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'One in four waste containers reported to the EA are non-compliant,' says industry figure – ENDS Report

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The figures were cited during an evidence session run by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) committee yesterday as part of its inquiry on plastic waste. They will raise further concerns not only about the levels of illegally exported waste but the ability of the agency to police the problem and ongoing confusion about the current rules on acceptable levels of contamination in loads due for shipment overseas.
The reliance of self-reporting for plastic waste exports and poor resourcing of the EA were debated at length during the session with Paula Chin, sustainable materials specialist at WWF-UK, Susan Evans, senior policy advisor at Green Alliance, and Plastic Europe resource efficiency senior manager Adrian Whyle.
It was Whyle who highlighted the EA call data. He said: “There is a hotline that the Environment Agency has and one in four of the containers they inspected [as a result of calls] were found to have been non-compliant. When I asked them [the EA] about the number of non-compliant containers going out they said they were in the minority.” He said these figures were anecdotal.
The EA does not recognise the figures relating to information received via its hotline. It says the majority of container stops are thought to result from officers carrying out proactive and intelligence-led inspections to stop shipments in breach of the regulations leaving ports.
In 2020/21, approximately 20% of all containers of waste the EA inspected were thought to be prevented from onward export; in 2019/20 it was 25%, it said.
Committee member and Labour MP Barry Gardiner pressed the panel hard on plastic waste exports – a high profile topic thanks to exposés of UK plastic ending up dumped or burned in other countries. He asked whether the issue was with the powers the agency has or the funding available to apply them. 
Chin and Evans both suggested it was the latter. “The EA should absolutely be resourced so it can conduct the amount of audits it is supposed to,” said Evans. She cited the National Audit Office report in 2018 that found the EA carried out only 40% of the planned compliance visits to reprocessors and exporters to check they accurately report the amount of packaging recycled. 
Chin wants to see a recommendation made to government by the committee for more resourcing of the EA. “There should also be more evidence provided through self-reporting of the quality of the [waste] bales that are sent abroad,” she added. Full chain of custody arrangements with any businesses receiving the waste are also needed, she said.
Gardiner quizzed the experts about the “cost effectiveness” of contaminated exports and pointed to the 18% of UK plastic waste that is exported to non-OECD countries. In July, Biffa was controversially fined a record £1.5m for illegally exporting to India and Indonesia material that was contaminated with household waste. Some countries have also turned back heavily contaminated shipments.
Conservative MP Neil Hudson said the committee would continue to “bang the drum” to government on resourcing of the EA. 
There was also discussion of the influence the plastics tax, set to come into force in April next year, will have on investment in new infrastructure to process recycled plastics here in the UK. 
This week, Wrap research based on national packaging waste database figures showed “encouraging growth” in UK processing of plastic packaging. In 2020, 41% of the 1,174,000 tonnes of plastic packaging was recycled in the UK. In 2016, it was 33% (of 1,014,000 tonnes).
The new extended producer responsibility regime should deliver further investment; it is also expected to introduce the strengthened compliance, monitoring and enforcement procedures required to better manage plastic packaging – at least in principle. As Chin explained: “In practice it will require a lot more resourcing of the agencies [like the EA] that will need to audit and monitor and enforce these infractions.”
Chin said she was not “overly concerned” by the export of waste “as long as the waste is being used in the correct way”.
The Environment Act contains powers that will allow the government to “regulate, ban or restrict the import and export of waste, enabling us to deliver on our commitment to ban the export of plastic waste to non-OECD countries”. 
Green groups have been frustrated by a perceived lack of urgency however. In January, when the EU banned the export of plastic waste to developing countries under amendments to the Basel Convention, the government decided more consultation was needed, despite a pledge in the Conservative manifesto to ban the practice.
The waste industry has also complained of the “high stakes guessing game” that is the current enforcement regime for waste exports. In particular, there is confusion over permitted levels of contamination.
Experts told ENDS that the chances of being caught are limited – checks are targeted at specific high-risk companies rather than random inspections. However, the NAO found exporters rated as high-risk were less likely to receive a compliance visit than those rated low-risk.
EA figures show that in 2020 it intercepted 200,000 tonnes of illegitimate waste through a number activities and surveillance. It said that between 2014/15 and 2018/19, it successfully prosecuted seven companues and 15 individuals for waste export offences. 
This article has been updated to include data and comment from the EA. 
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Intel’s Flagship ARC Alchemist Gaming Graphics Card With 32 Xe Cores Spotted: On Par With NVIDIA RTX 3070 Ti, Up To 2.1 GHz Clocks – Wccftech

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A brand new entry of Intel’s flagship ARC Alchemist Gaming graphics card has been spotted within the SiSoftware Sandra database.
The Intel ARC Alchemist graphics cards for desktop PCs are scheduled for a launch in the coming months. Despite being so close to launch, Intel hasn’t shared a lot of info regarding product specs, names, and performance although they had several opportunities to do so with the most recent one being CES 2022. Instead, Intel decided to announce that 50+ desktop and notebook systems from its partners will be ready for launch.
Intel warns users to NOT overclock their non-K Alder Lake CPUs, cites “Damaging”
With that said, a brand new entry of Intel’s flagship ARC Alchemist graphics card based on the Xe-HPG architecture has been leaked within the SiSoftware Sandra database. The new entry is for the 32 Xe SKU (DG2-512) which features 4096 ALUs and a clock speed of up to 2.10 GHz. There’s also 4 MB of L2 cache and the GPU most likely features 16 GB of GDDR6 memory configured along a 256-bit wide bus interface. It’s easy to tell that this is still an engineering sample considering that it has no official branding attached to it whereas the ARC A380 has already shown up in SANDRA with its naming scheme.
As for performance, the Intel ARC Alchemist flagship graphics card scored up to 9017 Mpix/s which is slightly above the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti that scored 8369.51 Mpix/s. The AMD Radeon RX 6800 scores 10,607.29 Mpix/s in the same benchmark while the Radeon RX 6700 XT scores 7910.91 Mpix/s. The Intel ARC A380 scored 2956.10 Mpix/s. So we know that the flagship is over 3 times more powerful than the entry-level DG2-128 graphics card which should be correct considering it packs 4 times more cores.
Here’s Everything We Know About Intel’s ARC Alchemist Graphics Lineup
Intel will have at least three configurations of ARC Alchemist GPUs ready for launch in Q1 2022. These will include two configurations based on the top 512 EU die and one configuration based on the 128 EU die. Although there are more GPU configs that we have seen in leaks, it looks like those may be used in future products though that cannot be confirmed. So let’s start with the top-end configuration.
Intel Xe-HPG 512 EU ARC Alchemist Graphics Card
Intel Next-Gen Xeon CPU Rumors: 10nm Emerald Rapids, 7nm Granite Rapids, 5nm Diamond Rapids Detailed, Up To 144 Lion Cove Cores by 2025
The top Alchemist 512 EU (32 Xe Cores) variant has just one configuration listed so far and that utilizes the full die with 4096 cores, 256-bit bus interface, and up to 16 GB GDDR6 memory featuring a 16 Gbps clock though 18 Gbps cannot be ruled out as per the rumor.
The Alchemist 512 EU chip is expected to measure at around 396mm2 which makes it bigger than the AMD RDNA 2 and NVIDIA Ampere offerings. The Alchemist -512 GPU will come in the BGA-2660 package which measures 37.5mm x 43mm. NVIDIA’s Ampere GA104 measures 392mm2 which means that the flagship Alchemist chip is comparable in size while the Navi 22 GPU measures 336mm2 or around 60mm2 less. This isn’t the final die size of the chip but it should be very close.
NVIDIA packs in tensor cores and much bigger RT/FP32 cores in its chips while AMD RDNA 2 chips pack a single ray accelerator unit per CU and Infinity Cache. Intel will also have dedicated hardware onboard its Alchemist GPUs for Raytracing & AI-assisted super-sampling tech.
The Xe-HPG Alchemist 512 EU chip is suggested to feature clocks of around 2.2 – 2.5 GHz though we don’t know if these are the average clocks or the maximum boost clocks. Let’s assume that it’s the max clock speed and in that case, the card would deliver up to 18.5 TFLOPs FP32 compute which is  40% more than the RX 6700 XT but 9% lower than the NVIDIA RTX 3070.
Also, it is stated that Intel’s initial TDP target was 225-250W but that’s been upped to around 275W now. We can expect a 300W variant with dual 8-pin connectors too if Intel wants to push its clocks even further. In either case, we can expect the final model to rock an 8+6 pin connector config, The reference model is also going to look very much like the drone marketing shot Intel put out during the ARC branding reveal. That reference design was leaked a while back by MLID too. There’re also talks about a custom lineup being worked upon by Intel’s AIB partners.
News Source: TUM_APISAK
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Get this HP gaming PC for only $550 while stock lasts – Digital Trends

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Gamers who are planning to buy a new machine shouldn’t settle for regular desktop computer deals, as some of these PCs won’t be able to meet the strict requirements of today’s games. To avoid disappointments, you should instead invest in gaming PC deals, which currently include HP’s $100 discount for the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop that brings its price down to just $550, from its original price of $650.

The HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop, like the best gaming desktops, combines performance and style in a package that will fulfill the needs of most gamers. The sleek design of the gaming PC comes with customizable LED lights, which you can adjust depending on your preference. The computer also comes with a robust power supply that keeps it ready for any component upgrades, and a thermal system that keeps it cool and quiet even while you play games at the highest settings.
In Digital Trends’ guide on how to buy a gaming desktop, your decision starts with the processor. You won’t be let down by the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop, which is equipped with the AMD Ryzen 3 processor alongside the AMD Radeon RX 5500 graphics card and 8GB of RAM. With Windows 11 Home pre-installed, you’ll be able to install and play today’s games as soon as you set up the gaming PC with your monitor and other accessories.
For an affordable gaming PC that will be able to run the latest games, you can’t go wrong with the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop. It’s an even better option because of HP’s $100 discount, which brings its price down to just $550 from its original price of $650. Stocks could run out at any moment though, so if you’re already looking forward to playing your favorite titles on the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop, don’t hold yourself back. Click that Buy Now button as soon as you can.

You surely won’t regret going for the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop as your next gaming PC, but if you want to check out other options for comparison’s sake, we’ve got your back. Here are some of the best gaming PC deals that you can shop right now, so you won’t have to go anywhere else.
Upgrade your lifestyleDigital Trends helps readers keep tabs on the fast-paced world of tech with all the latest news, fun product reviews, insightful editorials, and one-of-a-kind sneak peeks.

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Stray Will Be Released On PlayStation And PC In Early 2022 – Lowyat.NET

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Little was known about the indie title called Stray, besides the fact that you play a cat. The first, and last time we saw anything about the game was back in 2020, during a PS5 games showcase. The developers at BlueTwelve Studio have since released a new gameplay trailer, during the Annapurna Interactive publisher showcase.
The memes about Stray being a cat simulator were partially accurate, based on the new trailer. For the most part, you do play the game as a regular cat. An injured kitten, separated from your family, as the trailer describes. You traverse the gameplay areas with feline agility, and solve puzzles using typical cat mischief, which involves breaking stuff along the way.
Stray becomes more typical video game-like a little later, once you encounter your friendly robot sidekick, fittingly named B12. You then gain the ability to “talk” to the strange android-like inhabitants of this unfamiliar world. But to keep the fact that you play as a cat in focus, you still get to pull typical feline mischief, like scratching on furniture, and rub up against the legs of some of the robots.
Stray
You can check out the four-and-a-half minute trailer for yourself. While the game was first slated to be released sometime this year, BlueTwelve has announced that it is pushing the release of Stray back to early 2022. And while it was first shown as part of the PS5 game showcase, the game will also be available for the PS4 and PC.
(Source: Annapurna Interactive / YouTube)
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