Tech reboot in store for EU as plans recovery from crisis

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – From ramping up 5G’s rollout to exploiting its data, the European Union is turning to technology to help it bounce back from the coronavirus crisis and compete better in key areas with the United States and China.

FILE PHOTO: European Commissioner for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age Margrethe Vestager speaks during the presentation of the European Commission’s data/digital strategy in Brussels, Belgium February 19, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman

As part of a 750 billion euro ($825 billion) recovery plan announced on Wednesday, the European Commission said the goal was to achieve technology sovereignty in crucial areas after it emerges from the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

This has underlined how the 27-country bloc depends on others for key technologies and supplies of crucial materials.

“The pandemic and its consequences on our lives and economies have highlighted the importance of digitisation across all areas of EU

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Softbank’s Arm releases chip tech for high-end Android devices

(Reuters) – Arm Ltd, the semiconductor firm owned by Japan’s Softbank Group Corp, on Tuesday released new technology aimed at helping Android devices catch up to Apple Inc’s iPhones for certain computing tasks such as video games.

Arm’s technology powers the processors in both iPhones and Android devices. But Apple extensively customizes what are called computing “cores” on its chips, while many Android devices hew more closely to designs developed and sold by Arm itself.

In recent years, mobile phones have used a mix of high-performance cores that are speedy at computing but drain a phone’s battery and power-efficient cores that are slower but preserve battery.

Apple’s iPhones, however, are believed to have at least one high-performance core that is larger than others, helping it beat out Android competitors’ peak speeds on single-threaded computing tasks. That can help with video games, web scrolling and faster app launches.

Arm on Tuesday

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Tech companies target temperature-monitoring patches for COVID-19

(Reuters) – A group of tech companies is working on a patch about the size of small bandage that could be worn to monitor for the elevated body temperatures that can sometimes signal the onset of COVID-19.

The patch would be powered by a specially designed microchip that will be made in Minnesota at a chip factory operated by SkyWater Technology in collaboration with Ohio-based chip design firm Linear ASICs and New York investment firm Asymmetric Return Capital. The patch is intended to be worn on the skin and to connect wirelessly to a smart phone to monitor a person’s body temperature, the companies said.

The group aims to produce a device to monitor temperatures remotely that can be manufactured in high volumes.

“This will be especially important as we head into flu season later this year,” Bryan Wisk, a founding partner at Asymmetric Return Capital, said in a statement.

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Philippine lawmaker proposes tax targeting tech giants to fund virus fight

MANILA (Reuters) – A Philippine lawmaker has introduced a bill in parliament aimed at taxing big tech firms such as Facebook, Alphabet’s Google and Youtube, Netflix and Spotify, to raise funds to battle the coronavirus.

FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Facebook logo is placed between small toy people figures in front of a keyboard in this illustration taken April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The bill looks to raise 29 billion pesos ($571 million) by imposing a value added tax on digital services provided in the Philippines, a key growth area for e-commerce transactions as its people are among the world’s heaviest users of social media.

“We spent to fight COVID-19 and we need more to continue fighting it and recover,” Congressman Joey Salceda, the bill’s principal author, told Reuters.

“It sends a strong signal to the world that the Philippines is ready for the digital transformation. We are putting our

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