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Tech News

Pinterest bans all weight loss ads over eating disorder concerns

Pinterest has announced sweeping changes to its ad policy regarding weight-loss advertisements. The company cites the surprising uptick in eating disorders and problematic eating habits that are primarily impacting young people. After months spent socially isolating, many people are heading back out and socializing — and trying to crash diet to shed their pandemic pounds.

According to Pinterest, it is the first and only “major platform” to roll out a widespread ban on weight loss advertisements, including ones that may involve related imagery and language, testimonials, references to BMI and related metrics, certain weight loss products, and ads that may idealize or denigrate various body types.

The updated ad policy went live on July 1, expanding the previous policy that already prohibited ads related to things like pills and supplements, procedures, unrealistic claims, and before-and-after images. The new policy won’t extend to ads that involve fitness services or the promotion of healthy habits and lifestyles — assuming they avoid weight loss content, that is.

Pinterest says it updated its ad policy with guidance from the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), which has praised the company for its blanket ban on weight loss advertisements. In a statement, the association’s interim CEO Elizabeth Thompson said:

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) applauds Pinterest for taking a leadership position as the first platform to prohibit all ads with weight-loss language and imagery. NEDA is encouraged by this necessary step in prioritizing the mental health and well-being of Pinners, especially those impacted by diet culture, body shaming, and eating disorders. We are hopeful this global policy will encourage other organizations and companies to reflect on potentially harmful ad messages and to establish their own working policies that will create meaningful change.

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Tech News

This gadget ‘helps’ you lose weight by wiring your jaw shut

Normal human beings think of running, going to the gym, and putting a cap on those beer bottles when it comes to losing weight. But scientists are thinking about this whole thing differently. They want you to shut your trap, so you can stop hogging on those fries — literally.

A bunch of researchers from the University of Otago and the UK have teamed up to come up with a device called DentalSlim for weight loss. While the name sounds fancy, it doesn’t describe the type of torture device it really is.

According to the description, DentalSlim will prevent you from opening your mouth wider than 2mm by locking your jaw through “magnetic devices and custom-manufactured locking bolts.”

It gets attached to your teeth and it’s meant to make you adhere to the low-calorie diet and stop your snacking habits. Researchers say that it allows you to consume liquids easily without restricting breathing or speech.

Credit: British Dental Journal
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Computing

Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Book Flex, Galaxy Book Ion emphasize stunning displays, light weight

If you like big, beautiful screens, you may want to start saving up: Samsung’s new Galaxy Book Flex and Galaxy Book Ion will boast QLED screens and up to a whopping 600 nits of brightness for working outdoors.

Both the Galaxy Book Flex and the Galaxy Book Ion are part of Intel’s Project Athena, which has the chipmaker working closely with a PC maker’s engineering team to design “halo,” or flagship, devices. New features include the ability to charge a Galaxy phone via wireless charging embedded in the touchpad, as well as the bright new quantum-dot, or QLED, displays that feature 100 percent color accuracy.

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Samsung’s Galaxy Book Ion

We’re interested to see what the battery life will be: Both the 13-inch and 15-inch Ion and Flex devices boast 69.7Wh batteries, which is higher capacity than normal, especially for a 13-inch device. Dial down the 1080p displays’ brightness when indoors, and you could have notebooks with exceptional battery life.

The Flex and Ion will join the Samsung Galaxy S, announced this summer as “Project Limitless,” which uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx for all-day battery life. However, Samsung invited Intel corporate vice president Gregory Bryant on stage to announce a second Samsung Galaxy S, which will use the Intel Lakefield processor. Samsung representatives clarified: “We have announced two versions of the Galaxy Book S,” one wrote in an email. Shipping dates will be revealed at a later time, Samsung said.

Both the Flex and the Ion use Intel’s 10th-gen chips: Comet Lake and Ice Lake, respectively. Both models will use Intel’s integrated GPUs in their 13-inch versions; and both notebooks will offer the option of an Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU in their 15-inch versions.

samsung galaxy book flex with 10th gen intel core and intel iris plus graphics lifestyle Samsung

Samsung’s Galaxy Book Flex

Samsung’s Galaxy Book Flex appears to be the more conventional of the two new notebooks, with a 360-degree hinge. It also integrates the S Pen, allowing drawing capabilities, access to the PENUP creative community, and, more importantly, allowing the S Pen to wirelessly control your PC with new gesture controls for PowerPoint and video playback. It’s all housed in a “Royal Blue” aluminum chassis, Samsung said.

The Galaxy Book Ion, for its part, is an aggressively designed ultralight that weighs just 2.53 pounds in its 13-inch form factor. Like the Flex it boasts a QLED display and the wireless charging, which looks like it will occupy your laptop’s touchpad when in use. 

One interesting aspect of the Galaxy Book Ion is that there’s a user-serviceable extra slot for both memory and storage, so if you want to add a bit more oomph in either respect, you can, without too much hassle. Full specs of the Galaxy Book Ion and Galaxy Book Flex are below. Both devices will ship in early 2020, Samsung says.

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Tech News

Galaxy Tab S7 Lite 5G specs give weight to its name

The tablet market today is mostly dominated by Apple’s iPads and only a few Android manufacturers have stuck to that device category through thick and thin. Samsung is arguably the biggest of those, launching a few tablets across different price tiers. Rumor has it that it has at least two more coming soon headed for the mid-range market. One of those may have appeared on a benchmark site showing that the Galaxy Tab S7 Lite 5G might indeed be light in almost every sense.

Samsung doesn’t always put out “lite” versions of its tablets and when it does, it doesn’t always use the same naming scheme. There was a Galaxy Tab S6 Lite last year but that was preceded by a Galaxy Tab S5e. Curiously, there was no “non-lite” Galaxy Tab S5.

There were rumors that a Galaxy Tab S7 Lite would be coming and, based on the most recent leak, it would have some heavyweight features like a large 12.4-inch screen and 5G connectivity. The latter, however, is no longer exclusive to high-end and expensive devices thanks to Qualcomm’s numerous 5G-capable chips and that seems to be the case with the mid-range version of last year’s high-end Samsung tablet.

Spotted on Geekbench is an entry for a certain SM-T736B, believed to either be the Galaxy Tab S7 Lite or a Galaxy Tab S8e. Although the entry doesn’t actually name the processor, MySmartPrice suggests that the specs, like the 2.21 GHz clock speed and Adreno 619 GPU, point to a Snapdragon 750G chipset. This is indeed one of Qualcomm’s mid-range processors capable of 5G connectivity.

The site also puts 3.28GB RAM in the tablet, which could either be 4GB or even 3.5GB in reality. The scores that this device gets on Geekbench aren’t exactly reassuring, especially for a tablet with a large screen and fast data connectivity.

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Tech News

BlueStacks 5 Android emulator sheds some weight, still on Nougat

Mobile gaming has become a large and lucrative industry but while almost everyone these days has a smartphone, not everyone has it in their hands all of the time. Some might be more comfortable playing with a keyboard and mouse or spend most of their time in front of their desktops and laptops. That situation has given birth to Android emulators like the popular BlueStacks that is bragging about its latest big upgrade that, unfortunately, seems to still keep its feet planted deeply in the past.

The current stable version of BlueStacks was launched way back in 2018 and a lot has happened in the mobile and computing world that makes this upgrade long overdue. As smartphones become more powerful, games and apps have also become more sophisticated and demanding. At the same time, however, BlueStacks also needs to run alongside other Windows or Mac applications so it can’t really hog all the resources.

BlueStacks 5 tries to deliver its promise of speed by reducing the bloat of the system and also use as little computer resources as possible, like reducing its RAM usage by 40%. Simplifying the user interface and streamlining features also help reduce the app’s bloat. A new Eco mode was also introduced to throttle the frame rate of other BlueStacks instances running in the background to avoid bogging down the computer.

For all its promised upgrades, however, there is one thing that BlueStacks has strangely held back on. According to Android Authority, BlueStacks 5 is still based on Android 7.1.2 Nougat, a version of Android released more than four years ago. Given how many modifications BlueStacks probably made on top of it, it’s not exactly surprising it couldn’t move forward though it’s still a disappointing revelation.

BlueStacks 5 is currently still in Beta but can already be downloaded for Windows and macOS. The Android emulator is still limited to supporting x86/x64 computers, however, and the promised ARM support, especially for the Apple M1, is still nowhere to be seen.

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