doesn’t acknowledge in the memo that there’s a pervasive problem with the Joy-Cons, but it is giving customers the benefit of the doubt. We can only hope the company is taking the issue seriously. The new Switch Lite doesn’t have removable controllers like the original Switch. If those thumbsticks have the same issues, it will be much more annoying to have the hardware repaired or replaced.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said Sunday evening that he will not resign in the face of public furor over an obscenity-laced leaked online chat, but he will not seek re-election or continue as head of his pro-statehood political party.
Protesters said they were not satisfied by Rossello’s concessions, and pledged to continue demonstrations that have filled the streets of Old San Juan for more than a week.
“He’s stretching things out. We had hoped he’d taken the decision to resign. He’s making the people’s pain last longer,” said Emmarie Morales, a protester from the southeast coastal town of Patillas. She said the governor’s decision would not end the protests. “He’s given us more strength to protest. We aren’t going to sit around watching Netflix.”
In a brief video posted on Facebook, Rossello also said he looked forward to defending himself against the process of impeachment, whose initial stages are being explored by Puerto Rico’s legislature.
“In spite of everything, I recognize that apologizing isn’t enough, that only my work will help restore confidence …,” the governor said. “Facing that scenario, I announce to you that I will not seek re-election next year.”
The 889 pages of chat on the encrypted app Telegram between the governor and 11 close allies and members of his administration, all men, showed the governor and his close advisers insulting women and mocking constituents, including the victims of Hurricane Maria.
Since the chat leaked July 13, hundreds of thousands of outraged Puerto Ricans have marched to Rossello’s official residence in the largest protest movement on the island since Puerto Ricans successfully demonstrated to demand an end to U.S. Navy military training on the island of Vieques more than 15 years ago.
Puerto Rico’s justice secretary, Wanda Vazquez, would assume the governor’s role under the territorial constitution’s line of succession if Rossello should quit.
The upheaval comes as the U.S. territory is struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria and trying to restructure part of $ 70 billion US in debt amid a 13-year recession. Puerto Rico is home to more than 3 million U.S. citizens who do not have full representation in Congress or a vote for president.
“Today, I have the great responsibility to direct my efforts, and those of my administration, to keep searching for ways and means for us, united before God, to be able to keep guiding our island,” the governor said.
Pressure to resign
On Monday morning, tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans were expected to take over one of the island’s main highways to demand Rossello’s resignation as legislators considered whether to take the first steps of the impeachment process.
Arriving late Sunday to prepare for Monday’s march was Nicole Quintana, a 32-year-old dentist, along with her husband and their three-month-old son.
“We had to do it for him,” she said, gesturing to her son. She said they drove about two hours from the coastal town of Isabela to participate. “Finally people have said: ‘Enough is enough. This ends here.”‘
Pressure on Rossello to step down has grown throughout the week as the chorus calling for his resignation grew to include Puerto Rico music superstars Ricky Martin, Bad Bunny and Residente and a string of U.S. politicians including Congress members from both parties, several Democratic presidential candidates and Puerto Rico’s non-voting representative in Congress.
Rossello was elected governor in November 2016 with nearly 50 per cent of the vote, and he had already announced his intention to seek a second term. A graduate of MIT with a doctorate in genetics, he is the son of former Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Rossello, who flew to the island to marshal support after the chat was made public.
The governor belongs to the New Progressive Party, which seeks statehood for the island, and he is also a Democrat. Most of his time has been spent seeking federal funds since Hurricane Maria devastated the island on Sept. 20, 2017, and battling austerity measures implemented by a federal control board that Congress set up to oversee the island government’s finances.
The upheaval against Rossello prompted at least four cruise ships to cancel visits to Puerto Rico, and many officials worry about the impact a resignation would have on the already fragile economy as the island rebuilds from Maria, a Category 4 storm that caused more than an estimated $ 100 billion US in damage.
Another concern is the recent string of arrests involving federal corruption charges targeting Puerto Rico officials, among them two former agency heads, including former education secretary Julia Keleher.
AMD’s integrated graphics are generally better than Intel’s. The discrepancy has existed since at least as far back as the nForce 2 chipset, and while the particulars have varied (Intel’s Crystal Well on-die EDRAM gave it better absolute performance at times, albeit at much higher prices), the end result rarely has. Historically, AMD has offered higher integrated GPU performance at the same price point compared with Intel. But that could change with Intel’s next-generation on-die GPUs, set to debut with Intel’s new Sunny Cove CPU architecture.
New leaked benchmarks show Intel’s Gen 11 GT2 solution benchmarking significantly higher than the old, Skylake-era Gen 9 core. Some of these gains are to be expected — the Skylake GPU core is essentially four years old already — but the overall level of improvement is quite good in its own right.
Reddit user Dylan522p compiled leaked benchmarks into charts, shown below. The first chart compares Intel’s i5-8250U with UHD Graphics (GT2) against an unidentified Intel CPU in a GT2 configuration with Iris Plus Graphics 940. Note that since we don’t know anything about the thermal limits imposed on this test CPU, we also don’t know if it’s fair to compare the 8250U with this chip as opposed to a desktop-socketed part. This may overstate the performance improvement slightly.
The gains here are very strong. Performance more than doubles in the Aztec Ruins tests (a video of the Aztec Ruins benchmark is embedded below, though this doesn’t show the benchmark run off this specific hardware, only the test itself). Older scenes still see significant performance improvements, and we’re far from launch day, with silicon and drivers both in active development.
The second graph compares the Intel solution to the AMD Ryzen platform, with data from a 2700U (15W) and a Ryzen 2400G (65W). In the absence of information to confirm that the Intel CPU is a laptop chip actually running within its specified TDP, I’m going to assume that the 2400G is actually the better point of comparison for the core. Even here, it’s clear that the Gen 11 Intel GPU could be potent competition for Ryzen 2400G, at least if these tests are accurate.
Of course, there are questions about how well GFXBench performance will translate into shipping titles and how effectively Intel will compete on price. We’re hearing rumors that Ice Lake systems could actually be on store shelves by this summer rather than being delayed into the holiday season. AMD’s third-generation Ryzen 3000 APUs are still 12nm products, not 7nm, and they don’t offer much more than small speed bumps and some utilization improvements over previous parts. We don’t know yet how much additional performance to expect, but most estimates are on the modest side. AMD undoubtedly has a 7nm APU in the works, but the company has said it won’t use the literal Matisse design with a GPU chiplet onboard instead of a second CPU die to launch the product.
While we won’t draw conclusions about Gen 11 performance until we have silicon and drivers to test, it ultimately isn’t surprising to see Intel closing the gap with AMD. If Chipzilla is serious about using its own architecture to build a GPU, it’s going to need to improve the performance of its own architecture, period. Since Gen 11 is positioned as a stepping stone to Xe, Intel’s discrete GPU hardware, we should expect to see substantial performance and performance-per-watt uplift. Nvidia doesn’t compete in integrated consumer graphics any longer, but both it and AMD scale their mainstream graphics architectures down into embedded products. Intel may have decided the best way to develop its own new architecture was to take a bottom-up approach and use it for relatively simple solutions first before scaling up into datacenters and gaming PCs.