News

Qualcomm announces the updated Snapdragon 855 Plus

Will debut in the ASUS ROG Phone 2

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Are you ready for the next evolution in processor technology? Every year, Qualcomm launches substantial updates for its processors. Following the usual release schedule, 2019 should see the upcoming Snapdragon 865 chipset. Right on schedule, Qualcomm has launched a new processor for future smartphones. Unfortunately, the latest release isn’t the much-awaited sequel to the current Snapdragon 855. Instead, it’s only a minor update — the Snapdragon 855 Plus.

The Snapdragon 855 Plus will not introduce the next generation of flagship processors. Instead, it will cap off this year’s remaining slew of flagships. Notably, the new chipset will likely appear on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, the Google Pixel 4, the OnePlus 7T, and the ASUS ROG Phone 2. Of this privileged lineup, ASUS’ gaming-centric smartphone will debut the chipset to the world.

 

The chipset will share the same architecture as the Snapdragon 855 chip. However, it will squeeze out more performance than its predecessor. The octa-core Kryo 485 CPU can now run up to 2.96GHz — a notch above its predecessor’s 2.84GHz performance. Further, the chip promises a 15 percent improvement in overall graphic performance. Supposedly, the marginal boost can make for a good gaming smartphone — hence, the ROG Phone 2 debut.

Additionally, the chipset will improve functionality for AR, VR, and AI features. Unfortunately, the upgrades don’t include a 5G modem, requiring smartphone manufacturers to implement their own modem.

Regardless, the Snapdragon 855 Plus should be enough to eke out an amazing second half for 2019. Hopefully, the 15 percent boost will translate into tangible real-world results. If not, expect a grander Snapdragon 855 sequel within the year.

SEE ALSO: Qualcomm announces 5G variant of the Snapdragon 8cx

Gaming

Elden Ring ousts Call of Duty for best-selling game

On pace to take the year

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Is it any surprise that the Call of Duty series is still a juggernaut today? Though not a barrier-breaking franchise, the first-person shooter series remains one of the most popular titles for gamers. However, once in a blue moon, a new title breaks through the ranks and unseats the gaming giant. Elden Ring, one of those rare titles, has done just that by snatching the top spot from Call of Duty.

Elden Ring’s popularity is undeniable. Initially starting as a must-have for Dark Souls aficionados, the FromSoftware title rapidly skyrocketed in popularity after its rage-inducing difficulty drummed up even more hype. The game is now the studio’s most popular title, eclipsing the cult following of Dark Souls.

Dark Souls isn’t the only thing it eclipsed, though. NPD’s Mat Piscatella recently tweeted that Elden Ring is now the top best-selling game in the past 12 months, beating Call of Duty: Vanguard. For reference, Vanguard was released in November 2021. Elden Ring, on the other hand, was released months later in February 2022. Despite having a significant head start, Vanguard lost, performing lower than expected.

Very technically, a game overtaking Call of Duty isn’t unheard of. Various games often take the spot from the franchise but only for a month. Call of Duty still grabs the top spot for the year overall. As for the yearly rankings, the shooter series has not lost a year since 2013, thanks to then-debuting Grand Theft Auto V.

Though the year isn’t done, Elden Ring certainly has the pace to beat the franchise, especially if a DLC is coming later this year. It’s already the 12-month leader after less than three months since release.

SEE ALSO: Elden Ring review: Should you play the hardest game of 2022?

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News

A TikTok challenge has caused the death of a child

Her parents are looking to sue

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Social media challenges have existed for a while now. Even now, a lot of social media trends, especially on TikTok, invite users to do something wacky on their own feeds. While most are innocent enough, some of these trends are dastardly harmful. One such trend, called the blackout challenge, has caused the death of one of its users. As a result, the deceased user’s parents are demanding recompense for the wrongful death.

In Pennsylvania, a 10-year-old TikTok user, Nylah Anderson, died after attempting the blackout challenge circulating on the social media platform, as reported by NBC News. The challenge is simple but obviously deadly. Users attempting the challenge have to hold their breath until they pass out. Nylah undertook the challenge and passed out in her bedroom. Her parents found her and rushed her to the hospital. Unfortunately, rushing her to the hospital wasn’t enough; Nylah died seven days after.

As a result, Nylah’s parents are suing the platform for allowing a harmful challenge to circulate on their platform. They are accusing TikTok’s algorithm of making the challenge attractive to young users.

Countering the lawsuit, TikTok alleges that the blackout challenge did not originate from their platform. “We remain vigilant in our commitment to user safety and would immediately remove related content if found. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family for their tragic loss,” the company said in a statement.

Despite the company’s statement, this isn’t the first death attributed to TikTok and the blackout challenge. Deaths have been reported as early as last year.

SEE ALSO: TikTok is experimenting with a dislike button for comments

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Enterprise

Samsung is increasing the prices of its chipsets

Others have already accepted

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Shortages are still plaguing the tech industry. Because of various lockdowns throughout the past few years, new devices haven’t met the surge of demand from consumers. Besides not delivering devices, companies also deal with a loss in profit. Inevitably, that lost profit would rear its head in another way. Samsung, a major player in the chipmaking industry, has decided to up its chipset prices.

First reported by Bloomberg, Samsung is renegotiating the prices of its chipsets. If successful, the company’s clients will reportedly pay between 15 to 20 percent more to get their components. Additionally, chips made on legacy nodes will likely pay more in the end.

According to the report, some clients, currently unnamed, have already agreed to the price increase. Others are still in the process of negotiations. Though it’s certainly more expensive, the current forecast speculates that most clients will likely take the new deal. For one, other companies have already upped their prices as well. Samsung isn’t alone. However, the South Korean company has an advantage: more high-tech machines resulting in better chips and faster production.

Of course, the story doesn’t end there. While some clients have already accepted, there is no indication as to who will ultimately shoulder the brunt of the price increase. Will this mean more expensive devices in the future, or will companies graciously take a lesser margin of profit?

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S22+ review: Love at first touch

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