3 To Know: New phones, autism rates triple, more
1. The newest Samsung Galaxy S23 smartphones boast better cameras, new processors
Samsung officially unveiled its latest line of Galaxy smartphones and the tech giant hit the mark on all of the expected numbers and specifications.
The new Galaxy S23 line, which is available for preorder now and will launch on Feb. 17 through various retailers and carriers, is priced the same as the current Galaxy S22 line.
The phones start at $799.99 for the 6.1-inch Galaxy S23 with 128GB of storage (you can also get 256GB). The 6.6-inch Galaxy S23+ starts at $999.99 with 256GB (there's a 512GB option). And the top-of-the-line 6.8-inch S23 Ultra starts at $1,199.99 (256GB; you can get up to 1 terabyte).
Improved camera? Check. The S23 and S23+ models each have improved 12MP front selfie cameras and the top-of-the-line S23 Ultra has a massive 200-megapixel sensor, for higher-res shots and improved low-light images. That's nearly double the capacity on the S22 Ultra's 108MP sensor.
Better battery? Check. Both the S23 and S23+ have slightly larger batteries, while the S23 Ultra has the same size, but maintains battery life thanks to the improved processor.
Power? All of the new S23 devices use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile platform, which completes processes about 30% faster than the Galaxy S22 series, Samsung says. Graphics processing is improved by 41%, too.
Displays? Each has tougher Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 displays. – Mike Snider/USA Today
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2. Autism diagnosis rates tripled in less than two decades. What does that mean for schools?
Researchers at Rutgers University recently published a study in the journal Pediatrics finding that autism diagnosis rates among 8-year-olds nearly tripled in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area from 2000 to 2016.
A big reason is greater awareness of its existence and complexities, as well as improvements in diagnostic tools and education. But other possible causes include a person’s genes and environmental circumstances. There’s no evidence the disorder is caused by vaccines.
The Rutgers researchers, who examined data for nearly 5,000 children who had been identified with ASD, found that just 1 in 3 also had intellectual disabilities. The rate of diagnoses among children with average or above-average IQs increased fivefold.
The increase in diagnoses coincides with a worsening shortage of special education teachers and staff. Special education tends to have significantly more vacancies than other subjects and disciplines – staffing challenges that in general tend to be most pronounced at low-income schools. – Alia Wong/USA Today
3. Aeromexico announces first direct flight connecting Mexico City's newest airport to Houston
Aeromexico is making it easier to fly between Mexico and the U.S. with a new route launching May 1.
Flying once daily, the new route will be the first to connect Mexico City's newest airport Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) to the U.S. through a direct flight to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston, Texas, according to a press release by the airline.
This route is aimed at "increasing connectivity between the two countries," the carrier said in the release.
Tickets for the new route will go on sale in the next few days on Aeromexico channels.
From AIFA, people can take a connecting Aeromexico flight to Acapulco, Cancún, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Merida, Oaxaca, Puerto Vallarta or Veracruz.
Previously, Mexico City International Airport (AICM) was the only option to fly in and out of.
Aeromexico was granted authorizations on the new route despite Mexico being downgraded to a Category 2 status in May 2021 due to the country not meeting the International Civil Aviation Organization's safety standards.
In a statement to USA TODAY, the Federal Aviation Administration said it is working with Mexican aviation officials and "approved carriers serving existing routes from the new airport in Mexico City but that has nothing to do with the ongoing safety assessment process." The airline said it is "working closely" with aviation authorities to recover its category one status. – Kathleen Wong/USA Today