Google thinks we can end global poverty in 15 years, is inviting tech entrepreneurs to figure out how

Google has never been a company to shy away from the big challenges in life, whether it’s creating self-driving cars, beaming the Internet from balloons, making human skin or abolishing death. Its latest example is a summit at the company’s Campus London space to try to figure out how world poverty could be eradicated within 15 years.

While it may sound a huge challenge, much progress has already been made. In 1990, the United Nations set a goal of halving global poverty levels by 2015, and the goal was actually reached five years early in 2010. Google now wants to complete the job – starting with an afternoon’s worth of ideas from tech entrepreneurs.

Google for Entrepreneurs is co-hosting a Tech Against Poverty summit on January 22 from 1pm to 6pm at Campus London, a Google shared office space specifically created for start-ups. Its partner in the event is Dreamstake, a support and investor platform for start-ups.

Google and Dreamstake want to test the hypothesis that the start-up culture will have a major positive impact on the poorest communities in the world. The event is open to Scientists, inventors, engineers, artists, thinkers and doers, and hopes to create some effective new thoughts in this space, with Google for Entrepreneurs actioning any ideas they see as innovating and taking a step closer to solving the problem.

The event is free, and you can register to participate at Dreamstake’s Solve for X website.

Qualcomm says new 3D camera capabilities coming to next year’s Android phones, inc infra-red [Video]

Qualcomm says that next year’s Snapdragon processors will offer much more sophisticated 3D camera capabilities, including the ability to use infra-red for facial recognition.

In particular, the chipmaker seems to be aiming to ensure that Android flagships can match or beat the face-recognition system expected to be a headline feature of Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8


After years of inactivity, ADW Launcher 2.0 is here and it’s pretty great

There are dozens of great launchers for Android, however going back in time a few years, our choices were a bit different. One of the biggest players, and likely one many of us remember fondly, was ADW Launcher. It had tons of great features, but above all else it was fast, fun, and powerful. However that was a long time ago. ADW hasn’t seen an update since mid-2013, but now it’s back with a new design and some great new features.


Former Google SVP says Android phones ‘years’ behind the iPhone in photography

Former Google senior vice president of Social, Vic Gundotra, has said that Android phones are literally years behind the iPhone when it comes to photography – and it’s Android’s fault.

Gundotra started by praising the quality of the iPhone 7 Plus camera in a Facebook post.

The end of the DSLR for most people has already arrived. I left my professional camera at home and took these shots at dinner with my iPhone 7 using computational photography (portrait mode as Apple calls it). Hard not to call these results (in a restaurant, taken on a mobile phone with no flash) stunning. Great job Apple.

But he went further …


Galaxy S8 reported to get first dibs on Snapdragon 835, LG G6 shipping w/ last year’s Snapdragon 821

During 2016, deciding which flagship smartphone to buy didn’t come down to the specs, but to all the other factors at play. Why? Because just about every flagship last year shipped with the same specs. Between LG G5, Galaxy S7, and HTC 10, it was basically the same across the board. However, if recent reports turn out to be true, things may be a bit different this year.


Google Timelapse shows how any location on Earth has changed over the past 32 years

Launched in 2013, Timelapse is a global, zoomable map built on top of the Google Earth Engine that allows you to explore how a location has changed from 1984 to 2016. A huge update today adds petabytes of new data and an additional four years of imagery that makes for sharpest historical view of Earth ever.


First major upgrade to Google Street View cars in eight years promises higher-res images

Google revealed today that the Street View cameras that sit atop the roofs of vehicles that roam and catalogue the world have received a quality bump. While this results in higher resolution images, it also means better data for its image recognition systems.


Sketchy report says HTC could be Google’s Nexus partner for three years

While we do know that LG will likely not be joining Google to build the very next Nexus, which is expected to come towards the end of the year, a sketchy rumor coming from Chinese website MyDrivers suggests that HTC might have been given the green light for a three-year long partnership with Mountain View. Directed towards bringing Nexus devices to the market, the deeply troubled Taiwanese phone maker could be part of Google’s plan to take more control over its hardware offerings…


Next year’s fingerprint sensors could fit into volume rocker buttons, guard against spoofing

Synaptics has provided fingerprint sensors for a number of different smartphones, the HTC One Max among them, but Engadget says that it has a much sleeker version in the works.

Synaptics’ latest fingerprint sensor for mobile devices measures only 3.5 mm wide. It’s so thin and tiny, it can fit inside a volume rocker switch on the side of your smartphone or tablet.

The company says it has also found a way to prevent the use of fake fingerprints by a new algorithm that can distinguish live fingers from printed replicas.

We probably won’t be seeing the new reader make it into phones until next year, though, as Synaptics says mass-production isn’t due to start until the third quarter of this year. There’s as yet no word of which phone brands might be looking to include it.

We’re also expecting to see the company’s pressure-sensitive screens coming to some Android devices later this year.

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